7 Types Of Log Splitters Explained For Beginners

A log splitter is a mechanical device used to split firewoods that have been cut previously into sections by a chainsaw or sawbench. Purchasing split wood can be expensive, thanks to the wood splitters for making the wood splitting task quick and efficient.

However, if you want to give yourself warmth during winter and like to have a good amount of dried wood to make fire, you can invest in a log splitter. It is undoubtedly a great way to save and earn money in the long run.

Whether you want to buy it for personal use only or provide people with firewoods at an affordable price in cold weather, you can choose the suitable one from different types of models available in the market. The splitting force comes from manual, gas, or electric power in these machines. Sometimes hydraulics are used to create heavy pressure to perform large-scale jobs.

Whatever the models and sizes of the machines, all have been made to make your splitting job effortless, but you have to choose the right one for you and learn how to use them properly. Before that, you should have sufficient knowledge about different types of log splitters and their working process.

Vertical Splitters VS. Horizontal Splitters

In general, the available splitters are of two types; vertical splitter and horizontal splitter. However, some models can do both vertical and horizontal splitting and are more powerful and bulky.

Vertical Splitters:


If you need to split a massive amount of logs in a short time, then vertical splitters are the best option for you. These are also suitable for wood logs with large diameters. These gas-powered machines are designed to leave the woods at ground level so that you do not need to lift heavy pieces.
There are also manual vertical machines that are more compact and designed for homeowners for occasional wood splitting.

Horizontal Splitters:


A horizontal splitter is the most common design that needs to lift the logs into the cutting position. Most electric, manual hydraulic, gas or kinetic splitters are made based on this design. These machines are less potent than vertical slitters but available in a wide range of styles.

The significant differences among the splitters are their capability and source of power. Therefore, before buying one, you should consider the log size, type, and age you will frequently split.

Gas Splitters:


Some gas-powered models are smaller and suitable for firewood splitting for personal use. Some are more powerful, more prominent, and made for large-scale commercial jobs. Both get power from a 4-stroke gas engine that creates pressure within a hydraulic oil pump. After the pressure is made, a valve is activated by the high-pressure oil.

The valve then actuates the hydraulic cylinder for splitting the log. Some gas splitters can do both vertical and horizontal cutting. Gas-powered log splitters have the maximum pressure rating.


Most of the available models in the market are gas-powered. Like other gas-powered devices, gas splitters are also durable and sturdy, so expensive. But as usual, they are noisy and require more maintenance than others. The cares include changing hydraulic fluid, replacing tubes, lubricating the moving parts, ensuring good working condition of the engine, and more. These are easy to check but time-consuming.

Electric Splitters:


These are compact, lightweight, and quiet, so suitable for homeowners. They have a mid-level pressure rating. So they can split larger rounds than the manual ones. But they are less powerful than the gas splitters. The electric splitter requires a standard 110/120 V outlet to run. So, they can be used indoors without fumes or noise like gas splitters. Most of these splitters are designed horizontally.


Electric splitters are designed based on a hydraulic pump system, so they require basic maintenance regularly. You need to check the tube and fluid level, replace the hydraulic oil from time to time, and lubricate the moving parts. In addition, the cords need to be checked if they are worn out.

Manual Hydraulic Splitters:


Manual splitters are hand-powered and suitable for people who use this device occasionally for a small-scale splitting job. Their pressure rating is the lowest among all the splitters. They can be either horizontal or vertical splitters and perfect for splitting small to medium-sized logs and stockpiling firewood. They are easier to use and faster than the ax. But these splitters require a lot of bending to run. Some of these splitting machines have foot pedals.


Some manual log splitters are operated with hydraulics for efficient splitting. However, these are still called manual as they require human power to run.


Manual splitters need minimal maintenance, such as lubricating moving parts, replacing or adding hydraulic fluid, and changing worn-out springs.

Kinetic Splitters:


Kinetic splitters are either electric or gas-powered but do not use hydraulic. Instead, they use stored energy by flywheel spinning. This high-power machine can split both dry or green logs very quickly. It is capable of chopping large logs, therefore, requires more surface area. However, this type of wood splitters needs general maintenance like lubricating the moving components and taking care of the gas engine, if there are any.

Three-point Splitters and Skid Steer Splitters:


These incredibly sturdy and giant machines are suitable for farm works and commercial purposes because they can handle a massive amount of different size logs. In addition, they are directly fixed to the front-end loader or tractor for power and hauling. The machine parts like hydraulic hoses, moving parts, fluid require regular and careful maintenance.

Screw Type Splitters:


These splitters are highly powerful and run by gas or electric engine. The power is utilized to screw the pointed splitter tip to force the wood apart. However, they are easy to make, and most importantly, you can customize them as you need. These machines require maintenance like other gas or electric-powered splitters. These splitters are famous for your DIY projects.

Hopefully, you can now decide what type of log splitter you require to accomplish your task. All kinds of devices are good for what they are designed for. For example, if you plan to use the device at remote areas, you can choose a gas splitter.

But these are expensive. On the other hand, you can use an electric splitter also in a remote location, but it will require you to carry a generator. For massive jobs, you have to buy a three-point splitter. If you are a DIYer, a screw-type splitter can be your companion. If you need to handle bigger dry or green logs, then go for a kinetic option.

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