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Purchasing Guide for Different Types of Log Splitter


There are three basic types of Log Splitter - available on the market today, manually powered, electrically powered and gas powered. Each type of log splitter has positive features. Use the guide for each type listed below to help in your decision making process.

Manual Log Splitter: Basically, a manual log splitter has a hydraulic jack laid on its side. Hand pumping the jack causes a rod to ram a log against the splitting wedge. This is an effective but slow process. It is easy to use, safe, and quiet. A hand pump log splitter does not require electricity or gasoline to operate. This is the most environmentally friendly type of log splitting machines. It is compact, easy to store and can be used anywhere. For homeowners that typically burn less than a cord of firewood in a year, this is a good option.

Electric Log Splitters: Homeowners that typically burn two to ten cords of wood annually will appreciate the productivity of an electric log splitter. These relatively light weight machines are compact and easy to maneuver and store. They operate using standard household current. This makes them unusable in remote areas unless you have access to a power generator. Electric log splitters are safe to use and quiet. Because they don't burn gasoline and do not produce any toxic fumes, they are environmentally friendly and can be used indoors. Productivity for these log splitters is dependent on several factors, including the diameter of the log, the hardness of the wood, and the splitting force of the machine.

Gas Powered Log Splitters: Gas powered log splitters are the best option for commercial or remote applications. Generally, they are larger, heavier machines that require more space for storage. These types of log splitters can process larger diameter logs quickly. The gasoline engine is noisier than the manual and electric log splitters. It also produces toxic fumes and cannot be used indoors.

As a rule, log splitter manufacturers market their products with a focus on the splitting force in tons. This is an important factor to consider when shopping for a log splitter but not the only one. You should also consider the machine's cycle time. Cycle time is the amount of time it takes to split a log and for the ram to return to the staring position. Household products typically have a cycle time of 18 seconds, while professional models usually have a cycle time of 10 seconds. That time difference can add hours to a log splitting day.