A quick note before we get into the nuts and bolts here. On this site we have attempted to make all our log splitters very customizable to fit your splitting needs. You will see options on some listings like four way wedges, log cradles, dislodgers, etc. You can build your splitter just the way you like it! Just add the options to the cart and it will build your splitter for you and price it out. Remember the price you see includes shipping and taxes! Please don't hesitate to call with questions.
What size Log Splitter Do I Need?
Well this can be somewhat a difficult question to answer. Sometimes what we want out of a wood splitter and need are two totally different things. A lot of the time we are telling people "you really don't need that much tonnage" and then there is a pause, "are you sure I was kind of set on a 45 ton"?
Don't get me wrong we will sell you a large log splitter if you want, but we find that most people just don't require that much force consistently for their splitting needs. Now sometimes we have to admit in certain situations it does make sense or its logical to just go with the bigger splitter depending on what your looking at and comparing "apples to apples". The average rental size unit in the United States is a 26 ton log splitter.
One of the biggest mistakes we see time and time again is people buy say a 45 ton log splitter instead of a 28 or 34 ton because they are similar in price. So they figure hey same price and I get a bigger log splitter "what a deal"! Well on the surface it may seem great but there are many factors to look at. Again, it can make sense to go bigger but most of the time it's not really needed. For example, we sell a couple brands called Iron & Oak log splitters and Brave log splitters that are American made. The Iron & Oak brand is known more as a "commercial" grade splitter and has a very popular 26 ton log splitter that is everything most people would ever need. As a matter of fact this log splitter is used as one of the most common rental units in the USA at several large chain rental stores. So this tells you those big tonnage "rated" splitters are not needed for most people. If you are looking for big power and USA made and not going completely break the bank then take a look at the Brave 34 ton wood splitter. Great value and again USA made.
We also sell a brand called Swisher log splitters that has a very popular 28 & 34 ton log splitter with an optional electric start that is everything you would ever need including the commercial pro log splitter. It's American made and Swisher has been in business for 60+ years and the price will compete with any import and is very hard to beat for the value.
We also sell a brand called Oregon log splitters that have some nice features as well offering larger tires and different engine choices such as Honda GX engines. Everyone has different splitting needs so you have to weigh out the options. As far as a 37 or 45 ton etc for 98% of people is just not needed. Were here to help you decide if needed.
Things to consider; where is the log splitter made? (Some imports are ok if they are designed on shore and thought out correctly and built with specific specifications. A lot of companies have there own manufactures off shore.) If it's an import are you going to be able to get parts for it (you will need parts sooner or later)? Does the motor have any kind of brand name? We hear things like "this one has a 15 horse motor". Then we ask what kind of a motor is it? "Well not really sure but it has lots of horse power". Sometimes no name stuff can last awhile but it can also become frustrating quick, then trying to get things replaced becomes even more frustrating.
So here are some things to look at:
- How long has this splitter or manufacture been around?
- Parts available?
- Cycle time? (How fast will it split a piece of wood)
- Motor size, pump size and hydraulic fluid capacity should all work together.
Some general things to think about. In most cases "value" or "less expensive" log splitters that are higher in tonnage like 37, or 40+ claimed ton log splitters will be slower cycle times. Some are so slow you can go grab a cup of coffee waiting for it to split a piece of wood.
The flip side is some are really fast and will out work you because machines don't get tired and you do so don't get sucked into the 3-5 second cycle times because most people can't work that fast nor do they want to! You usually end up paying more money for fast cycle log splitters. Now if your commercial driven and you have more then one person splitting wood then the fast cycles will be more appropriate for you.
We are not big into the charts and diagrams showing you log diameters and what splitter you should buy but we have attempted to give you a guide line below of different harnesses of wood and what you may want to be looking at for tonnage size. Please take this with a grain of salt as every piece of wood is different and no guide line will ever be perfect. Questions? Feel free to contact our log splitter expert +Michael Hirsch at 888-706-2434 if you need help choosing a log splitter. We promise we won't try to sell you the biggest most expensive wood splitter just good old fashion no pressure solid advice.
Tree Hardness Ratings*
Soft Woods Hard Woods
Alder 590 lbs Ash 1320 lbs
Aspen 420 lbs Beech 1300 lbs
Basswood 410 lbs Birch 1470 lbs
Boxelder 720 lbs Cedar 900 lbs
Buckeye 350 lbs Dogwood 2150 lbs
Catalpa 550 lbs Elm 1540 lbs
Cottonwood 430 lbs Hickory 1820 lbs
Fir 710 lbs Locust 1700 lbs
Pine 860 lbs Magnolia 1020 lbs
Poplar 540 lbs Maple 1450 lbs
Spruce 510 lbs Oak 1620 lbs
Sweet Gum 850 lbs Walnut 1010 lbs
* Hardness Janka Test - Information gathered from Wikipedia
General Log Splitter Guide Line Based on Hardness Rating
Log 300-600lbs 601-900lbs 901-1500lbs 1501-2200lbs
6 Inches 4 ton + 6 ton + 7 ton + 10 ton +
12 Inches 12 ton + 15 ton + 20 ton + 22 ton +
18 Inches 20 ton + 20 ton + 26 ton + 26 ton +
24 Inches 27 ton + 27 ton + 30 ton + 30 ton +