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What Is The Best Log Splitter To Buy?

The best wood splitter for one person may not be the best for another. There are many factors that go into making a smart decision that not only gets the job done, but also does so in a way that ensures that you are not wasting money.

A quick note before we get into the nuts and bolts: At Wood Splitters Direct, 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. This gives you the ability to modify your splitter just the way you like it! All you need to do is add the options to your cart to see see the new pricing of your custom built splitter. Also, remember that the price you see in your cart includes shipping and taxes, too!

Please don't hesitate to call with questions about pricing or custom options.

What Size Log Splitter Do I Need?

This can be somewhat of a difficult question to answer. Sometimes, what we want out of a wood splitter and need from a wood splitter are two totally different things. A lot of the time, our answer is: "From what you've told us, you really don't need that much tonnage." Then there is a pause on the line before our customer replies, "Are you sure? I was kind of set on a 45 ton."

Don't get us wrong, we will definitely sell you a larger log splitter if that's genuinely what you want. However, we will only recommend what we genuinely believe you need… and we're not afraid to say so. We've found that most people just don't require as much force, consistently, for the vast majority of their splitting projects.

Now, that being said, we will be the first to admit that in certain situations it just makes sense to go with the bigger splitter after you've already narrowed your choices and you're doing the last "apples to apples" comparison.

It's worth keeping in mind that the average rental size unit in the United States is a 26 ton log splitter because most non-commercial projects just don't need more tonnage than that.

We're offering a general guideline based on the Janka Hardness Test. This test measures the hardness of various wood species based on the necessary pounds-force (lbf) needed to embed a steel ball into the wood.

Janka Hardness Rating to Splitter Tonnage

Please take this with a grain of salt as every piece of wood is different and no guideline will ever be perfect.

More Bang for My Buck = Better Deal for Me?

One of the biggest mistakes we see, time and time again, is when people buy a 45 ton log splitter instead of a 26 ton or 34 ton log splitter because the price difference between the lower tonnage and the higher tonnage is similar. So, they figure: "Hey! Same price plus I get a bigger log splitter? What a deal!"

It may seem like a great deal, at first, but that's not always the case when it comes to log splitters.

So here are some things to look into:

- How long has this splitter or manufacture been around?

- How readily available are parts and components?

+ This is especially important for imported log splitters.

- Do the motor size, pump size, and hydraulic fluid capacity work together?

+ The brand of the motor can be more important than the horsepower when it comes to maintenance and parts. We hear things like "...this one has got a 15HP motor!" when we do our due diligence.

However, when we say: "That's great! Can you tell me who makes the motor?"

And they answer with: "Oh, that's not important. It's POWERFUL and that's all that matters!"

That's when we say: "Thank you. Good bye."

If they're not even willing to look it up for you, it's time to move on.

- Is there an included warranty?

- What is the Cycle Time; how fast will it split a piece of wood?

Many "value" and "no name" brand log splitters that boast higher tonnage (37 tons through 40+ tons) at lower costs will have much slower cycle times than similar tonnage units from the more expensive, more reputable brands. In fact, some of these "off" brands are so slow that you can go grab a cup of coffee, come back, and still be waiting for the unit to finish splitting a piece of wood.

The flip side is that some "value" and "no name" brand log splitters are too fast. Yes, this really can be a bad thing because these splitters can be so fast that they'll out work you in a very short amount of time. Unlike a person, machines are tireless, so don't get sucked into the 3-5 second cycle time sales pitch. Most people can't work that fast nor do they want to. Unless you're working in a commercial setting with at least one other person, you will end up stuck with a cycle time that you just won't be able to utilize.

In the end, what good is paying "less" for something if it's actually going to cost you more time, more effort, and more hassle than if you'd just gone with a dependable log splitter that has the right tonnage for the right price?

What Lower Tonnage Wood Splitters Should I Look at Instead?

Our best selling log splitters, by far, are Yardmax Log Splitters. They are less expensive than many of the other brands' similar log splitters and certainly have several of the best log splitters for under $1,000 that you are going to find. Although they are less expensive, no matter which Yardmax log splitter you choose, you can feel confident that it will get the job done!

The Iron and Oak brand is known for having the best commercial log splitters. The Iron and Oak 30 Ton Vertical / Horizontal Log Splitter has just about everything most people would ever need from a log splitter. As a matter of fact, this log splitter is one of the most common rental units found in several large chain rental stores in the USA.

Oregon is another brand that has a solid reputation. When you choose an Oregon Log Splitter, you're choosing a brand that has been perfecting their products since the late 1940s. 

If you'd like to consider other brands, Boss Industrial log splitters have a very solid line up of log splitters. This company has strong roots in the United States that have spread out to make them one of the top wood splitting brands, manufacturers, and innovators in the world. Their patented hydraulic system features a full set of gears - not half gear systems like most other brands.

Everyone has different splitting needs but most people just don't need a 45-ton splitter. In fact, getting one might actually create more work for you in the long run. It's important to weigh your options carefully before spending your hard earned dollars. The good news is that we're always here to help you get the best log splitting power for your workload as well as for your bank account.

Our 2020 Best Selling Log Splitters: Gas Log Splitters

1. YardMax 35 Ton HV Log Splitter - Gas Log Splitter

2. Iron and Oak 26 Ton HV Log Splitter - Gas Log Splitter

3. YardMax 35 Ton HV Log Splitter - Half Beam - Gas Log Splitter

4. Iron & Oak 30 Ton Vertical Horizontal Log Splitter Torsion Axle - Gas Log Splitter

5. YardMax 28 Ton HV Log Splitter - Half Beam - Gas Log Splitter

Our 2020 Best Wood Splitters: Electric Log Splitters

1. 10 Ton Boss Industrial Dual Action Electric Log Splitter - Electric Log Splitter

2. Boss 8 Ton Industrial Dual Action Electric Log Splitter - Electric Log Splitter

3. YardMax 5 Ton Electric Log Splitter - Electric Log Splitter


For more information on tractor 3 point log splitters or skid steer log splitters, see the log splitter buyers guide on the home page.

Still have questions? Always feel free to contact us at 888-706-2434 if you need help choosing a log splitter. We promise to offer only honest, dependable advice and suggestions with ZERO pressure to buy. Our goal is to help you get the best, most serviceable log splitter for your needs… even if it's not the biggest, most expensive unit in our inventory!

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