There’s something irresistibly bucolic about being outside in the yard working up a sweat as you chop through a pile of logs the old-fashioned way with a trusty axe. Except for most of us, it’s a recipe for sore arms and a stiff back, and it’s a chore we’d much rather avoid.
If you’ve had enough of chopping up wood manually, what you need is a log splitter, and if you need to do some heavy-duty splitting, a gas-powered unit is the best way to go. If that sounds like something you could do with, here are our top picks for best gas log splitter.
Our Top Recommended
There are many log splitters out there to choose from, but this unit from Yardman is one of the best. It incorporates a powerful high-quality Briggs & Stratton engine and can deliver 25 tons of log splitting power, plenty for most home applications.
It includes several innovative features, like the patent-pending four-way wedge and the patent-pending U-beam structure for strength and durability, while its 9.7-second cycle will allow you power through your log splitting tasks in no time. A high-quality machine and an obvious choice for our top pick.
If you are looking for a new log splitter, you will have realized that there is a range of models to pick from, as well as several distinct types. First, let’s look at the advantages of choosing a gas log splitter – then we can think about the important points to note when choosing the right one for you.
Why buy gas Splitter?
The advantages and disadvantages of choosing a gas-powered log splitter are broadly the same as with any power tool.
Gas splitters generally offer you the most power and so can deal with the heaviest-duty jobs. They are also unlimited in their range since you don’t need to be near a power outlet to use one – you can use a gas-powered unit wherever you can tow it.
However, they are much louder than electric versions – and so can’t be used around livestock – and due to emissions, can’t be used indoors either.
On the whole, since they are bigger and more powerful than other types, they are also the most expensive.
If you don’t know if gas is right for you, think about how and where you plan to use it. If you require a heavy-duty splitter and will need the range a gas version gives you, one that runs on gasoline is probably the right choice.
However, if you are likely to only need it for smaller jobs and you will always be within reach of a power outlet, an electric log splitter might be a better option.
How to choose
If you’ve made up your mind to go with gas, here are the most important aspects to look at.
The splitting force tells you how much force is exerted on a log to split it – and this is measured in tons. The smallest model in this review is rated at seven tons, already plenty to deal with small to medium-sized logs.
At the other end of the scale is a 60-ton-rated monster – and you will only need one of these if you need to split logs on a near-industrial scale.
The engine size is important as this gives you an indication of how hard a splitter can work – as well as how much gas it will get through. Also look at the brand of the engine. Names like Honda or Briggs & Stratton are among the best-known.
Maximum size and weight of logs
This is self-explanatory – when choosing a splitter, make sure it can deal with logs of the size you need to split.
Vertical, horizontal or both?
Smaller log splitters are usually used in a horizontal position – you place the log on top to split it. However, due to their weight, larger logs are easier to split standing up, so bigger splitters can also be used in a vertical configuration.
This means that, unless you are looking for a smaller model, splitters that can be used in both positions are best. Also, take notice of how easy it is to switch between them.
Another important point is how quickly a splitter can work. Check to see the speed per cycle – anything below around 15 seconds will be fast enough for most applications.
Best Gas Log Splitter on the Market 2019
1. (OUR TOP PICK) YARDMAX YU2566 25 Ton Full Beam Gas Log Splitter
This log splitter from Yardmax runs on a 208cc Briggs & Stratton engine that produces 6.5Hp. It delivers 25 tons of splitting force, plenty for most home applications and can cut either horizontally or vertically, giving you maximum versatility over how you work.
It also has several useful features that make it easy and practical to use. We like the log spinner footplate that helps rotate the logs, and another great addition is the patent-pending four-way wedge that allows you to split logs directly into four pieces.
It incorporates the Yardman hydraulic pump system and also boasts a short 9.7-second cycle, making it fast to operate.
This is a machine that is built to last, too. It is designed with a U-beam structure rather than the traditional I-beam, a design that is said to be far stronger than other comparable splitters.
There’s little we don’t like about this log splitter. One small issue we have is with the oil tank, which is quite awkward to access when you need to refill it – unless you have a can with a long-necked funnel.
This log splitter is designed primarily for home use, so you will be disappointed if you are expecting a commercial-grade machine. However, if you are looking for a reliable splitter that will take all the effort out of splitting logs at home, this could be an excellent option.
- Horizontal and vertical cutting positions – more versatile
- Patent-pending U-beam structural design – for extra strength
- Ingenious patent-pending 4-way cutter – allows you to split logs into 4 pieces
- Powerful 208cc engine – made by Briggs & Stratton
- Log spinner footplate – makes it easier to manipulate logs
- Oil tank awkward to access – makes topping up oil a pain
- Not built for commercial-grade applications – although doesn’t claim to be
2. (BEST PORTABLE LOG SPLITTER) Champion 7-Ton Compact Horizontal Gas Log Splitter
If you need a compact, portable and practical log splitter that will save you chopping up logs manually with an axe at home, this could be the ideal solution.
It is powered by an 80cc 4-stroke engine made by Champion, allowing the splitter to deliver a force of seven tons.
It is designed to deal with even some of the larger logs you might need to split, with a maximum length of 19” and a maximum weight of 50lbs, plenty for most home applications.
This splitter is tough and durable – it boasts a hardened steel wedge and a cast-iron sleeve that will see you using it for many years to come.
It also includes several features designed for safety – for example, it is air-cooled and has a low oil automatic shutoff to protect the engine.
We like the auto-return cylinder that makes the splitter easy to operate and improves efficiency – although the 20-second cycle is a little slow compared to some other machines.
We might also complain that it can only split logs horizontally and doesn’t have a vertical splitting configuration – but with smaller-scale home operations, this is perhaps less important.
If you need a heavy-duty machine to split large quantities of huge logs, this might not be the best pick – but if you want something that is mobile as well as highly effective, this splitter should be high on your list of possibilities.
- Easy to move or store – can be moved by hand and doesn’t take up much space
- Can deal with sizeable logs – maximum capacity of 50lbs and 19”
- Strong 80cc 4-stroke engine – built by Champion
- Auto-return cylinder – for ease of operation and increased efficiency
- Lifetime technical support – as well as a 2-year warranty
- 20-second cycle – on the slow side
- Horizontal operation only – can’t split logs in a vertical position
3. (BEST FOR HEAVY-DUTY HOME USE) Champion 25-Ton Horizontal/Vertical Gas Log Splitter
If you like the sound of the 7-ton Champion splitter above but you require something a little more heavy-duty – without needing anything too extreme – this larger, more powerful version might be an attractive option.
This splitter incorporates a 224cc single-cylinder Champion engine that helps it deliver 25 tons of force. It has an impressive 12-second cycle, with the possibility of up to 300 cycles per hour or five per minute – faster than most people will be able to work.
With this splitter, you will also be able to deal with larger logs than with its smaller sibling – this one can take logs with a maximum length of 23.8” and weighing up to 100lbs.
Furthermore, to make things even more practical, it can operate either vertically or horizontally – and switching between the two modes is quick and easy.
It is easy to tow – you can safely travel at up to 45mph on the road with this behind you. However, because the center of gravity is towards the front, it is more difficult to maneuver by hand.
Another issue we have is that it may be complicated for some people to assemble at home if they are not used to such jobs – and even if you are, one-person assembly is difficult due to the weight of some of the components. Expect to spend over an hour preparing it for use.
Overall, another excellent home solution from Champion that will appeal to people who need more than a small 7-ton model but who don’t need to split logs quite on an industrial scale.
- Vertical or horizontal configuration – easy to convert between the two
- Short 12-second cycle – capable of 300 cycles per hour
- Powerful 224cc single-cylinder engine – made by Champion
- Capable of dealing with large logs – up to 23.8” and 100lbs
- Easy to tow – safe up to 45mph
- Complicated to assemble if not experienced – and difficult for one person alone
- Difficult to move by hand – center of gravity too far forward
4. (BEST VALUE 37-TON SPLITTER) NorthStar 37-Ton Horizontal/Vertical Log Splitter
If you still need more than just 25 tons of splitting power, this machine from NorthStar is another step up again. This one will let you deal with logs of up to 25” in length and 16” in width with a splitting power of 37 tons.
It is a three-way splitter, although an attachment is sold separately that allows you to split logs into four. It functions in both vertical and horizontal positions, allowing you more flexibility over how you work, especially with larger pieces of wood.
It has several highly practical features that help it stay in good working order. For example, the engine automatically shuts down when oil is low to prevent the engine from damaging itself.
It also boasts a useful auto-idling function that helps extend the engine’s life while also conserving fuel.
This is a large machine, so be aware that you won’t be able to assemble it alone – it will be a job for at least two people. Note also that it may be unstable on uneven ground and can even tip over – it is best used on flat or hard surfaces.
This is a tough and reliable splitter that is built to last. It performs well and is aimed at the home user who needs to chop up significant amounts of large logs. If that is what you’re looking for, this is a splitter that should be well worth checking out.
- Auto-idle feature – extends engine life and conserves fuel
- High-quality 270cc Honda engine – a well-known and reliable brand
- 2-stage pump – allows the splitter to deliver the force of a 1-stage pump at lower Hp
- Low oil shutdown – shuts the engine down to prevent it from becoming damaged
- Can deal with very large logs – maximum capacity 25” length x 16” width
- Requires at least two people to construct – too large for one person alone
- Can be unstable on uneven ground – works best on flat, hard surfaces
5. (BEST UPGRADE PICK) RuggedMade 37-Ton Horizontal Gas Log Splitter
If you need a commercial-grade machine that can deal with big, heavy logs and some heavy-duty splitting, this is a model that should be on your radar.
One of the first things you’ll notice – and quickly come to appreciate – is the log lifter. This device can help you position logs of up to 300lbs in weight effortlessly and without punishing your back.
The splitter breezes through logs of even this large size, and once they’re split, the pieces are then collected conveniently in the tray.
The blade is designed to split logs into four pieces, and the adjustable stroke restrictor allows you to choose a cycle speed of nine, 12 or 15 seconds, according to how fast you want to work.
The major downside with this machine is the price – it’s significantly more expensive than many other options, although if you can afford it, it will still be money well spent.
Another slight complaint is that it not easy to assemble – and the instructions are not as clear as they should be, which doesn’t help.
Despite these issues, once it arrives and you have it set up, this is a splitter you will be using for a long time to come. For those who need high levels of performance and power – and for those who can afford it – this is a highly recommended piece of equipment.
- Electric start engine – no need to mess around with a pull cord
- Log lift – can lift logs of up to 300lbs
- Catcher tray – catches logs once they have been split
- Adjustable stroke restrictor – can choose cycles of 9, 12 or 15 seconds
- Commercial-grade machine – ideal for both home and professional applications
- Expensive unit – may be beyond many people’s budget
- Complicated to assemble – instructions could be better written
6. (BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK) Southland Outdoor Power Equipment SLS20825 25 Ton Gas Powered Log Splitter
If you are looking for a reasonably-priced splitter than can deal with the biggest jobs, this unit from Southland could be just what you need.
It has a 208cc Southland engine and can deliver a splitting force of 25 tons. We like the way it can deal with larger logs, even up to a maximum length of 26”, more than many comparable splitters at a similar price point.
It is built to last, making this splitter even better value. It incorporates an internal oil system that keeps the engine lubricated and reduces the temperature, increasing the engine’s lifespan. The 8” wedge is also heat-treated and designed to be used for many years.
It can be set in either a vertical or horizontal configuration, giving you more flexibility over how you split logs. It is also easy to assemble, and there is even a very clear assembly video to watch that shows you exactly how it is done.
Most people will be able to assemble it largely by themselves – the only part that will require two people to lift is the main beam since it’s too heavy for most people alone.
Our only other issue with this is the 17-second cycle. This is not as fast as some other units, and some people may find it slows down their work rate. However, if you don’t need to split logs at break-neck speed, this should still be fast enough.
If you want a log splitter that does the job well and that represents great value for money, this could be the model for you – definitely worth checking out.
- Can deal with large logs – maximum length is 26”
- Internal oil system – keeps the engine lubricated and reduces heat to extend its life
- Easy to assemble – clear instructions and a useful video guide
- Vertical and horizontal configurations – can roll larger logs into place
- 8” heat-treated wedge – designed to last a long time
- 17-second cycle – slower than some other splitters
- Main beam is heavy – the only part you will need help lifting for assembly
7. (BEST INDUSTRIAL-GRADE LOG SPLITTER) 60 Ton Log Splitter Commercial Grade Wood Splitter LS60T-610MM
If your log-splitting operation requires more than the average home-use splitter and you need something more along the lines of a commercial unit, this 60-ton-rated monster will give you all the power and capacity you need.
It can be set in either a vertical or horizontal position, allowing you conveniently to deal with all sizes of logs. It also has a very short 8-second cycle which will allow you to work quickly and efficiently, making short work or large piles of wood.
It is built to last, as you would hope for such an expensive piece of equipment. For example, the four-way wedge is constructed of cast steel and will serve you through many years of log splitting.
We appreciate the electric start system – with a big unit like this, you don’t want to be messing around with a cord starter. We also like how it is easy to tow, and it even comes with LED lights installed.
If you don’t need anything this big or powerful, however, you’re advised to look at smaller, less expensive options – if you don’t require the highest levels of power for the most heavy-duty tasks, you will find this too impractical.
Also, be ready to spend some time assembling it when it arrives and have some help at hand because it will be a job that will take two people at least an hour or two.
To summarize, a great pick for anyone who needs the biggest, strongest log splitter available – but for anyone else, it will just be overkill.
- Commercial-grade power – delivers 60 tons of splitting power
- 8-second cycle – allows you to work quickly and efficiently
- Electric start – no messing with pull-cord starters
- Cuts very large logs – maximum 29.5” in diameter x 25.5” in length
- Cast steel 4-way wedge – built to survive many years of service
- Too big and too strong for casual use – look elsewhere unless you really need it
- Needs more than one person to assemble – and will take some time to do
Power through log cutting with a gas log splitter
Whether you need to chop up logs to burn on your fire or whether you need to split logs on a more industrial scale, choosing the best gas log splitter will make the job quick and effortless. However, there are many to choose from – and if you don’t know where to start looking, any of the splitters in this review will help you get the job done.
My name is Peter Weeks, Writer of The Daily Gardener. Gardening has always been my passion, nothing gives me quite the satisfaction that feeling the soil sift through my fingers does. Give me a spade, a shovel, and a rake, and I can happily while away the day transforming a patch of land into a beautiful oasis. To me, gardening is life. It’s not a career. It’s not a job. It’s something that I truly love doing. It’s a way of life, a passion that I’ve no intention of ever giving up.