Electric Hydraulic Log Splitters with Full Buying Guide
An electric powered log splitter is really only a machine that will be used by a small majority of the UK population. If you have a need to split logs for something like a wood burning stove, or a fire, then these make light work of achieving that particular task. The burning question for many, (pardon the pun) is which is the best electric log splitter on the UK market.
Like any good politician would say the answer to that is that it depends. The reason we say that, is because there are plenty of choices for these, and it really does depend on your exact purpose for thinking about buying one of these in the first place.
We will take you through the detail in this article and explain what is available out there in the UK stores. More importantly we will explain which type you should buy, depending on the purpose that you want to use it for. Hopefully that will help point you in the right direction.
Just below we have provided a quick index so as you can jump to any section that may be of particular interest to you. However we recommend reading the whole article if you have the time. If you have the time, then we are sure you will be much better informed after you have read the entire article.
There are three main types of log splitter which are:
- Electric Log Splitter (the most popular) and powered by electricity and hydraulics which we cover in this article
- Petrol Log Splitter (Powered by a petrol motor and hydraulics)
- Manual Log Splitter (No power required and usually operated by a foot pump or a foot lever)
We will explain the differences and also show you the brands who make these, along with the most popular and highest buyer rated models of each brand.
It is however also worth mentioning at this early stage that electric log splitters come in two design types which are:
- Horizontal - mainly used around the home and yards for light log splitting
- Vertical - mainly used for commercial or businesses for heavy log splitting
Types of Log Splitter Explained in Detail
In the introduction we mentioned the different types of splitter that are available. In this section we will go into a lot more detail about the different types available, and why you should select one type over the other. The vast majority of home owners will pick the electric log splitter, as they are affordable and also work really well for most general log splitting.
The manual or old fashioned method of splitting logs was to use a splitting wedge and a sledge or club hammer. Apart from the physical effort that this took, it was also a dangerous thing to do. The hammer could miss, the wedge might dislodge and fly about and the risk of injury was high.
Electric Log Splitters Explained
For the typical home owner this will always be the best choice. In terms of design, these are usually horizontal log splitters. When compared to the vertical type, the horizontal design is normally smaller, less expensive and is a good solid choice for domestic use.
To use these your load the logs onto the machine horizontally. The good news about these is that they are used at about waist height and ideally with a stand. It is worth noting that some models come with a stand otherwise the stand can be purchased as an accessory.
These electric splitters are plugged into the main's electric using a standard 3 pin UK plug. The splitter also has a motor which then powers a set of hydraulics, and it is those which move the splitting arm, and it is that which splits the log.
These are made by brands such as Forest Master, Logmaster, Mitox and Eberth.
Petrol Log Splitters Explained
You can also buy petrol log splitters which again then use hydraulics as explained above. The splitter in this case is powered by a small petrol engine, instead of electricity.
If you are likely to be splitting logs from tougher woods, such as cherry or basswood, then petrol log splitters are likely to be more suitable.
Likewise if you plan on working in an area where there is no power source, then a petrol one will always be a much better choice. These are used by a lot of businesses and in the forestry business.
They can use a 2 stroke engine, but more often they will use a 4 stroke air controlled engine. These are designed for heavy duty use and can easily split larger logs.
Manual Log Splitters Explained
There is always the manual option. This type of log splitter is operated by a lever or foot pump. Unlike the two designs above, they do not need electricity or petrol.
They are a more simple machine, and really only suitable for smaller volumes of logs. One advantage of these machines is that most models can be used in either the vertical or the horizontal position.
The manual version is usually the cheapest option, though they are still expensive enough so you should consider any purchase as an investment.
They also have less parts to go faulty. These are a good choice to take to something like a fallen tree, where there will not be any power available. The only other choice to do that is a petrol option and they are very expensive.
Vertical Log Splitters Explained
There is of course models which are called the vertical log splitter. The word vertical refers to the shape and the method used to split logs. These are available as manual, electric and petrol powered options.
The reason that you would pick a vertical splitter will be down to the size of the logs you need to cut. Vertical horizontal log splitters can be pivoted into a vertical position and that allows you to roll the log and position it into place without having to lift it.
The splitting wedge is built onto the ram and the base is flat so you can roll your log on without lifting. You can lower the splitter end to the ground and roll on a large log.
When you're finished splitting the larger log, you can then raise the splitter back to a horizontal position for splitting the chunks into smaller pieces.
These are made by brands like Titan Pro and Mitox.
So those are the different types of log splitter that are available on the UK market. The petrol ones are used mainly for commercial purposes or in the forestry business. Unless you have a lot of logs to get through on a regular basis you will not need the petrol option. These are an expensive buy at around £2,000 for the machine.
That leaves most home owners with the choice of either a manual or an electric log splitter. If you need one where there will be no power, then you should buy a manual one. If you are going to be using it in a yard or somewhere there is power, ten we would recommend an electric option as it involves less manual effort, and is faster and more efficient.
Log Splitter Styles and Comparison Table
Maximum Log Length
Top 5 Buyer Rated Electric Log Splitters
Just below you will find a top 5 table, where I have rated these electric log splitters based on buyer ratings. Some buyers will leave reviews and also rate their purchase. They do this from a variety of online websites. What I do is look at those and then summarise what they say.
That should save you some time doing your own research.
Underneath we have done a summary review of each of the log splitters in the table shown above.
Forest Master 5 Ton Log Splitter Review
96% buyer satisfaction based on 250+ online buyers
- Has a powerful 2200 watt motor
- Can split logs up to 370 mm (15") in length
- Has 5 tonnes of force
- Has a simultaneous button and lever operation so that it allows the user to use the splitter one-handed
- This is considered to be an entry level model and ideal for people with smaller fires and wood burning stoves.
- Buyers said this handles hard logs really well
- The two handed safety feature is a great option
- Good strong robust frame
- The wheels are really good when moving it around
- Buyers said that it was great that this comes with a stand
AL-KO LSH 370/4 Horizontal Electric Log Splitter
94% buyer satisfaction based on 100+ online buyers
- This is a 4 Ton electric log splitter
- It is capable of splitting logs up to 370mm in length. (15")
- It comes supplied with the workbench and safety guard
- This is an ideal entry level model for people with smaller fires or wood burning stoves.
- Max Log Length: 370mm
- Net Weight: 38kg
- Certificate: CE approved Weather protected to IP54
- Has a powerful 1500 Watt motor
- Up to 50% electricity saving compared to 2 lever electric log splitters
- Weighs 38 Kg
Forest Master 7 Ton Log Splitter Review
90% buyer satisfaction based on 100+ online buyers
- This is a 7 Ton electric log splitter
- It is capable of splitting logs up to 430mm in length. (17")
- It comes with lockable castor wheels that really are required to be able to easily move this splitter around
- This uses a DUOBLADE - if one blade hits a knot, the other will take over and continue to split the log
- It has a Ram/Back Stop as standard and can split up to around 00 logs per hour
- Has a powerful 2200 Watt motor
- Max Log Length: 430mm, Max Log Diameter 500mm
- The work bench and safety cage are CE approved
- It comes filled with oil so read to use
- Weighs 58 Kg
Forest Master 8 Ton Log Splitter Review
94% buyer satisfaction based on 50+ online buyers
- This is a fast 2 Speed Splitter
- The full forward stroke takes only 5 seconds
- It can split logs with a diameter of up to 400mm
- It is also fitted with a large 60mm ram
- It comes with a 3 Year parts warranty
- The blade length is 130 mm
- It comes supplied with a duo blade stand to bring the splitter up to working height and is fitted with a ram stop
- This log splitter meets the latest safety standards. This heavy duty log splitter has a large 60mm ram unlike other splitters on the market
Electric Log Splitter Full Buying Guide
Below I will offer you some important tips for buying a log splitter. As mentioned earlier there are manual types (horizontal and vertical, and the more popular choice is the electric log splitter. Manual ones cost anything between £60-200 depending on which type you buy.
The electric log splitters do all of the manual work, but these range in price from £200-350 depending on what force (measured in tonnes) that you want to have. A good quality log splitter ensures that you have a safe method of splitting logs.
The manual products are as you can see a cheaper option, but still require a high degree of manual intervention. The electric option take all of the back breaking work out of splitting your logs.
With the huge majority of log splitters they will split a log into two pieces. You can then buy, usually as an optional extra a cross wedge which is actually a 4-way wedge. This is positioned, also known as a cross-wedge. This can be placed over the 'axe head' of your log splitter and it will make the log split into 4 smaller pieces.
This is an accessory that is often over looked, and it can really save you a lot of time and effort.
Horizontal vs Vertical Log Splitters
The horizontal is aimed primarily at the UK domestic market. They will be smaller and cheaper than the vertical option. You simply load the log on to the splitter horizontally. The majority of these horizontal machines will come with a stand, though with some models, you will have to buy this as a separate item.
As we mentioned earlier the vertical options are mainly used by commercial businesses and in by those working in forests. They are designed to split larger sizes of logs, or if you are log splitting in big quantities. They are almost always much larger and heavier than the horizontal type.
It's All About the Force
The force exerted on a log is what makes it split. The more of that the better in most cases. You certainly need a bigger force for the larger logs of for hard woods and any "green logs." Force is measured in tons and the bigger the better when it comes to splitting a log.
4-6 tons are ideal for splitting logs that are under 6-8". For 12" logs you will need 7 tons. It is also worth noting that freshly cut logs have usually a lot more moisture in them. They are often referred to as "green logs." Those are harder to split than a log, usually called a seasoned log, as they will have had a chance to dry out.
Understanding Cycle Time
When you are considering buying an electric log splitter, manufacturers refer to what is called cycle time. This is the length of time from when you activate the ram, splits the log and then returns to the original position. A time of around 10 seconds is normal for an electric splitter.
The cycle time is really down to the size and capacity of the hydraulic pump, and is usually measured in gallons per minute (GPM)
Electric Motor Size
This is measured in watts. An average motor size is around 2,200 - 3,000 watts. The bigger this motor then the more power it can generate without placing a heavy load on the motor. That means that the motor will last longer if it is not constantly working to its maximum capacity, all of the time.
Wheels and Stands
Most people who buy a log splitter for home use will most likely be using it close to home. Having this splitter located on a stand will really save you having to do a lot of bending, and that makes the task a great deal easier on your back, arms and legs.
Likewise if there are wheels on the stand then that helps move the splitter around. These machines are heavy and you don't want to be lifting them. Wheels are also useful when it comes to storing your splitter in a shed, garage or any type of out house.
If you have split logs with an axe, or an axe and wedge, then at some stage that will have gone slightly wrong. A missed stroke can result in a sore shin or toe. A log splitting the wrong way can result in a flying object cracking your head. One of the main reasons people buy a log splitter is just to make this operation safer.
Follow the safety guidelines that comes with your purchase, and you will always be safe.
These do take up quite a bit of room in your garage or shed. Some of the models will fold up and that helps.
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