People often ask me if electric log splitters are a viable alternative to their gas powered counterparts. So, what’s the truth?
Are electric log splitters any good? Yes. Electric log splitters are popular with both professional foresters as well as homeowners who burn wood for the winter. If you purchase the right type, they can be very convenient and efficient to use.
No doubt, you’re wondering how good electric log splitters truly are. This article explains in detail the pros and cons of this tool.
Advantages of electric log splitters
Using an electric log splitter is one of the best decisions you can make. Not only does the machine do a lot of the work for you, but it also can be used just as easily in your basement or barn beside outdoors.
As you get older, you probably find that the manual splitting you did when you were younger hurts more. You may feel that it is time to upgrade from an ax to something easier.
One of the best advantages of using an electric log splitter is the fact that it is much quieter than a gas-powered splitter, which makes it perfect for use in a suburban area.
Another awesome advantage of using an electric log splitter is that there is very little maintenance involved in the operation of the machine. You won’t have to worry about changing the oil or servicing the engine.
If you’re like many people (including myself) you strive to be as environmentally friendly as possible. Being low-maintenance means that they do not give off unhealthy levels of carbon monoxide buildup.
Furthermore, the splitter does most of the work for you. This means that you will save a ton of time and energy and most likely won’t be completely tired out by the end of your splitting session. Electric log splitters are also portable and easy to store.
A good example of this kind of device would be the WEN 56207 6.5-Ton electric log splitter. You can see how it performs in the video below:
This is one of my favorites, and its price is also reasonable. You can buy it on Amazon.com.
Disadvantages of electric log splitters
Like any product, electric log splitters have their downsides as well. With so many good things going for it, it’s hard to believe that there are cons.
When choosing electric over gas-powered splitters, you must keep in mind that while they are more efficient, they’re also less powerful.
Due to this disadvantage, electric splitters have more difficulty taking on bigger logs of wood, which means you may find yourself back to cutting wood by an ax.
Additionally, when using an electric log splitter, you always need to be near an outlet or have an extension cord handy. This, as you probably expect, can be an inconvenience.
On the topic of bigger logs of wood, hardwoods such as Oak and Maple can cause damage to your splitter. Electric splitters are primarily used for cutting softwoods such as pine and spruce.
Electric vs gas powered log splitters
I’ve already looked at some of the basic comparisons between the two types of splitters. A major difference between the two types is the price.
If you’re watching your pocketbook, I advise purchasing an electric model, which are usually always cheaper than gas.
As stated above, while electric log splitters may be cheaper and efficient, they are not always advantageous when it comes to getting the job done. This is true if you are splitting heavier hardwoods that are large in diameter.
To elucidate further, electric log splitters – on average – can handle logs ranging up to 20.5” in length and up to 12” in diameter. This, of course, depends greatly on the model you own. Gas log splitters with better splitting capacity and are generally tougher.
Are electric log splitters worth using?
Electric log splitters are definitely worth using. Again, it depends on the type of job you’re doing. For the average homeowner who just wants to split up his or her winter wood before the snow flies, they’re great.
On the other hand, if you’re a professional or somebody who has to cut large-diameter blocks of wood, an electric log splitter will be of little use to you.
Who uses electric log splitters?
There are three main categories of the electric log splitter. Each has its own level of durability.
The first type is consumer grade. As the name suggests, these machines are geared toward folks who split logs for woodpiles either at home or when they’re out camping.
Consumer – grade models are generally very inexpensive and have small wheels so that they can be easily relocated. If you’re a homeowner who has a fireplace or is a camping enthusiast, this is probably a tool you will want to have.
The next grade is prosumer. These models are designed to be more durable and handle larger splitting jobs. In fact, prosumer electric log splitters can exert up to 22-tons of force for the most heavy-duty jobs.
Also, these models have pivoting frames that enable them to be easily towed between your home and outdoor work sites.
The target audience for prosumer electric log splitters tends to be either homeowner who split and burn a lot of wood for the winter or do-it-yourself/handyman types who are always working at home projects.
Finally, there are professional – grade splitters. If you’re a forestry professional, there is a good chance that you’ve got one of these models in your arsenal of tools.
As you might expect, these units don’t come cheap. They’re also difficult to find at your neighborhood hardware store.
Quite often, your only option will be to order them through either a manufacturer or specialized online distributors.
Keep in mind that professional – grade electric log splitters are very powerful – often too powerful for standard outlets.
If this happens, you’ll need a specialized outlet that provides a minimum of 240 volts of power as well as a circuit breaker capable of handling electric current 25 amps or higher.
When looking for a high-quality electric log splitter, one of the most important factors that you have to take into consideration is your anticipated workload.
In other words, if you’re going to be doing a lot of splitting, don’t settle for a cheap model that is designed primarily for a few hours of use on the weekend.
While most homeowners are happy with the consumer – grade splitters if you are going to be splitting large-diameter blocks, by all means, purchase a prosumer model.