Wood burning season is quickly sneaking up which means that some have already begun to harvest firewood. If you are a wood burner that cuts and splits your own firewood, whether it is from the woods or delivered in pulp cords, you know how difficult of a job it is. Having a log splitter makes that job a lot easier. No more swinging a maul to split the logs.
If you are considering buying a new log splitter, you may be wondering which log splitter will be the best choice. There are two basic types of log splitters, electric or gas. Now you may be asking yourself what are the differences between an electric log splitter and a gas log splitter or what the benefits are. Well let’s go over the pros and cons of each type of log splitter so that you can make a final decision on which type will work the best for splitting your firewood.
Pros of an Electric Log Splitter
We will begin with the electric log splitters. Electric log splitters have the same functionality as a gas powered log splitter except they have a different type of motor. All you need is a standard 110v household outlet to plug the log splitter into. You can use them indoors, outdoors, on your porch, in the garage, or anywhere in between. They are a lot quieter than a gas log splitter so there are no worries about upsetting neighbors with the noise. An electric log splitter is easy on the wallet, commonly cost will range between $300 – $1000 depending on brand and size. There is no oil to change or fuel to keep on hand. This type of log splitter is also lightweight making it easier to move around your yard or to load in the back of a vehicle for transporting.
Cons of an Electric Log Splitter
As with any item, there are a few things that may deter you from purchasing an electric log splitter. One thing to consider is that they do not offer as much power as a gas log splitter. It is rare to see an electric log splitter above 10 tons. They are good for splitting smaller logs, usually electric log splitters will be able to handle a log about 12’’ in diameter and 20’’ in length. Using an electric log splitter does require you to be near an outlet so if you want to use it in a remote location you would need to take a generator along with you. If these things are not a concern for you then an electric log splitter would be a great choice for you.
Pros of a Gas Log Splitter
Now we are going to go over the pros and cons of having a gas powered log splitter. Gas log splitters are ideal for tougher, larger logs. There are many styles to choose from: traditional hydraulic models, two-way splitting ram, horizontal –vertical models, and super-fast kinetic models. A gas log splitter is going to be powerful ranging from 8 tons all the way up to 34 tons or more for commercial units. Their log capacity is higher. A log that measures 18’’ in diameter and 25’’ long would be split just fine with a gas log splitter where it is not recommended to even try it with an electric log splitter. Don’t worry if your firewood has some nasty knots because a gas powered log splitter will get through them, some easier than others depending on the size you choose. You can split wood absolutely anywhere; there is no need to be near an outlet for use.
Cons of a Gas Log Splitter
Is the gas powered log splitter sounding like it may be for you? That is good; however let’s take a look at some of the draw backs that come along with it. First of all the cost is much greater than that of an electric log splitter. A gas log splitter’s cost will start at roughly $1000 and can reach upwards of $3000. It all depends on the size of log splitter you are looking for as obviously a commercial gas powered log splitter is going to be costly. You will need to maintain the motor of a gas log splitter regularly. You will need to change the oil, air filters, spark plugs, and add fuel often. A gas log splitter will not be able to be use indoors. It will need to be used in a well ventilated area because of the fumes that it lets off. If you live in close proximity to other houses they may not appreciate the loud noise of a gas log splitter. Especially if you will be running it late into the evening. One last thing to consider is if you will be transporting a gas log splitter you will most likely need a vehicle with a hitch or a trailer. Gas models are much heavier and not as easy to transport as an electric model.
There are the pros and cons of each type of log splitter laid out in black and white, all you have to do is decide which one sounds like it will fit your needs. If you will be splitting your firewood close to home in your barn, garage, or on your porch then an electric log splitter would be a great fit. If you split large logs or want to split your firewood without having to be near an electrical outlet then a gas log splitter would be the better fit.