Log splitters save you time. However, the number of hours you save will depend on how fast your log splitter is. Different log splitters have varying cycle times that dictate how fast they can split logs.
So which is the fastest log splitter? Let’s find out. Below is our list of the top 9 fastest log splitters around. The fastest of the 9 is the Sportsman Earth Series 19 Ton Gas Powered Kinetic Log Splitter.
The DirtyHand Tools 28-ton follows it with a fastest cycle time log splitter of 10 seconds. Nevertheless, all the other models on the list have a lot to offer.
Calculating a log splitters tonnage
How much splitting force or tonnage a log splitter has will determine the kind of wood you can split. So how do you calculate tonnage?
First, you need to measure the piston’s diameter and square it and multiply it by 3.14. For instance, if the diameter is 5 inches, you would multiply 25 with 3.14. This gives you 78.4, which is to be divided by 4.
Dividing 78.4 by 4 gives you 19.625. To get the splitting force, take the latter result and multiply it with the splitter’s pressure rating. This will give you a total splitting force of 58,875 pounds if the pressure rating is 3000 PSI.
To get the tonnage divide the result by 2000. This gives you a tonnage of 29.4375 tons.
The different types of log splitters
There are several different types, with the main ones being; kinetic, hydraulic and electric log splitters.
Kinetic log splitters:
These are the fastest of the three and can either be hydraulic or electric. They use a flywheel to store energy, and this built-up energy is then released to split the logs. Typically, kinetic log splitters have a cycle time of 2 to 3 seconds.
Hydraulic log splitters:
Made up of a gasoline engine, hydraulic oil pump and a hydraulic cylinder, gas log splitters work by generating a high-pressure oil that runs through a valve. This pressurised oil then powers the cylinder that splits the logs.
This type of machine typically has a cycle time of between 10 and 20 seconds.
Electric log splitters:
These are usually small and compact and predominantly used in homes. They tend to be not as powerful as gas-powered models but are easy to use and store. They typically have a cycle time of 10 to 20 seconds as well.
What size hydraulic pump should I use
The pump size to use will depend on your log splitter. A small splitter that has a cylinder pressure of 2,500 will work well with an 11 GPM pump. However, for a larger splitter, you would need a pump that offers more flow.
This will be a pump with a flow of between 16 and 28.
What is the right log length to split?
This largely depends on your reason for splitting the wood. If it is for firewood, then a 16 inch long will be ideal. This is the best log length for household fires. Thinner logs will burn out too quickly, while thicker logs will take longer to dry out.
For an outdoor fire, there is no restriction as to the size of wood you can use.
Log splitter safety tips
- It is recommended that you read the manual before using a log splitter and follow all instructions outlined.
- When using a log splitter, avoid wearing open shoes, sneakers, or sandals
- Wear headgear to keep your hair away from moving parts as you operate the splitter
- It is important to know how to stop the unit and disengage the controls.
The Fastest Log Splitters Review: Our Top Picks
Sportsman Earth Series, 19 Ton Gas, Powered Kinetic Log Splitter
The Sportsman Earth series 19-ton log splitter is both incredibly powerful and fast, which is to be expected from a kinetic log splitter. It isn’t towable, though, and neither is it portable, so if you are looking for something portable or towable, this isn’t it.
But if you are looking for a log splitter with plenty of power and speed, this is it. Powered by a 212cc 7Hp engine, it delivers the same splitting force as a 19-ton hydraulic machine. This is enough to split logs of 21 inches in length and 13.75 inches in diameter.
The cycle time on this log splitter is two seconds, which is faster than any hydraulic log splitter out there. The wedge is a 7inch steel wedge. There is also a drip tray to catch logs, saving you from having to bend down.
With its two-handed operation, it is designed to keep you as safe as possible. Thus, while it is not mobile, it makes up for this with its incredible speed and power.
DirtyHandTools 28-Ton Log Splitter
The DirtyHandTools 28-ton log splitter is among the few fastest hydraulic log splitters with a cycle time of not more than 10 seconds. But speed isn’t the only thing you get from this model, as it is also a hard-hitting splitter.
With a ram force of 28 tons, it can split logs that are 24 inches long and 30 inches in diameter. This is thanks to the 277cc Kohler engine powering this unit.
As already stated, it has a cycle time of not more than 10 seconds, 10.5 seconds, to be specific. This is quite impressive for a hydraulic machine. And while it is not lightweight, it has two wheels that make it mobile.
With its two rear wheels, you can tow it. Also, this is capable of splitting logs in both horizontal and vertical positions. It also features log catchers to make your work easier after splitting a log.
Remington RM23 Sequoia 159cc 23 Ton Log Splitter
The Remington RM23 delivers the kind of power you would expect from larger and bulkier models in a compact and mobile log splitter. While its 19 seconds cycle time is not comparable to a kinetic log splitter’s cycle time, it is standard for a hydraulic log splitter.
This model can split logs both in a vertical and horizontal mode. Powering this unit is a 159cc engine that delivers 23 tons of ram force. With this kind of power, you will have no trouble splitting 20 to 25-inch diameter softwoods.
It comes with pre-filled hydraulic fluid allowing you to get down to work right after purchase. Also, it features log trays for catching the logs.
This log splitter is towable and can be towed at speeds of up to 45mph. But its best feature is its vertical and horizontal splitting modes. This allows you to split large logs that you would not be able to split otherwise.
Champion Power Equipment-100251 25-Ton Horizontal/Vertical Full Beam Gas Log Splitter
For the fastest hydraulic gas log splitter, the Champion Power Equipment 100251’s 12 second cycle time is pretty impressive. And with a 25-ton ram force, it is pretty clear why this is one of the best gas log splitters around.
A full-beam splitter, this hydraulic wood splitter can split logs in both the horizontal and vertical position. More importantly, thanks to its 25-ton ram force, it can split logs that are 100 pounds in weight. Its engine is a 224cc four-stroke powerhouse.
Weighing 195 KGs is not the most lightweight tool out there, but it is lighter than most of its competitors. Also, it is towable, which improves its mobility.
The auto-return valve is a handy feature that gives you up to 300 cycles per hour. And just like the other two reviewed, it has log catchers for catching the logs when split.
WEN 56222 Lumberjack Gas-Powered Log Splitter
Compared to other gas-powered log splitters with a ram force of more than 20 tons, the WEN 56222 is an affordable option. But how does it compare to its pricier competitors?
Well, this model isn’t the most powerful with its 22 ton of ram force, but it is decent enough for home use. This ram force should allow you to split a log that is 14 inches in diameter and that is 25 inches long.
It is also easy to store and move around thanks to its two wheels. And while it is cheaper than other models, it has a surprisingly decent cycle time of 14 seconds. This is faster than other pricier models we have reviewed.
Our main disappointment with this model is its performance on hardwoods. It struggled to split hardwoods such as oak. However, it did not have the same challenge with softwoods. Nonetheless, it is still an excellent option for splitting firewood.
NorthStar Horizontal/Vertical Log Wood Splitter
Hardwoods such as hickory and oak can prove hard nuts to crack; however, not for all log splitters. The NorthStar Horizontal/vertical log splitter is among those that can make light work of hardwoods.
This gas-powered machine produces an impressive 37 tons of ram force. This is enough to split a 25 x 16-inch log regardless of whether it’s seasoned or not. You can split large logs as well, thanks to its vertical splitting capabilities.
When it’s low on oil, it will automatically shut down. This is a handy safety feature to have. The cycle time is what you would expect from the fastest hydraulic splitter at 14 seconds.
Weighing 560 pounds, this is quite a heavy machine. Nevertheless, it is equipped with wheels for easy transportation. Overall, this is designed for heavy-duty tasks.
Predator 20-ton Log Splitter Gasoline-powered
The predator 20-ton log splitter is one of those that does not ship to California. Also, it is not from the most well-known brands around. So how does it compare to the competition? Fairly well in our view.
As its name suggests, this unit has a ramming force of 20 tons. Not the most powerful but is still capable of splitting 16 inch thick logs. Thus it will be a handy tool to have for preparing firewood. And given it costs less than $1000, it is well within reach of most homeowners.
Another thing that makes it ideal for domestic use is its compact design. This is not the largest gasoline-powered splitter out there, and neither is it the heaviest.
At the rear, it features 16-inch wheels for ease of transportation. Also, it is towable, which improves its mobility.
Troy-Bilt 33 Ton 240cc Vertical / Horizontal Log Splitter
The Troy-Bilt 33 vertical/horizontal splitter is built for heavy-duty tasks. Everything about it screams quality. However, weighing 550 pounds, this isn’t exactly a lightweight tool. But this is standard for heavy-duty splitters.
With a ramming force of 33 tons, it can slice 25 inch thick logs with ease. Also, it can handle thicker logs when placed in a vertical position. The 240cc engine does a great job of powering this hydraulic splitter.
The cycle time is not all that impressive at 15 seconds. However, this still ranks high among hydraulic splitters.
From its weight, it is easy to think that its mobility is limited. On the contrary, though, it has two 16×4.8 inch tires. Furthermore, it is towable, which significantly improves its mobility. Its only major drawback is its size and weight.
There aren’t many options on the market that offer the kind of splitting power you get from this hydraulic wood splitter.
Powerhouse XM-380 Electric Hydraulic Log Splitter
The smallest unit on our list in terms of tonnage is the Powerhouse XM-380 electric hydraulic splitter. The latter offers a ramming force of 7 tons, which is incomparable to other options’ ramming force on the list.
Nevertheless, not everyone needs an overly powerful splitter. As such, this is best suited for homeowners and splitting logs for firewood. It is cheaper than most of the other options and is also more compact.
And while it is not the most powerful on the list, it can hold its own. It can split logs of up to 12 inches in diameter. And when it comes to speed, it has a cycle time of about 11 seconds. Obviously, it isn’t the fastest log splitter in the world, but it is enough for home use.
Its size makes it a portable splitter. Also, it has wheels at the rear to make it easier to move around. This model’s portable design is its best selling feature.
What To Check Before Getting Fastest Wood Splitters
To find the fastest wood splitter, there are some factors you need to consider. These are;
The most expensive machine isn’t necessarily the best. As such, it is wise to stick to your budget. Nonetheless, it is essential to remember that cost dictates the features and performance of a log splitter.
A powerful log splitter designed for commercial use will be pricier than one intended for home use. This is important to remember to avoid being enticed into buying cheap units with too good features to be true.
The cycle time influences how fast you can split logs. However, cycle time can be deceiving. For commercial purposes, a faster cycle time of even 3 seconds will be an advantage.
However, for tasks such as splitting firewood at home, a faster cycle time can be a nightmare. Ideally, for home use, you want something with about 10 to 15 seconds cycle time. This will allow you to keep pace with the machine.
Horizontal and vertical position
You can split large logs of wood in a vertical position than in the horizontal position. Therefore, having a machine that can split wood in both the vertical and horizontal positions is a plus. This will give you the flexibility to slice logs of varying sizes and diameters.
Is portability important
If you want a unit for using at home, then portability and size will be important. However, the fastest commercial log splitter will not be the most lightweight. Thus for commercial use, you may have to sacrifice portability for more splitting power.
Models such as the Sportsman Earth Series 19 Ton Gas Powered Kinetic Log Splitter weigh 500 pounds or more. But offer the splitting force you cannot get in a compact electric logs splitter.
Gas vs electric log splitter
Which one should you choose, gas or electric? Well, it depends on your needs. If you are looking for something compact to use at home, an electric model will be a better choice. On the flip side, gas-powered models offer power to split large logs.
Therefore, if you are looking for something for commercial use, a gas-powered unit will be an ideal option. The budget market is dominated by electric splitters. On the other end, gas splitters make up the majority of commercial log splitters.
Log catchers hold the two logs after splitting. This is a handy feature as it saves you from the hassle of having to bend and pick up the two pieces from the ground. As such, a log splitter with this feature will be of more value than one without.
Sometimes you may want to take your log splitter with you. One way of doing this is by towing it behind your vehicle. However, not all splitters are towable. Thus if you plan on frequently moving with your splitter, look for one that is towable.
Frequently Asked Questions
How fast can I tow my log splitter?
The minimum speed limit on most highways is 30 to 45 MPH. Most log splitters can be pulled at speeds of between 5 and 35 MPH. However, there are some high-end commercial units that can be towed at speeds of up to 70 MPH.
How can I speed up my log splitter?
To increase your splitter’s speed, you will need to get a bigger pump and increase the size of your hydraulic pump. Also, you will need to get a bigger hose to accommodate the increased flow.
What is the fastest electric log splitter?
From our list, the fastest electric log splitter is the Powerhouse XM-380 Electric Hydraulic Log Splitter.
Is it legal to tow my log splitter?
In most states towing a log, splitter is legal. However, not all splitters are towable.
Kinetic splitters are the fastest wood splitters. However, they are not as available as the other types. Thus you will ultimately have to settle on either a gas-powered or electric unit. The above reviewed are among the fastest and have a cycle time of below 15 seconds.
Last update on 2021-10-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API