If you’re in need of a piece of equipment that will help you cut and split logs into manageable sized firewood, you may benefit from investing in a firewood processor. We looked at some of the very best firewood processors available in 2021 and put our firewood cutting, seasoning, storage ideas and usage expertise to use. Here, we’ve chosen the five best firewood processors available today. If you’re new to firewood, no worries! We also explain what a firewood processor is, what to look for in a firewood processor, and how one works.
What Is a Firewood Processor?
A firewood processor is a piece of equipment made exclusively for cutting and splitting firewood with as little manual labor as possible. Generally, firewood processors consist of four parts: a log deck, saw station, splitting chamber, and outfeed.
Most firewood processors are designed to work with logs up to 12 feet long, though measurements may vary. All you need to do before feeding your logs into the processor is de-limb them.
Firewood processors are used both professionally, for creating stacks upon stacks of firewood for sale, and privately, for splitting a few logs into enough firewood to heat a home all winter.
How Do Firewood Processors Work?
Knowing how a firewood processor works is vital before buying one. There are a few considerations to keep in mind about firewood processors before making a purchase. Here are the main parts of a typical firewood processor and how they work.
The log deck is the part of the firewood processor onto which you feed the logs. This section of the machine is generally made of heavy-duty steel. Log decks usually support hundreds of pounds of weight.
Once logs are placed onto the log deck, they are pulled into the machine by a conveyor belt or similar mechanism by some mechanical help like an excavator or skid steer.
At this point, the logs are ready to pass through onto the saw station and become “rounds” (firewood-length pieces).
The saw station of a firewood processor cuts the log into rounds. The process takes a matter of seconds in most cases. Some saw stations cut logs up to 15 or 16 inches in diameter in as little as 5 seconds or less.
Depending on the make and model, saw stations consist of one of three types of saws that cut the logs after being placed on the log deck and pulled into the machine. These are hydraulic chainsaw harvester bars, large slasher saw blades (industrial size circular saw blades), or guillotines powered by hydraulics or PTO from a tractor or an engine.
After the log passes through the saw station, now called a “round,” it moves on to the splitting chamber. Once the round makes it past this next step, it will be correctly sized for firewood use. In guillotine-style firewood processors, the log is split and cut in one step.
The second to last stop for logs headed through a firewood processor is the splitting chamber. After the wood has been fed into the machine and cut, it passes through this unit section. Typically, the round is forced to split by being driven into a wedge. Most wedges are designed to split rounds into 2, 4, 6, or 8 pieces. However, some variations split firewood into as many as 16 pieces.
After being split, rounds are now fully processed firewood ready to be loaded, stacked, seasoned, or delivered once they pass through the machine’s final section.
The outfeed is the last stop for logs going through a firewood processor. Most outfeed sections consist of a conveyor belt, or multiple conveyor belts, to carry the wood out and away from the processor.
Where the firewood goes after passing through the outfeed depends on you. If processing firewood for commercial purposes, the wood can be transferred directly to a truck or trailer. On the other hand, if processing firewood for your home, the wood can be sent to a pile for stacking, seasoning, and racking.
A firewood processor’s output capacity can be measured by how many cords of cut and split firewood it puts out per hour. This number ranges between one and five for most machines. It is also a determining factor in the price of a firewood processor.
Best Firewood Processors of 2020
Now that we know what firewood processors do, how they work, and what to look for in one before making a purchase, here are our picks for the best units of 2020. In choosing these particular firewood processors to review, we kept all of the considerations mentioned above in mind and more.
Best Premium Custom Firewood Processor
The Cord King CS Series is readily acknowledged around the world as one of the very best firewood processors for the money. Few units compare to the power and precision the Cord King CS Series provides.
Equipped with a tough carbide-tooth slasher saw (circular saw), the CS Series firewood processors make short work of logs. This firewood series has an industry-leading cut-to-cut time of under 5 seconds. That means you can produce between four and ten full cords of firewood per hour.
Even more, the firewood processors in the CS Series also require less frequent maintenance than other processors in the same category. CS Series saws only need sharpening after producing 1,000 to 1,500 cords of firewood.
Cord King CS Series firewood processors are available with 50 to 127 HP diesel engines. They also include optional 3 phase electric power or tractor driven PTO. The best part about the CS Series? Cord King will custom-build your unit to be tailored to all of your specific needs.
Best Small Firewood Processor
The HFP160 Firewood Pro is, without doubt, one of the best small firewood processors available in 2020. This mounted fully functioning firewood processor is designed with high production in mind. The machine cuts logs into 20in and 28in rounds and then splits them into 4, 6, or 8 pieces of firewood.
Extremely mobile, this firewood processor allows the operator to easily deposit the finished product into neat piles for stacking and into bins, trucks, trailers, and more. Also, the processor is small and efficient enough only to require a single operator.
Weighing in at 2050lbs, the firewood processor may be smaller than others, but it does not lack any larger machines’ power. The unit measures 52in wide and 43 in high and is feedable with logs up to 16in in diameter.
This processor is designed with skid steer log mounting in mind. However, it can quickly and easily be customized to be compatible with small excavators and wheel loaders.
Best Circular Saw Firewood Processor
Posch’s S-375 is a joystick-controlled high-speed firewood processor equipped with a large 35.4in tungsten tipped slasher-type circular saw. In comparison to older and clunkier firewood processors, the Posch S-375 requires little manual labor to operate.
The machine works with logs up to 14.5in in diameter. After cutting the logs, the unit splits the rounds into your choice of 2, 4, 6, or 8 pieces of firewood. The splitter has a force of 12 tons. The length of finished firewood can be pre-set for up to 19.6in.
The majority of the machine’s functions are all controllable from a joystick. Also, there are half-stroke and only-cut settings for round-production and splitting speeds.
The processor uses two conveyor belts and a hydraulic timber infeed for feeding logs into the machine, transporting the logs through the various cycles, and depositing the finished firewood out and away from the unit.
One of the sweetest parts about these particular firewood processors is that the manufacturer produces several add-ons that increase your overall production with the unit. The add-ons are made possible by external hydraulic ports. Among others, many firewood producers find the powered log table and the PackFix log wrapping machine useful.
The S-375 is our most popular mid-sized processor for sawing logs up to 37cm in diameter. It has a high quality 90cm tungsten tipped circular saw blade. The blade is controlled, like all other major functions, from a joystick. Once cut, the machine can then split these rounds into 2, 4, 6 or 8 parts using up to 12T of force.
Best Tractor Mounted Firewood Processor
Are you looking for a tractor-mounted wood processor to make short work of your logs this year? In that case, the Range-Road RR270PTO is our top recommendation.
This 3-point hitch mounted firewood processor is equipped with a 540 Rpm PTO drive. The unit produces over a cord of firewood per hour and works with logs of 16in in diameter or less. The firewood processor splits rounds 2, 4, or 6 ways with an 83Lpm 3625 Psi hydraulic pump with a 27-ton ram. Also, the finished firewood pieces measure 12in in length.
The unit weighs 1250lbs, lighter than many comparable firewood processors on the market. It uses a standard log arm with a 10in wide and 10ft 6in in length. The machine consists of powder-coated steel parts, a main deck of 3mm formed steel sheeting with 16mm subframe supports, and a bar oil drip system for lubricating during operations.
The splitting wedge is 3/4in in width and 6in in depth. That said, the processor is capable of cutting wide logs of up to 12ft long. The rounds it creates are 24in long.
As far as warranties and guarantees are concerned, this bad boy comes with a one-year warranty covering hydraulics and the machine’s body. It also includes a 3-month warranty for commercial use.
The Range Road RR27PTO firewood processor is based on our proven models with stronger hydraulics to push it to 27 tons. This 3 point hitch model can be used with most tractors over 20hp. From the powder coated structure, to its reliable PTO drive, this processor will exceed your expectations and turn your logs into firewood effortlessly!
Best Firewood Processor with Chainsaw
The last firewood processor on our list of the best firewood processors to consider in 2020 is the Avant A415435, a hydraulic chainsaw type unit. Perhaps less known as other processors review in our piece, this Avant is surely worth a closer look.
The machine consists of a chain saw cutter and hydraulic log splitter. Feed logs into the machine’s front end and the chainsaw will take hold and cut the log. After the log is cut, it automatically drops onto the adjustable splitting table.
A discharge conveyor for outfeed purposes and an oil tank for lubrication are extra available options for the 400-800 model units.
The hydraulically driven chain saw cuts the log, after cutting the log drops automatically on the splitting table where a hydraulic cylinder pushes the log against the splitting blade. The position of the splitting blade can be adjusted, according to the log diameter.
A Final Word About the Best Firewood Processors in 2020
Many factors determine which firewood processor is best for you, from designs including hydraulic chainsaws, industrial circular saws, and guillotines to whether you will use the unit commercially or for your home firewood. Hopefully, our short guide and reviews help you make the most well-informed decision possible.
Do you know about a firewood processor that should be on our list? Let us know all about it in the comments section below, and we will be sure to give it a look. Good luck with finding the best firewood processor for you!