Electric Vs Gas Log Splitter Models: Which is Best for Your Job?

Splitting your own wood is a great way to get some exercise and keep a firewood pile well stocked for warming purposes. But manually splitting a large pile can be a bit daunting, plus it takes a lot of time to work through a cord of wood on your own. This is why a log splitter is a great option to help you get the job done quickly and efficiently with minimal physical effort otherside of log setting and stacking.

There are quite a few variances between an electric vs gas log splitter, and if you are unsure of which type to purchase, this guide helps breakdown the major selling points each have to give you a better idea of what is best for you.

Electric VS Gas Log Splitter Comparisons

Electric Log Splitter ​​​Gas Log Splitter
Electric Log Splitter
Gas Log Splitter
  • Durable, horizontal cutting surface
  • Lightweight and quiet for residential use
  • Uses a standard 110/120 Volt outlet
  • Easy to move and store
  • Easy to switch horizontal to vertical cutting surface
  • Large range of size options for residential and commercial use
  • Uses a range of 4-stroke gas engine sizes
  • Wheeled and many styles have a hitch for easy towing

Electric Gas Splitters: Compact, Portable Options

Pros Cons
  • Runs quiet and works well in residential settings
  • More compact for easy moving and storage
  • Simple maintenance yet dependable power choices
  • Only available in a horizontal splitting surface
  • Most models only provide up to 8 tons of driving force
  • Must stay near an outlet for power

Electric splitters are very popular with residential homeowners due to their more quietly running engine compared to a gas splitter, and compact design for easy storage. These are powerful choices that handle common log sizes with ease and work wonderfully for firewood stacking jobs.

Power Source and Maintenance

Electric wood splitters are powered by an electric engine that plugs directly into a standard home 100/102 volt outlet via an extension cord. They run much quieter in comparison to a gas engine, and can be used indoors as well since they don’t put out any fumes. This makes them a preferable choice for people who live in close proximity to others, or who plan on using their splitter in sheds or garages to avoid cold weather.

Maintenance of an electric model is simple. There is no gas or oil levels to maintain, and all you truly need to do is keep all moving parts well oiled and in working order, and provide hydraulic oil as needed.

Tonnage and Capabilities

electric log splitter with wood and trunks

Most electric splitters fall within a 5 to 8 ton range of force. Although there are some models with more power available, most consumers who require more than this prefer a gas option. These splitters also provide a horizontal surface to lay your log for splitting. This does require you to lift your log, and most will not accept logs longer than 18 inches in length or more than 12 inches diameter. Many consumers report that their electric models are able to handle a bit more than what they are rated for and are surprisingly strong and durable.

What to Watch For

There are a few downfalls when it comes to an electric choice, however. You are limited by the length of your extension cord, plus you have to watch out for the tripping hazard a cord creates. Most cannot handle green wood either due to the density and overall heaviness unless it is a smaller sized log, and you should take care to avoid knotty areas that run through the width of the log.

Gas Log Splitters

Pros Cons
  • Wide range of power options
  • Many models can cut both on a horizontal and vertical plane
  • Easy to transport from one place to another
  • More maintenance required for a gas engine
  • Storage options are limited due to size and weight of some models
  • Much more expensive than an electric

Gas splitters are by far the more popular log splitting choice, but that doesn’t mean they are more dependable or durable compared to what an electric splitter is rated for; they simply are often more powerful due to how they are powered. Gas splitters are often favored by commercial firewood cutters, businesses that offer cleanup services, and landowners who split large amounts of wood regularly.

Power Source and Maintenance

These choices are powered by a 4-stroke gas engine. Various sizes exist to provide variable forces for your wood cutting needs and many there are many gas-powered models to choose from. The more tonnage applied, the larger the engine overall (more on that below). Gas engines require regular maintenance, and both oil and gas fluid levels should be maintained and checked before, during, and after each use.

You also will need to pay attention to the air filter, spark plug, and carburetor cleanliness to ensure you are getting all the power the engine can provide. Luckily a 4-stroke engine is a very simple design overall and is easy to maintain and work upon if the need arises.

Tonnage and Capabilities

Champion 37-Ton Horizontal and Vertical Full Beam Gas Log Splitter

Although some smaller splitters exist in the 7 ton range, most popular gas models fall between 22 and 37 tons of available driving force. Most are also designed to be towed behind a truck, tractor, or 4-wheeler for easy portability, and are stabilized by a set of tires and a jack. Many also can easily convert from a horizontal to vertical splitting surface to better accommodate larger, heavier logs that may be difficult to lift onto a raised surface.

These machines are also able to easily cut through less seasoned, larger logs. Many accommodate logs as long as 24 inches and 16 to 24 inches in diameter or more. The vertical cutting surface allows you to maneuver these larger pieces, as well as knotty, gnarly lengths, into place to cut into multiple pieces without ever having to lift the weight.

What to Watch For

Gas choices are heavy, plus they are generally much larger than their electric counterparts. Because of this they are not as easy to maneuver by hand, and they take up a lot of room for storage.

Taking care of the engine and hydraulics is a must, with regular checks occurring before and after use to ensure fluids are at the right level and nothing is clogging air intakes. They also are loud, which might make them an annoyance when near other residences. They also put out engine fumes, and should never be used indoors.

Conclusion

Both types of splitters are excellent for what they are designed for. Smaller, compact, electric engines are perfect for indoor and outdoor use, are great in residential settings, and for the most part can handle small to medium sized firewood loads with ease. Gas choices are larger, louder, and stronger overall, and are great for larger firewood loads as well as businesses, land clearing, storm cleanup, and anyplace else you need portable cutting power.

If you have any further questions or comments, please let us know below. And, as always, please share!

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