Gas vs Electric Log Splitter
If you can legally cut old trees and cut them into logs or buy logs from loggers, having a log splitter can bring you a lot of advantages. Yes, we know that a lot of you are satisfied enough using your best reliable axes to make firewood out of logs. But we also know that a log splitter can offer a lot of conveniences which basically can produce more firewood 10 times faster than using an axe.
Now, the question is, if you will be vying for a log splitter which among the two types of log splitters would you need to meet your needs? Is it the electric log splitter or the gas-powered splitter? Both can really give you an opportunity to stock yourself well with enough firewood for the winter and both are powerful. But then, of course, you have to choose. So which of these can suit you better and give you the upper hand?
To make it easy for you we will point out the advantages you can get from each including their downsides when comparing them side by side.
First, let’s start with the electric log splitters-
The Electric Log
The electric log splitters basically function like the gas-powered log splitters. The only main difference is that it uses electricity and is equipped with electric motors to power its kinetic flywheels or the hydraulics. To use them, all you need to do is plug them up on an electrical outlet.
No Mess, Just Plug and Play
Electric log splitters don’t need to be assembled. Once you unbox them, you can start splitting logs right away. Simply, they are just the plug and play type like ordinary home appliances. You are running out of wood for your stove, just plug your electric log splitter and start splitting cut wood right away inside your garage.
It doesn’t always need to be a log. It could be pieces of a branch you cut from a tree or pieces of pre-split logs you want to split even more. As long as the log cradle can accommodate the wood’s length you can make nice firewood out of it.
You can use an electric log splitter inside your workshop, near your home or inside an animal’s shed and totally be safe including the animals because this machine is 100% emission-free.
Electric log splitters also require very little maintenance because they don’t need spark plugs, filters, engine oil, gas and they are very quiet too you won’t be disturbing your neighbors or your family using them. So all in all, the cost for maintenance it requires is relatively low and this type could be the perfect choice if you are low on a budget.
Electric log splitters are very easy to use because they are generally lighter, very portable and don’t have too many spare parts that can add to its weight. Their standard voltage requirement is 110 to 120V although there are models that have dual voltage which means you can shift the voltage requirement to 220V if your outlet is in 220 volts.
In terms of size, the electric log splitters are also not too bulky because they are designed to split logs of medium size, say a maximum of 30-inch in diameter like the American made Swisher LS22E with a 22-ton splitting capacity.
More so, there are the lightest models that can split small-size logs into kindling for your small stove at home. A good example is the YARDMAX YS0552 5 Ton Electric Log Splitter.
If you need a lightweight log splitter which you would want to use inside your garage to avoid the freezing temperature outside, an electric log splitter would be the ideal choice for the job. It is also very safe because you don’t need to put gas or engine oil in it but only hydraulic oil in the cylinder which happens to be completely sealed.
The standard weight of an electric log splitter is under 115 pounds so if you are a strong guy you can single handedly lift this machine and put it inside your pick-up truck’s bed. The heaviest electric log splitter we’ve seen, so far, weighs a little less than 450 lbs and we are referring to the Swish LS22E we mentioned above.
Almost all of the electric log splitters have wheels for mobility. But the larger ones are equipped with large wheels for transport thru main roads. If you buy a log splitter in the US and it has a hinge and a ball coupler, this can be legally towable at 45 mph.
As such, if you want to move the machine from one place to another, as long as you have a very long electric cable or have a generator with you, you can tow it around using your garden tractor. Or if you have an ATV, there’s no problem towing it on the road as long as it is certified for towing.
If the electric log splitter has only the integrated handle at the end of the log cradle and without the towing accessory most probably this is meant for backyard use only. On the other hand, the larger electric log splitter types are now more versatile because most of them are capable of horizontal and vertical splitting.
Well, when it comes to price, the usual price range of electric log splitters that have 5 to 10-ton splitting capacity range from $350 – $450. The bigger, more solid commercial type log splitters, however, with 20-37-ton splitting power could go anywhere from $1000-$4000. So when it comes to price, that depends also on the tonnage of the log splitter regardless if it’s electric or a gas-powered log splitter.
The electric log splitters don’t actually have inconveniences except that they cannot be used outdoors far from electrical sockets unless you take along a portable generator with matching watts and ampere that can get along with your log splitter. If you can find a reliable portable generator for it, that would be perfect and you’ll be good to go for outdoor log splitting.
Gone are the days when the electric log splitters would pale in comparison against the gas-powered log splitters because we are now seeing more and more of the electric types that are now equally powerful.
But then, let’s move on with our gas vs electric log splitter issue and see what the gas-powered splitters are capable of.
Gas log splitters in many people’s opinions are the toughest and more robust types when it comes to breaking down the largest of logs. If the electric types are available in 2 types, re: vertical/horizontal and horizontal models, the gas-powered are available in 4 different types: the standard hydraulic models, 2-way splitting ram, horizontal/vertical models, and the super-fast kinetic models.
The gas-powered splitters also come with varying tonnage capacity ranging from 8-tons up to a maximum of 37 tons and even more for the larger, commercial types that can take up logs up to 30-inch in diameter and 25-inches long.
Yes, they do use fuel because they are equipped with powerful engines and process combustion to produce more powerful torque and be able to split the toughest logs. They also need engine oil as much as hydraulic oil to lubricate all its moving parts and be efficient. In this case, maintenance is needed but nevertheless, the production of firewood can be much faster.
Designed for Outdoor Use
They are also more capable and more practical to use outdoors. As long as you are well-stocked with fuel and oil, you can go on for hours working with the most reliable gas-powered log splitters. They may be a bit expensive compared to the electric log splitters but they are the hardy types that even though they sometimes need cold starting, once they heat up, the game is on and it will show you its utmost power.
Furthermore, gas log splitters also have varying prices based on their tonnage, specs, brand, the country it was manufactured, the seller, and the popularity of the product.
For example, the Champion 7-ton log splitter which is also very dependable could be as low as $654.
While the Champion 37-ton log splitter is a little over $2000 . Champion log splitters are designed and engineered in the US and though they are accordingly manufactured in other countries, they also meet the company’s American standard of quality and durability.
Because the gas-powered log splitters have engines, fuel tank and are bulkier, they are a bit heavy. But on the other hand, they are made to be highly mobile, portable and generally have the towability features that pass DOT (Department of Transportation) standards to enable them to be transported through the roads at 45mph.
You can literally tow them everywhere as long as your vehicle can be able to go and this is the main selling feature of the gas log splitters.
So let’s summarize now the Pros and Cons for gas vs electric log splitter to give us a quick glimpse of their best and not-so-best features.
- No assembly needed.
- No cold starts.
- Can be used indoors and outdoors as long as there’s the standard outlet to draw out electricity from.
- Very quiet operation. No more disturbing your neighbors.
- Cost less than gas-powered models.
- More portable, more lightweight and can be towed if equipped with accessories.
- Requires almost no maintenance.
- Ideal for personal or domestic use. No fumes.
- Best choice for small to medium-sized logs
- Cheaper than the gas-powered types.
- Commonly less powerful than the gas log splitters.
- Not the heavy-duty types.
- Need to be near an electrical outlet (limited use for outdoors).
- Available in many different types (kinetic, horizontal/vertical, 2-way splitting ram, hydraulics).
- More powerful and have better potentials to split larger logs.
- Perfect for outdoor use.
- Have better towing features.
- More solid with heavy-duty frames.
- Only need gas for power which can be readily available.
- Designed and constructed for heavier workloads.
- Needs assembly.
- More expensive because of their bulk and high-powered engines.
- Need regular maintenance – gas and oil change, spark plug and air filter replacements.
- Not ideal for use near homes or indoor because of the noise and fumes.
- Heavy and bulky.
We know that a lot of people who want log splitters could have hard times choosing between electric and gas log splitters so we’ve made this gas vs electric log splitter blog to better give you a factual basis about the pros and cons for both.
Moreover, we have also asked some experts regarding the best criteria when choosing the ideal type for log splitter. Accordingly, if you need to split large logs and want to produce large chunks of firewood for stacking, the gas-powered are the best choice. But if you need to split smaller logs to make them the right size for your stove, then the electric type is more ideal for the job.
But then, let us leave you also our own best tips to enable you to choose better. First, your choice must always be based on the size of the logs you intend to split because this is where your need for power comes in. Remember that the higher the tonnage, the stronger the engine and the hydraulics of the machine can be.
Second, will you use your log splitting machine outdoor or indoor or just around your home? You exactly know the answers to these questions and by that, you’ll know now which log splitter would be perfect for your needs and can make your life easier.