Splitting wood by hand (with a saw or an ax) is a thing of the past. If you want a more efficient and less time-consuming way to do it, a log splitter is a way to go.
But, between the two most popular types of log splitters, the electrically operated and gas-powered ones, which one should you choose?
What’s a better option when you need to quickly split the logs into firewood for the fireplace or the wood-burning stove?
In my opinion, gas-powered log splitters have many advantages over their electric counterparts. They are more powerful, can be used without being plugged into an outlet, and are less likely to overheat. Electric log splitters on the other hand are cheaper, lighter, and easier to operate and maintain than gas-powered machines.
But, there are also some disadvantages to both types that you should be aware of before making your purchase.
Let’s take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of these log splitters – in this quick comparison guide – so that you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you.
Advantages of Gas-Powered Log Splitters
When deciding between a gas-powered log splitter and an electric one, it is important to consider various aspects in detail.
So, let’s start with the advantages that gas-powered log splitters have over electric models.
1. They are more powerful than electric log splitters
Particularly when you need to split larger logs, gas-powered machines will be more effective and will get the job done faster. Also, if you have a lot of wood to split, or if you need to split particularly tough logs, a gas-powered log splitter will be a better option than an electric one.
2. They can be used without being plugged into an outlet
So you’re not limited by a cord. This is a big advantage, particularly if you need to split wood in an area that doesn’t have easy access to an electrical outlet. It also means that you’re not limited by the length of the cord – so you can move the log splitter around as needed without having to worry about finding an outlet that’s close enough.
3. They are less likely to overheat
It’s because gas-powered log splitters have more powerful engines, which generate more heat. However, this means that they require more maintenance than electric log splitters – so you’ll need to ensure that you keep an eye on the engine and change the oil regularly.
4. They tend to be more durable than electric log splitters
Gas-powered log splitters have fewer moving parts because the engine is usually located in a separate area from the splitting mechanism. This means there is less vibration, and the engine is less likely to be damaged by the wood being split.
Disadvantages of Gas-Powered Log Splitters
While the benefits of gas-powered log splitters are numerous, there are also some drawbacks that you need to be aware of.
1. They require more maintenance and are expensive
With gas-powered machines, you’ll need to keep an eye on the oil, air filters, and other parts that may need replacement. They are also more expensive than electric log splitters. But if you have a lot of tough logs to hold and cut, the initial investment may be worth it in the future.
2. They are louder than electric log splitters
This is something to consider if you’ll be using your log splitter in a residential area, especially if you have not-so-friendly neighbors close by.
3. They produce emissions and are not eco friendly
While newer gas-powered log splitters are more environmentally friendly than older models, they still have emissions. On the other hand, electric log splitters tend to be more environmentally friendly than gas-powered units simply because they don’t require any fuel or produce harmful emissions.
This is important if you’re splitting wood in an enclosed area or if you want to be as eco-friendly as possible. If you’re concerned about your carbon footprint – then an electric log splitter is the way to go.
Deciding What to Pick Between A Gas-Powered Or An Electric Log Splitter
When it’s time to make your purchase, you need to carefully consider what your needs are. I think of some of these important things you should consider before picking.
a) Driving force you need
This will depend on whether you need to split newer green wood or older seasoned wood.
To split, green wood requires a higher driving force than seasoned wood – according to thespruce.com. For example, six-inch logs will generally need 4 to 5 tons of driving force.
At the same time, twelve-inch logs will need anywhere between 7 to 16 tons, depending on whether the wood is new or seasoned. 18-inch and 24-inch logs can require as much as 30 tons and over of driving pressure.
b) Your place of operation
If you’re splitting wood at home, in your backyard – then chances are good that you’ll have access to an electrical outlet. In this case, you’ll be able to operate an electric log splitter without any problems.
However, if you’re splitting wood in a more remote location – then a gas-powered log splitter will be your better option since it doesn’t need to be plugged in to operate.
c) The amount of wood you need to split
This is more important when deciding what size log splitter to buy rather than which type – electric or gas. But it’s still an important consideration because if you only need to split just a cord of firewood, then an electric log splitter would suffice.
But if you have a larger operation or need to split more wood – then you might want to consider a gas-powered log splitter since they tend to have more power and can split more logs in a shorter time frame.
In the end, it comes down to personal choice and what your needs are.
Do you need to split a lot of wood quickly? Or do you only need to split a small amount of wood for your personal use?
The answer to these questions will help you decide whether an electric or gas log splitter is the better option for you. If you still can’t make up your mind, go with a manual one.
Hi, I am Mark Garner a professional carpenter, woodworker, and DIY painter. I live in the small city of Peoria, Arizona as a semi-retired woodworker. I have started this blog with a simple motive to help you with my wood experience in this sector. If you like to know more about what I love doing and how it all got started, you can check more about me here.