Chopping down trees and sectioning them is the hard part for most, but how do you actually turn them into chunks? You could use a chainsaw, but it's not practical for lots of work.
Introducing log splitters, the ability to cut logs down the middle, into halves, chunks and quarters. They are perfect for firewood, woodworkers, as well as tradesmen.
Most come with a trailer hook so you can tow them around your property, while others may even be able to be road registered.
From the latest and greatest, to budget friendly options, we take a look at the best log splitters available to buy online in Australia, that fit into the heavy duty category.
We consulted with experts, bloggers and customer reviews to bring you the top 5 best log splitters available right now.
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1. Yukon 60 Ton Log Splitter
Be winter ready with a supply of pre-split logs for the fire. Powered by a hefty 420cc four-stroke petrol engine the Yukon hydraulic log splitter can produce a super impressive 60 tons of peak power.
This, together with an oversized 155mm diameter ram and a 2-stage pump, equates to a peak production rate of 60 tons of force or a constant rate of 50 tons. Its maximum torque is 25N.m or 2500rpm.
The splitter can split logs up to 610mm in length and up to 650mm in diameter. Imagine the amount of hardwood you can split with that.
The Yukon 4-way contoured wedge has been specially designed to split a log into four sections at once. Remove the side blades and you can turn the wedge into a two-way splitter.
It also features an anti-jam function, allowing for a more productive work session.
The cycle time of 20 seconds is an indicator of just how quickly you can work with this piece of equipment. It can be used either vertically or horizontally. Transporting it is easy with the integrated tow ball mount.
The fuel tank holds 6 litres. Weighing 340kg this is a heavy-duty piece of machinery designed for serious log splitting and clearing jobs.
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2. RedGum Log Splitter 40 Ton
The Redgum 40 Ton Log Splitter is a seriously powerful piece of machinery designed for heavy-duty clearance work and large logs of wood.
The log splitter features a 13HP petrol four-stroke manual start motor with a 2-stage hydraulic gear pump which has an impressive minimum 18-second cycle time.
That makes for excellent productivity. The cylinder is a large 12.7cm x 49.3cm. An auto-return valve features a safe relief function.
The log cradle means that you don’t need an extra pair of hands to keep the log in place while you operate the wedge. The 20cm wedge is made from strong and durable cast steel.
The splitter has a log size capacity of 550mm long and 300mm in diameter. It can be operated either vertically or horizontally, meaning that you can cut your logs into the right sizes for the splitter to manage lengthways.
You can also operate the wedge to run forwards and in reverse to manipulate difficult logs of different shapes into the logs you want to end up with.
The equipment is towable off-road, with pneumatic tyres, safe chain, wheel fenders, reflectors, and tow ball.
(It can’t be towed on public roads). It has a swing jockey wheel with foot-operated safety break. The total weight is 315kg. Some assembly is required post-delivery.
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3. Honda GX200 Log Splitter 30 Ton
Powered by Honda – a reliable brand name in the engine world – the GX200 30 Ton Log Splitter is an impressive mid-sized splitter which has a 4.5” Bore 24" Stroke Hydraulic Cylinder engine rated to 3500psi. This is an OHV industrial/commercial-grade engine.
The 2-stage hydraulic pump will give you a 14-30 second cycle time – an impressive rate when you’ve got a lot of wood to get through.
A hand lever gives you complete control over the cycle – you can stop the wedge at any time, reverse its direction, reposition the wood and so on.
The wedge axe head has wings and a taper for more effective splitting action, and the splitter can be used for both vertical and horizontal operation.
This enables the operator to manipulate difficult pieces of wood for splitting into the desired shapes.
A safety latch for vertical action keeps the operator safe. A reinforced Splitter Beam and Foot support the entire splitting machinery meaning that the splitter can be used single-handedly.
It has a cast-iron trailer coupling system for attaching to the common trailers, allowing for towing around your property (not on public roads).
Heavy-duty hydraulic hose couplings and hydraulic oil tank sump plug and oil level indicators all assist with proper maintenance, meaning you can keep this equipment operating properly and efficiently for many years.
4. Kinetic Log Splitter 30 Ton
The Kinetic 30-35 Ton Flywheel Lickety Split Log Splitter is a nice little log splitter to have around for either those heavy-duty clearing jobs, the smaller ones, or simply keeping yourself in firewood over winter months. This is a lightweight, reliable, versatile, and easy to manoeuvre piece of machinery.
The Kinetic is different from the others because it doesn't use hydraulics – it uses the force of two huge flywheels and a rack-and-pinion system instead.
These flywheels store mechanical energy like a battery stores electricity. Their spinning force multiplies that energy between splitting operations and releases it when you choose to operate the wedge on a log.
This system can split a piece of wood in half in literally a second, two at the max. And it’s ready to reload instantly.
It boasts a two-second cycle time. Its 180mm wedge can easily beat a conventional 35-ton hydraulic log splitter.
The splitter has a generous steel working table that measures 950mm (much larger than others) at a comfortable height of 715mm. You can have your wood within easy reach for reloading between splits in a few seconds.
The log splitter has a patented clutch system for constant rack engagement for maximum productivity, and the mechanism is designed to prevent kickback.
The maximum splitting force is 35 tons and it can handle logs up to 58cm I length. All the component parts in the Lickety Split are commercial grade and heavy-duty to last the test of time.
5. Black Diamond Log Splitter 40 Ton
From Millers Falls, the Black Diamond 40 Ton Electric Start Hydraulic Log Splitter (Model LS40ESBD)is a powerful yet compact and relatively lightweight piece of machinery that’s a true friend to anybody who’s needing to do a lot of clearing work and reducing fallen trees etc into manageable pieces.
This model has a reputation for high consistently high performance, durability, reliability and safety. A powerful 40 tons of splitting power is equal to the best of the others on the market.
The 200mm weatherproof and hardened cast steel 203mm wedge can split even the hardest of Australian woods, including River Red Gum for example.
Able to be used either horizontally or vertically, you can ease the pressure on your back as well as being able to split more difficult pieces of timber in a versatile way.
An auto-return control valve means that you don’t have to use the control lever to reverse the wedge after completing a split – it does that automatically when you release the lever, saving you precious time to fetch the next piece.
A log table helps you to manage your workload as well. A 2-stage gear pump and 12.7cm x 49.3mm hydraulic cylinder are powered by a 13HP OHV 4-stroke petrol engine. This provides enough torque for a really efficient and productive work speed.
And the splitter has 16-inch pneumatic tyres, a quick-release jockey wheel and 50mm cast steel coupling on its towbar for easy manoeuvring around your property – go where the lumber is rather than having to bring it to where the splitter is.
How to choose best log splitter?
So how do you actually choose which one to buy and what factors should you be considering? Given most cost at least $1500 plus, it's an expensive purchase for most.
How large are your logs?
The most important aspect, which is often overlooked is how large are the logs that you'll be cutting. Today we actually looked at 20+ ton log splitters which will easily handle a 24" tree trunk.
There are cheaper models such as a 4 ton splitter that would struggle with this, but would be great with 6" branches.
The thicket the logs, the higher tonnage you should choose. If you can, measure the diameter of typical logs to see how much pressure you're likely going to need.
How much power do you need?
Ultimately the more power the better, and depending on the thickness, hardness and density of your logs, will determine how much power you really need.
Hardwoods for example would need more power than softwoods. This will help you decide on the tonnage you actually need.
For 24" seasoned you could get away with 20 tonnage, while 24" green would need 30 tons.
How much should you spend?
Ultimately you will need to spend a fair chunk to get a decent tonnage log splitter, however there's various brands. Less established brands will be cheaper and you could save up to $500 buying such a brand. However product parts will likely be inferior and could break quicker.
More established brands come with better feedback, warranties and may be more expensive initially but can workout cheaper in the long term due to less maintenance required.
Should I buy hydraulic or electric?
You definitely want to buy hydraulic powered if you're looking for a high tonnage log spliiter. The electric ones are good for branches, but that's about it.
Electric requires electricity, while means it will need to be fixated in place and if you want to take it somewhere with no power, you're out of luck.
Can I tow log splitters on the road?
Most are designed for off-road use only, however there are some models that can be road registered, however it depends on individual states, so check with the seller if they can assist you.
Learn more in this awesome buyers guide.
Once you've considered the factors above, choosing the best log splitter for your individual needs is pretty straight forward. All the models we reviewed today can be delivered after ordering online, some offering free delivery and others having a fixed haulage fee.
Whatever model you choose, you'll be chopping logs like a pro in no time at all.