How to Split Logs Like a Pro

There has been a rise in popularity in log burning stoves and fireplaces in recent years. Now only are they exceptionally beautiful and a fine adornment to a room, but burning wood provides a lovely, natural warmth that is more satisfying than any central heating unit can provide. Many people also like to have logs handy for outdoor use, whether for a heater on the decking or patio, a pizza oven or other use, and demand for logs is high. 

With controlled sustainable wood sources providing the right sort of wood for burning and other uses – such as construction or making furniture – there is wood available at sensible prices. Often, however, the wood will arrive uncut, in raw form, ready for you to split into viable portions for your chosen usage. The traditional method of chopping wood is with an axe – a method that has not changed across hundreds of years – and it is one way of doing it. But it’s not the easiest, as we will explain below.

Before we go on to talk about how to split logs without having to work with an axe, what are the alternatives to burning logs? 

The Alternative to Logs

There are many people who – being unaware that there are tools that can split logs easily – have looked at alternatives to use on their fires and outdoor burners. The major option here are the briquettes you can buy that are usually made from compressed wood pellets. These are useful ad burn well and are also easy to buy and ready to burn without any chopping or preparation.

The choice between briquettes or logs is one for you to make, but with the briquettes, you are paying for the work that has been done to get them ready for you to burn. With logs, you are simply paying for the wood – usually by weight – and the rest is up to you. Would we choose briquettes? Not if we had access to natural wood that could easily be cut into logs! So, how do you split logs like a pro? By using a tool like this review covers, and we’re going to tell you about the main types below.

What is a Log Splitter?

A machine that is designed to split logs without the sheer manual effort involved in using an axe, a log splitter is a particularly useful item to have around if you burn wood for fuel. Many people have them in their garage for the winter months, and they do their job very well indeed. What types of log splitter are there? There are three main types, and these are:

    •       Manual Log Splitter – this type of device usually uses springs and hydraulics to do the job and needs no external power source.

    •       Electric Log Splitter – usually powered by an electric motor that requires a mains power outlet, these are effective and favored by people who use them in season or occasion.

    •       Gas Powered Log Splitter – the most powerful of all types, these use a gas engine and can cut even the hardest wood, but are the most expensive.

Which would be best for you? Let’s have a look at each type.

Manual Log Splitters

The manual type of log splitter works by way of combining springs and hydraulics and is designed for use where power is unavailable, or the user wants to keep their fuel costs low. This sort of log splitter can work with large logs – sometimes greater in size than the powered models can handle – but the problem is the entire process must be done manually. The user effectively pumps up the hydraulics so the machine can do its job, and once it has cut one log, it must be done again for the next. It’s easier – by far – than using an axe, but slower and more cumbersome than a powered device.

Electric Log Splitter

An electric log splitter is a popular choice for people who will use such a device in season. When wood needs to be cut, the machine can be wheeled out from where it is stored, plugged in, and away you go! These machines cut wood in quick succession but may not be able to handle the larger logs that the manual model can do. They are low-maintenance and simple to use and tend to be smaller and more portable than the gas-powered models. Suitable for regular home use, but for anything much bigger, they may struggle.

Gas Powered Log Splitter

Powered by a regular gas engine – although, as with many power tools, it may be two-stroke rather than the four-stroke engine found in your car – the gas-powered models are the most powerful and capable of all. The best of these will handle even the thickest logs and will cut with ease. They need oil and gas, and they will need maintaining in the way you would a gas lawn mower or other tools when not in use. They are also the biggest and heaviest type of log splitter.

Machines of this type will more than likely be put in place they are intended for use and left permanently – although they are movable and come with wheels. This is likely to be the most expensive type of log splitter.

So, now we’ve covered the three main types of log splitter, the questions remains: do you need one, and which is best for you?


If you use logs regularly for heating or outdoor features, and currently cut them by hand with your trusty axe, you will certainly find a log splitting machine to be a big improvement. They are easy to use, efficient and do the job far more quickly.

Which type is for you? If you chop your logs regularly and in large numbers, there’s no doubt that a gas-powered model is for you, or perhaps one of the more powerful electric examples. If you want one for occasional use, even a manual model will be an improvement on an axe. The choice is yours, so check out log splitters now and make your life easier.

Image by Sebastian Ganso from Pixabay 

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