There are two types of mechanical log splitters on the market: electric and gas powered. Although each option has its pros and cons, your personal log splitting needs will determine which is better for you.
From a purely mechanical standpoint, gas and electric log splitters are functionally the same. They are, however, best suited for opposite types of projects and needs.
As with any type of machinery, your own personal needs will dictate which option is best for you. Neither option is particularly worse, but they are each designed for slightly different and differently sized tasks.
Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of each will help you access your own needs. To begin, consider the two options fairly, and then look at your own expectations. Not every log splitter is perfect for every situation, so it is important to know weigh options.
Electric Log Splitters
Electric log splitters are great for several reasons. The first reason is that they are lightweight and more portable than gas splitters. Anywhere you have electricity, you can use your electric log splitter.
Another benefit is that electric log splitters are quiet when they are running. Additionally, they do not emit fumes like a gas splitter would. Smaller models, because of these two features, can actually be used indoors when necessary.
Although they are more convenient in size and movability, electric log splitters are also less powerful than their gas powered counterparts. If you do not need the added power, however, an electric log splitter will likely be the wisest choice.
Their need for electricity can also be a bit of a problem if you plan to use your splitter in remote areas. For use where there is no outlet, you will need a generator.
One great use of an electric log splitter is splitting kindling. Since you can get electric splitters that are quite small, they can be used for kindling in the house.
Electric log splitters may not be suited for all circumstances, but they are an excellent option for smaller splitting needs. Their small size, fume-free, and quiet operation make them a great option for at-home use.
Gas Log Splitters
If you are planning on doing a bit more heavy duty log splitting, a gas powered log splitter is your best bet. They generally have much more power than their electric counterparts and bigger splitting tables for more substantial logs.
While electric log splitters have the distinction of portability, they are literally tethered to a power outlet. Gas powered log splitters, however, can be used anywhere, despite their added weight.
One drawback to the gas powered log splitters is that they do emit gas fumes which preclude them from indoor use of use near livestock. They require a good amount of ventilation while in use.
Another potential disadvantage is that gas powered splitters require more maintenance than electric models. Because they have a combustion engine, they need oil, filter, and spark plug changes just like a car would.
Although there are some major drawbacks, gas powered log splitters are still the best choice for heftier jobs. They can handle large quantities of large logs with ease.
If you are planning on splitting whole cords of wood rather than splitting on an as-needed basis, gas powered log splitters will have you covered. Their main draw is that they are powerful. If you have a big enough job, they cannot go wrong.
Ultimately, whether a gas powered or electric powered log splitter is better for you is determined by your needs. While each has its pros, each also has its cons.
If you are planning on doing smaller wood splitting projects – either as-needed or for kindling – an electric splitter is your best bet. Since they are portable, quiet, and fume-free, they can even be used for your indoor needs.
If you are planning on doing larger wood splitting projects – splitting cords of wood and the like – a gas powered splitter is your best bet. Since they are powerful and heavy duty, they can cut through larger logs with ease.
As with any machinery purchase, your own needs are a vital consideration. Even if the gas log splitter looks appealing because of its power, if you only need a smaller capacity splitter, the electric will suit your needs better.