Written by Terry Smith
Our site is reader supported so when you click a link to Amazon we may earn an affiliate commission.
UK’s best log splitters: Heavy duty electric, petrol, and manual log splitters reviewed for home and commercial use
This article was last updated on January 18th, 2023 at 2:09 am
If you use timber as the main way to heat your home, say with an open fireplace or wood burner then the best log splitter is a given, it’s just working out which makes the most sense for your personal situation. I personally use an electric log splitter because they easily handle all the logs I cut with my trusty Makita cordless chainsaw. With the recent energy price spikes since I last updated this article a year ago, if you read it then, I was previously complaining like mad about a full load of seasoned Cherry and Ash – even testing was getting expensive! 😀 You wouldn’t believe how many logs I’ve split over the years updating this article 🙂 But you know what, wood burning with a log splitter has become value again as a result of the market prices on electric and gas right now. Us log burner cult are sitting pretty. I mean it’s still £70 a bag or £150 for a level load on the back of a transit tipper, but that’s hasn’t changed much in the last couple of years where we had a big jump. Anyway back on track, I’m a fan of electric log splitters:
So it’s really just a case of working how much power you need – most will go with electric log splitters ( I’ve become a bit of a fan with regards to the Forest Master brand (most notably their Heavy Duty Electric Log Splitter 3HP 7 TON, as they offer a decent balance of power and price, or perhaps even manual log splitters at home when factoring log splitting ability and price. Whilst remote or difficult access will probably want a petrol log splitter – these are by far the most heavy duty. Oh, and of course petrol log splitters can push through massive depth and length logs too as you’ll find out in this review of the best overall log splitters available in the UK – take a look at my log splitter buyers guide to workout size of logs you can split and power ratings. Actually whilst I’m at it, if you’re only looking for occasional use you can get manual log splitting wedges for a few quid.
Best log splitter UK choices: picked for the average home
Best electric log splitter: Forest master Lightweight 5 Ton Fast Electric Hydraulic FM5 Log Splitter 2200 Watt Wood Axe
Powerful electric log splitter: Heavy Duty Electric Log Splitter 3HP 7 TON Axe Wood Maul with Stand
Best manual log splitter: Forest master Manual Heavy Duty Log Splitter Fast 10 Ton splitting force DUO10T [Definitely become my heavy duty pick for manual log splitter]
Best petrol log splitter for big logs: Petrol Log Splitter | 9 Ton Vertical Logsplitter from Titan Pro [Currently out of stock on Amazon but available in branch ]
Cool alternative if you’ve just got little logs you want to kindle: AGMA Swedish Log Splitter
Budget option: definitely go to my log splitting wedges page for bargains.
Log splitter buyers guide
There’s probably a handful of important things to consider when choose a log splitter. Convenience is one, are you headed to the forest or just comfortable at home in the shed (so you’ll almost certainly go for a manual or electric log splitter. If the location is remote, you’ll want a petrol most likely.
Also don’t forget moving the thing about. A decent log splitter often comes on wheels making them easy to shove about the shed or workshop. So let’s just run through the most important things.
What can I actually split with each type of splitter
You’re going to be absolutely shocked (assuming you’re new to this) that the manual log splitters can actually be more powerful than electric log splitters! I’m not saying I’d be putting the elbow grease in but they exist. Here’s a look at what a manual log splitter can do:
Now I’m not suggesting for one minute that it is quick or efficient. However, look at the size of the unit, it is by far more portable than a lumpy 10 Ton petrol so well worth considering if you’re really remote. Also note, the size of the log you can deal with isn’t magical.
With that said, an electric log splitter seems to have the best of both worlds at the moment – quick with most have automatic retract and loads of power 5-10 tonne is common. They can easily deal with 30cm diameter (ideal if you’re using a small cordless chainsaw as I do – you’ll know if you could cut the log, you’ll be able to split it). No need to be thinking much. Here’s a look at how easy an electric log splitter cuts logs:
On the more powerful electric models you can cut 35-40cm diameter pretty easily. Electric is about as effortless as it gets. If you think you need petrol or are looking for a tow option then best to look at my petrol log splitter page as that’s commercial rating
Don’t do it without a stand or bench is my advice after all these years
If buying a model without a stand I would be looking to safely bench mount it. No chance I’m leaning over all that time. This guy demos how to do it with a little 5 ton log splitter on the bench. I can’t show you that as mine is on a stand. So here’s a look at what he’s done and it looks plenty safe enough to me. It also makes the engage switch easier to access:
Most of these models are 5 tonne – 25cm diameter logs are no problem for them, and lifting them a little 20cm log on a bench is definitely less effort than being bent down through the entire cut process. However, I just prefer a model on a stand:
Portability and width – the best log splitters all have wheels but some are easier to move
Yep, easy to forget, doesn’t matter if it’s vertical or horizontal cutters the best always have wheels. What you want to consider though is machine width and accessibility too. If you’ve a narrow path the vertical machines I find easier to shift. The wide rear wheels that you can see above on the FM10 are a bit prohibitive in tight spaces, especially when comparing to the narrow setup on a vertical log splitter.
There’s not much more to it than that
Now we are going to review a selection of best log splitters available in the UK:
1. Forest master Lightweight 5 Ton Fast Electric Hydraulic FM5 Log Splitter 2200 Watt Wood Axe
The Lightweight 5 Ton Fast Electric Hydraulic FM5 takes my top pick for log splitters in the UK this year based on a balance of reliability, price, robust build, manufacturer after sales care, warranty, safety, and crucially: ability to split logs for a standard home fire place or wood burner.
Before I talk too much about the performance, here’s a look at this log splitter in action:
As you can see in the video it’ll go through knotty wood pretty easily. They recommend going for a bigger model is splitting hardwood but softwood or green don’t present a problem at all. I appreciate this isn’t the longest or worst you’ll come across but it handles itself very well with anything up to 30cm long or 30 cm wide. But, remember, what it gives up in power it makes up for in weight – just 32kg. You won’t be finding that much power and reliability in a moveable package easily. What’s going to excite you is just how easy it’ll move. Simply grab the handle and lift it onto it’s rear wheels which are large enough for any ropey workshop floor, and even outdoors if the weather is right for a power lead… Here’s a look at this super design:
If you need more than that you’ll need to go with the next model up which is the review below. However, for a log burner or open fire it’s pretty much bang on the money and why I’ve rated this the best log splitter in the UK for us householders.
A big positive is the recoil speed (and the fact it’s automatic) and from a safety perspective pretty sensible to use. I’m not sure holding the power button down and hydraulic level to activate it is necessary at the same time but it definitely means you can’t make an easy mistake with a lapse of concentration. It’s a nice touch that the spares are pretty easily accessible from Forest Master too. This much pressure, eventually things give up. Talking of which, you can rely on these guys for the warranty which is a standard year and you have the right to return within 30 days but check that as it could change at anytime.
- Still well enough priced to justify over buying pre split logs.
- Very powerful for 2200 Watts – a real 5 tonne log splitter.
- 30cm log width
- 30 cm log length might be slightly too short for you.
- Not the most powerful electric log splitter
- Don’t like the power button position
2. Heavy Duty Electric Log Splitter 3HP 7 TON Axe Wood Maul with Stand
I really love this log splitter but when I first reviewed it we could get it for about £350 – the exchange rate has dived, and inflation has set in, hence the new price. But even after all this time of using it you’ll quickly forget the extra you’ve paid. My mate’s had his longer than mine – nearly 3 years and still going strong! If you can’t stomach the price change than have a look at the Forest master Manual Heavy Duty Log Splitter Fast 10 Ton splitting force DUO10T as this is still cracking value but the problem is, being manual, when you compare the amount of effort, you’ll just dust off the cobwebs and pay up. I did. 😀
The Heavy Duty Electric Log Splitter is much like the best pick, except it’s more powerful and on a stand (which I am a keen fan of). The stand is a nice touch. Granted you can bench mount the FM5 but you simply cannot put a price on easy roller wheels for the stand which come with a brake for stable use too. You can’t put a price on moving to the wood pile when the time comes. Here’s a picture of that:
I’ll go on a little after the video about some of the things I like and don’t:
Now remember, its 47cm log cut length so vastly superior to the top home model. And it’ll also cut 40cm width logs. However, having the longer table only benefits you if you’ve got longer logs! I found reload time considerably longer so not worth the money unless you really need the power and length. However to counteract that argument there is a mechanism to adjust how far back the ram can go. This certainly is easy to change position if necessary:
Forest Master have fitted their heavy duty log splitter with a powerful 2200 watt electric motor that is capable of 7 tonnes of splitting force.
The motor is also meant to be energy saving and doesn’t use electricity when not in cycle.
Like the manual log splitter from the same manufacturer, this electric log splitter has the dual blade ‘Duocut’ feature so it can split any type of logs to a maximum size of 430mm in length. This dual blade action makes it great for cutting through knots and it does so with ease.
- Easily powerful enough for all home use
- Nice stand with wheels moves about the workshop great
- Very safety two handed operation. Ensures safety.
- Excellent value for money
- More expensive than the first model
- Wheels won’t move over rough ground as easily
- Longer table means longer recoil time if you have small logs mixed in
3. The Handy THLS-6G Electric Log Splitter with Safety Shut-Off and Guard, 2200W 6 Tons Pressure
The Handy THLS-6G Electric Log Splitter crept onto the list for a couple of good reasons. Firstly you can’t find a sub £300 electric log splitter with a 52cm splitting table anywhere in the UK easily. It’s also really portable and easy to move about the garden on these nice big wheels. The cage is a nice safety touch too if you’re into that. Some won’t like it but I do. Here’s what you can expect power wise and I’ll go through some key points after the video demonstration:
It’ll handle 25cm width logs which means it gives up a little in width to my top pick when compared with the best log splitter in the electric category, but the additional length more than makes up for it. Basically, if you have longer, more slender logs you will take this model. If you need more powerful I’d probably have a look at the THPLS8TE as it’s a vertical cutter with much more horse power.
You can pick the length of ram needed with the ram stopper (same as 7 tonne heavy duty in this review above). This is much needed with a 52cm table you’ll waste far too much time not setting that correctly. I would highly advise trying to cut your logs similar in size to help with the time.
The ram is automatic release. A common feature these days but worth pointing out. The cage (safety guard) to me works both ways in terms of safety. From my perspective, if you’re eager to get a shift on putting hands inside that cage while ram is coming back is a hazard. I’d rather not have the cage myself but that is certainly not safety advice. Always follow the manufacturer to ensure safe use! At about 1:25 on the official video above you’ll watch the chap put his hands in the cage before the ram has retracted. It’s served him well as he’s still got the fingers to prove it, but wouldn’t be my first move if splitting many logs however careful he clearly is about it! I wonder if we will see an update to the video should the old boy read this 😀
Overall a good buy rating and especially if you want to cut a decent length.
- You don’t need to be strong to move this about the garden
- Plenty of cut power up to 25cm logs in width
- Very sensible price for 52cm log length
- 25cm may not be enough in width
- Some may not like having a safety guard
4. Logmaster Foot Operated Heavy Duty Log Splitter, Manual Wood Cutter for Splitting & Cutting Timber (Green)
Prices at sensible money, the Longmaster foot operated model is probably the best choice for a cheap log splitter that works pretty well. All they had to do with this foot operated log splitter was NOT call it heavy duty and expectations would have been managed resulting in a much higher rating around the net. It is certainly the diamond in the rough for a light weight foot operated manual log splitter choice.
As the name suggests, this log splitter is operated manually by foot. You can adjust the height (at least 33cm) and then you simply push down hard repeatedly with your foot until the log splits. One step of the foot is supposed to exert a force of up to 1.2 tons of pressure and the manufacturers say that it can split seasoned and green wood logs and at a maximum size of 45.7cm in length and 25.4cm diameter.
I found that it handled soft, freshly cut wood easily enough but hardwood was a lot more of a struggle and required a fair bit of elbow grease. The build quality is ok but not great. The log splitter’s frame is made from heavy duty steel and feels sturdy but some parts of it like the ratchet, and the hinge that holds it in place, don’t seem to have been made to the same quality. Then again, for 50 quid you expect a few little annoyances, but it still makes we wonder about this log splitter’s lifespan. The frame folds away for easy storage and at just under 10 kilograms it’s as easy as a log splitter could ever be to carry around. There isn’t one easier in the UK to my knowledge.
The Logmaster foot operated log splitter is very easy to use and maintain. A little anti-rust machine oil on the working parts from time to time should suffice.
This log splitter needs to be placed on a flat, hard surface to work properly and it will do a decent job, but it will struggle with logs with knotted growths and get stuck and have to be prized off the blade.
- Simply, easy to use design
- Cheap log splitter
- Works well on most logs
- Light enough to be carried around
- Some parts make me question it’s durability
- Can’t split knotted logs
- Requires a fair bit of man power
The Logmaster foot operated log splitter is decent enough tool if you’re only using it occasionally and splitting soft or seasoned wood. Knotted, or hardwood logs will be too much of a task for it though.
The Swedish log splitter for AGMA is for sale on Amazon priced pretty well. This manual log splitter works in a different way to our previous review, which was foot operated. Instead the Swedish log splitter requires you drill a hole of 12cm deep and 8cm from the edge, into a base log (it’s a one off don’t worry). Then you insert the guide rod into the hole. This needs to be perpendicular to the ground to aid the support of the guide rod or it might unbalance. You lift the handle of the splitting wedge and place a log under it. You then lift the striking weight and release it so the wedge embeds itself in the log. Finally you lift the weight again and throw it down to split the log. Repeating the final step as many times as necessary.
It’s a very simple device that works very well in most cases and only really has problems splitting knotted logs. The splitting action of the device is a bit slow and time consuming but it certainly will split much more when compared to the Logmaster foot operated manual log splitter.
The dropping ‘hammer and wedge’ splitting action is a great idea and is much safer than using an axe.
Precision is another thing the Swedish log splitter has going for it as the design allows you to adjust and decide exactly where the log will split. There is also a feature that lets you cut kindling.
- Easy to use
- Very safe
- Splits very well
- Saves on manual labour
- Requires some precise setting up
- Slower than using an axe
Safe and easy to use, the AGMA Swedish manual log splitter has a nice labour saving design, but does require some precise setting up and is rather slow in operation. It’s only not the best log splitter in the manual category because of the absolute tank below 🙂
6. Forest master Manual Heavy Duty Log Splitter Fast 10 Ton splitting force DUO10T
For sale sensible money, the Forest Master log splitter is actually quite expensive for a manual device and getting into the realm of entry level electric models. For the price though, you get a lot of splitting power. Before I get into what I really think, here’s a look at the performance. As you can see, for big logs it’s a yes rating and the best log splitter as far as manual versions go in the UK:
Using a Hydraulic lift jack, this log splitter is able to produce 10 tonnes of force and can be used too split logs up to 51cm long and 30cm in diameter.
It can split logs both vertically and horizontally.
The twin ‘Duocut’ blade design optimises the performance of this manual log splitter by using two blades instead of one. The Duocut blade works with the Forest master’s stationary blade to comfortably split even knotted wood at a decent pace.
The stationary blade is also adjustable and you can set it to start splitting immediately rather than waiting for the weight to drop like the Swedish Slitter we just reviewed.
As mentioned, this machine can be used either vertically via a foot pump, or horizontally through the use of hand operated levers.
The Forest Master manual log splitter is easy to set up using an Allen key, and has a nice safety feature in the shape of a safety valve. This works to stop overloading and damaging the machine.
The overall quality of the log splitter is good with most parts being made of strong steel.
One thing I will say is that you have to read the instructions carefully as misuse can bend the cradle that holds the logs in place. I feel this could have been avoided by the manufacturers with a few adjustments.
I used it vertically, and splitting wise- it worked very, very well. However I had to hold it at the top to keep it stable, a small complaint. I know but something I feel could have been avoided. Then again, I guess you’re trading mobility for stability.
Having no need for electric, you can carry this log splitter out to the timber rather than the other way around. The machine is still a little bit heavy and awkward and I think Forest Master should have put some thought into fitting some heavy duty wheels for it to get about on, which would have made things much easier.
- Splits incredibly well
- Dual blade system
- Can split knotted logs
- Hydraulic system works well and reduces manual labour
- No power cord so can be moved around
- In vertical position, needs to be held to stabilise.
- Could do with some heavy duty wheels.
- Misuse can damage some parts easily so instructions must be followed.
7. Petrol Log Splitter | 9 Ton Vertical Logsplitter from Titan Pro
The 9 Ton Vertical Logsplitter from Titan Pro is our choice for best priced petrol log splitter as it comes with a number of features that justify the price. Here’s a look at the performance before I get into any detail:
First of all, it is petrol powered which means no power cords, so you can take this log splitter out to where the wood is and get splitting. The 6.5HP engine helps to produce 9 tonnes of splitting force which is more than enough to tackle all types of logs up to 104cm in length. The noise isn’t bad either surprisingly for such a powerful petrol log splitter. It’s filled with oil and ready to go.
The adjustable height stopper for the ram is a game changer. You won’t waste time if you’ve got shorter logs to cut.
Like most electric and petrol log splitters these days, it has built in safety features such as requiring you to have both hands on the controls and out of the way of the moving parts or the machine won’t work.
This model has the added features of guards covering your hands on the handles and the splitter returning to the starting position if the handles are released. The logs are also held in place by toothed grippers that are built in to the hand guards.
- Adjustable splitting height
- Excellent safety features
- Fast splitting
- Will split any logs
- Expensive compared to Electric models
- Produces fumes and emissions
If you’ve got some heavy duty, high volume splitting to do, this petrol log splitter is your best option. However, it might be a little outside of some customer’s price range. It can cut a massive width log with ease.
That review brings to a close our article and reviews on log splitters in the UK. We have similar articles on this site for all kinds of gardening tools that are just as informative, so be our guest and take a look if you require information on lawnmowers, pressure washers, chainsaws and many more subjects.
We hope you have enjoyed this article and found it helpful and informative.
What you might want to know about each type or log splitter
If you just like to sit around a campfire or fire pit and have a beer or two with some friends, then it might not be worth investing in a log splitter. Perhaps a super cool log splitting drill bit that is a relatively new addition to the log splitting arsenal.
Splitting wood with an axe is very time consuming and most of us lead very busy lives these days and just don’t have those hours to spare but for small time use you could get away with one and some log spitting wedges.
Types of Log Splitters
There are three main types of log splitters- manual, electric, and petrol. I’ll quickly go over each one now to give you an idea of the differences between them.
Manual Log Splitters
These log splitters rely on manual labour rather than a power source. There are different designs of manual splitters, some are hand operated, and others are foot powered, some require a fair bit of man power, and others have hydraulics to make this easier. Manual log splitters are the cheapest type and lightest of the three varieties but they are also the most labour intensive. If you have to split timber on a regular basis and/or in large quantities you’d probably be better off paying the extra for an electric or petrol powered log splitter, but if you only occasionally require one, a manual log splitter may be the one for you.
Electric Log Splitters
Electric log splitters are powered by an electric motor which, in turn, powers the hydraulics that splits the wood. They are very popular for a number of reasons. First, they don’t produce fumes or emissions so they are better for the environment and can also be used indoors. A god send in cold, rainy weather. They also require a lot less maintenance than petrol powered splitters, are generally lighter and more compact and don’t require you to fill them up with a fuel source, an everyday wall socket is all you need. Electric log splitters are usually not as powerful as petrol ones, so if you need particularly thick wood splitting, they might not be the best choice. Also you have to cut your wood near to the power socket, and are held back in range by your power cord.
Petrol Log Splitters
The most powerful and most expensive types of log splitters are the petrol kind. These splitters can deal with larger logs that electric log splitters can’t. They also give more freedom of movement because they don’t need to be connected to a power source by a cable. However, as I already mentioned, petrol log splitters can’t safely be used indoors because of the fumes. There is also the cost factor. Apart from the generally higher asking price, you also need to pay for petrol to run them and there are also maintenance costs. That being said, if you have to split a lot of wood in a hurry or deal with some large diameter logs, you can’t beat a petrol machine.
It’s a good time to touch on the obvious. Swinging an axe over and over again really isn’t good for your back and shoulders. It can quite easily cause injuries or stiffness, especially as we get older and the cold sets in. Unless you’re fully prepped for Winter its a gnarly job in the shed or outbuilding when it’s bitterly cold or pouring down. Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather exercise in the garden than waste money on paid exercise, but a manual log splitter will give you a working over and be far more effective if that’s what you want!
If you use timber as the main way to heat your home, say with an open fireplace then it’s never been a better time to buy a log splitter, what with the price of renting a serious log splitter going up and up, you might as well own an electric petrol one for the added hassle. I just bought a full load of hardwood for £180. Never known such insane pricing. Time to take matters into our own hands methinks…