If you’re on the prowl for a new log splitter, or are looking into buying your first one, you’re probably wondering what log splitter tonnage rating you need. Log splitters come in a wide range of tonnages, anywhere from 4 or 5 tons up to 50- or 60-ton commercial units. It’s important to know what tonnage you’re looking for before you start shopping, because you want to have enough power to do the splitting you need to do, but not waste too much money buying a bigger machine than you need.
What is tonnage, anyway?
Tonnage is a measurement of the force that the ram of your splitter exerts on the log as it splits it. The higher the tonnage, the harder it will push on your log and the more easily it will go through bigger, tougher logs. Machines with lower tonnage ratings exert less force, but need smaller engines and use less energy. Low-tonnage log splitters are often available with an electric engine because their energy needs are so low. For the big guys, though, they need gas!
How many tons do I need?
How many tons you’ll need depends on the size and type of wood you’ll be splitting. The larger the diameter of the wood, the higher the tonnage you’ll need. Green wood (not dried) will need more tons than seasoned wood (dried). And hardwoods (such as oak and walnut) will need more power than soft woods (like pine). You’ll want to choose a log splitter that can do the biggest and most difficult rounds that you’ll come across. As a general guideline, see the log splitter tonnage chart for specifics:
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