Best Kinetic Log Splitter: Our 5 Top Picks (2021)

If you have a large volume of logs to split, you might be wondering how to find the best kinetic log splitter and if it’s really worth adding one to your collection of forestry tools.

A kinetic log splitter is a great choice – they’re fairly portable, they’re easy to use, and they can split logs at very high speeds (even as little as 1 second per log). So that could save you a lot of time and energy.

The question is: how can you find the best kinetic log splitter? What should you be looking for in terms of power, capacity, and safety? And what are the 5 best kinetic log splitters out there?

We will answer all these questions (and more), but first, let’s look at how our 5 picks compare to each other. Continue reading our guide on how to find the best rental log splitters.

At a Glance: the Best Kinetic Log Splitters

Model Operation Method Power Cycle Time Price
DK2 40-Ton Kinetic Log Splitter 2-Handed 40-Ton 1 Second Here
Power King 22-Ton Kinetic Log Splitter 2-Handed 22-Ton 3 Seconds Here
Sportsman Earth Series 10-Ton Gas Kinetic Log Splitter 2-Handed 10-Ton 2 Seconds Here
Power King 42-Ton Kinetic Log Splitter 2-Handed 42-Ton 3 Seconds Here
Performance Built 20-Ton Kinetic Log Splitter 2-Handed 20-Ton 4 Seconds Here

What is a Kinetic Log Splitter?

A kinetic log splitter is a tool that allows you to split logs super quickly. It uses kinetic energy from an engine to push a movable rack into the log, forcing it into the splitting wedge and halving it. This saves you a ton of energy when it comes to log splitting if you’re using to doing this by hand.

A kinetic log splitter is a big bit of kit but has the advantage of being very fast – it takes just 2-3 seconds to split a log, compared to hydraulic log splitters, which can take 12-15 seconds per log.

Kinetic log splitters are also very easy to maintain, with very few parts to worry about looking after. In addition, they can usually be towed using a pin-type hitch, making them easy to transport.

Reading our guide on how to find the best log splitters.

What to Look for in a Kinetic Log Splitter

Before we go into our top 5, here are a few main things you should look out for when buying a kinetic log splitter:

Power

The power of a kinetic splitter is measured in tons. While it may be tempting to go for the most powerful model, they can get expensive. They can range from 5 tons through to 40 or more, but most people will find that 8-10 ton kinetic log splitters are more powerful enough for home use.

On the other hand, if you’ve got a large volume of wood to work with, it may be worth going for a model that has 20 tons of power or more.

Capacity

This refers to the largest log size your kinetic log splitter can cope with. If you need to cut particularly large logs, it’s worth checking this measurement to make sure.

Some logs are tougher than others, though, so you may find that weaker kinetic log splitters (under 10 tons) may struggle to cope with tougher logs even if they’re under the max capacity, which is why looking at both the max log size and power is important.

Engine

A gas engine powers a kinetic log splitter, and you can check the engine size (measured in CCs, or cubic centimeters) to get an idea of how powerful it will be.

This will also tell you how much gas the engine will require. Some of these engines come with separate warranties, which means you can replace them if something goes wrong without replacing the whole thing.

Mobility

Kinetic log splitters look large, but they’re smaller than hydraulic log splitters. It’s still a good idea to check how large it is to see if you have enough room to store it.

You may also be able to tow your kinetic log splitter, which makes it much easier to transport if you need to.

Cycle Time

This refers to the time it takes for the machine to split a log and return to the starting position. The faster this is, the quicker it will work your way through a large volume of logs. 2-3 seconds is a good time to aim for, but some are even faster.

However, it’s worth remembering that even if your machine can work this fast, you might not be able to! In which case, it may not be worth spending more on a faster cycle.

Durability

Kinetic log splitters make fast work of logs, and if you want them to last, you should look at how durable they will be. The splitting wedge should be made from tough steel to make splitting logs a breeze, even after many use. You should also look for a strong, stable steel frame that won’t wobble during use.

Operation Method

You’ll have two options here – one-handed operation or two-handed operation. The one-handed operation may be a bit easier, but two-handed is generally considered a little safer. Really it depends on your preference. Kinetic log splitters with the two-handed operation are usually a little easier to find than their one-handed counterparts.

Safety Features

Some kinetic log splitters come with extra safety features. For example, they might have an automatic shut-off if the engine becomes overworked.

Ease of Assembly

Most log splitters require some assembly before use. This should be straightforward, but of course, some models will be easier to put together than others. Look for a kinetic log splitter with clear instructions or a video tutorial on putting it together correctly.

Top 5 Best Kinetic Log Splitters

Now, let’s look at the best kinetic log splitters out there – we’ve tried to cover a variety of budgets, so you should be able to find one that works well for you.

DK2 40-Ton Kinetic Log Splitter – Fastest Cycle Speed

Key Specs

  • Power: 40-Ton
  • Cycle Time: 1 Second
  • Operation Method: 2-Handed
  • Max. Log Diameter: 22 x 22 inches

The DK2 40-Ton Kinetic Log Splitter is a great choice if you want something super-fast and powerful. With amazing 40-ton power and 1-second speed, it makes swift work of splitting logs. It’s a little pricey, especially if you just need it for home use, but it’s ideal if you have many logs to work with and you want to save some time.

It’s gas-powered, using a KOHLER Command Pro engine, which comes with a 3-year warranty. The splitting wedge is made from steel and should be able to withstand a lot of use, and the log splitter itself comes with a 3-year warranty, too.

In terms of safety, it has a strong, stable stand and locking wheels to keep the splitter securely in place. It’s pretty easy to put together, too.

Pros

  • Super fast and powerful
  • The engine comes with a 3-year warranty
  • Strong, stable frame

Cons

  • Quite expensive for home use

Power King 22-Ton Kinetic Log Splitter – Good All-Rounder

Key Specs

  • Power Source: Gas
  • Power: 22-Ton
  • Cycle Time: 3 Seconds
  • Operation Method: 2-Handed
  • Max. Log Diameter: 18 x 16 inches

The Power King 22-Ton Kinetic Log Splitter is a good all-rounder. It has 22 tons of power and 3 seconds of speed, which is more than enough for most people, particularly if you use it at home. It has a raised platform and table to make it easier for your back, which is great.

It is a gas-powered log splitter using a Kohler Pro engine, which has a 3-year warranty. The steel splitting wedge is tough and durable, and the log splitter (minus the engine) has a 1-year warranty.

The frame is stable and secure, and it has an auto-braking system, which stops the unit from running if the system is over-taxed. The downside is that the assembly instructions could be a bit clearer, which may take some time to put together.

Pros

  • Powerful and fast
  • The engine comes with a 3-year warranty
  • Tough and durable
  • Includes auto-braking system if the system is overtaxed

Cons

  • Assembly instructions aren’t that clear

Sportsman Earth Series 10-Ton Gas Kinetic Log Splitter – Best for Home Use

Key Specs

  • Power: 10-Ton
  • Cycle Time: 2 Seconds
  • Operation Method: 2-Handed
  • Max. Log Diameter: 20 x 13 inches

The Sportsman Earth Series 10-Ton Gas Kinetic Log Splitter is great for home use. It has 10 tons of power, which means it may not be able to deal with tough logs at the same speed as, say, the DK2 40-Ton Kinetic Log Splitter. However, for most people wanting to split logs for home use occasionally, it’s more than powerful enough. It’s also pretty fast at 2 seconds per log.

It’s gas-powered, using a 94cc engine – not as powerful as others out there, but good enough for home use. It only has a 1-year warranty for the whole thing, which is a shame as some others have a separate, longer warranty for the engine.

It has strong rubber wheels for mobility but doesn’t have any extra safety features. You have to assemble it at home, but it’s fairly easy to do.

Pros

  • Good price point
  • Fast cycle time
  • Easy to put together

Cons

  • It doesn’t have a longer warranty for the engine

Power King 42-Ton Kinetic Log Splitter – Most Powerful

Key Specs

  • Power: 42-Ton
  • Cycle Time: 3 Seconds
  • Operation Method: 2-Handed
  • Max. Log Diameter: 21 x 23 inches

The Power King 42-Ton Kinetic Log Splitter is a potent machine at 42 tons. That means it should be able to deal with some tough logs with ease. It’s not the fastest on this list, though, at 3 seconds per log.

It uses a Kohler Pro Engine with a 3-year warranty. The log splitter itself has a 1-year warranty, and the splitting wedge is made from super-durable steel.

It’s a strong, stable log splitter with a heavy-duty steel frame, so you won’t have to worry about it wobbling during use. Other than that, it doesn’t have much in the way of extra safety features.

Pros

  • Potent engine
  • Good warranty on engine
  • Strong and stable frame

Cons

  • It doesn’t have much in the way of extra safety features

Performance Built 20-Ton Kinetic Log Splitter – Easiest to Assemble

Key Specs

  • Power: 20-Ton
  • Cycle Time: 4 Seconds
  • Operation Method: 2-Handed
  • Max. Log Diameter: 20 x 13.75

The Performance Built 20-Ton Kinetic Log Splitter is a great kinetic log splitter that is super easy to assemble. It’s fairly powerful at 20 tons but with a slightly slower cycle speed than the others on this list at 4 seconds per log.

It has a Briggs and Stratton engine with a 3-year warranty. It also includes a 1-year warranty on hydraulics and a 3-year warranty on manufacturing defects. It uses a very strong steel splitting wedge too.

It has a strong frame, and it’s nice and stable during use. It doesn’t have any extra safety features (like automatically cutting out when the engine is overworked, for example). It’s effortless to assemble and easy to use too.

Pros

  • Easy to assemble
  • Good warranties
  • Powerful engine

Cons

  • It doesn’t have many extra safety features
  • Slightly slower cycle speed

Frequently Asked Questions

Before you go, here are some of the most commonly asked questions about kinetic log splitters:

Question: How do I use a kinetic log splitter safely?

Answer: Firstly, you should make sure that you use the correct equipment. That means wearing safety goggles to protect your eyes from flying wood splinters, protective shoes (boots with toe caps, for example), and no loose clothing.

Only one person should use the kinetic log splitter at a time. If the machine starts to work before everyone is ready, it can be hazardous. You should also ensure that nobody is standing too close to you as you use the log splitter.

You should make sure the log splitter is placed onto study, even ground, and you should block the wheels from moving using wood or something similar – basically, you want to ensure that the recoil doesn’t cause the log splitter to lurch forwards.

Another thing to do is make sure you read the instruction manual thoroughly before you begin. This way, you’ll know exactly what to do to use it safely.

Question: Are log splitters dangerous?

Answer: They can be, yes – like chainsaws and pole saws, any tool with this level of power can be dangerous. That’s why it’s so important to protect yourself when using one.

Question: Are kinetic log splitters better than hydraulic log splitters?

Answer: They have some advantages – they’re smaller, faster, and easier to maintain than hydraulic log splitters. So many people like to use them for these reasons.

Having said that, kinetic log splitters don’t have the option of chopping wood horizontally and vertically, which is a good advantage of combination hydraulic log splitters. They can also deal with particularly thick or knotty wood with ease, which some kinetic log splitters can’t handle.

Question: Are kinetic log splitters worth the money?

Answer: It depends on how often you think you would use it. It is a handy alternative to splitting logs using an axe, as it’s much faster and easier on your arms. If you do have many logs to chop, it’s probably worth the investment just for the amount of time you could save in the long run.

Question: How should I maintain my kinetic log splitter?

Answer: The main thing to do is take proper care of the engine. It will need a full service every year – this involves topping up the oil and checking the spark plug to ensure it is all in good working order.

You should also remove fuel if you aren’t going to use it for a while. If you leave it in there for more than 30 days, it can start to become sticky and can even damage the engine itself.

To Sum Up … Which is the Best Kinetic Log Splitter?

Any of the log splitters we’ve looked at today would be a good choice – they’re all fast, powerful, and pretty easy to use. We’d recommend the Sportsman Earth Series 10-Ton Gas Kinetic Log Splitter for occasional use at home. It’s a great choice if you don’t want to spend too much, although it may struggle a little with very knotty wood.

If you want to invest in something more powerful, take a look at the DK2 40-Ton Kinetic Log Splitter. It’s a super-strong model with a fast cycle time, and the warranties are great, so you’ll be covered in terms of manufacturing defects.

Hopefully, this has helped you to find the best kinetic log splitter for you! 

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