After my review of the Homelite 18 inch chain saw, I was left with a rather large pile of logs – normally that would mean me bringing out the axe to split them for my father in-law’s wood burning stove. While it’s not something that I mind, it’s a lot of extra work – so I was very excited when Homelite also sent along their little 5 Ton Electric Log Splitter for me to play with. Now, when I say little I’m only saying that as a reference to other log splitters I’ve seen – this thing still weighs over 100 pounds, and is more than three feet long. While the size may be a bit smaller than other log splitters, the power most certainly is not.
Being electric, I wondered whether or not it would be able to compete with the larger gas guzzlers, and I was pleasantly surprised. The Homelite Electric Log Splitter really ended up working like a little champ. Put a log in, hold the safety and push the button, and the machine does all the rest. It saved an immense amount of time, letting me get through about a cord of wood in a tenth of the time it used to take with an axe (and with a lot less sweat).
The log splitter does have a few faults – the major one being how low it sits to the ground. Rest assured, unless you make some sort of stand for it, your back will feel it in the morning. A lot of other log splitters are the same way though, so I can’t really hold it against them – still though, I would have loved it if it was even a foot higher. The fact that you can move it right next to your log pile helps though, because you can just stay knelt down to work it if you don’t have to keep getting up for more logs.
Mine also pushed a good amount of hydraulic fluid out the relief plug while it was operating – putting the Log Splitter on a slight incline stopped it from happening though. I don’t know if that’s supposed to happen or not (as I’ve never used one before), but it was mainly leaking when it hit a knot, so it may well have just been because of the increased force it had to use.
Another thing I wish Homelite would have done, was make the ram push a little closer to the wedge. There were plenty of pieces of wood that I had to finish the job by pulling them apart. Eventually I got smart and put a four inch block of wood in between the log and the ram and it worked amazing, but I shouldn’t have to be the one to come up with a solution like that – the design engineers are.
The description of the Log splitter says that it can handle logs up to 20 inches long, 10 inches in diameter – and while those might be the recommended maximums, this wouldn’t be a good test unless I pushed the limits. In truth, this little monster handles logs a great deal bigger in diameter than 10 inches. The largest log I had was just shy of 18 inches in diameter, and the motor on the Homelite Log Splitter just ripped right through it like it was nothing. I wouldn’t recommend doing every log that size, but if you have some bigger than the manual says it can handle, it should work fine.
I wish that the cord was longer (it’s a very tiny cord), but I had just gotten a 50 foot outdoor extension cord so I was covered – if you don’t have one though, you’ll need to make sure you get one in order to even use the Log Splitter (the cord from the Splitter itself isn’t even a foot long). That’s really the only additional expense you’ll have with this log splitter (it comes with hydraulic fluid).
At the end of the day, I have no issue recommending this to anyone who has wood to split. If you have more than four cord, you might want something a bit more heavy duty, but for a normal homeowner with a wood stove who uses two to three cord of wood a year, this is pretty much perfect. For the price, it is simply one of the best you’re going to find out there.
Final review score for the Homelite 5 Ton Electric Log Splitter? Four and a half stars out of five.
- It’s compact size means it’s very easy to store when you’re not using it
- It’s on wheels, so moving it from place to place is a walk in the park (even for someone in their 70s)
- Does the job it was designed to, and does it extremely well every time
- Hard on the back with it being so low to the ground – either build a stand, or keep it close so you can stay knelt
- Cord is too short to be useable unless you have an extension cord
- Hydraulic fluid (at least on mine) leaked unless it was on an incline
You can pick up a Homelite 5 Ton Electric Log Splitter of your own from most Home Depot stores, or online for $299 (a RIDICULOUSLY low price in my opinion).
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