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7-Ton Electric Log Splitter (Sold under the names WoodEze, Pow 'R' kraft, and Ryobi)

Post in 'The Gear' started by DanCorcoran, May 12, 2011.

  1. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    Dang! I can't get a break! All my rounds and stacks are at least 100 feet from the nearest plug. I sure don't want to move about two cords of rounds up to the house, split them, then move them back to my wood stacking area.

    Maybe it would be worth it to get an electrician to run a buried cable out there and install an outlet box.

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  2. PJF1313

    PJF1313 Member

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    Ken - You could always go with a larger gauge x-cord.

    Just a general FYI - in electrical; as well as sheet metal; the LOWER the number (18, 16, 14, etc.) the HEAVIER the wire/metal.

    At a hundred foot, I would go AT LEAST 12 gauge, if not 10. It's gonna be heavy and expensive, but you'll won't have a problem.

    JMHO
  3. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    Great, PJF1313! Thanks. I can make my own x cords. Just need a heavy duty male and female end, right?
  4. PJF1313

    PJF1313 Member

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    Ken -

    At a bare minimum, I'd go with the best I could find locally (Hubbell, Leveton are good mfg's) at an electrical or industrial supply house.
    Just keep away from the box store (home depot; lowes; TSC; etc.) The import stuff is usually garbage, and will cause you more pain for the few cents you'll save.

    I have an "Earthquake" 5 tonner that I use to re-split on the shop. The nearest outlet is about 20 some-odd feet away, and I use a 12 gauge cord that I made up. It's rated at 15 amps @ 120; so I made a cord and a dedicated outlet; had a few spare breakers in the panel; just for it. This spring, I decided to do some splitting with it outdoors (wanted to see what it could "really" do). A 100', type SJOOW; 12 ga.; and about 6 or so hours later, the cord was cool (about ambient temperature), the splitter didn't quit (quite a surprise) and the breaker didn't trip (15 a).

    At 200 feet, I would go with an 10 gauge cord. It's all about resistance - the longer the cord, the higher the resistance. I don't know how much you know about plumbing, but is just about the same thing; but instead of water in a pipe, it electrons in a wire.
  5. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    What do you think about running the cable through one inch PVC pipe and burying it?
  6. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    If you go to the trouble of burying PVC pipe, why not put the solid copper insulated cable in it that is used to wire houses? (Is it called Romex?) Then you'd have a permanent installation.
  7. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    -Unit has to be horizontal when in operation.
    -I sit on a bucket.
  8. Stax

    Stax Minister of Fire

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    Dan, don't do it. I've got a 7 Ton Powerhouse from Sears that will only handle up to a 10-12" log. Anything wider and it quits. Mine sits in the shed. Looking to sell it. Split by hand or save your money for a hydro.
  9. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    Please see my comments on your other post...

    P.S. Please watch this video and see if your Powerhouse seems to have about the same splitting ability as this one (not the 4-ton at the beginnning of the video, but the 7-ton that's shown about halfway through). It'd help to know if yours can handle about the same size rounds:

    http://www.northlineexpress.com/NLETube.asp?itemin=5WZ-LS75&videofile=iwpaJCSVfgc
  10. Sooz

    Sooz New Member

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    So Dan, did you end up buying an electric splitter? If so, which one and how do you like it? Thanks for the informative thread!
  11. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    Yes, Sue, I bought the Pow'R'Kraft on Amazon about a month ago. I've used it several times and it does everything I need it to. I have 7 acres of forest around the cabin and lots of huge trees, both standing and down. Folks talk about the need to split large logs, but I've realized I can't lift the really big stuff. It has split everything I put on it, with the exception of two pieces of fresh elm, where the tree branched. I started both of those with my Fiskars, then finished them with the electric. So far, I've split at least a cord of hickory, elm, and oak with no difficulty.

    It has two limitations, but I knew about them when I bought it and they're fine with me: it splits only horizontally and it probably won't split huge logs (but since I can't lift them anyway, I'll never know). It seems to be very solidly built. I did buy a Harbor Freight 10-gauge 25-foot extension cord, which delivers all the amps that the splitter needs. Very quiet operation, no exhaust fumes, no gasoline and engine oil to fool with...suits me fine!

    P.S. I wouldn't recommend this splitter for people who need to split many cords of wood each season, or for those who need to split vertically, or for those with really large logs, or for those who need to use their splitter a long distance from electric outlets. It might work fine, but I doubt that this is the target market for this unit.
  12. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

  13. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    That looks like the Harbor Freight splitter (which is similar to mine), but mounted on a frame that allows vertical splitting. It's a weird design, though, for two reasons: the log must be lifted up a foot or so to get it on the splitter (which kind of undermines the reason you want to split vertically in the first place, i.e., so you don't have to lift the log), and secondly, the ram must lift the log up to the wedge, rather than pushing the wedge down through the log. This means that some of the splitting power is wasted in lifting the log.
  14. latitude45

    latitude45 Member

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzdYE3fZlY4

    going on year 3 with my homelite electric splitter. I can split some really big stuff if its nice and straight.

    I split about 4 full cords with it each year.

    I did have to refill the fluid this summer as I forgot to close the air hole when I put it away last fall.. there was a nice puddle on my garage floor this spring..

    You also need to keep an eye on the nuts and lock washers.. they tend to loosen..
  15. MrWhoopee

    MrWhoopee Minister of Fire

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    Dan, glad to hear you're happy with your splitter. I'd like to add my 2 cents.

    I have one of the 4 (or 5) ton units sold by Home Depot. It is labeled Homelite, but it is actually a rebranded Ryobi. From what I have been able to gather, Ryobi is the actual manufacturer of nearly all of these small electric splitters. Close examination of the details of the cylinder, pull-rod linkage, moving head and motor reveal them all to be the same. The Mantis also has exactly the same cylinder, linkage, etc, but must have a different hydraulic configuration to allow vertical operation. Even the 7 ton units have all the same details, so I assume there must be a difference in the pump to produce the higher tonnage.

    I have had my unit for 3 years and I still love it. I share it with a friend, we both heat exclusively with wood in the mountains of northern California where temps can dip below zero from time to time. We each burn about 5 cords per year, so the splitter has been processing 10 cords per year. The only problem with the machine was related to forgetting to open the bleeder screw, which caused the seals in the cylinder to fail. It came with a 3 year warranty, so we took it back to Home Depot. They exchanged it on the spot with no questions.

    The wood we split is mostly softwood (Douglas fir, lodgepole pine, western cedar and juniper), but we also get some Black Oak (Quercus kelloggii). The oak can be tough, the doug fir stringy and the juniper knotty. I cut my wood 17 inches long and this little splitter handles 95% or better with occasional need to reposition because of knots. I have stalled it in very wet white fir, the wood was so soft that the wedge was fully buried but the log wouldn't pop. In general we are working with 10 to 24 in. diameter rounds, but I have split oak rounds as large as 28 in. with no preparation. Larger rounds required a cut made by plunging the end of the chainsaw bar into the wood, then starting the split in the cut. Like Dan, I can't handle rounds much larger, so this limitation is irrelevant.

    Because my back doesn't like working bent over, I modified the two-handed controls with foot pedals. This allows me to work standing up and frees my hands to control the splits. As for the safety considerations, my arms aren't long enough to get my hands in harms way when standing up. 8v}

    Regarding the power cord discussions, I use a 12 ga. 75 ft cord. Remember that the motor does not run continuously unless modified with a toggle switch, so the power requirements are reduced.

    Things I love about this splitter:
    1. Effectiveness, it handles all my needs
    2. Price, $300
    3. Economy of operation, electricity is much cheaper than gas
    4. Low maintenance, a little hydraulic oil from time to time and maybe some grease on the beam
    5. Easy starting, plug it in and step on the pedals
    6. Very quiet, I can hold a conversation while splitting
    7. No fumes
    8. Compact size and low weight, takes up very little space in my garage and I can pick it up and put it in my little Honda Civic wagon without help

    I would recommend this splitter to anyone unless:
    1. They are splitting large or tough wood
    2. They are splitting commercial quantities
    3. Electricity is not readily available

    I hope this is helpful to others shopping for a splitter.

    Craig
  16. kobudo

    kobudo Member

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    I am off the grid and produce my own electricity.
    How much do these electric splitters draw?
  17. MrWhoopee

    MrWhoopee Minister of Fire

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    Mine (4 or 5 ton) draws 15 amps @ 120v.
  18. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Iv stalled a 30 ton Tow behind splitter on some knots already. I guess i let that big oak rounds 30" diameter get too dry. Just moving them in position was a killer ,must have weighed 200+ Lbs some of them.
  19. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    I'm confused...how does this relate to inexpensive electric splitters?
  20. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    I like the concept of electric but it cant handle the big jobs unless it gets beyond 5-7 ton. I considered one myself until i did some extensive splitting with a tow behind rental
    . After that i was glad i didnt spend $400 to find out it was way under sized/powered. If you have light duty work they are fine. If they get beyond 7 ton and can go vertical i may give them a second look.
  21. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    Agreed...a 12-18 inch round is plenty big for my needs, so my electric works fine.
  22. MrWhoopee

    MrWhoopee Minister of Fire

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    I've found that oak is easier to split green.

    Dan, I like your house, looks like mine without the additions.

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