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8 Ton Brave Mini Gas Log Splitter

Post in 'The Gear' started by derbygreg, Mar 13, 2009.

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  1. derbygreg

    derbygreg New Member

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    Columbus - Hilliard, OH

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  2. drdoct

    drdoct Feeling the Heat

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    Griffin, GA
    I can fully endorse brave products, but don't know if I'd be happy with this one. It's way too limited for my likes. It's the same price as used ones that handle much much more. I love my 5hp brave splitter and haven't found anything it won't split. I'd just wait around until I found a good used one for $1000 or less.
  3. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    I considered that little Brave for a while. I finally settled on this SpeeCo which I am very happy with. Don't know about long term reliabilty of the engine, but it starts easy and runs very well now. It is easy to move around by myself and has a hitch if you really need it. I think they are in the same price range.


    http://www.speeco.com/products/#Log Splitters,15 Ton/40110500-15 Ton Log Splitter
  4. KarlP

    KarlP Feeling the Heat

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    I personally don't like the size or the price. The weight however looks really appealing. :)

    I have a 30 ton Harbor Freight splitter I got for a little less money a few years ago. Its got a serious I-beam that won't flex at all, a 8HP(?) B&S;Intek engine, a 5 gallon hydraulic tank, 13GPM 2-stage Haldex pump, etc. However, its ~600lbs on road tires. Its a real pain to move around myself on anything but a hard fairly level surface.
  5. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    NW Ontario
    It's a shame how the prices shot up on splitters lately. I paid less than that for my 20 ton new, still in crate.

    I'd save up a few more dollars and get something bigger.

    I put a ball hitch on my tractor to move my splitter around. The places I go with mine, I need the bigger wheels.
    [​IMG]
  6. kevin j

    kevin j Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Messages:
    552
    Loc:
    minnesota us
    I have not used, but Home Depot had one on display here. (I was pirating ideas.)
    This is what I recall:
    -almost the full cost of a big one
    -3 inch cylinder. (Brave is at least honest in the 10 ton rating. That is rare among advertisements.)
    -If I recall, it had a vertical shaft engine, and timing belt drive sideways to a small 2 or 3 gpm single stage pump
    -Single angle fixed wedge, not very high.
    -Push plate on cylinder looked rounded and a bit light
    -Cylinder lifts out of the trunnions, retracts to shorter position for storage, and storage was MUCH less than a big machine.
    -Tiny, light, portable, can be lifted into a pickup or back of a Suburban or van even.
    -Don't need to tow it long distances, can mount on a receiver hitch plug in (although it seemed a bit flexible)
    -Very low to ground. In theory, large rounds could be rolled onto the beam. In reality, this won’t handle large rounds anyway. I would use the receiver hitch mount, or build some sort of sawhorses as the splitter by it self would be a back breaker bending over to operate. Then again, this is not a machine that will likely be used for 10 hour days.
    -Beam is a 2x4 rectangular tube (with reinforcing on top) that serves as the hydraulic tank. Tiny, but for this flow, and intermittent use, it should be great.
    -Well thought out structurally and simple to build and keep costs down.

    Brave makes no bones about the target market and IMO I think it is great for that market: not for people with big stoves or OWB who need a big machine for high volume, but people who want more than an electric machine. Splitting scrounged wood, small trees, small qty at a time. Mount on the hitch and take it to the cabin. Split some wood with one vehicle, throw the split wood in the back of a pickup.

    By going with vertical engine (cheaper and more common), small pump, small cylinder, shorter wedge, less forces, means lighter beam, all these decisions hurt performance, but ripple effect to keep weight and size and price down.

    If you need a bigger machine, and need to get lots of wood at once, I think this is not the choice.

    If your focus is on scrounging wood, smaller diameter trees, or have limited storage space in the garage, want the portability, or have only one vehicle, looks like a good machine to me IF you are very clear about your needs and what it does well or poorly.

    I would run it and see how it performs. If too slow, then do the math and probably put the Prince regen extend valve on it to get more speed in the cycle.

    I have a 5 hp 4 inch trailer splitter, and am designing two others: one using the 18 hp flat Onan with 28 gpm two stage pump, and another 3 inch (similar to the Brave) for small, fast, and portable use. During storm weather here, there is a lot of free wood 16 inches or under. Anything bigger, rip it with the bigger saws.
    My scenario is to mount to a receiver pocket on the back of my heavier trailer, (but same as mounting on a pickup) because I have SUV and trailers. I don’t have a pickup. I can pull the larger splitter behind the trailer, but too clumsy for scrounging trips. I can’t back the combo up in tight neighborhoods or unfamiliar spaces.

    I have 5+ hp engine, 3 x 20 cylinder with face plate mount so it can stow in like the Brave, valve, 11 gpm two stage pump (removed form a larger splitter when it was upgraded) for 3 second extend and faster retract. 10 tons will handle most of the storm wood around here. I can hear already: tank is too small for 11 gpm flow. Yes, by rules of thumb it is. I design hydr systems for a job, and it takes some creative baffling to make it work, but I am confident in the design.

    So, long story, but IF you define your needs very carefully and the Brave fits those needs, it looks like a good little machine, especially with some upgrading of the valve. If your needs don’t match, you may hate it.



    kcj
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