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Best splitter under $2k

Post in 'The Gear' started by mking7, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. wkpoor

    wkpoor Minister of Fire

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    Something we agree on! It amazes me how forward thinking this forum is about stoves and how backward thinking about everything else. I used to think my old reed type chainsaws were so good too.
    Well anyway we did a test one time. My splitter against the 22ton speeco (for the record mine uses that beam and ram assembly). I was working alone and 2 guys where working on the speeco. We were taking from the same pile. After an hour my pile of splits working alone was easly 4xs larger. And the cycle time isn't the whole story, its also the fact that my splitter never has to slow down on the second stage. That was a marvelous invention to allows 5hp to do alot of work but it does come at a price. I know everyone will chime in that they rarely see that stage. I'm here to say it comes in more than you might think at least in the 22 ton version. Your ram speed is 14xs slower in second stage which is already painfully slow in my book. The whole reason I repowered my splitter was just what you said about watching that ram retract at a snails pace. And yes short stroking is a good tip and works good in ash and oak. But most of my stuff is big nasty crotches and stuff that just doesn't give up that easily. Some people will only process the nicest looking straight gained wood and they can get by with just a quick crack turn crack turn. But not the wood I have.

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  2. mking7

    mking7 Burning Hunk

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    You lost me. What splitter do you have?
  3. WoodNStuff

    WoodNStuff Minister of Fire

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    I've been very happy with my SpeeCo 25 ton splitter from Blain's Farm and Fleet. Got it for $1249.00. Beefier than some of the others I've seen in the same price point.
  4. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    +1 on the 26-ton Iron & Oak. Best splitter under $2K. You'll rarely see the 2nd stage and cycle time is fantastic.

    Another rarely mentioned specification that affects return cycle time is the size of the cylinder rod. Bigger diameter rods will decrease the time it takes to fill the return side of the cylinder. No trade-off on splittting power either.
  5. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Some simple truths . . . folks can debate cycle time, engine type, ram size, vertical vs. horizontal until we're blue in the face . . . but here's some facts.

    Fact: I know of no one who has purchased a hydraulic splitter (generally at 22 tons or more) and say they regretted the purchase . . . whether it be a MTD clone, Huskee, Iron and Oak, etc.

    OK, that was just one fact . . . but it's pretty much the truth . . . I cannot recall anyone here who has purchased a hydraulic splitter and then decided they wanted to go back to their Fiskars, maul, etc.

    What I'm saying here is that I think you'll be pretty happy with whatever you purchase . . . and I suspect that even a 22 ton Huskee will do the job . . . I know the 22-ton MTD that looks a lot like today's Huskee that I borrowed went through some very gnarly looking elm . . . and elm is perhaps one of the worse of the worse when it comes to splitting.
  6. Got Wood

    Got Wood Minister of Fire

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    22 Huskee here. It has split everything I have thrown at it and works at a pace plenty fast enough for me. To each his own, for ME - the Huskee was the best deal.

    I will second Jake's comment - you never do hear about someone going back to hand splitting (although I wish I could - went to the hydraulics because I hurt my should splitting by hand).
  7. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    I haven't met a round that has stopped my Huskee, and I've gone through some of the nastiest/knottiest stuff out there. The advantage of the 34 vs. the 22 is you can run a multi-way wedge and it *may* spend less time in the high pressure stage (granny gear). My splitter can outrun me...and that's fast enough.
  8. mking7

    mking7 Burning Hunk

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    This is a pretty good point. I tell myself that when I'm standing in Best Buy nitpicking picture quality on HDTV's. The truth is, any of those TV's is going to look WAY better than the 15 year old 25" tube tv it's replacing. Just pick one. :)
  9. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    It's OK . . . you're probably like me and a lot of other folks here . . . you like to spend time researching things before you make a purchase . . . hell, I once researched toaster ovens before making the purchase . . . spent two days before plunking down the $30 . . . the nice thing . . . doing so rarely leads me to having buyer's remorse.
  10. mking7

    mking7 Burning Hunk

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    Ya, that's me. I pretty much pretty much obsess on stuff like this. Anytime I lament that fact my wife reminds me that I'd be obsessing on something regardless so it might as well be whatever the current obsession is......
  11. MofoG23

    MofoG23 Feeling the Heat

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    LOL - glad to know I'm not the only one that researches the smallest items...its amazing what forums are out there for various products / hobby's! :)
  12. wkpoor

    wkpoor Minister of Fire

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    Its a hybrid that uses the Speeco 22 tonner adapted to a 3pt frame and powered by a Prince PTO pump. It gives me alot of flexibilty to operate the splitter like work height and speed and still tow the wagon or trailer behind.

    Attached Files:

  13. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    I'd vote for saving a bit more and getting a kinetic splitter or Super Split or DR. If you are sold on a hydraulic unit the Iron & Oak brand has been excpetional from all the reviews and personal stories I've read.
  14. DonNC

    DonNC Member

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    I researched log splitters for a year now. After reading reviews and comparing specs I came to the decision that I am indecisive.
    Once I reached that conclusion it was easy. I came here and asked those who own log splitters about their machine. Specifically I was trying to determine what size splitter can I buy that I would be able to split the hardest wood I would likely come across. Red oak. The overwhelming response (thank you everyone) was nearly unanimous...get a 20 ton or above.
    So this past week I bought a Huskee from TSC. I split some tough stuff this past week. (I benched that fancy European axe a long time ago). And just like you guys said... it only slowed down for the knottiest of logs. I loved waching that head bog down when it hit those could of old large oaks...and then POP...and it then goes right down through it.


    Get a 20 ton or above. You will not regret it. The 35 is out of my reach or I would have gotten it just for TtTMT's sake.
  15. tamarack

    tamarack New Member

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    I'll take that old axe off your hands - I like swinging nice steel.
  16. NextEndeavor

    NextEndeavor Burning Hunk

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    My Northern Tool 30 ton unit is plenty big. That little Honda is the easiest starting small engine I've ever seen. A great feature on this one is the auto idle when the ram fully retracts. Cycle time as stated before is a over rated. Many splits are done when half way into it plus you are only going back 12 inches or so for a 16 inch long split. Truth is, for splits under a foot in diameter I only run my little Honda at 1/2 throttle for less noise and fuel consumption. The monster splits in vertical mode take full throttle. Two speed pump works great too. Not so sure about the optional four way ram. It restricts you somewhat on controlling split size. I like a variety of sizes for different burn choices. Good luck.
  17. WoodNStuff

    WoodNStuff Minister of Fire

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    Heck, with my 25 ton SpeeCo, I almost always run it between 1/2 and 3/4 throttle. I rarely run it full throttle - just don't need to. Saves on the noise and gas, as NextEndeavor mentioned regarding his splitter.
  18. bpirger

    bpirger Minister of Fire

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    I have the 27-ton TroyBuilt from lowes for about 5 years. It's been great for me, never had anythign I couldn't split. But, I wouldn't buy it again becuase of the design. This hasn't come up yet in this thread....but this past summer there was a thread about the failures some of these splitters have had. They weld directly onto the cylinder mounts to hold the cylinder in the design, i.e. the far end of the cylinder hangs out over the end of the beam. So when pressing through some of those hard gnarly knots, all the force is being taken by these two welded pieces on the cylinder.

    Well, one fellow here has it burst and got a warm fluid bath. Not good at all. And just by design, I would avoid it. I don't know how I missed this....I guess I was gushing over the Honda engine, albeit a GCV model, and TroyBuilt used to be a very good name.....

    I will make one more comment too. I can work faster than this splitter, and I don't think I'm particularly fast. If you are going to split considerable amounts of wood, and time matters, then while some say cycle time doesn't matter, I think it does. Not sure there's a 4-way splitter to be had for $2K, but I know I'd love to have a 4-way. When I split a large round, say 18" or bigger, I usually let half fall to the ground and split the other half in thirds or maybe quarters. So the half is sitting on the beam, and in comes the wedge....and then I have to wait for it to go back, and then slide the chunk (about 2 seconds maybe) and then wait for it to come in again. If the cycle time was half the time, I know I'd be done sooner. Not twice as soon, but maybe 75% sooner? So 30 hours of splitting would be 20. Something like that. And a 4-way split? That would just be sweet. The ability to place a 4-way head on a splitter easily, through available upgrade for example, would be a thought to consider.

    If you don't split much, or if you don't mind spending the extra time, then these issues might not matter. But indeed, I'd not want to go back to the 16 pounds maul exclusively. Yikes. Though I might not be so fat either. :)
  19. nate379

    nate379 Guest

  20. NextEndeavor

    NextEndeavor Burning Hunk

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    I also prefer the design where the entire hydraulic cylinder is supported meaning the push pressure comes from the rear of the cylinder. I've seen a rental unit fail at the rear on a short beam unit only supported by the front weld.
    Regarding the 4 way splitter, I'm guessing you'd want a bigger engine than my 5 HP Honda. Although nothing has ever stopped it, a 4 way ram in extremely tough wood might.
  21. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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  22. WoodNStuff

    WoodNStuff Minister of Fire

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    I still prefer my SpeeCo 25 ton hydro splitter. Here is the description:

    SpeeCo's 25 Ton log splitter is equipped with a Briggs & Stratton 1450 engine to deliver maximum splitting force. A global leader in log splitting technology, SpeeCo offers the best features in the industry, making splitting wood quicker, easier and safer!

    Including:

    Horizontal or vertical splitting
    Engineered cylinder connection for increased strength
    Engineered solid steel foot piece
    Heavy duty hydraulic cylinder producing maximum splitting force
    Reinforced stripper plates remove stuck logs
    Large hydraulic fill cap
    Shielded wedge & channel beam design for safe operation and clean splitting action
    Wide log cradle making splitting wood quicker, easier and safer
    Only one moving bolt and no shims
    Drain plug
    Road tires for towing
    Compatible with certain accessories

    Here are the specs:

    Engine: Briggs & Stratton 1450 Series
    Pump: Two-Stage 16 gpm
    Cylinder: 4-1/2" Diameter x 24" Stroke
    Valve: Auto-Return
    Max Splitting Force: 25 Tons
    Max Log Length: 26"
    Cycle Time: 12 Seconds
    Wheels: 4.80 x 8" Road Speed
    Wedge: 7" High With Spreader Wings
    Beam Size: 6" x 9" With Build In Log Cradle
    Hydraulic Capacity: 6.5 Gallons
    Filter: Spin-On Replaceable
    Height: 43" Horizontal
    Length: 87"
    Width: 50"

    I've grown up splitting wood with hydros. Definitely, I prefer the cradle design of this splitter. Makes balancing even the largest rounds a non-issue. And if one goes vertical, then balancing is a moot point.

    All this for $1250 on sale.

    Attached Files:

  23. mking7

    mking7 Burning Hunk

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    That looks like a keeper. If I could find that for that price I'd probably go that route.
  24. mking7

    mking7 Burning Hunk

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    Just because I like closure when I read someone's thread while I'm researching, I finally ordered a splitter. Went with Iron & Oak 26 ton. Went back and forth on the Honda vs. Robin and in the end I just have had too much great luck with the Hondas so I spent the extra $$. I read nothing but great things about the Robin though. But let's face it, I'd have been more than fine with the Huskee 22ton for half the price. But I'm happy and looking fwd to it arriving. I'll post some pics once I get it and have it up and running.
  25. Hiram Maxim

    Hiram Maxim Minister of Fire

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    I have the 35 ton Huskee as well...My only complaint is that it has a small gas tank for the size of the machine. But it starts on the first pull, and I have yet to find anything that will stop it!

    I would agree that a 20 or 22 ton would fit the bill of most people. Structurally Seems like its built to last a lifetime?



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