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Electric Splitter

Post in 'The Gear' started by Cluttermagnet, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Mid Atlantic
    I got myself one of those Homelite 5 ton splitters this past month. Have now had a chance to use it a few times, so far on Tulip Poplar and some White Oak. I got mine for 299. at Home Depot (online) and the shipping was free to my home. It arrived in good shape with the shipping box intact. BTW they had zero stock at our local HD about a mile away- even though the website claimed they did. So far I'm liking this little splitter a lot.

    Seems a lot of guys who buy this one are pretty happy at the price/performance point compromise these represent. I've had enough time on big gas hydraulic rental splitters (vertical) to know how a more expensive rig performs. I love 'em but I can't afford one of those myself. I think this little electric is going to do most of what I need, though.

    There are a number of good threads in these forums about electric splitters. Those helped me a lot in reaching my own decision. Here's one:

    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/homelite-5-ton-electric-splitter-review.78864/#post-1004757


    One piece of information I might add to what's already in the forum- Homelite has now moved the power cord from the right end of the electrical box to the top. It's to the right of the green power button. This will make it a lot less vulnerable to having the plastic cord clamp broken off by a bigger split falling on it. It's easy to dress that cord up, over to the left, and back down, so it comes out at the end of the splitter, on the ground underneath the hydraulic valve (red handle).

    [​IMG][​IMG]

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  2. PLAYS WITH FIRE

    PLAYS WITH FIRE Minister of Fire

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    I have one also, nice! Don't forget the wing nut to be loosened on the ram for pressure relief!
    jjs777_fzr likes this.
  3. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    Yep- some folks have apparently blown these up by forgetting that little detail. It will blow internal seals. The vast majority seem to be happy with theirs.
  4. mikey517

    mikey517 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2010
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    Loc:
    Highland Lakes, New Jersey
    I've used my Homelite for 2+ years...kept me going and split lots of firewood. It split some big rounds, though extra work was needed. The wife bought me a 27 ton Ariens this past Labor day, so the Homelite now handles nice small stuff near the boiler.

    Best $299 I ever spent.
  5. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    Thanks! Glad you liked yours. The Ariens is a great step up!
  6. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    BTW I have a question on the fluid these hydraulic splitters use. This model has a dipstick. I do check it occasionally and I do remember to open the bleed before using and close it back up before putting it away. The other day it looked like it's getting low on the dipstick- down near the lower line. I've never in my life bought hydraulic oil before. Wondering if I can find that in a big box hardware store like Home Depot or Lowes? How about Walmart? Or is this more of a Tractor Supply type item? I've been buying my bar oil from Wally World all along. Can someone give me a clue as to what the label would say? "Hydraulic Fluid SAE nnn" or whatever? I heard some guys used brake fluid in a pinch, but I'd rather go get exactly the right thing for my splitter.

    Maybe some of the fluid has leaked? I remember reading a review comment that the splitter ought to be set on a slight incline. Come to think of it, I've had it pointing slightly down towards the bleed valve end while running. Maybe I need to have that end a little higher than the other end instead?
  7. MrWhoopee

    MrWhoopee Minister of Fire

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    I've had mine 4 years, it uses a small amount of oil, I believe this may be true of all hydraulics. I don't bother to close the bleed screw except when transporting in a vehicle, too much chance of forgetting to reopen it. I use generic "hydraulic oil", works fine. There's no high pressure or low/high temperature stuff going on here, so general purpose oil is fine. Be sure to set the splitter level or with the ram end a little high, otherwise you get oil starvation at the pump. You can tell when this is happening by a sort of rattling noise from the pump and loss of power/ slow ram speed. I put foot pedals on mine to allow hands-free operation. Easier on the back and allows better control of the wood. Of course, you have to be smarter than the splitter.

    Foot Pedals.jpg
  8. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    I have a different make splitter, but my owner's manual specifies the oil to use.
  9. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Mine didn't specify the oil. I ended up buying generic figuring a slightly off oil was better than no oil.

    Matt
  10. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, guys-

    My manual just refers to replacing the 3.4 quarts of fluid with "fresh hydraulic oil" on page 11 of the manual. The service interval is 150 hours. So anyway I'll just pick up some generic oil and 'top it off' for now.
  11. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    Mine gives the following options: Shell Tellus 22, Mobil DTE 11, ARAL Vitam GF22, and BP Energol HLP-HM22.
  12. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, Craig- Enjoyed your previous posts about the Homelite. I was surprised to see how much these little splitters will take. I like your foot pedals. I'm likely to try that myself, staying of course very aware of the need for total attention while splitting. The button and lever are of course safety features that keep the operator from sustaining bad crush injuries to hands and fingers.

    I've never heard rattling noises or anything else that would give me concern. Recently I have run it pointing very slightly downhill towards the wedge end. I would instinctively want to have it tilted the opposite way. I think the motor end would best be kept a little lower. Is that what you mean by the "ram end", or are you referring to the wedge end?

    I may try building a little table to get it about a foot higher. That table would include a fold-out ramp to roll the wheels up when getting set up. I think I'll also try making a wood ramp to put behind the splitter. I want to try using tongs or a hookeroon to skid heavier rounds up the ramp and onto those rails. Strained my side muscles a little just the other day. Minor injury but annoying. This splitter is causing me to use some muscle groups in new ways. No doubt vertical gas splitters are the best way to go in that regard.
  13. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    I'll write those numbers down and have them with me when I start shopping for this item. Thanks!
  14. MrWhoopee

    MrWhoopee Minister of Fire

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    Yes, the ram end is the wedge end. The pump is at the end with the motor, if that end is high and the oil level is a little low, you will experience starvation and cavitation at the pump, resulting in slow movement and reduced power.
  15. bluedogz

    bluedogz Minister of Fire

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    NE Maryland
    Loved mine... and concur with everything above. Only problem I had was the hydraulic oil seems only to come in gallon+ jugs, making a 'top-off' a pain in the rear.
  16. Nickolai

    Nickolai Member

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    Loc:
    Western Ontario
    I picked up a Yard Works 4 ton last week on sale for $199, split a little over a cord this morning and love it so far!
    She took on some gnarly pieces and worked great. I'd still love a gas powered splitter but for the price and how quiet it is I can't say a bad thing yet.

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