I have split some gnarly stuff with the S.S. back then. And you can also stop the cycle and send it back at any time., But it goes so fast, it usually is not necessary. My old boss would have log trucks bring in tons of pole length at a time, and the S.S. would go through it as quick as the operator would let it. Worth the money? If you have the cash, yes definitely. Do I have that cash laying around? No. But if I did, I buy one in a heartbeat. His didn't ahve the table, but Didn't miss what I didn't have, Don't have a table for my hydraulic either, and really don't feel the need for it. Just a personal preference. As far as vertical splitting, never did it. I have lifted some huge sstuff up there, in years to come I may not be able to, but I can always wedge them in 1/2 when that day comes, or build a lift kit.