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Great deal on Task Force splitter at Lowes

Post in 'The Gear' started by precaud, Mar 29, 2008.

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  1. precaud

    precaud Minister of Fire

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    I went to Lowes website this morning to check on something, and the big banner says "15% off all power tools in stock thru April 6th". Hmmm... maybe a good time to get an electric splitter, I thought. The Task Force unit seems to be as well-regarded as any of the others, so I went down to the tools department and asked about it. No, it's not here, it's in "Home and Garden", they said. Does the discount still apply, I asked? It should, they told me - it's a power tool, no?

    So down in the other department, they had 3 in stock. Sorry, the guy told me, this isn't a power tool, it's OPE, no discount. I told him what the internet ad said, and what the people in tools told me. He called the manager on his phone. They talked for a minute or so, and then said, the manager understands your point, and says to give you the discount. Good, I'll take it.

    I was thinking about the DR 5-ton unit, but at $255 for this nice little splitter I couldn't resist - it's less than half the DR. Obviously business isn't great right now and they want to move stuff. Give it a try at your local Lowes and see if you get the same treatment.

    Given the inflation in China, price of raw materials skyrocketing, etc. I'd bet things like this are going to cost alot more this fall.

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  2. precaud

    precaud Minister of Fire

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    Impressions after first use of the Task Force splitter: The woodburning life just got alot easier.

    I must say, after reading all the talk of 20+ ton units guys are using, I was concerned that this unit might not cut it (literally), and was prepared to be disappointed.

    So I cut up a pile of my biggest pinion, (12 to 16 inch diameter, which is about as big as it gets around here), and gave it a run. The TF splitter handled every one with ease. One really dense, knotty piece gave trouble at first, but rotating it to align the splitter head with a crack in the wood pushed it right through. So the same rules apply here as they do with an axe.

    Other impressions:
    Compared to the maul, I love the precision this gives. I get pieces the size I want with very few scraps.

    All the wood I gather is standing dead. When it's axe-split the bark comes off and flies all over the place. Not so with the splitter - no more chasing them down.

    In use, the cycle time is fine. The head only goes about 1/3 through the wood before it splits; you don't have to go through the whole piece, and it recovers while you load the next piece. I'll cut some blocks to lessen the stroke at startup to improve it further.

    Bottom line: it works great, and it impresses me as a well-built unit. Is it really any heavier-duty than the 4 ton units out there, like the Ryobi? Who knows. There's very little plastic in it. It wouldn't surprise me if they all came from the same factory or at least had alot of parts in common. The important thing is, it works better than I expected and, as I said, the woodburning life just got alot easier and less messy.
  3. jtb51b

    jtb51b Feeling the Heat

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    Great review!

    I have been eyeing a DR 6 ton unit for a while now and as soon as they add in FREE SHIPPING to their current offer I'll bite. Till then I'll just hold off. Maybe I should just buy the TF unit?


    Jason
  4. precaud

    precaud Minister of Fire

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    Jason, I spent half an hour on Saturday morning talking to DR tech support. I wanted to know if their unit is superior construction quality-wise. I am willing to pay more if I know for a fact it's better. After that talk, I was not convinced that their 5-ton unit is any better than the Task Force unit. He was unable to tell me a single thing. Some of their key parts are made in China, no difference. So I couldn't justify spending twice for what sounded like essentially the same thing. The 6-ton DR is a bit different, though.
  5. pinewoodburner

    pinewoodburner Feeling the Heat

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    I looked on Lowes website and did not see this splitter. Do they still have it?
  6. precaud

    precaud Minister of Fire

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    They removed it from the website, the saleman said it's considered a seasonal item. Call the store and see if they have them in stock, item #241483.
  7. woodsie8

    woodsie8 Member

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    Called all the Lowes in the area. Only 2 carry them cuz they did not move them enought. Had it for $299. They had 3. I will wait till I can get a 10-15% discount. I can't believe the upfront cost of putting in a stove.......... :)
    Axe, stove, install, wood, splitter, rack to build, cart to carry, etc.
    Hope it pays for itself in 2 or 3 years...........
  8. tkirk22

    tkirk22 New Member

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    I have some extra 20% off coupons that expire at the end of the month. If anyone wants one, PM your address and I'll send one out.
    They are actually Home Depot coupons that are only good for HD employees. Most Lowes stores have a policy of taking other stores coupons though. They take them at my local Lowes after getting the checkout supervisor to punch her magic numbers into the register.
  9. loneeagle15

    loneeagle15 New Member

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    Picked up 1 and so far does is doing fine 1/2 cord of really green elm 16-20" long foot -3 foot rounds the big rounds are ripped in half with the saw first (to damn heavy to load if not) have mine sitting on the tail gate of my truck for a comfortable working height think I need to look for a way to hook up a foot switch not enough hands to steady a large piece of wood and hold down the power switch and the lever at the same time I understand the safety issue but I feel it don't move that fast to get a hand caught and crushed
  10. tkirk22

    tkirk22 New Member

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    Agreed. What I want to do is use an on-off push button for the motor switch and then a foot pedal for the hydraulics.
    I could be wrong, but I have a feeling that the motor will last longer without hundreds of stop-start cycles every cord.
  11. precaud

    precaud Minister of Fire

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    I don't think that's an issue for an electric motor. Besides, on mine, the ram doesn't retract if the motor is still on. Is yours different?
  12. tkirk22

    tkirk22 New Member

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    You are right. The ram won't retract with the motor running.
  13. precaud

    precaud Minister of Fire

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    With cutting/splitting chores finished for this season, I thought I'd post an update on the Task Force electric splitter.

    After doing about 2 cords of dry pinon and a little cedar with it, I'm still very pleased with the way it works. There were only 4 or 5 really gnarly pieces that it couldn't handle. Use the same intelligence you'd use splitting with a maul and you'll have good results.

    Since I'm splitting 14-16 inch long pieces, I cut some 5-6" blocks to eliminate the dead time at the beginning of the ram stroke, and it worked great. The wood usually splits fully when the wedge gets about 1/3 into the piece. Rarely would I have to push it further. By the time I remove the split piece from the table and get the next piece ready, the ram has retracted fully. So cycle time is not an issue.

    I have encountered only one minor problem with it. The unit is designed so it can be stored in upright position if desired. The guard rail tube that runs around the work surface also serves as support legs it's when stored upright. This tube attaches to a cast piece on the body via a bracket. The quality of metal of that cast piece is rather poor. Storing the unit upright places the brunt of the weight on the bolts that secure the bracket to the casting, which has chewed away the threads on the cast piece, leaving that end of the rail a little loose. It's not really a problem, as the guard rail doesn't do much to begin with. But it's annoying to see something not built to handle it's intended use.

    I'll say again for those considering using a splitter: Besides being faster and alot less work, a splitter is much more precise. It creates far less waste and gives lots more pieces the size you want. This can't be emphasized enough. I generated 1/5th the splitting waste this year compared to using the maul last year.

    All things considered, I'm very pleased and give it two thumbs up.
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