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Harbor Freight 7-Ton Electric Splitter

Post in 'The Gear' started by DanCorcoran, May 28, 2011.

  1. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    For those who may be interested (I know many aren't):

    I received a Harbor Freight in-store (not online or phone) flyer today with a coupon for the splitter. Regular price is $449, with coupon is $399. Also in the flyer is a 20% off coupon (which can't be combined with other coupons). For those who can do math, use the 20% coupon and get the splitter for $359...offer is good through June 30.

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  2. Singed Eyebrows

    Singed Eyebrows New Member

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    This is a 115 volt splitter run on 15 amp service(standard plug on splitter, unless they changed it). I have a 4 ton Ryobi that draws about as much as you can on 15 amp service. Provided that Ryobi specs are accurate, the only way you can get 7 tons out of this is 1, if it has a 2 stage pump or 2, if it has a low volume pump. Either way, this sounds like it will be real slow or not 7 ton, Randy
  3. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    Singed, I'm in the process of deciding whether to go with the Harbor Freight (didnt know about the coupon, thanks Dan) or a 5 ton for $249 on sale at TSC. Sounds to me like Im better off getting the 5 ton.
  4. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    I suggest you read all of the reviews on the HF website as well as the TSC reviews before deciding. Several people mentioned that their splitter wouldn't work as soon as they got it. I wonder in these cases if they, a) didn't open the relief valve before using it, or b) didn't use a heavy enough extension cord, causing a voltage drop at the splitter.

    Seems like there's no middle ground on the reviews...either folks loved it or it wouldn't work. That's what makes me think they might not have read or followed instructions (one guy said his wouldn't work when he plugged it into a power strip; kept popping the circuit breaker. Duh.).
  5. fsr4538

    fsr4538 New Member

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    I bought the five ton splitter from Home Dept (Homelite) It works well. However, I picked up a large load of black locust and it would not handle much of this. The wood was just too dense. I ended up buying the Huskee 22 ton from TSC for 999.00 and am going to sell my electric.

    If you are going to regularly handle anything tough or the volume of work is above a cord or two per year, I would go gas.
  6. Singed Eyebrows

    Singed Eyebrows New Member

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    Weatherguy, Thats probably what I would do. I just wanted to convey that if someone was selling a true 7 ton 110 volt splitter it would most likely have a 2 stage pump. The first stage would be necessarily weak & most anything would cause a kickdown to 2nd stage. These would be really slow on 2nd stage. My Ryobi is not real fast as it is. There is a 220 volt splitter line made & something I might consider in the future, Randy
  7. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    The cycle time on my TSC Speeco 5 ton unit is very comparable to that on the 3 separate 22 ton Huskee splitters I've borrowed in the last couple years. Thus far the little elctric has done all I've asked it to do, except anything thats particularly knotty, stringy or just plain oddly shaped enough that it won't sit in the splitter. 18" red oak, 15-16" hard maple, 12-15" yellow and white birch all have been simple drop it in the cralde and pop it open operations.

    I did have issues with mine not starting initially. I beleive it was the cheap extension cord I was using. Haven't had a problem since. I'd say I've run around a cord through it since I got it in the winter, have to do my 7 cords+ very soon, but time is the ultimate non-renewable resource.
  8. Stax

    Stax Minister of Fire

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    Folks:

    I'm not hear to bash electric splitters, but they only make sense to purchase if...

    1. Your wood supply only consists of 12" rounds and smaller. They can't handle anything larger. I don't know about you, but I don't need a splitter for anything smaller than a 12 incher.
    2. You like SLOW firewood production.
    3. You like using electricity.
  9. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    1) The videos I've seen, the reviews I've read, and the user comments on this bulletin board show many of the electric splitters handling rounds larger than 12", but most of the splitters don't promise to handle anything larger;

    2) I'll be 66 years old in a few months, but I'm in good physical condition (freestyle swimming 4-5 miles per week, walking 7-8 miles per week). But I find that splitting everything by hand is causing me shoulder pain. No point in accelerating any future problems by continuing this;

    3) My woodstove is at a vacation cabin. I'll use a cord a season at most, all of which is on my wooded 7-acre lot. As to slow splitting, I'm retired and am not in any hurry;

    4) I much prefer plugging in a quiet electric splitter to hauling gasoline and changing the oil on a noisy, smelly gasoline engine. The electric is also easier to move by hand and takes less storage space.

    In short, I completely agree with your list and appreciate you helping people decide when an electric splitter might be right for them!
  10. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    1) They're underrated. To be fair, I don't have any stringy elm, but it'll do 15-18 inch rounds with some bogging.
    2) Slow is relative. The cycle time on my 5 ton electric is the same as the 22 Huskee gas powered splitter.
    3) Electricity costs alot less than gas. Running my splitter for an hour non stop costs a quarter's worth of electricity.

    I'll readily admit that an electric splitter is more limiting than a big gas powered one, but at 1/4 the price they are legitimately in range for those who simply don't have the funds or storage for a big gas splitter. I find also that easily 90% of my wood is under 15-16" diameter. I rarely get the opportunities for really big logs...those I can noddle wiht the saw into 2-4 pieces and let the electric take over.
    n6crv likes this.
  11. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    I have considered an electric - especially the five ton SpeeCo at TSC and I may still have to go that route unless I can convince at least one of my neighbor/friends to go in with me on a gas hydraulic. Working on a three man partnership. Neither of us can really justify owning a big splitter on our own.

    I can get the SpeeCo electric for $250 but will have to spend at least $100 on a ten gauge 100 foot long extension cord to reach out to my work area.
  12. johnnywarm

    johnnywarm Minister of Fire

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    They make big splits small.if thats what you need.
  13. Stax

    Stax Minister of Fire

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    Mayhem, point taken. Guess I'm just frustrated with the fact that I spent around $300 bucks on one that I barely use.
  14. jjs777_fzr

    jjs777_fzr Feeling the Heat

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    LOL - funny that someone bashes electric splitters.

    Bought the 5Ton TaskForce a few years ago - did about 5 cords last year - I threw everything at it.
    It handled 90% of what I threw at it except knotty stuff.
    I did 21" red oak too...yes some of it I had to flip around to split but it all went eventually.
    Due to my stupidity I didn't tighten the nuts on the ramrod guide bars...until one day they backed off.
    I went to go split and off the nut went...and cause the guide rod to become detached - the ramrod bent like a pickle.
    Its sitting in my basement. I think I can fix it - someday.

    I couldn't resist today - I used a coupon from Harbor Freight for their 7Ton unit - for $319 - cant beat that.
    I used it today (ahead of the impending storm) and did 1/2 cord worth.
    It was noticeably more powerful when I used a shorter electric cord - although I am sure I'm still loosing power on the narrow gauge.

    Comparing the TF with the HF - I'd say its hard to tell the difference - despite the 5Ton vs 7Ton rating respectively.

    Bang for the buck the TF wins if you can get it on sale at the big box store.

    Anyone considering an electric shouldn't hesitate.
    And its nice and quiet.

    I got the chainsaw running and its all set to go deal with Irene.

    -John
  15. jjs777_fzr

    jjs777_fzr Feeling the Heat

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    wanted to follow up on the 7ton HF unit I purchased. Found a comment on youtube that if you hold the handle half way it goes into super speed.
    Okay not super speed but it more than doubles the pace when lever is fully depressed.
    Funny that the fast mode is never mentioned in the manual.
    Oddly enough the HF motor says 10AMP and my TF motor says 15AMP.
    Maybe something to do with the HF having a dual speed motor I dont know.
    But the fast mode gets me to the log size quicker then I just depress the lever all the way to get into slow speed/high tonnage mode.
  16. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    I bought the Pow'R'kraft 7-ton dual speed electric splitter. It looks just like the Harbor Freight model, except the HF lacks the shields on the sides, but the HF has larger wheels. In any case, the PRk has two speeds and it operates (as described in its instruction manual) just as you describe for the HF: lever partially depressed is faster with less power, fully depressed is slower with max power. I really like mine...works great.
  17. bpirger

    bpirger Minister of Fire

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    Every now and then I do something that is different than every time before...and seams somehow surreal. Splitting wood on a splitter without all the noise and without the smell of exhaust (at all), would indeed be surreal and very welcome! Must be nice to be able to talk while splitting....
  18. Jerry_NJ

    Jerry_NJ Minister of Fire

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    I"m still snooping around old threads trying to decide. I had zeroed in on the Lowes Task Force, I like the looks in the pictures...I'd like to see on in the "flesh". There is a nearby Lowes, I'll try to get there to look.

    The Task Force did have a recall, and there may be a class action suite going on it, but it appears the tool is again available. I think the fix is a warning label telling the operator to keep fingers out of the piston travel, in this case I read that to mean a handle area at the return stop. That said, the HF tool looks heavier duty, has a lot more oil capacity (that must be good for something...maybe more piston travel).

    Home Depot didn't have any Ryobi or other electric splitters on the "floor". I think the October snow and many broken trees in NJ this year put a run on these low cost splitters. That is what is driving me in that direction, I have a few trees and big branches down and have cut them to length and now need to split.
  19. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    If anyone is looking for a larger electric splitter this place has them. http://www.ramsplitter.com/
    I do not have any experience with them. Just pointing out that they have them. I am considering their 20 ton. I have the capability of the 220 hook up and it will take logs up to 26". My boiler will take wood up to 26" so I like to cut my wood around 23-24. But they have 12, 16, and 20 ton. I like the fact that there is a lot less noise. And don't have to put gas and oil through them. Less maintenance, etc. Something to consider.
  20. MrWhoopee

    MrWhoopee Minister of Fire

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    The Task Force had a pinch point created by the end of the ram moving past the stationary handle on the end. It is basically the same splitter as the Ryobi (and Homelite and so many others) in different clothing. They are all manufactured by the same Chinese company, the motor and beam details give it away. On the others, the handle is attached to the ram and moves with it, so no pinch point. I have the Homelite branded model and love it. I'm always leary of the electric stuff from HF, too many stories of short lives. YMMV
  21. jjs777_fzr

    jjs777_fzr Feeling the Heat

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    I bought my brother-in-law the ryobi and have used it a few times, I own the task force (it broke due to my own negligence) and I own and use the HF unit at present.
    I think the TF is hands down the best bang for the buck but the frame of the HF is heavier duty.
    A label comparison of the motors for the TF vs the HF is interesting - the motor appears to be stronger on the TF and could be why I think both are similar in tonnage.
    So the HF rated at 7 tons is comparable to the TF rated at 5 tons based on my own usage.
    The nice thing about the HF is that it appears to have an undocumented two speed motor which gets the ram up to the wood a bit quicker.
    I would definitely buy a protection plan with either unit if available.
    Use the shortest possible extension cord as possible or none if close to a service outlet - it makes a noticeable difference.
    I mentioned the Ryobi....I just think that would come in last place of the three mentioned here and probably comparable to the HomeLite.
    I am no expert...and all splitters are easier than a maul.
  22. bluedogz

    bluedogz Minister of Fire

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    For what it's worth, I bought the Homelite 5T from Home Cheapo last April, and have spent the time since activey trying to break it. I have a yard full of black locust, much of which fell down in Irene.

    So far, I have put 4-5 cords through it, and the only stuiff it did not split was stuff that has no business being split in the first place. Cycle time? Yeah, it's slow. Usually, it's irrelevant to me because I'm out on the back forty with a coffee and a cigar, so a slow cycle time means more alone-time.

    So, got a big stack of hickory and cherry rounds waiting- we'll see how it does.
  23. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    Ive split 3 cords of red oak and maple so far with my homelite and like you its split everything Ive thrown at it except stuff that shouldnt be split, knotty crotches and such. Its slower than using my fiskars but less wear and tear on my shoulder.
  24. ClassicSWC

    ClassicSWC Member

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    I bought a Homelite 5ton model back in August and have put 4-5 cords of hackberry through it. I put rounds and half rounds on it that were at the limit of my lifting capability and it worked fine. Didn't go thru everything, but by far the majority of it.

    One little tip with that machine is to put a 2x4 under the end of it so the that the end is slightly raised. The bleed screw leaked on mine when is was sitting level.
  25. bluedogz

    bluedogz Minister of Fire

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    +1.

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