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Harbor Freight 7-Ton Electric Splitter

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

  1. Jerry_NJ

    Jerry_NJ Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, I did get by Lowes and they have the TF on the floor. It look "nice" and is heavy. The owner manual was even there and still I can't figure out how the hydraulic piston works, it must "pull" the traveling ram part. One thing I am looking for is a splitter that will close the gap between the fully extended splitter ran and the splitter knife. My manual leaves about 12" and with fresh Birch (have due to storm damage) that isn't far enough to get the 18" log split. The fibers of the Birch just stretch across the opening.

    I see a scale on the TF side bar, does anyone know how far the traveling ram goes up that bar? From the little I know from looking at bottle jacks and the like, the travel can't be farther than the height of the "bottle", unless it is telescoped somehow. As said, I couldn't see the "bottle" on the TF at Lowes even though it was on the floor.

    Lowes is the closest to me (5 miles) then Home Depot (8 miles) and HD didn't have anything on the floor to look at, Tractor Supply (10 miles) and Harbor Freight (25 miles). So, Lowes is the nearest and I know they will stand behind the product.

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  2. bluedogz

    bluedogz Minister of Fire

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    I have one of those... It's a chunk of PT 4x4 stuck in the channel of the splitter. Works wonders.
  3. Jerry_NJ

    Jerry_NJ Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, and right I've used "shims" but with my manual splitter the extra pumping is too much.. I guess the electric moves fast enough that the forward, stop, back up, install shim, go forward again isn't such a big extra labor. I hadn't thought about having a piece of PT 4x4 handy that is a good idea - if it doesn't crush.

    I had gotten a response saying that the Ryobi/Homelite 5 Ton may have only 6" of so go gap when the ram hits the end-of-travel. The Harbor Freight manual I have it is over 10", enough to leave the "split" too much for a pull apart by hand, at least my hand. But I'm a small guy, 6'6" and 250, well more like 238 as I've been working on getting my weight down. I watched some more videos on youtube and it appears the ram on the electric splitters does get closer to the knife than on my current equipment.

    Anyway, thanks, I use a minute tomorrow to cut a chunk of 4x4 for my next splitting session, which may be after I purchase an electric splitter.
  4. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    I have a chunk of a 4 x 4 but I also cut a couple different size rounds, sometimes I fit a 2 inch piece in between and thats enough.
  5. maverick06

    maverick06 Minister of Fire

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  6. MrWhoopee

    MrWhoopee Minister of Fire

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    That one looks identical to my Homelite as far as the push head, ram attachments and motor. It sounds exactly the same, a little noisy, but you can hold a conversation while running it. My Homelite moves faster, that may be how they came up with the extra tonnage. I believe I have heard mention of a two-stage pump on these, but it doesn't look like that is the case here. A two-stage pump would cause the ram to move more quickly with no load, then slow down (and increase pressure) when it loads up. I do like the hand-truck style handles and bigger wheels. Since this one appears to be manufactured by the same company as the Ryobi/Homelite, I wouldn't hesitate to buy one. The price I'm finding for this one is $100 more than the Homelite at HD, but availablity may be an issue.
  7. Jerry_NJ

    Jerry_NJ Minister of Fire

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    MrWhoopee,

    In Northern CA, I assume you burn mostly softwoods. Has that been your splitting experience? I assume pine/fir/spruce... split easier than most hardwoods, but I don't know for sure. I have many white pine on my property along with other softwoods. This gives me some of that wood for fires just from property maintenance, not any wood harvesting. Do you (electric) split green or wait for the rounds to dry a little?

    I like the wheels on the HF splitter, and indeed the 7 ton it is advertized to be a two speed - I don't know that HF offers a 5 ton. I recall it being a manual two speed, i.e., two position switch. So if one held the switch in the low (high pressure) setting the ram would move slowly even when not under a load. The wheels on the Lowes Task Force look good too, but not as good as the HF.
  8. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    The Pow'R Kraft is also a 2-speed. Pull the handle back halfway and the ram moves more quickly, pull it back all the way and it slows down, presumably with more pressure. I don't know anything about hydraulic pumps, so I don't know if these electrics are two-stage pumps or if they generate increased pressure in some other way.
  9. MrWhoopee

    MrWhoopee Minister of Fire

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    The bulk of my wood is Douglas fir and lodgepole pine, but I also get some black oak. It is almost all standing dead when I cut it, though not always dry. The oak splits more easily than some of the doug fir, though the crotches can be just about impossible. The only stuff that has completely stymied the Homelite is wet/green white fir. Being wet and very stringy, the wedge just buried itself without making a split. Green oak seems to split more easily than dry, while dry softwoods split more easily than green. I've split oak as large as 28 in. dia.

    [​IMG]

    and doug fir over 30. The hard part is getting the rounds up on the splitter, I use a ramp and roll them up.
  10. WoodNStuff

    WoodNStuff Minister of Fire

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    I've never used an electric splitter but view them more for low volume wood production and smaller wood. It probably wouldn't handle stringy woods such as Elm or Cottonwood. Personally I'd get a gas powered splitter at least 22 ton.
  11. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    My Pow'R Kraft handled elm just fine. I'd occasionally have to pull apart the split pieces due to the stringiness (is that a word?) of elm, but I've heard that others with big gasoline-powered splitters sometimes have that problem too. I wasn't trying to split huge pieces though, mostly 12-15" diameter and less.
  12. Jerry_NJ

    Jerry_NJ Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, I have some white pine down that had a lower trunk in the range of 24", I estimate. The rounds have been sitting on the ground in all kinds of weather. I will take a look at them if I get a splitter. I'm not sure what shape these rounds are in, they could be rotting - no longer valuable as firewood.

    My current main interest in the lower cost electric splitter is a also have four mature Birch that came down and have been cut into round 18" +/- in length. I was cutting by "eye" so a few rounds may be 20", which I seem to be at the upper limit of the Task Force and other splitters.

    A $1K plus gas splitter is not on my list of considerations. I have a neighbor with a 34 ton gas monster and he has said several times that if I have anything too big to handle, I can use his splitter. He said that knowing I will make very sparing use of it if at all. I believe in neither a lender or borrower be when it comes to expensive tools and women.
  13. WoodNStuff

    WoodNStuff Minister of Fire

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    That's great DanCorcoran! I get a lot of free big rounds in my area around 36" plus. So, I need a vertical gas powered splitter for my purposes. This post has got me thinking about the possible value of having an electric splitter in my basement for splitting splits.
  14. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    Definitely vertical. I can't imagine lifting a 36" round which is 18" long onto a horizontal splitter.
  15. Jerry_NJ

    Jerry_NJ Minister of Fire

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    I "popped" for the Pow' R' Kraft 65556 4-Ton 15 Amp Electric Log Splitter, for $248.39, delivered to my door by Amazon. That's with no sales tax... but being an honest guy, or just playing it safe, I paid uncollected sales tax when I do my NJ State Income tax.. heck the state needs the money. The point here is I use the "average" figure the state says they will accept, so I'll pay the same sales tax with/without this purchase.

    I'll look back, but I think I recall several posts here on Hearth.com about good quality in the Pow'R'Kraft line. I've also read the seems be no difference between the 4 and 5 ton claimed electric splitters.

    I have wood waiting to be split and will give a brief experience post when I get this unit - not until early December.
  16. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    Thats a pretty good price Jerry, should split just about anything you throw at it except knots and crotches.
  17. MrWhoopee

    MrWhoopee Minister of Fire

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    The details of the motor, push head, ram end, etc. reveal that it is, indeed, the same as the Ryobi, Homelite, Task Force, etc.
    That's a damn good price, especially with free shipping and no sales tax ;-)
    You won't be disappointed.
  18. WoodNStuff

    WoodNStuff Minister of Fire

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    I'd be very interested to read about your experiences with your new electric splitter.
  19. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    I just returned from my cabin and had a chance to use my 7-ton Pow'R'Kraft splitter on some larger rounds. I was splitting red oak which was felled last summer and cut into 6-foot lengths. I bucked it into 18-inch long rounds (one was 20" long) which were 18" in diameter. The splitter had no problem with any of them, including the 20" round, if I put the wedge into the fresh-cut end of the round. If I put the wedge into the soft end, which had been exposed to the elements for a year and a half, it would bury the wedge about an inch deep, but the round wouldn't split.

    As far as my needs are concerned, this performance is just fine. I will always be bucking rounds which have at least one fresh-cut end and won't be splitting anything larger than 18" in diameter. I mention this latter point because I'm alone when splitting and a red oak round which is 18" in diameter and 18" long weighs about 160# (using a green density of 62# per cubic foot). Because this splitter is horizontal, you must lift the round onto the beam. I could barely roll these rounds off my hand truck onto my splitter, much less lift them alone. I continue to be a happy camper with my 7-ton Pow'R'Kraft.

    P.S. I'm going to post this reply as a separate thread in case anyone wants to read about the Pow'R'Kraft in particular.
  20. Jerry_NJ

    Jerry_NJ Minister of Fire

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    Thanks Dan,

    I don't follow you. You seem to say if you tried to split from an end that had been exposed from the weather (soft end) the wedge could not be pushed more than about 1" into the round. Why would that be? You have the 7 ton unit, that's a lot of pressure to be stopped dead at only 1" penetration.
  21. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    You understand correctly. Why, I don't know, but lligetfa in the other thread said he had the same experience when splitting manually. Fresh-cut ends would split, but soft, mushy ends just bury the splitter.
  22. bspooky

    bspooky New Member

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    I think my local menards matches this "online" price.....does this look like the same as the homelite/TaskForce/etc. splitter?

    http://www.menards.com/main/more/la...t-electric-log-splitter/p-1657774-c-10115.htm

    At $229 it just may be worth trying...

    I believe this is the model 1200 (go to log splitters on the left, then scroll down): http://www.getearthquake.com/

    Or copy and paste this link: http://www.getearthquake.com/foundations/store/shopdetail.asp?params=W1200*4 into a browser, for some reason, direct clicking isn't working.
  23. MrWhoopee

    MrWhoopee Minister of Fire

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    That second link has a problem, but after looking a little further, I found that it is the same as the others. Good price!

    I particularly like these features:

    •Rubber coated handle is perfectly placed for transmission
    •Long lasting wheels are made to withstand abuse

    That's the stuff that's important to me. :lol:
  24. bspooky

    bspooky New Member

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    Thanks Craig for the confirmation, that helped me decide to head over there soon to see if my memory was accurate that they had this on the sale price.

    Not sure what is up with that link, tried replacing it and it still leads to an error on their server, yet if you copy/paste the same link it doesn't. Crazy.
  25. bspooky

    bspooky New Member

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    Well rats. I think this Earthquake is the same or similar to the other 4-5 ton splitters, I looked at a couple before picking it up at Menards. Unfortunately, it isn't working out for me. Went through some ash easily enough, but the reason I am looking at these is for splitting some elm and oak I am not able to split with the smart log splitter. This won't split those either. Just puts a dent in the wood and stops. One piece I got to split by rotating, but that is it. I even tried letting the bleed screw out even more, but no luck.

    The harbor freight that started this is a 2 HP motor, these 4-5 tons are 1.75 HP, so that may not be the answer. But I see the Powerhosue and the Pow "R" kraft 7 tons are 3 HP motors. So maybe they are true 7 tons, who knows.

    I don't want to go gas (noise, fumes, I like electric stuff) and the only electric log splitters I can find over 7 tons are the ram splitters at I think 12 ton, but they are then large in size too (I have storage issues, LOL)

    color me sad

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