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Powerhorse 20 Ton Dual Split

Post in 'The Gear' started by SIERRADMAX, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. SIERRADMAX

    SIERRADMAX Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    Messages:
    292
    Loc:
    RI
    After splitting 8 cord by hand, I bit the bullet and bought a used splitter. Specifically, Northern Tool's Powerhorse 20 ton dual split unit. Machine was a year old and everything looked great on it. Zero rust, inside gas tank was clean, log table wasn't bent, wedge was straight.. Just a well cared for splitter.

    Anything I should look out for? I read somewhere, a plastic fitting should be replaced?

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  2. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Messages:
    2,279
    Loc:
    Western PA
    I've never used a Northern Tool model, but here are some general rules:

    Change engine oil. (Who knows what original owner had in it or if ever changed.)
    Change hydraulic filter.
    Ensure engine bolts are secure.

    Replace hydraulic fluid if dirty or milky (water in fluid).
    Ensure hydraulic fluid is within proper fill level on dipstick.
    Ensure hydraulic fittings and hose clamps are secure.
    Inspect hoses for cracks, leaks, bleeding. Replace if found.

    Before first use after transporting home, follow hydraulic purge/priming instructions in manual.
  3. SIERRADMAX

    SIERRADMAX Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    Messages:
    292
    Loc:
    RI
    So I gave this splitter a good overlook and put 6 hours on it Saturday. Fluids were clear and at their fill levels. Oil looked great. All hoses were tight. The plastic fittings in question were on the return side of the valve. Something I will replace in the future.

    As far as operation, choke on, full throttle, gas on, starts first pull every time. Fuel consumption is very good. I had a large red oak (40" diameter at the base) and a 18" hickory cut up to split. Obviously this little guy wasn't going to cut it with the large red oak rounds. I quartered them and the splitter handled the pieces fine. Large knots..forget it. Some hickory rounds (larger ones) gave it a workout but it managed to handle them just fine. Might add an engine guard. One split unexpectedly rolled off the table onto the gas tank.

    I heaped four 8' truckloads in 6 hrs. splitting myself. I figure this little splitter can handle 99% of everything I cut, scrounge, and acquire with wood around my area.

    FYI for those interested... There's a youtube video around with someone using a 4 way slip on wedge. I wouldn't recommend unless the rounds you're splitting are small and straight-grain.
  4. Iembalm4aLiving

    Iembalm4aLiving Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Messages:
    270
    Loc:
    N.E. Ohio
    Northern Tool sells pretty good stuff. I'd say you're good to go! Congrats on getting a splitter. Certainly beats hand splitting.....
  5. MrWhoopee

    MrWhoopee Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    Messages:
    567
    Loc:
    Shingletown, Northern California (elev. 4000 ft.)
    '

    I'd bet that it would handle the oak just fine if you could get it up on the splitter. I've split 28 in. dia. black oak on my 5 ton Homelite electric.
  6. Fifelaker

    Fifelaker Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2011
    Messages:
    441
    Loc:
    NW Mi
    My 22T Huskee has split some oak in the 40"-50" range but it was vertical. If you can get them set on the beam I bet it would crack them just fine.
  7. dmarr

    dmarr New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2013
    Messages:
    12
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    I have this splitter and it surprises me every time I use it. I have split some stuff that was 30" or so and it has barely labored. I on the other hand have. You have to work a little bit to get the wood split when it gets real big, but the splitter itself handles it fine. It seems that the slim wedge on this splitter actually makes it work as well as it does for the larger chunks. Another thing that surprises me is how easily and well the motor runs. Mine gets left out with just a tarp on it and it starts first or second pull every time. The only weakness is the one you have already mentioned. The plastic fittings should be replaced. You will drop a piece of wood and break them. I haven't as of yet, but I have managed to break the hydraulic fluid dipstick/vent and I had to get a replacement. I bought this splitter due to the price and the size so I wasn't expecting miracles, but so far I have had nothing but good experiences with it. Good find I say!

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