Questionable Marketing for Log Splitters and Chainsaws

snowfreak Posted By snowfreak, Nov 25, 2005 at 3:03 AM

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  1. snowfreak

    New Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    Altona, NY
    I have been eyeing different kinds of hydraulic wood splitters for sometime. My local dealer carries Troybuilt, and Cub Cadet. Outside of his store appears to be two exact looking wood splitter except one is red (troybuilt) and the other yellow (cub cadet). The price on the Cub is 300 more than the troybuilt. I find a salesperson to see what extra's the cub has that the troybuilt does not. He tells me that MTD owns both of these brands and they are the same in every aspect except for the paint and the price. He says there are 4 models MTD, White Outdoor, Troybuilt, and Cub Cadet that are identical except for paint color and price. I assume that he's selling more troy built because if the only thing you are getting is yellow paint for 300 bucks than why would you spend the money. According to the salesperson they are selling more cub cadet because of the brand name. I even went online to see if the prices were different. The suggested price is 100 more for the cub cadet which is closer than the dealer pricing but still one would think the price would be the same. I guess it's not much different than the craftsman chain saw that I paid 130.00 for and here it's nothing more than a 99.00 Poulan. The old saying of you get what you pay for is usually true, but I would like my dollar to buy more than just a rebadged product.
  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart LLC Mid-Atlantic Division
    Staff Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    Northern Virginia
    The dealer is telling you the truth. Strange as that may seem. MTD makes them all. Now stop and think about it. Just how many plants is MTD going to keep open making log splitters. One.

    Just like when I bought my Chevy Suburban. The GMC dealer said "But the GMC comes down the assembly line slower so the quality is better." Yeah right. The sticker they put on the windshield at the factory said GMC. Whoops.

    By the way, my Duerr log splitter was labeled MTD when I bought it in 1988. Sucker splits logs like the day I bought it. Not a hell of a lot of complexity to a log splitter. Engine runs. Pump pumps. Cylinder pushes wedge through log.

    Just like a chainsaw there isn't a whole lot to them. And both of them will hurt ya bad if you don't pay attention.

    I call my splitter June. Just like June on Leave It To Beaver, it is a cleaver. And I always said that if Ward ever turned his back, June would have killed him.
  3. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson
    Mod Emeritus

    Nov 18, 2005
    Central NYS
    The only comment I would make is that there's a lot more to chainsaws than meets the eye. They're really a marvel of modern engineering. Anyone who experienced things like vapor lock, fouled points, poor design (the Mac 1010 comes to mind), no chain brakes, excessive vibration, solid-nose bars, etc. back in the '70s can appreciate the true value you're really getting for $300-$400 today. A good saw is deceptively simple, but it's been carefully engineered for light weight, easy maintenance and safety. You see similar improvements in modern cars (except for easy maintenance), but their price has inflated way beyond that of saws. So, spend the extra $100 and buy a really good saw--it's still an incredible bargain.

    BTW, some guys I know used to import a hydraulic rig from Scandanavia that would shear blocks from smaller logs and split them in one pass. I forget exactly how it worked, but they called it the Beaver Cleaver. I've got a picutre of one in my office somewhere. If I can dig it up I'll make a scan and post it--just for laughs.
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