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rent or buy a splitter

Post in 'The Gear' started by loneeagle15, Mar 1, 2008.

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  1. loneeagle15

    loneeagle15 New Member

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    Ok I have scrounged about 7 cords of elm it's bucked out to around 16" and ranges from 20"-36" round so my question is if a person were to rent a splitter could they split this in a day? I have only used a maul and sledge with wedges before to split with

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  2. High_Iron

    High_Iron Member

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    IMHO I would say no. Especially if you are doing it alone. I am having the same dilemma. My plan is to buy a splitter, and then perhaps list it on CL and try to get most of my money back. I have about 8 cords to split which will last me 2-3 years. I would hate to have a splitter getting rusty during that time.
  3. Money pit

    Money pit New Member

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    That is a tall order to accomplish that in one day. I have found that working with several people can speed the process greatly. One thing that I have done that has helpped is use a splitter to split the log the first time then have the rest of the splitting done with a maul. That first split really makes the others easier. If you have all your wood to be processed on site I feel it would pay to rent a splitter for about $100 for the weekend and not buy one for $1000 plus. Good luck!!
  4. johnsopi

    johnsopi Minister of Fire

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    I have split a lot of wood in 24hrs. I rented 2x last year and did @ 12 cords. I would wait till they set the clocks back. Have all the wood bucked and only split, 1 or 2 times per peice. When you rent the goal is to to bust up as many logs as possible. I take the renters insurance. I tore the last spliter up a little. If you don't get all 7 cords done. Stack what you have gather more and rent again.
    I wish I knew a 3 0r 4 people around who would go in,but that might end up a bust.
  5. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    BUY ! With the price of everything(steel) going up if you keep it in good condition you'll probably be able to sell it in a few years for what you have into it. Or sell a cord or 2 a year to pay for it.
  6. 'bert

    'bert Minister of Fire

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    I would say buy one. That way you can split when it suits you and your schedule. The only problem is that once you buy one, everyone seems to want to borrow it!
  7. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    Buy it, that way you can split when it is convienient. A few hours here, a few hours there. I split with a splitting axe for 7 years, 6 cords...not face cords but cords a year...never again. Spent a little over a grand 3 years ago and it was money well spent. Was paid for in the 1st year! The last 2 were to pay for the stove. Now I am on free time!!!
  8. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I say buy if you plan on burning for many years. Rental is 65$ a day here in my area and a new one is 1000$.

    If you can get all 7 cords done in one day, which is very optimistic, you'll be in great pain the next day and what fun is that? Doing it a few hours at a time with no real worry about the clock will be safer and more pleasant.
  9. michaelthomas

    michaelthomas New Member

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    I say buy one. Part of the fun of woodburning is getting the toys! Splitter, Chainsaw, Trailer, Wood shed, etc...
    I bought mine second hand from an local farmer who had built it 15 years ago. I bought it for $350, put a new 8hp engine on it for $225 and this thing goes through anything and is so incredibly over engineered that I could not break it in my lifetime. I like having it so I can go out and split for an hour or 2 every night instead of trying to coordinate a weekend to have the guys come over and bust my butt trying to get it all done at once. It is also nice because you can process those little loads that you run into sooner than later. Time is money too you know:)
  10. kevin j

    kevin j Minister of Fire

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    My vote: buy, but not now!
    Rent one, preferably work with another person to get a lot done. See what yuo like or don't like.
    Next time, rent a different type or size. See if you like force or speed, how you liek the layout, etc. I would only buy horiz/vertical tilting, but I use in horizontal 98% of time. Easier on the back lifting than bending over. but I do n't do real big stuff. See what works for you. I have used many, have a 1/4 share in one, and am building two. What I want now is WAY different than what I thought I needed 5 years ago.

    kcj
  11. Ken45

    Ken45 Minister of Fire

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    I agree with those who suggest buying one if you are going to be using wood over a long time period.

    Part of it depends on what shape you are in and how much help you have. For most of us, splitting that much wood in a day would be exhausting and painful! Especially with that size of logs! I prefer doing an hour or so at a time, it makes it more enjoyable without being painful! This might be a good time to look for any on clearance sale at TSC, etc.

    As for having it sit around rusting, ours is six years old and has no rust on it. I just store it under the porch with a tarp over it where the porch leaks :)

    Ken
  12. loneeagle15

    loneeagle15 New Member

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    OK so if I buy 1 what size would you recommend? mostly I split pine but Occasionally Elm but not very often as I only come across it when I'm lucky
  13. Ken45

    Ken45 Minister of Fire

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    I have a Huskee (Tractor Supply) 6 HP, 22 ton. It has always managed to split anything I put in it including crotches and knots. I've had some twisty grain stuff and it handled it okay. It slows down a lot on the real hard stuff, but eventually powers it's way through. Occassionally on the really tough stuff, I back it out and flip the piece around so as to attack it from both ends. The job gets done and one heck of a lot easier than the old maul, sledge and wedges.

    To be honest, I haven't used it on really big stuff over about 20". That's not worth the effort to manhandle IMO. I'll leave those trees grow :) Mostly I split stuff 15-18" and under, with preference for the "and under".

    Ken
  14. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    I have the speedco 6.5hp 22 tom model, it is identical just an extra half hp to the Tractor supply husky. If it won't go thru you got a real problem!!! Oh, and they are good on gas. 2 1/2 hours running and its time for a break anyway!
  15. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    ELM = LUCKY????

    I burn elm once in a while too, but lucky is not a word I associate with it. :eek:hh:

    Put a check mark in the "buy" column for me for all the reasons stated above. I doubt that you will get 7 cords split in a day, and if its elm, you will want to use the splitter for ALL the splitting, not just breaking them in half.

    My opinion is any splitter that is an "honest" 20 ton or better will have enough power for 99% of any splitting needs. I have no opinion on brands, because I have never owned a store bought splitter (built a few though).

    You will hear lots of votes for horizontal/vertical models, but I personally will not work on my knees in mud and snow. I like the log lifter options better. That is simply personal pref. (and yes, I have used both).

    Good luck, and owning a quality piece of equipment that can actually pay for itself in time, money, and convenience is golden in my book.
  16. Ken45

    Ken45 Minister of Fire

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    I was actually thinking that if you have 36" elm, it would probably be best to use the chain saw to cut them in half (or quarters) first before using the splitter. Since you already have them bucked to 16", the saw can be used to rip them (along the grain) fairly fast. That will make them a lot easier to handle on the splitter. I haven't worked with anything THAT big, but I would think that most splitters would probably just nibble at a 36" round of ELM.

    Ken
  17. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    To be honest I have seen some 10" rounds to be more difficult than 36" (speaking of elm here). I really haven't noticed any more difficulty in splitting the big ones over the small ones. What really makes elm a monster is the stringy nature of the beast and its ability to absorb a whack. Splitters overcome this with brute force instead of inertia. Most 20+ ton splitters can make pretty short work out of elm rounds, even the big boys.

    Suggestion: if splitting big elm rounds, have a hatchet or small ax handy. The first split rarely divides the rounds into 2 pieces because of the stringy stuff. Use the hatch or ax to finish them off.
  18. Wolves-Lower

    Wolves-Lower New Member

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    I would say BUY as well.
    7 Cords in a day is a lot of wood.
    Keep your eyes open for good used units.
    I spent $500 for a slightly used Husky 20 ton 6HP that works just grand.
  19. reaperman

    reaperman Member

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    I agree with everyone else who said to buy. I know it seems like a bunch of money up front to buy. But you will be happy when you finally make the purchase. As far as which splitter to buy is another topic. They are all pretty much desinged the same. I also would recommend a horiz/vert. I like having the wedge on the ram. opposed to having the wedge mounted to the end of the i-beam, on a splitter. Just my preference.
  20. eba1225

    eba1225 Feeling the Heat

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    This is a very timly post for me, thanks guys.

    My approach has been to split as much as possible by hand (i.e those that are easy and I do like the exercise :cheese: ) and those that are crouchs or tough stuff :mad: I place in a seperate stack that will be attacked when I rent a splitter.
    I figure that a one day rental per year would be sufficient to split all that tough stuff.

    So based on this post I am reconsidering the decision above. ;-)
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