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Seeking splitter rental advice

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by bboulier, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. bboulier

    bboulier Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    NE Virginia
    My son is having several hardwood trees (mostly cherry) taken down in Northern Virginia. The estimate is that there will be about 4 cords of wood cut into 18" lengths. The biggest trees have a diameter of about 30 inches at the base. Of course, there won't many rounds of this size, and the very biggest rounds could be split by hand later. I usually split everything by hand, as I enjoy splitting and it's good exercise. In this case, however, it looks like a good idea to rent a splitter, because of the volume of wood to be split and other pressures on his time (an impending addition to the family) and mine. What size splitter should we be seeking to rent? Any recommendations as to manufacturer or other advice?

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  2. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    I would think about anything would split Cherry, one of the easiest woods to split.
    But two of you with mauls could knock it out a lot faster than the two of you on a power splitter...
  3. TimJ

    TimJ Minister of Fire

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    One maul and one stack, then one stack and one maul
    Two man team could get alot done
  4. swagler85

    swagler85 Minister of Fire

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    I agree with previous comment s but if you do rent a splitter a 22 ton splitter is plenty. Get one that will split vertical as well, that makes it easy to simply roll over to the big rounds and not have to lift them. Also many rental places aren't open Sundays, so get a Saturday rental and you have an extra "free" day to use it.
  5. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    The rental companies I've seen don't usually have a variety of models, I wouldn't worry about a 20-22T unit handling anything you're thwoing at it
    the bigger tonnage machines sound appealing but typically suffer from slower stroke times
    I'd put my money on:
    Two men on hydraulics - one feeding, one operating - to outlast "tandem mauling"
  6. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    22 ton splitter should be fine.
  7. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, two men on a hydraulic splitter will easily beat two men using mauls. My dad and I processed 2 full size pickup trucks of oak on Wednesday in just over 4 hours and we were dealing with monster rounds. The thing had to be close to 5 feet across, if not more.

    For the OP, all I can do is second the advice already given. Any splitter with 20 tons of force or more should split cherry right up. I split a bunch of cherry in the summer of 2011 and it was easy. My dad split a bunch of cherry last month using our 25 ton splitter and it was also easy. By the way, congratulate your son on the new addition. I had a new addition to the family in November and it sure makes things a lot busier in the house. All worth it though.

    The next question I would ask is whether renting or buying is a better decision, but that would depend on how much you burn a year and whether you and your son plan on processing wood for years to come. I know the 25 ton MTD by Yard Machines we have has paid for itself several times over. It is getting close to 20 years of age and has easily split over 100 cords of wood. Now that my parents and I are both heating our houses primarily with wood, it has seen even more work recently than it ever did before. Would guess we are splitting close to 10 cord a year now.
  8. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot Burning Hunk

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    Splitting by hand it , but when there are time constraints are involved and there is a lot of wood to process, I use a splitter. Plus I will be able to move the next day. ;lol

    I have found that when renting a splitter, selection is limited to what they have on hand and they are pretty popular. Sometimes they are all gone. I was at was at the local HD tool rental center (Fairfax Circle) today and while they have 3, only one is working and available for rent. ($100/day and it goes vertical.) Another place to check is Brook Rental in Vienna. Can't remember how many units they have, but they do go vertical.
  9. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    $100 per day? No way I would pay that. A 20 ton vertical/horizontal can be bought at most Lowes, Home Depot, and Tractor Supply stores for around $999. If you have to rent the thing 10 times, it will have paid for itself and then you can always sell it later on. Should start renting mine out for $100 a day too. Man, I was thinking that it would cost somewhere around $40 a day to rent it.
  10. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    Two men with mauls might out - split a splitter for an hour or two, but you'd have to be awful young and healthy to keep up that pace trying to get 4 cords done in a day or even a weekend.
    Older cherry has rather rough bark so bring extra gloves.
    midwestcoast and Fifelaker like this.
  11. Jack Fate

    Jack Fate Feeling the Heat

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    If your gonna do this
    1) reserve a splitter 2) you may or may not get a free day ( weekend deal ) 3) it's gonna take you longer than a few hours 4) if equipped with an hr. meter 8 hrs is a day over that & you get charged more. 5) rate here is $72 @ day no weekend free days any more

    I rented one once took me & my helper 16 hrs to split what I thought would take me 4-6 hr.
    Then bought one , so nice to work when you feel like it , for how long you feel like it & you don't need to get it & return it

    Happy splitting
  12. shoot-straight

    shoot-straight Feeling the Heat

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    yep, buy one if you plant to burn wood alot. maybe get a freind or neighbor to go in halfies.
  13. bboulier

    bboulier Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    NE Virginia
    Thanks for all the advice. We will look for a vertical splitter around 20 tons or so. I couldn't tackle that much wood with a Fiskar's axe and a maul and expect to be moving on subsequent days. I have seen some online prices for nearby locations between $65-$90 a day. I don't think that we are likely to burn enough wood to justify purchasing one (at least at this point) and none of my neighbors are woodburners, so it is unlikely that they will split the cost with me even if I let them display it as a lawn ornament.
  14. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    This time of the year should be no problem renting a splitter. By now most will forget all about wood until next fall. Just get the small one. 20 or 22 ton will do just fine. Cherry splits nice and easy so know that most times you will not have to use the entire stoke. Don't let the ram go all the way back up very often as this is wasted time. Just raise it about 2-3" above where the next log will be and your splitting will go much faster. Also go vertical; saves a ton of work.
  15. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    lol - I am surprised that anybody in Northern Virginia burns wood. Just as I would be surprised if many people in Montgomery County burned wood for anything more than ambiance. Some of the best free firewood is from Northern Virginia and Montgomery County. Only problem is that Northern Virginia is too far for me to travel now (i.e., I hated going to Reston to visit my now wife even when I was living in Montgomery County). However, going to Montgomery County allows me to visit my parents and it makes the drive a lot shorter for my dad and his truck.

    Good luck with the cherry. Been burning it most of this winter and it has really done well.
  16. Mr A

    Mr A Minister of Fire

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    Keep an eye on Craigslist. I found my 27-ton TroyBuilt just $500 bucks. I'm a scrounger, so it it is nice to accumulate a pile of rounds and have it available as needed. A used Fiskars has been more elusive than a deal on a hydraulic.

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