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Splitter: big logs AND SMALL - what's good for all?

Post in 'The Gear' started by jonwright, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. jonwright

    jonwright Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Little Rock, AR
    Asking you all for input for selecting a log splitter:

    So I have both an FPX 44 that takes up to 32" logs AND a Hearthstone Tribute which takes no more than 16". I've decided to rather standardize on 24" logs which allows me to just cut in half when needed for the Tribute.

    As you guys are aware that little bity stove needs really small splits and no more than 12" cuts (and even smaller is better for N/S loading).

    The primary species is Oak around here, and the trees tend to be large - 24" is not uncommon at all, and usually bigger.

    So I've rather decided that perhaps the famed and loved 22 ton Huskey may not be enough. I also project that I will split mostly green wood which ups the tonnage as my research indicates.

    I like the idea of the 4 way splitter attachment to speed up the process along with horizontal/veritical to handle the larger logs. Ariens doesn't have one of those so rather a minus I think.

    My concern is that if I get a large splitter (say, the Aries 30+ ton unit) will it be unwieldy for the smaller pieces? I'd like a work table for the smaller pieces and be able to have the unit horizonal as well.

    Ideally, I'd rather not spend much more than $2k for a unit. I'm ok with spending a bit more in order to not be PO'd with results. I've used a horizontal only unit that's small from my buddy, and while I can't beat the price I'd rather have my own that doesn't frustrate me and take forever for the larger splits.

    I'm rather liking the great northern units, but since I'm in Arkansas I'd have to have it shipped down here. Lowes, HomeDepot are my likely sources, haven't had time to seek out other local supplies for log splitters.

    Thoughts? If I get a large unit will I just wind up getting a smaller unit to handle the Tribute logs anyway?? I'd like to avoid that if I can.

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  2. dorlow

    dorlow New Member

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    I bought one from Tractor Supply that's a 35 ton. I think I spent about $1800. I can split logs over 2 foot radius easily. It's not too much for the small stuff though. For the real large ones, I can tip it vertical and roll the logs on and split them.
  3. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    A 22 ton unit will bust up the majority of any oak that you are liable to feed it. A larger splitter won't be any different than a 22 ton unit on the smaller stuff. This assumes an apples to apples comparison of the components used to build the machine. (i.e. a 4" ram with 16 gpm pump is gonna be far faster than a 5" ram with a 16 gpm pump). Some claim that the speed of the ram doesn't really "matter". I am NOT of that school.

    If a log lifter is not in the plans, then a vert/horizontal machine is the way to go if you expect to be working on large rounds.
    TreePointer likes this.
  4. jonwright

    jonwright Member

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    Loc:
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    seems a log lifter gets me into the complicated (expensive) machinery very quickly....

    so you think that 4 way attachment is worth doing, or is it about as much hassle as useful?
  5. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Warning: Personal opinion forthcoming...
    If it is a slip on type 4 way - I don't like them. If it is a hydraulically moveable wedge like the timberwolf ($$$$) - I like them.

    Oh - and for the record, log lifts don't "have" to be expensive. The one I built on to my splitter was the cost of a power in/out winch ($50 HF) Two, 1" pillow blocks ($10 Farm and Fleet) and some excess steel that I had laying around. Even if YOU don't have the tools or don't feel up to the task - a local welding shop could probably whip up something in short order. Mine took a little more than an hour to fab up and get in place and workable.
  6. jonwright

    jonwright Member

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    Kinda leaning toward the Ariens unit, and I'm thinking the smaller 27 ton unit will do - it's a bit faster than the bigger unit with the cycle speed. I'm dubious how useful that 4 way splitter really is, and looks like my only option for that is to buy the Great Northern unit - I don't have any of those local to me. I'll look around and see what other options I have, but if I'm missing anything obvious let me know!!!!

    The used market isn't very robust around here for splitters.....
  7. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Agreed that 30+ ton is unnecessary for splitting big, green Oak rounds. Have run 36"+ Pin Oak rounds through my machine and it hardly notices.


    Plug for Iron & Oak here.

    26 ton Horz/Vert BHVH2609 is available for about $2K shipped to your door. Can always call I&O too to see if there is a local dealer in your area.

    With this particular unit, I recommend skipping the log cradle, not worth the $$ for what you get. Mine bends very easy if a split catches it just right. I like the 33Flame tables better.

    Get the Log Dislodger, really like mine. I have the Subaru engine, saves $$ from the Honda and I like it much better than the Briggs options but the 9HP Vanguard engine would be my 2nd choice if you wanted to save even more $$.

    http://www.buyacehardware.com/26-ton-log-splitter-robin.html

    Get the camo version if you don't want your neighbor to see you have a new splitter. ;) ;lol Actually saw one at a local dealer and they do look pretty sweet. ==c
    TreePointer likes this.
  8. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    I have a 2009 35-ton Huskee from TSC, and it has served me very well. Its 15 second rated cycle time is fine, but sometimes I wish it were a little faster--especially on the smaller diameters. Speed matters to me, too.
  9. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    As MasterMech mentioned, those I&O (and Brave) 26-ton models are quality machines.
  10. CT-Mike

    CT-Mike Minister of Fire

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    I went with the TW2 with the 4-way wedge and outfeed table. I know Jags above mentioned he doesn't like the slip-on 4-ways, but I love it. Easily removed for very large rounds, and cuts processing time almost in half. I do plan to add the manual log lift for those really large rounds.

    One of the main reasons I went with the Timberwolf was the 9 second cycle time.
  11. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    I've split 24"x24" oak rounds with my 22 ton and it didn't even kick into granny gear. Before you drop that kind of jingle on a bigger splitter, give the Huskee a go at it...you'll probably be surprised.
  12. jonwright

    jonwright Member

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    Yeah. Nothing wrong with the Huskee. Just would rather have one made in the US if I can. 22 tons will be ok for 24" GREEN oak logs?

    I like the Timberwolf but honestly I do t expect to go through more than 5 cords in a year so still, price is a consideration. A horizontal with a hydraulic log lift would be nice, but I'm not dropping $5k on this no more than I'd use it

    That being said I'd rather buy from a dealer ASSUMING they know more than the big box guys about the equipment!

    The Huskee does have some nice features, but my experience with an inadequate splitter has tainted my judgement.
  13. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Green doesn't make a difference.
  14. Elderthewelder

    Elderthewelder Minister of Fire

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    [quote="MasterMech,
    With this particular unit, I recommend skipping the log cradle, not worth the $$ for what you get. Mine bends very easy if a split catches it just right. I like the 33Flame tables better.

    Get the Log Dislodger, really like mine. I have the Subaru engine, saves $$ from the Honda and I like it much better than the Briggs options but the 9HP Vanguard engine would be my 2nd choice if you wanted to save even more $$.
    [/quote]

    what is a 33flame table? I have been thinking about getting the I&O cradles for my splitter. tired of bending over and piking up the splits
  15. WellSeasoned

    WellSeasoned Guest

    Huskee 22 ton can easily handle 24" green oak. I ran plenty through mine. Everything on it made in the usa. Skip the 4 way wedge for now and see how it goes first. Can't beat the price at tsc for 999 bucks. Reliable engine, a competitive cycle speed, I think 12 seconds, 3yr warranty (not sure if a 4 way voids it.) Good luck:)
  16. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

  17. MofoG23

    MofoG23 Feeling the Heat

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    I've been using the Ariens 27 ton for several years now.... great splitter! If you have any questions, let me know.
  18. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    Got a troy bilt 27 ton splitter, having a custom 4 way wedge made for it, will post on how it works when I get it. Hope to have it first week of November.
  19. ditchrider

    ditchrider Burning Hunk

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    I've been looking around the tool rental shops in my area. Most have a choice between I&O 26 ton and a Biljax 22 model. I've got enough wood cut for several day's worth of splitting. I was going to rent the smaller for a day and test it on my larger, greener elms, 30 inch plus. With that species green does make a difference. I figure a $100 expense for a test drive will let me know what I'm able to get away with.

    Tried the Husky tractor mounted splitter with the 4" cylinder. just wasn't man enough for 20 plus diameters, even on some that have some age. But the tractor hydraulics probably strained to make 2000 psi. That setup only calculates to around 12 tons.

    It really drives me crazy to own all this horsepower and having to let it sit just to buy another engine powered machine. But the limitations of tractor hydraulics and the cost effectiveness of a higher tonnage self contained splitter... sorry got off track.

    My initial point was the 13 tons of the tractor splitter was limited to about 18 inch diameter on green elms. 22 tons may work out just fine for your 24 plus oaks. From some of the demo videos and youtubes I've seen, oak has a tendency to pop, we need to season the stringy elm and cottonwood common around here for even the hope of a pop. But I'm still gonna go for a test drive. I think one shop had the four-way option for their I&O. It's worth the $100 to me even for just one day.
  20. jonwright

    jonwright Member

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    Loc:
    Little Rock, AR
    Local dealer here can get Earthquake - anyone have any experience with that? Evaluating the 27 ton model - has built-in guards for engine and a few other nice little features, and the log holder seems to be built well. But it isn't on their "getearthquake" website....huh.

    Renting an I&O would be nice - Timberwolf dealer is @2hr drive from here - possibility. Further investigation.
  21. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    I have split some big, gnarly stuff with my 22t Huskee. A 24" oak round won't even slow it down. My wood furnace will take whatever would fit on my splitter, and I used to cut a lot of 2'+ long rounds.
  22. Elderthewelder

    Elderthewelder Minister of Fire

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    does that bolt up to the factory holes in the I&O beam? or do you need to drill your own. Looks like it may get in the way when splitting vertical . dont the I&O cradles kinda fold out of the way while verticle. Not that I split alot in the vertical position with my uneven slopped yard, but I do occasionally
  23. CT-Mike

    CT-Mike Minister of Fire

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    Definitely give the Timberwolf a look, you won't be disappointed. My local saw shop is a TW dealer, and I was able to test drive the TW-2 at the shop on some rounds they had for that purpose. The 9 second cycle time is one of the major things that sold me. I was so tired of standing there with another round waiting for the ram to retract.
  24. Butcher

    Butcher Minister of Fire

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    I looked at Ariens and Cub Cadet splitters closely before I bought my Huskee 22 ton splitter. Money was an issue and I also liked the full beam design of the Huskee rather than the the way the other 2 are made. I also like the heavy welded on dislodger on the Huskee. I've run almost 90% red and white elm thru my Huskee for goin on almost 4 years now with no problems so I'm guessin it will go thru some nice straight grained oak like a hot knife thru butter. The upside of the Ariens and CC splitters was the better axles and a light package but since I dont have a need for that splitting at home it wasnt worth the extra coin. JMO.
  25. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest


    The Iron & Oak table does not fold without tools but it's not in the way for vertical splitting either. It's designed to be used as a table or as a cradle. It would be much better if the table sat slightly lower than the beam rather than flush, as it would tend to catch on the wood a lot less than it does now. I can post some more detailed pics for you if you need.

    I don't know if the 33flame setup uses the factory drilled holes or not. But I do know it removes by simply lifting it off the brackets for when you want to use the unit vertically.

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