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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. mikey517

    mikey517 Member

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    Another thumbs up for the Ariens 27 ton. My wife bought it for me this past Labor day weekend (Mama likes to be warm!), so I haven't had it long, but it's been splitting oak, rock elm and maple with no problems. Got the last floor model at a HD, knocked 10% off (=$1,430),they changed the filter & filled it with oil and hydro fluid, and I got 18 months same as cash.

    Got home, gassed it up (never had gas in the tank), pulled twice and that Subaru (Robin) motor started right up. Its a great unit - made in Wisconsin, America.

    I like the placement of the motor away from the work area and operator, and I like the lever in the middle position allowing me to work from either side.

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  2. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    You meant Subaru right? ;)
  3. mikey517

    mikey517 Member

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    Yup....sure did. Thanks.

    That's what I get for trying to rush a post while at work!o_O
  4. jonwright

    jonwright Member

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    Then again, there is a used Rayco for sale around here - ASKING price of $3,500........

    Way more than I'll ever need, and bulky. Won't be able to move it around to where the wood is unless my truck can get it there for sure.

    I do like the bigger tables on the Ariens and the Timberwolf.
  5. jonwright

    jonwright Member

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    Home Depot has the 34 ton Ariens for $1650. Tempting, but I think just too slow with a cycle time of 18 seconds. They have the Cub Cadet models which appears to be exactly like the TroyBilt stuff (with a few more bells) and not BAD cycle time, but didn't register price.

    Lowe's has the 27 ton Troy for $1,200 and with an excruciating cycle time I'd rather have the power of the Ariens.

    Even though I KNOW there are faster splitters out there, I'm having a tough time paying the extra coin for no more than I think I'm going use it.

    I'll drop by TSC in a bit and see what they have to allow on the Husky's.

    Iron and Oak are fast splitters, but at these prices it seems a lot more money for a little bit of performance. Plus I figure I'll be hauling it around on the bumpy road around here and I'd rather not have a tank that doubles at the axle. Not a big deal if I'm not towing it much.
  6. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    The I&O is more than fast (they have a 20 ton, 8 second machine, yee haw!). The quality of the materials used is better than the box-store stuff too. The cast iron wedges on the Troy-Bilt, Cub, and Yard Machine splitters (all built by MTD) work just fine but I have roughly 25 cord thru mine so far (high-carbon steel wedge) and it still looks almost new. 2 itty bitty nicks in the edge. I did break a weld on my tank from some extremely rough towing and I&O replaced it under warranty, no questions asked.
    The weakest link on the Speeco/Huskee 22 ton is that lawnmower style Briggs engine IMO. But it's cheap to replace should that become necessary. Cycle on that machine is advertised @ 14 seconds.
    Power in the 30+ ton range really is unnecessary with a single wedge, my 26 ton (4.5" cylinder) has eaten everything I throw under it with ease.
  7. Biglumber

    Biglumber Member

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    I haven't run into anything the 27 ton ariens wouldn't go through. Been splitting some of the gnarliest cottonwood. Picked it up for 1699 two years ago not a lick of trouble since.
  8. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    Not had an issue with cycle time on mine, the Honda GC motor is a plus. If you know they have had it for a while dicker with the Manager and get the price down even more, or get a 10% movers coupon.
  9. jonwright

    jonwright Member

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    The Timberwolf dealer is @2hr drive from my house. Talked to him on the phone and I'm really tempted for the base model. Still looking at @$3k OTD with bells and whistles.

    Tractor Supply doesn't have any advertised discount on the splitters there (Huskee) and the cycle time for that one is still 13 sec on their web site. And after looking at them I see they rather have a built in log cradle. Yeah, it does look rather inexpensive for sure.

    So $1k for Huskee, $2k for I&O, or $3k for Timberwolf with all roughly same PERFORMANCE specs (i.e. advertised splitting time and tonnage are in ball park).

    And yes, I do know that this is the automobile equivalent of comparing Kia, Honda, and BMW - rather.

    My focus is on cycle time as I project that I'll be spending more time creating the smaller bits of wood and standing up doing so. So is it worth $2k for that to get the Timberwolf? I need to think on that. Sure would be nice and I can see where now that I'm 40+ not having to stoop or sit would be nice in ten years as I age......

    Balance that with current prices of split oak going for $80 cord.

    Course, for $2k I can build a heck of a dedicated "kindling" splitting station with a small electric splitter if I get the Huskee.
  10. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    If you you're spending ~$2K, then I'd seriously consider that I&O fast cycle splitter (8 second cycle time, vertical/horizontal). That price will get it delivered to your door.

    Faster? Look into a Super Split flywheel (kinetic) model. Note that it's horizontal only. Also, its 3 sec. cycle time makes producing kindling difficult.

    IMO in a one-man operation, any of the SpeeCo/Huskee or I&O/Brave models under 15 sec. cycle time would make me happy.
    MasterMech likes this.
  11. jonwright

    jonwright Member

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    Anyone used the MANUAL loader on the Timberwolf??? Hows it do at lifting a 24" long by 36" diameter log??? Of COURSE the dealer is going to tell me it's fine....trees are kinda big around here....especially when you scrounge and it's the old ones that have blown over in storms.
  12. Elderthewelder

    Elderthewelder Minister of Fire

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    I dont worry to much about cycle time, most of the time I do not even let the cylinder retract more than half way before putting in another piece of wood to split
  13. John_M

    John_M Minister of Fire

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    Let me second MasterMech's plug for the Iron and Oak 2609 H/V Splitter.

    He also recommended "...skipping the log cradle..." on this splitter. One year ago I would have agreed with him. However, I/O (Brave Products) has since improved these cradle supports and they are now significantly heavier and "beefier" than the earlier version. About 9 months ago I purchased a set of these newer brackets from Brave Products. Installed them on my 2609 H/V and they have yet to bend after about 6 cords of splitting. A significant improvement over the earlier brackets. The log dislodger remains a very convenient feature and well worth the few dollars involved.

    Because of its "never fail" performance I would not hesitate recommending this splitter to others. It is user friendly, has easily split all the gnarly/knotty wood being fed, has never had any "issues" other than the original cradle brackets, and has no oil leaks. After approx. 25 cords of splitting, the wedge is essentially as sharp as new. Splitting buddies always comment on its efficiency and reliability.

    Best wishes and good luck. ;)
  14. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I'm listening but...... Pics or it didn't happen! Let's see it! I was just about to order a 33flame setup for it but now I gotta see yours.

    Ran about 1 cord of Pignut Hickory through mine last night. Surprisingly miserable stuff to split, exceptionally heavy and reluctant to completely separate. More knots than I expected too. The splitter didn't grunt but I sure did. ;lol
  15. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest


    Are talking a H/V Timberwolf model or one of their dedicated horizontals with an outfeed table and log lift? Makes a big difference IMO as far as that extra $1000 is concerned. If it is indeed the horz. model then that's apples and oranges as for comparing it to the I&O BHVH2609.
  16. jonwright

    jonwright Member

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    why is it apples and oranges comparison? I need to split large and small logs, and there are two ways to do that without spending $5-6k on a horizontal unit with a hydraulic log lift (which would be nice for sure):

    Horizontal/Vert unit or Horizontal unit with manual log lift......

    Didn't see a horizontal I&O unit with manual log lift. I know I can have someone build one for me but I'd rather have someone else design it that knows what they are doing (i.e. splitter manufacturer) and I'm not willing to spend a lot of time tweaking with it.
  17. John_M

    John_M Minister of Fire

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    MasterMech, your slightest wish is my command! Sometime this afternoon I will take a photo of the original and newest brackets side-by-side. The difference is significant. But, Uh-Oh, now I must learn to upload photos. This should be interesting. You might have to be very patient for the photos to arrive. ;em
  18. John_M

    John_M Minister of Fire

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    OK, MasterMech, here is my first effort at uploading photos:

    IMG_0414.JPG IMG_0415.JPG IMG_0416.JPG IMG_0417.JPG IMG_0410.JPG

    jesus, what a disaster! I spent a long, confusing time learning the upload procedure and still do not know how the one photo arrived lower than the others. I'll sort it out one of these days - just takes time.

    The various photos clearly show the difference in metal thickness between the older and newer log cradle brackets. Notice the triangular gusset on the new bracket (below) where it bolts to the "I" beam. ;em

    Attached Files:

    MasterMech likes this.
  19. ditchrider

    ditchrider Burning Hunk

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    I've gotta go with MM here. Granted I've never tested one, never even laid hands on one, but I/O looks really awesome on paper. I've studied up quite a bit on things - hp, tonnage, cycle time, frame design. They build a very well thought out product for the high performance (non-commercial) consumer in mind. It seems pricey; however when you consider they bump up the pump and engine and then engineer the frame around it, compared to the lower end manufacturers, it is a machine I would like to own. If a guy has quite a bit of splitting to get done, and doesn't want to just tinker around, I would lay money down that an I/O would produce more cords in the same time frame given the same tonnage.

    BUT.... if they would just stick a diesel power plant ::-)!!! on their machine, that would make my decision to buy final. But then they would have to switch colors from blue to... yellow and black>> . (now i'll just cringe and wait for his rebuttal)
  20. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    My Huskee 28 ton has a Honda engine. It won't stop for anything. I have put the ugliest of uglies in Oak, Maple, Elm whatever. Can get these for 1800 or so. I was talked out of the 35 ton by the TSC manager; he said the Honda put out better torque than the B&S on the 35 ton and it was a cheaper option. Don't take a 4 way splitting wedge into consideration for most splitters. They are NOT FOR HARDWOOD unless you get the Speeco heavy duty 4 way. I personally would not go that route. It is hard enough to get the right size split without having to gauge so many factors. If you want to split 16 inch logs quickly and easily, get a section of 12 x 12 block and cut it so that it can be a block for your 16 inch log between the log and the foot of the cradle. This will allow the automatic return to cycle completely to its' own while you get the next log or spin the current log to the next position. The log cradle is worth every penny as a add on too. Save the strain and time required to deal with larger logs. These Huskee splitters vertical and horizontal, which will help with the big'ns. I usually bust the big ones down to quarters or sixths and then finish them off horizontally. Beware, there is a fella in our midst that will try and talk you into splitting everything vertically. He is from another planet! ::-) Don't be fooled!
    ditchrider likes this.
  21. ditchrider

    ditchrider Burning Hunk

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    He's not from another planet. He probably puts a teaspoon of diesel and sugar in his morning coffee just like the rest of us. >>
  22. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Backwoods Savage . . . he is the world's most interesting man. He doesn't always split wood . . . but when he does it's vertical. Keep splitting friends.
    TreePointer and MofoG23 like this.
  23. ditchrider

    ditchrider Burning Hunk

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    Oh I knew who you were talking about. The old man on the milk carton crate.;) Just one step short of having his picture on a box of "Wheaties".
  24. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Very nice. I wonder if I can get them to send me a set or do I have to fork out the dough for 'em?

    Wow did you get sold. Don't get me wrong, the 28 ton is a solid machine but damn did that TSC employee earn his check that day!

    190cc Honda GC outmuscling a 342cc Briggs Intek = Toyota Tacoma outpulling a PowerStroke Diesel. Sorry but displacement is king and with nearly twice the cubes, you're going to have a hard time telling me that Honda will out-grunt the Briggs. I don't think the one-lung Intek engines are all that but there's just no way that little GC is stronger.

    Being that the Honda GC engine really isn't all that expensive, I'd love to see them put that 5hp/11gpm combo on the 4 inch (22 ton) cylinder. Maybe add another $100 to the price and sell 'em for 1200. My Iron & Oak BHVH2609 is available delivered to your door (Caveat: You do have to assemble it yourself and fill it with fluid) for around $2200. And I'd argue any day that it's far more than $400 more machine than the 28 ton Speeco/Huskee.

    The 28 Ton is their slowest moving model, most opt for the 22 ton I imagine on price alone, the 35 ton is for those who gotta have bigger/better than the other guy. I think my local TSC still has the same 3 28 ton units they had when they opened 2 yrs ago. ;lol The 22 tons rarely last a week.
  25. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    I can see you are not a 28 ton Huskee fan! I paid 1350 for mine vs. 1800 for the 35. Money was an issue in the purchase, but I did not want to save another few hundred to give up the extra frame size, engince capacity and manufacturer to go with the 22 ton. The GC may not be all that Honda is known for, but there is a reason it commands a premium price. That engine starts on the second pull everytime and is easy on the fuel.

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