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Splitter review - Brave XR1220/1222

Post in 'The Gear' started by TMonter, Sep 14, 2013.

  1. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1,494
    Loc:
    Hayden, ID
    I've been splitting by hand now going on 10 years and this year because of time and my kids being old enough to help decided to finally look at purchasing a new splitter.

    I'm a bit picture short but will add more to the review tomorrow, I could swear I took more pictures with my camera but obviously not.

    While I was looking at new splitters I had a few features I was really looking for:

    1) Horizontal operation mainly

    2) Around 20-25 tons

    3) Reasonably fast cycle time

    4) Axle not welded to the oil tank

    5) Good quality welds with an established history

    6) Cylinder supported at the end and not on tabs welded to the side (seen several failures on splitters with this mounting).

    I looked into several brands Speeco/Huskee, Ariens, Iron & Oak / Brave, Super Split

    I spotted this Brave at the local Big R on clearance since it was last year's model and was a series of splitters made specifically for Big R with a smaller cylinder and a faster cycle time than the typical XR1222.

    DSCN0168.JPG

    The specs are:

    Horizontal/Vertical operation
    11 second cycle time
    Towable
    5 gallon oil tank
    Square tube fabricated beam construction
    Briggs Quantum 625 series engine
    2-Stage 11 GPM Pump

    I bought the unit for $899 and they included the 5 gallons of tractor fluid but no engine oil for the motor. The engine oil wasn't a problem since I had full synthetic at home for all my other power equipment.

    I got the unit home last week, added the oil to the splitter and then followed the procedure to prime the pump and fill the cylinder. Took about 20 minutes to get all the oil into the tank and make sure the engine was gassed up.

    The only thing about the unit I didn't like was the lack of a hydraulic filter but that can be added for about 30 bucks which is something I plan on doing later this year. I spoke with Brave products and they told me that adding the filter would not change the warranty.

    I've used the splitter now for a week and have split about 4 cords of wood with it. I've been splitting mainly Red Fir and Tamarack with a bit of lodgepole pine mixed in. So far the splitter performs great and I've had no issues. The Briggs engine fires up in 1 pull every time and the cycle time is acceptable since generally speaking I don't use the whole cycle. I've thrown a few pretty knotty pieces at it and it's powered through with no issues.

    I have noticed I can split a lot more wood in less time than I usually do manually and I've taken to splitting wood as it comes off the truck to minimize the amount of times I have to handle it before it's stacked.

    DSCN0167.JPG

    So far I'm pleased with the splitter, especially given the quality of the construction. The folks at Big R did a pretty good job on assembly and none of the connections were loose on the hoses. Given the performance so far I would buy the unit again. I'll keep everyone posted and add some more pictures later this week. I'll also post pictures when I add the inline filter in the next month or so.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013

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  2. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Good price on that unit! Given the smaller cylinder on an 11 gpm pump, the cycle time should be pretty good no?

    It would be better if you could swing adding that filter before the unit gets too much use. Most of the metal debris that will cause wear will come from the pump breaking in during the first few hours of operation.
  3. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    Hayden, ID
    I'll be buying a hydraulic filter for it this week and installing it and will post pictures of the install. I'm sure I'll have to fabricate a bracket for the filter.
  4. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Loc:
    Northern IL
    T - in the future I believe it is still recommended that the break in for new (small) motors is done with dino squeez'ins. The Syn stuff is too slippery to seat the rings.

    (MM can confirm or deny this I am sure).
  5. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Hayden, ID
    Very possible for small motors. I'll change the oil here this week at the 5 hour mark and will put Briggs 30W for the next 10 hours of run time or so before winter.
  6. MarkinNC

    MarkinNC Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Leicester, NC
    I was looking at splitters online last night and those Brave machines are not cheap. I believe that deal was beyond smokin.
  7. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Denied! Synthetic is fine for breaking in a new engine, big or small. Those rings will seat just fine. I have two small four cycle and at least 2 two-strokes that have never seen anything but high grade synthetics. Won't kill an older engine either. ;)
  8. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Hmmm...interesting. It does appear that conventional wisdom (of using dino juice) has been overturned. From a Road and Track Technical Correspondence:

    "To find out, we spoke with Mobil and Redline Oil companies for their take on the synthetic break-in question. Mobil's response was that engines break-in just fine on synthetics, and that any wear point in the engine significant enough to be an interference, and thus susceptible to rapid wear, would be a wear point no matter what lubricant is used."

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