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Swisher 12 Ton Splitter "Sportsman's Guide Special"

Post in 'The Gear' started by Iembalm4aLiving, Oct 18, 2011.

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  1. Iembalm4aLiving

    Iembalm4aLiving Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
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    Loc:
    N.E. Ohio
    Hey gang,

    I bought this log splitter from the Sportsman Guide and thought you might enjoy a more in-depth review.

    Here goes! I got it here:




    Swisher Log splitter






    And here it is:



    [​IMG]


    I've been on the hunt for the smallest gas powered splitter I could find. I don't have an abundance of storage space for a full-sized splitter, and I don't think my needs require one.

    This splitter can be had for $539 if you belong to the Sportsman Guide Club (a $29 membership will save you $60 off the regular price.) Of course, you need it delivered to where you are, so add $120 for truck shipping. (I opted to spend an additional $75 to have lift gate service.) So delivered, my unit cost $763.99.

    The unit came in about a week, very well packaged on a pallet.

    You do have to do a small amount of assembly-attaching the handle/hydro oil tank to the frame, and attaching the piston assembly to the frame. A few bolts, a few minutes, and you're ready to go.


    I did have one problem, albeit minor--one hydraulic hose was slightly kinked. A minute with a few wrenches solved that problem.

    [​IMG]




    Let's check it out. The specs:

    Swisher 12 Ton Log splitter
    19" log length
    500 Series (158cc) Briggs & Stratton engine (website claims 475 series, w/ 148 cc)
    2-stage pump with heavy-duty bearings, 11 gallons per minute
    Heavy-duty 13 x 5" pneumatic rubber tires and steel pull handle for easy transport

    It has an interesting clutch system which allows you to disconnect the pump when starting the engine. Easier starts in the cold, I guess.

    Here's the clutch lever (yellow):

    [​IMG]
    And underneath. A simple pulley/tensioner system to engage/disengage the pump.

    [​IMG]




    The vertical setup is a bit unusual in that this model has an exposed, plastic hydraulic tank attached at the handle.

    [​IMG]

    At first this turned me off, but as I've gotten more familiar with the splitter the design is growing on me. It is made of a very heavy-duty plastic.





    Another nice touch: Zerk fittings on the wheels, with sealed bearings.

    [​IMG]




    As far as I can tell, all the hoses are of high quality, stamped "Made in USA." The hydro valve is marked "Energy."

    [​IMG]




    She comes bone dry, so some fluids are in order before we start!

    It comes with 20 oz. of SAE30 oil. In it goes.

    [​IMG]





    The manual calls for either ATF or Hydro oil. I opted for 2 gallons of Walmart's finest. (You'll use most of it.)
    [​IMG]/


    Here's where that plastic tank is cool--instant visual check of fluid level anytime!

    Okay, tank filled:

    [​IMG]




    Added some gasoline, and fired her up.

    The Briggs engine is probably the least impressive part of this setup in my book. Don't get me wrong, it starts and runs fine...does it's job without working too hard. I guess I've been spoiled with the newer designs of the Hondas and Kohlers in my outdoor power equipment stable. My only real complaint is there is no way to drain the oil. A look underneath the splitter shows no access to the usual drain hole on these engines. There is no other drain. I suppose your options are to tip the whole unit on it's side (yikes!) or buy some sort of vacuum drain kit.

    Anyway, after getting the engine primed it started fine. At full throttle I'd guess the engine is running around 2,800 or so RPMs....somewhat loafing along. That's good in my book--should last longer.

    So, how does it work?

    Check it out!



    http://youtu.be/PMZUYMI2FoY


    The second round you see in the video is about 18" in diameter, 17" long. The 2 stage pump does it's job and just powers through the wood. I've since thrown some nasty crotch pieces under there, and it handles it all just fine. My guess is that it will handle 99% of my wood splitting needs.

    I'm very happy with my purchase. Of course, we're still on our honeymoon, and I'll have to check in after living together a few years.

    This is a fantastic value for the homeowner. If you need one, you'd better snatch one quick.

    This model is no longer shown on Swisher's website, so it's probably a discontinued unit. I did call customer service regarding the hose kink, and they were very helpful and happy to talk to me. It has a 1 year warranty.


    If anyone has any questions, I'm happy to answer them!
    Greg

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Nice review & video!
  3. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    I like it. 12 ton capacity would probably fill my needs, since I'm a PNW softwood burner. When I bought my splitter I was looking for a 20-ton, as I thought that was about the bottom of the gas-powered capacity, and I didn't want electric. I ended up with a 27-ton, simply because that's what was available locally to tow home that day (and that's the kind of shopper I am...used to drive my wife nuts :lol: ). I'm primarily a horizontal splitter, but for that price, if I didn't already have a machine, I might seriously rethink the importance of configuration. In any case, that's a real nice, thorough, informative review, and a good looking machine...thanks for posting it! Rick
  4. Iembalm4aLiving

    Iembalm4aLiving Feeling the Heat

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    I meant to thank JotulOwner for giving the heads up on this splitter--Thanks Art!!!!!
  5. Joey

    Joey Feeling the Heat

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    Thanx for taking all the time to post your review and tons of photos.......much appreciated....
  6. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Quite the impressive little unit! Now all you need is a milk crate! ;-P

    It does seem to kick into the second stage rather quickly as soon as the wedge hits the wood. Wonder if the kick-down valve is adjustable? I just can't leave anything alone. :)
  7. fireview2788

    fireview2788 Minister of Fire

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    Looks good, thanks for the info. I would bet it is discontinued which is why Sportsman's Guide has them cheap.


    f v
  8. Iembalm4aLiving

    Iembalm4aLiving Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    N.E. Ohio
    Hey guys....I re-uploaded the video to fix the aspect ratio jump that the first one had....weird.
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