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Task Force 5-ton electric splitter

Post in 'The Gear' started by raybonz, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Well I bit the bullet today and bought the Lowes Task Force 5-ton electric splitter today.. At 1st I was impressed how good it looked..
    Then I ran some large splits that I had split by hand to a size I could pick up and carry.. The splitter did a pretty decent job especially if the grain was straight.. After an hr. or so the motor wouldn't start and just growled so I suspected the centrifugal start switch not reclosing and the motor was trying to start on the run winding.. I took a small screw driver and the motor turned freely so I tried starting it again and this time it started and ran OK.. Yup the switch in the motor is defective already.. Before you ask the splitter is directly connected to a 20 amp. gfci outlet I installed a ways back.. Had trouble with the motor starting quite a few times and figured I'd return it after today however one split was a bit uneven and when the pusher drove the split into the wedge it bent both pusher rods about 25 degrees and the plastic bearing piece popped out!! Needless to say I am returning this unit for a refund as I feel the bent rod issue will resurface again on a new unit.. I can write off the start switch issue as a fluke but not the mchanical problem.. I will say it is quite powerful for an inexpensive splitter however longevity seems to be a problem.. Called Lowes and they said no problem getting a refund so it's going back tomorrow... These splitters handle pine easily but gnarly oak is a bit of a challenge but it can handle it trying different spots to split it.. Around here oak is very common and is the firewood of choice as it should be.. Bottom line if you buy this splitter be sure your wood is cut pretty squarely or you too will see this same problem...

    Ray

    Edit: I was pretty aggravated when I wrote the above and I am now considering returning it for a new one.. The manual does clearly state that the logs must be cut squarely and that one wasn't for sure.. I went back outside and split another log and sure enough it straightened the pusher out .. The pusher on these splitters is actually pulled by the ram ... If I decide to exchange it for another one I think I will opt for the 3 yr. extended warranty which covers everything.. Probably a good investment on this item.. While at the store walking with the splitter on the cart I ran into another guy that had bought the same splitter the week before and he loved it and suggested I buy the Werner aluminum work platform which raises the splitter 20" and that works out perfect for the splitter height..

    Edit edit: I did return the splitter and Lowes refunded my money with no problem..

    Edit edit edit: Couldn't find a better deal and I know Lowes will refund/exchange for 30 days so I went back and bought it again plus the price is now $279.00 instead of $299.00 plus I had a 10% off coupon so I paid $251.00 and took it home and ran the crap out of it and followed someone's advice to use cooking spray to lube it up.. Used it on the pusher slide surface and wedge.. Takes very little and prevents lots of scrapes.. The splitter ran great and handles some pretty gnarly oak and white pine is like splitting nothing.. The problem I had with the 1st splitter motor not starting seems ok on this one..Overall I was pleased how powerful it is for an inexpensive unit and the price is right.. I have split about a cord of oak with it and it has pretty much paid for itself today...I strongly advise buying the $43.00 Werner folding aluminum work platform as it places the splitter at a good height to work from...

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  2. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Just bumping it up as there are new edits that are worth reading especially if you're thinking of buying this splitter...

    Ray
  3. Gazdik

    Gazdik Member

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    I have been looking at these thanks for the review!!

    Gazdik
  4. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    You're welcome! If you want to save another 10% go to http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=pg&ln=cstln4&p=/moving/index.html and fill out the form and you'll receive a 10% off your entire purchase up to $5000 can be spent...I bought both the splitter and the work platform for under 300 before taxes!! Just tell 'em you're moving lol .. Worked for me!

    Ray
  5. Stevebass4

    Stevebass4 Minister of Fire

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    what's the work platform? i have a ryobi that works well but i didn't see a platform option
  6. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Hey Steve how ya been neighbor? Thought you was gonna drop in sometime and check out the wood shelter.. The work platform is a generic product made by the ladder company Werner.. Here is the link:

    http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=146404-287-AP-20-MP6

    Ray

    PS Same product at Home Depot is $4.00 cheaper: http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc...splay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053
  7. nlittle

    nlittle New Member

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    I have the Homelite (same as ryobi) and just sit in a low chair while splitting...not too bad, but the platform looks cool.
  8. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Basically I took the easy way out lol.. It's just easier for me to stand while splitting as I move around alot plus I had a few logs go flying off the splitter and I was able to move out of the way.. Oak sure does hurt when it gets ya! I do wear steel toed boots and I am glad I did as I had a few chunks drop on them.. I do like the platform cuz it folds for storage and it is very light plus I can use it for other things too.. If another customer didn't mention it to me I wouldn't have thought to buy it..

    Ray
  9. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Pics of splitter..

    Attached Files:

  10. Stevebass4

    Stevebass4 Minister of Fire

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    pretty cool idea for a work table!! and i was going to stop by however, i haven't been down your way much this past summer
  11. brokeburner

    brokeburner New Member

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    I have the same splitter have split countless cords with it for sure a good buy . The one thing wrong was it wouldnt split a beast of a round i kept boggin it down on it (shouldnt have). but now it wont return without jigglen the handle. sometimes quite difficult to get to return . So if you get one if it wont split the log set it to the side or try repositoining the log.
  12. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Thanx but the table idea was mentioned by another customer at Lowes that day that bought one to use with his splitter so I can't take credit for the idea but it is a good fit for these little splitters..

    Ray
  13. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Thanx for the advice! I have run into a few tough ones and have set them aside.. Wonder if you bent something that could be replaced? In researching electric log splitters I found many negative comments that these splitters don't have enough power but I find that it handles mostly everything except the gnarliest stuff.. Wish I had this before I got a bad case of tendonitis from the sledge and wedge routine.. My elbow joints have been messed up for 6 mos. now! Getting old sux!! lol

    Ray
  14. Stevebass4

    Stevebass4 Minister of Fire

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    beats the alternative ;) i've got 4 cord thought my ryobi. the big stuff i shaved down the sides rather than go through the middle

    found a new log guy last year and he dropped off HUGE logs so i had to purchase a gas splitter. still use the Ryobi for kindling
  15. Brian VT

    Brian VT Minister of Fire

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    Have any of you looked at your electric meter when running these ?
    I've been messing with an old electric splitter I picked up for $25. A buddy had me go watch my meter while he ran a log through.
    I don't know the co$t but that wheel sure spins a lot faster when running the splitter. Do you think it's a concern ? Any idea how it would compare to the cost of gasoline ?
  16. precaud

    precaud Minister of Fire

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    Looks great, Ray. Glad it's working well for you.

    I give mine about 1 second of bogging before I stop it and rearrange the wood. Blowing a hydraulic seal would be a major PITA to fix.
  17. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Think it would cost much less to operate as it is on only when splitting... Not a concern for me.. Gas isn't cheap plus you have the noise and maintenance issues too not to mention gas must be run outdoors only.. Electricity is based on KWh or kilowatt hrs, you can do the math.. I think the 3 hrs I used today it actually ran about an hour total (probably less)...

    Ray
  18. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    I hear ya the blowout diagram looks like it was drawn for a space shuttle lol... Thing has a zillion parts! If it loads I drop it out rt. away to avoid potential trouble.. I am still amazed how much oomph this thing has~!
  19. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Steve,
    If you don't mind me asking how much does a cord cost buying in tree lengths? Is it really worth the cost of a gas splitter plus all the bullwork? Storage would be an issue for me with a gas splitter too.. Just curious...

    Ray
  20. Stevebass4

    Stevebass4 Minister of Fire

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    my old log guy would drop off a cord (+/-) for $70.00 which were perfect sized logs for the ryobi

    but the new log guy's the last load cost me $400.00 and i got seven cord out of it. what motivated me to get a gas one was simply the size of the logs that the new guy dropped off plus the fact that i plan on burning wood for a long time. i also got a good deal last jan from lowes for the troy built (33 ton for $1,600)

    but you're right Ray, it is a lot of bull work moving the splitter and huge rounds around -

    i'm a bit lucky with regards to storage as the neighbor lady lets me store the splitter in her garage (she's a wood burner to) . one difference is the speed - my ryobi is a lot slower than my troy built but they both serve a purpose
  21. Skier76

    Skier76 Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the review and the pics. I'm kicking around the possibility of getting an electric unit down the road. Good to know there are more choices out there now with the big box stores. I noticed that many local one in CT didn't have them until recently.
  22. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Thanx for the info Steve.. What happened to your old log guy? As you know I live in Carver, where are these log guys located? My wife would have a baby if I showed up with a big splitter lol.. If I could score logs under 10" for 70 clams that would be worth the trouble and my little splitter could handle it too.. My landscaper dropped a big oak for me (about 24" at the trunk) and helped me section it but I had to hand split lots of it because the rounds were too heavy to move.. I got about a cord from that oak tree.. This splitter will pay for itself fast plus the tendonitis really sucks.. I do have several gnarly rounds I can't split so I will try to use a "real" splitter to get those pieces done.. I usually work alone so cycle time means nothing to me as I rarely need to wait for the splitter..


    Ray
  23. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    You're welcome! The reason Lowes didn't have them until recently is Lowes considers splitters to be a seasonal item.. So if you plan on buying one of these don't wait too long or they'll be gone again..

    Ray
  24. Stevebass4

    Stevebass4 Minister of Fire

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    my first log guy was in Medway ma and i found him though craigslist - for whatever reason he just seemed to disappear - i called twice for more wood but he never called back.

    then i noticed a guy down the street with a TON of big logs so i called him up and asked him where he got them and he gave me the name of a local tree company in Walpole - I stopped by last spring and he hooked me up.

    I know most of these guys do not want to travel too far to deliver logs (my Walpole guy wouldn’t deliver to my buddy’s home in Norton) so your best bet is to call the local tree companies and ask them if they sell log length
  25. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Thanx for the advice Steve I will keep that in mind.. I have split over a cord with the Task Force splitter and it has worked really well.. I think I had a odd shaped piece and managed to tweak the tube on the operators side but caught it before it bent much.. These units have enough power to self destruct if given the chance! Only have a few pieces that are beyond this splitter so no complaints..

    Ray

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