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Thinking of buying a splitter, just want some advise.

Post in 'The Gear' started by Josh Hufford, May 11, 2013.

  1. Josh Hufford

    Josh Hufford New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2012
    Messages:
    69
    Loc:
    Jefferson City, Missouri
    I've always hand split, but I'm starting to have some physical problems from it now so I'm thinking about buying a splitter. I've only used one once, and it was a very large friends unit powered from a tractor. I don't have a tractor so I'll need a self powered unit. I looked at the Huskee 22 ton at TSC last night, they have it priced at $1099, it seemed nice but I have no idea what it is capable of. I would like to spend as little as possible as I really wasn't expecting this expense right now, but I don't want to buy something too small or too cheap that I will regret. I usually cut my wood in 16-18" lengths, and like to split to fairly small pieces for better drying and easier loading. I don't have my own place to cut wood so I pretty much take what I can get from scrounges ect, so sometimes my pieces have a lot of knots or are pretty large. Will this be able to handle what I need? How do you do very large rounds in a splitter like this? Do you split it on one side then rotate the round 180 deg and split it on the other side? I've been watching Craigslist for a used one too but no luck so far. Thanks for any advise you can give!

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  2. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
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    15,969
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    22 ton huskie will do just about any round out there. Unless your running 100cc+ saw and cutting elm.
  3. Clarkbug

    Clarkbug Minister of Fire

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    Dec 20, 2010
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    977
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    General consensus on the Huskee splitters is pretty good, they are made by Speeco. From various threads, I would say ask to have a unit started and test run before you leave the store, that way you can see if its leaking oil or if it assembled properly.

    The splitter should be able to handle most anything you can throw at it as far as knots are concerned.

    For large rounds, you would want to tip the splitter vertical, waddle a round over to it, take a split, then rotate, and repeat until you get it to the size you want it.

    Good luck!
  4. MrWhoopee

    MrWhoopee Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    Messages:
    567
    Loc:
    Shingletown, Northern California (elev. 4000 ft.)
    At the risk of sounding like a broken record, check out the small electric splitters.
    Mine is a 5-ton Homelite, but there are numerous models under different brand names which utilitze the same motor/pump combination, including a 2-speed 7-ton unit from Harbor Freight.

    P1000981.JPG P1000982.JPG

    At $300 (Home Depot), these are little workhorses. They won't power through those twisted/crotchey pieces, but the judicious use of your chainsaw and an eye for the weak spot in a log will allow them to split almost anything you can handle. The round in the pictures is 25 in. diameter douglas fir.

    This thread has a 25% off coupon for HF which you can print out.

    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/discount-coupons.107788/
  5. Bigfoot

    Bigfoot Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Messages:
    65
    Loc:
    Hi Desert Southern California 3000' level
    I want one of those homelites, I think they are $300 from homedepot. for $1000 I can get another saw, ha -Mike
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan

    Josh, it sounds like you are where we were many moons ago. I had to quit splitting by hand so got a splitter. I was going into it blind as the only splitters I'd seen were on tractors and they were, well, lacking a lot. One evening I stopped at the farm store and there were no customers as they were about to close. The splitters were all set up indoors and on sale.

    Manager saw us looking and came over. I told him that yes, we were thinking about a splitter but not seeing any of them work I did not know what to get or even if I wanted one. He asked questions and then pointed to the smallest splitter, a 20 ton unit (MTD with a 5 hp B&S engine) and said that would do everything we needed done. Naturally we asked questions too and in the end I offered him some dollars less than advertised....and he took it. But before I offered my comment to him was, "What if I buy this and take it home only to find it won't do the job I want done?" His reply was, "If that happens, you bring it back to the store and I'll refund all of your money."

    I bought. If you hear a loud "Whoppee!" 20 some odd years ago, that was probably me when I split the first log with that thing! I was amazed. Naturally I threw some hard splitting stuff at it and it made splitting very easy. I was one happy camper.

    But, how has that splitter held up? As stated, we bought this over 20 years ago and have split somewhere around 300 cord of wood. Our total cost for repairs have been $0.00. The only thing I have done is I had to re-tie the rope end of the pull starter as the knot gave out. No cost there. I do admit that it is using some oil and I thought about replacing the engine but for some odd reason this year it does not seem to be using much oil at all! So, the little B&S engine that most people bash has been good for us. (btw, the MTD is basically the same as the Huskee and I think they are built by the same company.)

    I will admit we had one piece that it did not split. Perhaps it would have if I'd turned the split around and messed with it a bit but it was not worth it to me. I threw it on the brush pile and forgot about it.

    While we have split mainly white ash for the last 10 years (because all our ash trees are dead), we have also split lots of elm, maple, oak, cherry, box elder and no doubt several other species because we have loaned the splitter to friends (too much of this!). Just before coming on the forum today I was splitting red and white oak plus some ash. Splitter can outwork the operator for sure.

    Of course my advice is to be sure to get a splitter that will split vertically. This way you won't have to be lifting the big stuff. You can just roll it onto the butt plate and split. I do it but probably don't get many logs that are in excess of 250 pounds. If they are bigger then I'd get some help to move them but usually can handle them fairly easy. I always have my cant hook and pickeroon handy when splitting. I also do my splitting while sitting. No sense in working any harder than necessary.

    Good luck.

    EDIT: Forgot to answer on how I split the big ones. Best I can say is that it depends on the log. Some I split down the middle while others I slice from the sides. You learn quickly what is the easiest.
    PapaDave likes this.
  7. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    Sep 14, 2008
    Messages:
    3,397
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    SE MI
    You won't do any better for the price than the Huskee/Speeco. I wouldn't bother looking for used. Around here they are pretty rare, about $200 less than new and get bought up in a second. Or they are homemade and of questionable workmanship.

    I have split some crazy stuff. For really big rounds, it is easier to move the splitter to the round. If it doesn't split, you reposition the splitter. I guess, though, if you brought it home it probably isn't that big. For the most part, if it doesn't split then that skinny wedge slices thru. I have tossed maybe a half dozen chunks that wouldn't split, and they were reaaallllly nasty crotches from some 4'+ red oaks.
  8. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    So Cent ALASKA
    Like said
    Best bang for your buck is this one: Huskee 22 ton

    Made by speeco. Good reputation here. Not much it won't split.
    TreePointer likes this.
  9. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    Feb 6, 2009
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    Loc:
    Eastern Ma
    Dennis

    Tell the truth, you fished that miserable piece out of the brush and that's the one you brought to Woodstock and asked me to split by hand!
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  10. Josh Hufford

    Josh Hufford New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2012
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    69
    Loc:
    Jefferson City, Missouri
    Well guys I got the 22 ton Huskee, it really works great. Thanks for the advice. I have a few questions about maintenance, but I'll start a new thread for that.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  11. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Michigan
    And I thought the secret was safe! ;lol

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