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Which splitter?

Post in 'The Gear' started by fmelani, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. I'm not saying there is. But if you read through the complaints quite a few have nothing to do with fuel. I'm sure you could find similar complaints about any brand that competes on price instead of quality.

    But once a respected brand goes down the path of producing the cheapest product its buyer beware. Just look at porter cable, homelite etc.

    I often pick up old lawn and garden equipment on the side of the road or the dump to fix and sell. Can't say I've ever scored anything with a Honda engine. Plenty of bs, kohler and Tecumseh. Either Hondas never break or people know they are worth fixing ;)

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  2. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I like honda gx series. Their gc series is no better than the Briggs. At the price premium of the GX series - they better have a good track record.::P
  3. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum Frank.

    There have been numerous debates on the different splitters. The I & O has always got good reviews and most of the Huskee reviews also have been good. So, I'll tell a little about what we have and will add that zap and Brother Bart have the same machines which are MTD but basically the same as the Huskee brand.

    In the late 1980's we bought an MTD 20 ton with a 5 hp B&S engine. It has served us well all these years and we've split a lot of wood. Not just for ourselves but for others too. We are well over 200 full cord of wood split with this machine and the only repair we've done so far is to retie a knot in the starter rope as the end popped off. Certainly no problem there so we can say the splitter has been an excellent buy and basically problem free.

    I do admit that the engine is showing signs of problems. Sadly, it is using oil and a neighbor borrowed it and although I told him the problem and asked that he shut it off after an hour and add some oil, it did not get done. I even supplied the oil! :mad: So I've sort of babied it along but know that sooner or later I'll have to replace the engine. Still, it is well over 20 years old! A lot of running time on that machine and basically trouble-free.

    So with this I have no fear of replacing the engine when we have to with another B&S. Any engine that lasts as well as ours has is a good engine. It also has always been very easy to start with one pull. Easy on gas too.

    And of course I highly recommend you get a splitter that is able to stand vertically because that is the easiest way to split wood. No need to lift the logs up onto the splitter. If you look at my avatar you'll see my standard splitting profile. Sitting all the time which really saves the body.

    Good luck on whichever machine you decide on.
  4. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    I have a 2009 build Huskee 35-ton splitter, and I've been very happy with it. It has a B&S engine and has never given me any trouble even in 20::F weather. The SpeeCo/Huskee/Oregon in-beam cradle is a great feature and the price includes hydro fluid and a beefy log dislodger (an extra on I&O/Brave). The two level wedge is a nice design, as is its extra height for larger rounds. My one minor complaint is that I wish its 15s factory rated cycle time were faster. Some folks say cycle time isn't important but it is to the to me and the how I split wood.
  5. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Wouldn't be the first rental to have a weak/worn-out pump.

    With any splitter you can trade power for speed or vice versa. More HP is required when you need/want more of both.

    One of the big things I like about the I & O is the wedge. It's high carbon steel, tougher than nails. Cast Iron or mild steel would be much easier to nick the edge. That sharp edge helps mine power right through knots and crotches. It'll tear through logs sideways but I don't ask it too.
    John_M likes this.
  6. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

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    No opinion, just a few facts on my end. I have had a lot of B&S engines and never wore one out yet. The machines broke, but the BS was still going. I have had other brands and not worn them out either.

    When I was young and poor, and my "hand me down" lawn mower quit, I bought the cheapest, smallest lawn mower they had, B&S engine. It was not what I wanted at all, but all I could afford. So I abused it. NEVER changed the oil and seldom cleaned the air filter, never changed the plug, left gas in it year around. Long after the time came that I could finally afford a better lawn mower, I finally bought one, even though the old cheapy was still going. I gave it to my son who was young and poor. He used it for several years and gave it to his brother in law. He used it until he could buy a new one. Last time I knew, it still started on a couple of pulls.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  7. I have a friend, my tree service guy. After borrowing my north star he decided to go with a I & O. Since he cuts his firewood to sell at 16" he put a collar on the ram so it doesn't fully retract. The collar put pressure on the wedge when the ram was retracted. When the bolt that holds the wedge to the ram came loose and worked itself halfway out it put an uneven load on the wedge. Which caused the wedge to break where the bolt goes through.

    He was just here taking some measurements off my north star to see if he could use the wedge on his I O since they are relatively cheap through northern tool.

    Some people can break anything.
  8. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Ain't that the truth.
  9. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Truer words have never been spoken. I know a guy that could screw up a granite bolder with a nerf gun.
  10. I also noticed last spring lowes had a bunch of splitters out front. Half had a bs engine. Half had a Honda gx. Same price. Guess which ones were sitting around this fall?
  11. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Well that is a no-brainer. "Here - you can have this hand saw that will reliably cut down trees for years...or for the same price you can have this Stihl MS290 that will reliably cut down trees for years.";lol
    tfdchief likes this.
  12. Yeah, my point was the op can watch tsc and lowes and a Honda powered huskee may show up for the same price. Best of both worlds :)
  13. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Agreed.
  14. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    Interesting. I've never seen a splitter with a Honda GX engine at my Lowes. I've seen Honda GC at Lowes.

    Unless the Briggs engine was a Vanguard (commercial grade) then someone made a big mistake in pricing the Honda GX (commercial grade) the same price as the Briggs.
  15. It was the28 ton model. The splitter had a grey beam. Definitely the gx engine with a red and white color scheme with the metal gas tank on top. Cost was ~1800. I remember thinking that's what I would have bought of it had been available when I was looking. I didn't notice what bs engine they had.
  16. Nixon

    Nixon Minister of Fire

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    To the OP ...... Look at American CLS splitters . Not inexpensive , but not over the top either.
  17. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Hasn't happened yet, they insist on using a Honda GC to power the 28 ton version (way too slow!). They should just put the 22 ton cylinder on that machine and call it a $1200 dollar splitter. I'd buy that over the 27 ton Troy-Bilt for $1300 anyday.

    But then again - "Past performance is not a guarantee of future results."
  18. Bret Chase

    Bret Chase Minister of Fire

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    My splitter has a Cast iron L-head Kohler K181 powering it.... it was used when the splitter was built... over 35 years ago... I've been bitten enough that I am no fan of Honda small engines.... I find Briggs Intek OHV engines to be every bit the equal of a GX.... except they don't destroy themselves. In fact... the only "GX" that have had that hasn't crapped out on me is a yellow chinese clone..

    Given a choice though... I will use a kohler.. every time.
  19. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Here's a monster in Vermont.
    http://nwct.craigslist.org/grd/3573906017.html
  20. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

  21. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, I would NOT pay $1,000 just because I wanted the better engine. The B&S engine on my dad's splitter is about 18 years old and it is still running. Would guess that the splitter has easily done 100+ cords and we are doing about 10 cords a year now with it, maybe a little more. Going to really get it working this spring/summer.

    Even if you ran the B&S engine into the ground, you could easily replace the engine with an equivalent Honda engine for less than $1,000.

    Here is a link to some Honda engine and pump combos so you can get a feel for what the engines cost. For $1,000, you can get a pretty powerful Honda engine and a really high flow rate pump.

    http://www.splitez.com/log_splitter_engines_wood_kits.html
  22. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Avid Honda lover here . .. Honda Accord, Honda Foreman ATV, Honda push mower . . . but my MTD splitter has a Briggs engine on it . . . and while I would have preferred a Honda engine I honestly cannot complain about that Briggs has it has been pretty darn reliable for the past three or four years that I have used and abused it . . . I suppose one of these days I should change the oil in it. ::P
    MasterMech likes this.
  23. fmelani

    fmelani Member

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    Thanks for the input, going to keep looking for something used and rent the 26 ton I&O to try it out. However, most likely end up with the Huskee and use the extra cash for a new ground saw!

    I like the idea of being able to change out the engine "IF" their is ever a problem and still be ahead of the game $ wise.

    Please let me know if I should be looking at anything else other than the Huskee; 22-28 ton preferably under 15 second cycle time. The 20 ton I rented could have been over 20 seconds cycle time which drove me a little nutty with the smaller pieces. Also had to use a sledge to dislodge the green pieces. The Huskee has a nice dislodger which is a great feature. The I&O appears to be an $84 add on.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  24. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    The 22 ton would no doubt do all you need done. I worried a bit about our 20 ton but it does all our splitting with ease. Good luck.

    And yes, the dislodger can be handy but not totally necessary. I like it but if it weren't there, a slap with a sledge would do the trick or even picking up another log and hitting it to dislodge would work.
  25. fmelani

    fmelani Member

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    Last question, what would you offer someone for a 22 Iron and Oak Vert/Horizontal with the Robins engine? New they are just a tic under $2,000. Have not seen, just some pictures and it looks like it has been stored outside, but tempted to go up and see it. I am guessing he wants around $1,000. Thoughts if it runs and splits well.

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