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Wood Splitters?

Post in 'The Gear' started by Plow Boy, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. Plow Boy

    Plow Boy Member

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    Ok heres the deal, been using maul to split wood which is fine but starting to get into some bigger stuff. I am considering purchasing a wood splitter and would like to hear some feedback on models you guys use and whats the best deal out there. Particularly looking at the 22 ton husky at TSC. Thanks

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  2. osagebow

    osagebow Minister of Fire

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    Had same question a while back, haven't bought one yet though. Bumped the "Huskee or swisher?" thread for ya. Couldn't get my computer to copy the link.
    Good luck!
  3. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Price range? Must have features? The Huskee 22 ton is very popular with this forum. Hard to beat for the price but there are bigger/better available if you want to go there.
  4. CT-Mike

    CT-Mike Minister of Fire

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    I went with a TW-2 for the 9 second cycle time. Got tired of standing around waiting for the ram to retract.
    TreePointer likes this.
  5. jrendfrey

    jrendfrey Member

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    prices for a 22 ton at tsc are around 1600$ here in vt thats the husky with the honda motor. now if i drive 40 miles to lowes a differnt brand with the same honda motor is 1200$. shop around a little tsc is great but i think there goudging a little. check home depot and lowes you just never know what youll find
  6. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    sure thats not the 28 ton, the 22 ton huskess at TSC in my area are all $1099, sometimes on sale for $999. No Honda, they have the B & S.
    MasterMech and Backwoods Savage like this.
  7. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    I have a Huskee 35-ton because I got a great deal on one a few years ago. I'm happy with it, but sometimes I could use a faster cycle time than its 15s (factory spec).

    At that time, I was also looking into Iron & Oak, Brave (made in same factory as I&O), Timberwolf, American, and SpeeCo (makes Huskee). A fast cycle I&O was high on my list.

    If you like the Huskee/SpeeCo design, also look into Oregon splitters. SpeeCo and Oregon have models with faster cycle times than that which is available in the TSC Huskee models.
  8. Plow Boy

    Plow Boy Member

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    So which one has the faster cycle time. 13 sec does seem long if your splitting wood all day
  9. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

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    Some random things to consider if you are looking at gasoline powered splitters.

    Cycle time: Faster is better until you can't get your hand out of the way in time. A very fast cycle time can be dangerous for a fatigued operator.

    Engine location: Do you have to stand next to the hot engine in order to operate it?

    Exhaust direction: Does it point away from the operator? It should, but not all do.

    Stroke: It needs to be a little longer than your stove's firebox size or preferred round length. Anything else is wasted and consumes time.

    Cylinder diameter: The larger it is the more force it generates and the greater the cycle time for any given pump.

    Ram diameter: The thicker the cylinder rod the better. If the splitter jams, you want the engine to stall instead of the rod bending.

    Automatic return: They all have it except the bidirectional models.

    Orientation: Horizontal, vertical, or tilt over. Make sure you are happy with the ergonomics in both positions if considering a tilt over. Verticals and tilt overs place the wedge on the ram. Horizontals can have the wedge or push plate on the ram. If the push plate is on the ram, the wedge will be at the end of the rail. In my opinion, that's preferable. Others will disagree.

    Wedge: The higher the better. A slight tilt toward the plate is good.

    Log cradles: Nice to have, but not a necessity. If you think you might want them, check to see if they are available for any model your are considering.

    Bidirectional operation: Controversial as to its effectiveness. Consider the ergonomics carefully. You lose the automatic return. Also the power is not the same in each direction, as the rod limits the fluid capacity for the return split.

    Capacity: The maximum length of a piece wood that will fit between the splitter's plate and wedge. The capacity minus the stroke is the plate to wedge clearance. This is often too long, making it difficult to complete the split. Two inches is common. One inch is better.

    Tonnage Rating: Higher is better, but the entire industry overrates their splitters' capacities. You can calculate it yourself using mathematical formulas. There are numerous plug in web pages that will calculate hydraulic force for you. Most commercial splitters are powerful enough for the average user.

    Horsepower: More is better.

    Engine Brand: No name or oddball named imports without a track record or an established parts source should be avoided.

    Pump: Is it properly matched to the engine power? Major splitter manufacturers are pretty good at this. No name imports, not so much. The pump is a critical component. Make sure the pump is a well known two stage brand such as Haldex-Barnes.

    Towability: Take a critical look at the splitter. Would you want to tow it down the highway at speed? More importantly, would you want to be near anyone else towing one down the highway? If you are going to tow it on rough ground or trails, it will need a wide stance and relatively low center of gravity.

    Weight: The heavier it is, the better likely quality, but it's not a guarantee.

    Hydraulic tank: How much hydraulic fluid does it hold. More is better. Is there a drain? There should be.

    Hydraulic Filter: Does it even have one? It should. Can you change it without wearing the contents of the hydraulic tank? Is it a commonly available part? How vulnerable is it to accidental damage from a flying split or similar?

    Ergonomics: Is the operating position comfortable for you.

    Operating Position Stability: Is it stable when setup for operation? It should be rock solid. Anything else will be tiresome to operate if not flat out dangerous.

    Noise level: Noise is fatiguing, even when wearing ear protection. The quieter the machine is, the better.

    I'm sure I missed a thing or two. Others will chime in.

    Good luck in your search.
    MasterMech, n3pro, Plow Boy and 2 others like this.
  10. Lumberjack

    Lumberjack Member

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    Wow Whitepine, good list!

    I would recommending trying before you buy, friends, neighbors, coworkers, whoever. They are great for the big stuff, stringy, knotty pieces. They are "generally" slower splitting the smalls than doing them by hand. How many cords per year are you going to split? If you are doing a few a year, Huskey is prob fine. If you are doing alot of wood, look towards a bigger machine.

    I broke down and bought a splitter 3 years ago after splitting by hand for years due to injury. I was lucky enough to be able to use a similar splitter prior to buying mine. I also found it used which was a big bonus for me. I am pretty sure I could sell it for what I paid.

    I bought a Northern Tool 30 ton splitter. Very pleased with it. I had to add a hydraulic oil filter and want to add fenders and a bigger log cradle on the engine side. One thing alot of splitters seem to lack is a cover to protect the motor.

    Another thing to consider is where are you going to use it? Make sure you can move it into position easily. Mine is upwards of 600 lbs and tough to move alone by hand on uneven ground.

    I highly recommend a Honda GX engine. They are bullet proof, good on gas, relatively quiet.
  11. Plow Boy

    Plow Boy Member

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    Thanks guys for all the info, there is alot more to this then I initially thought. I will probably want to have one good for rugged trails, I am lucky enough to have my own wood. But still want to be able to transport on road for a free score.
  12. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

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    I thought of a few of more items.

    Stuck split dislodger: Sometimes the splits stick on the wedge. If the wedge is welded to the end of the rail it's no big deal. If the splitter has a moving wedge, it's nice to have a built in dislodger, which knocks the split loose at the end of the retraction cycle, but not all work well. Some have sheet metal ears, which isn't the best design. Look for a strong functional dislodger

    Textured plate: Sometimes the round tries to "climb" out of the splitter by sliding up the plate. A plate that has a rough or nubby surface is a bonus over a perfectly flat plate. It will lessen the climbing tendencies. A flat plate can usually have nubbies welded to it. Note to self, I need to do that.

    Idle down feature: A few splitters automatically idle the engine between splits. Most don't. It would probably be worthwhile. If it turned out to be a negative, it should be easy to disable.

    And add large wheels to the towabilty criteria. Especially important for towing long distances at speed or over rough ground.
    Plow Boy likes this.
  13. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    WhitePine, I'd also add in fuel consumption being important.

    I used a 27 ton Troy Built splitter this summer at my brothers. It worked ok but IMO it needed to be modified.
    Engine was too small (4.5 horse),
    Tank too small (cylinder/pump/tank would get too hot to touch after an hour or two of use)
    Pump wasn't setup right, would kick into 2nd stage with any bit of force... was rare to split a piece on 1st stage. 2nd stage was very slow.

    But the worst thing was that it was a gas hog. Tank size is .35 gals and it would only last about an hour!

    To compare, my splitter has a 6.5 horse Honda clone (only a 12 ton splitter too). The tank is about a gallon, but it will last 8-10hrs.
  14. greythorn3

    greythorn3 Minister of Fire

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    say it aint so sugarplum!
  15. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Robin/Subaru EX27 (9HP) on my I & O will split all damn day on 1 gallon. Fill 'er up at the 6 hour mark if you've been running it at full-speed. Was $400 less than the Honda GX equivilant too. >> I have another EX27 on my pressure washer and it's just as quiet/efficient as this one is. The little 6Hp Robin that I & O throws on their 22 ton machines is the easiest starting (litterally a flick of the wrist) fuel-sipper I've ever seen on a splitter.

    I love the Honda GX as much as all of you but the price/performance factor with the Robin's is real tough to ignore.
  16. nate379

    nate379 Guest

  17. Como

    Como Minister of Fire

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    I have a DR Kinetic and compared to the Hydraulics it is very fast, also the table height is just right for me.

    My log pile is a few hundred yards from where I need the wood, so I cut to length there, load the truck and then split where I want the wood. the truck bed is just the right height so even the heavy stuff it is just a horizontal slide.

    I have only filled it up twice, I am pretty sure the chainsaw uses more gas per cord.
  18. nrcrash

    nrcrash Member

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    What did you pay for your DR Kenetic splitter?
  19. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    One thing to consider re: recycle time.... You don't have to let the wedge retract all the way. I can usually hit the retract lever, reach for another round or grab a piece I just split for a resplit, then stop the retract before it goes all the way up. This might save only five or six seconds each time but it adds up.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  20. Como

    Como Minister of Fire

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    The DR prices are on their web site, I was splitting this morning, the one thing I need to sort out is a way to tow it.
  21. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Exactly right Kenster. This is why I say cycle time is highly over-rated. I don't even know what mine is but they tell me it is faster than some of the larger splitters. But the big point is that most of the time you do not use the entire cycle. Then consider when we split ash and maple, etc. The ram usually moves about 5-6" maximum. A couple inches into the log then up and we don't let the ram go all the way up as that is silly to let it go all the way. Just make sure you have it high enough so that you won't pinch a finger when putting the new log on.
  22. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    When it comes to comparing fast and faster cycle times, I understand why folks say cycle times are overrated. It's the really slow ones that I don't like. A few years ago, I helped a friend split all day with a Home Depot rental splitter. That 25-ton SpeeCo had more than sufficient force, but it was one of their slow configurations--annoyingly slow, even without letting the ram return the entirely.
  23. ozzie88

    ozzie88 Member

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    All in All get at least 16 GPM. pump with at least 8hp plus to run it with a 4inch cyl. this will split what ever you want and will be fast cycle doing it.A 5inch cly. will be more power but very slow. MOST wood splits with less tham 1000lbs, pressure anyways. You can have power with slow cycle or fast cycle with no power, Key is to get both!... Get one do vert, also. Heck for $1300 I build you one[that works,lol.
  24. ozzie88

    ozzie88 Member

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    I made one i have to lift rocks etc. also, and pulling stumps, photo, just showing off some,,,,

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    HeatsTwice likes this.
  25. ozzie88

    ozzie88 Member

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    This may be 4 sale in the near future,I have back problems and might not be doing this much longer?

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