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Workhorse 13 ton double action splitter from Northern Tools

Post in 'The Gear' started by ezwryder, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. ezwryder

    ezwryder New Member

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    I've been looking at this splitter for mostly oak and elm. I'm cutting 10 to 15 inch standing deadwood that is dry as can be and thinking this splitter should be able to handle it. Your thoughts and input will be appreciated.

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  2. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    13 tons will work up most oak (as well as most other species) just fine. Depending on the elm, that splitter might just sit there and cry. I have split elm that made my splitter work (if using factory type measurements mine would be somewhere north of 30 tons), 13 tons wouldn't have stood a chance.

    If elm is going to be a regular diet for your splitter - I would suggest going 20+ tons. Just my opinion.
  3. JeffRey30747

    JeffRey30747 Member

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    I have looked at this splitter in the online ad and catalog. My opinion is that it would be a step up from an electric splitter but not in the same league as a conventional splitter that can be bought for a couple of hundred $ more. If it is a conventional single cylinder, you only get max pressure on the push stroke and not on the retraction so there goes part of the claimed efficiency. If you were only splitting easy stuff like straight grained red oak, that would be fine but elm would be an entirely different scenario. As pointed out above, the 13 ton pressure will be questionable. An even further reduction on that would be extremely problematic, to be generous ;-) . It has a single stage 3 GPM pump and a claimed 10 second cycle time. I would feel much better putting my money toward something like the $999 TSC splitter than this product.
  4. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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  5. geardoc

    geardoc Member

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    Spend $200 more and get the 22 ton Northstar. Had mine for 2 years and no problems.
  6. Singed Eyebrows

    Singed Eyebrows New Member

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    +1 on that! I was at Northern & they had the 13 ton on a bench torn apart with a wedge that had come off at the weld. Randy
  7. ezwryder

    ezwryder New Member

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    West Central Iowa


    Thanks for your suggestions. I followed your advice and am I ever glad. I ended up with the North Star 22 ton and did my first splitting yesterday with it. With plenty of tough, stringy elm in the mix, it soon verified that the 22 ton size was justified. It grunted and groaned a few times and sent one chunk flying right by my head. I learned from that and now take a really tough split slow and easy. It's obvious that I have a lot to learn and am I ever glad I had this forum to check out every step of the way.
  8. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    exwryder, if you had a piece flying past your head, you also need some help in placing that log so this does not happen. How on earth did you do this? And are you splitting vertically or horizontally?
  9. ezwryder

    ezwryder New Member

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    Hey Dennis, thanks for the comment. I think you're referring to placing the butt end of the round on the base plate and guiding the wedge into round at the proper place, and because I'm a rank amateur, I don't know if I'm doing that correctly or not. I've never watched a splitter in action so I'm learning as I go. I am splitting horizontally as the logs are running around 10 to 15 inches, but I can do vertical if the need arises. Please tell me what kind of help I need!
  10. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    Switch to vertical for pretty much everything you split. When I borrow a splitter that goes vertical, everything down to like 3" in diameter gets split vertically...if you get a piece that winds up popping it'll just flop over to the ground.
  11. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Don't follow them to the Dark Side Ez - Don't do it. Its a trick. :lol:

    You will learn placement after a few thousand hydraulic strokes. It comes with a little time and understanding the "mechanics" of it. As a rule of thumb, always run the most flat and straight end to the push plate and on the opposite side if there is any angle to the cut, the "highest" point of the log should be against the beam. Again, rule of thumb, not THE rule.

    The vertical/horizontal argument is very similar to the Domar/Stihl argument. What ever works for you. Much of the decision will be made by your body telling you the proper position. Dennis and others like to sit and split. I am a stand up kinda guy. :p
  12. ezwryder

    ezwryder New Member

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    I'm so darn glad I found this place. What an interesting bunch of folks! I was lurking before I joined and am I ever glad I joined! I love your sense of humor that goes along with your willingness to share your knowledge and experience, even if it differs from others. Thanks for your past and future help and also for the entertainment! And please stop by when you're in the area for a cup of coffee or a snort of apple cider.
  13. thinkxingu

    thinkxingu Minister of Fire

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    "Stop by when you're in the area"? Who's ever in IOWA?!
    But seriously, I don't get the vertical splitting thing either (save for BIG logs)--you gotta crouch around on the ground, pushing things here and there. I find it a whole lot easier to pop the log from my truck/trailer, split it, and throw it into a pile--all while upright, like a human's supposed to be!

    S
  14. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    Dunno, I jsut think its alot easier to not have to lift a few hundred rounds of wood two feet off the ground. All you do is sit on a milk crate, kneel on the ground or crouch down...even bend over (for the record I do not sit while splitting, I usually kneel or crouch near the splitter). Roll the rounds over to the splitter and stand them up.

    Different strokes for different folks.
  15. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    After 45 minutes of that and I would have to call a crane to get me back on my feet.

    Now - while on my feet, I can move the crane. :cheese:
  16. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    do I see correctly....a SNORT of apple cider??? Thats sounds painful...but it could be fun.....I'll be right over as soon as I find where this "Iowa" place is.
  17. CarbonNeutral

    CarbonNeutral Minister of Fire

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    $100 more for an excellent 22 ton from TSC

    No shipping (if there's a TSC near you), assembled, WITH oil and hydraulic oil....

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