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Would like you guys' opinion on these splitters

Post in 'The Gear' started by trailrated, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. trailrated

    trailrated Member

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    I'm thinking about a new splitter, even mama gave me the go ahead. I don't want to break the bank on it but would like best quality for the buck.

    Brave by (iron and oak)
    Iron and Oak
    Lowes' Troy built w/ Honda motor
    Tractor supply brand (haven't looked at these much)

    The brave and iron and oak are more exspensive just not sure they are worth it. I'm liking the price on Lowes 27 ton with the Honda motor. Btw, iron and oak has the subaru motor.

    I would appreciate your input

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  2. aussiedog3

    aussiedog3 Feeling the Heat

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    I've rented and Iron and Oak about 3 times, great splitter, honda engine, built like a tank, works great, a little more than I wanted to spend to buy one.
    I bought a Huskee about 2.5 years ago from TSC and I LOVE it. Great deal for the money. Not a single problem yet, starts on first or second pull everytime, have yet to fine a chunk of wood that this thing won't split or just slice through if it doesn't split. Go with the Huskee, Most bang for your buck. Wait until they have them priced at either $899 or $999 and then they offer a 10% off deal or $150 gift card. I bought the splitter then used the gift card towards a Husky saw.
  3. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, they are all good splitters. I am sure one or the other will have a faster cycle time, more tonnage, etc. In the end, they will all end up getting the job done. To give you an example, my dad bought a splitter 18 or so years ago. It is a 25 ton MTD by Yard Machines or Yard Machines by MTD, cannot remember which way it goes, with a Briggs & Straton engine and the splitter can go vertical or horizontal. He bought it at Home Depot for $999. My dad has treated it pretty much like crap. Don't think the hydraulic fluid has ever been changed in it. He did change the engine oil once in a while. Now that I have it in my possession, I take better care of it. This thing has been through 100+ cords of wood easy and there has not been a single thing it hasn't been able to split some how or some way.

    I think all the entry level splitters are pretty much going to get the job done, and get the job done for many years down the road. However, I am pretty anal and would be looking over every stat there is. Lord knows I am doing it over a limbing saw. The Honda engine would get a big bonus from me, followed by cycle time, followed by tonnage. The Honda brand is the engine I want to use when I build my own splitter. Cannot justify the expense of a Timberwolf TD4-HD or TD6, so I am going to have to weld one together at some point.

    I believe the Huskee at Tractor Supply Company is made by Speeco which makes a ton of splitters. I believe the Speecos have a Honda motor option. Wish I could pick one of the ones you listed as the biggest bang for the buck, but I had the hardest time doing that when I was thinking about buying a splitter a month or so ago. In fact, it led me to research the higher end splitters, lust over them, determine I could not monetarily justify spending that kind of money on one unless I was selling firewood, and then deciding to build my own.

    Good luck with your decision
  4. trailrated

    trailrated Member

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    Great, just the info I was looking for guys, thanks for replying.

    Fabsroman- do you think the Honda on the lowes Troy built is a genuine Honda? The 27 ton splitter is $1400.
  5. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Have had great success with the 22 ton Speeco.
    Speeco makes the Husky for tractor supply.
    Several here have & like them.
    Yet to find something the 22 ton won't split.
    Nice wedge design, cradle beam, full length beam & ram mount were selling points I liked over others I had to choose from here.

    Troybilt is MTD now, sold under several brand names.

    Iron & Oak and Timberwolf are the BMW's
    Good machines & prices.
  6. kingquad

    kingquad Minister of Fire

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    I've got the Troybuilt and I've had no issues after three years.
  7. missedbass

    missedbass Member

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    I have the troy built 27 ton from lowes and its performed well. Make sure when you are done splitting you close the gas shut off valve and run it dry.
    smokinj likes this.
  8. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Brave makes/owns Iron and Oak. Built better than many other brands but priced accordingly as you have noticed. Brave makes a splitter down in that sub-1500 rang that I like. Check it out.

    http://www.braveproducts.com/logsplitters/brave22tonXR.html

    The Lowes/Troy-Built unit and all of it's MTD cousins, Yard Machine, Cub Cadet, etc. is a decent machine too. They had major issues in the past but I think they got all that straightened out. They look pretty but are very slow compared to the Tractor Supply Huskee/Speeco machines.

    The Huskee/Speeco splitters are very popular here on this board and with good reason. 14 second cycle times (decent for a "cheap" splitter) and an engine that you can get parts for or replace inexpensively. Best bang for the buck is probably this machine.

    Tonnage ratings are generally BS numbers created by the marketing dept to sell splitters. Compare cylinder diameter/length, pump psi, and pump gpm if you really want to examine the machine's capabilities. Doubtful that it will be easy to find all 3 numbers however. (especially pump psi) ;) Companies will build a machine (*cough* - MTD/Troy-Bilt - *cough*) with a cheaper, smaller, engine/pump combo but use a bigger diameter cylinder to up the tonnage rating. But what they don't tell you, or include in very small print, is that leaves you with a pitiful 19 second cycle time. I've not seen a single-wedge machine with over 20 tons of force fail to split even some real nasty wood.

    One of the reasons I love Iron & Oak is the a la Carte engine selections. You could have a Briggs I/C, Briggs Vanguard, Subaru/Robin. or the Honda GX. Let your preference/budget decide. Electric start is/was even an option but is tough to find unless you special order. My machine is Robin-Subaru powered (EX27) and I love it. Was a few hundred less than the Honda GX and IMO runs just as well. I now have two of these engines (other one is on my pressure washer) and wouldn't mind having a few more. ==c
  9. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    They are indeed built by Honda but they are no GX series engine. The GC series is designed as a low-cost engine (and a darned good one at that) that outside of carburetor and ignition, really is meant to be replaced rather than repaired.
  10. jensent

    jensent Member

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    Read the MasterMech post again! I have had Oak and Iron 26T H/V with the 13hp Honda for ten years. Has it been perfect? No. The control valve started to leak after 5yrs so I called them and took it in. Got a new valve and a new cylinder no cost. Extremely good folks to do busness with. I vote for Oak and Iron 110%.
    Tom
    raybonz likes this.
  11. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Mine has started to leak this year too. This is a common problem across many splitter brands unfortunately.
  12. mikey517

    mikey517 Member

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    I used the Troy Built 27 ton this past summer. I was in a jam, and my buddy lent me his to split about 2.5 cords of fresh red oak. It ran like a champ in both vertical and horizontal. The Honda engine started on first / second pull each time, and did god on gas.

    When I went to Home Depot to check them out for myself, I saw the Ariens 27 ton splitter. I ended up with the Areins; made in Wisconsin USA, I liked the placement of the Subaru/Robin engine well back and away from the work area, and I liked the central placement of the lever allowing for work from either side. I've run it a lot since August (even lent it out to a friend for some rock oak) and it's been great.

    Either one of these should serve a homeowner burner well. And HD has some good interest free financing plans.

    Regards / Mike
  13. trailrated

    trailrated Member

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    I've read the hydraulic fluid is very hard to come by for these brands. Do they come pre filled? Any truth to what I read? One of the reviews stated this and apparently the warranty is void if you use anything else. Even when topping off when new after the system is bled.
  14. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Just went to the Troy Bilt website. It appears that the fluid is included. It would not allow me to download the operator's manual to see what type of hydraulic fluid is used, but I know my MTD uses Dexron III, which isn't all that hard to get.

    With that said, the cycle time on that 27 ton Troy Bilt is 19 seconds. That would actually have me crying. An entire minute or more to make 3 splits of the tough, stringy, stuff that requires a full stroke. Not to mention how long it would take to get the ram down should you retract it all the way. Last but not least, not sure I am a fan of the half I-beam. I would really have to take a close look at how that cylinder is held on (i.e., the welds and the pin that is used). I could not see this from the photos on the website.
  15. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    From the owners manual for the LS27 TB splitters.

    Troy-Bilt.JPG
    raybonz likes this.
  16. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    What a PITA if you have to top off the tank after buying it. I have no idea where to even buy Shell Tellus 32 hydraulic fluid. Would require a google search and some calling around. Just did a quick google search and nothing that would help finding a retailer around here on page 1. So, where do you get that specific hydraulic fluid? Equipment rental yard? Hardware store? John Deere dealer?
  17. scooby074

    scooby074 Feeling the Heat

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    Have a look at the SplitFire splitters. If I was buying, it's likely what Id get.

    I built my own so I could use only the components I liked. One thing.. The Subaru engine is very good. I have one on my splitter, but it is no Honda.
  18. trailrated

    trailrated Member

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    Thats what the reviewer stated about Shell Tellus. It could only be shipped and sold in 55 gallon drum for $550. From only one place he could find. Ugh.
  19. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Took a quick look, double-acting four-way wedge. Hmmm. With a log lift. Double hmmm.

  20. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Well I started with an empty tank so I was in the market for oil anyways. (mine holds a good deal more than 3 gallons too. About 3x that. _g)

    Honestly, with the list of recommended oils in the manual that they provide, I'd just go buy some straight-up AW32 hydraulic oil and top it off. There's nothing sacred about that Tellus oil. Wouldn't mix ATF or motor oil in with it (long-term) but I'm not aware of any incompatible blends of AW32. ;)
  21. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    I bought a gallon at Lowes of the I believe Pro Select AW32 oil for around $10.00.. It doesn't show up on their website..

    Ray
  22. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    http://www.lowes.com/pd_188583-30102-54012_0__?productId=1053693&Ntt=pro select&pl=1&currentURL=?Ntt=pro+select&facetInfo=

    This is the correct oil they screwed up the description and specs on the website..

    Ray
  23. Boog

    Boog Minister of Fire

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  24. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    drain the damm thing and put something different in it.......that's total BS that you cannot get that stuff locally 1 gallon or so at a time. Total BS.
    Bret Chase likes this.
  25. scooby074

    scooby074 Feeling the Heat

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    No experience, but looking at the price and the crate in the pic above, i'd say they're just one of the common China imports.

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