Entry splitter

Sbrown28

New Member
Nov 13, 2019
41
Nebraska
First year burning, and I’m realizing I’m using much more would than I would’ve imagined (you don’t know what you don’t know). I have a fiskars x27 that I’ve used for about a cord and a half. I love it for the pieces without knots, but sometimes I’m hitting a piece 10+ times for the initial split. I really enjoy this as a hobby, but I’m not ready to spend a few thousand on huge splitter. Do you have any advice?
 

Bushwacker

New Member
Dec 21, 2019
1
Delaware
Tractor Supply just had 25 ton splitters for 700-799 dollars on black friday depending on where you are at. There is the electric route for splitters. They are usually 5-7 tons for 250-350 dollars. Then the used splitter route watch Craigslist and Facebook marketplace for postings. The fiskars isocore is around 40.00 dollars on Amazon right now also.
 
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Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
834
Palmyra, WI
Split what you can, rent for the rest. If something takes too long to get apart, set it asside. If most of what you have is taking too long, then it's time to buy. I hand split for 10 years. Last year most of what I had was white oak, it was time. County line is what I have. If you do look around, keep in mind the attached list of suppliers, are all the same unit, just a different color.
 

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Socratic Monologue

Burning Hunk
Dec 2, 2009
194
WI

Sbrown28

New Member
Nov 13, 2019
41
Nebraska

Socratic Monologue

Burning Hunk
Dec 2, 2009
194
WI
They are both used in the exact same way. The difference is that the maul will penetrate wood that the x27 simply bounces off of, and it has enough weight to break through some knots. The X27 is very efficient for clear wood, but isn't heavy enough to go through knotty or twisted wood.

The X27 is about 6 lbs in total, and feels pretty balanced. The Stihl maul has a 6 1/2 lb head, and not much weight in the handle -- the maul has a lot more momentum than the X27. If I swung the maul all day, though, my arms would fall off.

The Stihl maul is a rebranded Ochsenkopf (OX 635H, I think). Ochsenkopf has more models in their lineup, but may be hard to get a hold of here in the US.
 

weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,727
Central Mass
Runnings had a decent splitter on sale for $700 too, not sure if there's any in your area but I almost took one home the other day but I have a 12 ton hydraulic too. Might sell it and but the one at Runners. A decent electric one will do most of the job but there are some good deals out there right now to take advantage .
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,188
Woolwich nj
id get an inexpensive 22 ton with an 11 second time on it. you can get one for under 1k.. splitters will start to go on sale soon. i would definitely get a gas splitter it makes it so much less labor intensive. and youll appreciate it down the road
 

Cluttermagnet

Minister of Fire
Jun 23, 2008
933
Mid Atlantic
You really can't go wrong with one of those ~25 ton gas splitters. I've used
them as rentals, thanks to a generous neighbor. But when I went to buy my
first splitter, I went with a Sears 5 ton electric splitter. Haven't regretted it
a bit, though I concede the big gas splitters are way more capable. Spent
around 300 dollars on mine. It handles almost everything. I am more than
satisfied. Harbor Freight has essentially the same thing and you can catch
that one on sale for around 250. once in a while. I do split with an 8 pound
maul, a Fiskars X27, sledge and wedges, and occasionally a plain old axe.
I need the exercise. But the electric splitter does most of the work around
here. I'm losing track but I think I've had it at least 5 years now. It shows
no sign of slowing down so far.

Clutter

P.S. With the gas splitters, make sure to get one that will split vertically.
You'll thank yourself later. Those big rounds can be dang heavy. Why
bust a gut lifting them all?
 

zrock

Minister of Fire
Dec 2, 2017
835
bc
You may be rethinking once u see how much wood you go through especially when u realize this is your first year and really should have a 2-4 year supply of wood so it can dry... all the suggestions are good, do you have a fellow wood burner that may be interested in sharing the cost of a splitter? My neighbour is retired and has one of the little electrics and works good for someone that has nothing but time... also if you are handy u can build your own splitter pretty cheap if u scrounge around

Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk
 

Sbrown28

New Member
Nov 13, 2019
41
Nebraska
You may be rethinking once u see how much wood you go through especially when u realize this is your first year and really should have a 2-4 year supply of wood so it can dry... all the suggestions are good, do you have a fellow wood burner that may be interested in sharing the cost of a splitter? My neighbour is retired and has one of the little electrics and works good for someone that has nothing but time... also if you are handy u can build your own splitter pretty cheap if u scrounge around

Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk
This would be the most ideal, but being so new to it I don’t know anyone else that is burning would. Most people think I’m crazy when I talk about it.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
5,155
Northern NH
I hand split for 30 years going from a weekend burner to burning full time. Hand splitting is very dependent on you what type of wood you have. In my area , Red Maple, Ash and whitebirch is what I had and it all hand split pretty well. I used a splitting maul for years and switch to the Fiskars X-27 and didnt look back. I had mostly tall "pole" trees, not a lot of branches. It also made big difference when I split it. In winter I would go out and drop the trees on the snow, buck the up and split them. Generally it split easier the colder it was. If the rounds are large the key is to avoid trying to splut the rounds in half, the first split should be just on edge of the round a few inches from the outer diameter. I can guess why it works but it does make a difference.

Everything changed when my wood supply switched to Beech. This is higher Btu content wood, but it really does not like hand splitting. I put up with it for a year but my wood processing speed went way down and got behind on my wood. I finally bought a TSC 25 ton splitter. this fall and started to get my wood supply caught up. Watch the TSC sales and you can get a 25 ton unit in the $800 to $900 range. Then run it on ethanol free gas or run it out of gas everytime you use it and it will last a long time.
 
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firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,054
Unity/Bangor, Maine
For right around $1000 you can get a decent splitter that will last a long time.

Me . . . I know I could use the exercise and work out that comes from splitting with an ax or maul, but honestly when I work on the wood I'm working on producing future heat. It's not really a "hobby" . . . it's more like I simply want to process as much wood as possible so I have lower cost heat. Based on what I have saved over the last decade with burning more wood and far, far less oil I can justify the expense of a wood splitter.
 

mustash29

Minister of Fire
Feb 6, 2012
674
SE CT
Go big or go home, you will not regret it.

Same thing here. I was single, working 12 hr rotating shifts, only burnt on my days off and had ample time to fart around hand splitting. After the GF and dog arrived on site burning went to 24/7 and my free time went to nil. I picked up a barely used 31 ton splitter that only had a few tanks of gas run through it for cheap on CL. Instead of limiting myself to 12" or below rounds, I was now able to process anything.

DSC00477.JPG

Many years later and the only things I've had to replace was engine oil, air filter, recoil rope & patch up the ignition coil ground wire after some mice nested in the engine one winter. I haven't really touched my maul since I got the splitter. I recently bought an x-27 maul and x-15 axe but rarely use them. I've been burning for 22 years now. Hand splitting was fun in my 20's and 30's. I'm approaching 50 now and hydraulics are WAY more fun, WAY more productive and a much faster path to playing ball with my boys and "wobbly pop time".

DSC00887.JPG

DSC00886.JPG

Although my splitter does the vertical thing, I always hated crouching down and wrestling the big rounds into position. My new garden tractor bucket solved that issue, She can now feed me big rounds and nobody has to bend over to muscle them around.

IMG_4223.JPG
 

Sbrown28

New Member
Nov 13, 2019
41
Nebraska
I hand split for 30 years going from a weekend burner to burning full time. Hand splitting is very dependent on you what type of wood you have. In my area , Red Maple, Ash and whitebirch is what I had and it all hand split pretty well. I used a splitting maul for years and switch to the Fiskars X-27 and didnt look back. I had mostly tall "pole" trees, not a lot of branches. It also made big difference when I split it. In winter I would go out and drop the trees on the snow, buck the up and split them. Generally it split easier the colder it was. If the rounds are large the key is to avoid trying to splut the rounds in half, the first split should be just on edge of the round a few inches from the outer diameter. I can guess why it works but it does make a difference.

Everything changed when my wood supply switched to Beech. This is higher Btu content wood, but it really does not like hand splitting. I put up with it for a year but my wood processing speed went way down and got behind on my wood. I finally bought a TSC 25 ton splitter. this fall and started to get my wood supply caught up. Watch the TSC sales and you can get a 25 ton unit in the $800 to $900 range. Then run it on ethanol free gas or run it out of gas everytime you use it and it will last a long time.
I love splitting and have no issue with the poles, but it’s the branches that I’m really struggling with. I got a maul, so will give that a try before going for something mechanical.
 

weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,727
Central Mass
Go big or go home, you will not regret it.

Same thing here. I was single, working 12 hr rotating shifts, only burnt on my days off and had ample time to fart around hand splitting. After the GF and dog arrived on site burning went to 24/7 and my free time went to nil. I picked up a barely used 31 ton splitter that only had a few tanks of gas run through it for cheap on CL. Instead of limiting myself to 12" or below rounds, I was now able to process anything.

View attachment 254020

Many years later and the only things I've had to replace was engine oil, air filter, recoil rope & patch up the ignition coil ground wire after some mice nested in the engine one winter. I haven't really touched my maul since I got the splitter. I recently bought an x-27 maul and x-15 axe but rarely use them. I've been burning for 22 years now. Hand splitting was fun in my 20's and 30's. I'm approaching 50 now and hydraulics are WAY more fun, WAY more productive and a much faster path to playing ball with my boys and "wobbly pop time".

View attachment 254017

View attachment 254018

Although my splitter does the vertical thing, I always hated crouching down and wrestling the big rounds into position. My new garden tractor bucket solved that issue, She can now feed me big rounds and nobody has to bend over to muscle them around.

View attachment 254019
Nice pups, are they some kind of collies?
 

mustash29

Minister of Fire
Feb 6, 2012
674
SE CT
Shelties, brothers, 4 1/2 now. They're a little big for their breed at 30 and 35 lbs (almost Aussie sized) but absolutely full of energy. Shetland Sheep Dogs, Australian Shepherds & Border Collies are all "cousins".
 
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EbS-P

Feeling the Heat
Jan 19, 2019
306
SE North Carolina
what kind chainsaw do you have? I have found that if I can’t split it in 2 or 4 strikes I throw it aside and come back and cut it up with my Chinese MS660. I split a bit over 4 cords in 12 months an hour or two at a time with a fiskars 8# maul and a 4# Kelly works. Some pieces I just can’t split. But it’s not a lot. 5% or less of my rounds. If it was to 20-30% or more of my rounds I’d want a hydraulic splitter.
 
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DaveH

Member
Aug 4, 2014
87
Rensselaer Co., NY
I agree, if you buy, go big. I went to wood splitter direct.com and got the 35 ton dirty hand tools. Made in America! It was about $1350 but it goes through almost everything. It’s a financial obligation but you save 10s or 100s of hours a year splitting, which keeps you 3 years ahead. I think I’m like most people, I have the wood and ambition but no time, so this is the most efficient way.
 

Fishman3423

New Member
Nov 13, 2019
3
Long Island, NY
likely get some hate for this one but I picked up the Harbor Freight 5 ton electric splitter and it's been *fantastic*. Used it for several seasons and split maybe 8 cords so far without issue.

If you're regularly splitting whole oaks, yeah, you should look into a bigger machine but for my single wood stove and breaking down quartered rounds it's been a dream.
 
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ABMax24

Feeling the Heat
likely get some hate for this one but I picked up the Harbor Freight 5 ton electric splitter and it's been *fantastic*. Used it for several seasons and split maybe 8 cords so far without issue.

If you're regularly splitting whole oaks, yeah, you should look into a bigger machine but for my single wood stove and breaking down quartered rounds it's been a dream.
Nothing wrong with those. I've got a 6 ton Yardworks electric unit from CanadianTire that I bought this fall. I've split close to 4 cords through it and no issues yet. I've split up to 30" pine with it. I've only had it not split once, I was trying to split through an 8" diameter knot in the 30" pine rounds, no go on that one. Mine has the foot pedal control and if you can learn not to let it retract fully every time its possible to get cycle times around 10 seconds.
 

Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
834
Palmyra, WI
likely get some hate for this one but I picked up the Harbor Freight 5 ton electric splitter and it's been *fantastic*. Used it for several seasons and split maybe 8 cords so far without issue.

If you're regularly splitting whole oaks, yeah, you should look into a bigger machine but for my single wood stove and breaking down quartered rounds it's been a dream.
So it's splitting everything you "throw at it". Nothing wrong with that. Larger hydraulic splitters only develop high tonnage in high stage - something that seems hard on the equipment.
 

Fishman3423

New Member
Nov 13, 2019
3
Long Island, NY
So it's splitting everything you "throw at it". Nothing wrong with that. Larger hydraulic splitters only develop high tonnage in high stage - something that seems hard on the equipment.
Pretty much! The only thing I've not been able to split with it was chunks that had no right being split to begin with... It's gone thru knots crotches, and heavy wet wood without a problem.

I've split red / white oak, maple, ash, sassafras, poplar, honeylocust, black locust on it without issue. It's helpful to split huge rounds with a maul before putting em on the HF splitter but mostly because lifting those sucks :D

I decided to purchase mine based on the number of youtube reviews from people expecting to break theirs and ending the video disappointed.
 

Jan Pijpelink

Minister of Fire
Jan 2, 2015
1,789
South Jersey
I have used a Power Source 7 ton electric for years. Never had an issue. I only upgraded to a 20+ ton splitter because when I started scrounging wood I got some really "big" stuff that needs more tonnage. Nothing wrong with a 5 ton electric splitter.
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,382
Nova Scotia
No hate here. Have a 4 ton in the basement for the odd re-splitting. If it serves your purpose, that's what matters. They are slow vs. others, which may or may not matter to someone.