How many cords per hour with gas splitter?

mbcijim

Member
Mar 10, 2008
419
Schuylkill County, Pa
I've basically split everything by hand at this point have minimal experience with a gas powered splitter.

I have 5 cords in the round at my house and 2 cords at the cabin. I have access to a friends splitter. I would most likely have at least one person help me. We would not be stacking, just splitting. Can I split 7 cords like that in a weekend with 2 guys? What's your production per hour (or morning or however you measure) with two guys? With one guy? Everybody's in pretty good shape just time is not allowing me the splitting time so far this winter. I like to be done by March.
 

mtj53

Member
Feb 16, 2009
73
Northwest Illinois
If this helps you out here's the time I have in 7 cords give or take...

Last 3 years I have done the 7 cords by myself, not getting in a rush, and alot of my time is spent getting logs to the splitter, stacking splits or throwing them on a wagon when done etc, and I put about 25 hours on my splitter each year doing this. I always thought with two people doing it, it could probably be done literally 4 times as fast since you could keep the splitter going full time. I know my splitter is sitting still longer than it is splitting during that time. Plus some of that time I mentioned is from idling and warming up, idling a bit before shutting down etc. Hope this helps....I'd get someone to help me but to be honest, I enjoy the leisurely pace doing it myself...
 

mecreature

Minister of Fire
Dec 16, 2010
812
indiana
It sure helps to have someone moving wood and one guy controlling the splitter.
Hard to say, downtime is the killer if you are under the gun.
I bet 2 guys busting their butts, you can do it in one weekend.
You will eat like a pig and sleep like a baby.
 
S

ScotO

Guest
mecreature said:
I bet 2 guys busting their butts, you can do it in one weekend.
You will eat like a pig and sleep like a baby.
+1 mecreature......lol....not to mention probably having a couple of black fingernails and sore muscles for half a week (if ya ain't used to doing that kind of work)...
 

raygard

Member
Nov 5, 2011
88
Columbia, MD
Hearth.com Members said:
mecreature said:
I bet 2 guys busting their butts, you can do it in one weekend.
You will eat like a pig and sleep like a baby.
+1 mecreature......lol....not to mention probably having a couple of black fingernails and sore muscles for half a week (if ya ain't used to doing that kind of work)...
I was going to reply that you are going to feel like you have been stomped on by T-Rex himself
 
S

ScotO

Guest
rayg said:
Hearth.com Members said:
mecreature said:
I bet 2 guys busting their butts, you can do it in one weekend.
You will eat like a pig and sleep like a baby.
+1 mecreature......lol....not to mention probably having a couple of black fingernails and sore muscles for half a week (if ya ain't used to doing that kind of work)...
I was going to reply that you are going to feel like you have been stomped on by T-Rex himself
EXACTLY, Rayg!! I get a kick out of it when people say 'why use a splitter, that's easy!'....sometimes its easier to use the maul (I used it this weekend for a face cord). Either the splitter or maul, you will get a workout......I like to use both, from time to time.....and sometimes BOTH at the SAME TIME...LOL
 

SolarAndWood

Minister of Fire
Feb 3, 2008
6,788
Syracuse NY
I dump the rounds in a pile next to my splitter and toss the splits over the bank when split. I average a cord every hour and a half splitting by myself.
 
SolarAndWood said:
I dump the rounds in a pile next to my splitter and toss the splits over the bank when split. I average a cord every hour and a half splitting by myself.
That is far better then I can do! I would think I would be in the area of 3-4 hours by myself - taking it easy (one of the best parts of owning your own splitter and being way ahead on the wood supply!)
 

SolarAndWood

Minister of Fire
Feb 3, 2008
6,788
Syracuse NY
’bert said:
That is far better then I can do!
lol, must be because I swapped the gas motor for electric. I found a big difference by building the terrace to split on and always being able to toss the splits over the edge. Before that, I spent a lot of time moving stuff around when the pile got too big.
 

Backwoods Savage

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2007
27,812
Michigan
mbcijim said:
I've basically split everything by hand at this point have minimal experience with a gas powered splitter.

I have 5 cords in the round at my house and 2 cords at the cabin. I have access to a friends splitter. I would most likely have at least one person help me. We would not be stacking, just splitting. Can I split 7 cords like that in a weekend with 2 guys? What's your production per hour (or morning or however you measure) with two guys? With one guy? Everybody's in pretty good shape just time is not allowing me the splitting time so far this winter. I like to be done by March.
This is a question which can get you a lot of different answers. You'll get lots of variances of time....and they will probably all be right. So how can they all be right but give different times? Good question.

First and foremost is what kind of wood will you be splitting? That alone can make a tremendous difference in time. For example, I can split soft maple and ash and the split will be made shortly after the wedge hits the wood. Yet, if there is a knot then most times you have to take the wedge clear to the bottom. Or maybe you split something like elm or gum or locust and you again have to take the wedge all the way through the wood.

But there is more to that wedge. Not only do you not have to use the entire length going down, but you don't have to let the wedge go all the way up either! You only have to take it up high enough to get the next log under it. This is one of the reasons why I scoff at cycle time. Some folks seem to make a big deal out of one splitter having a shorter cycle time than others. If you don't use the whole cycle, what is the difference? Minimal. In addition, this is not something you want to race while doing. That is how accidents tend to happen is either when rushing or when working after you are tired.

Then comes the point of how you will split; horizontal or vertical. Most on this forum know that I split vertically, the same as I do when splitting with splitting maul or sledge and wedge. I do it that way not because I am lazy (although I sometimes have that tendency) but I do it because it is easier and most times faster. Plain and simple; if you split horizontally, you have to lift each and every one of the logs. Then with most logs you have to make more than one split which then means you need some type of a table to rest the wood on or else watch out for those falling logs hitting your toes! Then there are the heavy logs. Some go as far as to have hydraulic lifters; a large expense. But then some like toys... I split vertically and do not have to lift those logs. This is how my splitting pile looks:



(You can also see my avatar on how I split)

We cut during winter and split in spring. I do stack the wood during the winter but don't take any special pains in stacking; more like throwing a pile together. Then come splitting time the splitter goes beside the pile and I sit down to do all the splitting. Most logs and for sure in that stack you see in the picture, I never lift onto the splitter. I simply roll them on and usually use only one hand to do so. If it is heavy then I will use two hands but I still roll them and not lift them.

This is how it looked after the splitting was done.



And here is one tired man once the splitting and stacking was all done. btw, I stack the wood in the winter where I want to stack it so that when the splitting is done, the stacking is also done right there instead of moving it to another spot.




So there are some other factors. How is the wood before split? Is it just thrown together or stacked at least a little bit neat; it makes a difference. If you have two men then you can make one work hard by having him bring the wood or you can simply move the splitter a little bit from time to time so no carrying is necessary.

Tonnage of the splitter can make some difference. Single stage pump vs. two stage pump. A 37 ton splitter should have more power than a 20 ton but it is amazing how little difference it makes. As I've stated, cycle time is usually a moot point. One exception is one particular brand where we've heard the ram moves super slow going both up and down. But usually cycle time is not something one wants to argue about. After all, this is not a race and you don't want to work super fast. Remember this is some heavy machinery and can be very unforgiving if you make just one little mistake.

There is more to the story but this gives you something to think about. Also, know that we use a 20 ton splitter and have for over 20 years now. The splitter can work faster than I can and splits all we need splitting, including that dreaded elm.
 

RORY12553

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2011
510
Southern NY
I have a small splitter for the really tough stuff but have gotten better using a maul and a lighter splitting axe. I am doing it by myself so that takes a long time. Put in a couple hours each day on the weekend and hope to be done in a couple months.
 
S

ScotO

Guest
Dennis, well stated! You truly are a treasure on this site, a wealth of information.
 

Backwoods Savage

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2007
27,812
Michigan
Thanks Scotty. Just trying to do my part.
 
S

ScotO

Guest
Backwoods Savage said:
Thanks Scotty. Just trying to do my part.
no thank you required, we are the ones that owe the thanks.....I enjoy reading your posts and you do a great job of being really detailed. You really should consider writing a book!
 

Backwoods Savage

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2007
27,812
Michigan
Dang Scotty. You are certainly not the first to mention that. If I knew a little more maybe I would. Now back to the regularly scheduled posting. :lol:
 

SolarAndWood

Minister of Fire
Feb 3, 2008
6,788
Syracuse NY
Backwoods Savage said:
Plain and simple
Horizontal works just fine for me :)
 

Attachments

mecreature

Minister of Fire
Dec 16, 2010
812
indiana
LOL
:zip:
 

mudbug250

Burning Hunk
Dec 17, 2011
235
Central Mississippi
I split both ways. Verticle is the only way to split the big pieces, but it still tends to hurt my back because of the stooping. I have a "hunting bucket"(upgraded milk crate) that has a padded seat on ball bearings that can swivel. But for all the middle to small rounds, i split in horizontal. I pull the tailgate on my Mule to the splitting beam to act as my log table. I am with Solar, that I am probably doing a cord in 1 1/2 hours by myself.
 

KB007

Minister of Fire
Oct 21, 2009
553
Ottawa, Canada
When I split alone I tend to make a pile like the rest of you, but take it very slow and easy. When I split with my neighbour (we often work together and share the cost of log loads) we back up both our tractors/trailers and split directly into the trailer, then when both are full run it down to the stacks in one step. I really like this route (we own the splitter) as it eliminates the step of having to load from the ground into the trailer to take it to the stacks. (I used to do manufacturing process consulting, I had to analyse it - I can't help myself). I also like that the split wood doesn't get the chance to languish in the mud getting dirty (wife likes this too as they eventually get in the house a little cleaner too).

It usually takes us 4-5 afternoons of splitting to get through an 8 cord log load, bearing in mind there's also quite a few beverage cans involved. We also have a 3rd neighbor who sometimes helps cut/split - he doesn't burn full time, but we'll give him a couple of face cords for his help and he likes the outdoor time (and the beer). When we do this, we still use the 2 tractors, but when me and buddy are going out to the stacks, he stays and runs the splitter, so when we get back we just load and go. Really makes it fast!

7 cords in a weekend - hell I think I'd be in the emergency room for a month after that!
 

seeyal8r

Feeling the Heat
Jan 20, 2011
272
Central Oklahoma
I had help from 2 friends once. It went so fast. Splitter never quit moving back and forth. we had one person delivering the logs while the other 2 ran the splitter and threw the splits on a trailer.

If the wood is oak or something that splits easily i'd recommend splitting it with a maul though if your alone. I can swing way faster than the splitter can cycle and I can take the maul to the rounds rather than bringing the rounds to the splitter. Save a ton of time if its easy to split stuff.
 

Clodhopper

Member
Nov 14, 2009
54
NE PA
I split a full pickup truck load, which seems to average about a half cord in about 45 minutes. I hate stoop labor so I back the pickup truck right up to the edge of the splitter. That way I can lay the pieces that need more spitting on the tailgate. I throw the right size splits in the back of the truck to haul to the woodshed. On the supply side I load the rounds into a front end loader tractor and pull the loader up beside the splitter, with the bucket at a comfortable height to grab the logs. Having a second person doesn't seem to be all that helpful with this setup. It usually takes about two loader buckets worth of logs to fill the truck.
 

wkpoor

Minister of Fire
Oct 30, 2008
1,854
Amanda, OH
Ok first off why do people take time to cut and stack rounds? Isn't that double work. And looking at different pics on here of those stacks where is all the crotchy narly pieces. It looks like everyone piece is from the straightest part of a nice tall woods tree. I've always cut to length and split at the same time. So gauging time is difficult based on too many factors. Plus these youtube vids are not real world. Always very easy to split wood and a lot of prep time goes into getting ready to do the very last part of the job and then say "looky how fast I split that wood"
 

Backwoods Savage

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2007
27,812
Michigan
It would take a lot more time to move the splitter to each tree that we cut. If one has all really large trees and makes firewood rather than sawlogs, then perhaps taking the splitter to the tree is good. I've taken the splitter to the tree only a few times and found it just took too much time. It would also help if one had a clean mature woods but when the woods has lots of brush then moving the splitter around can be a problem. So we stack the wood (halfheartedly) during the winter cutting and when the cutting is done and the snow has melted we move the splitter to the pile and start splitting. In only a few days all the splitting is done and the splitter goes back into the barn waiting for next year.

So, to answer your question. NO. That is not double work.