How many watt generator to run harbor freight log splitter?

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Cobra427

New Member
Jul 3, 2014
20
NY
The 5 ton log splitter from Harbor Freight is 120v, 60hertzs (I think). I can run it fine at home but if I am out in the woods I'd like to buy the least heavy generator that will still run it. Any opinions?
 

TimfromMA

Minister of Fire
Mar 6, 2014
2,306
Central MA
The thing will run off a standard 15A 120VAC outlet which equals 1800W.

The minimum generator I'd use is 2kW.
 
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TimfromMA

Minister of Fire
Mar 6, 2014
2,306
Central MA
There'd be some surge too, right?
It's rated to use a standard 120VAC 15A outlet. Anything higher than 1800W would trip the breaker feeding that circuit so it's reasonable to assume that the surge current doesn't exceed 15A. A 2kW generator gives even a bit more headroom.
 

Gboutdoors

Burning Hunk
Nov 21, 2013
224
S.E. Massachusetts
I ran my 5 ton with a 3500 with no problems at all. Never had any trouble with surge but it would crank up if I was splitting some knotty oak.
 

Gboutdoors

Burning Hunk
Nov 21, 2013
224
S.E. Massachusetts
I ran my 5 ton with a 3500 with no problems at all. Never had any trouble with surge but it would crank up if I was splitting some knotty oak.
 

BrotherBart

Modestorator
Staff member
Glad ya brought that up. Been meaning to check. I just hooked the Kill-A-Watt up to mine and split two large wet oak splits. Max watt draw was just shy of 900. Amps around 7 and change.

A 1500 watt genny would get it done fine. A 1,000 probably would as well. I will try it in a few days with the 900 watt HF 2 stroke genny.
 

TimfromMA

Minister of Fire
Mar 6, 2014
2,306
Central MA
Glad ya brought that up. Been meaning to check. I just hooked the Kill-A-Watt up to mine and split two large wet oak splits. Max watt draw was just shy of 900. Amps around 7 and change.

A 1500 watt genny would get it done fine. A 1,000 probably would as well. I will try it in a few days with the 900 watt HF 2 stroke genny.
Attempt to split a log at the high end of the splitter's capacity so it draws max current.
 

BrotherBart

Modestorator
Staff member
If wet red oak doesn't stress it enough I ain't putting a steel beam in it to split. ;lol

I wasn't looking to do a stress test. Just what it uses in my normal splitting conditions. Lean on it too hard and it's own internal valving shuts off the ram anyway. Motor keeps running but you have to restart it to continue splitting.
 

Cobra427

New Member
Jul 3, 2014
20
NY
Thanks for the info. I was looking at the HF two stroke (2 horse power 900 peak, 800 running) but I don't think it will be enough. Looks nice and light weight though. Would be great for camping.

In looking at the other HF generators, their 6.5 HP generator weighs around 100 pounds (4000 peak, 3200 running) which is about the same weight as the 5 ton splitter. I should be able to heft it onto the tailgate of my truck.
 

BrotherBart

Modestorator
Staff member
In about a week we should know how the little HF generator runs their 5 ton splitter. I have both. And if this damned heat and humidity backs off I will drag them out and tie them together and find out.

I have already killed one of the little two stroke gennies. When they say don't shut it off under a load they mean it. I was using one to run my electric leaf blower with it in the trailer behind my garden tractor. Had just enough gas to finish the job but coming back up the steep uphill driveway the remaining gas went to the back of the tank and starved it and it quit under load. Ain't generated a single watt since. Popped a diode that I will get around to replacing someday.
 

Jags

Moderate Moderator
Staff member
Aug 2, 2006
18,151
Northern IL
Be aware that cold weather will affect the startup of these little splitters. If the splitter is cold (winter) I repeatedly blew a 20 amp (fast acting) fuse on startup. A breaker will be a little more lenient.
 

Cobra427

New Member
Jul 3, 2014
20
NY
Thinking about this little guy: 3000 watt continuous, 3750 watt peak, 7 horse power claimed, 94 pounds allows me to put it in the truck without too much trouble, burns a 1/3 of a gallon of gas under full load per hour. I should be able to run a few household items (maybe not at the same time) during an ice storm or other event.

Back in the day I could load a 5,500 watt 12 hp genny into my truck by myself and maybe I could still do it but I see this as being a good compromise between power and portability.


http://www.homedepot.com/p/Powermate-3-000-Watt-Gasoline-Powered-Portable-Generator-PM0103008/203404861#customer_reviews
 

BrotherBart

Modestorator
Staff member
I have two of those Chicom gennys in slightly different clothes and they have been bullet proof through several power outages running around the clock. And sip gas. My 5,000 watt gas hog one hasn't been used except for maintenance firings once a month since I bought them.
 

Cobra427

New Member
Jul 3, 2014
20
NY
I have two of those Chicom gennys in slightly different clothes and they have been bullet proof through several power outages running around the clock. And sip gas. My 5,000 watt gas hog one hasn't been used except for maintenance firings once a month since I bought them.
Thanks BrotherBart.
 

BrotherBart

Modestorator
Staff member
Don't forget that filling the gas tank adds 24 pounds.
 

Cobra427

New Member
Jul 3, 2014
20
NY
Seems pretty easy to empty the tank. The fuel cut off valve is easy to get to. Filling it with oil will not be easy....seems like you're screwed if you don't have a funnel and hose connected to it.
 

BrotherBart

Modestorator
Staff member
Every Honda and Chonda I have are a pain in the butt to add oil.
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,549
Nova Scotia
Thinking about this little guy: 3000 watt continuous, 3750 watt peak, 7 horse power claimed, 94 pounds allows me to put it in the truck without too much trouble, burns a 1/3 of a gallon of gas under full load per hour. I should be able to run a few household items (maybe not at the same time) during an ice storm or other event.

Back in the day I could load a 5,500 watt 12 hp genny into my truck by myself and maybe I could still do it but I see this as being a good compromise between power and portability.


http://www.homedepot.com/p/Powermate-3-000-Watt-Gasoline-Powered-Portable-Generator-PM0103008/203404861#customer_reviews
I got an inverter generator this spring with similar output specs. It will do my whole house in an outage (well, not the stove & dryer of course) and uses very little gas. Tested it out in TS Arthur last month - worked great. It's red but I think it is a re-branded Lifan, which HD also sells. Or they used to anyway.
 
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