Log Splitter Opinions

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walhondingnashua

Feeling the Heat
Jul 23, 2016
390
ohio
I am looking into buying a good log splitter, but I don't need anything industrial. 8-12 cords of hard wood a year maybe. I am looking for opinions on the yardmax machines and opinions on the half beam as well. I find good prices on them and online reviews seem pretty good for quality in the range I am looking for. I know the 25 ton will be plenty for me. I like the size/ weight of the half beam but have never used one.
 

walhondingnashua

Feeling the Heat
Jul 23, 2016
390
ohio
I will still use my fiskers a lot. For a log that can be split in a single swing and being able to put 2 or 3 pieces on my splitting stump, it works pretty quick. Having a splitter would make me feel much more willing to go after the bigger stuff.
 

WoodBurnerInWI

Feeling the Heat
Feb 2, 2020
259
Madison, WI
At 10 cords a year, make cycle time one of the things you look for.

Honestly, I use my Fishers x27 to split 90% of my wood, even when I have the gas splitter right there. It sure is nice to have the machine for crotches and uglies though.

I too hand split most wood by hand, with the splitter only coming out on monster pieces, anything with a knot, any kind of pine, or anything elm.

I have a Champion 27 ton splitter that I bought at Home Depot. It's virtually the same as their 25 ton model. If you have a Farm and Fleet near you, a couple times a year they put the wood splitters on sale for $200 off. I got $200 off my splitter as well getting it Home Depot. It was their last unit in stock and was sitting around for some time. I talked with the manager of the garden department and he gave me $100 off because it was the last one and because there was very minor rust on the beam. Farm and Fleet and Home Depot offer financing as well if you have their credit cards and in the case of the Home Depot card you get $100 off any purchase of $1000 plus. These "deals" are probably the best discounts you're going to see at big box stores. Dirty Hand Tools had a line of splitters and I believe it was their 22 ton one that had an every day price of like $699 or somewhere around there. Unbeatable for sure but that company seems to be no more.
 

andym

Feeling the Heat
Feb 6, 2020
427
Hicksville, Ohio
I am looking into buying a good log splitter, but I don't need anything industrial. 8-12 cords of hard wood a year maybe. I am looking for opinions on the yardmax machines and opinions on the half beam as well. I find good prices on them and online reviews seem pretty good for quality in the range I am looking for. I know the 25 ton will be plenty for me. I like the size/ weight of the half beam but have never used one.
Be sure to check out the county line brand at TSC.
I also checked into the yardmax splitters. They seem well built. Pretty fast cycle times as I recall. I personally don't care for the idea of the half beam, but doubt there's any serious tradeoff. The one issue I see with them is possibly being more expensive to find a replacement cylinder if needed?
 

Jags

Moderate Moderator
Staff member
Aug 2, 2006
18,237
Northern IL
The half beam option is an inferior design in regards to strength. Maybe a little less weight and cheaper is the only selling point. I am not saying they dont work, just pointing out the differences and why.
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
995
Western Washington
I was looking at wood splitters as well, the county line does look very well built. Not sure what was going on in my head when I tried to lift( one handed) and push the 35 ton model( different brand, built stupid heavy) at madsens around. I was curious if doing so was going to be difficult. Well, that was dumb. Instant pain shot into my back. You know the kind where you hope nobody was watching you do something really stupid. Really made a splitting maul not look so bad. I’m still considering buying one and I can wiggle it around with my tractor. The 40 ton model really has my eye now since I feel like it’s a 2man job to move around by hand anyways
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,784
Nova Scotia
The half beam option is an inferior design in regards to strength. Maybe a little less weight and cheaper is the only selling point. I am not saying they dont work, just pointing out the differences and why.

My Wallenstein/SurgeMaster disagrees. :)
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,080
Downeast Maine
Look at something like a Brave Dual Split. I have one, it's 22 tons and splits all the super knotty spruce and fir I've thrown at it. Hard maple and birch are probably easier than the softwoods and the splitter of course had no problems. The cycle time is pretty low since you can split in both directions. The unit weighs around 300 lbs, I don't remember for sure, and moves fairly easily by hand, but usually I move it with the tractor.
 

Jags

Moderate Moderator
Staff member
Aug 2, 2006
18,237
Northern IL
My Wallenstein/SurgeMaster disagrees. :)
Compare your wallenstein half beam to the splitters in question. Its kind of an apples to anvil comparison. :p
 
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Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,924
Woolwich nj
With the quantity of wood your splitting. I would go with full beam. The splitters your looking at are a medium quality. I would purchase a splitter with a good motor and cycling time. Your estimate of your wood consumption is pretty high at 8 to 12 cords.. with an average of 10 cords a year you looking to split 100 cords in 10 years. That's alot of wood. My splitter is a higher quality than what your looking at and ill do 40 cords in the same 10 year time period. If someone was going to tell you, go split 100 cords what splitter would you buy. If you were only going to split the 12 cords in your original post than ok.. but you not.. your splitting 100 cords over 10 years and 150 cords over 15 years..
 
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walhondingnashua

Feeling the Heat
Jul 23, 2016
390
ohio
I have built up a little money in Lowe's cards, so I will be buying it form Lowe's no matter what (especially with the 6 months no interest). For roughly the same money, I might lean towards the full beam from what I am hearing. I also really can't go much above the $1000 mark so the Performance Built 27 ton and the Yardmax 28 ton are in that range. They both look to have a briggs engine and and only 1 second difference in cycle time. I like the Yardmax feature that allows the log to rotate but not sure how big of a difference it makes.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,924
Woolwich nj
If these are my choices I'd do the performance built 27 ton.. rating is good ..It comes with all the fluids and log Cradle all for under a 1k. Both have the briggs engine.. briggs are ok.. will last if you for a bit..change the oil yearly.. or 2x a year if I was doing 10 cords and it will last longer.. Keep it tarped up or in a garage...
 

walhondingnashua

Feeling the Heat
Jul 23, 2016
390
ohio
I’m pretty picky about my maintenance so I will give the engine plenty of care. Whatever I get already has a spot reserved in the wood shed. I’m starting to lean towards the performance built because it has good reviews and is lighter than the yard max. I want to be able to occasionally drag it back in the woods with an atv or kubota and I have pretty good hills.
I am still intrigued by the log spinner on the yard max. Will have toblook into it more.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,924
Woolwich nj
I’m pretty picky about my maintenance so I will give the engine plenty of care. Whatever I get already has a spot reserved in the wood shed. I’m starting to lean towards the performance built because it has good reviews and is lighter than the yard max. I want to be able to occasionally drag it back in the woods with an atv or kubota and I have pretty good hills.
I am still intrigued by the log spinner on the yard max. Will have toblook into it more.
the spinning metal thing is just something else to break.. In all my years of splitting I never wished I had one.. also the yard max has internal hydraulic filter.. For those 2 reasons.. Id go with the PB splitter..
 
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walhondingnashua

Feeling the Heat
Jul 23, 2016
390
ohio
The internal filter settles it for me. Easy maintenance means more maintenance gets done. My grandpa's philosophy was the more grease fittings the more you could grease it.
 

walhondingnashua

Feeling the Heat
Jul 23, 2016
390
ohio
Just got home with the Performance Built. Got an additional $100 off because the Lowes was busy and I had to wait awhile. Tomorrow I'll go over it once more and add oil. Then well see how it does with some ash.
 

JRHAWK9

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2014
1,675
Wisconsin Dells, WI
The 40 ton model really has my eye now since I feel like it’s a 2man job to move around by hand anyways

It's what I decided on after hearing about one guy who has one and has over 1,000 hours on it in four years. I timed my cycle time and it's about 9.2 seconds right out of the crate.



Performance Built splitters are made by YTL International, the same company contracted by TSC to build their CountyLine splitters to TSC's specs.
 
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mcdougy

Minister of Fire
Apr 15, 2014
661
ontario
Just got home with the Performance Built. Got an additional $100 off because the Lowes was busy and I had to wait awhile. Tomorrow I'll go over it once more and add oil. Then well see how it does with some ash.
Do you have any nasty wood that laughs at an axe? Hickory, green spruce, white oak......must feel good to know you have a new helper when required.
 

walhondingnashua

Feeling the Heat
Jul 23, 2016
390
ohio
Performance Built splitters are made by YTL International, the same company contracted by TSC to build their CountyLine splitters to TSC's specs.
When looking at both online, they do look almost identical other than color and the stand. I was even happier than I thought I would be once I was the stand is an actually solid piece and has a lock on it to swing it up.

If I remember reading correctly, it has a low oil shutoff so when my in-laws come get it, they at least cannot run it without oil lol.

There is a pile sitting about as far as I can throw from my splitting stump of chunks of random hardwoods (cherry, oak, walnut, ash) that I beat at with my maul and wedge that just wouldn't split. I constant reminder of frustration and losing. Tomorrow, I get my revenge.
 

Jags

Moderate Moderator
Staff member
Aug 2, 2006
18,237
Northern IL
Speaking of oil...do yourself and your engine a big favor and change the oil after a couple hours of run time. It’s a good practice for all new small engines.
 

walhondingnashua

Feeling the Heat
Jul 23, 2016
390
ohio
Speaking of oil...do yourself and your engine a big favor and change the oil after a couple hours of run time. It’s a good practice for all new small engines.
Absolutely. I plan on running it for 2 hours and draining it. I am also a synthetic guy. It will never have anything but full synthetic in it.
 

DodgyNomad

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
657
West Michigan
Absolutely. I plan on running it for 2 hours and draining it. I am also a synthetic guy. It will never have anything but full synthetic in it.

Not to start a break in thread, but what most engine builders I work with will do on a small, stock, air cooled 4 stroke is warm it up for a few minutes on lowish idle, then shut it down and let it heat sink for a few minutes. Start it again and vary the throttle up and down to about half throttle and work it for a few minutes while on a lighter load. When it's fully warmed up, start using it at about 75% for a few minutes, varying the throttle and load, then run it full tilt for a bit, but occasionally vary the RPM's up and down to help seat the rings. But warm up and varying the RPM's and load will help with a quality engine break in. I tend to not whip them too hard in the first 30 minutes at least, and occasionally vary the throttle and loads.

Change the oil after the first couple of hours, but replace and run non synthetic for the next several hours again. I like the HDEO oils for this, like Rotella T, but any 10-30 will be ok. Run and drain for a few more hours. I don't recommend synthetic until at least hour 6, but I generally wait until at least 10 hours. But vary the throttle and load from time to time and give it a chance to warm up a bit before you start splitting at wide open throttle(3600 rpm).

This is a short hand version of the procedure, but I've broken in hundreds of engines in a similar fashion, and they usually use less oil over their lifetime, and make a bit more power than folks who don't break them in properly.
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
995
Western Washington
Not to start a break in thread, but what most engine builders I work with will do on a small, stock, air cooled 4 stroke is warm it up for a few minutes on lowish idle, then shut it down and let it heat sink for a few minutes. Start it again and vary the throttle up and down to about half throttle and work it for a few minutes while on a lighter load. When it's fully warmed up, start using it at about 75% for a few minutes, varying the throttle and load, then run it full tilt for a bit, but occasionally vary the RPM's up and down to help seat the rings. But warm up and varying the RPM's and load will help with a quality engine break in. I tend to not whip them too hard in the first 30 minutes at least, and occasionally vary the throttle and loads.

Change the oil after the first couple of hours, but replace and run non synthetic for the next several hours again. I like the HDEO oils for this, like Rotella T, but any 10-30 will be ok. Run and drain for a few more hours. I don't recommend synthetic until at least hour 6, but I generally wait until at least 10 hours. But vary the throttle and load from time to time and give it a chance to warm up a bit before you start splitting at wide open throttle(3600 rpm).

This is a short hand version of the procedure, but I've broken in hundreds of engines in a similar fashion, and they usually use less oil over their lifetime, and make a bit more power than folks who don't break them in properly.
That’s a good tip! Thanks for posting
 
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walhondingnashua

Feeling the Heat
Jul 23, 2016
390
ohio
Change the oil after the first couple of hours, but replace and run non synthetic for the next several hours again. I like the HDEO oils for this, like Rotella T, but any 10-30 will be ok. Run and drain for a few more hours. I don't recommend synthetic until at least hour 6, but I generally wait until at least 10 hours. But vary the throttle and load from time to time and give it a chance to warm up a bit before you start splitting at wide open throttle(3600 rpm).
Why do you not recommend synthetic for this initial break in period?