Looking for Log Splitter recommendations

GreenLiving57

New Member
Aug 3, 2018
40
Southwestern USA
Hi,

Looking suggestions for a Log Splitter!

I'm hoping to get in way under $1000? But I don't want to save a few bucks just to get something not powerful enough for my needs.

I already have a couple of Honda 2000 watt generators, so I figure electric is the way to go, since I already have a good source for power?

I cut and split about 10 cords a year. Mainly softwoods - pine, aspen, fir - occasionally a little cedar.

Most of my rounds are in the 12" - 15" range. A lot are smaller, a few bigger. Length ranges from 16" - 18" ish. Some green, some dry.

I was hoping to get something that sits at waist level, that can be operated standing up, I don't like the idea of the ones that you have to kneel on the ground?

Any and all suggestions, tips and tricks would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!
 

xman23

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
2,021
Lackawaxen PA
You mentioned looking at the electric splitters. A number of people here have them, and comment. What your splitting maybe what they are capable of splitting. Running from a small generator could be hard when you get into some rough wood. You'll have to look at the full load current. Most here have 20 ton or bigger gas engine, hydraulic splitters. We can split just about anything. I like the fact that my splitter can go vertical. Ocasional I'm splitting 18 -24 inch diameter rounds. Rounds that big can't be lifted onto the splitter.
 
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johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
2,499
Eastern Ontario
I have both an electric and a 22 ton gas . The electric is mounted on
a bench in the basement and is used to split kindling only .
If you are doing 10 cords I would not recommend an electric one .
you can get a good gas one when they are on sale for under a grand
 

ColdNorCal

Feeling the Heat
Mar 6, 2018
271
Nor Cal
Two weeks ago Dirty Hand Tools lowered the price on their Half Beam 22 ton splitter to only $629 shipped in ebay. Many were being sold for $899 and $849.
 
Get an electric, nothing you are splitting requires big tonnage. I heat exclusively with wood and have been for over 13 years. I have a 5 ton Homelite electric and love it. I split black oak, douglas fir, ponderosa pine, white fir and incense cedar. Some of the wood I split is over 2' in diameter.


These $300 splitters will not set any speed records, but they will heat the house with a minimum of trouble and expense. I've had mine for over 8 years and it's still running strong. If it ever quits, I will gladly buy another. Electric splitters use no gas and almost no oil (a little hydraulic oil every couple of years). They are quieter, more reliable and more trouble free than a gas splitter. They produce no fumes, require almost no maintenance and start every spring without fail. I burn about 5 cords/year and try to stay at least 3 years ahead. There are many different brands of this type splitter, they are all quite similar.

If speed is an issue for you, get an electric kinetic splitter.


 
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GreenLiving57

New Member
Aug 3, 2018
40
Southwestern USA
Wow! So great to hear opinions from both sides! I don't need the speed of the kinetic - in fact that scares me a bit. I just need to take my time, and over a few months split 10 cords. Probably a bit less actually, as I try to by a few cords of hardwood ready to go, for those super cold nights in mid winter, that all my softwoods don't perform that great.

I have two, one brand new Honda EU-2000i's, I use as a battery backup, for my off grid solar power system. I SHOULD only have one of the damn things, but last winter, during a cloudy spell, my first one "went out", and I thought it was history, I spent $1000, bought another, get home, and the old one decided to start working again. Kept the second as a backup. I'm just wondering if the power, they put out, will power these electric splitters?
 
Wow! So great to hear opinions from both sides! I don't need the speed of the kinetic - in fact that scares me a bit. I just need to take my time, and over a few months split 10 cords. Probably a bit less actually, as I try to by a few cords of hardwood ready to go, for those super cold nights in mid winter, that all my softwoods don't perform that great.

I have two, one brand new Honda EU-2000i's, I use as a battery backup, for my off grid solar power system. I SHOULD only have one of the damn things, but last winter, during a cloudy spell, my first one "went out", and I thought it was history, I spent $1000, bought another, get home, and the old one decided to start working again. Kept the second as a backup. I'm just wondering if the power, they put out, will power these electric splitters?
I know what you mean about the speed of kinetics being a little scary. The specs say the Homelite draws 15 amps, which is 1800 watts.
 

ColdNorCal

Feeling the Heat
Mar 6, 2018
271
Nor Cal
You did say 10 cords a year....
 
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GreenLiving57

New Member
Aug 3, 2018
40
Southwestern USA
I'm sure many might laugh at that Walmart cheopo, but who knows, I need more info.

One good thing, is anything from Walmart could be returned very easily if it didn't work for me.........??
 

ColdNorCal

Feeling the Heat
Mar 6, 2018
271
Nor Cal
I'm sure many might laugh at that Walmart cheopo, but who knows, I need more info.

One good thing, is anything from Walmart could be returned very easily if it didn't work for me.........??
Not laughing. Definitely cost matters and whatever works. And it is no maintenance. But 6 tons is not much and how long will at last. Its easy to see how it is built. Normal size log splitters last 20+ years. 10 cords a year is a good amount, even with smaller rounds. But, for that price you can buy two or three... And test drive for free :)
 

xman23

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
2,021
Lackawaxen PA
It's all about the wood. In that first video the straight grain 2' round would blow apart with one shot of a maul. You didn't think they would show you wood it couldn't split. Near the end there was a piece that had a large knot, he didn't try splitting it. But a 6 inch knotted up, crotch round can be a challenge for a big gas splitter.

I could split easy wood by hand faster than the splitter. It's was the stringy white oak and others that sent me looking for a splitter. That was then, now 15 years with a good gas splitter, I'm not sure I know where my maul is. No one ever goes back.

You did say 10 cords! Just don't think this is something the electrics are for, they are slow. You may get hung up a lot with pieces that it won't split, a lot of wasted time. Not that I run my gas faster than half throttle, because It's a workout just feeding it. So don't get hung up with speed, as some do.

As to running from a generator. Your running a motor with a unregulated load. When you load it down and stall the motor, the current is 6 times the full load rating. Maybe they have some have methods to quickly limit the load, but it's hard not to put this kind of load on the power source as it's done. That said watch what your doing and it may work.

As said the electrics are out there, I'd like to see a side by side comparison of the electrics. Do a search here, as some have reviewed the ones they bought.
 
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ColdNorCal

Feeling the Heat
Mar 6, 2018
271
Nor Cal
Another possibility, one I considered when I bought the gas splitter, is to rent it out. Two different people rent their splitters for 60-$75 for a day. Another person charges by the hour with him running the splitter.
 
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Raoul

Member
Aug 25, 2017
30
Tacoma
I picked up used DR electric. It is not perfect. That said, it splits most everything I scrounge here in the PNW. Cherry, fir, and alder (a hatchet could split the alder). Either way I do two cords tops. No place to put the wood on my lot.

It did struggle with some twisted two year seasoned silver maple that I wanted to split into smaller pieces.

I like that it is one handed operation and has those wings on it to catch the wood.

58310022270__E976778A-A8EF-4A58-8CDA-D21940B14D4C.jpg




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
As to running from a generator. Your running a motor with a unregulated load. When you load it down and stall the motor, the current is 6 times the full load rating. Maybe they have some have methods to quickly limit the load, but it's hard not to put this kind of load on the power source as it's done. That said watch what your doing and it may work.
These splitters do not stall the motor when the ram stalls, the hydraulics bypass.
 
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xman23

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
2,021
Lackawaxen PA
These splitters do not stall the motor when the ram stalls, the hydraulics bypass.
Yes, I assumed the various versions of the electrics limited the load. But do they do it quick enough, particularly when run from a marjinal generator. For example when i'm running my gas at 1/4 speed and hit a bad knot, it will stall the engine before the bypass kicks in.

I thought the electrics were worm screw. I'm guessing the better / bigger ones are electric motor driving a hydraulic pump. Are they 2 stage hydraulic setups?

Many do look lightly built. I envisioning one of my rounds in one, and the splitter blowing itself apart.
 
Yes, I assumed the various versions of the electrics limited the load. But do they do it quick enough, particularly when run from a marjinal generator. For example when i'm running my gas at 1/4 speed and hit a bad knot, it will stall the engine before the bypass kicks in.

I thought the electrics were worm screw. I'm guessing the better / bigger ones are electric motor driving a hydraulic pump. Are they 2 stage hydraulic setups?

Many do look lightly built. I envisioning one of my rounds in one, and the splitter blowing itself apart.
I have only used the Homelite version of the 5 ton splitters, but all of the 5-7 ton electrics are similar. They are single stage hydraulic/electric, though I think the 7 ton that HF used to sell was 2 stage. I'm not familiar with the inner workings, but the electric motor never stalls, even though it is quite common to stall the ram. I run mine on a 20 amp circuit and it never trips the breaker.
Many of them have custom features such as a log cradle which do appear to be fairly light, but the beam/cylinder, frame etc. are quite stout. In the case of a round it can't split, it will just simply stall. It doesn't have enough muscle to hurt itself. I've had mine for over 10 years and the only damage it has sustained was at the hands of a friend who is no longer allowed to borrow my equipment.

On large rounds (>20 in.) I sometimes have to reposition to find a weak spot or, worst case, noodle a groove in one side and start the wedge in the groove. Of course, these little units were never intended for anything of that size. I would never suggest that one of these would be adequate for someone east of the Mississippi where tough hardwoods are the norm. Out here in the west is another matter, the types and sizes of wood that the OP listed would present no real challenge.
 
I just came across this video review of the Wen linked above.


I had missed mention of the fact that it lists the motor as 2-1/2 hp while the norm for these type splitters is 2 hp. That could just be puffery though.
 

xman23

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
2,021
Lackawaxen PA
I have only used the Homelite version of the 5 ton splitters, but all of the 5-7 ton electrics are similar. They are single stage hydraulic/electric, though I think the 7 ton that HF used to sell was 2 stage. I'm not familiar with the inner workings, but the electric motor never stalls, even though it is quite common to stall the ram. I run mine on a 20 amp circuit and it never trips the breaker.
Many of them have custom features such as a log cradle which do appear to be fairly light, but the beam/cylinder, frame etc. are quite stout. In the case of a round it can't split, it will just simply stall. It doesn't have enough muscle to hurt itself. I've had mine for over 10 years and the only damage it has sustained was at the hands of a friend who is no longer allowed to borrow my equipment.

On large rounds (>20 in.) I sometimes have to reposition to find a weak spot or, worst case, noodle a groove in one side and start the wedge in the groove. Of course, these little units were never intended for anything of that size. I would never suggest that one of these would be adequate for someone east of the Mississippi where tough hardwoods are the norm. Out here in the west is another matter, the types and sizes of wood that the OP listed would present no real challenge.

Craig, thanks, great insight into the electric splitter world. It is something we all should look at.

One thing I will add, concerning running from a generator. In your scenario your splitter is wired to a utility power, that has essentially an endless current supply. Your only limit is the 20 amp circuit breaker, wire size, etc. What the circuit breaker or fuse has built in is a "trip curve". So at any current there is a time lag before it will open. It will supply 2 to 6 x the 20 amps for some decent amount of time. Enough time that the splitter does something about the overload. Generators don't do this well. So a overload will sag the voltage, starving the motor. But run within the generators capabilities, no reason it won't work.


Green living, tell us more about off the grid living? You doing this full time? No power, etc. Use a cell phone to get on the internet.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
3,454
Downeast Maine
Craig, thanks, great insight into the electric splitter world. It is something we all should look at.

One thing I will add, concerning running from a generator. In your scenario your splitter is wired to a utility power, that has essentially an endless current supply. Your only limit is the 20 amp circuit breaker, wire size, etc. What the circuit breaker or fuse has built in is a "trip curve". So at any current there is a time lag before it will open. It will supply 2 to 6 x the 20 amps for some decent amount of time. Enough time that the splitter does something about the overload. Generators don't do this well. So a overload will sag the voltage, starving the motor. But run within the generators capabilities, no reason it won't work.


Green living, tell us more about off the grid living? You doing this full time? No power, etc. Use a cell phone to get on the internet.
I've killed big generators in Afghanistan operating hydraulic equipment several years ago. Several times the genset died because the gate was used while other things were drawing power, despite everything being within the working range of our diesel genset.

To the OP, if you are off grid, do yourself a favor and get a gas splitter. You never have to worry about draining your house batteries or dragging your backup generator and splitter around. My Brave 20t Dual Split is fairly easy to move by hand and I drag it to the logs with a tractor. An electric splitter forces you to bring the logs to the splitter, which is probably near your house. This makes a mess all around near your house. If you go this route, put a tarp under the splitter.
 
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Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,144
Woolwich nj
The DHT splitter isn't that expensive. I would go with a gas splitter. I understand tha you have a generator that you want to use, but between the slow speed of an electric plus the lower tonnage to me it doesn't make sence. I have a Kubota tractor, i wouldn't consider running a splitter off the PTO and jack up the hours on my motor. If you look at it this way, buy the right gas splitter and it will last you a lifetime, a one time purchas. Buy an electric splitter and a generator and your going to be replacing both, at this point your not ahead anymore.
 
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BIGChrisNH

Feeling the Heat
Dec 16, 2015
418
New Hampshire
My thinking is, if you’re going to put gas in a generator to power an electric splitter, why not just put the gas in the splitter itself and go the gas powered hydraulic route? You’re using gas either way