I'm new here and would like to contribute to this great site. I have a MTD log splitter that was purchased from HD back in 2000 when they still made them with full I beams. It's rated at 25 tons with a 6hp B/S IC engine. I usually split about 4 cords a year. I've read several posts from those members seeking information on cycle times, pump ratings, engine HP recommendations, and splitting capacity. IMHO, more is better but not always necessary for the average homeowner who isn't in the business of selling wood. I'd suggest looking at what type of wood you will be working with, specifically type and size. Do you really need a splitter that is capable of splitting a 36" oak round if you ony have a 16" chain saw and will not be working with wood that size? I recently changed all the fluids in my splitter since I just obtained a load of wood and decided to take the camera with me today to take a couple shots. I want to illustrate a few points. First is wedge design. MTD use to use a welded wedge that had a wide taper. They have since gone to a solid cast iron material with a similar design. I[ve used a friends Iron and Oak that had a two step taper and found that I had to push the wedge further into the round before it would split. This is where cycle time may come into play. The less the wedge needs to be driven into the round before it splits will save time. A thinner wedge will require deeper penetration. Very rarely will you need to push the wedge through it's full stroke of travel. Don't get caught up on the difference between 13 seconds and 17 seconds. Here is an example of large round being split. The round is about 34". Notice how shallow the wedge needed to go in before it cracked. I think this is ash, but I never was good at wood classification.