Thinking of buying a gas splitter

WiscWoody

Minister of Fire
Dec 24, 2011
1,969
Winter WI
I just made a big (for me) purchaser from Home Depot too, a Power King stump grinder. I mow big rural lawns up here and sometimes one of my customers will want a few stumps ground out and I could use the grinder on my large lot also so popped for one. If I only make enough to pay for half of the $1750 cost with tax I’ll be happy.
 

MainePatsFan

Member
Nov 24, 2007
67
Southern Maine
I just made a big (for me) purchaser from Home Depot too, a Power King stump grinder. I mow big rural lawns up here and sometimes one of my customers will want a few stumps ground out and I could use the grinder on my large lot also so popped for one. If I only make enough to pay for half of the $1750 cost with tax I’ll be happy.
That is interesting. Right now I have two large red oak stumps about 26" in diameter in my yard. I don't want them to just hold planters for years, but not sure I even know how to operate a stump grinder.
 

WiscWoody

Minister of Fire
Dec 24, 2011
1,969
Winter WI
Watch some YouTube videos of hand swing stump grinders. Here’s one where a guy grinds a 40"x30" oak stump with a grinder I was looking at at HD but they didn’t have them available now so I got the Powerking.
If you hire out the grinding ask them what they charge to grind stumps. They charge by the inch in diameter and it’s anywhere from $2.50 to $4.50 usually depending how much the cost of living is in your area. I knew a guy here that charged $2.25 a inch here but that was a few years ago. he might charge more now.
 
Last edited:

Simonkenton

Minister of Fire
Feb 27, 2014
1,834
Marshall NC
I have rented a stump grinder like the one in the video and have ground up about 30 stumps with it. It will give you a workout, but it works great!
That was on flat ground. In June, I had to grind stumps on a hill. The rental grinder just didn't work well. Very difficult to maneuver.

I took it back to the rental place, it was supposed to be $95 for five hours, the guy only charged me $27, he told me he knew it wouldn't work on a hill.



I had to hire it out. The guy brought over the Vermeer, it is a Beast! Right on the hill where I got stuck the Vermeer knocked that stump out in 3 minutes.
He charged me $600 for 90 minutes of work, he ground up about 20 stumps. He told me the Vermeer costs about $80 grand.



He runs the Vermeer with remote control. He stand there and pushes "L---R" and the grinder moves left right. Guy just stands there, like playing a video game, he never even touches the big Bad Ass grinder. Very impressive.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Woody5506

WiscWoody

Minister of Fire
Dec 24, 2011
1,969
Winter WI
I’m going to move this discussion to a new thread In The Gear forum. Maybe one of the mods can move the stump grinder posts there?
 
Last edited:

Dmitry

Minister of Fire
Oct 4, 2014
951
CT
I have cut up two 80' red oaks into about 60 18-24" diameter rounds and many smaller rounds. I have a splitting maul, wedges, and all that. I have split simple 10-14" rounds of various species in the past, but when I tried my hand at a 22" red oak round, my maul was just bouncing out and I think I actually heard the other rounds laughing. Make no mistake I am an amateur. I spend all week in front of computer monitors, and pretend that I am a farmer/landscaper/lumberjack/handyman for two days on the weekend. So I am thinking of buying a $1000 gas splitter for two reasons. The work required in just cutting up two red oaks with a chainsaw is about my limit. I have to try to get everything related to my homestead done in just two days over the weekend. I realize that even using a gas splitter is work and will take some time, but I think it is really the only option if I want to cut and split my own firewood. I live on 3 acres of woodland, but surrounded by 100 acres of conservation woodland of which I have been allowed to harvest certain trees most of which are red oaks all about 70-100 years old.

So I think it will be a good purchase, but a part of me feels like I should be able to split this stuff by hand, and feel like I am giving up too easily. But I turned 50 this year and will admit that it takes me longer to recover from a full day of manual labor around my property, than it did 20 years ago.

So I ask all of you seasoned woodsmen, is a gas splitter a good purchase if you want to cut your own firewood every season and your time is short and your body is aging?
I can't Imagine my life without it. Get it. Especially if you are weekend warrior with limited time.
My only issue: it's kind of boring with gas hydraulics splitter. I wish I had kinetic one, that splits much faster.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lakeside

MainePatsFan

Member
Nov 24, 2007
67
Southern Maine
Oh yeah theres a lot of weight in those big rounds. I might be a fool sometimes but I never put my splitter in the vertical position and I end up hoisting some real heavy logs up to the table but at 58 my back has never been hurt... yet* ;)
I just tried a full day of horizontal splitting. I do think it was easier on my back a little. But I had to use one of my ATV ramps to roll the 22" rounds up to the splitter. I just wasn't going to be able to lift those up. Also for those big rounds I would try to split in half and then drop one half to the ground to make room to split the other half. Still, I had to work pretty hard to get a full cord split and stacked in one day just by myself. These people doing 5 cords a day, sheesh.
 

MacinJosh

Feeling the Heat
Mar 4, 2015
310
Crestwood, KY
Lord yes, buy one. It’ll be one of the best purchases you ever made. I have plenty of axes and mauls myself, I took enjoy a good swing or two for exercise, but I’m not trying to turn into an old man over night. Save your arms and back and get a splitter. Trust me....it’s still a ton of exercise even with the splitter. But like you, I got plenty of other things vying for my time. I don’t have weeks of time to split wood.
 

WiscWoody

Minister of Fire
Dec 24, 2011
1,969
Winter WI
I just tried a full day of horizontal splitting. I do think it was easier on my back a little. But I had to use one of my ATV ramps to roll the 22" rounds up to the splitter. I just wasn't going to be able to lift those up. Also for those big rounds I would try to split in half and then drop one half to the ground to make room to split the other half. Still, I had to work pretty hard to get a full cord split and stacked in one day just by myself. These people doing 5 cords a day, sheesh.
I take small stabs at splitting, a half hour a day if I have a lot to split adds up. Or maybe a half hour in the morning and another half hour in the evening when it’s cooler again.
 

Isaac Carlson

Feeling the Heat
Nov 19, 2012
443
NW Wisconsin
I converted my gas splitter to electric this year and added a 4 way wedge. Huge win. The new pump is faster in high gear, and a bit slower in low gear, but that cuts down on cycle time and gives more grunt to my 3hp electric motor. The 4 way is icing on the cake. It will eat wood as fast as you can feed it. Electric splitters can be fast if you know how to design them.
 

Lakeside

Minister of Fire
Feb 6, 2009
561
Mike's World
Electric splitters can be fast if you know how to design them
Interesting. Care to share an estimate for how much money ( total cost ) you have invested in your splitter ?

I to went electric but not hydraulic , it's a SuperSplitter yes they do cost a few bucks -- very quite, very low maintenance and very fast too.
 

MainePatsFan

Member
Nov 24, 2007
67
Southern Maine
I converted my gas splitter to electric this year and added a 4 way wedge. Huge win. The new pump is faster in high gear, and a bit slower in low gear, but that cuts down on cycle time and gives more grunt to my 3hp electric motor. The 4 way is icing on the cake. It will eat wood as fast as you can feed it. Electric splitters can be fast if you know how to design them.
So you have to transport the rounds to the splitter where it is plugged in? On my property I was thinking of towing my splitter to where the tree was felled and cut up and then loading up a trailer that I will tow back to the wood shed. I guess it is 6 of one, half dozen of the other.
 

Isaac Carlson

Feeling the Heat
Nov 19, 2012
443
NW Wisconsin
I have a 100 ft cord, so I can move the splitter in a 200 ft circle. I normally bring the wood back to the house to split it anyway.
I do have a gas splitter if I need to be mobile.
 

fbelec

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2005
2,949
Massachusetts
watch out with that hundred foot cord, long cords usually burn out motors because of voltage drop at the end of it while running
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lakeside

fbelec

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2005
2,949
Massachusetts
should be ten. that motor might be around a 10 amp draw at 240 volts thats pushing it a bit. you can physically check the voltage if your willing to slide the splitter plug out just a little and with someone else running the splitter have them put a big load on it and see what the voltage is on a volt meter at the prongs of the plug
 
Jun 8, 2020
103
Craig County, VA
The average 3 hp motor should pull about 17 amps at 240 volts single phase. According to a calculator I used, at 100', 12 gauge wire should be fine with only a 5.4 volt drop at 100' (235.6 volts).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Isaac Carlson

Isaac Carlson

Feeling the Heat
Nov 19, 2012
443
NW Wisconsin
The average 3 hp motor should pull about 17 amps at 240 volts single phase. According to a calculator I used, at 100', 12 gauge wire should be fine with only a 5.4 volt drop at 100' (235.6 volts).
Right. We have 246-247 volts here, so it's just fine. Everything here uses less amps because of the higher voltage.
 

Lakeside

Minister of Fire
Feb 6, 2009
561
Mike's World
FYI -- I am just running 1 hp electric motor and running 110. no problems
 
  • Like
Reactions: Isaac Carlson

fbelec

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2005
2,949
Massachusetts
it's not that you would have problems right away but the motor won't last long if it is run drawing more current. the motor will tend to run the coils in the motor hotter. the motor is going to take the same amount of wattage regardless of the voltage so if you drop the voltage the current will go up. my compressor has a 3 hp motor and is on a 15 amp plug from the factory. it draws between 10 and 12 amps depending on the load and voltage coming in. i'm not saying your motor is going to die but with that long of a run the voltage drop should be checked just to be on the safe side.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lakeside

Isaac Carlson

Feeling the Heat
Nov 19, 2012
443
NW Wisconsin
I am not worried about the amp draw. I have monitored motor temp and it is well within operating specs. It is idling half the time, and when it's working it's usually only making about 1-2 hp. The only time it sees full load is right before it kicks down and at full pressure.
 

Isaac Carlson

Feeling the Heat
Nov 19, 2012
443
NW Wisconsin
I have 246-247 volts at the outlet, so even if I pulled 20 amps, I should still have at least 240 volts at the splitter, which is still more than the motor is rated for, so the amp draw at full load would never exceed the nameplate rating. I think the motor is rated for 220/230. I should be around 13-14 amps at relief pressure.