your opinions on a decent gas log splitter please

I'm in the market for one. It's pretty much wood just for me but with a decent log splitter I'm sure I'll split enough for others every now & then. I’ll want the vertical & horizontal options. I used to operate a (21? ton) vertical & horizontal with my buddy, a Honda motor, bought from Lowes. It was decent. Do I stay in the 20ton range or go to the 31?ton size. I don’t have a tractor so no 60 rounds, just stuff 1 or 2 guys can move. Lowes/Home Depot? Harbor Freight? Thank you for any comments and if you can point me to any threads, I'll be using the search feature too. I have a 7 ton electric that is doing fine, been pleased with it, just need to upgrade to handle bigger rounds
 
Found these
$1,000

$1,200

Thank you for all comments
 

andym

Feeling the Heat
Feb 6, 2020
381
Hicksville, Ohio
I've looked at both in the past. Either would be a good machine. I prefer my Countyline 30 ton, but there is not a great amount of difference. Mainly just small details like the size/style of the log rack etc.
 

Woody5506

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2017
853
Rochester NY
I'm perfectly happy with my Airens 27 ton. I believe you can get the same splitter through Home Depot with a coupon or discount from time to time. I went to a local equipment dealer because I prefer to buy from places like that who will stand behind the product. I did actually have an issue with mine the first day I got it, for some reason the ram stuck open. The dealer came and picked it up while I was at work, fixed the issue, and had it delivered before I even got home.
 

blades

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2008
3,595
WI, Leroy
If you are handy and can do your own repairs, they are all pretty much equal. Bells and whistles are all that may separate one from another.
Other wise shop the dealer for support. 20 ton will get 98% of everything done. Now as to big diameter rounds all the units state a size limitation mostly about 10 " reason being when trying to split big Diameter rounds it over stresses the design limitations, that is when things start going south. ( ya I know we all do it). As to Harbor Freight, parts /support is next to none exsistant. Besides the same units they sell are available in at least 3 other names. Units are made to price point in Chi-com territory with very few exceptions.
 
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Grizzerbear

Minister of Fire
Feb 12, 2019
976
SW Missoura
I looked at the yardmax but I didn't like that the ram was smaller in diameter than pretty much every other companies models. Like a 1/4 inch. I don't know how big of a deal that could be but I had seen reviews where the ram had bent while splitting and wouldn't retract. Obviously it was probably being misused or used beyond it capacity but we all do eventually and the cylinder and ram is not something I would want to cheap out on on a splitter. Quite a few folks here have ariens brand and have said good things about them. I don't know any folks with the yardmax being it's a pretty new company so I would shy away from it personally. That's just my opinion.
 

Mutineer

Burning Hunk
Dec 13, 2018
102
NE Ohio
Number one on my decision tree would be engine manufacturer. I burned out the Briggs that came on my 20T splitter when I got it 30 years ago from Northern Tool, replaced it with a used Honda GX200 about 20 years ago. Heavily used, that threw a valve a couple years ago but good parts were easy and reasonable and it still purrs. Handles everything I have ever thrown at it except a couple of large ash crotches when it was new and I was young and uninformed. Read up on the engines that are offered on any of these splitters, lots of informed (and un-informed) opinion out there, but my money is on the GX series Hondas, some say the GC series aren't up to top Honda standards. I gave my old Yamaha tractor to a strange, savant-like kid a couple of years ago who was well versed on engines even though he looked like a homeless slacker type, and he warned me about replacing my tractor with one that had a Kohler engine as they had many well known issues with oil leaks and the like. Lots of history about place of manufacture and assembly standards on those engines, I didn't listen and picked up a slightly used Cub Cadet with a Kohler engine and it started smoking from oil leaking on the hot bits an hour into the first mow. Luckily I was able to return if for full refund from the dealer (see Woody5506 above). My buddy sold me a 15 year old Simplicity with a Honda GXV530 and it is rock solid.
 
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baseroom

Feeling the Heat
Nov 18, 2014
461
Rochester
My experience.....I bought the Countyline from TSC about three years ago. I have run aproxiamately 50 cord of wood through it. Mostly Cherry, Ash and soft maple. Largest probably two feet in diameter . It has split everything i have thrown at it. I am very pleased. I also develped a small leak in the controls. Called them and they sent a whole new unit. Great customer support.
 
Feb 2, 2020
226
Madison, WI
I have the Champion 27 ton that I got from Home Depot. It was the floor model so it was fully built, ready to go. Got a great deal on it since it had "rust" on the beam (it cleaned off with a rag when I got it home lol) and saved further money on it by using the Home Depot credit card. Have split nearly 20 cords with it, and all I've done on it maintenance wise has been an oil change. Everything works great still, all connections on it are still good. I've split monster rounds nearly 4 ft in diameter with it and tons of knotty pieces. Hasn't found anything to stop it yet. As has been mentioned, these brands are all pretty much made in the same factory, just have different names and price points. Any unit 20 tons to about 28 tons should be all you need for splitting needs. The 30 tons and up, IMO is just a marketing gimmick. They may have somewhat bigger engines on them but not enough to be such a more powerful machine than something in the 20 ton class.
 
All excellent comments- thanks ! I have heard the same about Honda motors, so knew that was important, but I dint consider it to be the #1 issue so that is very helpful.
 

JRHAWK9

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2014
1,638
Wisconsin Dells, WI
The 30 tons and up, IMO is just a marketing gimmick.
I wouldn't say gimmick, as they will have larger cylinders on them and will be capable of more force, however most people probably don't need much over a 20 ton. I have a CountyLine 40ton. It has a 5 1/8" cylinder. I put a gauge on mine and from the factory it was set to somewhere over 35 tons (I let off seeing I only had a 3,000psi gauge). I now have the DCV relief dialed down to about 34 tons, which on a 5 1/8" cylinder is 3,300psi. I used it this spring to split 11+ cord of red/white oak and I never saw the gauge move to even 500 psi! Even when I did a couple of the crotch pieces it may have touched the 500psi mark briefly. It also never even crossed over to the 2nd pump stage. Even when it was shearing wood, it stayed in the first stage.

They may have somewhat bigger engines on them but not enough to be such a more powerful machine than something in the 20 ton class.
If you can deal with slow cycle times, one can pair a large cylinder with a smaller pump and get away with using a smaller engine. The larger engines are needed for higher capacity pumps....IE for those who want faster cycle times.

Force is all the cross-sectional area of the ram and pressure . Cycle time is pump size and how much fluid it can move. The larger the pump, the more engine you will need. You could put a 6" cylinder behind a 11GPM pump with a 5hp engine if you wanted to. It would still generate 40+ tons of force, but it would be VERY slow.
 
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brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,151
NE Ohio
Force is all the cross-sectional area of the ram and pressure . Cycle time is pipe size and how much fluid it can move. The larger the pump, the more engine you will need. You could put a 6" cylinder behind a 11GPM pump with a 5hp engine if you wanted to. It would still generate 40+ tons of force, but it would be VERY slow.
It'd be slow, but as long as it stayed in the first stage, not too terrible...but then with a low horsepower engine you couldn't wait too long for it to shift into stage 2 without stalling said low horsepower engine.
But I agree with you, no need for anything much over 20 tons...my little 5 ton electric splits 99% of what I put in it.
I'd like to see someone make a little 10-12 ton with decent cycle times, which is probably just a matter of using the same pump/engine combo that is common on the mid 20 ton stuff that everybody makes, but then put a smaller cylinder on it...I bet they would sell a ton of them.
 

JRHAWK9

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2014
1,638
Wisconsin Dells, WI
It'd be slow, but as long as it stayed in the first stage, not too terrible...but then with a low horsepower engine you couldn't wait too long for it to shift into stage 2 without stalling said low horsepower engine.
But with a big cylinder, say, the 500psi the pump sees is generating more force than the same 500psi on the smaller cylinder.

It would have the same lower flow pump matched to the engine.

For instance, if you would add a 6in cylinder to your splitter, it would be able to power through more on the first stage due to the same pressure applying more force. If the crossover relief on your pump is currently set to say 600psi with a 4" cylinder, you would be applying 4 tons before it crossed over. On a 6" cylinder, that same 600psi would now equal 8 tons.....with the pump using the identical HP from the engine to achieve the identical 600psi. You could leave the pump crossover point the same and the engine should not see any difference in load. It's generating 600psi regardless of what size cylinder you have connected to it. :) That's how I see it anyway....as the pump/engine combo is just generating pressure by maintaining flow against an area, it has no idea what cross-sectional area that pressure/flow is being applied to.
 
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patrickk222

New Member
Mar 28, 2021
15
alderson wv
id say whatever u get make sure its not a huskee from tsc i got 1 in 2014 and it is the biggest pos i ever spent 1500 on id use it once then it refused to start so id have to pay to get it repaired and it'd run good for a little bit and by a little id mean a day or 2 then refuse to start then id have to more and more and it would work less and less
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,151
NE Ohio
id say whatever u get make sure its not a huskee from tsc i got 1 in 2014 and it is the biggest pos i ever spent 1500 on id use it once then it refused to start so id have to pay to get it repaired and it'd run good for a little bit and by a little id mean a day or 2 then refuse to start then id have to more and more and it would work less and less
What engine?
 

JRHAWK9

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2014
1,638
Wisconsin Dells, WI
It'd be slow, but as long as it stayed in the first stage, not too terrible...but then with a low horsepower engine you couldn't wait too long for it to shift into stage 2 without stalling said low horsepower engine.
I may have mis-understood you. If you are talking about underpowering a certain pump, than I agree with what you are saying. In my hypothetical above I was just throwing out using a 5hp motor assuming it would be enough to power a small 11GPM pump. Maybe it would be too small though.

What I was referring to/meant was using a properly matched engine/pump combo and just putting a larger cylinder on it.
 
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JRHAWK9

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2014
1,638
Wisconsin Dells, WI
Interesting. One of the other selling points for me on the CL 40ton was the Kohler Command Pro CH440 motor. It's a more robust/commercial unit compared to the run of the mill Briggs on my Speeco. So far the Kohler has started in one pull every time....even in single digits.

 

baseroom

Feeling the Heat
Nov 18, 2014
461
Rochester
Yes.....the Kohler on mine has been bullet proof for three years.
 

JRHAWK9

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2014
1,638
Wisconsin Dells, WI
yeah i dont know what it is with the engine on mine if its a fluke thing or what but when it comes to the thing its just it is what it is man
I've read about some model of Kohlers they put on some of the smaller splitters were a pain to start at times. If true, maybe that's the model you have but on "hard-to-start steroids". LOL
 
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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,134
Northern NH
My 20 ton TSC country line is 3 years old with a Kohler engine and starts and runs fine. It does have design flaw on the air filter that les water into the filter box but a couple of O Rings and it was fixed. I split solo and it keeps up with me. The rounds in the flat bed are green beech and maple. I do not have use for the vertical option but it takes up less room in the garage.

PB010287.JPG
 

JRHAWK9

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2014
1,638
Wisconsin Dells, WI
It does have design flaw on the air filter that les water into the filter box but a couple of O Rings and it was fixed.
I remember reading one of your posts regarding this issue before I bought mine. I think the motor on mine must have a different filter setup, as I looked at mine and couldn't see what you were referring to.

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