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Author Topic: Log Splitters?  (Read 1490 times)

Ben

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Log Splitters?
« on: April 21, 2020, 07:21:08 PM »

Any of you guys have a log splitter? I'm thinking of getting one.

Originally, I didn't think I'd be cutting that much wood, and just figured on using my splitting maul for the exercise. Since then, I've cut about a cord that I've split that way, but now have nearly two more cords ready to split, and frankly, I'm tired. The exercise routine was fine for a cord's worth, but I've got too much other stuff to do around here to split more by hand.

I'm thinking of just getting one of those $1000 Tractor Supply 25 ton splitters when they go on sale and calling it good. Kind of a big up front expense, but renting one will run me $100 a day. I can buy a cord of split hardwood for $200. My estimate at this point is that I'll be getting a cord of wood a year just cleaning up my trees every Winter. This Winter I got the three cords because the previous owners left a bit of a mess and  I also took a couple of trees down. From here on out I plan on no more than a cord's worth of cleanup per year, since I have this three cord buffer now for wood stove burning.

I'm just thinking buying the splitter is the way to go and I just have to talk myself into it.
"I'm a foolish old man that has been drawn into a wild goose chase by a harpy in trousers and a nincompoop."

Jim147

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Re: Log Splitters?
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2020, 08:58:16 PM »

I split wood by had for more years than I can remember. I bout a onsale sears splitter in 2008 and can't believe I every did it by hand.

I've replace the carb and the lower pump seal. Maybe $30 in parts over the years beside regular maintenance.
Sometimes we carry more weight then we owe.
And sometimes goes on and on and on.

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RoadKingLarry

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Re: Log Splitters?
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2020, 09:05:51 PM »

I've got a 22 ton Huskee that has powered through some pretty gnarly oak.
While I did experience an engine failure it was caused by external forces (squirrels) and not the fault of B&S.

My experience is in line with the reviews shown here -
https://www.firewood-for-life.com/huskee-log-splitter-review.html

I truly enjoy spitting wood by hand with axe or maul, it just gives me a feeling of satisfaction but with the arthritis and related joint problems in my shoulders my axe swinging is going to be pretty severely limited going forward.

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Kingcreek

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Re: Log Splitters?
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2020, 09:35:08 PM »

I’ve split a bunch of firewood by hand. Never again.
I bartered for a lightly used 28 ton speeco horizontal/vertical and modded it with a welded log cradle.
The northern tool Honda powered Northstar brand are good if nothing else shows up in your area
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Nick1911

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Re: Log Splitters?
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2020, 09:38:58 PM »

I don't, but now that I find myself dealing with wood more, it's an eventuality.

I'd like to find a steal of a deal on one with a smoked engine or pump or something, but those deals are few and far between.

Ben

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Re: Log Splitters?
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2020, 10:18:56 PM »

I just saw that Harbor Freight has a a 20 ton Predator for $800 that you have to assemble. I recently got a Predator water pump and have been super impressed with that engine, so that might be a possibility. The Tractor Supply splitter uses a Kohler, but it gets good reviews.
"I'm a foolish old man that has been drawn into a wild goose chase by a harpy in trousers and a nincompoop."

charby

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Re: Log Splitters?
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2020, 10:46:49 PM »

How about a 3 pt log splitter for your tractor?
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Ben

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Re: Log Splitters?
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2020, 10:54:28 PM »

How about a 3 pt log splitter for your tractor?

I didn't even know there was such an animal. Though this guy doesn't recommend them for smaller tractors because of the continuous flow. I'll check into other reviews and prices though.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jObB6caU5J4
"I'm a foolish old man that has been drawn into a wild goose chase by a harpy in trousers and a nincompoop."

Jim147

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Re: Log Splitters?
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2020, 11:48:31 PM »

Yeah I have a friend with a tractor splitter that he uses to make money all winter
Not sure what size tractor he has
Sometimes we carry more weight then we owe.
And sometimes goes on and on and on.

BAH-WEEP-GRAAAGHNAH WHEEP NI-NI BONG

Kingcreek

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Re: Log Splitters?
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2020, 05:12:11 AM »

The 3pt mounted splitters that run off the pto with a secondary pump are ok but it means the tractor is running all the time and not available to move logs or pull a trailer etc. The ones that use tractor hydro off rear remotes are really painfully slow. My neighbor has one and I see him getting loads of split wood delivered lately.
Personally I much prefer the self powered splitters.
What we have here is failure to communicate.

dogmush

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Re: Log Splitters?
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2020, 06:43:37 AM »


I haven't used the HF Splitter, but I have a couple of their Preditor branded motors in other things, and they are part for part clones of Honda's.  (one of my Gens I have actually put Honda parts on for a repair) so they do tend to swing above their weight.  Just overlook the IP theft.

I would expect welding and powdercoating to be sub par at that price point.  The other thing I wonder about is to log splitters have a hardened wedge?  I have yet to find anything steel at HF that was hardened very well.  That's one spot where their cost cutting really shows.

The mentioned Northstar is $1500, but has a real Honda on it, and is probably a lot more durable.  We have a Northstar pressure washer at work that get's badly abused by the mechanics and has been really good.

charby

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Re: Log Splitters?
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2020, 10:16:52 AM »

Whatever you end up with, get one that tips up so you can split big heavy stove length logs.

Also it's easiest to split wood on the coldest day of the year.
Iowa- 88% more livable that the rest of the US

Uranus is a gas giant.

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Ben

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Re: Log Splitters?
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2020, 10:27:08 AM »

Whatever you end up with, get one that tips up so you can split big heavy stove length logs.

Also it's easiest to split wood on the coldest day of the year.

That is one negative about the HF one, it doesn't tip up. Truthfully, I'm cutting more big limbs than whole tree trunks, so my average bucked log is maybe 8-10 inches, but the tree I just cut down had some ~24" bucked logs, and they're kinda heavy.  :laugh:

I'm going to have to try cold day splitting this coming Winter. For now, I have a big pile of bucked logs that I need to clear away, plus I might need some of them this Winter. This last season I used just about a cord, but that about depleted what I collected since I got here that is seasoned, and it was a mild Winter. This will be the first year that I'll have a stockpile for two seasons out.
"I'm a foolish old man that has been drawn into a wild goose chase by a harpy in trousers and a nincompoop."

charby

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Re: Log Splitters?
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2020, 10:35:39 AM »

That is one negative about the HF one, it doesn't tip up. Truthfully, I'm cutting more big limbs than whole tree trunks, so my average bucked log is maybe 8-10 inches, but the tree I just cut down had some ~24" bucked logs, and they're kinda heavy.  :laugh:

I'm going to have to try cold day splitting this coming Winter. For now, I have a big pile of bucked logs that I need to clear away, plus I might need some of them this Winter. This last season I used just about a cord, but that about depleted what I collected since I got here that is seasoned, and it was a mild Winter. This will be the first year that I'll have a stockpile for two seasons out.

You ain't getting any younger, buy once, cry once. Plus if you drop a tree, you can split the big logs up on site.

Winter, colder the better for splitting, especially several days of below 20F. Freezes the water in the wood and it pops so easy.
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Larry Ashcraft

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Re: Log Splitters?
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2020, 11:20:00 AM »

I have an old Sears that I bought at an auction over 20 years ago.  I forget the brand name but they were sold through Sears, Wards, Western Auto, John Deere and other places.  It's actually the first model sold to the public and it's only about 10 ton, and doesn't stand up. I modified it with bigger wheels and a stand in front to raise it up. It had a 5 HP B&S on it that worked fine, until I was using it down by the river and left it there. April 1997 we had a flood, and it was under 4 feet of water and ruined the engine. My small engine guy put a used tiller motor on it that used more oil than gas. I put up with that for a couple of years until one fall when it wouldn't run.  So I bit the bullet and ordered a brand new Honda engine.  It's been good since.

Before we built the new house, we were using about 3 cords a year, but our wood is mostly cottonwood and elm, so it works well.  Once in a while I'll get a crotch it won't power through, but I just throw those in the burn pile instead of fighting them.  I have split ash, walnut and black locust without any problems.

Ben

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Re: Log Splitters?
« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2022, 06:24:06 PM »

So two years later, I finally bought a log splitter.  :rofl:

Well, not entirely true. When I started this thread, it somehow migrated into the discussion in another thread at the time that was all about, "don't buy Chinese". I was trying to make an ethical decision, and was taking my time, so I bought an interim electric 5 ton splitter for $300. That one was better than splitting by hand, but it had a lot of trouble with the gnarly Russian olive wood I have here, especially any green stuff, which I had better luck splitting by hand. It did make smaller (under 8") dry stuff get finished a lot quicker than by hand though.

Anyway, I finally had to fish or cut bait because I have a big pile of Russian olive that the tree guys left me last year, and it's all big stuff that I need to process so it doesn't rot. I went back to looking, and holy hell, prices have gone up like crazy in the last two years. Right around +60%. A fully USA splitter was simply out of budget. I started out looking at getting either a County Line 25 ton (Tractor Supply) or Champion 27 (sold at Home Depot). I drove back and forth between the two stores measuring and checking specs on the display splitters, as well as spending time on the interwebz. Which did I choose? Neither.  :laugh:

I also stopped at the D&B Supply, a local (Pacific Northwest) farm store, and they were selling Black Diamond splitters "designed in the USA" which I take to mean somewhat similar to the DeWalt line of USA tools. I was super impressed with the display splitters, which included models with Honda engines. Apparently they sell mostly to farm stores. I did a bunch of interwebbing, and ended up with their 28 ton Honda splitter. 2000 ducats (no tax, bought it in Oregon). I could have gotten their 37 ton splitter with a Briggs and Stratton, but other than my power washer, all my other small engines are Hondas, and I'm just impressed with them, so paid the upcharge. This was $500 more than the County Line and Champion splitters, but I think with the Honda and build quality, well worth it. From youtube videos, I also paid about $600 more than I would have if I bought it in 2020. C'est la vie.

They had already built ones ready to go, but youtube taught me that the 45mph rating is about 20mph overstated. Plus with no suspension, it was recommended that if you're driving more than a few miles (over 30 for me) you're gonna beat the crap out of it. Plus a point I hadn't thought of (that I learned when I built mine) mentioned on youtube that the kids at the stores who assemble these will often see the grease coating on the bearings and assume that's all the grease you need, versus filling the axle as well. Driving 30 miles dry would probably FUBAR the bearings.

So I had them pull a crated up unassembled one and drop it in my truck. I used lift straps and the loader to move it into the shop. Assembly was mostly straightforward other than instructions were lacking on hose hookups and such, but youtube to the rescue there. The hardest part was mounting the ram by myself. Of the 600ish pounds, the ram was easily 400. Lifting that up on it's end to pin into the trailer was not fun. But it came together, I filled everything with fluids (they threw in 5 gallons of hydro, and I needed the whole bucket, and I'm lucky I got it, because they were nearly out at the farm store) and started her up. Purrs like a kitten.

I was doing a little splitting today, and man, this thing is slicing through even a couple of green 18" logs from a tree I recently cut like it's going through butter. Not even a burp. I am really impressed, and between not swinging a maul and not destroying my back stooping over the little 5 ton anymore, doing firewood is going to be a pleasure. Money well spent.

This is the splitter:

https://www.mydbsupply.com/3633686/product/black-diamond-
"I'm a foolish old man that has been drawn into a wild goose chase by a harpy in trousers and a nincompoop."

JTHunter

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Re: Log Splitters?
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2022, 11:34:24 PM »

Nice looking splitter Ben, but I have a question.  Can that assembly be tilted to the vertical so you don't have to lift the wood to be split so high off the ground?
I ask as I have an OLD splitter that uses a 110 AC motor to power the pump but it sits only ~8" off the ground and I just roll the logs onto the I-beam.
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Nick1911

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Re: Log Splitters?
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2022, 11:52:18 PM »

Funny you bring this thread back up, Ben.  Earlier in it, I noted that a log splitter was an eventuality for me.  Well, I did end up with one.  A 30 ton Brute model.  Used, but like new and only a year old for $800.  Originally came from Menards.

Might be overkill, but I'm glad to have it.  I've been making some moves towards insulating myself from energy costs, and heating with wood is one of those.

Bogie

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Re: Log Splitters?
« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2022, 12:10:06 AM »

I have a buddy who has one that has a dealie that lifts the logs up to the cradle. That is SO kewl...
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cordex

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Re: Log Splitters?
« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2022, 01:24:28 AM »

Coincidentally I got a brand new log splitter for next to nothing this month.

Nothing to brag about but the price - 20 ton horizontal with a no-name Chinese engine. Works pretty well for small stuff. Thankfully, my autumn olive is all too little to need splitting. It’ll mostly be doing sassafras, maple, and tulip poplar.

Ben

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Re: Log Splitters?
« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2022, 07:47:04 AM »

Nice looking splitter Ben, but I have a question.  Can that assembly be tilted to the vertical so you don't have to lift the wood to be split so high off the ground?
I ask as I have an OLD splitter that uses a 110 AC motor to power the pump but it sits only ~8" off the ground and I just roll the logs onto the I-beam.


Yup, tilts vertical and came with a cradle, which are both very convenient.

"8 inches off the ground". Yeah, my electric is about the same height. That was almost harder on my back than swinging a maul.  :laugh:
"I'm a foolish old man that has been drawn into a wild goose chase by a harpy in trousers and a nincompoop."

Ben

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Re: Log Splitters?
« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2022, 07:55:57 AM »

Nick and Cordex: Thumbs up on the deals you guys got! I swear, I have some kind of anti-deal cloud that follows me around and constantly rains anti-deal raindrops on me. I think I have no more than twice in my entire life ever stumbled on a good used deal on something. I'm really good at stumbling into crap deals, which is why I've about given up on looking.  :laugh:
"I'm a foolish old man that has been drawn into a wild goose chase by a harpy in trousers and a nincompoop."

K Frame

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Re: Log Splitters?
« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2022, 08:42:29 AM »

You're not karate chopping your logs?

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Kingcreek

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Re: Log Splitters?
« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2022, 09:00:23 AM »

Ben, you’ll be very happy with your machine. Honda power is great.
Change your hydrolic oil filter and synthetic engine oil annually, keep it under a roof and it will outlast you.
I have split up to 38” oak rounds on mine. I had to use the loader to skid them into it when set up vertically.
What we have here is failure to communicate.

Kingcreek

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Re: Log Splitters?
« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2022, 09:02:05 AM »

Oh and before I bought the grapple loader I found one of those log tongs pretty handy too. Still use them some. Assuming you have chain hooks or a ring on your bucket?
What we have here is failure to communicate.
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