Wood splitter advice?
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    Wood splitter advice?

    Hey there.. I've been chopping wood for years now the ole' fashion way and will continue to do so.. I do enjoy it and its great exercise, but I gotta say.. Its get'n harder on the body each year.. In order to get after the volume of wood I need each winter (2 cords).. It really is time to get a splitter.. I've never used one before so I'm looking for some tips.. The diameter of many of the raw pieces are a good 24+ inches around.. What's the minimum hp/tonnage recommended for reasonable speed and the strength.. Any other "make sure it has this, or doesn't have that" features to keep in mind?.. Thanks!
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    Only tried one

    Quote Originally Posted by golf12 View Post
    Hey there.. I've been chopping wood for years now the ole' fashion way and will continue to do so.. I do enjoy it and its great exercise, but I gotta say.. Its get'n harder on the body each year.. In order to get after the volume of wood I need each winter (2 cords).. It really is time to get a splitter.. I've never used one before so I'm looking for some tips.. The diameter of many of the raw pieces are a good 24+ inches around.. What's the minimum hp/tonnage recommended for reasonable speed and the strength.. Any other "make sure it has this, or doesn't have that" features to keep in mind?.. Thanks!
    I had held off getting a splitter for years but my son bought an old, very well used splitter for me. Since it was a gift, I was obligated to use it. To my surprise, it actually works well even though it is a 5 horse max and probably much less than that now. My only advice is to look at each one and imagine picking up a lot of wood and putting it on, or under the splitter. My splitter is a horizontal model and is too low to work comfortably standing for long, particularly with larger wood. I don't have a clue of pump size (gpm) or even the ton rating as all stickers long ago left the premises but it surprisingly has a faster cycle time than a tractor mounted splitter that spends 99% of it's time in the shed. If I could justify the bucks, I would probably look for one in the 20 ton range and a larger engine but most definitely higher off the ground and some sort of cradle to hold the log.

    Treefarmer
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    ToddM's Avatar
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    2 chords is almost worth just renting a splitter for a weekend. I had to give up hand splitting because of my neck, I get just as good of workout running the splitter and stacking as I did splitting.

    Get about a 27 ton with a honda engine.
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    Tractor Supply sells one that runs off of the pto of your tractor and is priced far less than the ones with an engine. Not only that but it is one less engine to keep up. I have not used one but I think there are a few members here that have used it and give you more details.
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    Doug's Avatar
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    I have a splitter from TSC and love it. It has split every thing I put on it. I like having the tractor with FEL so I can load wood and after it is split take it to my wood pile.


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    Senior GTT Super Slacker Gizmo2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treefarmer View Post
    I had held off getting a splitter for years but my son bought an old, very well used splitter for me. Since it was a gift, I was obligated to use it. To my surprise, it actually works well even though it is a 5 horse max and probably much less than that now. My only advice is to look at each one and imagine picking up a lot of wood and putting it on, or under the splitter. My splitter is a horizontal model and is too low to work comfortably standing for long, particularly with larger wood. I don't have a clue of pump size (gpm) or even the ton rating as all stickers long ago left the premises but it surprisingly has a faster cycle time than a tractor mounted splitter that spends 99% of it's time in the shed. If I could justify the bucks, I would probably look for one in the 20 ton range and a larger engine but most definitely higher off the ground and some sort of cradle to hold the log.

    Treefarmer
    Good post.
    I would also look for one with a 2 stage HYD pump.
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    I suppose it depends on what type of wood is being split would dictate how heavy of a unit you will need. In my case I split mostly poplar but some birch, soft maple, spruce, ash, willow, and whatever else I get locally. I don't know the tonnage rating on mine because it is home built but based on the size of the cylinder I am guessing about 20 ton, if the pump is putting out enough of course. I put a 13 hp engine on her to replace to tired 8 hp and it works a lot better. If I was buying new, I wouldn't go less than 22 ton for the type of wood I work with. If I had oak or hickory and such like I might go bigger, 27 ton.

    It seems the configuration is the same for most splitters and they tend to be too low. I run mine up on a set of auto ramps to get it up to my preferred height. I don't like to bend over any more than I have to when lifting. I definitely want my tractor available for moving the wood while splitting, so a 3PH mount was ruled out, even though I thought I would go that way when I first got my tractor.

    If I have to buck it up I do that with the pallet box in place, this is usually the only real heavy lifting and Mrs. C helps with that if needed. Most often I buck it up in the bush so I just roll or lift the blocks into the box in place.
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    Then I drive it to the splitter which is set up as close as possible to the stack. I lift the box up to the right height so I don't have to bend over to lift the blocks. I use a small bench on the outside to stack it as it comes off the splitter so I don't have to bend over so much when stacking it. The big pieces next to me I just roll back onto the pallet box so I can roll them back onto the splitter when I finish the first slice.
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    I try to cut, buck, split, and stack a load at a time now so I don't have to handle it more than needed.
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    golf12,

    I also frequent a few wood burning forums. You should check out "The Gear" section at... Hearth.com Forums Home

    And the "Chainsaws and Power Equipment" section at... Firewood Hoarders Club


    There's hours of reading on all kinds of splitters over there. There does seem to be a lot of love for the TSC 22 ton, the Speeco 22 w/the Honda engine, and both the Ariens 22 and 27 ton splitters.

    All of the above splitters can operate both horizontally and vertically. They either come with, or have an optional log cradle or work table.

    Another thing to keep in mind is where you buy it. Depending on the store, some might come fully assembled and full of hydraulic oil, while other places load them up in your truck still in the crate with no oil/fluids. Near me, both local dealers are "servicing dealers" and I'd trust them to assemble them correctly. But, if I bought it from some of the big name stores like Menards or Home Depot, I'd rather do the work myself. Not for the money, but because I don't trust their "assemblers".

    Happy reading, and good luck!
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    wood spilter

    carverloafer; that looks like a fine set-up u have going their, nothing wrong with working smarter, is their.I have 2 homemade ones, I I bought from construction co. I worked for in the mid-80's down around the beltway of d.c..it was way overkill but did the job for me, better than a splitten-maul, 2nd one my dad built when he was still alive just to see if he could do it, used a old snapper lawn mower motor on it, he crushed all his cans on it till he passed away, we used to tiss him about bending the I-beam doing that, but boy is it light to move around. after watching u-tube now for the last 3 yrs I would vote for this, something called the wolf, ikn for sure, but they have a side lift to lift the wood up,that also acts as the cradle to hold the split piece, they also made a piece that goes on the front that directs the wood where to fall. ah they are tall enough ur not bending over so low to, because of the lift, but yes all this comes with a bigger price, but looking back I would of sprung for all them things if I knowed then what I do now. that is vote on a log spliter. big jim
    Last edited by BigJim55; 05-20-2015 at 08:51 AM.

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    Last year I got a Northstar 24Ton splitter. It has a Honda GX160 motor and a Brand valve. Built in Omaha and I have a buddy that works there. The Honda has a metal recoil starter housing and fuel shutoff. Very well built and it's a beast. I didn't know what size to get and I saw a lot of people say they had 20-22 Ton and it would do everything they needed. The Northstar has a cool set of wings that make it a 4 way splitter. It has split everything I've thrown at it. When you get into "Y" on trees it either splits it with the grain and it just smashes it. Way nicer than I need, but it should last a life time. The build quality is SOO much nicer than everything I looked at. Parts are made to be a log splitter for this splitter and not just parts thrown together to make a log splitter. I'll add some pics when I get a chance. I got it on sale at Northern last fall. The TSC model was $999 and this one was $1499 I think. So there is a premium price. When you look at the compenets you start to see where the extra money goes into making it.
    NorthStar Horizontal/Vertical Log Splitter — 24-Ton, 160cc Honda GX160 Engine | Log Splitters| Northern Tool + Equipment

    Looks like it went up. On sale for $1699.


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