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Implement Alley Discussion Forum

How much wood splitter is enough?

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Nw_bearcat

09-30-2013 19:26:24




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Looking at wood splitters. I see a range of gas powered units from 13ton up to 32 ton. Looks like cycle times vary a little, but not a lot it seems. Will be splitting hackberry, oak, and maybe some hickory for the most part. Any suggestions on how to get enough splitter without spending more than needed?




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MLD

10-04-2013 06:38:23




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 Re: How much wood splitter is enough? in reply to Nw_bearcat, 09-30-2013 19:26:24  
I bought a 30 ton from Northern Tool a few years ago with the Honda engine. Nothing has stopped it, we've had a 13 ton Craftsman for years that splits good but will get stuck on tough knots.



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blue924.9

10-02-2013 07:58:09




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 Re: How much wood splitter is enough? in reply to Nw_bearcat, 09-30-2013 19:26:24  
whatever you get BE CAREFUL. i lost a finger in a wood spliter when i was about 14 yrs old



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blue924.9

10-02-2013 07:57:44




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 Re: How much wood splitter is enough? in reply to Nw_bearcat, 09-30-2013 19:26:24  
whatever you get BE CAREFUL. i lost a finger in a wood spliter when i was about 14 yrs old



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Billy NY

10-02-2013 07:37:21




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 Re: How much wood splitter is enough? in reply to Nw_bearcat, 09-30-2013 19:26:24  
I went with a 2nd hand, few years old 28 ton Huskee,(Speeco) after realizing that the shoulder cannot take the impact of doing it by hand any more, which I did not mind, a little at a time, but a lot of cords over the years.

I like this model, its got a 5 or 6 hp Honda GC 190, 11gpm 2 stage pump, and I think 6 gallon capacity hydraulic reservoir.

I like the way its built, I did get the optional log catcher, (useless without it) so I can hold a large half split log or any other split wood. Also got the 4 way wedge to use for certain diameter straight grained wood, softwood, etc, that works pretty good too, not for all wood, but its worth having just the same.

I burn Elm as well and theres a method to deal with it, follow the grain, fracture lines and or take from the outside along with the grain, still stringy, use a hatchet to sever what the wedge does not, takes longer but with all the dead elm here, I try and get elm that has just died, as the trunks punk up in a relatively short time, year or 2. Even some degree of punk is ok, some burns faster, so much of it, you can mix or what have you. Elm crotch wood or large diameter, fresh cut, un-punked can bog the splitter right down, but I've not found a piece it won't split or often times shear. 2 stage pump is the key here, it just powers its way through.

I thought I'd want to upgrade to the 35 ton Huskee(Speeco), or similar as the larger and some equal models, (tonnage) have a 16gpm 2 stage pump, and a few seconds faster cycle time, but i don't think I really need it, and the cycle time on this one is comfortable, (safety wise) not sure quicker is better, as I am not in any hurry or selling firewood. I'd have to try one to see, I suppose, but this is a well made unit, TSC is across the road from me, so I can get parts, not much to these anyway. Honda motor starts easily, sips the fuel, exhaust fumes are no issue, it works well, decent size log catcher and the 4 way wedge are nice features you can get with these, so I decided this brand was fine for my needs, I am happy with it for sure, and thankful to have it, given the alternatives.


SOme ideas on using one of these to help save your back, make it easier:


When I split wood, I use a Lockhart log gripper, 15"-18" (Baileys sells these) to grab logs off the ground to load my gardenway cart, loader bucket etc. I don't have to bend or reach all the way to the ground, then when working off the cart or bucket, its relatively easy. Split wood goes into a pair of old Jackson M11 wheelbarrows, (steel folded trays), then stacked from there, I can go all day like this, not the quickest but I feel fine, no back issues or what have you, actually makes it fun to do an otherwise labor intense task. The other handy item when bucking and or towing is the Log Peavey, with the stand on it, to raise up logs, thats just an indispensable tool. Properly sharpened chains, depth gauge kept right, is also key on ones saw, keep a few fresh chains on hand or get the file guide that will keep an accurate sharpen, makes a huge difference, saw does the work, not you LOL !

I sort of enjoy doing firewood, early fall, winter when not too cold, and spring before it gets hot and humid, bugs etc. good clean work and exercise.

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maxwell99

10-01-2013 14:59:42




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 Re: How much wood splitter is enough? in reply to Nw_bearcat, 09-30-2013 19:26:24  

one thing to consider, the new type splitters can rotate, you can split in the flat position and the vertical position, also it appears that most of the new splitters have the splitting wedge on the ram.

this is quite a change and improvement in splitter technology over the years.

note: if the picture of my old Brave splitter shows up, it is a flat position splitter and the splitting wedge is mounted on the frame of the splitter, not the ram.

Safety Note: whatever brand splitter you buy, just remember, this is a very dangerous machine. Watch everything and keep all hands out of the press/splitting areas.

I know people want to brag about how much wood they can split in a short period of time. But with a cut or busted hand you will be splitting no wood.

Good luck,

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TomH in PA

10-01-2013 14:22:02




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 Re: How much wood splitter is enough? in reply to Nw_bearcat, 09-30-2013 19:26:24  
I have a 20 ton that has easily split everything I gave it. I suspect the higher numbers are just marketing.

One thing to check is how heavy it is to move around. You"ll often want to move it a few feet as you work through a pile of wood. Maybe keep it hitched to a riding mower or ATV, maybe move it by hand.



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Ken Macfarlane

10-01-2013 09:02:19




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 Re: How much wood splitter is enough? in reply to Nw_bearcat, 09-30-2013 19:26:24  
I've used a few types, we had a monster with a 5" or 6" cylinder for a while, it could not be stopped by knots or cross grain but it was slow unless on a newish tractor with big pump.

My favourite has been a splitfire we borrowed recently for a few cords. Its no where near as strong but its about 2-3 times faster than a normal splitter even at barely above idle. We parked it over old apple bins and split right into the bins. It could be stalled but was easy to get the piece off and you just start at an edge.

With the tractor rev'd up it could keep up to 2 or 3 guys bringing blocks to it. We have a portable conveyor we can set under it to load a truck or wagon too, makes a good team.

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dmiller

10-01-2013 06:25:23




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 Re: How much wood splitter is enough? in reply to Nw_bearcat, 09-30-2013 19:26:24  
I've built a lot of wood splitters and would say that the angle/sharpness of the wedge is as important as the pressure/cylinder size. A sharper, two angled wedge can split a lot with less pressure than many of the factory wedges on the splitters I've seen.



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Bret4207

10-01-2013 04:33:43




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 Re: How much wood splitter is enough? in reply to Nw_bearcat, 09-30-2013 19:26:24  
I have a 27 ton Troybilt I got on sale at Lowes. I burn mostly Elm which is a bear to split. It's a very rare piece that the splitter will not handle.



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prawn farmer

09-30-2013 20:02:03




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 Re: How much wood splitter is enough? in reply to Nw_bearcat, 09-30-2013 19:26:24  
A good reference site to look at is "logssplittersdirect". They rate splitters in consumer-prosumer-professional use categories.

I use a Swisher 28 ton that came from Rural King on mostly insect killed white and red oak,borer killed elm along with hickory, cherry and black/honey locust. It has a cold weather hydraulic by-pass for cold weather warm-up and does a really good job for moderate duty farm use which is about 8-9 cords per season for me. Operates in horizontal and vertical positions.

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maxwell99

09-30-2013 20:01:17




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 Re: How much wood splitter is enough? in reply to Nw_bearcat, 09-30-2013 19:26:24  
I have had a 26 ton splitter for 20+ years. If you have some tough wood to split, you will need at least 26+ tons of pressure.

It's much easier to pack the split wood to the stack rather than having to beat and bang the stuck splitter head out of the wood.



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Jim in Ma.

10-01-2013 06:59:25




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 Re: How much wood splitter is enough? in reply to maxwell99, 09-30-2013 20:01:17  
When you have a piece of wood stuck like that - you have two options. When stuck I pull the ram back and use it to push a splitting wedge in form that end, Or - Use a chain and pull the wood back from the wedge.



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gtractorfan

10-01-2013 14:02:05




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 Re: How much wood splitter is enough? in reply to Jim in Ma., 10-01-2013 06:59:25  
After many years of using my woodsplitter I discovered another way to unjam a stuck piece that usually works. I get another piece of split wood about half as high as the stop plate and put it between the plate and stuck piece. It changes the angle of push and usually will either split the log or raise it up and unjam it.



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