Log splitter buying

akachrisinmassOctober 28, 2011

Never owned one before, but I've cut up plenty of trees this year and its time.

But I have no idea what kind of power I need. 5 ton, 10 ton, 14 ton

Most of the trees are less than 12 inches in diameter.

Also, my bias is anti gas engine if possible. Just trying to avoid another maintenance item!

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dmullen(Southern CA)

I tried a 6 ton electric splitter (good brand name too) before buying my current splitter. The 6 ton electric would not even dent the wood I split and the log was a very small one (8" or so wide and about 18" long).

That caused me to buy a 27 ton gas powered splitter and it has split everything that I put on it. Sometimes, even that appears to be maxed out but I am very happy with it.

You may want to rent a splitter before buying anything. I rented a very large one (34 ton I think) and it went right through everything I tried.

If you wood has knots in it or is anything but straight grained, it will be more difficult to split.

My splitter will work either horizontal or vertical and I would highly recommend that combination.

I use it most in the vertical position because I can just roll large pieces and not have to lift them. If they are really large, that allows me to split off the edges all the way around and slowly reduce the size until it is gone.

The horizontal position is good too but I only use that for light weight wood.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 3:07PM
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nod702(z7Tenn.)

Unless you have a disability hardly seems worth the expense for a splitter for wood that small. I'm 71 years old and my grandson and i have cut,split and stacked two cords so far this fall. Great exercise.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 10:05PM
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loger_gw

Nod, We are not all as TUFF! I split 2 - 3 cords a year for about 30 years with a maul and enjoyed it. I cut back to only bringing 12" dia wood or less home vs 24" and Etc. That is even using a hydraulic splitter the last 3 yrs or I would have given up since we have gas central heat. The shock is too much to my body now. My X Co-Worker with pains only brings smaller wood (8") now or cut his larger wood into small blocks, about 8 - 10" (before bringing it home). We burn wood for heat and the exercise still but I feel gas is cheaper than the pains. I have avoided back surgery but he has not.

I agree small clean wood is not that hard on you but we were after free wood and ended up with more large trees than limbs (good wood but work). Plus, the splitter is not the end of the work. loger

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 11:36PM
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alphonse(6)

If all you'll likely split is 12" or under, and straight grained, as said above, since a maul can deal with that, an electric shouldn't be a problem.
Electric driving hydraulic is probably what you want if you split crotchwood or sycamore etc. But then you need about a three horse motor ( since electric is more effecient than gas) and that means 220V power...or a very expensive 110V extension cord.
The good thing about an oversize unit is larger pins and "bones" to the construction. Splitting ornery stuff can throw the cylinder out of alignment which stresses everything.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 6:56AM
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loger_gw

alphonse, Please explain more on your statement. "The good thing about an oversize unit is larger pins and "bones" to the construction. Splitting ornery stuff can throw the cylinder out of alignment which stresses everything."

I am planning to help a friend split 10 white oak logs 24" dia avg with good seasoning check/cracks in them. His last 24" logs split is when I noticed my 12 ton Electric hydraulic splitter stall on logs but it did split them (w/o working layers off the outside to work them down). That was the day I noticed the cylinder started a minor drip while splitting. That was the end of the season and I had the cylinder rebuilt to be ready for this season. Pulling the cyl I noticed some 1" mounting pins bent. Is this what you are refereeing to related to "larger pens and bones to the construction" (versus over loading the cylinder or pump)? The splitter was given to me (with no specs, age, brand or etc known. I felt the bypass at 2,500 on the 3,000 psi gauge basically showed built-in protection in the hydraulic system. Would that normally be correct? When needed I run the 1 HP motor on a 25' 12-3 (12 gauge) extension w/o feeling the extention getting warm, is that heavy enough?

He wants to use the wedge and sledge as we did in the past on large logs but I told him, our next option is to take layers from the outside. Plus use a ramp to roll the logs onto the horizontal "only" splitter. Thanks, loger

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 10:53AM
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alphonse(6)

"alphonse, Please explain more on your statement."

Sorry for a late reply, I was out of town. You have the gist of my comments though. Bigger cylinders and heavier steel tolerate the higher system pressures or the developed pressure and racking from any misalignment between cylinder mounting and the tracking during extension. The larger the cylinder diameter (force area of the piston) the lower the system pressure, though that equates to slower flow.

"I felt the bypass at 2,500 on the 3,000 psi gauge basically showed built-in protection in the hydraulic system."

Yes, you need a pressure relief valve. On the splitter I built which has a 5" bore piston, the relief is set at about 60% of the cylinder rating which is plenty of force but conservative of all components. Some reliefs can be adjusted to give greater pressures but without knowing any ratings bumping pressure up can be playing with fire.

"When needed I run the 1 HP motor on a 25' 12-3 (12 gauge) extension w/o feeling the extention getting warm, is that heavy enough?"

Should be. The longer the cord, the greater the voltage drop which will "starve" the motor, causing overheating and possible failure. 220V gives an advantage there, the transmission wire can be smaller though consumption is unchanged.

Tangential splitting and the ramp are good ideas. My splitter has a table that the ramp hooks to and allows big stuff to be repositioned without having to pick anything back up off the ground.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 9:13AM
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loger_gw

alphonse, Thanks For The Info! We have our fires going and will be doing some âÂÂReasonableâ splitting soon. loger

    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 11:02AM
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