Entry level iam thinking is Hudson's badger or brute jr. Wallenstein winch processor. Splitter wolf ridge or easton made. Who would buy the high end of either company instead of a processor? Doing research at this time. Thank you for your time.
Dunno about "pecker wood". There are many models of processors that can do pretty good sized stuff... 24-30" area. Mine will handle about 22", and that's a decent sized chuck of wood.I have a Wallenstein processor. If you have pecker wood then buy a processor. If you have anything else then buy the Eastonmade. I really don't think the processor is worth the extra cost unless you are just processing loads of same size and straight logs. I do a lot of tops and not worth the time to run them thru the processor. I also do bigger logs and of course they won't fit in the processor. Another case of go big or go home.
At the end, I think you summed it up best. It is a machine beat run by 2 or even 3 people. 2 is good but when I have 2 guys moving rounds and splits and I’m on the handle, I can split a ton of wood fast.My experience is with a TW-6.
The positive: Nicely built machine.
The negative: The design is a separate matter.
Start with the general design.
Tongue is on the right end for a conveyor. (but not removable, or usable on the other end if splitting into a truck or trailer towing the splitter.)
Heavy duty log lift.
Cylinder 3 1/2" rod x 5" x 24" Impressive
Wedge on beam with adjustable four or six way.
20 hp Honda w/electric start.
Pretty standard design often, probably most often copied by home builders.
Name brand flagship machine, with really, really good paint.
Looks beautiful...but how does it function?
Now lets fire it up and actually use it.
The wide wedge uses up much of the tonnage. Poor design.
The four-way is a slip-on design. Easy on/off when needed. Wood also lifts the four-way off at times and it goes tumbling.
The four-way wedge is adjustable up/down. If quartering and pieces need re-split, do the quartering with the wedge less than full height or you will trap them. Less than full height leaves room to lift the four-way to untrap pieces.
The pieces all tip back off the narrow depth of the four-way wedge out of reach.
I believe the log lift has down pressure (don't hold me to that), so watch your toes regardless. For a time I would place the pulp hook in the open tube end of the raised log lift, as it was handy to do. After snapping the second tip in the ground I quite doing that.) There is little room to operate next the hydraulic tank.
Operating on log lift side is not recommended by TW. It's a tight spot, and pinch point if you screw up, or the machine is tilted forward and wood slides sideways towards you on the lift as it is raised.
By comparison there are designs which address most of those issues.
Narrower axles for operator room by the log lift. (Trade off might be road towing.)
Raised log cradles on the beam to allow more down motion of adjustable wedges for the next split, when loaded with wood.
Box wedges to keep the wood on the splitter. (When operating the TW from the log lift side, halving large rounds, one half falls on the ground opposite the log lift. If it is a big piece, it's a pain to deal with. And when your dealing with that, your wrestling wood, not splitting wood.)
Narrower wedges to use the tonnage more efficiently.
Interchangeable wedges, including box wedges that are notched on the bottom lift point, and do not float up and off the machine during a split.
Tongues that can be removed and stowed, or used on the opposite end depending on conditions.
Smaller engines/narrow wedges putting the power and fuel consumption to use more efficiently.
For big wood an adjustable wedge is well worth the money, over non adjustable four-way. It is not about quartering so much, as pulling a few spits off the bottom at a time, kind of box wedge style with the four-way. I had several inches added to the back of my four-way so the wood stayed within reach and sit on top of it, and didn't fall onto the outside table or on the ground.
If your use is for multiple people to run and feed a machine, then many of these observations may not apply, or weigh in as much.
In the end, the TW is gone and the SS stayed.