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Log Splitter - How Many Tons is Enough?

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by leeave96, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. leeave96

    leeave96 ArboristSite Operative

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    I was at TSC the other day and saw log splitters from 22 to 35 tons!

    How many tons to you really need to split firewood?

    Any info - insite would be appreciated.

    Thanks!
    Bill
     
  2. triptester

    triptester Addicted to ArboristSite

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    There are many factors that determine how much tonnage is needed to split wood.

    Species of wood.

    Straight or twisting grain.


    Overall diameter.

    Wedge shape; Narrow wedges tend to slice the wood and require less tonnage but often need greater travel. Wide or winged wedges tend to tear the wood fibers apart when splitting, this usually requires more tonnage but can split the wood faster.

    Size of the push or foot plate can also effect tonnage requirements.
     
  3. TreePointer

    TreePointer Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I haven't seen anyone here state that their 20+ ton, gas powered hydraulic splitter won't split wood. Some gnarly, twisted logs or crotches may cause the splitter to slow, or you may have to make a couple attempts at the log, but it will eventually split it or even "cut" across the grain.

    There are many owners of the Huskee/SpeeCo 22-ton model here who will tell you that it will split just about anything. The tougher pieces make use of the slower, more powerful stage of the two-stage pump, but it gets the job done. The issues I recall for that model are that it has a shorter toe plate and wedge and is slower (cycle time) than some of the more expensive models; however, the cycle time is not an issue for a lot of one person operations.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2010
  4. BlueRidgeMark

    BlueRidgeMark Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I have stopped my 35 ton with old, dry oak crotches. In fact, I even bent my toe plate on one.

    Those who say their splitter has split everything they've thrown at it just haven't been splitting tough wood.



    Does everyone need 35 tons? Nope. Depends what you're going to be splitting. Most of my wood is large oak, and a lot of it is crotches. I need 35 tons.

    If I were splitting mostly straight grained stuff, I'm sure 22 tons would do the job.
     
  5. hanniedog

    hanniedog Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I have a 27 ton splitter that does a decent job and I have found some pieces that would stop it. At the time that was what I could afford. I would have rather had a 35 ton model but did not have extra cash. Get the biggest splitter your budget allows.
     
  6. woodman6666

    woodman6666 ArboristSite Guru

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    The more tonnage the better but you have to remember the integrity of the rest of the splitter has to be able to handle it my big splitter has between 80and 90 tons of force but it also has 2 large I beams on top of one another and the wedge is 2" thick and shaped like a large gusset, the other thing is when you get way up there in tonnage you need a tremendous amount of flow to keep any speed up.
     
  7. BigE

    BigE ArboristSite Operative

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    Get the best you can afford. What you can't split with it you can always noodle!
     
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  8. Rudedog

    Rudedog Addicted to ArboristSite

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    +1. I have the 22 ton Huskee/ Speeco splitter. The bigger more expensive splitter has nicer features. For $999 plus tax though I would say I did pretty well and would do it again. I do wish I could have gone the full monty and bought the 35 ton model.
     
  9. RAMROD48

    RAMROD48 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    My 20 ton Northern Tool splitter works fine for everything I have....
     
  10. Mister Twister

    Mister Twister ArboristSite Operative

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    Buy as much tonnage as you can afford. Not sure if you can have to much? I have the 35 ton and it works great but I have used homemade units and they were much better than splitting by hand.

    It is hard to justify a nice Iron & Oak but you get what you pay for also. I think you will be happy with any of the Husky/Speeco units.

    I see even some of the smaller units have a horizontal engine on them at our local TSC.

    My older 35 ton has a vertical shaft but it seems to work fine.
     
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  11. RAMROD48

    RAMROD48 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    You know the TW5 is only 25 tons....and there is nothing it wont split...

    Timber Wolf is the tops in splitters....if they dont need more tonnage, Why do you??
     
  12. beerman6

    beerman6 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Because we are men...
     
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  13. RAMROD48

    RAMROD48 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    This is true, but tonage is only a number that the block of wood, doesnt understand...:)
     
  14. Rudedog

    Rudedog Addicted to ArboristSite

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    But it is the truth and the truth will set you free ................
     
  15. ray benson

    ray benson Tree Freak

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    Isn't most splitters tonnage rating fudged/inflated ? A 4" cylinder with relief set at 2500 lbs. is just under 16 ton push. A 5" cylinder with relief set at 2500 lbs. is just under 25 tons push.
    A 4" cylinder will split all but the gnarliest pieces.
     
  16. komatsuvarna

    komatsuvarna Arboristsite MVP

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    :agree2: Ive looked at alot of splitters and some off them it fudged..... Some of the alot.
     
  17. computeruser

    computeruser Addicted to ArboristSite

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    +1.


    I've got a 20ton machine (4"cyl, 11gpm, 13sec cycle) and I only occasionally want more tonnage, but often wish for faster cycle times.
     
  18. CWME

    CWME ArboristSite Guru

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    I have a 20 ton American splitter. With the single 1" wide wedge nothing will stop the machine as long as it is sharp. It will cut what it doesn't split.

    From my limited experience the need for more tonage comes with the use of a 4 way wedge. I have to pick and choose the pieces I try to split with a 4 way on the 20 ton. Not only could it stall but the crotches put a lot of force on the beam. Having the 4 way sharp helps significantly with this issue.

    If you can't afford/don't want to spend more $, a 20-22 ton will serve you well. As another guy mentioned you can noodle what won't split. It won't be much.
     
  19. indiansprings

    indiansprings Firewood Purveyor

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    I use a 27 ton and consider it a minimun, but I split seasoned oak mostly. I have stopped it on occaison with nasty, knarly crotches. I agree than anyone who hasn't stopped a splitter just hasn't come across the right wood yet, all of them can be stopped imho. There are alot of factors, wood being split, the design of wedge,etc. If I had it to do over, I'd have bought a 35 ton, but thats for hardwood use exclusively. You can never have too much, but can have too little.
     
  20. CWME

    CWME ArboristSite Guru

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    I can attest for the 16GPM pump that Northern sells. I had the same setup you did and upped it to the 16GPM when the 11gpm pump went. I haven't timed the cycle but I am not waiting on the ram... Northern's customer service is A+ to boot
     

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