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Log splitter question and comparison

johnsayen

johnsayen

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Nov 9, 2020
Messages
173
Location
Upper Michigan
Hi all,

I burn 5-6 cord a winter and am considering a hydraulic log splitter. I started doing some searching and reading on here and then also some looking around locally and found myself pretty confused at the end of it. On the one hand, I can pick up a tractor supply 25 ton for $1100, next up an Oregon 25 ton for $1400, or lastly pretty much any Iron and Oak could be ordered by a local dealer, they priced out a 30 ton for $3400.

Looking at the machines, they look pretty similar online (haven't been able to find one in person), and look like pretty straight forward machines (small engine, hydraulic cylinder/press, wedge).

My gut tells me to buy the iron and oak and be done with it, operating on the assumption that more money must equate to better quality, but it sure is tempting to pick up the tractor supply special for $1100 since I could buy and wear out three of them for the price of one iron and oak.

I couldn't find much on here about the Oregon's, maybe they're new?

What do you recommend? The biggest wood I split is <24", primarily red oak, hard/soft maple, birch.

Am I asking for trouble with the Tractor Supply 25 ton?

Thank you
 
lone wolf

lone wolf

MS 200T King
Joined
Oct 5, 2009
Messages
60,408
Location
Prowling The Pine Barrens
Hi all,

I burn 5-6 cord a winter and am considering a hydraulic log splitter. I started doing some searching and reading on here and then also some looking around locally and found myself pretty confused at the end of it. On the one hand, I can pick up a tractor supply 25 ton for $1100, next up an Oregon 25 ton for $1400, or lastly pretty much any Iron and Oak could be ordered by a local dealer, they priced out a 30 ton for $3400.

Looking at the machines, they look pretty similar online (haven't been able to find one in person), and look like pretty straight forward machines (small engine, hydraulic cylinder/press, wedge).

My gut tells me to buy the iron and oak and be done with it, operating on the assumption that more money must equate to better quality, but it sure is tempting to pick up the tractor supply special for $1100 since I could buy and wear out three of them for the price of one iron and oak.

I couldn't find much on here about the Oregon's, maybe they're new?

What do you recommend? The biggest wood I split is <24", primarily red oak, hard/soft maple, birch.

Am I asking for trouble with the Tractor Supply 25 ton?

Thank you
Go with the best you can afford and not China crap. And get a 4 way splitting attachment it cuts your time in half literally.
 
Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane

AS Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2010
Messages
3,038
Location
Saugatuck, Michigan
Forget tonnage for a moment.
Look at styles and what will fit the way you work.
There are wedge on beam.
-typically the hitch is on the wedge end and gets buried in the split pile.
-the older ones had small wheel/tires and the beam was low.
Wedge on the rod.
-These have the hitch on the other end.
-They tip up to split vertical. Not a plus in my opinion because the trade off splitting horizontal, and crowded due to axle placement.
- with a foot plate to split against, you will also handle each split to toss it out of the way.
-re-splits are positioned to re-split without pulling them back like with a wedge on beam.
Then there's vertical table high splitters. PowerSplit is an example. Some without conveyors.
Then there's dual split, which splits in each direction with a foot or stop at each end.
I'm sure there are others.
Then there is kinetic splitters. Which are ergonomic, with a splitting table and cutting wedge. However, they don't tow for the most part.
 
kjorrrits

kjorrrits

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Feb 1, 2021
Messages
46
Location
Sussex County,, NJ
If you’re concerned about price, I think the tsc model would be perfectly fine for you. Into the wood yard on YouTube had a woods branded speeco ( same as tsc model) and split over 800 face cords before he upgraded. Be warned that the rails were worn through at that point. But at six cord a year it would take 44 years to get there according to my math.
If the price difference doesn’t matter or you have tough wood to split, go with an iron and oak or similar. We’ve had our 26 ton horizontal/vertical for at least 15 years and do at least 15 cord a year. Just put a new motor on it and I’m pretty sure I gave it it’s first or possibly second hydraulic change this past winter. They make tough splitters in my experience.
Whatever choice you make do your homework and you should be able to find the right fit. There are lots of good options available and a quality splitter can outlive it’s operator.
 
babybart

babybart

ArboristSite Guru
Joined
Dec 2, 2014
Messages
836
Location
MD
I burn 10 cord a year and bought the Countyline 25t about 5-6 years ago. No problems, starts 2nd pull every time, split everything I have given it. I could not justify a more expensive purchase and have been very pleased.
 
kjorrrits

kjorrrits

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Feb 1, 2021
Messages
46
Location
Sussex County,, NJ
One other thing, at 3400 your options are pretty diverse. I would check out a supersplit or a ruggedmade with a lift in that range. The iron and oak is tough but it’s not winning any races.
 
ElevatorGuy

ElevatorGuy

What are you doing with the wood?
Joined
Sep 2, 2020
Messages
872
Location
Maryland
I have the 30 ton tsc and love it. I burn about the same amount as you when it’s cold. I would forget the more expensive recommendations, You don’t need it. 25 might be fine but I’ve never stopped my 30. Tsc ftw.
 
rancher2

rancher2

ArboristSite Guru
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
952
Location
malcoln NE
Johnsayen Don't forget about the used market. Its a great time of the year coming up to pickup splitters on garage, estate or moving sales at a very good price. I usually pickup a few threw the summer do a little cleaning up and a few repairs on them and then sell them in the fall or winter at a profit.
 
cookies

cookies

ArboristSite Guru
Joined
Nov 26, 2020
Messages
672
Location
Crawfordville
I grabbed the tractor supply 1,100 dollar version..I liked its ability to split vertical so i can roll 20"+ diameter rounds onto its anvil instead of having to pick them up and I can grab it by the hitch end and drag it by hand around the yard or wood pile as needed. The 4 way head for it is not something I would use on logs over 8-10 inches in diameter but instead use I it for making kindling. The nice thing is how fuel efficient the engine is, being able to run the machine full speed over 6 hours on a single tank full. It will make splitting 5 cords of wood fast easier work.
The down side to this machine like other have stated are the tiny wheels/tires reducing tow speed to 45-50 mph, the hydraulic lines need to be tied to the frame to keep them from hanging down during towing. The cheap hydraulic oil it comes with in it should be changed out for higher quality when possible, the machine will struggle less on harder to split wood and it may not match your areas temperature ranges. You will need to check its fittings and hose clamps often for the first 10 hours of use during the break in period for leaks and possibly needing to change the hose clamps. Tractor supply offers no real help requiring you to either return/exchange or use the number on the machine for warranty service.
 
johnsayen

johnsayen

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Nov 9, 2020
Messages
173
Location
Upper Michigan
Thanks all, I don't intend to tow it anywhere once I get it home. I have been closely watching the used market - nothing in our local area has popped yet but it might.
 
Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane

AS Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2010
Messages
3,038
Location
Saugatuck, Michigan
IMG_0035.jpg IMG_0246.jpg
Old and new.
33 year old SpeeCo on the left. Modified with taller tires and a wooden bench that extends well beyond wedge to catch large half rounds to be re-split.
Seven or eight year old SuperSplitHD.
You don't need to spend a lot of money.
Fast cycle times is not everything, even on slower machines, because more often than not, full extension is not required to split many species.
But depending, you on age and situation you may consider a log lift important, vs the tip up/work on the ground versions.
It's how you work. Which machine works you less, by design, or which machine works you more, by design.
 
Wood Hound

Wood Hound

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
278
Location
Newfield,ny
We had a pretty good week of building machines here, and we were able to ship about 20 splitters and conveyors this week. We also have 20 more ready to ship next week as well!
Thanks to everyone for their patience and support! These 2 loads are splitter serial numbers ranging from 1201 to 1260 and conveyors 1291 and 1292 just to give everyone an idea of where we are at!
Right now we are taking orders for December, so if you are in the market for a new splitter this year, we would need to get it on order soon! Click here for pricing, options, videos and more!

This is from Wolfridge-you will wait for the good stuff-but the wait is worth it....Thanks...
 
NSMaple1

NSMaple1

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
May 15, 2013
Messages
2,134
Location
Nova Scotia
Hi all,

I burn 5-6 cord a winter and am considering a hydraulic log splitter. I started doing some searching and reading on here and then also some looking around locally and found myself pretty confused at the end of it. On the one hand, I can pick up a tractor supply 25 ton for $1100, next up an Oregon 25 ton for $1400, or lastly pretty much any Iron and Oak could be ordered by a local dealer, they priced out a 30 ton for $3400.

Looking at the machines, they look pretty similar online (haven't been able to find one in person), and look like pretty straight forward machines (small engine, hydraulic cylinder/press, wedge).

My gut tells me to buy the iron and oak and be done with it, operating on the assumption that more money must equate to better quality, but it sure is tempting to pick up the tractor supply special for $1100 since I could buy and wear out three of them for the price of one iron and oak.

I couldn't find much on here about the Oregon's, maybe they're new?

What do you recommend? The biggest wood I split is <24", primarily red oak, hard/soft maple, birch.

Am I asking for trouble with the Tractor Supply 25 ton?

Thank you
I wouldn't buy until I could at least see in person. Pay attention to design and layout. Look for central control you can use from either side equally as well, engine away from the working area and falling splits, easy to reposition or move around by hand, tow end opposite splitting end, and beam height to fit you. For me Wallenstein/Surge Master horizontal/vertical fit me and my wants to a T. I think Ariens has similar layout. Not sure what else. Most box store units have the engine to close to the business section for my liking, some have offset control, some are too low. Etc..
 

sb47

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Jun 14, 2011
Messages
5,694
Location
Texas
I split over 100 cords a year for the past 15 years. I wore out a TS Husky 22 ton splitter with a brigs motor. It was the motor that I had issues with on that model.
I upgraded to a TC Countyline 40 ton unit 4 years ago and have put over 1,100 hours on it with absolutely no issues what so ever. The Kohler motor is a much better motor then the B&S on my last unit. I like the Countyline 40 so much I bought a second unit this year to make 2 splitting stations.
The Countyline 40 is a bigger unit in almost every way over any other unit they sell. The wedge is taller witch makes splitting the stringy stuff much easier then the shorter wedge on my old 22 ton unit. The beam sits a little higher and is much more comfortable to use over the shorter 22 ton unit did. The tires are bigger and wider then the other units are. The pump is bigger, the cylinder is bigger, the hoses are bigger, the oil tank is bigger. The front foot stand on the 40 is much more stable and makes the unit rock solid and stable when splitting bigger rounds. The design on the wedge is slimmer and does a much better job at pushing through the wood. My old 22 ton unit had a wider wedge and caused the rounds to almost explode when splitting making it more dangerous to use. The taller and slimmer wedge on the 40 is much better the the short wider wedge on the 22 ton unit.
After 4 years and over 1,100 hours on the 40 the Kholer motor still starts on the first pull every time no mater what the temps are.
The Countyline 40 has the fastest cycle times over almost any other brand on the market at 9.5 sec. The welds on the CL 40 are top notch and look like stacked dimes. At 1,999 dollars the CL 40 is not the cheapest unit out there but I have 2 of them and have yet to have a single issue or have a single thing I don't like about it. Remember I liked it so much I bought a second unit as a back up and because the first one works so well I haven't found one thing I don't like about it. I got mine with 10% off MSRP making the drive out cost $1,799
Other brands or another size may work great for you but I would buy another CL 40 again if I needed another splitter. It's been rock solid and runs flawlessly for me and I split a lot of wood.
The last thing is I split all hard woods and my old 22 ton would struggle with some wood and absolutely refuse to split live oak. My CL 40 just rips through the hardest wood with ease. It rips right through live oak with no problem. Even forks and crotch wood are no match for the 40.
 
fields_mj

fields_mj

ArboristSite Guru
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Messages
865
Location
Indiana
I burn 5-6 cords each year, mostly Hickory. I use a 27 ton MTD splitter that I bought used for $475. Works great. It will split rounds that are much bigger than I can lift onto it. Hydraulic systems are very simple, require very little maintenance, and last a LONG LONG time. It's a pump, valve, cylinder, gas engine, and some hydraulic lines. The lines may go bad over time if you store it outside. You may wear the seals out on the cylinder, but they can be repacked. Valves last a long time, but are easily replaced. A $100 Predator engine from HF starts easy and runs a long, long time.... In other words, what ever eventually breaks or wears out can easily be repaired or replaced easily and for a lot less than a new splitter.

Don't get too hung up on cycle time. Most of the time, you're not cycling the ram all the way anyway. 3"-4" is about all the farther the wedge normally has to penetrate into a round before it splits. Some are more stringy than others, and require a full cycle, but most don't. Find a good deal on a used splitter in the 25 ton or bigger range that's in good shape, and give it a new home. :) Personally I prefer a horizontal splitter with a moving wedge. I've added tables to both sides of mine so that I'm just rolling the rounds and splits around to resplit them until they are the size I want, then I push them off on the ground for the kids to deal with.
 
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