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Log splitter review recommendations

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ex-IT-boy
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 13 East Texas
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2012-01-29          182200


Does anyone have any experience (good/bad) with the various log splitters on the market?

Up until a few months ago, I've been using a 20+ year old Craftsman 7 ton splitter, which had more than enough power to split 30+ inch logs. Shopping for a new splitter, it seems like they start around 20 tons and get WILDLY varying reviews. (They're either awesome or the worst-piece-of-junk-I've-ever-seen -- for the exact same make/model).

It also looks like a whole lot of them are the same splitters re-branded under various brands.

I'm stuck... and my wood pile is shrinking to near zero.

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2644 NorthWest NJ
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2012-01-30          182216


I had a Troy built 32 Ton with a Honda Engine. A great engine and large hydraulic fluid capacity will keep it from overheating. ....

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Log splitter review recommendations

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2012-01-31          182228


Honda Engines. Shudder. Going against the tide here but I have never owned harder starting engines in my life. I have three now and will never, ever, ever buy another. Total crap IMO. Give me a Briggs or Kohler or any other brand, they have all started with the first pull or two.

Those frigging Hondas have left me high and dry a dozen times. Honda compactor, dead. Honda splitter, dead. Honda pressure washer, dead. Those things eat carbs for breakfast even when they are run dry between uses. Who wants equipment that needs repair between each and every use?

But the Briggs mower that is 12 years now starts first time, every time. So does the Homelite blower, Echo trimmer, Stihl and Husky saws, and Kohler generator.

Honda engines are the only reason I buy starting fluid. Sometimes it works. ....

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Log splitter review recommendations

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2012-01-31          182229


I happened to see a commercial from the DR Company showing their version of I "Think" a totally non-hydraulic splitter.
I wasn't fully awake at the time but it did catch my attention that it looked like an old putt, putt, miss, miss, gas engine with the big flywheels from a hundred years ago. I seem to remember it's claim to fame was the quick retraction time compared to a slow big bore hydraulic cylinder retraction time.
Frank. ....

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ex-IT-boy
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 13 East Texas
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2012-01-31          182231


Quote:
Originally Posted by kwschumm | view 182228
Honda Engines. Shudder. Going against the tide here ...


I've had my share of Honda engine problems, too. (The $1000 lawn mower that threw a rod on it's 3rd season.) And I'm a bit afraid of the various incantations of MTD equipment. ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2012-01-31          182235


My experience has been just the opposite. The last Briggs engines we had on grain augers were so close to nothing that it wasn't funny. I told the grain elevator to never send another truck loading auger out here with a Briggs engine. If they weren't bad enough the Briggs engines on the sprayer transfer pumps were at best a one season engine. That was kinda sad, the pumps would have lasted a long time but a new Briggs engine cost more than a whole new pump, engine and all than just a replacement engine.

I think all the grain elevators who supply their customers with the use of truck loading augers now have Honda's. I have a power washer that's probably ten years old now with a Honda. It's never had a tuneup, I just run it out of gas on the last job of the fall, and I'd almost guarantee it will start on the second pull even after sitting all winter.

I'm normally not a foreign built or foreign company owned factory on U. S. soil built anything, but with the engines that go from hard to start junk in one season,(Briggs), to engines that last a long time and always start,(Honda's), I'll have to make an exception.
I have no reason to doubt any of your experiences, but it just seems odd that we would differ so widely.

Frank. ....

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ex-IT-boy
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 13 East Texas
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2012-01-31          182236


My Honda issue was a design issue: double stacked mulching mower blade made out of hardened bridge iron steel and no shear pin or belt between that and the crankshaft. The weakest link literally was the crankshaft.

...then there is parts: the rebuild parts for the engine cost more than a new engine, promptly causing me to place engine in trash can and purchase $20 garage sale lawnmower.

...but that's off topic. I digress. ....

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Log splitter review recommendations

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treeman
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 251 Wisconsin
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2012-01-31          182237


Most of the newer engines are OHV (over head valve) and need to have their valves adjusted once in a while. The valves will get loose and even get to the point that the automatic decompression mechanism won't work. It's a good thing it is so easy to check and adjust them.

I've got a Speeco 25 ton splitter with a Briggs 10.5hp engine and have not had a problem. ....

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treeman
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 251 Wisconsin
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2012-01-31          182238


I have found that you get what you pay for when buying a splitter. The cheaper ones will have cheap parts, small oil tanks, funky controls, weak frames, and slow speed. ....

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harvey
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1539 Moravia, NY
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2012-01-31          182239


Cummings makes a good splitter engine. See my pic 10. Little over $500 and many hours of scrounging and fabricating.

http://tractorpoint.com/ctb/memberPhotos/harvey10.jpg ....

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ex-IT-boy
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 13 East Texas
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2012-01-31          182240


Quote:
Originally Posted by harvey | view 182239
Cummings makes a good splitter engine. See my pic 10. Little over $500 and many hours of scrounging and fabricating.


yeah, but I need something in the "right now" timeframe. Scrounging/building is too far out. I have a log pile of about 6 trees and a wood pile of about 1 week's worth of cut/split wood. ....

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2012-01-31          182243


D'oh! In my rant about Honda engines I forgot to mention the splitter. It's a speeco and I really like the splitter, it's the engine that has given me so much trouble.

I also didn't mention the coincidence that all three of my Honda engines are the identical model, GX-390s. Maybe that model is just crap. ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2012-02-01          182244


KW;
I don't know the model numbers of the Honda's I've dealt with, but I would guess the engines on the grain augers are in the 20+ HP range and the power washer likely is a smaller one.
The engines on the augers I think are a two cylinder, anyhow they have a different sound than a ordinary single cylinder engine. I'll pay attention next time I'm around one. I do remember someone saying the auger engines have an automatic shutdown feature if the crankcase oil becomes too low, so apparently they have pressure lubrication.

I'd have to go look to be sure but I think the engines on our Deere 345 mowers are Kowasaki, or however you spell it.
They are a V twin vetical shaft water cooled engines. Other than oil leaks that aren't hard to fix but are annoying they have been trouble free. The lead mower man at the Deere dealership says they have several of that model in excess of 2000 hours without an overhaul and still going. I think ours have about 600 and 800 hours respectifuly
I do know the engine in our Gator is a Kowa-however you spell it, horozontal shaft 610 CC water cooled. I've heard some horror stories about those engines, but so far no problems here.

That's enough from me, I get carried away about something or other every now and then.

Frank. ....

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2644 NorthWest NJ
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2012-02-02          182255


Quote:
Originally Posted by harvey | view 182239
Cummings makes a good splitter engine. See my pic 10. Little over $500 and many hours of scrounging and fabricating.http://tractorpoint.com/ctb/memberPhotos/harvey10.jpg


Now that is one POWWWWERFULLL splitter ! You are one handy fellow Harvey. ....

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JAZAK5
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 276 coxsackie,ny
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2012-03-15          182774


I have a 26 ton yard machine horz/vert with a 6.5 briggs intek engine//drained the fluid once and changed the filter every season (I split wood year round) it's a little slow for me but I will be honest //I BEAT this thing hard// and it won't die !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ....

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chut2k2
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 2 US
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2012-03-20          182814


Have you bought one yet? I have a Northern Tool 37T with GX270 I've modified slightly which I like. Also have an older horizontal only with Briggs. Both are easy starting and run well. Smaller cylinder limits the older one. Wouldn't consider anything with smaller than 5" cylinder and 16gpm pump. Would rather have 22gpm pump and larger engine to shorten cycle time, but satisfied with what I have. ....

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