Thursday, September 5, 2013

Log Splitter

I enjoy a fire burning in the fireplace during the winter here in Northeast Florida. Yes, it does get cold here where the winter temperatures are cold enough (20f) to freeze over puddles outside. Fortunately it only lasts a few weeks then its back into the 40’s+.

I normally burn 1 to 1½ cords of wood per winter at a typical cost of $125 a cord. I don’t have a wood stove but do have a see-thru fireplace between the living room and the dining room. I am not much for a dining room because the kitchen table can seat up to 6 so I use the dining room as a TV and reading room. This works out very well especially when a fire is burning in the fireplace.

I live in a timber rich area where 4-6 inch diameter limbs fall off regularly and where I can take my chainsaw, buck them up and take them home. Also many trees are cut down or pruned regularly and the large branches 4 to 8 inches in diameter are free for the taking. The problem I have is I need to split them for firewood. I don’t want to spend $2,000+ for a gas powered log splitter for the small amount of wood I need and at my age splitting by hand with a splitting maul is not a good choice!

So what are my options?
It was a low cost electric log splitter! I purchased this one from Northern Tool for $249.00 http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200422062_200422062
Yes, I had many reservations about a 5 ton electric log splitter when gas powered ones are 20-27 tons but after reading many glowing customer reviews I bought one. What could I loose? If it didn’t work I would just take it back for a refund.

Wow, this splitter was a surprise, it is extremely well built and very strong! This is not a light weight piece of equipment at 120 lbs.

My neighbor cut down two hickory trees and I had the tree cutter buck the 50 foot tall trunks into 18 inch pieces and drop then into my yard. This electric powered splitter just breezes through them!

What are the benefits of this splitter?
If you are a person who cooks on a wood stove this is a splitter you can use inside your home, in the basement or on the porch splitting wood into smaller pieces that are appropriate for wood stove cooking without any gas engine poisonous exhaust and problematic maintenance issues. Just plug it in and split wood. I will also use this splitter to split regular size fireplace pieces into smaller pieces for use in my rocket stove.

Summary:
Well your probably thinking, what happens if the electric grid goes down? Not much because if the grid is down I can power this splitter with my generator. It doesn’t make much difference if I had a gas powered splitter or power my electric splitter with my gas powered generator.


Is this a splitter for everyone? No, if you heat your home with wood this is not the splitter for people who need 3-8 cords of wood a year. It is for 1-2 cords a year or people who use a wood cook stove.













10 comments:

  1. It should work fine for your purposes plus you will be splitting it ahead of time and not when the power is out so that it will dry good. I use an 8lb maul as I don't want to buy an expensive splitter, I split in the woods as it is easier to haul and stack already split. I wouldn't want to do much cutting and splitting in your climate though.

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  2. Be careful of that thing, next to chain saws log splitters get more people than anything up here.

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  3. Sunnybrook,
    The splitter has been working out great so far. As for cutting and splitting here in Florida you do get use to the warm temps. There is only a month or so when it is in the 90’s so I limit outdoor work during that time, then after that 80’s and lower let me do any kind of work outside without an issue.

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  4. Harry,
    The splitter requires two hands to operate, one on the power switch and the other on the hydraulic valve/lever.
    There are two tools that I have a lot of respect for, a chainsaw and an axe. Lose you attention for just a second and the damage they can do to you is serious. I often wonder how many mountainmen have lost their lives bleeding to death because of an axe or chainsaw accident.

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  5. Fantastic! I spent some time using an axe to make the logs thinner, yesterday. I prefer them thinner pieces. Makes it easier for the entire log to heat up and combust. As you know from the rocket stove principals/efficiencies.

    With an abundance of solar electricity... this would be a great addition.

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  6. With all your wattage this splitter would be perfect for you. The motor only runs on the forward push/splitting and that takes about 4 seconds the you release the power button, the motor is off and the ram retracts with springs.

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  7. 15amp motor. During the day, I can easily produce that in steady amounts. Already demonstrated it with the various power tools used to build the house. The design of only needing the motor to push while a hardened spring retracts... I like it. Gives me a thought of the operation of a constant speed propeller!

    Sounds like a long lasting machine.

    Thanks for the heads up, Mike!

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  8. Stay@Home,
    I think this splitter would b a good fit for you, your power and your needs.

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  9. Replies
    1. Mr. John,
      I purchased this one from Northern Tool for $249.00 http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200422062_200422062

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Your thoughts are welcome!