By BCTruck – rebuild, repair, repurpose
Strange things are occurring all over the world. One of those strange things is that wood has grown tougher and far less tolerant to being split, as I’ve grown older. To combat this ever-increasing hardness, I decided to use my head and not my back. I did a lot of research concerning log splitters.
Mostly I concentrated on gasoline engine powered splitters in the 20 to 30-ton range. I scoured for sale ads in the paper and on craigslist. I put my own ad offering to trade a garden tractor for a splitter.
Finally, after months of trying to barter and wheel and deal my way into something I could get cheap, even if it needed repair, I realized I was going to have to buy new. I started looking at Lowes, Home Depot, Tractor Supply, and Harbor Freight.
What I found was that the prices were so high on these gas-powered splitters that I just couldn’t justify buying one, considering I was just heating my shop, in Louisiana. The ROI on something that costly would take many years to realize.
So, I started doing some research on electric splitters which were 1/4th the price of gas-powered ones. I read a lot of reviews and while most brands seemed to have the same amount of satisfied purchasers, I settled on one that,while wasn’t made here in the states (surprise surprise) The distributor/importer,kept a substantial amount of parts on hand and had great reviews by the folks who had the need for warranty or just wear and tear replacement parts.
That brand was “Earthquake” sold on Amazon. They only offer the five-ton splitter and though there are electric splitters that offer higher ton ratings, both the cost of the machine and demand for electricity increase as well. I mentioned to the manager that harbor freight had their 5 ton marked at $279, and the manager knocked 20 bucks off the $299.00 price tag.
So, I get up in the truck without making to many unmanly grunting noises (its 100 pounds). I get it home and unbox it and within a few minutes I had the handle bolted on and the wheels and metal shroud that goes around the operating lever bolted on as well. It comes already filled with hydraulic fluid, so I am ready to split wood.
I get it in my shop, find an extension cord, put a log on the splitter. Now I have to press a button on the motor, while simultaneously throwing the lever that operates the ram, that pushes the log against the splitting wedge.
Success!!! This modern wood with advanced hardening technology just pops into small pieces like… well like a sharp wedge through firewood.
The instructions, ( I swear didn’t read them) I’ve heard, say that the limit in size of log you should be able to split is nine inches. Me, not being one to conform to instructions and rules, used a 12-inch log for the first test, and a 15-inch log for the second test. I’m totally blown away with the results.
Now I’ll list the pro’s and cons as I’ve found so far;
Very quiet machine. no gas, no oil, no engine maintenance, just an occasional check of the easily accessible hydraulic fluid level. Easily capable of splitting the hardest wood known to man ( I used white oak) in sizes that far exceed their puny recommendations.
No need to trailer it to a location, just pick it up and toss it in the truck, or ask for help if you’re a girly man.
It says that it requires 120 volts at 20 amps, and they mean it! I had to cut the fans that circulate my wood heat into the other side of my shop, off. When I went inside to get coffee,my wife said the house lights dimmed a few times. It pulls a lot of juice and unless you can provide that, it won’t work. I have a generator that will more than suffice if power becomes problematic.
I don’t like the fact that it requires two hands to operate the splitter. You have to press a button on the motor with one hand while operating a lever with the other hand. My devious mind is already thinking of ways I can circumvent this safety feature. “life on the edge” I always say.
Weight. This thing is freegin heavy! Like wood that is much harder to split,100 pounds is far heavier than it was in the 80,s and 90,s
That’s all folks. I feel good about this purchase and I think I’m gonna get a lot of use out of this thing in the future.