logsplitter question

   #1  

lynn patterson

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I am wondering about whether I should rent a log splitter or buy one to run off my tractor hydraulics. I have one large tree down that has been cut up and usually have 1-2 trees per year that need to be cut up and split that I have taken down or fell on its own in a storm, so not a lot of use but fairly constant.

Is it generally better to have a self powered splitter or to use your tractor? Which is more reliable/durable? Do these require much maintenance? Is the operation pretty simple? I can rent from Home depot here for ~$100/ day and have seen ads on this site or others for hydraulic run for about $1200-1400

Appreciate any advice for a relative novice at this
 
   #2  

LD48750

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I am wondering about whether I should rent a log splitter or buy one to run off my tractor hydraulics. I have one large tree down that has been cut up and usually have 1-2 trees per year that need to be cut up and split that I have taken down or fell on its own in a storm, so not a lot of use but fairly constant.

Is it generally better to have a self powered splitter or to use your tractor? Which is more reliable/durable? Do these require much maintenance? Is the operation pretty simple? I can rent from Home depot here for ~$100/ day and have seen ads on this site or others for hydraulic run for about $1200-1400

Appreciate any advice for a relative novice at this
I would recommend buying a self powered unit.
Should be able to get one for under $1k.
Run it out of fuel when putting it away for the season and change the oil every 2 or 3 years with no more use then you say you will have.

I know I waited far too long before getting mine and that was back before the prices came down.
 
   #3  

mcfarmall

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I'd run the self powered screamer and save hours on the tractor. Make sure you use ethanol-free rec gas in it.
 
   #4  

fishheadbob

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Age old question which comes up regularly. You're best off browsing similar threads to see which answer suits you best.
 
   #5  

shooterdon

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If you have one or two trees a year, why bother? Use a splitting maul.

If you are in poor health, look at one of the cheap electric splitters for under $350.
 
  
  • Thread Starter
#6  
OP
L

lynn patterson

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health not that bad but time availability is my biggest issue--hoping to get it done quicker
 
  
  • Thread Starter
#7  
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L

lynn patterson

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I would recommend buying a self powered unit.
Should be able to get one for under $1k.
Run it out of fuel when putting it away for the season and change the oil every 2 or 3 years with no more use then you say you will have.

I know I waited far too long before getting mine and that was back before the prices came down.
thanks
 
   #9  

dlctcg

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So I will take a different approach / look at this... & I own a stand alone self-powered Timberwolve splitter & love it. However, if you are splitting only a couple trees a year then I would either consider renting a stand alone splitter (called someone else's problem when returned) or a 3pt splitter for your tractor (electric is not a bad option either as shooterdon recommended).

Rental..
- You need it for a very short period of time
- It is their problem to keep running
- you don't have to store it.... or maintain it..
- you only pay for the time you need it & when you pick it up... it is working... no troubleshooting... no bad gas issues... It Works

3pt Splitter..
- Depending on your tractor will be slower (unless you purchase one with it's own PTO pump) but you aren't splitting much...
- Almost zero maintenance... (no oil changes, no ethanol issues / no start issues.. etc)
- IMHO Tractor hour are not even a concern for the time to split a couple of trees pre year... diesels are made to run... you bought a tractor to use.. (if you were splitting 5+ cords a yr... then maybe)
- storage space for a 3pt splitter is much smaller than for a stand alone... (& drop it... no maintenance)
- Did I mention almost no maintenance

If you were looking to split a lot more wood per season... then I would have a completely different opinion. We split 4-6 cords a year, which is not much compared to some. We use our tractor to load & haul wood as we split. We supplement 60 -70% of our winter heat with wood.

So based on your description of use, I would either rent or use a 3Pt splitter.... I don't know what you have for a tractor, but for the limited use I don't think I would add a separate piece of equipment that needed regular maintenance (& I have one)...
 
   #10  

Bearsixty7

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I just rented a 34ton gas powered splitter in MO. last week, it was $91.00 total for 24 hrs. In reality it only ran about 2-3 hours but it was so hot we had to take frequent breaks. Moving those large diameter pieces for multiple splits was a chore!
The 8 hr. rate was 75 (plus tax).

We split an old oak tree about 36-38" diameter at the trunk. We cut it up early June and just had to split (one day) and load (Next day early morning while somewhat cooler) last week.

I'd suggest you rent as well. Get everything cut up and piled together so it's ready, then go rent the splitter and split it all. On a nice day I'd say you can split 4-5 trees worth of wood.
 
   #12  

4570Man

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If you’re doing such a small volume of wood practically any option will get the job done. I don’t care much about hours on the tractor but I like having my tractor not powering the splitter so I can use it to move wood.
 
   #13  

Jim Shooz

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I borrowed my neighbours splitter a few times and he suggested I buy a half share. I now own half share in a stand alone splitter. The tractor is used to lift the rounds up to the splitter deck.
 
   #14  

Mrsig

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I went with the Champion 7 ton and it works great for me and the price did not break the bank.
Logsp.jpeg


LogS`.jpeg
 
   #15  

CoyPatton

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I would recommend buying a self powered unit.
Should be able to get one for under $1k.
Run it out of fuel when putting it away for the season and change the oil every 2 or 3 years with no more use then you say you will have.

I know I waited far too long before getting mine and that was back before the prices came down.

With 1-2 trees per year, run it dry after every tree jib is finished. The ethanol in todays gas is hard on small passages when it sits for a few months. I suggest pulling the line to the carb when finished with the current needs and drain that fuel from the tank. Then run the motor till it dies using all fuel left in carb.

My $0.02 worth, I agree with not getting one for the tractor, due to wanting to load splits in either the bucket, a carryall or trailer on the tractor, also want tractor to move larger pieces of the tree to the splitter.
 
   #16  

Sawyer Rob

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I bought a high enough quality tractor in the first place, so I don't have to worry about trying to save a few hours off it, running my 3 point splitter!

SR
 
   #17  

WranglerX

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I went with the Champion 7 ton and it works great for me and the price did not break the bank.
View attachment 708402


View attachment 708401
All well and good for you but I have some oak on my property that laughs at my 20 ton splitter and tells me I should have a 30 ton.... Tonnage of splitter is relevant to type of wood being split (soft/hard or green/dry)....
 
   #18  

EddieWalker

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I bought a 27 ton Troy Built log splitter from Lowes about ten years ago for around $1,200. The reason for buying this was because of the Honda engine. In my opinion, the only thing that matters when buying something with a small engine is that it's a Honda engine. Everything else sucks. After ten years, it still starts easy and runs great!!!

Hooking up stuff to the tractor is always a pain. I don't think you could run it enough to matter on the hours, it's just a pain to unhook what's on the tractor, then hook up a splitter, then have to take it off again. I like to leave the attachment on the tractor for as long as possible. First time you do it, I'm sure it wont be an issue, but in five years, it will be something that you dread having to deal with.

Renting works for one time use, and for a lot of things, it's the smart way to go.

For me, I burn a cord of wood a year to heat the house and another cord sitting on our porch, just relaxing in the evening. Two cords isn't a lot by most standards, but it still takes time to cut, split and stack. I also work full time and I have a long list of things I'm working on, along with chores that need to be done every day. It is very hard to dedicate a full day to splitting wood. It's also a lot of work to do in one day. I tend to split according to how much gasoline I have. One tank of gas is a quick day, two tanks of gas is about my limit. It takes longer to stack it then it does to split it, and two tanks of gas is a lot of wood to stack. Doing it this way takes a few days, or even weeks, depending on what else I'm doing. Renting isn't an option. I just leave the splitter out until I have my rack full of wood.

I've also learned that for me, it's easiest to cut up the tree where it falls, into 10 to 15 foot lengths, and carry those logs to where I keep my log splitter. I cut them into rounds there, and then carry the rounds to my splitter. My splitter is right in front of where I stack my wood, so it hits the ground once, then I pick it up and stack it. For me, this seems to be the least amount of work to get the job done.

I don't mess around with big rounds. If I can't pick up a round, I don't want to mess with it. Ideally, I focus on the 12 to 18 inch branches with a few that will go bigger. There is so much wood on a tree that I can be picky and get what I want, and not kill myself messing with something so heavy that I might hurt myself. Sadly, I have so many oak trees that fall over every year from our Spring thunderstorms, that most end up rotting on the ground before I can get them to the burn pile.
 
   #19  

Doughknob

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All well and good for you but I have some oak on my property that laughs at my 20 ton splitter and tells me I should have a 30 ton.... Tonnage of splitter is relevant to type of wood being split (soft/hard or green/dry)....
Yes, this. No diss meant to the guy with the toy splitter :) but I find my 12 ton will barely split my small (12" dia) elm logs. For any given size log, I find elm to be the toughest to split. I still split most everything else by hand!
 
   #20  

Deere Dude

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Personally I like a stand alone splitter so I can use the tractor for jockying logs around. For a very small amount I would consider an electric splitter. But I never tried using my electric splitter for anything substantial, like 18" oak.

I don't recall if you use the wood for anything like home heat or for campfires. You could have a friend cut it up and haul it away for firewood. Wouldn't take any effort, depending on the mess they might make. I am always looking for an easy free tree here and there.
 
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   #21  

PILOON

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Well mine is a 3 point DIY affair.
Cost me a 5 ft 6 x 6 H beam, a valve and a $25.00 5" 'dozer hydraulic cylinder plus some fun time creating my 3 point unit.
No oil to change as it is 'plug and play'.
Not the fastest but still faster than I can feed it. (@ 80 I've kind of slowed down a bit.)
Power to spare as I can cut 5" hard maple cross grain, (LOL, one way to test my welding skills).
 
   #22  

Bearsixty7

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...Sadly, I have so many oak trees that fall over every year from our Spring thunderstorms, that most end up rotting on the ground before I can get them to the burn pile.
Well send me an address and I'll take care of a couple for you! (Only in the late fall/winter/early spring! I'm done with the summertime firewood processing :))
 
   #23  

Buggs67

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Way back (mid 90s) I used to accumulate all my wood in rounds and then rent a splitter for two days and split 3-4 or more cords in two long days. Seeing the future I figured I'd recover my cost in about 8 years and bought a 22 ton splitter w/Honda engine from Northern Tool. Now I didn't have to work like a slave and could split as I cut.

Fast forward and I can't do that much work anymore. So I buy most of my wood and only keep the splitter for the occasional blow down or standing-dead.

My buddy has a 3 point splitter exactly the same as mine and it is soooo sloooow. And he can't use the tractor to lift wood to the splitter or split into the bucket to move to stacking site.

I would advise to accumulate in rounds your wood and then rent for a day or two. Going in on a splitter is good if you can find a partner you can trust.
 
   #24  

fruitcakesa

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We burn about 6 cords a year and like to have 2 years worth of worth available to keep ahead.
The tractor is too handy for the rest of my wood handling to tie up with a 3ph splitter and I hate the noise and fumes from a gas powered stand alone so I ponied up and got a 16 ton 220 volt electric splitter.
Other than nasty knotty or crotchety stuff, it pretty much handles everything else and I like to limit the tree size to 16" so I can move the rounds without herniating.
 
   #25  

Buggs67

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I ponied up and got a 16 ton 220 volt electric splitter.
Other than nasty knotty or crotchety stuff, it pretty much handles everything else and I like to limit the tree size to 16" so I can move the rounds without herniating.
So this means all splitting has to be done by home/workshop? And what is the cost like?
 
   #26  

woodchip37920

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I am wondering about whether I should rent a log splitter or buy one to run off my tractor hydraulics. I have one large tree down that has been cut up and usually have 1-2 trees per year that need to be cut up and split that I have taken down or fell on its own in a storm, so not a lot of use but fairly constant.

Is it generally better to have a self powered splitter or to use your tractor? Which is more reliable/durable? Do these require much maintenance? Is the operation pretty simple? I can rent from Home depot here for ~$100/ day and have seen ads on this site or others for hydraulic run for about $1200-1400

Appreciate any advice for a relative novice at this
I have never used a 3 point unit but I think a stand alone is better I have a 5.5 honda on mine an it splits 95% of what I give it ,why put hours on a big expensive tractor engine ,plus your tractor is free to transport logs.
 
   #27  

oosik

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I no longer heat with wood. I sold my splitter long ago. I had a 25 ton Didier - self contained. Easier to get the splitter to where it was needed, being on two wheels. Having it on the tractor is fine also. If I had done it that way - I would have cut the logs to specific lengths - brought these length to the wood storage shed - final cut and split there.

This would have eliminated the need for a trailer - no need to stack in the trailer - no need to empty the trailer and restack in the wood storage shed. My situation - I was dealing with ancient Ponderosa pines. A ten foot chunk of trunk was more than my Ford 1700 could handle. So I choose to process in the field. This required a large trailer to transport, etc, etc.

There will be advantages/disadvantages to any method. Figure out how you are going to handle the project and choose the best method. A splitter is like any other implement - it needs to be maintained.

BTW - I was dealing with trees that were up to 38" on the butt cut. Not a whole lot of fun trying to deal with trees this big. It only took two trees this size to get the five cords I needed each year.
 
   #28  

fruitcakesa

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So this means all splitting has to be done by home/workshop? And what is the cost like?
I use my tractor to skid logs behind my shop where I put a dedicated 220V line out back for the splitter.
I paid about $1k maybe 8 years ago.They are close to $1600 now
 
   #29  

dodge man

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I use a stand alone. It seems they don’t cost anymore than a 3 point setup. Mine was pretty inexpensive and it is horizontal only, I wish it went vertical also. It’s easier to get large rounds in it f it’s vertical. I either lift large rounds up to it with my tractor or cut them in half first. I think mine was about $700 about 15 years ago and prices haven’t gone up much.

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   #30  

Sawyer Rob

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With a 3 point splitter the rounds can be cut out of the logs over a wagon or trailer, or the cut rounds can be staged over a wagon/trailer or even a table...

OR you can lower the splitters beam onto the ground and roll the rounds right onto the beam, raise the beam and split them...

SR
 
   #31  

oosik

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The rounds from the butt section of my pines were a PITA to manhandle. Ended up digging a shallow trench with the tractor bucket. Roll the splitter down into this trench. This put the splitter beam dead level with the ground. Helped somewhat.
 
   #32  

bandc07

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I bought a 3 pt splitter that runs off the hydraulics from the tractor. I use it for 2 to 3 trees a year. I decided to go with tractor option so I don't have to maintain another engine and only adding a few extra hours a year on my tractor is not a big deal. It does have a little longer cycle time but not a big deal for a little as I use it.
 
   #33  

Bearsixty7

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With my limited experience of wood splitting so far, I would only want a self powered splitter that could pivot to vertical (The rental did and that's how I used it, the big rounds I just rolled in place on their edge, like you would roll a barrel on its edge).

For a 3pt one I would want one that would allow the splitter to be on the bottom so I could just position it with the tractor and lower it over the big rounds and split them.
 
   #34  

Williy

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I never used a power splitter just used an axe, sledge hammer
and wedges on the extra large ones and only split wood in
the winder time as wood splits better frozen. 30 degree's
below zero working in a t-shirt.

willy

riddle: what has 18 legs and catches flies???
 
   #36  

VroomVroom

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What do you think of those split fires? Wonder how long the uhmw plastic wear pads last. I like the smaller diameter cylinders you can choose. Most wood here lately, with exception to yellow birch, splits pretty east even with the 5 ton electric splitters
 
   #37  

Underdog57

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I never used a power splitter just used an axe, sledge hammer
and wedges on the extra large ones and only split wood in
the winder time as wood splits better frozen. 30 degree's
below zero working in a t-shirt.

willy

riddle: what has 18 legs and catches flies???
Baseball Team
 
   #38  

WranglerX

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I never used a power splitter just used an axe, sledge hammer
and wedges on the extra large ones and only split wood in
the winder time as wood splits better frozen. 30 degree's
below zero working in a t-shirt.

willy

riddle: what has 18 legs and catches flies???
Well... I tried to split some rounds, and I set the wedge, gave it a couple of whacks with 8 pound sledge, round spit out the wedge and wedge can looking for me.... Prefer a power splitter any time...
 
   #39  

Hamlin6

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I never used a power splitter just used an axe, sledge hammer
and wedges on the extra large ones and only split wood in
the winder time as wood splits better frozen. 30 degree's
below zero working in a t-shirt.

willy

riddle: what has 18 legs and catches flies???
A baseball team. :)
 
   #40  

shooterdon

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I am wondering about whether I should rent a log splitter or buy one to run off my tractor hydraulics. I have one large tree down that has been cut up and usually have 1-2 trees per year that need to be cut up and split that I have taken down or fell on its own in a storm, so not a lot of use but fairly constant.

Is it generally better to have a self powered splitter or to use your tractor? Which is more reliable/durable? Do these require much maintenance? Is the operation pretty simple? I can rent from Home depot here for ~$100/ day and have seen ads on this site or others for hydraulic run for about $1200-1400

Appreciate any advice for a relative novice at this
You have received a lot of input. Most will be useless. People are telling you what works for them, so you need to decide if your trees are the same as the trees they are processing.

If the largest tree you will handle is 14" ash, what a guy splitting 24" oak uses is going to be more than you need.

I burn about 6 cords a year so what I use would be silly for your needs. My fiancé and I process (cut to length and split) 6 cords in 8 hours.

Having read all the suggestions, and based on the information you have provided ( two tress a year) you may not need to own a splitter. Cut your downed trees to length. (I go with 20" long rounds as it means fewer cuts, less handling and less splitting time. My insert easily handles 22" so it works.). Stack your rounds and rent a splitter once every two years. You will have no stuff to buy, store or maintain. Have a buddy/son/grandson come over to help you and buy pizza and beer with the money saved. You should have four "average" trees split in 4 hours...maybe less. A one day rental every two years....maybe every three years.

Splitting can be done efficiently if you plan for it. People waste time moving rounds to the splitter and moving split wood away and/or stacking it. Stack your rounds so you can pull the splitter up to them. Throw the splits to the "off side" and move the splitter as the split pile get too large.
 
   #41  

Hamlin6

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Long time lurker here.
I grew up splitting wood and have most of my adult life. I've used both standalone and 3 point hitch. My preference is 3 point hitch as I like to use the same tool as many ways as I can. Having said, there are valid reasons to go with a standalone. For me, I'd rather not have another engine to maintain. But again, that is just my opinion. The biggest thing that I think, and others have mentioned, is get something that is vertical. The major reason for a wood splitter is to turn the manual task into a quicker, easier job. Lifting or rolling a round onto a horizontal splitter will wear you out. Having one that is vertical will save your back and make the job much easier after a long day.
 
   #42  

oldpilot

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I bought a Sears (!) log splitter some forty years ago for a couple hundred dollars including the cost of hydraulic hoses and connectors to power it off my then-International Harvester 284. Though we no longer heat the house with wood (too much dust for Susan Wife), we still go through a cord of wood a year for the fireplace in fall and spring. Of course it cost me more than I paid for the splitter to add rear hydraulic lines to Mahindra 1526, but that splitter is still doing good service. I'll be splitting a cord this fall from the past year's blowdowns. I recommend it. I can have the log splitter hooked up while towing my farm trailer, so all the mess stays in the woods where it is an actual benefit. I split the wood on site and stack it in the trailer and come home like a triumphant Spartan with my shield. Hoo ha!

Wasn't it great when we could get EVERYTHING from Sears? Amazon just isn't the same.
 
   #43  

fishdrivel

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I am wondering about whether I should rent a log splitter or buy one to run off my tractor hydraulics. I have one large tree down that has been cut up and usually have 1-2 trees per year that need to be cut up and split that I have taken down or fell on its own in a storm, so not a lot of use but fairly constant.

Is it generally better to have a self powered splitter or to use your tractor? Which is more reliable/durable? Do these require much maintenance? Is the operation pretty simple? I can rent from Home depot here for ~$100/ day and have seen ads on this site or others for hydraulic run for about $1200-1400

Appreciate any advice for a relative novice at this
I can buy a lot of used self-powered splitters here for around $500. Very little care and careful with gas.
I don't recommend the electric ones. Won't save you any real money, don't like splitting around extension cords or damp conditions and I have seen too many broken units for sale.

With your usage, you'll never wera out a splitter. Save your tractor.
 
   #44  

jacric2005

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Tractor
John Deere 870
We have a self powered splitter that lives at our house since my 96 year old dad got a ductless heat pump. Just too old to bring logs in with the tractor and turn them into fire wood. We used it some for some peeler log rounds. Now we buy our wood from a local guy and it fits our wood stove just fine. But a splitter is amazing as you watch that maul(?) split the wood. The splitter is run dry if we use it and we use clear premium. We also keep it tarped. It sits a lot but I would not loan it out as a family or neighborhood splitter. Once my dad did that, the person did not keep it tarped and something rusted (flywheel?). That said, it's probably something a country property should have around. Never know what you will get gifted.
 
   #45  

DB_Alimere

New member
Joined
Nov 11, 2009
Messages
1
Location
Roseneath, Ontario, Canada
Tractor
New Holland T1500
Rental probably does make more sense in your case, but if you wanted to buy, I would definitely suggest a 3pt unit that runs off your tractor hydraulics. As dictcg mentioned, it's smaller, virtually no maintenance, and it's more powerful than an electric model. I've had a Wallenstein unit for 10 years, splitting about 3 bush cord a year, and I've been very happy with it.
 
   #46  

Robert walker

New member
Joined
Jul 16, 2020
Messages
22
Tractor
Kubota L3400
I am wondering about whether I should rent a log splitter or buy one to run off my tractor hydraulics. I have one large tree down that has been cut up and usually have 1-2 trees per year that need to be cut up and split that I have taken down or fell on its own in a storm, so not a lot of use but fairly constant.

Is it generally better to have a self powered splitter or to use your tractor? Which is more reliable/durable? Do these require much maintenance? Is the operation pretty simple? I can rent from Home depot here for ~$100/ day and have seen ads on this site or others for hydraulic run for about $1200-1400

Appreciate any advice for a relative novice at this
I have a self powered unit from lowes, I have split a lot of logs with it, it’s about 15 years old. The reason I went with it instead of one that works off tractor is if you need to use it remotely you have to haul your tractor with you.
 
   #47  

Williy

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2020
Messages
1,348
Location
Texas
Tractor
Yanmar YT 235C Yannar YRC 60 rotary cutter, Yanmar RT72 rotary tiller B75 Backhoe & bucket & thumb, LS land grader
After yesterday my tractor is full of dust, scratches
mud and when it rains it will be clean again!!!

what has 18 legs and catches flies? a baseball team

willy

why did the blonde take a bale of hay to bed????
 
   #48  

puzlrock

Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2017
Messages
36
Location
Trout Creek
Tractor
Massey 165
Buy a self powered unit. Easier to set up and use. Splits blocks over 2 1/2' through with ease. If you use PRIG in the fuel you don't have to drain it for winter. I started using PRIG 15 years ago and I have never had a problem with saws, mowers or anything fuel wise. Everyone's needs are different. Good luck
 
   #49  

Cameron Smith

Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2010
Messages
32
Location
Massachusetts
Tractor
2 British Nuffields, a Case RC, a Farmall F-12 and a Ford 1900 4x4
The biggest deal is to have some HELP! Splitting goes an awful lot faster with one or two more bodies around. My wife sometimes sits at the lever and I can go a LOT faster with less wear and tear on myself with her doing that. My splitter is run with a PTO pump and does 4 foot lengths.
 
   #50  

Tony H

Platinum Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2013
Messages
525
Location
Summit, NY
Tractor
JCB MIDI CX
I am wondering about whether I should rent a log splitter or buy one to run off my tractor hydraulics. I have one large tree down that has been cut up and usually have 1-2 trees per year that need to be cut up and split that I have taken down or fell on its own in a storm, so not a lot of use but fairly constant.

Is it generally better to have a self powered splitter or to use your tractor? Which is more reliable/durable? Do these require much maintenance? Is the operation pretty simple? I can rent from Home depot here for ~$100/ day and have seen ads on this site or others for hydraulic run for about $1200-1400

Appreciate any advice for a relative novice at this
I chose to run off my tractors hydraulics. One less engine to sit around let ethanol fuel beat it up. One less engine for the mice to get into AND my biggest find is my tractor idles quietly when splitting vs The on-board engine screaming as I split. See my avatar.. My splitter on front of tractor with homegrown bracket. My tractor has the additional hydraulics on it. A Detent to hold Tractor lever to let fluid circulate to Splitter. So my hookup was literally buying hoses and correct connectors.
 
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