Hydraulic block splitters

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 12, 2016 at 21:43
ThreadID: 131335 Views:4876 Replies:10 FollowUps:7
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Greetings fellow bushies.

We're about to embark upon a bush change and one of my planned acquisitions is a block splitter for firewood.
Anyone got one and your opinion please. Make preferred. Good and bad points. What tonnage force would you recommend etc etc.
I would expect 200-300 dia gum would be the target size. Perhaps not 300 if that is pushing it for the smaller units. At to stage I'm thinking of the 240V jobbies but open to suggestions.
Expected price to cough up and so on.
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Reply By: noggins - Tuesday, Jan 12, 2016 at 23:28

Tuesday, Jan 12, 2016 at 23:28
I bought one from Mitre 10 and was told 4Ton was enough for gum and hardwoods.

I thing anything less than 10 ton ram will be wasting your time if you really want to get into it and not waste your effort.

The trailer mounted type that can be stood on end are as good as the horizontal type , it just works out if you want to roll the log into it or lift it in

AnswerID: 594803

Reply By: Motherhen - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2016 at 00:22

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2016 at 00:22
I think ours is a 32 tonne splitter Rosco. We had a lot of trouble with seals initially, but have a son who is good at repairing that sort of thing. The splitter sometimes struggles with curly grained wood.

It works better in the upright position - that is pressing down on the wood, than going along horizontally. Our son also put braces to stabilise it when upright. It is heavy for us to lift into the upright position, but does save chopping if we get it out and do a big load all at once. The big rings still need to be lifted onto the base, and some have to be split by hand first if they are too big. This may not be so with the wood you are getting. It needs to be run on a level surface or it 'walks' so was no good out in the paddock. If we run short of chopped wood it is quicker to chop it the old fashioned way than set up the splitter. It is also noisy and chuffed diesel fumes all over us. It is important to get an adequate sized motor - some are under powered.


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Reply By: Dion - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2016 at 00:50

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2016 at 00:50
I've seen one of those 240VAC jobbies at Stratco and just laughed. It would be as useful as a Jake Brake in a helicopter.
I'm now onto my second one. The first was a 26T, brought from Paramount Browns at Cavan (Adelaide) SA. Not sure of brands, but it had a genuine Honda copy engine. It wasn't to bad, but did struggle a bit with some of the wood I needed splitting. It did have one annoying leak, I think it was the hydraulic pump discharge, hose nipple. I tried lots of things, but could not stop it weeping. It was about $1400, I probably had it for about six years. I sold it after that for $800.
The second unit I brought, was also from Paramount Browns, and a 40Thttp://www.paramountbrowns.com.au/products/petrol-log-splitter-40ton/ It too has occasionally struggled on splitting some wood, but no where near as often as the 26T did. I think I paid $1650 for it a couple of years ago.
Both had hitches, but they're only rated to 30km/h towing. This 40T, I have extensively modified it so that it sits properly on a mounted trailer, so now I can tow it at a road speed of 110km/h, and I can also tow it into and out of creekbeds, up and down banks, the sort of thing you can't do with them as supplied. Again, like it's 26T predessessor, it too has a genuine Honda copy engine. Because of the way I mounted it on the trailer, the hydraulic tank, engine and control valve are further away from each other as it would be if it was built as supplied, so I had to get the hydraulic hoses extended. I took it to a pro hydraulic hose mechanic, but even he had trouble finding compatible hydraulic nipples due to whatever it is that the Chinese use.
Up to 450mm dia, it's easy enough to use in the horizontal position, but getting bigger than that, use it in the vertical position.
All up, I probably spent a further $1k on it, in making it properly towable for out on the open road and out on bush tracks, but it is worth every cent. For towing on the road, I made up a lightbar like you'd find on a boat, complete with number plate, so it is registered too.
As it is about 45km each way for where we get our wood from, I usually tow it on the towbar behind the 8x5' trailer that the wood comes home in. I find by splitting the wood out in the field, I can get more in the trailer than just bringing the rounds home and then splitting them.

AnswerID: 594810

Follow Up By: Member - John - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2016 at 00:59

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2016 at 00:59
"I usually tow it on the towbar behind the 8x5' trailer that the wood comes home in"

Please Explain................................. does this mean you tow two trailers at the same time? Just curious.
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Follow Up By: Dion - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2016 at 01:13

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2016 at 01:13
Yes, nailed it.
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Reply By: Member - Blue M - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2016 at 01:55

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2016 at 01:55
Rosco, I got one from Bigger Boyz Toys. It is has a 16t ram.
I don't bother towing it as I only go out of town a couple of clicks
?Maximum towing speed: 40Km/h (Off Road use Only).
Will handle all the wood I find around Morven - Charleville area..
Only ever struggled on a couple of big knurled bits.
Most logs I get are around 8 to 14 inches across and a 12inches long,
as I only have a small wood heater.

The best thing for me is, it splits both directions.
Cost around $1499, I got mine on special for $1299 plus freight


Good people to deal with.

AnswerID: 594811

Reply By: Ozhumvee - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2016 at 06:45

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2016 at 06:45
As others have said don't waste money on the cheaper units, they're a waste of money unless you are splitting pine 90x45's.
I've used a few different ones over the years and the comments about the vertical ones being best are correct, much easier to use as you are standing up without bending over all the time.
The best one I've used is the Superaxe from Whitlands engineering, it is a 400 but instead of being driven by a fitted engine it is connected to the tractor hydraulics to drive it. The log lifter is used to lift the logs up onto the table to be split and then we back the ute or trailer up to the other side and throw the split stuff straight in.
They work very well as the blade contacts the timber through an arc which means first contact is at the edge and over a small area allowing a greater leverage and there isn't much that it won't split. While a bit dearer they will go forever with a bit of TLC plus you avoid any back problems caused by constant bending.
AnswerID: 594813

Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2016 at 14:50

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2016 at 14:50
Yep x2 for the Superaxe. Borrowed one once & if I was going to buy or rent that's the one I would get. Pricey but if you buy the cheaper Chinese jobs expect to have to do some mods to get it up to scratch. Electric, forget it as they wouldn't cut through butter!

I still split by hand with a Fiskars splitter to feed my 2 wood heaters that have been our only source of heating for 35 years.

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Reply By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2016 at 10:18

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2016 at 10:18

If you are serious about splitting anything harder than pine forget the 240v toys. Get the largest capacity petrol (or diesel) engine powered unit you can afford.

Or keep your $2000 in your pocket, cancel your health club membership and get the largest weight sledge hammer you can handle and a few steel wedges. I was able to easily swing a 14 lb jobby in my much younger days but now use the 7 lb variety. Just takes a few more swings.
A block splitter uses sheer brute force. A sledgy uses momentum.

AnswerID: 594823

Reply By: Gazza11 - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2016 at 15:35

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2016 at 15:35

I bought the 40T job from The Toolbox at Mittagong with the chinese Honda motor and it's fantastic, it cost about $1850 (ish) and I needed to assemble it when I got it home.

I hav'nt yet found a log that it won't split and worst case the motor loads up a little.

It's not suitable for towing any distance (at speed) but I load up the ute and the trailer with about 1.5 tons and bring it home to split.

Thats about as much as I can Cut, load and split in one day anyway.

Two seasons now with zero issues so i'm a happy chappie.

AnswerID: 594844

Reply By: Member - backtracks - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2016 at 17:48

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2016 at 17:48
Yep, got a fourty ton one. Haven't used for days on end but so far can't fault it. Hired a super axe and a thirty ton one previous. The lifter on the super axe was great for big logs but it's slower and the axe doesn't extend quite as far on really big logs. The 30 ton seemed fine, till I used the fourty ! Yep, happy with the 40 ton job, the none road tow ability is a down side if you can't chuck it on the back of another trailer.
AnswerID: 594849

Reply By: Bob R4 - Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 21:44

Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 21:44
Rosco, Google wood splitting screws and see what you can find.
AnswerID: 594920

Follow Up By: Bob R4 - Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 22:48

Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 at 22:48
Like this one
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Friday, Jan 15, 2016 at 01:29

Friday, Jan 15, 2016 at 01:29
How good is that!

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Reply By: Ron N - Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 14:10

Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 14:10
Don't muck around with toy wood splitters! Here's the tool you need! LOL

Rabaud wood splitter (watch the video!)

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 595077

Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 14:56

Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 14:56
These billets are pretty big, Ron! Don't think they would have fitted in my parents old Metters wood stove. :-)


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Follow Up By: Ron N - Monday, Jan 18, 2016 at 13:28

Monday, Jan 18, 2016 at 13:28
Bob, I guess that's where the tomahawk comes in!
I reckon I could handle a bit of extra hand-splitting after that big beast has done its work!

Or - maybe they could supply a different splitting frame with more blades for smaller splits!

Personally, I reckon the greatest drawback of nearly every splitter I have seen, is the work involved in lifting the blocks into position so they can be split!

I often wonder if people realise they are expending nearly as much energy lifting blocks into position to a hydraulic block-splitter, all day long - as compared to the energy expended on whacking the blocks with a nice sharp axe or block-splitter, right where they lay on the ground!

Cheers, Ron.
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