westcoast minisplitter have you used one?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by mrs.H, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. mrs.H

    mrs.H Romans 8:28

    Messages:
    1,098
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2003
    Location:
    N. GA
    I have been looking at one of these little splitters for years.
    The gas powered splitters scare me. I am prown to let my mind wander around (chickens, kids, chores ect..) and I don't want to loose any digits. Or hands either! My question is do you have one and does it work ok? I'm not planning on splitting enough wood to sell. Just enough to keep me warm when an ice storm kills my power for almost 2 days. http://www.westcoastminisplitter.com/
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,464
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Location:
    Middle of NC
    I have never seen one, but I can tell you this. The jack they are using has a six inch stroke, which will split only the best splitting logs. A log splitter must move the ram to within an inch or two of the wedge. This one will NOT.
    Also, the hand model is only 8 ton. I have a 20 ton behind a diesel tractor and I have seen logs lock on it because it was not strong enough to split them. When that happens, you must cut into the log with a chain saw to relieve the stress of the log in order to get it off.

    In answer to your question, that splitter is worth, at most, 19.95, for the jack.
     

  3. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,260
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Location:
    AR
    never saw one of those but it seems like if you want to waste your time you can make one a lot cheaper then that
     
  4. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    833
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Vancouver, and Moberly Lake, BC, Canada
    I think it's a lot of money for what you get.

    Some people here gas engine powered log splitters and like them. This one seems too small, but much better than what you are looking at.

    Hopefully someone who uses these will answer. I use a splitting maul and sledge and wedges. But I will probably wind up with a 20 or 30 tn electric, one day.

    Look around,

    Alex
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,464
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Location:
    Middle of NC
    >>>I'm not planning on splitting enough wood to sell. Just enough to keep me warm when an ice storm kills my power for almost 2 days. <<<<

    For the price of that thing, you can buy 4 or 5 pickup loads of wood, split and stacked and ready to use.

    One load will last for 2 weeks or more. Buying one load every 1 to 2 years will do all you need and will supply you for 10 years without you having to cut or split a single log.
     
  6. Ramblin Wreck

    Ramblin Wreck Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    7,215
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Location:
    NW Georgia
    A couple of years ago I got a 20 ton splitter at Northern Tool (for about twice what the hydraulic splitter is selling for) that is powered by one of the cheaper Honda engines. One tank of gas will split a lot of wood. I use it for the tougher pieces, because on a good day with good wood, I can actually split more with a good maul. It's a real blessing on the tougher pieces though!!
     
  7. Rick

    Rick Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    3,651
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002

    When I used a hydraulic splitter 25 years ago, I never thought for a minute I would hurt my hands while it split. I'd set the piece in place, slide the ram until I had contact, and then split it, with my hands on the controls.

    Maybe you could take a few logs and have the retailer demonstrate it for you.
     
  8. buddyboat

    buddyboat Active Member

    Messages:
    41
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Location:
    Northwoods WI
    Hello, I'm thinking of buying a couple of these splitters myself. Really, I've done a bit of homework on them and see more pros than cons.
    - the price, compared to most the splitter isn't too expensive.
    - 30 day money back guarantee.
    - lifetime guarantee, anything goes wrong they pay for parts and shipping.
    - they say the wedge never needs sharpening.
    - never have to pay for gas or oil.
    If you only need it for when the power goes out, I would say go for it.
    Do get the 8 ton model though, it's built stronger and the extra tons are a plus.
    They say it's been rated #1 in the world for manual splitters for 5 years in a row. They've even had it on the David Letterman show???
    I wish someone who has one would answer your post.
    Best of luck to you, buddyboat
     
  9. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,614
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Has anybody wanting one of these wonders ever actually used a hydraulic jack? Using a hydraulic jack to split wood would be painfully slow. Even the smaller engine powered splitters cycle rather slowly. And if that isnt enough, even the powerhouse eight ton jack setup they offer is miniscule with very short stroke. I dont see how such would split any wood that didnt have absolutely straight grain. Put a piece of firewood with some knots in there and the short stroke will be just enough to get the wedge stuck.
     
  10. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

    Messages:
    7,220
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    this october i was using a maul and hurt my back pretty bad. i have used one for years with no problem. i had a small diameter log that was really hard locust. my wedges were not handy, so i brought all my force and stiffened my back and shoulders. that made my lower back a folcrum and it popped out of place. three weeks later i was felling ok and a sneeze through it out again even worse. i wish i had on of those worthless splitters. i think i will build one. sometimes it is all about getting that first split and the rest of the log just falls apart.
     
  11. Mrs_stuart

    Mrs_stuart Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,255
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2003
    Location:
    MISSOURI
    Mrs. H,
    I have not used the one you are describing but i have this one (which seems similar) http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?vertical=LAWN&bidsite=&pid=07124540000&BV_UseBVCookie=Yes

    And we like it a lot. We do split some smaller wood, because we get all of our oak from an oak stave mill for free so they are usally just ends and such...but some are larger, to large for me to pick up. We usually split the ones that big by hand and use the hydrolic splitter for the smaller ones...it really comes in handy, my son thinks it is great and he is 8 years old, cause now he can "split" the wood. I dont worry about splitting any more cause, i know that we can do it if my hubby is to busy. Yes, it is slower going but it does work and it is not back breaking work. My 13 yo dd and my 8 yo ds and I can do a nice pile of wood in a few hours that would last us a good week or so. Personally, it works for us and we got our on sale at the end of a season and figure that something is better than nothing.
    Good luck to you!

    Belinda
     
  12. mrs.H

    mrs.H Romans 8:28

    Messages:
    1,098
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2003
    Location:
    N. GA
    Thank you so much Belinda! That looks great! I'm a 5'5" mom of three, 2 of them 7 and 5. I want to tote the splitter around by myself with kids in tow (probably) I don't own a tractor. I'm not Tim Taylor and I don't want or need the bigest strongest most expensive thing on the market. If I can't split a particular log because it's too big or burled, that's ok. I'll go on to the next one. And my 7 yo ds wants to chop wood now with our mal. Not likley!! But with one of these little splitters I could let him. If he gets bored he can go and play around and I'll able to hear him to track him. (Haven't had him "chipped" yet ;) NAIS). Something I couldn't do if I was running a gas splitter.

    I guess I will contact thd BBB to see if there are complaints. Aparently no-one here, except one other mom, has any expeirience with this sort of splitter.
     
  13. Mrs_stuart

    Mrs_stuart Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,255
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2003
    Location:
    MISSOURI
    Mrs. H,
    That is exactly right, it is the perfect size and noise level...we live right out of town with neighbors and i dont have the room for a large one and i dont like the noise and this little one is easy enought for me to use and move around. I am easily intimidated by those larger "man" tools and would rather have something i feel comfortable with...and for me this fits the bill and it sounds like it could work for you too!

    Belinda
     
  14. Tweetybird

    Tweetybird Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    148
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Location:
    Southeastern Massachusetts
    I bought one a few years ago and LOVE it LOVE it LOVE it! Its great for someone who has painful or sensitive hands where the wedge and sledge or axe is a little much for your hands. I have used it for years. It isn't speedy, but being disabled, and having problems with my hands as well, it is great for me. You can even keep it in the house by the stove or fireplace and split some of the wood you bring inside and find it is to large (fat) to fit in the stove.

    It isn't ment to be for professionals who sell wood for a living, but good for someone who otherwise cannot split wood themselves. Also it is nice in that you do not have to purchase fuel for it. I would be sure to keep a small bottle of hydrolic fluid for the jack, as sometimes the jack leaks the fluid. Also keep a bungie cord to wrap around the log and fasten to the splitter so that the split wood does not fly out and hit someone when it splits.

    It is quite surpizing in the size of the log it accepts, as it is qutev large. You will definately know when it splits as when it cracks it lets off a loud cracking sound, or popping sound.

    It is easy to maintain, as it only requires the jack to be topped off with hydrolic fluid after alot of use. It is simply a bottle jack that is commercially available at most hardware stores, so if the jack wears out, an new one can be purchased cheeply enough to replace it. Just lift the base part, lift the old one out, and slip the new one in. But you will find it will last for years.

    Good luck, and hope this helps.
     
  15. sancraft

    sancraft Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,961
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2002
    Location:
    Georgia
    I've looked at the exact one on ebay. I think it was going for $89.00. You might want to check there and save yourself some money.
     
  16. mrs.H

    mrs.H Romans 8:28

    Messages:
    1,098
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2003
    Location:
    N. GA
    Thans so much!
    And I love E-Bay, so off I go!
     
  17. Silvercreek Farmer

    Silvercreek Farmer Living the dream. Supporter

    Messages:
    2,198
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    Location:
    Morganton, NC
    The potential stuck wedge problem could be easily solved by lowering the jack, leaving the log in place, and adding a block, perhaps 4 inches, and raising the jack again.

    I also concur with the ease of making one of these devises, I may build one for my wife, all one needs is a welder, or a friend that welds, scrap steel, and a bottle jack.
     
  18. Silvercreek Farmer

    Silvercreek Farmer Living the dream. Supporter

    Messages:
    2,198
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    Location:
    Morganton, NC