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First, I have to say this machine is seriously well built with all solid plate steel construction and full welds. The instructions are difficult to follow and I feel some tasks would be easier if done in a different order but two people assembled it in less than 2 hours. Be sure to lay out all the nuts and bolts. I found some hiding in fittings and it made everything more clear when they were discovered. The hose clamps need to be bigger and stronger but that is a minor detail. I am also concerned about the oil filter using the painted surface to seal against the gasket but it isn't leaking yet. First day out and performance is about on par with the 34 ton competitor's model for roughly the same price. What I like is this has a Honda engine that I know will start with one pull every time. The unit it replaced used a Briggs & Stratton that was not so easy at times. The competition also used some sheet metal pieces in the log tray area that bent easily. The log tray on this machine looks strong enough to handle a dump truck sitting on it without bending. Customer service is great as well. I had a fitment issue and one call gave me hope that it just needed a light sanding to smooth out some minor scratches. They also assured me that they would send a replacement part right away even if it was very large and heavy. Overall, I am extremely happy.
This is a very heavy duty log splitter with high quality throughout. The Honda engine is a perfect companion to this splitter. It takes the biggest, gnarliest logs in stride. Assembly instructions are excellent and very clear. Northern Tool has very good tech support (one castle nut was defective and I received a new one in two days after phoning) and expert advice is available with very short wait times (under two minutes in my case). NOTE: This splitter weighs 525 lbs. The shipping weight is over 600 lbs. It comes on a single pallet and requires assembly. The shipper drops it at your address from a full size semi truck with a lift gate: No forklift. It is your responsibility to get it from curbside to where you want it. Assembly requires two strong persons due to the weight of the various components. Do not attempt to handle this beast by yourself. Once it is assembled it is easy to move around and very simple to use, but the assembly itself can be dangerous due to the weights and the awkward shapes involved.
Excellent product, way more power than any rental unit I’ve ever used. Honda engine is a dream, starts incredibly easy. In the vertical position it can easily split huge 30”+ rounds. The log stripper is awesome for the rare occasion that a log gets stuck on the wedge. The wheeled jack stand is a great improvement that makes moving the machine around very easy, especially if you work by yourself. All the pins in the outriggers are self-contained so you don’t have to ever worry about losing them. Pulls easily. Overall I would definitely recommend this splitter.
I spent a lot of time reviewing and researching log splitters. I'm a solid fan of Honda GX engines, so that was a requirement. I also have some real challenging splitting tasks, so I went big on capacity. This rig does what I want, and well so far. It does get hot under extended use, so there is a duty cycle issue. Also, I like to warm up an engine, so with an automatic throttle, you have to manually hold the throttle lever down upon starting until it gets some oil pressure and heat in the motor. Minor stuff. Plenty of power, good hydraulic oil capacity. I might add a hydraulic oil filter, just because I'm anal.
What a wonderful tool! Our new 37 Ton NorthStar Log Splitter turned a three week job into one day!! This unit does come partially assembled, so be prepared to spend a few hours putting it together. We would definitely recommend this log splitter to those who are shopping for a dependable machine.
Bought the machine based on two things: my old 22 ton splitter finally died, and I believe in overkill with machinery. I figured for the price, a 37 ton splitter would be more than enough (though, calculated, the total pressure is "only" about 33 tons). So.. ordered, and picked up at the shipping dock as there was no way for a delivery vehicle to access my home. Anyway.. a couple observations.... The unit ships in two pieces: the engine is separate and in a cardboard box, and the rest of the splitter is embedded in a steel framework rather than a crate. This causes two issues: one, the engine has a high probability of potential damage from being dropped or sat upon by something else and two, the crate package can only be picked up one way with a forklift - from the side. That created some issue when trying to load into my truck, as the shipper and I had to figure out how to load it "lengthwise" into the truck bed. We got it, but it was an unnecessary trouble spot. Once home, I disassembled the crate in situ and was able to remove 99% of the components by myself. Assembly was fairly straightforward for the chassis - pay attention to the wheel bearings as another poster mentioned - and make sure you have a variety of wrenches and sockets available. I found that not all the components were metric... several fasteners later in the assembly were ASE. Once the chassis was together, then the beam and ram get installed, and this is where you need a helper or two. It's heavy, no two ways about it. And make sure you're on solid, level ground, as the beam is assembled to the chassis in the vertical position. It's not hard, just very awkward. Plumbing is straightforward; one fitting on the valve assembly will not go on with the valve assembly in place - it hits one of the bolt heads on the ram mount. Remove that bolt temporarily and it'll clear. The oil filter.. is huge. Most homeowners won't have a pipe wrench or filter wrench big enough to tighten it, so be prepared to borrow or purchase a tool. I could only get mine tightened so far by hand (and rubber gloves) and it still vibrated loose when it ran (making a huge oil spill... oops). Otherwise, the thing is a beast. In the upright position you'll find that larger logs will not want to balance on the pad due to the teeth on the pad and the height difference of the pad itself versus the ground. I placed 1" pieces of plywood around the pad so I could slide the wood into place without fear of it being kicked out for being off-kilter. Oh, and that's another thing... the blade. From the factory about as sharp as a bag of wet hair. It'll split, but only by definition. It mostly crushes it's way through, so take an angle grinder and put a decent sharp edge on that sucker. So far nothing has stopped this thing. Even a knotty, elbowed chunk of oak merely slowed it for a moment. Once past the initial setup issues, I see lots of use in the near future for this machine. Once I get a year or so of use under it, I'll report back some more!
I burn mostly wood in our large older farm house and have been cutting and splitting wood for over 34 years. I have used a 3 point splitter on the back of my tractor for years but because of fuel prices, wanted a smaller engine but still need a lot of splitting power. I chose this one based on it being 37 tons and reasonably priced. I pull it with my Rancher 4x4 ATV. It has the power to split or crush any piece of oak, elm, hickory or any other wood that I put in it. I use it in the vertical position mostly so I don't have to lift the wood so much. I can split 3' diameter tree trunk chunks that it takes 2 or 3 of us to move. It splits whatever I can put in it! It is impressive.
There are some drawbacks. It will only handle logs up to 2 feet long. My furnace will take 34" long pieces so I wish it had more length capacity. The decals have been curling and are coming off, which doesn't hurt function but I like my equipment to look nice, too. I told the Northern Store in Madison, WI and they ordered a new set for me but that was a month ago and I haven't received them yet. The biggest problem is that the main steel beam that holds the splitter is not thick enough to adequately support it. If you tighten the bolts to take out the play in the hinge point, you will start crushing the beam because it isn't thick enough. I have bought a new 3/16" thick steel beam to replace it. If your land is hilly like mine is, you have to be careful not to tip it over because the center of gravity is relatively high.
It starts and runs nice and the control lever is handy. Be sure all the hose clamps are tight so you don't lose any hydraulic fluid.