The Remington RM20 Sequoia has a classy name and the pedigree of power and work ethic that you need when buying a Gas Wood Splitter. Splitting wood is hard work. At some point in human history our species made the intelligent decision to use technology to do all of the hard work of splitting wood.
I have to be honest, I don’t really understand why people still use an axe to split wood today. It’s relentless back-breaking work that takes its toll on your body day after day. I understand that we didn’t have any alternatives in the 19th century but today, we have some wonderful options. Log splitters are worth the cost because they save your body from all the aches and pain if you were to manually split the wood with an axe.
In this article we review two excellent gas wood splitters to get you through another winter.
- Remington RM20 Sequoia : 20-ton, 159cc, 19 sec. cycle time, , vertical or horizontal
- ARIENS 917011 : 22-ton, 174cc, 12 second cycle time, vertical or horizontal
If you’re looking at buying a gas-powered log splitter, be prepared to pay for it. Even a 20-ton gas log splitter, which is on the smaller end of the scale, is going to cost upward of $1000 – if you’re paying less, you should consider the quality of the machine that you’re buying.
So it’s not going to be a cheap exercise, but buying the right log splitter should mean that you’ll never have to buy another one in your lifetime – provided that you keep it properly maintained. Call it a log splitter or wood splitter, it’s the same thing and its purpose is to take the backache out of splitting your firewood.
The difference between using an axe and letting the hydraulic power of a wood splitter do the work for you makes a world of difference. You’ll get through your firewood pile in a fraction of the time and you won’t be left exhausted with aches and pains throughout your body.
22-Ton Log Splitter | ARIENS 917011
The important thing about choosing the perfect log splitter is to know what you’re getting for your money. Quality is paramount when buying equipment of this nature. This means a good engine and hydraulic system as well as a durable and reliable ram. The most critical factor is the power of the machine and this raises the all too common question. What size log splitter do you need?
Determining what size log splitter you buy, is going to make all the difference as the years go by. A very large wood splitter is going to cost a lot more to buy and will give you the power to split really thick hardwood logs. Obviously, a smaller machine is more limited. Now you don’t want to end up spending more than you need, at the same time, you want something that’s going to meet your requirements. You want to strike a balance between cost and usability. Remember that a log splitter with more power has a larger engine and hydraulic system that’s going to use more fuel and cost more to maintain.
A log splitter’s hydraulic power is measured in tons, this indicates how much force is applied by the ram and this is what splits the wood. Wood splitter hire companies reckon that in the US, the average size for log splitter rentals is 26-tons. With large models reaching up to 45-tons, you want to know which is going to be best. There’s no exact scientific way to determine what diameter of log you’ll be splitting.
Every tree is different, even if you take the same type of wood, one tree can be denser than another and knots in the wood is going to reduce the size log that you can split. Moisture plays a big role, with dry wood splitting much easier than green (freshly cut) wood.
For this reason, the Janka Hardness Test has been developed which gives us a basis for determining the breaking point of different wood types. Based on this method, we can estimate how many tons of force you’ll need to split a particular type of wood and at what thickness. Here’s a list that will give you a basic idea of what diameter and wood type you’ll be able to split with the rated tons for a wood splitter. We’re keeping it fairly general here, but this will give a reasonable estimation of what working capabilities you’ll get from your wood splitter. In most cases, you could go a bit thicker on the log, but it’s safer to underestimate.
Recommended Log Splitter Sizes:
- 5-tons or less – softwood 6”-10” diameter. Not really recommended for hardwood, but should handle about 4”-5” hardwood.
- 10-tons – softwood up to 10”-15” and hardwood 6”-10”.
- 15-tons – softwood 15”-20” and hardwood 10”-12”.
- 20-tons – softwood 20”-25” and hardwood 12”-15”.
- 30-tons and upwards – softwood thicker than 25” and hardwood thicker 15”.
Working on this estimated power rating, you’ll see that a 20-ton wood splitter is most likely going to be the best option for most home users and light commercial firewood suppliers. A 20-ton wood splitter is very affordable when compared to the big monsters and gives you a really decent amount of power.
Given the value that you’re going to get from a 20-ton wood splitter, we’re going to review one of the best 20-ton log splitters that falls within the mid to low price range. Even though the Remington RM20 Sequoia doesn’t cost much more than the cheapest options, it has the build quality to compete with the best and this makes it incredibly good value for money. As a comparison, we’ll also review the Ariens Company 917011, which comes at a very similar price to the Remington RM20 Sequoia and is a comparable machine.
Remington RM20 Sequoia
- Powered by strong, durable 4.5 hp/ 174 cc Subaru engine and built to go anywherePrefilled with hydraulic fluid
- Log trays included
- Minimal assembly required
- 45MPH Transport Speed
- D.O.T. Road Towable
- 16″ x 4.8″ turf tread tires
- 2″ BALL HITCH
- With the power to cut a 25-inch log in the horizontal or vertical position
- Features 16-inch x 4.8-inch tires
- Horizontal and vertical splitting positions with centrally located operator controls
Durable components, Tapered wedge design, Strong chassis with standard log cradle and hitch handle
✓ View or download the MANUAL for the Remington RM20 Sequoia.
To supply a 20-ton hydraulic ram with the power it needs, you need an engine that’s up to the task and the Remington RM20 Sequoia has what it takes. The 159cc OHV Powermore engine is both reliable and gives the Remington the horsepower that it needs. You’ll need to pull start the engine as it only has a recoil starter (no electric starter motor). Though this isn’t a tough job and it starts easily with one pull. I don’t find CSA or CARB specifications, but the user guide warns that it’s not suitable for use in California – this tells me that it’s not CARB certified. I would think that since Remington is a Canadian manufacturer, we can assume that it meets Canadian emission regulations.
The 25” splitting table is pretty standard in terms of length, and it has a 19 second cycle time for this length. It operates in a horizontal or vertical position and transitions very easily from either position, with a locking pin to secure it in the upright position.
What impresses me most about the Remington RM20 Sequoia is the exceptional quality of the build, design, and materials used. The wedge is made from extra thick cast iron and this level of durable strength carries through every part of its design. This makes it a particularly heavy piece of machinery. I must point out that its 585-pound weight is a good thing, not a complaint. This gives you an indication of the toughness and durability of the machine. It has super impressive 16” X 4.8” tires with solid steel rims and a 2” ball hitch for towing it with a vehicle. The towing speed is limited to 45MPH, but this normal for all wood splitters with a tow hitch.
The axel is much wider than most and this gives it a very stable base – both when towing and operating the machine. Despite being a heavy durable wood splitter (easily one of the best), it’s really easy to use. The hydraulic control lever is perfectly positioned and it has a simple forward, neutral and reverse action. You can lift it into the upright position with hand, even if you’re not a big guy. It also requires very little assembly and the instructions in the user manual are easy to follow with concise diagrams. You really don’t have to be a technical wizard to get started or operate the Remington RM20 Sequoia.
Whenever I see a piece of machinery that’s built this tough, I’m in awe of its magnificence. I can accept slightly lower performance from a machine that displays a high level of build integrity. In this case, I rate the power and usability of the Remington RM20 Sequoia quite highly and its build quality is truly exceptional – very much a win-win situation. You’ll get a 2-year warranty on this wood splitter.
- Engine : 159cc OHV POWERMORE Engine
- Ram Force : 20 US Tons
- Cycle Time : 19 Seconds
- Log Capacity : 25″ in Length
- Hydraulic Reservoir : 3 Gallon
- Tank Limited : Warranty
22-ton gas-powered log splitter. Vertical or Horizontal.
- Subaru EA-175V engine produces 8.26 ft. lb. of torque for powerful splitting
- 27-ton splitting force effectively splits larger logs
- 12-second cycle time quickly resets the splitter to split another log
- Centrally located controls allows you to operate from either side
Open operating zone reduces operator fatigue
Vertical and horizontal splitting capacity for versatility
Log cradle and draw bar handle are standard features
Towable at speeds up to 45 MPH for convenience
Includes 3-year limited consumer warranty
This is a more powerful wood splitter than the Remington RM20 Sequoia with a 174cc 4.5 HP Subaru engine, giving it 22-tons of force. The Ariens is also faster to work with, it has a cycle time of 13 seconds for the same 25” length.
For about the same price as the Remington RM20 Sequoia, you’ll be getting a more powerful and faster machine. I can see many people wondering why they should consider the Remington model at all. With 10% more force, you do have more power – but this isn’t too much of an advantage. A 6 second shorter cycle time is certainly going to make things much quicker and so this is quite a good reason to rate the Ariens wood splitter more highly.
VIDEO | Ariens Log Splitters
Despite this, I prefer the Remington RM20 Sequoia. Why do I say this? Just compare the weight of the two machines. This one weighs 400 LBS, the Sequoia weighs 585 LBS. This tells me, straight away that the Remington RM20 Sequoia has a lot more steel and is therefore far tougher. If you look at the components, you’ll notice immediately that the Ariens 917011 has a lighter wedge, so I can’t see this machine taking as much punishment as the heavier Remington. It has a narrower base, so it isn’t quite as stable. In every aspect of its design, the Remington RM20 Sequoia seems like a wood splitter that’s built for harsher working conditions.
The Ariens is by no means flimsy and it will hold up to some rigorous working conditions. I just think that after ten to twenty years of really hard work, the Remington will probably hold up better. For most home applications this might not be much of a big deal. If you’re not working your wood splitter too hard or too often, you probably won’t notice the difference in build quality. Personally, I’ll always go for the more durable machine, no matter what. Then again, that’s just me.
Mechanically they’re pretty evenly matched, they both have durable engines and their hydraulic components seem to be on a par. They’re both the same when it comes to using the machine, though the Ariens has a distinct advantage when it comes to cycle time. The Ariens 917011 also has a recoil starter and starts just as easily as the Remington RM20 Sequoia. The controls are very much the same and it’s also a relatively easy machine to assemble. The wheels and tow hitch on both wood splitters are also very much the same.
While the Ariens Company 917011 is maybe not as robust as the Remington RM20 Sequoia (in my opinion), it’s still one of the best in this price range. For people who are not looking for commercial-grade construction, this is probably the better deal – mostly for its faster working time. Despite my opinion on build quality, this wood splitter has a longer warranty period of 3 years. So I may have it all wrong.
Though, I think the real test will come after decades of hard use, long after both warranties have expired and this can’t really be proven. So I’ll have to conclude they are both great quality and for the purposes that most homeowners will be buying a wood splitter – they should both hold up very well.
Learm more about ARIENS and their line of log splitters by visiting their site.