Just what I wanted. I have a hydraulic splitter that mounts on the back of my tractor at home, but at my second home, I rented a splitter when I needed one. I found that rather inconvenient unless I had a lot of wood to split, but I didn’t want yet another small engine to run and maintain in order to have it work when I need it. This Boss splitter looked like the right size and quality level for me...and I was right. I have used it for several hours now and it hasn’t failed to push through anything I’ve tried so far.
Shipping went well. I added lift-gate service and the driver placed the unit in front of my garage where I requested. She was very nice. The splitter was extremely well packed. It actually had a custom steel frame protecting the carton on all corners and elevating the shipping carton, so that it could easily be moved with a pallet jack or forklift. It was in perfect shape when it arrived.
I grabbed my tools and removed the shipping frame, then opened up the box. This unit is heavy. I’m a young 65 and still in good shape, so I was able to do the unpacking and assembly alone, but you might need two people as the instructions suggest.
The instructions recommend setting the splitter up on a support so the legs and wheels can be installed. This, of course requires that you have something of the correct height and strength to hold the splitter off the ground. Also, this would require a vertical lift of the entire weight of the splitter. Definitely a two man lift, unless you have an overhead hoist. I gave it some thought and decided I could take a different approach. I laid the corrugated flat to use as protection for the finish and tipped the splitter on end with the motor end down. Prior to this, I checked the oil plug to be sure it was secure and it was, so I didn’t lose any hydraulic fluid. It required care, but I was able to install both the front leg and rear legs and wheels with the splitter on its end. Then I braced one foot on the center of the axel and tipped the splitter up to the normal horizontal position.
The splitter is really well made in my opinion and has an excellent fit and finish. Rugged, but very nice looking and durable. I bought a 25’ 10 gauge power cord and plugged the splitter into one of my covered outdoor outlets. The power switch is a single spring loaded push button that depresses for ON and pops out for OFF. I think a rocker switch or two button switch would be an improvement, but it works if you are careful and precise in how you press the button. The motor for the hydraulic pump does emit a pretty significant whine when it is running, so even though hearing protection isn’t necessarily required, you might want it. I will keep a set with this for future use. I love the lack of gas fumes while I’m splitting ... what a difference. Like others, I also appreciate the standing height of this splitter. It is much easier than bending over for hours...though you do need to pick up your wood blocks or start with them in a trailer as someone mentioned. Use your knees!
It isn’t speedy, but the two way wedge makes a pass in either direction productive, so it is fine. The bed was long enough to handle the longer blocks in my pile which can sometimes be problematic for smaller splitters. Thank you, Boss!
As one reviewer noted, debris can get packed into the motor end of the wedge carriage. Be sure to clean that out periodically. Also, this splitter is fairly heavy even just to roll around. Be sure to pull the wedge carriage all the way back to the motor end to place as much weight as possible over the wheels. Even so, I might get a small four wheel dolly to place under the stiff leg when I’m moving it around on cement or asphalt, just to make it easier. The wheelbase is narrow, so be very careful if you move it on uneven or sloped terrain. It wouldn’t be fun (or safe) to tip this over and you could lose hydraulic fluid if the breather cap fell out, as I suspect it would. The manual says to keep the shipping plug for the oil reservoir, but that is a cheap disposable plug you would normally discard, so you will need to find a safe place for it. If I was going to transport this periodically, I might look for a pipe cap that fits on the fill tube and use that rather than the plug that came with the splitter.
Overall, I am very happy with my purchase and hope to enjoy many years of use.