Ariens 22-ton Log Splitter Review
The Ariens 917011 log splitter is one of ten 22-ton models listed on Amazon. What are the important things to consider about this model? We've done the homework, and have laid it all out in our Ariens 22 ton log splitter reviews.
Splitting Power: 22 tons
Engine: Subaru EA175V, 174 cc Overhead Cam
HP: 4.5 Horsepower
Fuel: Gasoline (89+ Octane)
Pump: 2-stage, 11 GPM, PSI not specified
Cycle Time: 12 seconds
Max. Towing Speed: 45 mph
Wedge location: On cylinder
Wedge Size: Not specified
Tires: 8 inch
Max. Log Length: 24"
Cylinder Diameter: Not specified
Fuel Tank size: 1.2 Quarts / 1.3 Liters
Hydraulic Fluid Required: 4.5 Gal.
Log catchers: Yes
Weight: 375 pounds
Dimensions: 84.7" L x 37.6" W x 46.25" H (Horizontal) 49.4" H (Vertial)
Log splitters with 22-ton splitting power are very popular, as they are the next size up from the small 7-ton splitters (electric or gas powered) that many start out with. Homeowners should not need anything more powerful than this, and even someone with a small woodlot will probably find it perfectly adequate for their needs. It should be able to handle logs up to 3 feet in diameter, for which you would need to use it in the vertical orientation.
Ariens is an 86-year old company based in Wisconsin. They began by making rotary tillers, and are also known for their snow removal equipment like snow throwers. They manufacture both commercial grade equipment (e.g. Gravely brand) and consumer lines. In addition to manufacturing, they also have a division, Stens, that provides replacement parts for hundreds of different brands. Ariens as five company core values: Be Honest, Be Fair, Keep Our Commitments, Respect the Individual, and Encourage Intellectual Curiosity.
Ariens assembles all its equipment at facilities in the U.S. (or U.K., for European markets).
The engine on this log splitter is a Subaru EA175V. It is a 174 cc, overhead cam engine that delivers 4.5 horsepower. Subaru offers an impressive 5-year warranty on its engines. The owners manual can be accessed here. [LINK: http://www.subarupower.com/subaru-engines-ea175v-ea190v-owners.pdf]
Subaru car engines certainly have a good reputation, but their small equipment engines are not as popular as Honda or Briggs and Stratton. If you are considering buying online, it might be wise to be sure there is an authorized Subaru service center near you. [Link: http://www.subarupower.com/dealer-locator/]
Ariens states that this engine, like all small engines of this size, is manufactured in China.
Like most splitters in this class, this one features a 2-stage pump that delivers hydraulic fluid at a rate of 11 gallons per minute. The psi is not specified.
This splitter has a 4.5-gallon hydraulic fluid capacity. This is a bit less than some competitors.
This splitter has the ability to switch between horizontal splitting and vertical splitting. Horizontal splitting is great for smaller diameter logs, but larger diameter logs are hard to maneuver onto the log cradle, and so having the option to split vertically, which means the log is on the ground, and the cylinder drives the wedge down into the log, is very helpful.
The 12-second cycle time is very good, and is in line with the fastest splitters in this class. One person will probably not be able to keep up with this speed, and even a two-person team will have to work fast to take full advantage of the ability to complete 300 cycles per hour.
This splitter has only two reviews on Amazon. One is a five-star review and the other is a four-star review. This is encouraging, as unhappy customers are more likely to post reviews than happy users, but it is not very much data on which to base a decision. That being said, the 5-star reviewer said the engine started easily and he had no trouble with large rounds of Australian pine up to 3 feet in diameter, and that knots in pine were no problem.
Ariens offers a 3-year consumer warranty and a 90-day commercial warranty. This is consistent with most equipment manufacturers. If you are thinking of buying online, you should check to be sure that there is a service center in your area, in case you need warranty service. [LINK: http://ariensstore.com/locator?type=service]
The engine warranty, offered directly by Subaru, is 5 years. See the "Engine" section above for more information.
The user manual available online is much less detailed than those of other similar log splitters. It does not contain step-by-step assembly instructions, and does not include diagrams detailing parts of, for instance, the hydraulic cylinder, in case of the need for repair.
Unless there is a separate set of assembly instructions that are not available online, this makes this a poor choice for someone unfamiliar with assembling this type of equipment to purchase online, as it must ship unassembled. This would not be an issue buying from a local dealer, in which case, it could be towed home.
If purchased online, based on the experience of those assembling similar splitters, it should take about 2-3 hours, and may require 2 people at times, because of the need to wrangle heavy parts.
Other features of the Ariens wood splitter
One very nice feature of this splitter is the "stripper plates", which are designed to dislodge a log that has become stuck to the wedge. In order for the splitter to work in the vertical position the wedge has to be attached to the cylinder, and if a log becomes stuck on the wedge, when the cylinder is retracted the log can sometimes cause damage to the hydraulic system or engine. The stripper plates are steel plates that stick out on either side of the cylinder housing so that when the cylinder retracts, they will push off any log stuck to the wedge.
The fuel tank on this splitter is comparatively small, so it may require frequent refilling if being used for an extended period.
This appears to be a good piece of equipment, made by a reputable manufacturer. For a novice purchasing online, a splitter with more detailed step-by-step assembly instructions might be a better choice.
The relatively small, 8-inch tires may have a hard time maneuvering over some terrain, or if there is a lot of debris on the ground.
The 5-year warranty on the engine is attractive, and the 3-year consumer warranty from Ariens is typical for the industry.
At around $1500, this splitter is a bit more expensive than its competitors on Amazon.
You can see our reviews of alternatives below;