In the early days of Skid Steer Direct, we noticed that we had a lot of customers inquiring about skid steer log splitters, but a surprisingly small amount of log splitters were actually being sold each month. As any business would, we began to wonder why the market was rejecting our current line of skid steer log splitters.
Our first step into this investigation was to actually talk to our current and potential customers. During these discussions we heard all sorts of stories about bent log splitters, leaking cylinders and broken welds. It became a constant complaint that customers felt that the log splitter market was over saturated with over priced splitters that did not offer performance or long term value.
This story was repeated by both our at home users looking to split firewood for boilers, furnaces and fire pits as well commercial users who are splitting large rounds on a daily basis.
It quickly became obvious that we needed to find a better product to offer our customers. But what did “better” mean when it came to skid steer log splitters? It meant that we needed to find the most powerful, made in America splitter at a fair price.
You can read our full article about the best skid steer log splitters here.
Trying To Find The Best Skid Steer Log Splitter
Our research into the log splitter market lasted several weeks, and we eventually narrowed it down to a short list. On the top of that list was TM Manufacturing.
We figured that in order to get a fair opinion, we needed to speak with current owners of TM’s log splitters before anything else. And so we dove deep into Facebook groups and were met with a respectable amount of customers that were willing to raise their hand and vouch for TM’s splitters.
Just as impressive as how many great reviews current owners were willing to give us about their TM splitter, we were equally as impressed that we were not able to dig up a single complaint.
In fairness, if we were to provide a complaint that is sometimes received outside of social media research, it’s that there can be a several week lead time if you try to purchase a TM splitter in the height of fall.
In our opinion, this complaint is a testament to both the demand for TM splitters as well as the fact that they are not mass produced overseas, but rather are manufactured with great attention to detail right in America.
With this information, we decided it was time to pay TM Manufacturing a visit where I could see the splitters for myself.
TM Manufacturing - Seeing It For Myself
Excited to finally see these splitters for myself, I got in the car and drove 7 hours through a Minnesota snow storm to meet Matt, the owner of TM Manufacturing, and visit the manufacturing facility.
As I was greeted by Matt, all of my expectations were exceeding right away. This was by far the cleanest, most organized and modern manufacturing facility I had visited in years.
After a few minutes of talking with Matt, this hardly came as a surprise. TM Manufacturing is a family run business that was started from the ground up with Matt cutting and welding splitters in his own garage. Not afraid of hard work and sacrifice, this attitude of perfection shows up not only in his finished products, but also in the entire work environment.
Once the initial excitement settled, Matt quickly got to work showing me the four models of splitters he offers. Let’s have a closer look at each one.
TM Warrior Log Splitter
The Warrior is the most compact and economical model of skid steer log splitter in TM’s line up. It’s the perfect log splitter for at home users as it has some additional design features that larger models don’t have, while still having a lower purchase price!
When we say that the Warrior is more compact than TM’s other models, we mean that the I-beam that constructs the backbone of the splitter is smaller. It’s important to note though that the Warrior is still way overbuilt when compared to other brands of log splitters. We can confidently say that the Warrior can split anything that the larger models can.
The Warrior comes standard with an interchangeable wedge. This isn’t offered on any other model until you get to the Pro 2 model.
The splitting wedge on the Warrior is on the cylinder side of the splitter, rather than on the end of the beam. It’ held on with 10 bolts that make the wedge interchangeable on the fly.
And why do we say that the Warrior is the most economical skid steer wood splitter? At the time of writing this, if you wanted another 30” stroke splitter with an interchangeable wedge, you would be paying over $3,000 more for a 30” Pro 2 model. That’s some serious value.
You don’t have the luxury of choosing what size stroke you want with the Warrior, it only comes in 30”. This isn’t a coincidence of course, as 30” stroke log splitters are the most popular size. Anything above 30” in our experience just slows down the splitting process.
The Warrior is built with a beefy 4” hydraulic cylinder that puts out 20 to 25 Tons of pressure depending on your skid steers hydraulic PSI. This is enough to get you through the ugliest rounds.
To make the Warrior even more appealing, it can be ordered with mini universal and mini bobcat mounts for customers looking to split wood with their mini skid steers. TM Manufacturing also offers the Warrior with a mini excavator mount that gets welded directly on top of the beam.
Who do we recommend the Warrior for? This is a great splitter for budget minded at home use, mini track loader owners and mini excavator owners.
TM Heavy Duty Log Splitter
In terms of pricing, the TM Heavy Duty Log Splitter is the next step up from the Warrior.
When you move up to the Heavy Duty log splitter, you are getting a bigger log splitter. When I say a bigger log splitter, I mean the “I-beam" that makes up the backbone of the splitter is larger than that of the Warrior.
There are some trade off’s to consider when moving up to a Heavy Duty model from the Warrior.
For example, when you move up to the Heavy duty model, you no longer have an interchangeable splitting wedge. When you purchase a Heavy Duty model, you have to decide between a single or four way wedge, it can’t be changed out later. The wedge is welded into place during manufacturing.
This isn’t a hang up for most customers because they are already certain which wedge they want. Additionally, many customers prefer a fully welded wedge when applying 30 tons of force to a log, rather than having any bolts or hardware take the load.
What the Heavy Duty lacks in options for wedges, it gains in options for stroke size. The Heavy Duty is offered in 30” and 36” stroke for those who are looking for a bigger log splitter.
The hydraulic cylinder bore size also increases when you step up to the Heavy Duty model from the Warrior. The Heavy duty splitter comes standard with a 4.5” cylinder and offers an option 5” cylinder.
Depending on your skid steers hydraulic PSI, the Heavy Duty splitter can provide up to 35 Tons of force.
The TM Pro and TM Pro 2 Log Splitters
TM Manufacturing’s Pro and Pro 2 log splitters are the two most impressive log splitters on the market.
Pro and Pro 2 similarities - Viewing Window
As the name implies, both of these splitters are very similar in design. In fact, the only real difference is the wedge, but we will cover that later.
The Pro and Pro 2 are popular partially due to the “viewing window” they are built with. This window is built into the back of the I-Beam and is positioned perfectly so the skid steer operator can see the wedge from the operators seat.
This is a beautiful feature for any “inverted” log splitter such as the Pro and Pro 2. Lifting and splitting logs is much easier when you can see the wedge. It’s also increases the speed of splitting by not wasting time running your cylinder out after the wood has already split.
Being able to build in a viewing window while maintaining 100% strength in the splitter requires approximately 70 feet of welds. The engineering and build quality required to produce this is a testament to TM Manufacturing.
Pro and Pro 2 Similarities - Specs
The Pro and Pro 2 model have all the same stroke sizes as the Heavy duty model, but adds an additional 24” model. Therefore, the Pro and Pro 2 can be ordered with a 24”, 30” or 36” stroke.
The Pro series also comes standard with a 4.5” hydraulic cylinder with an optional 5” cylinder available. This is the same as the Heavy duty model, allowing for up to 35 Ton of splitting force depending on your skid steer.
Pro and Pro 2 Differences - The Wedge
Here is where the true value of the Pro 2 model comes to light. The Pro 2 model comes with an interchangeable wedge, while the Pro’s wedge is welded into place.
The Pro 2 comes with a single and 4 four way wedge with your purchase. So unlike, the Warrior, there is no need to purchase the four way wedge separately.
The design of the interchangeable wedge on the Pro 2 is also quite impressive.
The Pro 2’s wedge mounts on the end of I-Beam and the wood is pushed into it, rather than having the wedge on the cylinder side pushing into the wood as on the Warrior model.
With this design, there is no need for multiple bolts to hold the wedge in place. Instead, the wedge on the Pro 2 slides into a perfectly fit bracket at the end of the splitter and becomes an integral part of the splitter, sharing the load along the I-Beam.
There is a single screw that holds the wedge from falling out of the bracket, however, there are no forces applied to the screw during splitting. The screw also has a large wing on it so that it can be operated by hand in the field.
The Pro 2 log splitter is best of all of TM Manufacturings splitters put together.
With three options for stroke length, optional 5” cylinders, easily interchangeable wedges and a viewing window, we are fully confident that this is the most impressive log splitter you’ll ever own.
Without any doubt I had found what I’d come for. TM Manufacturing’s log splitters perfectly represent the high quality made in America build that we had been looking for, while being sold at nothing more than a fair price.
If you would like to learn more about TM’s splitters, feel free to give us a call anytime. Our team would be happy to walk you through each model of splitter.
If you want to see our full collection of skid steer log splitters - Click Here