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Greg Webb
Greg Webb
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Dangerous Log Splitter Recalled by CPSC and Crary Industries

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If you use a wood stove or have a wood-burning fireplace in your home and must split the wood you intend to burn, you may have rented or even purchased a wood- or log-splitter. The mechanized log-splitter does what granddad used to do with an ax, a wedge and a sledge hammer, and that is split the log to size. Log-splitting machines are usually gas-powered, made of heavy-gauge metal, are equipped with a hydraulic vice and frequently can be trailed by a pick-up truck (or an SUV with a trailer hitch) to a site where you split the wood. Log-splitters bear a few inherent consumer concerns, including loud noise during operation, fuel emissions, and errant splinters of logs that may fly in the process of splitting the log. The Echo Bear Cat Log Splitter, however, has an additional issue which is a danger to bystanders.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in cooperation with Crary Industries of West Fargo, North Dakota, has recalled their log splitter, known as the Echo Bear Cat Hydraulic Log Splitter, because the "end cap of the log splitter's hydraulic cylinder can break away from the body of the log splitter, posing an impact hazard to the user or bystander." Depending upon the pressure involved when a log is inserted in the splitter and splitting has begun, there also could be some ejection pressure making the effect of the impact of the end cap even more serious if it were to fly off and hit a person.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s recall notice, the recall involves ECHO Bear Cat brand hydraulic log splitter model numbers LS27270 and LS27270T, with a date code of 012908 stamped on the hydraulic cylinder. (The model number can be located on the main beam of the log splitter, with the date code stamped on the hydraulic cylinder near the capped end.) The log splitter is black and orange with ECHO Bear Cat printed on the hydraulic cylinder.

The Echo Bear Cat Log Splitters were sold nationwide by Echo dealers from October 2007 through March 2012 for approximately $2,600. Crary Industries has received three reports of the end cap of the log splitter detaching and one report of injury to the log splitter’s user, so if consumers have one of these, they should call their Echo Bear Cat dealer for additional instructions on receiving a free replacement cylinder which can be installed by an authorized dealer. Consumers can contact Crary Industries toll-free at 1(888) 625-4520 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Central Time, Monday through Friday, or visit the firm's website at www.bearcatproducts.com .

To view photos of the recalled log-splitter, please go to the CPSC website at: http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PREREL/prhtml12/12189.html