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Author Topic: Trying to decide... Cord King 1830 or Multitek 1620SS  (Read 3426 times)

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Offline labradorguy

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Trying to decide... Cord King 1830 or Multitek 1620SS
« on: January 28, 2015, 09:14:25 PM »
I'm buying a firewood processor. I am trying to decide between a couple of them. I'm looking at the Cord King CS18-30 and the Multitek 1620SS. Any thoughts anyone would care to throw out would be appreciated. Right now I am six one way, half a dozen the other.

The difference is about 15k more for the 18-30, but it also has a bigger engine with more splitting force, a hydraulic deck, a heated cab, a better warranty, and a few other odds and ends that caught my eye for the long term. It will probably be about 30% faster too. I don't know if that will matter though. I have spent half my life sitting on a 5 gallon bucket splitting and when one of these is getting 4 cord an hour and the other 6..... well heck... either one is going to leave me grinning like an idiot.

I just came across CRD metalworks tonight and I may throw them into the mix too.

Like I said, any thoughts on the matter would be much appreciated gents. Thanks.

PS- I don't know that it matters, but I am mainly looking at 4"-14", anything bigger is sawmill logs unless they are just too low quality.
CAT 299Dxhp, CAT 311F
Mahindra mPower85 & 6500 4wds
Ext. deck Bell's 4000, 35' Conveyor, Griz, Tumbler
F-150, F-350 and F-550
POS skidder that will be the end of me
Husqvarna 371xp and 395xp- my favs.

Offline Chris(Glen)

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Re: Trying to decide... Cord King 1830 or Multitek 1620SS
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2015, 07:17:14 AM »
I have a Multitek 2025 and I know for a fact it will not do the production stated on their website unless you have 16"-18" with the 6 way wedge on. I have the bar type model, so I can't say how a circular saw would work but all of the wood I have is hauled out with a porter so it's clean and a chain last a long while and is significantly cheaper then new teeth or a saw blade. So from that stand point I would go with a machine you like the fit and finish of over the production. Both will produce wood a lot faster then the old way. I know being in Canada and getting parts from Multitek is easy but the shipping is truly a killer coming across the boarder.

Offline North River Energy

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Re: Trying to decide... Cord King 1830 or Multitek 1620SS
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2015, 08:29:46 PM »
For an investment of that nature, I'd want to run each machine for at least a few hours to get an idea of material flow, and what it takes to produce a given volume/hr.  One would think each manufacturer would be able to contact one of their customers in your area to set up a demonstration.  Most likely you will find more appeal in one machine over the other.  Features and layout can look really good on paper/video, but your work habits/needs may be quite a bit different than those of the designer/builder.

Current owners can also give you an honest answer as to customer service and support past the point of sale.
Similarly, you want a machine geared toward your own mechanical abilities, as all machines eventually break down.
At least for my operation, the means of handling both the logs and the splits is almost more important than the processor.  Without efficient in-feed and out-feed, the processor production rate is almost irrelevant. 


Offline Jhenderson

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Re: Trying to decide... Cord King 1830 or Multitek 1620SS
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2015, 09:29:44 AM »
You need to watch them work. I went to the log show last spring and watched the processors work. None of them were making wood I could sell. It was all oversize. When I questioned the reps they all said it was to showcase the speed of their machine. Told me retail wood should be brought back and split again. That ads a lot of time. I think a packaging wedge is the answer. Nobody complains about wood being too small or too uniform I size.

Offline labradorguy

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Re: Trying to decide... Cord King 1830 or Multitek 1620SS
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2015, 12:15:06 PM »
Totally agree with all of the above. I just wanted to get some independent feedback. Some of these customers that the company lines you up with are predisposed to say nice things. That doesn't do me any good. I'm trying to get a better handle on how well they are built, how is the company to deal with AFTER the check is in hand, and that sort of thing.

I've noticed the large size splits too. An 18 way wedge seems a good answer if the splitter can handle it over the long term. I don't want to be swapping seals every two weeks. lol. Investing in a machine like this only to have to re-split before selling seems senseless too.

My main concern is that I'll not be putting sawmill logs into this and turning them into firewood. Why would a person do that?? The utube videos show some beautiful logs going into these things (I'm sure so they can get that 4 or 6 cord an hour number). I'm looking at <14" oak or larger ones that the mill can't take as being my firewood logs.
CAT 299Dxhp, CAT 311F
Mahindra mPower85 & 6500 4wds
Ext. deck Bell's 4000, 35' Conveyor, Griz, Tumbler
F-150, F-350 and F-550
POS skidder that will be the end of me
Husqvarna 371xp and 395xp- my favs.

Offline North River Energy

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Re: Trying to decide... Cord King 1830 or Multitek 1620SS
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2015, 02:40:18 PM »
I could have phrased my response differently.

I have had conversations with owners of a few different large-scale processors.  They were rather candid about the shortcomings of their machines.  I was told in no uncertain terms just how they felt about customer service or lack thereof.
The machines you're considering are safely out of range of most homeowners.  They really do need to earn their keep, and when they don't, the owners get cranky.
If the paint is well worn on the machine, you can probably trust their evaluation.  If it's still shiny, you might take their opinion with a grain or two of salt.

 
There is no substitute for you getting your lunch-hooks on the control interface.  Just like control patterns in excavators and skid steers, your production will be affected by how the machine is set up, and whether or not that configuration is in conflict with how you like to work.  Obviously, there will be a learning curve for any unfamiliar machine.  However, some machines are, by nature, more intuitive to use than others.
I'd suspect that once you've established credibility with a firewood producer, they might be happy to get a few hours of joystick time out of you.

Re; block size.  I have a combination 2 and six-way wedge with a 13" cutoff maximum.  This configuration works well so far as satisfying the sizing requirements of my market without secondary handling/resplitting.  Mostly wood stoves and fireplace inserts, and a few indoor and outdoor boilers.  For better control of block size for a particular buyer,  I sort log diameters while loading the deck.
 
Multi-wedge configurations tend to produce a lot of splinters, which is good if you have a market for kindling, not so good otherwise. I wouldn't want an 18 way unless I was doing bundles, and even then I'd be sorting the logs for maximum output and to minimize jamming/knots.  'Bigger' wedges need larger rams, more steel in the framework, more horsepower, more hydraulic flow, and more fuel. 

The Multi-Tek and Cordmaster machines I've stood next to were built with heavy stock, and looked like they could, and had, taken a beating.  Both are on the short list should I ever decide to upgrade.
 
Anyhow, good luck with your decision, and give an update when you get things rolling.


Offline labradorguy

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Re: Trying to decide... Cord King 1830 or Multitek 1620SS
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2015, 03:33:34 PM »
Thanks for the feedback on this. Much appreciated.
CAT 299Dxhp, CAT 311F
Mahindra mPower85 & 6500 4wds
Ext. deck Bell's 4000, 35' Conveyor, Griz, Tumbler
F-150, F-350 and F-550
POS skidder that will be the end of me
Husqvarna 371xp and 395xp- my favs.

Offline shamusturbo

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Re: Trying to decide... Cord King 1830 or Multitek 1620SS
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2015, 02:18:33 AM »
A little late on the feedback but I figured I would throw my 2 cents in anyways. I have looked at and ran a handful of the machines before I decided on what brand I would go with. They ALL definitely have shortcomings and most make 50-70% "sellable" firewood if you stay in the 8" to 14" diameter range. Any bigger than that, most are getting resplit. IMO, both Multitek and CordKing have machines that are laid out with features. But for us, it all came down to price and CRD was it. There machine is very basic, no bells or whistles, and is a fraction of the price.

Did you make a move on getting a machine yet??

Also, i'm very jealous of the 299D XHP. I am still running a 287B that will not falter....... 
Stihls 660,461,460,390,200T
Duramaxs 04 CCLB,15 CCFB DW
Gators- TS Loaded
Timberwolf TW-5
CRD Loco 20
CAT 287B

Offline woodmills1

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Re: Trying to decide... Cord King 1830 or Multitek 1620SS
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2015, 07:11:24 PM »
When you first get a processor it will seem very fast.  I have a multitek 1610EZ with log deck, and it has made me money, maybe 3 4 times its price with short hours on it.  That said, my next machine, multitek or other, will have more than one pump.  Also, look carefully at any conveyor, attached or otherwise.
James Mills,Lovely wife,collect old tools,vacuuming fool,36 bdft/hr,oak paper cutter,ebonic yooper rapper nauga seller, Blue Ox? its not fast, 2 cat family, LT70,edger, 375 bd ft/hr, we like Bob,free heat,no oil 12 years,big splitter, baked stuffed lobster, still cuttin the logs dere IAM

Offline labradorguy

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Re: Trying to decide... Cord King 1830 or Multitek 1620SS
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2015, 09:20:25 AM »
A little late on the feedback but I figured I would throw my 2 cents in anyways. I have looked at and ran a handful of the machines before I decided on what brand I would go with. They ALL definitely have shortcomings and most make 50-70% "sellable" firewood if you stay in the 8" to 14" diameter range. Any bigger than that, most are getting resplit. IMO, both Multitek and CordKing have machines that are laid out with features. But for us, it all came down to price and CRD was it. There machine is very basic, no bells or whistles, and is a fraction of the price.

Did you make a move on getting a machine yet??

Also, i'm very jealous of the 299D XHP. I am still running a 287B that will not falter.......

Thanks for the feedback. I have not got one yet. I was in an auto accident and it derailed my early season plans. I was going through a 4 way and a gal was texting and t-boned me big time. Ugh. I'm back up and running now and am going to get something done on this.

That 299 is a beast. I really like it with the tree saw and grapple. It can really get some work done in short order. :)
CAT 299Dxhp, CAT 311F
Mahindra mPower85 & 6500 4wds
Ext. deck Bell's 4000, 35' Conveyor, Griz, Tumbler
F-150, F-350 and F-550
POS skidder that will be the end of me
Husqvarna 371xp and 395xp- my favs.

Offline shamusturbo

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Re: Trying to decide... Cord King 1830 or Multitek 1620SS
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2015, 02:43:54 AM »
Sorry to hear about that! What a messed up world we live in. A 3000# bullet and people think its a good idea to be texting a meaningless message instead of paying attention to where they are going.......

I just got another look at all the machines this weekend in Bangor Maine and all I can say is WOW. It seems they have hit a certain point where they are looking at building tumbling machines and adding non-essential features to these machines. My model now comes with a hydraulic folding conveyor, standard, for another $4k. The cord king has some pretty absurd features going on too.... And Multi-Tek is pushing a $20k plus tumbling system. The math on actually owning one and payoff is beyond belief in my estimation....

The only gripes I have with my machine is the weld quality of the wedges and the belt joining clamps are severely undersized. To replace the poorly welded 8-way wedge is a grand plus shipping through the manufacturer. I built one for $245 for the steel and $100 in consumables (oxy/ace, rod, fuel for the welder). The "new" wedge I beveled and welded myself has 100% penetration on the welds as opposed to the single pass of MIG they put on the cover pass on the wedges. The belt will eventually pull apart and need bigger alligator clips. However, everything on the machine can be acquired without going through CRD who have little to no customer service. (Belt clips + install tool, saw sharpening stone, replacement teeth, etc.)
Stihls 660,461,460,390,200T
Duramaxs 04 CCLB,15 CCFB DW
Gators- TS Loaded
Timberwolf TW-5
CRD Loco 20
CAT 287B

Offline labradorguy

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Re: Trying to decide... Cord King 1830 or Multitek 1620SS
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2015, 01:58:58 PM »
She totaled out a F-550 with her car if that tells you how hard I got hit. Some people are idiots for sure with no thoughts for others at all.

Interesting thoughts in your post. You should pm me and go into more detail about what you found to be absurd. I have some similar thoughts. I'd like to see if I am the only one thinking this or not...lol.

I've been looking at the bags too that hold a 1/3. If you could fill them with clean wood and drop them off of a flatbed to all the fireplace folks who burn a 1/3 a winter, that would be pretty slick. The wood would need to be tumbled or something in that application too.

Decisions, decisions.... haha
CAT 299Dxhp, CAT 311F
Mahindra mPower85 & 6500 4wds
Ext. deck Bell's 4000, 35' Conveyor, Griz, Tumbler
F-150, F-350 and F-550
POS skidder that will be the end of me
Husqvarna 371xp and 395xp- my favs.

Offline shamusturbo

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Re: Trying to decide... Cord King 1830 or Multitek 1620SS
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2015, 02:45:45 AM »
Its hard putting the "absurdity" into words. First, both high end manufacturers are getting into such complex wedges. Multitek has one on the 2040 (I later found that it's been around a while) a 2 or 3 stage wedge system that is meant to place less strain on the machine and actually has a hydraulic cleanout which raises the first wedge away from the second set. Cord King has a wedge system that is just all over the place. Like I said, hard to explain where I am coming from, especially without seeing them in person.

Maybe my problem is that the CRD models are so simple and don't have any of the bells and whistles. The hydraulic log stop that sets the measurements seems like a lot of money for something that can be achieved with a little more, basic concentration. Plus, doesn't that wear on the feed through cleats a lot quicker? Second, I can see where you would like the cab/heat/ac/radio combo but you have to move quite a bit to move things around or free up jams. For the thousands of dollars the cab and extras cost, could you put that into another, money making asset?

It's hard to compare conveyors when you haven't used or heard from owners who has but, here again, CRD seems the simplest and most well built. The newest Cord Kings, especially on the shorter models, have no sides and the drive motor is hanging off the end. It seems very, very flimsy. The Multitek one is "hay elevator" paddle style. What's worse is they call for huge money for those and both manufacturers sell them separate, I believe.

They are also using huge motors to power everything as well. I am not sure what the fuel use difference would be but dam. To replace one versus the other, I'd like to replace one that, to me, powers the machine just fine.

How would you remove the partition in your dump without killing yourself??

I have never done the bags for storing/drying/moving/selling/delivering. I have had really good luck getting my hands on 275 gallon chemical containers and cutting out the bladder and one of the faces to stack a facecord in one container and moving it with a skidsteer.
Stihls 660,461,460,390,200T
Duramaxs 04 CCLB,15 CCFB DW
Gators- TS Loaded
Timberwolf TW-5
CRD Loco 20
CAT 287B


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