Last updated: June, 2021.
A splitting maul is a heavy-duty hammer used for splitting logs. It has a long wooden handle and a head shaped as a sledgehammer on one side. The head is made of iron, lead, or steel.
Splitting mauls are pretty heavy, and you need strong hard muscles just to lift it; let a lone split wood. But they are pretty efficient at getting the job done.
Besides their weight and size, there are no other downsides. If you use a wooden stove, having a splitting maul will come in handy when you need to split logs.
However, there are a couple of things you may want to consider when selecting a splitting maul. These include the handle, head weight, and price.
Some splitting mauls come with wooden handles, while others have fiberglass and composite handles. Wooden handles are visually appealing and sturdy. Composite and fiberglass handles dampen shock, they are lighter, and they are slip-resistant. It’s up to you to figure out which one works for you and your situation.
Another key consideration is the weight of the head. The heavier it is, the more efficient the maul will be at splitting wood. But a lot of strength and effort is needed to use a splitting maul with a heavy head. So if you plan on splitting wood for a prolonged time, consider the weight of the head.
Lastly is price. Most people buy items that will meet their needs, among other things. If you find a splitting maul that meets your specifications, make sure that it is worth the money.
Some reputable brand names are super expensive and not because their products are extra special or unique. Although there is nothing wrong with buying a pricy splitting maul, you can save yourself some money by purchasing an affordable maul from your local store.
You can also get a decent splitting maul online. Read customer reviews to see what they are saying to help you make an economically sound decision. But most important, pay close attention to the important features and details more than the price.
Things to know before buying a Splitting Mauls
What’s the Difference between a Splitting Maul and an Axe?
A splitting maul is designed as a sledge hammer with a heavy pointed head weighing around 4-8 pounds. An ax, on the other hand, has a wedge head that is much lighter weighing approximately 3 pounds.
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Lastly, the handle on the splitting maul is longer and more pronounced than what you’d see on an ax.
How to choose the best axe?
All axes have advantages and disadvantages. And all this is due to the type of tasks you plan to do. Decide why you need an ax? And that will be the answer.
If you need a large ax for permanent work with wood logs, then you will need a tool with a long rubberized handle and a heavy head. For example, the Husqvarna S2800 model ax.
Maybe you`ll make firewood for home fireplace. You will handle a small model Fiskars X11 for this task. If you need to work with solid wood like oak, then the classic model Mueller Ax Biber Classic will suit you. There are many good products on the market and each of them is suitable for solving specific problems.
How do you use it on wood?
It’s a common occurrence to see people swinging the maul over their shoulder and bringing it down to split the wood. But this method can be tiring. It is recommended to raise the maul over your head and keeping it in line with your body before bringing it down on the spot you desire to split.
What is the Best Splitting Maul in June, 2021?
1.Gransfors Bruks Splitting Maul For Small to Medium-Duty Jobs – Review
The Gransfors Bruks Splitting maul is one of the most reliable yard tools you could ever own. All axes are made in Sweden.
Their handles are soaked in boiled linseed oil and their hands and head forged with a pneumatic hammer.
Head on this maul is 5 and 1/2 pounds and whole maul weight is about 7.1 pounds.
The handle of this maul has very nice grain orientation aligned with cutting edge. It does have a nice swell in both directions.
Full length is 31 inches.
This maul has a sleeve that covers the front part of it.
Metal is really nicely tempered. Here is using high-quality steel from Grand Porsche Brooks. Out of the box it comes sharpened very nicely.
What I really like here is how fitted handle in the metal wedge.
It looks and works great as you can tell from the weight on the head.
This maul comes with a tanned leather sheath to protect it from the elements after you are done using the tool.
Gransfors is known for making reliable products, and this model is no exception.
Robust for tough jobs
You can count on the Gransfors to perform efficiently in the work it was built to do. The maul is forged and ground in the design of a concave with a thin blade at the edge.
The weight of the head carries an impressive force which gets you splitting into the knottiest and thickest chunks of wood. It makes easy wood cutting since it does not stick into it, and you’ll spend even lesser time bringing your firewood home.
Comfortable for all-day use
Whether you like to use both hands or you split wood with the swing of one hand, Gransfors ensures you are always in control.
You have a maul that comes with beveled corners capable of striking wedges. It lets you work on all types of logs as it reduces the effort you need to pull when making clean cuts. You’ll find that it is quite heavy and sturdy.
Most users indicate they have used this splitting maul for a large part of their lives. As such, we expect that this model will have satisfactory results for you too.
2. Husqvarna S2800 Splitting Maul for Large Logs – Review
Some of the heaviest splitting mauls for demanding jobs are by Husqvarna.
Known for their chainsaws and mowers, their splitting mauls match up to the quality we have come to expect from the brand.
The Husqvarna S2800 splitting axe is designed to make tough jobs easier.
From the heavy-duty head to the synthetic handles, you don’t need any experience to use the Husqvarna S2800 efficiently.
Easy Split for Large Logs
The hammer functional has an incredible use for splitting edges. If you are looking to cut large logs, then this is the splitting maul for you.
Feels Comfortable on the Hands
This ax has some excellent weight distribution which makes it pretty easy to hold and sustain swings. It lets you work at a comfortable angle even when dealing with thick logs.
The rubberized handle has a sure grip to prevent slippage when your hands are wet. It has superior shock absorption as it lessens vibrations thus eliminating fatigue for long hours of usage.
This is possible due to the special design of the handle. The handle itself is made of durable plastic reinforced with fiberglass. Such material reduces the weight of the ax.
Inside the handle there is a cavity. This design absorbs vibration during operation. And you can work for a long time without fatigue.
The Husqvarna S2800 features a robust construction. The blade and head are of steel, and they are heat treated and forged for optimal durability. The head is riveted firmly on the shaft to ensure it will never snap off in the middle of use. It has a design that will never cause injury which is exceptional.
The reverse side of the head looks like a hammer. This can be actually used to hammer in fragile materials.
Husqvarna S2800 axes come with special plastic protection. This is not a full case. But it allows you to store an ax with a closed blade and protects you and your children from accidental damage.
All the big Husqvarna axes, and this one, have a steel insert on the handle under the head. This is to protect the plastic handle from possible impacts.
Manufacturers claim that the hardness of the ax head for Rockwell scale is 57-59 units. And I had the opportunity to test the ax for strength.
I found a solid oak log with a diameter of 250 mm and a length of 400 mm. And it split easily in three hits. The blade of the ax is thin and it cuts off the chips with each blow clearly. Working with this ax is really easy.
In the next test, I wanted to test the instrument for impact resistance. To do this, it was necessary to throw the ax high and so that it fell on the asphalt. That was done.
After the crush test, the blade remained intact, and several small scratches were clearly seen on the handle. At first glance, you have nothing to fear if the ax falls on a hard surface.
3. Fiskars 751110-1001 Heavy-Duty Splitting Maul – Review
It’s no doubt that Fiskars is a top brand.
The Fiskars 751110-1001 provides maximum work output owing to its high-quality design.
It follows with the primarily black and orange colors so you can be sure you’ll be getting an original Fiskars splitting maul.
Everything about is effortless through long sessions of use.
Think of the numerous applications you can use this maul for, and you can accomplish it. The 8lb head packs the weight and power for driving wedges and stakes and splitting large logs of wood. It has a splitting and a driving face so you can count on it when the time calls for it.
The Iso Core comes with a brawny head design that is capable of plowing through an unseasoned wood.
Apart from the dual head, you have a maul that has a soft grip with a thermoplastic handle.
You’ll be able to work without gloves since the texturing is soft to prevent blisters. With the insulation sleeve, you can expect two times less shock; meaning you’ll be working for longer.
Holds up in Tough Environments
Some mauls have been seen to crack or break in freezing conditions. But the Iso Core is built to withstand extremities. The head has a slip-free attachment that keeps it connected to the shaft at all times.
With the forged steel head it is tough making it pretty easy to achieve one-hit splits. This model meets up to the expectations of the Fiskars brand that promises a lifetime warranty for the Iso Core Maul.
4. Fiskars X11 378561-1002 – Lightweight Splitting Maul for Small Chunks Review
The Fiskars X11 378561-1002 showcases some incredible features which show reliability for most folks who need a splitting maul for small chunks of wood.
The Fiskars X11 378561-1002 is 17 inches long, designed for optimal effectiveness at one-strike splits.
Tough and Built to Last
This splitting ax uses a hardened forged steel blade. It makes it a common occurrence for one-strike splits with effortless swings.
The FiberComp handle boasts more strength than steel. It is virtually unbreakable making it an excellent choice for hardwoods. It is a real workhorse, built to withstand force and impact. The handle is inseparable from the head thanks to the insert-molded head. As such, you can count on it for a lifetime of good use.
When working with a textured grip on the handle, it provides a sure grip to use with one hand. It packs the power of a baseball bat which optimizes its power-to-weight ratio.
This increases the force with which you swing so that every impact splits wood with one strike.
You’ll appreciate the vibration-absorbing chamber which dissipates the energy before it even reaches your hand.
The riveted head is built to stay on the handle as it won’t slide or break off. What you get is a splitting maul that follows the natural curves of your hand. This way, you are less susceptible to blistering if you plan on splitting wood for hours.
The X11 weighs only 4 pounds. The sculpted profile is designed for splitting small logs. It is the type you go to when you want to make tinder to get a fire going. A small size is a great option for small-sized persons. You can expect nothing less than performance at its best.
I could hold this little ax in my hand. The first impression is light. The feeling for the hand is more pleasant than in traditional models. This ax is perfect for a hike. It is lightweight and has plastic protection for the blade. It perfectly cuts logs into small pieces for a campfire.
It is a little bit faster than traditional axes. It has thin chisel type grind and flat blade profile. If you are often in nature, go hiking or learn to be a scout, then this ax will be a loyal assistant.
5. Mueller Axe Biber Classic – Hand-Crafted Splitting Maul Review
Mueller has a good reputation when it comes to producing only the top tools.
This hand forged Biber speaks of craftsmanship at its best.
It’s a splitting maul designed for those who want a longer tool and enjoy working with a heavy head.
You’ll not only be impressed by the weight of Mueller Axe Biber Classic but also by its design.
A real Workhorse
You’ll like how powerful it is at every impact without getting stuck in the logs you’ll be working on. This ax has been forged by hand, and Muller promises a lifetime of good use with this model.
This ax will be very useful for real woodcutters. Its appearance is very similar to the classic ax, but with some upgrades. Forged head securely fastened. And Classic Maul is actually used to splitting logs of various sizes and to drive wedges out of wood. Also this ax can work with aluminum or plastic.
The standard shape of the head has a lowered tip in the form of a steel hook. It can be also used to move logs, branches. And the protective sheath for the blade additionally protects when your ax rests.
Robust and Reliable
The 6½ pounder features a heavy-duty head with a broad wedge. It renders its usefulness on knotted logs with thick fibers that are hard to get through. It’s easy to strike through a log and render it apart effortlessly thanks to the robust steel-head. Since the steel is hardened, it is sturdy and robust to last a lifetime.
Muller handle is textured for a firm grip. The wood gives a soft grip to ensure you won’t be getting blisters if you choose to split wood without gloves. We love that it is a straight handle making it flexible for one or two hands usage.
The base features a steel protector, making it slip-resistant. You don’t need to worry about the head coming off in the middle of usage. The Mueller 6½ pounder is just the real deal.
Splitting Maul – Buyers’ Guide/FAQ
Splitting wood might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you like getting some work done using a splitting maul, then you better get down some information to help you choose the best tool.
Splits Difficult Pieces. It takes less effort to split wood without much exertion thanks to the weight and their shape. They get jobs done better than if you were using an ax.
Great on Large Logs. The general geometry of a splitting maul comes with a sledge-hammer head. This feature combined with the additional weight is key to driving steel splitting wedges further into thick logs.
Versatile Nature. Splitting mauls can also be used for other cutting tasks especially if it has a lighter handle to ease the weight and fatigue of using this tool for extended periods. Splitting mauls can also be used for small and medium-sized jobs.
Heavy. Swinging a splitting maul means that you’ll be dealing with around 8lbs on the head, and an overall weight of up to 10 lbs on some models. If you are splitting small pieces, you’ll tire faster than if you were using an ax.
How does it work?
As we said, this tool is designed using a sledge hammer head with a blunt blade. The head weighs around 6 pounds for many models. A splitting maul works by driving the force created by the weight into the wood, thus splitting it on impact.
Is it possible to use an ax chisel like a hammer?
The head of the ax has a blade on one side, and on the reverse side a metal plane. You can use this side as a hammer to work with small metal or plastic parts.
This is possible when the material of the ax head is hardened steel. But if you need a hammer for frequent use, better buy a specialized tool. If you use the ax for other purposes, you risk losing the warranty.
What size is ideal for you?
Size is critical because of the energy you’ll be putting in and the size of wood you’ll be splitting. If you have large chunks of wood, a heavy splitting maul around 8 pounds will work fine.
Your height and size will determine the length of the handle you choose. Tall people prefer a long handle while short persons will go for a short handle to ease with balance and control of the splitting maul.
Which is the most popular length on a splitting maul?
Length is always a matter of preference for most folks. But lots of users have come to like splitting mauls from 24-31 inches. This length works for most people with a medium height and average build.
Which weight is ideal for a splitting maul for the task at hand?
Depending on your strength and size of the chunk of wood, a 6 or 8 pounder option is suitable for most jobs. The idea here is to strike a balance on the difficulty of the task and your strength.
Which is the most popular material on a splitting maul?
The design on splitting mauls includes a head and a handle. Most brands use forged steel for the head since it is tough and robust for long-term use.
Splitting maul handles are either fiberglass or wooden. Fiberglass handles showcase reliability since they do not show signs of cracking after a few misses. But wooden handles are more susceptible to breakage. You can always replace a wooden handle.
How to replace the ax handle?
If you need to replace the handle of the ax, it is better to contact the manufacturer for warranty. In the event that your case is not included in the number of warranty, then contact the service center. Experts will help you solve this issue successfully.
Do not try to do it yourself. There is a chance to damage the instrument even more and injure yourself. Also remember that replacing the handle becomes more expensive in some cases than buying a new ax.
If for some reason your ax came with a defect, do not despair. You always have a warranty. For example, the manufacturers of the Fiskars axes guarantee the purchaser of a high-quality tool free of material defects.
Warranty terms apply as long as the consumer owns the product. You can always use it and change the product if it does not fit you. But remember that warranty does not cover sharpening, normal wear, environmental factors, accidental damage, improper or commercial use.
Additional Features on a Splitting Maul
Levers. Some splitting mauls use rotating levers on the sides of the head. They direct the downward cutting force when the maul enters the wood. This makes it easier to split large logs with little effort.
Springs. Some designs use wedges loaded with springs. The springs work to open up logs much faster by driving the power deeper into the wood you intend to split.
Wings. Movable wings are installed on the head to help the head rotate and split the wood in quick successions. This helps the wood to come apart quickly, and you won’t have to swing the maul very hard.
Steel Handle. Steel handles last the longest. But they are heavier, and most of the shock waves transfer back to the hands so you can’t work for too long.
Fiberglass Handle. These handles are the most popular as they have good shock absorption. They prevent blisters from forming when you use the splitting maul for long hours. Fiberglass handles are expensive, but they are worth the value you get.
Collar Guard. The collar guard is also known as the handle guard fits around 4 inches around the handle of the splitting maul. It serves to protect the shaft whenever you overstrike and hit the wood with the handle. It can also serve as the grip to prevent slippage during use.
How to care for an ax?
Clean and dry the ax before storing. Ensure that the protective cover is also dry and clean. Treat the ax head with oil, including if it has a protective coating. Without oil, the metal head will rust.
Put on the protective cover and keep the ax in a dry, cool and rain-free place. If the handle is wooden, then check it every time before use. After long-term storage, the ax may be reduced if there is low humidity in the storage.
Also sharpen the blade if it has chipped or notched. Thus, the ax will serve you for a long time.
If, after storage, the head is not reliably held on the ax handle, contact the service center. Do not try to fix it yourself. If you do not know how, you can get damaged.
This problem is often found with wooden handle axes. According to this, if your region is constantly low humidity, pay attention to the axes with a plastic composite handle.
How do you sharpen a Splitting Maul?
Although the edge of the blade is seen to be somehow blunt, it needs sharpening from time to time.
You will need:
- A bastard file with handle
- File card
- Bench vise with soft jaws
To sharpen your splitting maul:
- First, clean the bastard file with the file card to rid of debris.
- Rest the splitting maul on a bench vise to secure it correctly.
- Use the bastard file and pass it along the maul’s edge in a forward motion. Always aim for a 45-degree angle as you sharpen the edge.
- Run a finger on the edge to get an idea of how sharp the maul is.
- Stop sharpening the splitting maul after the sharp edges appear
- Remember not to over-sharpen your tool.
If you are dealing with large logs and chunks of wood, a splitting maul is an ideal tool for the job. But if you have only a few pieces of wood to turn into firewood, we always recommend going for the regular ax.
As splitting technologies evolve, we are now seeing hydraulic splitters for large volumes of wood. But for the average home where you only need firewood for one fireplace, splitting mauls will give you clean cuts and save you time.