In this article, we will discuss what is a splitting maul, what is the difference between it and the ordinary axe, how to handle it and how to find the best in the market.
What is a Splitting Maul?
The splitting maul (also known as a blockbuster, or block splitter) is a modified, more heavy and long handed axe, weighted by a sledgehammer behind the blade. Such a modification provides this type of tools with enhanced strike power, achieved by additional weight. It is long-handled with one side resembling a sledgehammer.
Types of Splitting Mauls
Wedged mauls the most common type of mauls with a heavy head, weighing about 2.7 to 3.6 kg. It functions like an axe but it is much better as it has a broader and heavier head for easy splitting. These tools are proven to be more suitable for splitting woods than a standard axe, also being less likely to stuck in that same wood due to their weight. So-called “Monster Mauls” can be also added to this category. Monster Maul is a head design with a rather strong metal handle.
This is useful whereby splitting is done using a separate wedge and a heavy hammer. This allows many wedges to be used together for an easier split of logs/wood. This maul is also useful as it permits splitting of larger logs.
Powered Log Splitters
Powered log splitters are commonly used today due to its technological advancement. It uses powered energy in order to perform. It is the commonly used type of maul today. It is important to consider several factors that will match your functions.
Splitting Maul VS Splitting Axe
The first difference you will be able to notice is the head’s shape. The axe head is skinny and light, rather made for chopping, than splitting, which makes it hard to operate with an axe when dealing with strong and thick woods. The maul’s head is meant to be an exact opposite – the best wood splitting maul will have the fat, heavy and blunt head, capable of splitting and overall dealing with objects stronger that thick bars of wood.
- Mauls are obviously much heavier than the most axes;
- The axe is made to chunk its way through fibers while splitting maul is designed to deal with cracking and splitting through the woods;
- Both tools require different working technique;
- If you’re unlucky with an axe, it will stick all the way down in the piece of wood. Maul users, however, are protected from those issues by the laws of physics.
Factors to Consider While Buying the Best Splitting Maul
1. The Handle
The length of a splitting maul’s handle will determine the amount of energy you put into splitting wood. Remember, you want a tool that is effective and will not require you to use unnecessary energy while performing your tasks. A longer handle ensures that you are able to swing easily without getting tired faster. The ideal length of a splitting maul for the average person is around 36”. However, the height of the operator should help them decide what works for them. The material of the handle also matters in that it shouldn’t slip from your hands and at the same time, it shouldn’t be rough enough to cause injuries to your hands.
Wood is the most common material used for the handle but it is susceptible to environmental factors. Fiberglass, on the other hand, is much lighter and is resistant to damage caused by environmental factors. Manufacturers have, over time, produced anti-shock design of the handles making sure that when the maul hits the wood, it will not cause injuries to the user. Again, fiberglass handle is designed in a way that the user will have a tight grip on the maul. Always make sure that your splitting maul is easy to use and is non-slip for effective splitting.
2. The Head
This is one of the most important factors when it comes to splitting maul. You will want a head that is heavy enough to split wood while making sure you don’t use too much energy while splitting wood and at the same time you don’t get tired lifting the maul. The weight of the head is particularly a factor to consider when buying a splitting maul.
Depending on the body size and the strength of the user, you may want to choose a heavy-headed splitting maul, that will have more force when hitting on the wood or a lighter head that will be easier to lift. You may also want to check how the head is connected to the handle to make sure that the socket is durable. The weight of the head and the length of the handle should be proportional in order to maintain balance when using the maul. This will make sure that you don’t face difficulties while lifting or swinging.
As mentioned earlier, the balance between the handle and the head will enable you to swing freely and make your work easier. The length of the maul and the weight of the head determines whether you have balance while using the maul. Again, this entirely depends on your body size and the material of the handle as well. When the material of the handle is non-slip, making sure that you have a tight grip on your too, it will be much easier to maintain balance. The balance between the two makes your work a whole lot easier.
4. Where to Use the Maul
Like any other tool, where to use splitting maul is a necessary factor to consider while considering to purchase a particular type.
The following are the aspects you should consider when it comes to where the maul will be used:
- The size of the wood- the bigger and heavier the wood is, the heavier the maul should be. Again, this will totally depend on the type of head used. If you are going camping and you need a maul to split wood, you may consider looking for a lighter maul for the sake of carrying it around.
- The quality of the maul-when considering buying a maul, it is important to note its quality. The material with which the maul is made of matters when it comes to purchasing a maul. You may buy a maul that’s too light and the wood is too hard which will break the maul. This is dangerous because the user may end up hurting themselves in the process. The advantage of using a splitting maul over an axe is the fact that you put in less muscle that when using an axe. This means that the maul will perform more efficiently and the user will use less energy. Make sure you choose the right tool for the job.
Top Five Best Splitting Maul
1. Husqvarna 32″ Wooden Splitting Maul
Where fits best
- For splitting chunks of wood;
- For splitting wedges with the poll.
- Weight – 6.5 pounds;
- Length – 32 inches;
- Hand forged steel;
- Hardened striking face;
- Can be used as a sledgehammer, which was proven to be very useful when it comes to dealing with larger bricks. As we have already mentioned before, hammer helps the maul not to stuck in the middle of the brick, which could actually cost you more money over time due to dealing more damage to the instrument. This way, an attached sledgehammer is not only useful time-savior. It can also help you to save your money;
- Head is attached to a hickory, using both metal and wooden wedges in order to ensure tool’s safeness. This fact becomes important over time because if the tool is being used often, the head will tend to come loose;
- Comes with a leather edge cover.
Husqvarna Wooden Splitting Maul comes in different sizes
- 13″ Composite Hatchet -Best fit for firewood, garden work, Hiking and other outdoor activities 13″ Wooden Hatchet-Best used for cutting branches or splitting small campfire wood
- 19″ Wooden Carpenter’s Axe-suited for carpentry and other woodwork
- 19″ Wooden Splitting Axe-Suitable for the basic splitting of lighter firewood Small
- 23″ Composite Multi-Purpose Axe A1400-Universal axe made for a different kind of woodwork like construction or forest work
- 23″ Composite Splitting Axe S1600-splitting logs and chunks of wood
- 26″ Wooden Multi-Purpose Axe-used for tree felling, wood chopping, and other jobs
- 27″ Composite Multi-Purpose Axe A2400-best suited for various needs, including contractor or forest work
- 27″ Composite Splitting Axe S2800-for splitting large logs and wood chunks
- 30″ Wooden Splitting Axe, Large-Best used for splitting thicker wood.
- This tool is designed in order to split wood chunks and biggest logs,
which makes it most suitable when working with big pieces of wood;
- It can also be used with a splitting wedge, or as a sledge;
- Includes useful, secure and good-looking leather cover for the blade
- Rather short warranty period
- May appear to be not that useful against hard types of wood
2. Fiskars Iso Core 8 lb Maul, 36 Inch
Where fits best
- Long, frequent and repetitive working cycles;
- For splitting largest chunks of wood which may require additional power (which can be provided by usage of additional instruments, mentioned in the “features” section);
- Will fit for those who make a living from chopping wood due to the lifetime warranty.
- Weight – 8 pounds;
- Length – 36 inches;
- Lifetime warranty;
- Provided with full lifetime warranty;
- This instrument is designed and meant to be used mainly for splitting woods or driving wooden stakes and wedges, depending on the face used during working process (splitting face and driving face respectively);
- Enhanced and optimized blade geometry provides the users with much better penetration and the ability to blast through tough logs, breaking them in half;
- Heat-treated and forged by professionals steel was finished with rust-resistant coating in order to ensure the tool’s long life and effectiveness;
- Unique Iso Core Shock Control System will absorb shock and vibration, created by every strike, in order to reduce the damage your body takes. Such an enhancement gives this maul an ability to transfer twice smaller amount of shock and vibration than its closest rivals. This fact makes Fiskars’ Iso Core best block splitter in this field;
- In addition to the previous point, Fiskars’ maul is equipped with insulation sleeve which is capable of capturing an actual strike even before it will be able to reach your hand. This fact is achieved by adding a dual-layer handle, which will feature a unique and accurate combination of insulating materials in order to dampen already mentioned vibration. Also, a steel reinforcement sleeve is added to help the whole technology to protect the maul’s user from working damage and exhausting;
- Unlike most of the mauls in the market, this example has an inseparable head. That means that it has no possibility to snap off or slide down during work, even if the user will tend to swing with maximum force;
- Due to driving face’s form and appearance, it is possible to hit it with another tool in order to help the whole maul to penetrate the object during splitting process;
- Due to the whole design, it is very nice to use Iso Core. Handle flare will keep the tool in hand firmly and comfortably while swinging and “Softgrip” handle texture will repeat your arm’s shape using carefully and attentively sculpted profile. Your fingers will also be able to rest in large dimples, including a separate place for palm to prevent blisters.
- Enhanced blade geometry
- Easier in use and prevent exhaustion and post-work pain;
- Non-removable head;
- Lifetime warranty;
- User-friendly handle part design
- The grip will show wear around spots where your fingers are meant to wrap. This could even happen in a few hours after the first usage.
- If you wish to stay fresh after work, then check this one out.
It only comes in one size Get Fiskars Iso Core 8 lb Maul, 36 Inch from Amazon stores
3. Estwing E3-FF4 4-Pound “Fireside Friend” Wood Splitting Axe/Maul
Where fits best
- While camping and during long forest trips;
- For cutting middle sized woods.
- Weight – 4 pounds
- Length – 14.2 inches
- The head is designed and made mainly for camp works, especially to deal with splitting logs with the grain. The low weight also helps in such cases, because it makes this axe-maul easy-in-use and more accurate. And it is still able to easily break or split medium sized logs with almost no effort;
- The head design provides customers with the ability to use different tools in one body. E3-FF4 can (and should) be used as both splitting maul and axe. Due to its main purposes, this kind of feature becomes extremely interesting and useful;
- A flat sledge on a driving face can assist in hammering larger logs, as well as with the previous product, Fiskars’ Iso Core;
- Because of a hybrid design, lighter weight and smaller size, users won’t have to lift the tool far above their head in order to make a hit. This improves safeness of the whole process, as well as reduces exhausting. Moreover, the accuracy will also increase due to lighter weight. And the balance provides you with comfort and easy-in-use tool;
- Four pounds of weight and small size will also provide you with the ability to comfortably carry this product around with yourself, creating an ultimate tool for camping. It is also the only one-handed instrument in this list;
- This axe-maul is also incredibly strong. Why? Due to its 1-piece design, made of forged steel. Such feature will also increase its durability by eliminating every possible weak point of the construction (which are usually concentrated between head and body of the maul). The manufacturer claims that his creation is actually unbreakable. To highlight this statement, a free lifetime warranty is included;
- Shock-reducing vinyl grip, as well as UV coating, are designed to reduce shock impact by up to 65%. This means that you are able to work longer and harder before any pain and fatigue can possibly come along. Perfectly optimized for comfortable one-handed use, the handle becomes a part of the best (and probably the only proper) block splitter for camping purposes.
- The instrument combines axe’s ease of use and maul’s power;
- “Fireside Friend” is highly compact;
- It reduces shock impact from every strike;
- Great balance makes it easier to work with this tool;
- Lifetime warranty is provided.
- It may appear to be rather hard (or even impossible) to use this tool to
cut bigger pieces of wood;
- Has no sheath included in the package or available elsewhere.
4. Truper 32415 12-Pound Splitting Maul
This tool will be reviewed in a comparison with another Truper’s maul – 30958 8-pound.
Main features (32415)
- Weight – 15 pounds
- Length – 30 inches
- Truper is a well-known company, which has earned its reputation over 40 years of its existence;
- This tool is provided with 27-inch steel handle, equipped with handle guard in order to protect your arms from calluses;
- Driving face is provided with drop forged maul;
Main features (30958)
- Overstrike protection, achieved by rubber guarded handle
- This tool is also provided with some features to ensure its safeness. But unlike 32415, this model has got double injected fiberglass handle with additional rubber grip. Such an enhancement provides the tool’s user with additional control over their instrument, improving overall effectiveness and especially – safeness.
Where fits best (for both)
- For personal needs in terms of winter preparations
- Pure and rough power, accompanied by proved in-field effectiveness;
- One of the best tool in its price category.
- An extremely solid tool in terms of both body and head.
Cons (32415 & 30985)
- Being a bit behind the progress, this maul can be quite hard to use during long working periods.
- It can also bring in some additional issues, impossible among its rivals.
Both instruments are simple and effective. What else could you need?
5: Gränsfors Bruk Splitting Maul
- Weight – 5.5 pounds;
- Length – 31.5 inches;
- Handful, respectable and recognizable design will surely add some aesthetic pleasure to your working process;
- The vegetable-tanned leather sheath is included;
- Being the heaviest product Gränsfors produce, Bruk splitting maul tend to be on the lighter side in its category. This maul can also serve as a clean representation of European approach to maul designing and produce – its edge is thinner on the splitting face, which provides customers with an ability to easily cut wood of different size and types.
- This instrument also tends to be the shortest among his closest rivals from the same category. For example, it is 4.5 inches shorter than already mentioned Fiskars’ Iso Core.
- A great addition is a noble-looking protective steel collar between head and body of the maul. It will help to absorb some vibration from every hit, as well as grooves at the handle end;
- Relatively low weight provides additional ease in use, making this maul more user-friendly, than it may appear to be. The weight is actually perfect for round-splitting.
- Gränsfors reputation leaves no doubt in the actual quality of their product;
- Steel collar prevent overstrike;
- No chemical finishes are being applied, just like with any other Gränsfors product;
- A leather sheath is included.
- Price could be considered as a bit overrated for standard usage. IF you don’t intend to buy it for aesthetics and pleasure, this may not be your choice;
- Medium weight will limit possible leverage.
- As well as an effective tool, this product could become a great gift for a middle-aged man
Extra Use of Splitting Maul
Since a splitting maul is not only a “modified axe”, but also a hammer, it is possible to use it in some different ways rather than simply splitting wood.
- Pounding things: For example, you can use it exactly as a hammer to pound anything you need to. The main advice here is to be careful with splitting face. You might want to have a sheath equipped with the blade. If you do not have one, such kind of actions is not recommended.
- Drive metal wedge: The other idea for you is to use your splitting maul as a metal wedge. This one could become quite useful for people involved in blacksmith craft, or anybody else who needs to work with wood in a more accurate way than simply chopping it into pieces.
Benefits of Splitting Wood with Maul/Axe
In this paragraph, we would like to compare splitting maul with a chainsaw in terms of splitting wood in order to give a proper example on the topic.
- Chainsaws have problems: The first thing to mention is that chainsaw ironically suffers from the same problem as a standard axe – it tends to get stuck in the middle of the wooden brick. As well as actually break due to its mechanical nature, actually. It will also be quite a long process if you will decide to split trees with a chainsaw – it is not that comfortable in use and needs more time to operate it properly. Gasoline cannot be pointed out as a great problem but is still worth considering.
- Not noisy: As an addition, maul is obviously not that noisy. It becomes very important when it comes to personal use since it is not that easy to work with a chainsaw in your backyard for several hours straight without being hated afterward.
In this article, we’ve reviewed some of the most high-quality mauls in the market. This will help you buy the best splitting maul that will suit your needs. As you can see, this product can be quite different and the choice varies highly from your needs and preferences. We hope that this article was helpful and want to encourage you to check the products you got interested in.