Exchange your ax for a splitting maul and you’ll experience comfort like never before. Comfort during wood chopping? Yes. With the right tools a mundane—and backbreaking—job will be a lot easier easier.
The right splitting maul saves you time. And you’ll also feel the positive effect on your body.
Ready to invest in a splitting maul? We’ll help you pick the best one. Use the buying guide and best splitting maul review below to guide you.
Everyone knows what an ax is, right? It’s unfortunate many of us miss out on the benefits of a splitting maul simply because we don’t know about all its features.
What is a Splitting Maul?
Have you ever heard people speak of a:
- Block buster
- Block splitter
- Sledge axe
These words refer to the tool’s features of having an ax blade backed by a sledgehammer feature on the back of it. While the sharper edge can split wood you can use it as a wedge too. Place the sharp edge in the wood and hit the back of it with a sledgehammer.
Alternatively, you can place a wedge in the wood and use the splitting mall itself as a sledgehammer. This versatility adds to its value.
Why do You Need a Splitting Maul?
It’s easy to keep to what you know. But then you miss out on what new tools offer.
A splitting maul is much more dynamic than your ax. Thanks to the longer handles you get more leverage. The convex head—opposed to the concave one you find on your axe—is less likely to get stuck in the wood. Even its wider head prevents unnecessary jamming.
But how do you know which maul to pick?
How to Pick the Best Splitting Maul
Your new splitting maul will be dynamic because of various features that should all be of high quality. Weakness in one area will lower the performance level of the entire tool.
Here’s what you have to look out for.
Splitting maul heads are made from a range of metals such as iron, steel, and variants thereof. Steel may stay sharper longer than iron. Other composites may not break easily.
Think of the type of work you’ll use yours for. Which features will be more beneficial? If you work with softer wood types a sharp edge is always important. But if you know you’ll often hit the head with another sledgehammer strength is your top priority.
What is the handle made of? You can pick from wood, plastic, fiberglass or other composites.
Do you think yours will be durable enough?
Remember, you’re not only planning for wear and tear. Yes, your handle must be strong enough to withstand the shock of what you’re using it for. But weather also plays a role. If wooden handles aren’t treated properly they’ll rot, splinter or wear down.
And then there’s the shock to your own body. Modern designs often incorporate composites that absorb some of the shock of each hit. This means your arms, hands and back won’t have to suffer under all of it. You won’t even get tired as easily.
How is the handle connected to the head? Any problem in this part of your maul poses serious risks. You don’t want the head flying off the handle while you’re swinging it through the air.
Modern designs often incorporate safer factory attached heads instead of two separate units held together with fasteners.
Why is a splitting maul’s size so important? It’s the length—much greater than most axes of similar head size—that gives you leverage. This generates some of the force you hit the wood with.
The average length is 36” but you’ll always find variants. You should try out a few lengths before you make your purchase. See which length best suits your own stature.
A longer handle generates more momentum, but you must be able to handle it comfortably to use it correctly.
The WeightThis is not only about how heavy the splitting maul is. What is the weight distribution?
When you swing such a heavy, dangerous object above your head you must be able to control it. And proper weight distribution helps you stay in control and feel more comfortable while working.
Most heads weigh 6-8lb. The handle adds some more weight but usually manufacturers don’t use heavy materials.
You must find a weight that suits your own build and weight. It doesn’t help if you purchase the heaviest item on the market and you can’t use it dynamically.
How to Get the Most out of Your Maul
Even robust tools such as splitting mauls benefit you more if you use some finesse.
You can have more successful chopping sessions by following some tips:
- Start hitting large logs off center.
- As you split off small parts you destabilize the structure so you can later split it in the center.
- Colder logs are easier to split since fibers are weakened by the cold.
Do you know what your requirements are yet? Then pick your splitting maul from this list.
Best Splitting Maul of 2017 Reviews
Fiskars Iso Core 8 lb Maul
This is what you call a complete winner. Fiskars makes sure you can handle any chopping job while your body is protected from injury.
You’ll love the IsoCore Shock Control System of the 36” handle. Fiskars protects you against shock even further with the insulation sleeve.
The designers also modified the blade so it penetrates deeper than most others. The only drawback here is that it’s hard to extract when stuck.
The head is riveted to the handle. This is one of the safest connections methods you can find. Unfortunately, the handle is subject to cracking under extreme pressure. This can happen when you hit the ground instead of the wood.
If anything gets damaged you can simply contact Fiskars about the lifetime warranty it offers.
Garrett Wade Professional Splitting Maul
Occasionally it’s best to use the classic designs.
The Garret Wade contender for the best splitting maul has a wooden handle. While some prefer modern synthetic versions this manufacturer simply improved on what has been used for centuries.
The 31” wooden handle has steel reinforced areas to help withstand the shock it will experience. It also ensures the handle isn’t damaged resulting in faster wear and tear.
Notice that this maul is on the lighter side weighing in at only 6lb. This makes it perfect for people of smaller build. But if you’re used to heavy mauls you may find this uncomfortable to adjust to.
And here’s the best part. I know you hate it when your ax gets stuck in the wood. This tool prevents it with raised cheeks on the sides of the blade. Some designers think of everything.
Mintcraft PRO 34004 Wood Splitting Maul with Fiberglass Handle
In the event you love the lighter splitting mauls you can compare this Mintcraft one with the Garret Wade. Here you have a 34” fiberglass handle connected to a 4.5lb head. This compact design makes it more practical for transport than other large mauls.
Be warned that the connection involves only a fiberglass peg. Under extreme strain this may give way or the weak link may cause the handle to break.
Once again the designers raised areas on the sides of the blade. This may prevent your maul getting stuck.
Husqvarna 32" Wooden Splitting Maul
Here’s another compact option if you plan on transporting your maul a lot.
Husqvarna offers a 32” handle connected to a Swedish steelhead. The company even includes a leather head cover for enhanced safety when not in use.
Swedish steel is known for durability but you have to maintain it well. It can rust so you must clean it of grime and grease it when not in use.
You also have to look after the wooden handle. Moisture and heat can lead to the handle shrinking. If you live in a hot, humid climate this product may prove disappointing.
Estwing Fireside Friend Axe - 14" Wood Splitting Maul
It’s always best to consider all your options before making a purchase for long-term use.
This small splitting maul will never generate as much power and momentum as the larger items on the list. But it may be just what you need for the small wood cutting jobs after the big logs are split.
It’s only 14” long and has a 4lb head.
This maul will experience less shock than others because of the shorter handle. But Estwing makes sure you still experience comfort by giving it a Shock Reduction Grip. You’ll get up to 70% fewer vibrations than before.
The American steel will handle the shock if you need to use this as a wedge while splitting large pieces of wood.
Do you know yet which one is the best splitting maul to add to your toolset? Because of the unique head design and extreme shock resistance we’ll advise you to consider the Fiskars Iso Core as best splitting maul in 2017. Use the table for some more comparisons. But don’t take too long. Your next wood cutting session can be much easier than your last.
|Fiskars Iso Core||Garret Wade Professional||Mintcraft Pro 34004||Husqvarna Wooden Maul||Estwing Fireside Friend|
|Material used||Steel Head|
Iso Core Handle
|Fiberglass Handle||Wooden handle|
|One Piece American Steel|
|Shock resistant features||IsoCore Shock Control System||Steel collars on handle||Only fiberglass handle||None||Shock Reduction Grip
|Warranty||Lifetime||90 days||90 days|