The 5 Best Splitting Mauls For Making Firewood
Roaring fires and the perfect burn are predicated by hours of splitting logs down to size before being consumed. Getting wood fuel made into pieces perfect for aging and stacking requires the best splitting mauls you can find. Unlike a traditional axe, the maul slices down into the grain of the wood rather than against it.
What Is A Splitting Maul?
The unique characteristics of the splitting maul make laborious task of dividing massive pieces of wood much easier. The maul is much heavier than a camping axe and has a much longer handle.
The head of the splitting maul is also shaped to increase the angle of the split as it is driven down into the grain. The edge may be sharp but needn’t be to effectively split as the nature of the wood allows cleaving without being cut. But which is the best splitter maul out there?
Isn’t A Maul, A Maul? What Are The Differences?
There are a number of features that allow the best splitter maul to stand out from the rest. It is well understood that a maul doesn’t require a sharp blade. But that doesn’t mean the quality of the steel that forms the head of the maul doesn’t make a difference.
There is still something to be said for how easily that blade can penetrate through and between those coarse wood fibers.
A smooth and rounded edge will simplify your efforts, whereas what you have with a cheap model will likely frustrate you as you labor to split a load of logs.
When considering which maul fits you the best it is wise to begin by thinking of how tall you are and how much weight you can manage to control in a large arching swing. The length of the splitting maul haft should be approximately half of your own height for comfort and ease of use. The longest mauls are up to 40” long.
The weight of the maul head can be up to 8 pounds. The heavier it is the greater force you should be able to will be exerted on the wood you are blasting apart.
These days, fiberglass tools seem to have made a good showing in the home goods stores. But for traditionalist, nothing compares to a good old hickory haft with years of wear and sweat marked into its grain.
Speaking of grain, it’s the grain you should look closely at when selecting any wooden handled tool. If the grain runs parallel to the head you can be certain it will be short lived in your toolbox. For much more on the best materials for your maul follow this.
The way a maul fits into the steel head and feels in your hand - its balance and heft, let’s say, is referred to as its “hang”. Now, we’d all admit a well-hung maul is more impressive than one whose hang is somewhat off.
Take your prospective maul into your hands and test it for balance, ergonomics, weight, and ease of use. It’s much easier to work with a tool that feels right rather than looks right.
Perfection in the hands of the holder
It goes without saying that the right tool for a job can make all the difference. What isn’t so clear, however, is that in this case the right tool isn’t as much about the construction and design of the best splitting maul, but more about you, the user. Whether you prefer a rugged, and more natural set of materials, or whatever is latest on the market - you have a significant set of variations and price points to get you to something that works well for you.
Here’s a quick demonstration of how to use a maul to split your firewood quickly and easily.
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This splitter maul comes well equipped with everything a well-made maul should be expected to have. The haft of a maul is its handle. This lightweight fiberglass haft of the Fiskars X27 is practically indestructible. The 36” haft is perfect for a taller person and is perfectly balanced for increased swing speed and power.
Furthermore, the six-pound hardened steel combines with the curved bevel shape of the blade for durability as well as ease of removal from whatever wood you split. Coated with a special anti-friction coating this splitting maul should come free of even the most knotted up logs. The reasonable price point, well under $100, adds value to the combined form and function of the Fiskars X27.
It works just as hard as high-end models for only a fraction of the price. With all of its unique features, this splitter maul option has earned its place at the top of our Top 5 list. Made in Finland.
2. HELKO WERK
Made of high-grade carbon steel in Germany, this splitting maul sports a hardwood hickory handle with an ergonomic curve designed to provide the perfect balance as you swing. With a total weight of 8.5 pounds, this is a tool that ought to outlast more than just the trees it chops. It might just end up being a great family heirloom that stands the test of time.
One unique feature of the Helko Vario 2000 is its interchangeable head and safety system that won’t allow for a loose head to ever come loose from the haft without being manually removed and unlocked with a key. These are the special features anyone can appreciate, however, its impressive weight and overall size requires a particularly skilled hands to master and control it well enough to use as a go to.
It is known in particular to be really effective at splitting fairly straight grained wood but begins to fall short when it comes to knotty or slightly twisted up wood grains. That, along with its hefty price tag may be the factors that cause many to opt for something else. When it comes down to it - the tool has most of what it needs to be great minus the reasonable cost.
This dual purpose tool from Estwing claims to offer the best of both worlds allowing the owner to use it for both chopping down trees as well as splitting logs. This tool is forged out of steel as one complete unit meaning the head could never detach from the haft. It has a much shorter handle and offers a nylon vinyl “shock reduction grip” to minimize the vibration into your hand as you slam into the wood.
That vinyl coating also reduces slippage and allows for a really secure grip. At only 4 pounds and 14 inches of length, this tool is much easier to take along camping or to hang from a tool belt. The short handle allows for better accuracy with shorter blows. This would have been perfect when my left thumb was splinted and I only had a single hand to work with!
I wouldn’t suggest this as your first choice if you have many massive logs to split, but absolutely recommend it for the fireside friendly option it calls itself to be. Even more, it comes in 2 colors, blue or a special edition black with wood look haft.
Similar to it’s brother, the Fiskars X27, the Fiskars Iso Core is ideal for splitting wood. It is equal in weight, but this one, however, boasts of both a splitting face as well as a driving face which makes it a multipurpose workhorse in either the garden or the woods.
A patented shock control system absorbs 2X more force from a blow than a wooden handle would before it is transmitted to the hands of the worker. With a full lifetime warranty, you can have the confidence that the company is behind this tool.
5. GRANSFORS BRUKS
At only 31.5 inches of length, this Gransfors model may be more suitable to the somewhat less tall wood splitting worker. At 7 pounds, it offers an impressive strike and driving split. The wooden haft is shorter and attractive but less durable than fiberglass over the long haul.
Circular grooves near the base of the handle help secure the grip. We like the leather sheath designed to protect the blade of the maul from being blunted or damaging neighboring tools or people while kept in storage. Its price point is the highest of all of our options at well over $200 making it something of a luxury item for most but it does come with a 20-year warranty. Made in Sweden.
With the best overall score, price, and quality, the Fiskars X27 takes top billing for 2017. Designed in every way to be the very best splitting maul available, this tool should stand the test of time and make fast work of any size logs you need to split. The attention to detail has made for perfect hang, superior craftsmanship, and ease of use. The lifetime warranty is just one of the ways Fiskars rises above the rest with this latest model.