All professional or amateur woodworkers carpenters have their best splitting maul for splitting firewood.
Unlike conventional axes, the mauls can deliver high power and energy, thereby supporting you in making forceful and accurate splits on any wooden piece.
Splitting mauls appear on the market today with many different styles and features. However, not all products have the same high quality.
You will need to consider numerous factors before buying to choose the most suitable product for your requirements.
This article will explain all the essential factors and details guide that decides the quality of a splitting maul.
Also, we review the top 7 products in 2021. Please scroll down to find all these mauls and choose your favorite one!
Table of Contents
- What Is A Wood Splitting Maul?
- Benefits of Using Splitting Maul
- Types of Splitting Mauls
- Difference Between Splitting Maul and Splitting Axe
- 7 Best Splitting Maul Reviews
- 1. Husqvarna 32″ Wooden Splitting Maul
- 2. Hooyman Splitting Maul with Heavy Duty Construction
- 3. Fiskars IsoCore Maul (751110-1003)
- 4. Estwing Fireside Friend Axe E3-FF4 Wood Splitting Maul
- 5. Wilton B.A.S.H Splitting Maul (50836)
- 6. 1844 Helko Werk Germany Vario 2000 Heavy Log Splitter
- 7. Gransfors Bruk Splitting Maul 450
- How To Choose The Best Splitting Maul
- How To Maintain A Splitting Maul
- Frequently Asked Questions About Splitting Maul
- 1. What Materials The Manufacturers Use To Construct A Splitting Maul?
- 2. How Big Is A Standard Splitting Maul?
- 3. Can You Change The Handle?
- 4. How Often Should You Sharpen A Splitting Maul?
- 5. How Heavy Is A Splitting Maul?
- 6. Is A Heavier Maul Better?
- 7. Should A Splitting Maul Be Sharp?
- 8. What Important Features To Look For When Buying A Splitting Maul?
What Is A Wood Splitting Maul?
Some beginners may have never heard about splitting maul. It is understandable as the maul is a special type of axes. In this section, we will explain quickly about this wood-chopping tool.
In detail, a splitting maul is a modern axe that has a heavyweight. You may notice that one side of the maul head looks like an axe, and the other side looks like a sledgehammer.
This tool attracts a lot of carpenters due to its flexibility. It supports splitting a wood piece along the grain.
In fact, splitting mauls have many different names. Some samples we can give you are:
- Block splitter
- Sledge axe
- Chop and maul
Benefits of Using Splitting Maul
Most carpenters prefer using theỉr best splitting maul than other axe types due to the fact that this equipment is very flexible. You can get a lot of benefits when using it.
The maul head has a half side of the sledgehammer and a half side of the axe.
You can use the sledgehammer side to break rocks, concrete, and hardwood pieces. The axe side will support you splitting pieces of wood and trimming logs.
Compared to standard axes, splitting mauls allow you to cut the split wood piece quicker. Thanks to the heavy head, the maul only requires one swing to break a wood piece’s structure completely.
On the other hand, you can see the maul as exercising equipment. Because the splitting maul is heavy, you require a lot of energy to use it.
After using the maul for a long duration, you can burn a lot of calories in your body.
Types of Splitting Mauls
Splitting mauls are not so different in design. There is just a small characteristic that divides this equipment into 2 separate types: the handle.
Long-Handle Splitting Mauls
The mauls with long handles are the standard type. The equipment features a long and heavy shaft for splitting and trimming large objects.
With a massive head and high leverage, the long mauls can support splitting logs quickly.
Also, because the long-handle maul is very heavy, it is more suitable for a professional carpenter with strong and big hands.
Short-Handle Splitting Mauls
In contrast to the long-handle type, the short mauls feature a light head and body. While the long mauls are ideal for big projects, short tools are a perfect choice for light and small tasks.
The head of the short mauls is not big enough for quick splitting. You may have to apply many swinging turns to trim a piece of wood completely.
With a light body, the maul is easy for any carpenter to hold and swing. That’s why beginners and people with weaker upper body strength prefer using this type rather than the long one.
Difference Between Splitting Maul and Splitting Axe
Here are some of the factors differences between splitting mauls and splitting axes.
Most mauls come up with a longer handle than the axes. The long shaft will guide you to swing the equipment into the ground at a higher accuracy.
You also have fewer risks of injury when using the maul than the axe. The long handle will keep a certain distance between your feet and the object.
The biggest difference between a maul and an axe is the head design. The splitting axe features a tapered head and a sharp blade.
This design makes the equipment ideal for cut and chop wood.
On another side, the mauls feature a big, blunt head, along with a wide splitting wedge. The wide head makes the maul suitable for splitting large pieces of wood.
The last thing that differs between a maul and an axe is the weight.
Standard splitting axes are lighter than standard splitting mauls. They are ideal for projects lasting for an extended period consecutively.
You will need a lot of energy to deliver the heavy body of the maul. After using this tool for some time, your arms will likely be tired and have to rest.
7 Best Splitting Maul Reviews
1. Husqvarna 32″ Wooden Splitting Maul
- Brand: Husqvarna
- Length: 32 inches
- Weight: 6.8 pounds
- Color: Wooden
- Shaft material: Hickory wood and steel
- Head material: Steel
The Husqvarna 32 is the first product we want to introduce to you. If you are looking for a splitting maul that lasts long, this model will be an excellent choice.
In detail, the manufacturers have used hickory wood to construct the maul’s handle. This material is highly solid. It will not crack or break down while you are splitting the logs.
There should be no worry about weather impacts. The natural wood never rusts or becomes moldy. You are free to store the maul outside without worrying about it downgrading.
The hickory handle is already solid to grip. However, you can sand or grease it with linseed oil. The handle will then be a lot easier to grip and swing. It will not move in your palm no matter how fast you swing the maul.
Besides the straight handle, we also like this maul’s head. The Husqvarna company has built the head with forged steel to make it durable and powerful. It can remain sharp and solid after multiple splitting times.
The head will never fall out of the handle. The manufacturers have combined these 2 pieces of equipment with a steel wedge for secure fastening.
A leather edge cover comes along in the package with this quality maul. It will protect the maul head from outside factors and yourself from being cut accidentally. You will never be afraid of the steelhead rusting.
There is a small hole on the end of the handle that supports hanging the maul. However, this loop does not work as well as we had expected. It is too thin to put a strong and solid wire in.
2. Hooyman Splitting Maul with Heavy Duty Construction
- Brand: Hooyman
- Length: 36 inches
- Weight: 8 Pounds
- Color: Black, Green
- Shaft material: Fiberglass
- Head material: Forged steel
Do you have big wooden logs to split? If yes, place your trust in this Hooyman Splitting Maul 1112248.
With heavy-duty construction, this equipment will support you in tackling all big projects effortlessly.
The manufacturers have used 1045 high-strength forged steel to build the maul head. As you know, forged material is super durable. You can split and trim any stubborn objects without fear of the head breaking down.
On the other hand, Hooyman uses high-quality fiberglass to build the core of the handle. This material can withstand high pressure and last for years. It will keep the handle from cracking and breaking when you split the hardwood pieces.
The length of this fiberglass handle is 36 inches. There will be plenty of space between your feet and the objects. You are free to hit the wood at the highest force. In case you miss the splitting, the head will not hurt your feet.
Rest in mind that the head and the handle will stay together in place during the entire working process.
The manufacturers have interlocked the shaft and epoxy sealed it inside the head eye for secure fastening and solid construction.
The Hooyman company even equips an H-Grip to the handle. When splitting, you just need to place your hands on this grip. It will work to prevent the shaft from slipping and moving.
Please cover the maul’s head when you don’t use the tool. The steel material may rust under weather impacts.
3. Fiskars IsoCore Maul (751110-1003)
- Brand: Fiskars
- Length: 36 inches
- Weight: 10.4 pounds
- Color: Black, Orange
- Shaft material: Iso Core
- Head material: Forged and heat-treated steel
Do you want to make accurate splits? Let the Fiskars IsoCore Maul (751110-1003) support you.
The manufacturers have installed an Iso Core Shock Control System to the maul.
This system can absorb all the shocks and vibrations at the handle. You will be able to keep the maul stable and swing it to the right position as you aim.
We can confirm that this system isn’t pure marketing; it even exceeds our expectations. With an Iso Core handle, the Fiskars maul can absorb shocks twice as mauls with a wooden handle do.
Since your body receives less impact from the vibration, you will not feel tired after working for a long period and cut more precisely, requiring less re-swing. As a result, you will have the energy to cut more woods!
You definitely can not give any complaint to the Soft Grip handle. It has strategic texturing and slip-reducing flares that work to keep every of your swing stable and controllable. Making accurate splits is now a piece of cake!
We don’t appreciate the solidness of the head. This top section of the maul seems to be too thin. It dulls rapidly right after several splitting turns.
4. Estwing Fireside Friend Axe E3-FF4 Wood Splitting Maul
- Brand: Estwing
- Length: 14 inches
- Weight: 4 pounds
- Color: Blue
- Shaft material: Forged steel
- Head material: Solid American steel
Many beginners or people with weak hands may feel that standard mauls are difficult to control. In this case, we recommend the Estwing Fireside Friend Axe. With a short handle, this model offers incomparable ease of use.
While other models have handles above 32 inches long, this Estwing Fireside features a 14-inch shaft. As the maul head is closer to your standing position, you can have a better view and target the object easier.
In addition, this maul is 4 pounds heavy, a lot lighter than other models on this list. All newbies can easily grab the handle and swing it accurately.
Due to the lightweight, you require less effort and energy to split the logs. As a result, you can complete your tasks quicker while feeling less tired.
The manufacturers have forged the handle and the head together. Therefore, you are free to swing the maul as fast as you like without worrying about detaching those pieces of equipment.
There is a genuine leather grip on the steel handle. This design makes the maul highly controllable. You just need to grab on this gripping part, and the maul will stay in its place during the working process.
We give a minus point to the durability of the blue paint on the maul. After several splits, this coat starts wearing off and will not protect the equipment from weather impacts.
5. Wilton B.A.S.H Splitting Maul (50836)
- Brand: Wilton
- Length: 36 inches
- Weight: 8 pound
- Color: Black, Green
- Shaft material: Steel
- Head material: Steel
Never be afraid of injuries while you are working ever again as this Wilton B.A.S.H 50836 offers all modern features for high safety of usage.
Like other models on this list, this Wilton B.A.S.H features a non-slip handle. The manufacturer has covered the shaft with vulcanized rubber to prevent the shaft from slipping from your palms.
In other words, the maul has little to no chance to fall on your feet during work.
You should not worry about the handle breaking down either. This shaft has a construction of steel core to withstand high pressure. It can keep its functional shape every time you overstrike.
The Wilton brand even adds a safety plate to the maul. This component will lock the head securely to the shaft to prevent dislodging.
Another great thing is, this quality splitting maul contains a lanyard hole. This loop allows you to safely hang the axe on your wrist or any stationary object when you don’t use it.
What turns this product down is the head’s durability. Its cutting edge can easily become blunt under heavy contact. Unfortunately, resharpening this section is quite difficult.
6. 1844 Helko Werk Germany Vario 2000 Heavy Log Splitter
- Brand: 1844 Helko Werk Germany
- Length: 36 inches
- Weight: 6.7 pounds
- Color: Wooden
- Shaft material: Wood
- Head material: High-carbon steel
The next product on our list is the 1844 Helko Werk Germany Vario 10058. We give a plus point to this model due to its high versatility.
With a deep wedge and standard weight of 6.7 pounds, this splitting maul can deliver incredible striking power.
You can use this equipment to split multiple objects, including tree trunks, heavy firewood, large rounds, and more!
All the components, from the handle, head to the fastening part, are interchangeable. Whenever a piece of the tool does not function properly, you can disassemble and replace it with new equipment.
As you can see, the Carbon Steel head has 2 sides with different designs. One side has a sharp edge, which supports you in splitting and cutting logs. The other side has a flat surface, which can work as a hammer.
The manufacturers give a full-grain leather sheath in the package. When you need to change the working place, just put the maul into this sheath. It will help you carry the equipment from place to place with convenience.
After working for a period, you may notice that the head starts loosening. In this situation, you will have to tighten it again. It may be a little annoying to repeat this work many times.
7. Gransfors Bruk Splitting Maul 450
- Brand: Gransfors Bruk
- Length: 32 inches
- Weight: 7 pounds
- Color: Brown, Silver
- Shaft material: Wood
- Head material: High-carbon steel
Last but not least, we share with you the Gransfors Bruk Splitting Maul 450. What we like about this model is the high working efficiency.
Gransfors Bruk has chosen high-carbon steel to build the maul head. This material is solid, heavy, and very powerful. It can break the structure of every thick piece of wood quickly.
We give our thumbs up for the design of the forged head. It has a concave and thin blade at one side, which can cut into the wood quickly to create a shave. You just need to place the blade on this shave on the next swings to split the wood apart.
The forged head can support cutting multiple types of wood, from the thinnest to the thickest ones. The maul will give you ease in cutting cherry, oak, hickory, and hard maple.
The special thing is that this splitting maul’s wooden handle does not send any shock or vibration to your hands. Every swing you make will be accurate as you desire!
We notice that the handle does not flare out much. You need to hold it tightly when splitting. Otherwise, it may slip off your hands.
How To Choose The Best Splitting Maul
Now, we will explain to you the top factors that make or break a maul. Remember them, and you will find the best splitting maul for your purposes.
The first factor to notice is the length of the splitting maul handle.
As discussed above, there are 2 types of splitting mauls. One type has long handles, and the other has short handles.
The length of a standard maul is from 32 inches to 36 inches. Some short models feature a handle length that is 14 – 15 inches.
You choose the suitable handle length depending on your purposes. If you have moderate upper body strength, you better go for mauls that have shorter handles. This type of equipment is easier to hold and control.
On the other hand, if you have big and strong hands, feel free to choose the long-handle maul. It can help you split wood logs quickly at the highest force.
The handle size also decides the portability of the maul. A short piece of equipment is always easier to put into a tool box and carry around.
The big tool may not be simple to bring with you. But it is highly supportive of big projects.
You surely don’t want the splitting maul to break down, crack, or become useless after a short time of usage, right? Then you need to check the construction of the product.
The manufacturers choose the forged steel to build the maul head. This material is solid and durable. It can cut hardwood objects while remaining functional for a long period.
The handle of the maul should be light and durable. It must not crack or rust after time.
Due to this reason, most manufacturers choose hardwood, steel, or fiberglass to build the handle. They also coat it with protective substances, such as stainless paint.
When buying, you should choose the product that has a construction of the above materials.
The head weight decides the maul’s efficiency. As you know, the splitting maul is special due to the head’s heavyweight.
The massive top design allows this equipment to break the structure of any piece of wood.
The head weight of a standard splitting maul runs in the range of 6 to 8 pounds. The heavier the head is, the stronger the maul can work. But in contrast, the heavy tool may be difficult to control.
Some special models may have the head weighing above 8 pounds. You have to consider carefully to choose the suitable weight for your tasks.
If you have big tasks with many large logs to trim, choose the heavier head. Otherwise, if the projects are small, a lighter maul will be our recommendation.
Many customers choose cheap products from untrusted sources to save money on the initial investment.
But remember that you get what you pay for. The mauls from unreliable companies don’t have high quality and usually downgrade quickly.
Please buy products from trustable brands. The price may be high, but the mauls usually have modern features and long-lasting construction.
In addition, brands that are confident about their products’ quality always give a good warranty. If any technical issue occurs, you can exchange or fix the tool for free.
Some trustable brands we can recommend are:
- Helko Werk
- Wilton Tools
- Gransfors Bruk
Nowadays, modern splitting tools come along with many safety features.
The manufacturers usually attach a pad to the handle of the maul. This pad can absorb hand sweats, thereby preventing the maul from slipping from the user’s palm.
Besides, many companies have designed to attach the head tightly to the handle. Most importantly, they find ways to seal the head in place so that it never falls out of the handle.
Some products come along with a sheath, which helps you protect the head maul. The good sheath should make from leather. it will cover the top maul from weather, dust factors and keep your product always shine.
When buying, you should check to know whether the sheath is included or not. If there is no shealth, you can pay the additional costs to buy the item separately.
Most splitting mauls have the head and handle forged together. However, some don’t. To keep the head stable on the handle, the manufacturers usually add a steel collar below the maul head.
This collar is also known as a neck guard. It keeps the handle and the head close together. Also, the solid steel collar material protects the handle from overstrikes and outdoor factors, such as sunlight, rain, etc.
With a collar, the maul will remain durable for a long period. It is good if your product comes with a collar. If not, you are free to buy a collar separately.
The maul should be easy to keep balanced, easy to swing and lift. The entire weight of it should be distributed evenly between weight of the head and its handle length
This factor is essential for accurate splitting. If you can not keep the maul stable in your hands, you may swing it in the wrong direction.
So, the best way you can check the balance that by lifting and operating it at the store.
There are 3 price groups for a splitting maul:
Splitting mauls under $50 offer basic features. You can use them for normal purposes.
Keep in mind that low-price products don’t equal durability. If you want your mauls to last long, you need to maintain them regularly.
The splitting mauls in the range from $50 to $100 have a modern design. They come up with premium features for convenience in use.
Just try holding the mauls in both under $50 and $100 categories, and you will notice that the expensive equipment offers a better grip.
As people say, you get what you pay for. A splitting maul above $100 always has high quality.
The high-priced equipment usually has a tapered end for tight gripping. You never worry about the maul falling out of your palm during splitting.
The high cost is due to the construction materials. Among 3 mauls in 3 price groups, the one above $100 is always the most durable and functional.
How To Maintain A Splitting Maul
If you want your maul to work functionally for many seasons to come, better maintain it regularly. You can learn our tips in this section to take care of your quality tool correctly.
Maintaining the maul is essential, especially after you have finished using it. This work allows the maul to keep its shape and stay ready for the next tasks.
You can use a wire brush to get rid of all the gunk and dust on the tool’s head. During the splitting, some pieces or chunks of wood may stay on the metal head. Brushing the head will make it look cleaner.
The head will lose its smoothness and sharpness when splitting the logs. But don’t worry too much as you can resharpen it. All you need to do is use sandpapers to polish up the head.
Don’t forget to check for rusting signs on the head. The material is metal, which can rust under the impact of weather. If the head rusts, you can rub it firmly with steel wool.
In some special cases, carpenters coat the surface of the head with linseed oil or paint. The oil (or paint) will form a protection layer to keep the head from rusting.
Frequently Asked Questions About Splitting Maul
1. What Materials The Manufacturers Use To Construct A Splitting Maul?
The most common material for constructing the splitting maul head is forged steel. This material has a high endurance to withstand hard impacts.
Forged steel has a high solidness. It can deliver high power to break the structure of many wooden objects. Also, the material can last for a long period.
2. How Big Is A Standard Splitting Maul?
A standard splitting wood maul features a handle length running from 32 inches to 36 inches. Most handles come up with a tapered end for tight grips.
3. Can You Change The Handle?
Of course, yes! Most modern splitting mauls nowadays allow you to disassemble the handle and replace it.
You can contact the manufacturers and ask them about buying a handle separately. They will give you a brand-new handle that fits your old maul head.
4. How Often Should You Sharpen A Splitting Maul?
A splitting maul must be sharp for working efficiency. Normally, the steel head of the axe wears out after 1 – 2 sessions of splitting. You should sharpen your maul after every session.
5. How Heavy Is A Splitting Maul?
Different mauls with a specific design may have a different weight. Overall, a traditional maul usually weighs from 6 to 8 pounds. Some models even weigh more than 10 pounds.
6. Is A Heavier Maul Better?
Based on the purposes, different carpenters will decide the most suitable weight for their mauls.
For big projects, a heavy maul will be the best tool to choose. With a big size, the equipment can support trimming any big object quickly. The heavy maul is also suitable for people with big hands.
For light tasks, we recommend you use a lighter maul. It is easier to hold and control. You can trim many small objects accurately using the tool. Most carpenters with small hands and weak upper body strength prefer using light mauls than heavy ones.
7. Should A Splitting Maul Be Sharp?
The answer is yes. The sharpness of the maul blade plays an important role in shaving the wood piece smoothly or not.
If the maul head is sharp, you can leave a clear first shave on the wood. The next cutting turns will then be effortless, as you just need to swing the maul directly to this shave.
8. What Important Features To Look For When Buying A Splitting Maul?
Nowadays, the manufacturers release many new models of splitting mauls with modern features. You are free to choose the product with the functions that suit your needs.
However, no matter which model you pick, it must contains the following features:
- Suitable handle length
- Sturdy and secure construction
- Perfect head weight and material
- Affordable price
- Safety features
Above are the top 7 splitting mauls. Have you found the best splitting maul to buy?
In our opinion, the Husqvarna Wooden Splitting Maul is the best product overall. It has a great construction of a wood handle and forged steelhead. With this design, the maul can work powerfully for many years to come.
The Husqvarna also designs a non-slip handle and securely seals the head to the shaft. You can rest assured about safety while using this maul. Not many models can be both convenient and safe to use as this one does.
The Hooyman Splitting Maul deserves the second position on this list. It also features heavy-duty construction. You can rely on it for tackling big projects.
We have chosen this Hooyman maul as a runner-up model due to the fact that it is not durable as the Husqvarna. It is quite bad that the maul head rusts under weather impact.
Overall, all 7 products are good investments. Each one has its own pros and cons. You should determine what you need from a splitting maul and choose the model that best meets your requirements.
Make sure that you note all the factors we have introduced to you in the above buying guide. They will help you decide on the perfect tool for your needs.
As you have your favorite splitting maul, don’t forget to maintain it regularly. With good maintenance, the tool can remain durable and functional for a long period.