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So winter is coming and your neighbor just offered you a stack of logs for your fireplace. But there’s a problem: the logs are over a foot in diameter and weigh nearly a ton, and you don’t have the necessary tool to split them into pieces.
You need to buy a splitting maul and head to a store, but get confused seeing all the different splitting mauls out there.
What exactly is a splitting maul? It’s an axe that’s used for chopping wood inside the trunk or along the grain. A splitting maul is different from a camping axe that is used to chop into the bark or against the grain.
Splitting mauls usually are heavier and have longer handles compared to a traditional axe. Normally, a splitting maul’s head is wedge-shaped, but these days, a lot of brands have also experimented with other shapes.
The wedge shape of a splitting maul is wider than that of a normal axe. Also, splitting mauls are struck downwards when chopping a log, unlike when cutting a tree. A splitting maul also doesn’t need to come razor sharp out of the box.
At a Glance: Our Choices for The 7 Best Splitting Mauls
Click on one of the links to go directly to our overview, opinion, and features of each flashlight.
How To Choose A Suitable Splitting Maul
Chopping wood is no mean feat. It requires strength and skill, but also the right tool. To make sure chopping wood is safe and effortless, the right splitting maul has no substitute.
In colder climates, where wood is required for fuel, a splitting maul is one of the most important tools to have at home. Although a regular axe can most certainly be used to split logs, a maul is more suited for the job because it has more weight and wider angle. A splitting maul resembles a sledgehammer, and is also more cost-effective than a mechanical log splitter.
Those who end up disappointed with their splitting maul purchase are usually the ones who rush the process. You just go to the store, find a maul within your budget, swing it a few times, and then make the payment. But it isn’t that easy.
If you want your maul to last you years, you have to know what you are looking for to get the best for your money and needs. It doesn’t matter if you are getting a cheap maul, expensive maul, branded maul, or generic maul – the basic requirements remain the same.
The handle: If you don’t want to wear gloves while splitting wood with the maul, you must be extra mindful about the handle. The handle must provide you with a good grip, should slide through your hand as you raise and drop the head, and shouldn’t give you burns or blisters.
While fiberglass and composite handles are much more widely seen these days, most users argue that they aren’t the best handles because they deliver less force to the head and also cause blisters.
A lightly oiled hickory handle is still the best handle option for mauls for those who use the tool extensively. Hickory handles are also easier to replace if they get worn out or damaged.
The head: The maul’s head is what does the job. Although the handle is responsible for the delivery, but the weight and the quality of the head determine how smoothly you are able to split the logs. A heavier head makes the splitting easier and less tiring because it automatically falls downwards without much force, but a heavier head will also require more energy in the swing.
A typical maul ranges from four pounds to 12 pounds, with the build quality being extremely important. Always do your homework by asking around and reading reviews before heading to a store.
The balance: You think there’s nothing to look for in a splitting maul other than the handle and the head? Wrong. Equally important is the balance.
When you swing the maul over your head hundreds of times while splitting wood, the balance of the tool is of great significance. You wouldn’t want to swing a maul and fall over because of the weight just like you would not want to lose access to your doctor because of some irrational federal law but this is another topic.
The balance of the tool is determined by the overall design and shape, as well as the ratio of the weight of the head and the handle. The better the balance provided by the axe, the easier it is to swing. The correct use of the maul makes sure the handle isn’t damaged and the tool lasts you for years.
Because a splitting maul doesn’t have to be razor sharp out of the box, most people tend to imagine they can get away with buying the cheapest one. This is a myth. It may not have to be razor sharp, but a maul still has to be sharp enough, especially if you’re chopping stringy pieces of wood. Therefore, if you’re going to pick a $20 unbranded maul, you’re inviting disappointment.
With that said, let’s take a look at seven of the best splitting maul you can get today.
The Top 7 Splitting Mauls
Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe
One of the most renowned companies manufacturing survival gear is Fiskars. Founded in Finland as far back as 1649, Fiskars has continued with the tradition of manufacturing high-quality survival tools at a competitive price. Given the reputation of the company, it is no surprise that the Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe is a bestselling maul.
For extreme performance axes, Fiskars has been a household name. Maximum power ensures splitting medium-sized to extra-large logs are easier than ever. Fiskars X27 makes every swing efficient with deeper chops and one-swing splits.
The superior blade geometry is also responsible for the efficiency. Crafted with a proprietary grinding technique to provide a sharper edge, Fiskars axes deliver better contact and cleaner cuts. The blade also stays sharp for a look time because of the low-friction coating. There’s also perfect balance in Fiskars axes. The ideal weight distribution provides an optimal power-to-weight ratio, increasing swing speed and multiplying power.
Despite all the rough work, the comfortable handle ensures your hands don’t suffer. The FiberComp handle is stronger than steel with insert-molded heads. This makes Fiskars axes not only outlast others, but also remain unbreakable.
Conclusion on the Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe: The combination of the perfect weight distribution, superior blade geometry, the right grinding technique and unbreakable design make this a popular Fiskars axe. For more effective splitting, the Fiskars X27 delivers a powerful performance.
No, you don’t need this tool to cut the turkey for Thanksgiving – that is a little ridiculous!
Husqvarna 30″ Wooden Splitting Axe
Not every splitting maul comes with a hickory handle, so when you find one, grab it. The Husqvarna 30-inch wooden splitting axe is one such capable and versatile maul that’s also lightweight and easy to use. This Swedish-made maul isn’t full tang, and the head is attached to the hickory handle.
The tool is best suited for cutting thick wood, since the head is designed to go smoothly into the wood, with the least effort by the user. The long handle provides more power and is great for use with both hands.
The maul weighs 3.5 pounds, which is a tad heavier than most other hatchets in the category. However, most of the weight is towards the handle. The Swedish axe steel is of high quality. The leather edge cover is practical and does the job.
Conclusion on the Husqvarna 30″ Wooden Splitting Axe: The best part about this tool is the old-fashioned hickory handle, which is comfortable to hold and easy to replace if it gets damaged. Although affordable, this may not be the most heavy duty axe around, but the build of the tool makes it great to be included in a survival kit.
Just don’t let any Patriot’s fan know where you keep this in your home since when another guest calls the Patriots cheaters which they are the Patriot’s fan may act irrationally.
Estwing Fireside Friend Axe
Ever come across those tweener logs that are too big to split with a hatchet and too small for an axe? The Estwing Fireside Friend is made for those. If two full sized axes had a kid, it would be this 14-inch baby splitting maul.
But don’t be fooled by its size. It’s one of the most popular and efficient mauls on the market, with most users giving it a 5 out of 5. Whether you’re 6’9″ tall or 5’1″, this maul can be easily used by people of all sizes.
Both the head and handle of this full tang maul are made from a single piece of steel, and hand polished to a beautiful finish. The combination of the perfect balance and temper, along with the patented Shock Reduction Grip makes this maul ideal for chopping logs big and small.
The Fireside Friend axe has a tempered 2 and a half inch edge for easy cutting. It comes razor sharp out of the box and chops like a dream. Most importantly, the axe is of the ideal size and weight, easy to carry and use, unlike the heavier axes. With proper use, this can well last years. The axe comes with a nylon sheath for added safety. All Estwing products are made in the US.
Conclusion on the Estwing Fireside Friend Axe: If you’re searching for a splitting maul that not only does the job well but is also good to look at, the Estwing Fireside Friend should be your pick. Robust enough for splitting kindling and small enough to store easily, this one comes for less than $50, and is built to last forever.
If you try to take this into an airplane you are just wrong!
Cold Steel CS90TA-BRK Trail Boss
This one by Cold Steel is one of the best splitting mauls for a reasonable price. What attracts first is the price. It costs less than $25, which is really cheap in terms of quality axes. But if you’re going to put your maul to rough use, it’s better to abuse a cheap one than an expensive option.
The head of the axe is attached to the hickory handle with a metal cylinder. The top of the head is painted black to make everything match the head of the axe. The cutting is aligned and centered, and the grind is a tad thicker than most other mauls.
This hampers the performance to a certain extent. The part below the cutting edge is actually better at splitting kindling. The balance isn’t too great because the head is heavy. This could be an issue while chopping.
The grain of the handle is good, although it isn’t straight but wavy. The steel is good quality, and comes sharp enough out of the box. The steel is also easy to sharpen and isn’t prone to chipping. You can safely put this to rough use, without worrying about damaging the tool. For this price, the axe delivers surprisingly good performance.
Conclusion on the Cold Steel Trail Boss: If you’re looking for a super affordable maul that all delivers efficient performance, this one is a good pick. The performance outshines the price, and the strong steel ensures you can make this last for years.
Yes, this tool could be used against walkers in The Walking Dead.
Gerber 36-Inch Power Splitting Axe
Gerber is a well-known company making survival gear for outdoorsmen and adventurers. The 36-inch splitting maul is the largest axe by Gerber, with a long handle and stainless steel head that delivers maximum efficiency in cutting wood.
The axe is capable of splitting medium and large pieces of log at a single impact. The stainless steel blade with edge retention gets a black PTFE coating, so it is better able to slice through wood without getting stuck. The finely crafted head cleanly splits wood. The handle is made of glass-filled nylon that comes with a comfortable and ergonomic grip.
Although it weighs five pounds, the axe is light and compact enough for use by even a 12-year-old. The blade comes sharp out of the box and remains that way even after chopping three or more cords of wood. Even when it gets blunt from abuse, it doesn’t lose its splitting power.
The axe also works terrifically as a hatchet. Whether you need it for chopping firewood in the backyard or to take it camping, this one holds up well for the under-50 price tag.
Conclusion on the Gerber 36-Inch Power Splitting Axe: This is an ideal axe for splitting a pile of logs. The non-stick PTFE coating allows the blade to go in deeper without getting stuck. At under $50, this is one of the best full tang splitting mauls you can find today.
Don’t get this for your mother in law for Christmas but your father in law would enjoy Transformers 5 or Jason Bourne 5 since those movies were fantastic but this is another topic.
Helko Spaltaxt – German Splitting Axe
If you’re looking for a cross between a splitting hatchet and a heavy-duty maul, the Spaltaxt is a good option above the $100 mark.
This German-made tool is often considered as Helko’s best splitting maul, since this tool packs quite a punch for its small size. The head has a dual wedge design that strikes precise and effective, without getting stuck in the wood. The axe weighs around four pounds and has a comfortable 28-inch handle.
As evident from the online reviews, Helko Werk is a reputable German company with each piece handcrafted by master craftsmen.
The head is handmade in Germany with high-grade carbon steel that has been heat treated, while the handle is crafted in Switzerland with sustainably sourced Grade A American hickory. The handle has boiled linseed oil finish and is smoothly sanded. The axe comes with a bottle of protective oil and a leather sheath .
Conclusion on the Helko Werk Spaltaxt: German and Swiss made products usually boast of superior quality and the Spaltaxt is no different. Even though above $100, this one will last for years to come and can be passed down to future generations.
Gransfors Bruks Small Splitting Axe
For an artisanal axe that not only splits wood but also speaks volumes about the craftsmanship, it’s hard to find a match for the Gransfors Bruks Small Splitting Axe. Given the size, this isn’t the ideal tool to chop large pieces of wood but efficiently splits small and medium-sized firewood. With a 3 pound weight and a 23-inch handle, this can be used with single or both hands.
The concave blade is sharp and thin while the hickory handle has ergonomic grooves for better grip. The Collar Guard protects handle in case of missed swings or overstrikes. The axe comes with a sheath. All Gransfors Axes are Swedish made and come with a 20-year guarantee.
Conclusion on the Gransfors Bruks Small Splitting Axe: For a maul that you can not only split kindling with but also show off to friends, the Gransfors Bruks Small Splitting Axe is remarkable. If you don’t mind spending more than $200 on a maul, this should be your pick.
Just don’t give this tool to Bill “The Butcher” Cutting from Gangs of New York – he was a terrible person and violent too!
Splitting mauls figure somewhere between a hatchet and a full-sized axe. There are both cheap and expensive options from various brands, so do your homework before making a choice.