A splitting maul is a heavy implement similar to an axe with a particularly long handle that is used for splitting wood. One side is an axe, whereas the other end is a heavy, blunt sledgehammer.
A maul, versus a normal axe, splits wood purely by blunt force alone. It is heavier than an axe, but the additional power that you get by the weight and other factors is significant if you’ll be splitting large amounts of wood, or especially tough wood.
If you know that you want a splitting maul and are on the search for the ideal product for your specific needs, go no further than this article, which contains reviews of some of the best products along with a buyer’s guide, and a comparison table that you can reference easily if you’re looking to compare specific things about different splitting mauls.
Best Splitting Maul of 2020 – Comparison
After careful research and consideration, only the best of the best splitting mauls have made it onto this buyer’s list, so if you choose any of the products here, you will most likely be satisfied with your purchase.
Still, there are different features about different splitting mauls that make them ideal for particular solutions or needs, so it’s worth reading through to make sure that the product that you end up purchasing fits your situation perfectly.
Some of the most important factors to take into consideration are handle length and material, head geometry and weight, and blade geometry.
Fiskars Iso Core 8 lb, 36 Inch – Heavy-Duty Maul
This 8 pounds maul has a double-sided head that is ideal for splitting wood with the splitting face or driving stakes and wedges with the driving face.
There are many great features that make this splitting maul worthy of a spot in our top reviews. Its specially engineered blade geometry lets you swing harder and penetrates better into tough logs and wedges than competitor mauls. The blade also has a rust-resistant coating, so you don’t have to worry as much if splitting wood under damp conditions.
There are a few features that you should pay attention to when researching whether this maul is best for your needs. A few people have noted in reviews that the maul either came damaged in the box or chipped immediately after use. However, the lifetime warranty should allow you to quickly return or replace your maul, causing only minor inconvenience.
Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe, 36-Inch – Best Maul for Taller Users
There are a few features that you should pay attention to when researching whether this maul is best for your needs.
A few people have noted in reviews that the maul either came damaged in the box or chipped immediately after use. However, the lifetime warranty should allow you to quickly return or replace your maul, causing only minor inconvenience.
The Fiskars X27 comes with multiple great features, including a lifetime warranty. The FiberComp handle is constructed of a proprietary material blend that is lightweight and easy to swing yet boasts a higher strength than steel.
One thing to watch out for is that a few reviewers talk about is that the metal blade can chip during the first few uses. However, the lifetime warranty should ensure easy return or replacement of your splitting maul. Occasional reviews discuss the handle breaking after especially heavy use as well, but this shouldn’t be a problem for the average user and, again, the lifetime warranty should come in handy.
Husqvarna 32” Wooden Splitting Maul – Best 32” Choice
This maul is designed for splitting both chunks of wood and wood wedges, and like most splitting mauls it can be used either as a sledge, by itself as an axe, or in combination with a splitting wedge.
It has a solid, hickory wood, 32-inch handle, and a firmly secured head. This maul even comes with a leather edge cover to keep the blade sharp for as long as possible.
Some users have noted that the straps fall apart after several uses. Others say the backpack itself is heavy without the tools inside.
After combing through reviews for this product, there are a few things to watch out for when you purchase this tool. Given the shorter handle and lower weight of this product, it might not be ideal for splitting extremely large or extremely hard pieces of wood that do not have an easy splitting grain.
Additionally, some people might prefer a warranty of more than 90 days. A final complaint that some people have written is that under extreme forces, the head of the maul can drive a little into the handle. This probably would not be an issue if you stick to splitting firewood and other lightweight woods.
Estwing Fireside Friend Axe – Best Small Splitting Maul
This small splitting maul is excellent for the casual user who wants to split smaller amounts of soft woods. It can also be used with a hammer or sledge if greater power is desired, or if splitting denser wood.
One of the best features about this Estwing Fireside is that it is forged in a single metal piece, which means that the likelihood of the maul breaking where the blade meets the handle is extremely low. The wedge-shaped blade is weighted for the most powerful swing.
The lightweight nature of this maul make it better for splitting firewood and less dense woods and less ideal for splitting extremely large or tough wedges and rounds.
Wilton Tools 50836 8 lb Head B.A.S.H. Splitting Maul – Strongest Handle
This maul features a dual-sided splitting and driving head with the strongest, steel reinforced handle that we’ve found so far.
The main attracting feature of this splitting maul is the nearly unbreakable handle, which is reinforced with steel rods and covered in an anti-slip vulcanized rubber coating to minimize slippage and prevent accidents while using the maul. Other great features include a damping, anti-vibration neck; a drop forged, highly durable head.
True Temper Sledge Eye Wood – Most Balanced Maul
This splitting maul gets great reviews as far as power and durability are concerned, while still being lightweight enough to be manageable for more casual users.
One of the great features of the True Temper maul is the molded handle guard, which ensures a firm grip even during intense, sweaty work. The handle is 36 inches long and constructed with a strong fiberglass core for optimal durability. It comes with a limited lifetime warranty as well.
Something to look out for is that a few reviewers of this product have reported that the fiberglass handle cracks while undergoing extremely heavy or improper use. Users who are looking for a more powerful and durable option are advised to look into slightly heavier competitors.
Truper 32415 12-Pound Splitting Maul – Best Heavy Maul
This maul doesn’t mess around when it comes to splitting the heaviest and toughest blocks of wood. Weighing in at a hefty twelve pounds, it is suitable only for the most serious of users.
A great feature of this splitting maul is its rubber handle guard, which helps to protect against overstrikes. The blunt side of the head can also be used to drive stakes and wedges into the ground effectively.
Some reviews have complained that the handle of this maul is too short for the size of the head, saying that it makes it hard to swing effectively and deliver maximum power for the splitting swing.
Helko Werk Classic Scandinavian Splitting Axe – German-Made Maul
This proudly German-made splitting axe is constructed of high-grade carbon steel with a linseed oiled handle made from hickory wood. The total weight of the maul, including head and handle, is around seven and a half pounds.
The head of this axe is engineered to cut even the toughest of woods, and the reflective finishing polish both reduces friction and minimizes the risk of rust buildup on the blade.
Something to look out for in this maul is that it does not have a hardened poll. So if you are looking for a maul that can be safely hit with a large sledge to increase power, this might not be the maul for you.
Estwing Double Bit Axe – Good Lightweight Maul for Splitting Firewood
This double-bladed axe is ideal for more casual users who are only looking to split firewood or other soft woods, or for people who lack the training and upper-body strength to swing a heavier maul.
Clocking in at only thirty-eight ounces, most users should be able to swing this axe safely and effectively without overexerting themselves.
One great feature of this maul is its forged steel construction, which limits the risk of breaking at the seam between the head and the handle.
It comes with a heavy-duty ballistic nylon sheath to protect the hand-sharpened cutting edge when not in use. A final feature that is good to note is the patented shock absorbing grip, which makes using this maul much more comfortable and leads to fewer injuries and muscle fatigues.
One thing to look out for is that a few reviews for this axe have mentioned that the edge does not grind well, which could make it harder to keep sharp over time. The small size may also be a detriment for larger users who find it too small to swing comfortably and effectively.
Performance Tool M7111 – Best Cheap Choice
This splitting maul weighs in at a hefty 8 pounds but features a heavy-duty fiberglass handle with anti-shock, rubber cushion grips to ensure maximum easy of swinging despite its weight.
The tapered, well-honed blade of this splitting maul cuts through wood like butter and minimizes the number of swings needed to split a round or wedge.
Best Splitting Maul in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide
After reading through the summaries above of some of the best splitting mauls, you might still be feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the options presented to you. Especially for people who are purchasing their first maul, it’s hard to keep track of everything important.
Splitting mauls have been used throughout history to both split heavy pieces of wood, and to drive stakes and wedges into the ground with their driving head sides. When compared to a traditional axe, splitting mauls have a wider, wedge-shaped head that more easily opens up the grain of the wood, which makes splitting anything from logs to rounds to wedges much easier and more efficient.
The edges of mauls also tend to be less sharp than those of axes because they rely more on power and less on sharpness. This can be nice because it means that you have to sharpen the head of your maul with less frequency that you might have to for a traditional wood cutting axe.
Another feature that many splitting mauls have is a blunt end that can be used effectively and easily to drive stakes and posts into the ground, so whether or not you need this capability is another important thing to consider when looking around for your perfect tool.
Since the weight of the head is directly proportional to the power of the swing impact, it’s also worth looking into how much power you will need to split the wood given its toughness and density, so that you can purchase the perfect weight for your individual needs.
The tougher the wood, the longer you want the handle of the maul in general. This longer lever arm produces a greater power output for each stroke of the maul, which makes it easier and faster to split heavy wood without suffering extreme muscle fatigue.
One benefit of having a shorter handle, however, is that it can be easier to control. This might be a better choice for beginners who are only getting started with splitting wood since a handle that is easier to control is generally safer.
The material and construction of the handle are also critical to consider when purchasing a splitting maul. Some of the best models come with a rubber or plastic gripping surface. This really helps prevent the nasty blisters that can form by heavily using a bare wood surface.
It also gets less slippery during long, sweaty, work sessions, which can drastically increase the safety of the maul and lead to fewer accidents and missed swings. Different models have handles made of different materials as well. Wood handles are generally less expensive and perfectly adequate for lighter use or use on firewood and other softer woods.
If you are looking for ram ore heavy-duty option, it might be worth investing in a splitting maul that has a fiberglass or metal handle. Another option is a handle that is constructed of wood but reinforced with metal rods.
In these cases, it’s worth looking into how easy it is to purchase replacement handles and if it’s easy to replace them by hand, or if you would need to purchase an entirely new maul when the handle or the head wears out. Lifetime warranties, as well as the starting price of the maul both, come into play here as well.
Cost is another thing that is important to consider when looking at which splitting maul is right for you. Many products can be purchased for under fifty dollars, which is great if you’re looking for the most bang for your buck.
However, if you are a serious wood splitter, or dealing with especially tough or dense wood on a frequent basis, it might be worth investing in a more expensive model, since the more expensive models are generally better constructed and come with better warranties and accessories.
The more expensive models are also generally constructed with better materials, which mean they will last longer. So if you’re looking for a long-term investment, the higher price tag might be worth it.
What is the difference between an axe and a splitting maul?
This is one of the most perplexing questions for first-timers to the world of splitting mauls and axes alike. The two tools are so similar to one another that you’d be forgiven for mistaking one for the other. Simply put, axes are used to chop wood, while splitting mauls are more specifically used to split wood. Think about what you need to do. If it involves more chopping or a more diverse range of motion, you probably want an axe. If you are specifically dealing with splitting wood, you might want to opt for a splitting maul. A splitting maul splits wood by its strong wedge shape. Splitting mauls are narrower and even more wedge-shaped than axes. They are shaped like sledgehammers and, similar to them, a lot of their power comes from a long windup before coming down on the wood with a lot of force.
What about splitting axes?
These represent a middle ground between the two. If you need an axe that can do a bit of splitting work while still being used for traditional chopping work, this might be a good choice. However, if you need to do heavy-duty chopping work, you’ll want to opt for a traditional axe, and if you specifically need to split large piles of wood, you may want to consider a splitting maul.
How big is a splitting maul?
Different splitting mauls come in different shapes and sizes. You’ll want to take care to find one which is properly sized to your needs, as well as your personal strength. Remember, a larger splitting maul will require more strength to use. In terms of typical splitting maul sizes, those can range from as small as 14” to as long as 36”, with more options trending towards the latter.
How much do splitting mauls cost?
This is another point that will fluctuate depending on the type of maul you get. The typical price of a splitting maul is around $40 to $75, with higher end options potentially costing a little more. In that respect, it is important to note that when it comes to splitting mauls, you get what you pay for. Given the type of heavy-duty wood splitting work you plan on doing with it you don’t want to go cheap on a splitting maul.
What if the blade begins to chip?
That brings us to this point, and one of the most consistent fears of anyone who wields an axe or splitting maul – the prospect of it chipping or breaking. First and foremost, if this happens, you need to figure out the cause immediately. If it is the blade, you hardly want to waste more money on a new blade from the same manufacturer. If it has something to do with your swinging motion, you’ll need to change it immediately, lest you continue to chip and break blades. For example, if you are coming down on the wood awkwardly, or the blade is striking metal, rock, or similar hard surface beneath the wood, it can lead to chipping, cracks, and breaks. If chipping and breaking does occur, many splitting maul manufacturers offer replacement blades.
How do you sharpen a splitting maul?
Even though the majority of their splitting power comes from the force with which they are brought down on top of the wood, you don’t want your splitting maul to go dull. That means that you’ll need to sharpen your splitting maul eventually. To sharpen your splitting maul, you’ll need to buy a file or similar sharpening implement. This should be around a foot long. In addition, you may want to consider getting a file card or something similar to clear away the shavings. Then there’s the question of the angle at which you need to sharpen the blade. A popular answer here is 45 degrees, but you’ll want to be careful not to overdo it. Again, the main splitting power of a splitting maul is in bringing its thick wedge shape down on your target with great force. If you sharpen the blade too narrowly, you risk weakening it.
How often should you sharpen your splitting maul?
Let’s continue on this topic with a follow-up topic. After all, one of the most common mistakes newcomers to splitting mauls make is to sharpen it too narrowly or too often. While it may be beneficial to sharpen your splitting maul before each usage, don’t feel beholden to this. When it comes to sharpening splitting mauls, you should do it more when the blade is clearly starting to dull, rather as a ritual to be carried out no matter what.
Can splitting mauls be used to fell large trees?
Remember, a splitting maul is a specialized tool. It is specifically designed to split wood, not chop it. In fact, chopping motions run counter to the narrow wedge design which these types of blades have. For that reason, it isn’t a good idea to use a splitting maul to chop down trees.
Can you bust concrete with a splitting maul?
Given the fact that a splitting maul looks so much like a sledgehammer, it might be tempting to think you can use it to bust right through some concrete. However, that is simply not the case. On the contrary, taking a splitting maul to a block of concrete is a good way to induce chipping or shattering of the blade.
What features should you look for in a splitting maul?
First and foremost, you need to make sure you are getting a splitting maul that you can wield with ease and power. Take a look at the different sizes available and choose one that you can comfortably and accurately swing with heavy force. In addition, you’ll want to pay close attention to the handle. It should be well-constructed, securely fastened to the blade, and ergonomic so as to allow you to get a good, comfortable grip.
The market for splitting mauls is pretty large, which is not surprising considering how many people either have to split wood for their job, have outdoor rustic cabins that require splitting firewood for fuel, or something similar.
When purchasing a splitting maul, especially if this is the first tool that you have ever purchased, it is important to take a lot of different factors into consideration.
These include material, blade type, handle construction, handle length, weight, and price. These are a lot of factors, which is why we’ve created this handy buyers guide and review guide listing off some of the best splitting mauls for every consideration.
No matter if you’re looking for the best splitting maul on a budget, the good maul for tall users, the most lightweight product, the best wood splitting maul for driving stakes, or something else, this list is a great place to get started instead of sifting through the hundreds of reviews yourself.
We hope that this post helps narrow down your search for the perfect product for your individual needs and situation.