Splitting wood is one of the most efficient ways to cut a tree or log into large pieces of firewood…but only if it’s done right. If done incorrectly or haphazardly, literally half of the log can be converted into small shards of wood that will be left on the ground to rot. It’s a tremendous waste of firewood, but it’s also a waste that can be easily prevented with the right techniques.
However, there are two different correct techniques for splitting wood to avoid wasting wood in the manner that we have just described, and those two different techniques require two different tools respectively: a splitting axe and a splitting maul.
Between the two:
- The axe is lighter, sharper, and thinner. It splits the wood by cutting through the fibers of the wood. When done properly, you can split a log into two halves with a single strike.
- The wood splitting maul, on the other hand, is the polar opposite of an axe: it’s heavier, fatter, and the blade is more blunt. The maul works by exploiting an already existing crack in the fibers of the wood; the blunt, V-shaped head will force the crack to open with much pressure, thereby splitting the wood in two.
Both the axe and the maul will get the job done, but there’s a distinct advantage to selecting the wood maul. Because the axe has a sharpened blade, it requires more special care and attention. It can dull more quickly over time, especially when you miss your target and the axe head buries itself deep in the dirt. You may think that a dull axe is essentially the same as a maul, but that’s not true. The maul is heavier, longer, and the blade is already bulkier than the axe. Sorry, but a dulled axe is going to be a nearly useless tool compared to the axe.
While splitting axes definitely have their place, the wood maul will always be the longer lasting tool. That being said, here are two of the best splitting mauls you can choose from:
Gransfors Bruks Splitting Maul w/Collar Guard
The Splitting Maul by Gransfors Bruks is a hammer in the maul world. One of the best wood splitting mauls you can purchase, the Gransfors Bruks put cutting edge technology into the design thanks to the durable, hickory handle and cheek flare wide blade.
One of the best aspects of the Gransfors Bruks is its balance. Splitting mauls are naturally heavier than splitting axes, but the weight of them alone can put a lot of strain on even the strongest users.
Five and a half pounds of the total 7.3 pound weight of this maul is in the blade alone, which gives a lot more power into each swing and thus means more work can be completed in a lesser amount of time. In contrast to this, many other mauls have nearly as much weight in the handle as they do in the blade, which throws of balance and results in less swinging power.
The quality of the steel is also noteworthy. Many owners of the Gransfors Bruks’ splitting maul have reported that the steel holds an edge for several years after being taken out of the box. It just proves how Gransfors Bruks’ is dedicated to returning to the same level of quality mauls exhibited over a century ago, in direct contrast to many of the cheap, low quality mauls that have taken up the market in recent years.
Splitting Maul Specifications:
Handle Length: 31 inches
Axe Face: 2.5 inches
Overall Weight: 7.3 pounds
Head Weight: 5.5 pounds
Handle Material: Hickory
Country of Origin: Sweden
Truper 8-Pound Splitting Maul
Considering that Truper has been in the tool making business for four decades and counting, it’s safe to say that they know how to make a high quality splitting maul. Making use of modern and advanced technology, this maul uses a drop forged maul round, bevel edged striking face to deliver much power with each strike. The crack in the fibers of your log will stand no chance against an accurate swing from the Truper.
But what really makes the Truper one of the most ergonomic mauls on the market is the double injected fiberglass handle that’s additionally equipped with a rubber guarded handle. This allows for a very comfortable and controlled swing, but even if you miss your target, the rubber guarded handle is still there to absorb the shock of the blow.
All in all, the Truper eight pound splitting maul is easily one of the most valuable mauls you could select from. Whether your pounding frozen wood in the thick of winter or cutting down a tree to cut into smaller logs, the Truper will get the job done thanks to its cutting edge technology, long and ergonomic handle, and bevel edged striking blade that are unmatched by much of what else is on the market.
Splitting Maul Specifications:
Total Weight: 9.5 pounds
Total Length: 36 inches
Blade Length: 8.5 inches
Head Width: 2.7 inches
Handle Length: 35.5 inches
Blade Material: Steel