Well, winter’s comin’!
And it’s time to work hard for the firewood to keep your home warm. For that you need an efficient tool!
Splitting the wood logs along its grains is much easier with a splitting maul. A nice swing with good technique is all you need to split the log in half instantly.
But, how to choose the suitable splitting maul? What is the difference between a splitting axe and splitting maul? What should you choose? If you are bothered by these questions, then you’ve landed on the right page!
I will resolve all your questions and tell you how to choose the best splitting maul.
So, let’s dive in!
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Learn who builds the Best Splitting Maul
A Splitting maul is a tool similar to an axe in design; however, it is specifically designed to split the logs along its grains. A splitting maul is also known as a block buster, block splitter, sledge axe, hamaxe, or a go-devil. It is much heavier than a splitting axe or a normal axe, weighing around 6 to 8 pounds. It has a long handle with a wedge or cone shaped head.
Some people might not know the difference between a splitting maul and a splitting axe. That said, a splitting maul is different from an axe in the following ways:
- Weight: As mentioned earlier, a splitting maul is heavier than a splitting axe. A splitting axe weighs around 3 to 6 pounds, whereas a splitting maul weighs around 6 to 8 pounds.
- Head design: The head design of the two tools marks their stark difference. An axe head is tapered and sharper, whereas a maul’s head is wider wedged, flatter, and blunter.
- Handle length: Another major difference between the two is their handle length. A splitting axe has a shorter handle as compared to a maul. If you want to differentiate a maul from splitting axe, simply measure it with your arm. If the handle is shorter than your arm — then it is a splitting axe and if it is longer — then it is a splitting maul.
- Handle materials: A splitting axe’s handle is usually made of wood or some kind of composite materials, on the other hand, a splitting maul’s handle is made up of plastic, fiberglass, hockey or wood.
- Price difference: If you go to a market you’ll find both tools in the similar price range. However, you will see that you’ll have to pay more for a good quality maul than for a quality splitting axe.
A splitting axe is more versatile as compared to a splitting maul. You can split a wood log and also hack it into smaller pieces with a splitting axe; however, a splitting maul is more suitable for splitting logs and not cutting it into smaller pieces.
Having said that, you should consider the nature of work before opting for a tool. If you only want to split logs then a splitting maul or go-devil should be your choice. However, if you want to split and cut the wood logs then you are better off with a splitting axe.
we will discuss the various factors of a splitting maul to consider before purchase comprehensively in the next section.
There are many factors that you need to consider when you are buying a splitting maul. Sure, a splitting maul is a simple tool, but you should always consider these factors before buying a splitting maul:
1. Weight of the splitting maul
It is a major factor while purchasing a splitting maul. The heavier the maul the more efficient it is. Heavier mauls can deliver more force and split the wood in one shot, lighter mauls will require more effort for the same work. Now, you will also need to consider your physical strength so that you may use it efficiently and effectively.
Heavier mauls will exhaust you faster than a lighter maul, but they are more efficient. That said, strength is still a valid factor. You should not only consider your strength but your adult family member’s strength, so that they may use it properly as well.
2. How well can you balance the splitting maul?
Any tool needs to be balanced to function optimally, and that applies to a maul as well. Typically, a well balanced maul is extremely easy to use. The balance is determined by the weight of the maul’s head in relation to its handle length.
You may not require any effort to use a balanced splitting maul, just the swing of the maul with right technique will split the log in half. A perfectly balanced maul is handcrafted, and it is usually more expensive. Swinging the maul will tell if how balanced it is.
3. Socket and Single-Piece Forging
Another important thing to consider is the head mount. Durability of the tool mainly depends upon on its socket quality. Single-piece forging is the best as there is no need for a socket; therefore, head will not fall off during use. However, this does not mean that mounted head mauls are not durable.
Depending on the build quality durability varies, however, socketed mauls always have a chance of head falling off or loosing over time which can be easily fixed.
4. Handle of the splitting maul
It is very important for the handle to be ergonomic and high quality. The composite material and fibre glass is predominant in the modern mauls which is durable but may not as comfortable. Wood handle mauls are very comfortable but they are very expensive as well.
Premium models come with anti-slip, anti-shock, and anti-vibration features which make splitting logs easier and protect your hands from unwanted injuries. Pick a model which has a nice comfortable grip with high durability.
Obviously, wedge is the is the most important aspect of a splitting maul. A wedge should be sharp as possible despite of common beliefs and it should be heavy and big (6 pounds is usually more than enough). As mentioned earlier, more pounds will be more effective when splitting logs, but sharpness is important as well. A maul’s wedge should not have smooth edges like an axe but it should be sharp.
6. Budget for the splitting maul
Finally, everything boils down to your budget. I would suggest spend more and get a high quality maul which will last for years. If you cannot do that, simply look for a maul that provides the highest possible quality for the price.
First let’s talk about safety, always wear the following while doing the job.
You should wear a quality pair of goggles to protect your eyes from splinters. You don’t want a flying splinter to ruin your day or probably your eyesight.
2. Work boots or shoes:
Always wear work shoes or work boots to protect your feet from any kind of injuries.
They provide better grip while you using a splitting maul and protect your hands from blisters and other possible injuries.
Also, please keep away people especially children from your working area as they might get injured.
Now, let’s talk about how you can use a splitting maul effectively:
- First, make sure that you have a chopping block which is sturdy, stable, and leveled. It needs to be approximately about a foot tall or a height that is comfortable for you.
- Now, place the log on the chopping block. Please note that log should be from 16 to 20 inches, any more and you’ll have a hard time splitting the logs.
- Grab the maul’s handle from the bottom with your non-dominant hand, then grab the maul directly below the head with your dominant hand. Keep your feet shoulder width apart. This will be your starting position.
- Place the wedge’s sharp front along the vertical line or grain of the log.
- Raise the maul and then swing it aiming at the grain of the log. As you swing your log your dominant hand should slide along the handle and touch your non-dominant hand and hit the log.
- Snap! You’ve split your log.
- Place another log or place the piece of an already split log.
- Go back to your starting position to repeat the process.
I have discussed all the essential bits about the splitting maul. I hope you’ll find a suitable splitting maul for yourself. Ideally, a 6 pound maul is good as you can work with it for longer hours. Make sure you take safety measures that I have discussed.
If you have trouble splitting the log in the beginning, don’t worry. Practice and eventually finesse will come.
If you are reading this before the month of winters, I wish you a very happy Christmas and a safe and comfortable winters!
Also, Have a joyful day ahead!