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Best Wood Splitting Mauls: Review & Buying Guide 2020

If you have a front lawn or a backyard to maintain, a tool that efficiently cuts wood is great to have. A woodcutting tool like an axe allows you to split, fell, or shape wood –tasks that you are bound to perform during the winter season if you have a fireplace to keep warm. There are many woodcutting tools available in the market but it’s good to know the difference between each one of them. First, there’s the typical splitting axe which is designed to break apart the wood along its grain. The weight range of a splitting axe is three to six pounds and its head is tapered. While using the axe, the downward motion produces force which splits the wood that you are working on.

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Second, there’s the best wood splitting maul which many mistake for a typical axe. This woodcutting tool is heavier than a splitting axe – it weighs around six to eight pounds. If a splitting axe has a tapered head, a wood splitting maul has a pointed head and it’s more similar in structure to a sledgehammer. The handle is also longer, and the blade is duller than a splitting axe. Instead of the downward force causing wood to split, the sheer weight and force applied while using a splitting maul is what makes the wood break. If there’s one disadvantage of using a splitting maul, it’s the fact that the user will get tired more quickly because of its sheer weight and the energy that will be spent swinging the woodcutting tool.

Comparing these two, when is it better to choose a wood splitting maul? If you only need to work on smaller chunks or pieces of wood, a splitting axe does the job. But if you plan to work on larger chunks of wood, the splitting maul is the better choice. The heavier weight and design of the tool provides additional woodcutting power. Of course, you can always go with electric woodcutting tools like a chainsaw but if you want to use your muscle power when cutting wood, a splitting maul would be a great manual tool for you to have.

In the next section, we will take a look at the top ten wood splitting mauls available in the market today.

Top 10 Wood Splitting Mauls Review

1. Browning 322231 Knife, Outdoorsman Axe

Dimensions: 28 x 10 x 4 inches
Weight: 2.6 pounds

Browning is a brand known for its outdoorsy products, and their version of a woodcutting tool is the Browning 32231 Knife – Outdoorsman Axe. It weighs 2.6 pounds with a black handle. To ensure that it can cut, split, or fell wood efficiently, the head of the axe is designed with a concave grind. The edge is convex and the blade is made from high-quality metal to provide extreme cutting ability. The handle has a tapered tail and when you purchase this Outdoorsman Axe, the package includes a nylon leather sheath. Living up to its company motto of ‘The Best There Is’, the Browning Outdoorsman Axe is a top choice for those looking for a woodcutting tool.

2. CRKT Freyr Axe: Outdoor Axe with Deep Beard Design

Dimensions: 16.13 x 5.46 x 1.19 inches
Weight: 1.79 pounds   

Next is the Columbia River Knife & Tool (CRKT) Freyr Axe. Described as an outdoor axe with a “deep beard” design, it has a blade made from forged carbon steel and a hickory wooden handle. For the individual features, let us first look at its unique deep beard design. Most axes have a trapezoidal shape but the Freyr axe looks like an angular letter L with a long outer edge. The unusual shape makes for better wood chopping and more controlled cuts. The blade is made from hot-forged 1055 steel, making it ultra-strong and durable. To protect the material, a non-glare magnesium phosphate coating was applied to the blade.

Aside from the Freyr axe, CRKT offers other woodcutting models including the Birler, Cimbri, and the Woods Chogan T-Hawk. The Freyr axe has a blade length of 4.528” and an overall length of 16.125”. For extra strength and swinging power, the handle is made from Tennessee Hickory wood which is shaped for ergonomic grip. Designed by Elmer Roush, the principle behind the deep beard shape is to echo the Viking style – balance, burly, but with a modern twist. This wood splitting maul is available at Amazon.com and comes with a limited lifetime warranty that covers any defects in workmanship or material.

3. Council Tool WC20PA19C Wood-Craft Pack Axe, 19-Inch

Dimensions: 19.5 x 9 x 3 inches
Weight: 3.79 pounds

Another brand of tools for the outdoors that’s proudly American made is Council Tool. They have the Council Tool WC20{A19C Wood-Craft Pack Axe. The handle measures 19 inches in length and is made from hickory for durability. The blade is made from 5160 steel and weighs two pounds. This makes each swing powerful enough to cut, fell, or split wood. The edge of the head is manufactured using heat treatment on both ends. To ensure that the tool stays ultra-sharp, a Flat Grind of 25 degrees was used during the manufacturing process. Other standout features of the Council Tool Wood-Craft Pack Axe are its premium curved handle and the unique shape of the head to maximize the impact during woodworking activities. The package comes with a mask made from high-quality leather, which keeps the blade safe and sharp during storage.

4. Estwing Double Bit Axe – 38 oz Wood Splitting Tool

Dimensions: 17.19 x 7.5 x 1.25 inches
Weight: 7 ounces  

Pure black, blue or black-and-leather? These are the color options that you have when buying the Estwing Double Bit Axe. Estwing manufactures axes, outdoor tools, pry bars, nail hammers, and geological tools. The Double Bit Axe is a wood splitting maul which is made from forged steel and has a grip that’s designed to reduce shock. The shape of the blade is that of a typical axe – with the two blades curving outwards and it’s hand-sharpened. It is drop-forged using a singe piece of American steel, ensuring utmost strength and durability.

The axe comes with a heavy-duty, ballistic nylon sheath to protect the hand of the user, as well as the edge of the blades. The handle is made with a shock reduction grip design. Despite its sheer strength when swung, the axe is comfortable to hold and reduces the vibration of the impact by as much as 70%. Suitable for chopping small trees, splitting firewood, kindling, and cutting small trees or branches, the Estwing Double Bit Axe is an excellent wood splitting tool that will give you the best value for your money.

5. Estwing Sportsman’s Axe – 12″ Camping Hatchet with Forged Steel Construction & Genuine Leather Grip           

Dimensions: 12.5 X 4.75 X 1.13 inches
Weight: 1.38 pounds

Another one from Estwing is the Sportsman’s Axe. It’s a 12-inch camping hatchet which has a forged steel construction and genuine leather grip. One look at this world-famous 12-inch axe and you will see how much craftsmanship went into it. The axe is forged in one piece, making it ultra-durable and visually striking. The package includes a ballistic nylon sheath to protect the blade while in storage. The handle of the Estwing Sportsman’s axe is also a beauty, with its genuine leather grip that’s sanded by hand then lacquered.

To make sure that the axe does its job well, the edge of the blade is hand-sharpened, tempered for strength, and fully polished from the head to the neck. Estwing has been making outdoor tools for more than 90 years so this is really from a brand that you can trust. Aside from the Sportsman’s Axe and the Double Bit Axe, Estwing has other product variants like the Camper’s Axe.

6. Estwing Camper’s Axe – 26″ Wood Splitting Tool with All Steel Construction & Shock Reduction Grip

Dimensions: 26 x 7 x 1 inches

Weight: 7 ounces

Estwing has a quite comprehensive line of gardening tool products like the Camper’s Axe, a 26” wood splitting tool with an all-steel construction and shock reduction grip. Just like the camping hatchet, this one is crafted from high-quality materials, with an unmatched design that’s built for superior performance and utmost durability. There is no possibility of the head being separated from the handle because of its forged precision construction where the steel extends from the neck all the way to the head. The blade is hand-sharpened then polished to ensure durability. You can take your pick from the 16-inch or 26-inch size – select the one that best suits your wood splitting and chopping needs. Another aspect of the design that makes this axe stand out is the handle which is designed with the patented rugged shock reduction grip. The grip is bonded to the handle so there is no possibility of dangerous, accidental slips. Aesthetically, the Estwing Camper’s Axe is a real beauty so this is one woodcutting tool that you should consider adding to your gardening arsenal.

7. Hults Bruk Bjork Splitting Axe

Dimensions: 30 x 9 x 1 inches
Weight: 4.8 pounds

If you’re looking for a hatchet, felling axe, splitting axe, or a double-headed axe, a brand that you can rely on is Hults Bruk. They have the Hults Bruk Bjork Splitting Axe which has a blade that’s made from solid Swedish steel. The process behind making the steel head is blasting the material into shape then applying clear lacquer on the shaft which has a curved shape. It looks as classic as an axe can get with its steel blade and solid American hickory handle. The handle measures 30 inches in length and linseed oil is applied as treatment to extend its lifespan. With its weight of almost five pounds, the Hults Bruk Bjork splitting axe does the job well if you are looking for a wood splitting maul.  

8. Spear & Jackson 3765LM Log Splitting Maul, 6.5-pound

Dimensions: 35.07 x 8.08 x 2.56 inches
Weight: 8.47 pounds

Since the late 1700s, Spear & Jackson has been manufacturing tools for gardening, agriculture, and landscaping. If you’re looking for an axe from this brand, try the Spear & Jackson 3765LM Log Splitting Maul which weighs a significant 6.5 pounds. The head is smaller than a typical splitting maul but it does the job well since it’s made from drop forged carbon and is tempered for extra durability. The blade of the head has a hooked end, making it the perfect tool to use for wood cutting. The handle is made from quality hickory wood for durability, measuring 885 mm. Since it comes from a brand that’s been in the business for several decades, there’s no doubt that purchasing this Spear & Jackson Log Splitting Maul is a buying decision that you are not bound to regret.

9. True Temper 1113090800 Ames Company Splitting Mauls, 34″

Dimensions: 3.5 x 6.75 x 34 inches
Weight: 15.27 pounds

For more than two centuries now, True Temper has been the gold standard in manufacturing dependable products for the outdoors. Check out the True Temper Ames Company Splitting Maul, which comes in an orange/red/black color combination. The head of the axe looks smaller than typical wood splitting mauls but it is still ideal for splitting and chopping wood. The tool weighs a significant 12 pounds and the all-steel design ensures utmost strength and durability. The head is made with molded polypropylene while the 34-inch steel handle has a no-slip, rubber grip surface for safety. If you need a no-nonsense tool that cuts into wood efficiently, this is the perfect tool for you to have.

10. Wilton Tools 50836 8 lb. Head – 36″ BASH Splitting Maul

Dimensions: 38 x 9 x 3 inches
Weight: 10 pounds

Wilton Tools has been manufacturing outdoor products, machine and bench vises since 1941. Their version of an axe is the Wilton Tools 36-inch BASH Splitting Maul. It has a black-and-green body with the recognizable Wilton logo in the handle. The handle is made using unbreakable handle technology – it has a steel core that prevents breakage during overstrikes while you are working on wood. There’s a safety plate that prevents the head from being dislodged – a problem that’s commonly seen on cheaper axes. It also has an anti-vibe neck with a design that’s tapered to prevent vibrating motions during every strike on the wood. Finally, it has a no-slip grip handle which is made from vulcanized rubber for a strong, secure hold. With all these features and the fact that it comes from a reliable brand, there’s no question that the Wilton BASH splitting maul is one of the best products of its kind out there.

More Tips when Buying a Wood Splitting Maul

When buying an axe for your home, make sure that you know the difference between a splitting axe and a wood splitting maul. If it’s the latter that you decide you need, here are a few more tips to consider when buying one.

Look for a model from a reliable brand.

There’s nothing wrong with trying out new brands in the market but if you are going for reliability, it is better to go with companies that have been manufacturing outdoor tools for a long time.

How do I decide which wood splitting maul is right for me?

As mentioned earlier, there is a difference between a typical axe and a splitting maul. If you think that you will always be working on large chunks of wood because you live in a suburban area where there are lots of trees, a splitting maul is the perfect tool for you to have. The heavier combined weight of the handle and the steel head produces more power with each swing, so you don’t have to exert too much muscle power when working. If you love working with wood, then why not get both a basic splitting axe and a splitting maul?

How about warranties and safety features?

One of the most common problems when buying an axe is that the head easily separates from the wooden handle. This will not just turn your purchase into a total waste, but it can lead to freak accidents as well. Never compromise price with safety so when buying outdoor tools like  a wood splitting maul, make sure that it has a lifetime warranty at the most, or a limited warranty at the least. Look for safety precautions like a design where the head is almost impossible to be separated from the handle – a drop-forged construction should do the trick. It’s also better to look for products with a protective casing, especially if the blade of the axe is extra sharp

What safety precautions should I take when using a wood splitting maul?

When working with a splitting maul and wood, make sure that the blade is strong enough not to chip. If you exert too much force, chips of steel and wood could fly off and hurt your eyes – so always wear protective eye gear, maybe a mask for the particles not to enter your mouse and nose, and woodworking gloves to protect your hands.

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