The best splitting maul makes wood chopping much easier than using an axe.
A maul differs from axe in construction and weight. The head has a different profile and its weight is more.
This provides you with a much easier time chopping wood. Let’s look at a few top-rated mauls and provide a buyers guide in this article.
Weight and shape
For a wood-splitting axe, commonly referred to as a maul, to be effective it must be heavy and have a wider head, or “poll,” than a standard axe.
Mauls should weigh from six to eight pounds, but can be heavier for a larger, stronger person, with some mauls weighing as much as 12 pounds.
The larger the splitting maul is the less likely it is to become jammed in the wood. This means you should select a maul as heavy as you can comfortably handle.
Handle design and composition
A good maul handle should be straight and long and will typically have a nearly-rounded shape. The rounded contour of the handle allows for a firm two-handed grip that will aid in swinging and directing the maul.
Maul handles are traditionally made from a hardwood, like oak or hickory.
However, synthetic materials are becoming more popular as handle choices. This is because man-made materials, like fiberglass and high-carbon steel, are stronger than wood and will last longer.
Some maul handles come with rubber or plastic grips designed to increase hand comfort and absorb heavy blows. Some handles will also have chemical finishes designed to protect it from damage.
A longer handle allows for a more powerful swinging force to split large chunks of wood.
A good length for the handle of a splitting maul is between 29 inches and 35 inches. The length of the handle will depend on the weight of the head and the height of the user.
The design of wood mauls work on the physical principle of the length of the handle times the weight of the maul equaling the force applied to the wood.
This means the longer the maul handle is the more leverage it will create while being swung. This allows the user to apply less physical force to carry the head of the maul through the wood.
While the handle of a maul should be relatively long compared to a standard axe, the handle must be short enough so it can be swung with confidence and accuracy. A maul that is unwieldy can become dangerous if it cannot be controlled.
The maul’s head design accounts for its reliability and splitting ability. A high-quality steel head can stand up to years of hard use.
Some mauls have drop-forged, heat-treated heads to increase strength and durability.
Some heads have a reinforced-steel collar just below the neck. This makes it less likely the head will come lose from the handle from constant use.
Some maul heads are slightly longer with beveled corners designed to drive the wedge into more dense hardwoods.
A big-name manufacturer will add to the price of a maul. However, it is a fact that trusted makers, with a high-quality reputation to uphold, are typically commitment to the excellence of their goods.
Considering the difference in cost between a maul made by a well-know company and a lesser off-brand manufacturer, spending a few dollars more for a well-made maul is a sound investment.
You should taking all the quality, design and physical characteristics into account when choosing a maul.
The best splitting maul for you is one that meets your personal preferences, expectations and wood-splitting ability.
If you regularly split cord after cord of firewood with huge slabs of wood, a maul with a powerful, wide-angled heavy head will probably be your best choice.
If you are a tall and hefty professional lumberjack who chops wood for a living then a heavier maul with a long handle is a good choice.
On the other hand, if you are shorter of stature without the upper body strength of a weightlifter a short-handled maul at the lighter end of the scale will be your best bet.