Best Splitting Mauls (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
Get that fire ripping with these top mauls.
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.
BY Hank O'Hop / LAST UPDATED ON February 22, 2021
A crackling fire in your favorite room of the home is one of the most incredible things to experience when temperatures drop. Or maybe you prefer gathering around a roaring bonfire. But if you're buying firewood one bag at a time, it can become costly. The most frugal way of ensuring that your stack of firewood is always well-stocked for when you need it is to cut your own. An added benefit to this is that you can even use it to take care of the mess that tree made when it was downed during a storm, clean up your yard, and get some free firewood.
While it is possible to do this with a standard ax, it is just simply not the right tool for the job. A proper maul will make all the difference in the process and is something you must invest in if you intend to take this route. Believe it or not, there's a lot to consider when selecting one. That's precisely what you have us here to help you with!
Superior design using a composite handle. This model is lightweight, affordable, and above all else, effective.
- Composite handle reduces the overall weight of the tool
- Material is also stronger than steel and wood
- Hollow handle allows minor production flaws to create major failures
Handy splitting tool that can function as an ax or a maul. It is the perfect choice for use while camping, but can be used at home as well.
- Very affordable option, but still very durable
- Ability to chop or split wood makes it a great tool to keep anywhere
- Splitting performance is sacrificed to increase cutting capabilities
This maul has a 32-inch fiberglass handle and a five-pound steel wedge-shaped head. You can use it to split wood and for landscaping and demolition.
- Maul is precise and has enough leverage to split hardwood
- Well-balanced and absorbs shock well
- Feels good in your hands
- Handle may break after a short period of use
- Some users claim it's not heavy enough
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Splitting Mauls
- Split wood quickly. With proper form and a good maul, you can split wood exceptionally quickly. While it may not be as convenient as using splitting machines, it’s hard to beat a traditional maul for small jobs or for stacking firewood for a single home. Not to mention, they are far more affordable than machines.
- No power necessary. A significant advantage of mauls is that they do not require any power, just elbow grease. That means that no matter where you are, you can use it to get the job done. No power also means no noise. Which means they do not require you to wear ear protection during operation.
- Great exercise. Perhaps the best part about using a splitting maul is that it’s a great form of exercise. While there are risks associated with misuse, it’s still going to give you a great workout that other tools simply cannot.
Types of Splitting Mauls
Standard vs. Short Handle
A splitting maul is a splitting maul, and there are not many variations in their design. However, size is a significant characteristic that is subject to change. A smaller handle and a lighter head are ideal for small projects or splitting wood in remote locations, such as a campsite. A longer handle and heavier head are better for long jobs or use for stocking up wood for your home. The more massive head and increased leverage will make quicker work of splitting logs, which is why you want these characteristics when it is feasible.
In 1923, Estwing entered the industry with a sole focus on creating the best possible striking and struck tools you can buy. It is headquartered in Rockford, Ill., and use its 100 years of experience to produce fine instruments such as the Estwing Fireside Friend Axe, Wood Splitting Maul and the Estwing Special Edition Camper's Axe.
Founded in 1649 and headquartered in Helsinki, Fiskars is Finland’s oldest company and one of the oldest companies in the western world. With more than 300 years of experience in ironworking, it's no surprise it is capable of producing excellent tools such as the Fiskars 751130-1001 Pro IsoCore 2.5 lb. Maul and the Fiskars 378841-1002 X27 Super Splitting Axe.
Based in the Rhine Valley of Germany, Helko Werk has been in business since 1844. Right out of the gate, it acquired a reputation for developing premium-quality axes. After nearly 200 years, it's no surprise to find that products such as the Helko Werk Germany Vario 2000 Heavy Log Splitter still live up to the reputation.
Splitting Maul Pricing
- Under $50: Basic and small splitting mauls can be purchased in this price range. While they are not as fancy as high-dollar options, they are still functional.
- $50-$100: Better quality mauls with premium handle designs and unique characteristics typically exist within this price range. Synthetic handles are prominent.
- $100 and up: Mauls priced at over $100 feature premium construction throughout. From a specially designed head to a carefully shaped handle, every inch of the maul is built to perform.
Keep in mind that the operation of a splitting maul is very dependent on a good grip. Not only because it will aid in performance, but for safety purposes as well. You should always make sure the model you select feels good in your hand. It should be something that you can hold onto easily and won’t cause any form of discomfort that might force you to release your grip on the tool.
A splitting maul may be used in various places. For camping or remote work, a smaller maul may be more desirable. But for prolonged jobs or situations that do not require you to carry it over a long distance, a larger model is desirable. You should also be sure that the model you purchase is of a weight you can easily control. If you are looking for something exceptionally easy to carry, you should review our picks for the best survival hatchets.
Back to the handle, it must be sturdy. Of course, it must be able to withstand harsh impacts. Off swings or logs with a large knot can stop the splitter dead in its tracks. A poorly constructed handle may not be able to handle this type of impact and crack. This can be very dangerous to the person swinging the maul and anyone else who is nearby.
- Shock-Absorbing Grip. A maul will be dealing serious blows, and the force will be transferred to your hands. A shock-absorbent grip is highly desirable because of this. This is an incredibly vital characteristic to consider if you are going to be using the maul for prolonged periods. However, for short, intermittent use of a traditional wooden handle will suffice.
- Sheath. A maul doesn’t have to be razor-sharp like an ax. Still, a sharp edge is essential to the tools function. A dual blade will slow the process and even impede it entirely. Therefore, it is worth protecting the sharpened edge whenever possible. Some models do come with a sheath to help you do just that.
- Geometrically Shaped Handle. Most mauls feature a straight, tapered handle to help you get a good grip on the tool. However, there are many with a curved handle. This is used to help increase the accuracy of swings, but there is much debate over whether it provides results. However, it is still a superior design and is worth considering.
Best Splitting Mauls Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- A maul is not an ax and is not intended for chopping. Splitting is the intended purpose and all you should use a maul for. If you are looking for an ax, check out our review of the best survival axes.
- Having good form and technique will impact performance more than any characteristic of a splitting maul. It is also the only way to prevent harming yourself or those around you.
- You should always be careful not to select a maul that is too big to use. If you cannot safely manage the weight, you should not use it. Again, a camping hatchet may be something to consider in situations where a smaller and lighter tool is ideal.
- Splitting wood is tiring work as it is very physical. Whenever you begin to feel fatigued or worn out, you should take a break; otherwise, you are creating a risk for yourself and others.
- Before swinging a maul, be sure you aren’t putting anything of value or anyone at risk. Pieces of the log are bound to go flying, and there is always the risk of an accident.
Q: What is the best splitting maul?
Our top pick is the Fiskars 378841-1002 X27 Super Splitting Axe. Over 300 years of experience is hard to overlook when it comes to selecting any tool. However, there are many fantastic options on the market. So, it comes down to personal preference and budget.
Q: Is a maul good for splitting wood?
A splitting maul is designed specifically for splitting wood. With that said, they are very good at splitting wood.
Q: How do you replace a splitting maul handle?
Replacing a handle is a process that relies on the manufacturer’s design. However, it typically only requires some basic hand tools to perform.
The Fiskars 378841-1002 X27 Super Splitting Axe is our favorite splitting maul on the market right now. That is because of its simple yet effective design. But we do know that the Cold Steel Trail Boss Axe is something many folks are more likely to consider because it’s a great price and exceptional performance.
We want to know what you’re more likely to purchase! What is the reasoning behind your decision?