CAMPING & HIKING

Best Wood Splitting Maul: Cutting Through The Competition

Best Wood Splitting Maul
Daniel Carraway
Written by Daniel Carraway

Are you often annoyed when you’re trying to chop wood properly, but something’s just isn’t right? You wonder – what’s missing? Well, this article is going to make your day because we know the answer. We understand that finding the best wood splitting maul is a huge problem, because you don’t want just any axe, right?

Having a strong, durable and sharp tool is a must! It’ll make your job easier and stress-free. Even if you’re not planning on cutting large pieces of wood you need a sharp maul that will make your camping trips painless and enjoyable.

First, let us tell you that you should never rush your decision in buying a wood splitting tool. You should consider some important features in order to get the best performance out of your “partner in crime”, so keep reading as we covered all plus we did extensive research and found the best wood splitting mauls on the market today. Let’s start with the features first so you learn all that you need to know before buying one.

Our Top Picks

ProductWeightMaterialDefining featurePrice
Fiskars X275.85 poundsSteelForged steel bladeCheck price on Amazon
Gransfors Bruks3.53 poundsSteelSteel collar below the headCheck price on Amazon
Husqvarna Multi-Purpose2 poundsSteelSteel wedgeCheck price on Amazon
Estwing Fireside Friend4 poundsSteelShock reduction gripCheck price on Amazon
Tekton 32842.1 poundsFiberglassHeat treated and forged steel headCheck price on Amazon
Estwing Camper’s3.8 poundsSteelForged in one pieceCheck price on Amazon

Things to Consider Before Buying

First off, there are a lot of wood splitting mauls and other tools that you can add to your tool shed. Everyone knows this; however, not every axe or maul can be used the same way as you would any other kind of cutting tool. It depends on a lot of things.

For example, you wouldn’t use the same axe for chopping thick and fresh wood as you would for chopping up kindling. So it depends on the kind of work you’re doing. There are other important factors too, and the most important ones can be found below.

Height and Size

These two either go with each other, or they don’t. If they don’t, that means you just made it harder for yourself. There are a few unique mauls that come in the perfect size and weight. An axe or maul shouldn’t be too heavy or too big.

Axe in the Wood

Its size should fit your height, meaning that, if you’re shorter than the average person, you probably won’t handle your common large axe efficiently enough. Also, if you lack the strength to wield an axe of common weight, you need to use a different one. These are just some of the few things you should keep in mind while choosing your wood chopping tool because there is a match for everyone.

Material of the Blade

Another thing that also needs to be considered when choosing an axe is the material used in the construction of the axe or maul. Is it stainless steel? How strong is the handle? What type of wood is it made from? These are the questions you need to ask yourself while choosing. What type of metal the axe or maul are made of, is the first thing you should know.

Ax Blade

Buying a wood splitting tool that is made from weak and non-stainless metal is an amateur mistake. If you’re asking why, then just keep in mind that you’ll probably use the tool properly on 2-3 occasions, but a couple of days of it in a dark and humid place, will make it unusable. The edge of the tool will become dull really quickly, but not as quick as it would take the rust to cover up your axe or maul.

Material of the Handle

When it comes to the handle, today most of them are made out of hard plastic. However, most people prefer the old school wood handles, because they consider them more durable than the plastic ones, which is true. You should also know what size the handle of your axe or maul should be.

Well, there is only one certain way you can be sure the size is right, and that is if the length of the handle matches the length of your arm. If the handle is weak and it breaks easily, you can always replace it for a very cheap price, but if that does happen, that is a strong sign that your axe is not a quality one.

Axe Handle

You also better watch out where you buy your tools because it’s not a secret that at most hardware stores carry cheap tools made with from melted scrap, like from old cars. This is just begging for corrosion to take place overnight. These are the kind of facts you need to be aware of when choosing what tool to take home with you.

Balance

Another thing is checking the balance of the tool. Balance is very important because it greatly affects the quality of the chopping procedure. You check the balance of an axe by placing the head of the axe on your palm, so the lower end of the blade comes just above your index finger, and the pole just above your thumb.

Axe Balance

Neither end should actually touch your fingers in any way to determine how the head of the axe or maul rests. If it doesn’t, that means the tool is in perfect balance. This method is mostly used when checking the balance of single-bit mauls.

Thickness of the Blade

This isn’t a big issue usually, but the thinner the head, the better and quicker the job will be done. It’s actually pretty obvious, and this is the probably the first thing anyone checks when choosing an axe or maul.

Axe Blade

Since mauls are a heavyweight version of any wood splitting tool, there is a different way to check which one is the right one for you. A maul is not as precise as an axe when it comes to chopping wood because mauls are heavier, and rely on the sheer force when cutting.

Price

When it comes to the price, from our reviews below you’ll see that there’s a wide variety of wood splitting mauls on the market today and they all come at different prices. The price ranges from around $20 to $190, so you can choose one according to your needs and budget.

Axe

Of course, you do realize that if you are looking for perfection, you will have to pay more. On the other hand, if you need an axe for occasional use, and if it doesn’t have to be the best of the best, settling for a more affordable option will do the job quite fine as well.

Best Products on Today’s Market

Now that you’re informed enough about some of the most important facts when it comes to choosing a maul or axe, let’s start with the reviews.

As we already mentioned above, every axe or maul is different as not all of them can be used for everything. Let’s have a look at some of the best wood splitting mauls on the market. We listed 6 popular tools that are suitable for camping and hiking and our main priority was to give you a better insight on what you can get for the price you’re paying, a detailed comparison of all 6 mauls before you make a final decision.

Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe

Price: Approx. $50Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe

Weight: 5.85 pounds

Material: Steel

Specific features: Made in Finland, PermaHead design, FiberComp handle, forged steel blade, shock-absorbing FiberComp handle

Best use: Recommended for taller people, large and medium wood pieces

Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe is of perfect weight and dimensions, which makes it almost suitable for anyone. However, it is recommended for taller people. Its razor sharp edge and the low friction surface of the head makes it ideal for one-hit splits and getting the job done really quick. It is designed mainly to cut large and medium pieces of wood.

The axe has a specially improved grip at the end of the handle, that prevents the axe from slipping away from your hands. Also, there is a special chamber at the end of the handle, which absorbs the vibration, which spreads across the handle upon impact.

The head is inseparable from the handle, which is a huge plus when it comes to safety. The axe comes with a special sheath, which is also a carrying grip at the same time. You can lock the sheath, when you put it around the head of the axe, and unlock it at any time. The material is steel, which takes a long time to become dull.

PROS:

  • Shockproof handle
  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Forged steel blade
 CONS:

  • It might happen that it doesn’t cut some woods such as eucalyptus

Related: Most people who bought this maul also opted for Fiskars Axe and Knife Sharpener for approximately $20. Pretty affordable, right? It also has a safety guard that will protect your fingers and hands while sharpening your axe.

Check the price on Amazon

Gransfors Bruks Small Splitting Axe

Price: Approx. $190Gransfors Bruks Small Splitting Axe

Weight: 3.53 pounds

Material: Steel

Specific features: Steel collar below the head, protective leather sheath included, 20-year guarantee, protective

Best use: For cutting smaller pieces of wood

The Gransfors Bruks Small Splitting Axe is almost two times smaller and lighter than the previous one we reviewed, which makes it really easy to use. It’s mostly used for cutting smaller pieces of wood and chopping up kindling. You can bring it when going camping, hiking, or hunting.

The axe is super sharp and cuts as efficiently as possible. You will also have a good grip when using the axe, which really pays off when you’re cutting with just one hand. This small axe is perfectly balanced, which makes using it pure joy.

The material of the head is, of course, stainless steel. The Gransfors Bruks also comes with a sheath made out of leather, which is great for protecting the edge and maintaining maximum sharpness. All in all, even though maybe pricey, the axe justifies the high price tag and it will serve you for years and many logs that will come your way.

PROS:

  • Sharp and thin blade
  • 20 years guarantee
  • Sheath included
  • Strong
 CONS:

  • Price
  • Not for large logs

Related: Most people who bought this axe opted for this Lansky Puck Blade & Tool Sharpener that is easy to use and works with all types of mauls and blades. Except for mauls, “The puck” is ideal for sharpening shovels, hatchets, lawn mower blades and other chopping and cutting tools.

Check the price on Amazon

Husqvarna Multi-purpose Axe

Price: Approx. $80Husqvarna Multi-purpose Axe

Weight: 2 pounds

Material: Steel

Specific features: Includes a leather cover edge, multi-purpose axe, long handle, steel wedge

Best use: Cutting wood, chopping up kindling, limbing logs clearing and trimming branches or bushes

Husqvarna Multi-purpose Axe is lightweight axe can be used for several purposes, which is revealed in its name. Since it is small, it comes in handy when you’re limbing logs, trimming and clearing bushes or branches, chopping up kindling, and more. You can also use it normally when cutting wood.

However, the process would take too much of your time because of its size. You can carry the axe anywhere with you, like if you’re going hiking or camping, or for similar occasions. It is always recommended using small mauls, like this one, with one hand, because using it with two hands can add extra force to the impact, and that is how these small mauls go dull.

The head is strongly attached to the handle with, both a steel, and wooden wedge, which maxees out the safety of the axe. Its curved handle makes it more comfortable to use the tool. It also comes with a special leather sheath, so you can keep the edge from going dull, and protect the head from any additional damage.

PROS:

  • Lightweight
  • Multipurpose
  • Affordable
  • Strong head
  • Durable
 CONS:

  • It can happen that there’s a flaw in the forging that gets loose and makes this maul break in half

Related: Now that you have the axe, and if you already have a sharpening stone, the Norton Sharpening Stone Oil will be a nice addition if you want a full package. At only approximately $5, you’ll have everything for smooth sharpening.

Check the price on Amazon

Estwing Fireside Friend Axe

Price: Approx. $40Estwing Fireside Friend Axe

Weight: 4 pounds

Material: Steel

Specific features: Made in the USA, forged in one piece, shock reduction grip, the finest American steel, heavy-duty ballistic nylon sheath

Best use: Camping, hunting, hiking, great for chopping up timber and cutting large pieces of wood

You can bring Estwing Fireside Friend Axe with you when you’re going hiking, hunting, but it is mainly used for camping, which is one of the main reasons it was made in the first place.

Estwing Fireside Friend Axe is designed both for cutting larger pieces of wood and chopping up timber, it is the best tool you can bring outdoors. It will also serve you well in your backyard because cutting some bigger logs is no problem with this tool.

This axe has also a nylon vinyl grip that reduces the vibration and shock, whether you use it during cold, wet or hot weather. This unusual axe/maul is specially forged in one piece, and it is made out of the strongest construction steel out there, which makes it perfect for all kinds of purposes.

As for the edge, it’s pretty sharp and stays sharp, even after weeks of use.

PROS:

  • Strong
  • Affordable
  • Shockproof
  • Forged in one piece
 CONS:

  • It can happen that the paint flakes off
  • It’s a bit heavy

Related: Kindling Cracker Firewood Kindling Splitter is a nice addition to this great maul. It will help you split wood with less force. It’s easy to use and safe since you won’t have any blades near your hands.

Check the price on Amazon

Tekton 3284 Fiberglass Camp Axe

Price: Approx. $20Tekton 3284 Fiberglass Camp Axe

Weight: 2.1 pounds

Material: Fiberglass

Specific features: Heat treated and forged steel head, 50% fiberglass handle, polished finish, rugged poly jacket

Best use: Mountaineering, camping, hiking, clearing bushes, chopping up kindling

You probably won’t find a better axe to bring when you’re going camping, hiking or even mountaineering. Tekton 3284 Fiberglass Camp Axe is best used for chopping up kindling, clearing bushes and dense vegetation.

It’s simply another multipurpose tool. Its 50% fiberglass handle, with a special poly jacket covering it, which protects the axe from damage if you miss a strike.

This makes it also good for your standard wood splitting jobs since it is sharp and greatly protected. Since the material is super strong, you can always use it as an alternative hammer. You won’t damage the pole of the axe in any way when hammering nails for example.

As for the grip, this maul is designed to have an ergonomic shape and non-slippery rubber grip that will keep the axe and your hand in the right place. This way you’ll prevent any injury that can happen while chopping up some kindling.

PROS:

  • Durable
  • Strong
  • Sturdy handle
  • Price
 CONS:

  • You might have to sharpen it before you start using it

Related: Considering the fact that one of the weaknesses of this maul is that it’s not enough sharpened you’ll need this Bora Sharpening Stone. It is sold at approximately $6, so you won’t break a bank if you invest in a good sharpener.

Check the price on Amazon

Estwing Camper’s Axe

Price: Approx. $50Estwing Camper Axe

Weight: 3.8 pounds

Material: Steel

Specific features: Multi-purpose use, made in the USA, forged in one piece, heavy-duty ballistic nylon sheath, hard sharpened cutting edge, shock resistant

Best use: Hiking, camping, trimming trees, splitting wood

The Estwing Camper’s Axe is another multipurpose axe, that is perfect for camping, hiking, splitting wood, trimming trees, and many other activities. It can also be used for clearing branches, vegetation, and even chopping up some firewood and kindling.

This axe is every camper’s favorite, which is how it got its name. It is forged in one piece out of stainless steel, with a special nylon vinyl vibration reduction grip, that reduces the shock by up to 70%.

The edge comes sharpened, but you might want to spend some extra time to modify the edge in order to get the best performance. The edge is easy to maintain and the metal holds it well.

As for the handle, it’s made out of nylon which provides a nice, secure grip, which is important if you plan on using it during bad weather conditions. Its neck is pretty narrow and has really good sharp angles which may result in becoming uncomfortable.

It’s very light and easy to carry, but very strong and tough. It’s extremely durable, and weatherproof, with a very sharp edge and perfect balance.

PROS:

  • Shock resistant
  • Price
  • Sharp
  • Durable
  • Strong
  • Waterproof
  • Perfect balance
 CONS:

  • Doesn’t have a case
  • The coating is not as quality as advertised
  • Not a good splitting axe

Related: Considering the fact that the axe is not sold with the purse, but separated, you’ll need this a sheath. Manufactured by the same brand, Estwing #9 Replacement Sheath will provide safety for your maul.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrap Up

Buying a new axe or maul isn’t simple, especially even after you’ve read all the important facts and what you need to watch out for. If you’re ever confused when looking for a suitable axe or maul, ask about the tool you are buying from a helpful store assistant or send questions to the manufacturer if you’re purchasing online.

How to Choose Axe

If you love camping, hiking, if you’re a lumberjack or just someone who is looking for a proper wood splitting tool so you can add it to your shed, then you have a handy list of tools to choose from. You‘ve also learned how to know which axe or maul is the right one for you, and how to choose the tool properly, depending on your requirements.

The rest is up to you. Watch out for your safety when splitting, use the tools responsibly, keep them sharp, keep them undamaged, and enjoy the activity of chopping wood. Have you found a perfect chopping tool? We’d love to hear your opinion, questions or pictures of your mauls, so feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Carraway

Daniel Carraway

Daniel Carraway joined our team last year. He is a gear freak when it comes to hiking, climbing and camping. He went to REI Outdoor School to meet new people and learn best practices. Don’t even try to argue with him about the latest backpack or ice axe, he tried most of them. Daniel’s dream is to climb Mount Everest.