Wed, 26th Oct, 2022

Splitting axe vs maul - Understanding The Difference

The splitting axe and maul are among the most effective manual cutting implements. The prevalence of manual cutting tools isn't expected to go away any time soon, despite the fact that we have many other kinds of machines to accomplish the same task. The two most popular wood-cutting tools—the splitting axe and the maul—are better suited than any other axes for splitting wood. The tools differ in a few ways even if they have the same goal. A splitting axe and splitting maul are primarily distinguished by the fact that an axe is lightweight, has a sharper cutting edge, and has a shorter handle. A maul's blunt, hammer-like edge is used alone or in conjunction with a wedge to pry open wood that has been cut.


A Splitting Axe: What Is It?

The large wooden handle and narrow, tapered head of a splitting axe are designed to split wood fibers rather than cut them. The head is constructed heavily to concentrate the force on the blades, which will attack the wood more forcefully and deeply. In the market, splitting axes come in a variety of sizes and materials from hundreds of various brands. The most typical materials used to create the blades of splitting axes are iron, steel, and copper.


A Splitting Maul: What Is It?

This tool, as its name implies, is also used to split wood fibers. A splitting maul is a tool used for chopping and pounding that has a long wooden handle and an extremely heavy wedge-shaped head. For splitting reasonably large and dense wood logs, mauls are better suited. Just about every other cutting tool has a head that is shorter and more tapered than a maul. Even while wedge-shaped blades are the most prevalent, semi-wedge and cone blades are also growing in popularity today. Due to the blunt poll side that resembles a hammer, mauls are occasionally referred to as sledgehammers.



Splitting Axe vs. Splitting Maul Differences

Many people confuse the terms "axe" and "maul" because of how strikingly similar both tools look. Regardless of what the general consensus is, the features and functionalities of the tools are highly varied.

To help you quickly distinguish between the splitter and maul, we've compiled a list of their most noteworthy differences below.

  • Weight

Pick the tool and weigh it if you're trying to determine whether an axe-like tool in a supply store is a maul. A maul weighs much more than any axe.

The large metal hammerhead raises the weight of a maul overall. A splitting maul typically weighs between 6 and 8 pounds.

The weight of the splitting axe typically ranges from 3 to 6 pounds. Most people prefer using splitting axes to cut ordinary firewood for camping or burning in fireplaces because of how lightweight they are.

  • Head Shape

The two instruments can be distinguished from one another by their head designs. In comparison to a maul, splitting axes have a finer and lighter head. Cutting edge or bit, blade, and eye typically make up the head of a splitting axe.

As the blade penetrates deeper into the fibers, a tapered cutting edge pierces directly through the wood. The axe's eye piece, which holds the head to the handle and keeps the axe from bursting out, is the next component.

The splitting axe cannot be used for hammering jobs since the opposing side of the blade is completely flat. A stainless steel coating protects the majority of axe heads, which are typically constructed of steel, iron, or copper, from rust.

Mauls, however, can be recognized by their long, thick, and blunt heads. Because of its wedge-like shape and short cutting edge, the maul head is easily identifiable. To push a nail inside the wood, the blade and poll side are more hammer-shaped.

The maul head is constructed of heavy-duty iron for increased sturdiness. The extra force with which this blunt head impacts the wood causes it to split along the grain. Splitting axe heads weigh half as much as splitting maul heads.

  • The Handle

Check the size of the handle if you can't identify the tools by their weight and head style. In order to even out the weight of both the head and the shaft, splitting mauls feature longer handles. Additionally, the handle makes it simpler to separate the blade from a wood log.

Injury risks are decreased because the long handle is farther off from your lower body. Typically, fibreglass, plastics, or metal are used to create the maul handles in order to adequately hold the heavy head.

Splitting axe handles, on the other hand, are typically made of wood or composites. Compared to wooden and metal handles, composite handles are typically more durable and lightweight.

Splitting maul handles are a couple inches longer than axe handles.

Consider comparing the instrument to the length of your arm. It is unquestionably an axe and not a maul if the tool is the same length as your arm.

  • Usage

The splitting axe is widely used to split wood due to its small weight. You can strike the wood with less power because of the compact head and short handle, which reduces hand fatigue.

In order to provide you with a firm and secure grasp over the handle, certain splitting axes have handles that are somewhat curved and oval in shape. The splitting axes can be used for a variety of tasks outside only cutting wood.

When manually splitting the thickest and heaviest wood, mauls are of great assistance. Digging deeply into the wood is made simpler by the additional weight. Softwood can be split in half with just one blow from the splitting maul.

However, the weight creates muscle aches, and eventually, you might feel worn out. In order to properly split the wood, you must also exert extra force. Mauls are mostly employed for dealing with the heaviest wood because of this.




You are now aware of the main distinctions between splitting axes and mauls. The desire to purchase any axe-like equipment for splitting firewood is understandable, but doing so may ultimately lead to utter frustration because only the splitting tools are capable of performing the task properly.

If you want to break wood frequently with the least amount of work, get a splitting axe. If not, use a strong, blunt splitting maul to precisely split even the hardest logs.