Getting the wrong wood splitting maul can result in you spending hours upon hours of extra work over the course of a winter. The best models will frequently split your wood in one hit. But it’s not always easy to tell which mauls live up to that dream when you’re shopping online, and that can mean a lot of extra time spent in the cold.
We think that everyone should be able to shop online with confidence. Our reviews are designed to show you the good and the bad on every model, so that you understand each model fully, and can find the one that is right for you.
We’ve also created a buyer’s guide. If you’ve never bought a wood splitting maul, or you just want to make sure that you’re getting the best value for your money, this is the resource for you. In it, we walk you through everything you need to know in order to make a satisfying buy.
|Husqvarna 30" Wooden Splitting Axe|
|Helko Werk Vario 2000 Heavy||36"||4.7/5|
|Fiskars x27 Super Splitting Axe 36 Inch|
|Estwing 14" Wood Splitting Maul EFF4SE||14"||4.6/5|
|TABOR TOOLS J55A Splitting Axe||32"||4.3/5|
Husqvarna may be known for their power tools, but the Husqvarna 30″ Wooden Splitting Axe shows that they can compete in other areas just as well. The head on this model is truly a thing of beauty. It’s hand-forged in Sweden, and it’s one of the best heads you’ll find on the market today. It’s a little small for general-purpose use, but it’s just the right size for splitting firewood, and the blade tends to come sharp right out of the box. It also sharpens well, so if you use it enough to wear it down, it’s not hard to get it back to a factory-quality edge.
Plus, this model comes with an axe cover, so it’s easy to keep it in good condition when it’s not in use. As a whole, this tool is a bit heavier than your average splitting axe—you get more power with each swing, though it’s also going to wear you out a bit faster. The handle is good, but infrequently cracks or breaks. If the quality was more consistent, we would have no complaints about this model. Overall, it would be hard to find a better wood splitting maul.
The Helko Werk Vario 2000 Heavy is a premium model that most people should at least consider before they make their final decision. This model comes with a carbon steel head, giving it one of the strongest and most durable blades on the market. It also comes with a wider wedge than most mauls, giving it a lot of splitting power. Plus, it’s almost double the weight of the previous model. Since the handle is longer, it’s easy to take this axe in two hands and make the most of that extra weight. The curved handle also increases the torque on each blow, allowing you to make short work of even green wood.
This model also comes with a high-quality sheath, so it’s easy to make sure that this axe doesn’t come to harm while it’s not in use. Unfortunately, the Helko Werk Vario is expensive. It’s not that you can’t get use out of it, but it’s best for people who are going to use it frequently. If you’re not going to use it a lot, you’ll struggle to recoup the cost over time. Still, if you’re looking for a premium option, this is a good maul to choose.
The Fiskars x27 Super Splitting Axe 36 Inch is a model that does a lot of things right and few things wrong. It comes with potentially the best overall blade on our list, which is a huge plus when you’re shopping for a splitting maul. Plus, the handle is extremely strong. Made from a synthetic material, it manages to be lightweight, but incredibly strong at the same time. That allows you to get a lot of power without having to exert yourself too hard. Plus, the handle wraps around the head, making it virtually impossible for the two to accidentally separate.
You can get this model for about half of what you’d pay for the top model on our list, making this model the best overall value for the money. If you’re looking to get a great deal on a splitting maul, then look no further than this model. What ultimately keeps the Fiskars out of the top two is its handle. While strong, it can sometimes be slick, which makes wearing gloves a good idea. Still, if you’re looking to get a high-quality tool at a surprisingly good price, you’ll be very happy with this model.
The Estwing 14” is a great choice for those looking for a wood splitting maul. The head on this model is forged in one piece. That makes it one of the most durable ones you’ll find on this list, and while most of the models listed here don’t have a problem with separating from the handle, this one is the least likely to do so. This model also comes with a shock-reducing grip, which is something that many long-term wood splitters will appreciate. Plus, it comes with a sheath, so it’s easy to keep this model in great shape when it’s not in use.
However, the paint easily scratches on this model, which isn’t a serious problem but does suggest that the manufacturer is cutting corners in at least this one area. It also means that this tool looks like it has aged years after just a few uses. Also unfortunate is the fact that this maul is relatively short and has questionable balance, which costs it a few spots. Still, if you’re looking for a decent, inexpensive maul, this model isn’t a terrible choice, though it’s not going to be an effective model for most.
The TABOR TOOLS J55A Splitting Axe has some nice features, but some problems with it ultimately knock it down to the last place on our list. It comes with a fiberglass handle, which gives it a nice mix of light weight and power. It’s not going to be as durable as some of the other models on our list, but it’s not nearly as expensive, either. It also comes with a great rubberized grip. It’s easy to wield this axe, even when you’re not using gloves. Plus, this model features excellent balance, which is good given how heavy it is.
This monster weighs in at more than 8 pounds. Some people will be able to effectively convert the extra weight into increased power, and others will just find themselves worn out more quickly than they would be with a lighter axe. This model also comes with a relatively narrow head, which means you’re not going to be able to break all logs on the first swing. With a wider head, this model could rise a spot or two on our list. As it is, most people will be able to spend about the same amount of money and get a better maul.
It’s possible that you’ve figured out which maul is right for you. If you’re not yet sure, however, don’t worry. This guide was written with you in mind. In it, we cover the ins and outs of wood splitting mauls, so that you can learn to evaluate them with a trained outdoorsman’s eye. Plus, we’ve included some tips on getting great value for your money, so checking out this guide is a great way to ensure that you get a maul you’ll love using long into the future at a price that won’t break the bank.
The durability of a splitting maul is arguably its most important feature. In order to assess the durability of a splitting maul correctly, you need to be able to evaluate the quality of both the head and the handle.
Poorly-made heads will chip or fracture when used, which can ruin the maul. While this isn’t a hard and fast rule, if the manufacturer tells you what the head is made from, such as “carbon steel,” it’s more likely to be a better product. If the manufacturer thinks there may be a durability issue, they typically leave the material out.
Handles are harder to gauge, but the comments sections on product pages can be a lifesaver. If you see any comments about a handle breaking, it’s a good idea to avoid that model. For every one person who reports an issue, there are likely dozens who have had the same problem but didn’t leave a review.
The other thing you need to consider is ease of use. That’s something that will vary from person to person. Some people will find that models with longer handles are more useful, while others will be able to produce enough power to get the job done with a shorter handle.
While that’s more of a matter of taste, weight is a factor that can have wide-ranging effects on your experience. For example, a heavier maul will deliver more power when swung at the same speed. If you’re working with tough woods, or even green wood, that extra heft can provide the power needed to get through them.
However, if you’re going to be primarily working with softer woods, or don’t want to be as easily tired by the task at hand, it makes sense to invest in a maul that isn’t as heavy.
Because people have different needs, and splitting mauls are made differently, there isn’t going to be a single model that is right for all people. The good news is that you have choices. If you’re going to be using your splitting maul a lot, it makes sense to invest in a premium model made from premium materials that will stand up well to being used so much.
Likewise, if you’re not going to be using it all that often, you might want to invest in a cheaper model so that your investment doesn’t go to waste. As long as you consider your needs first and match your needs to a model that has the features you value, you should end up with a splitting maul that you love using—at a price you like, too.
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The Husqvarna 30″ Wooden Splitting Axe is our favorite model due to its hand-forged head, axe cover, and keen edge. In second is the Helko Werk Vario 2000 Heavy which comes with a carbon steel head, a curved shaft, and a sheath, though its high price is enough to keep it out of first place. The Fiskars x27 Super Splitting Axe 36 Inch has a great blade and a strong handle, and its great price makes it the best for the money on our list. The Estwing 14″ Wood Splitting Maul EFF4SE is forged in one piece and includes a sheath and a shock-reducing grip, but its questionable balance and easily-scratched paint drop it to fourth place. The TABOR TOOLS J55A Splitting Axe does come with good balance and great grip, but its narrow head and surprising weight make it a poor choice for most people, earning it the last place on our list.
We hope that our reviews and buyer’s guide have helped you understand what makes for a great wood splitting maul and that it will help you find the model that is right for you.
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!