10 Best Wood Splitting Mauls of 2023 – Reviews & Top Picks
When winter approaches and temperatures drop, it’s time to start thinking about how you will keep your house toasty. Sure, you could run your furnace nearly non-stop, but a fireplace or wood stove can heat the whole home with a naturally occurring fuel source that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Of course, that means you’ll have to chop a lot of wood.
When chopping large logs, a wood-splitting maul is ideal. They have heavy heads to give you plenty of leverage so you can drive them right through the thickest, hardest logs, splitting them through sheer force.
With so much wood to chop this winter, we knew we couldn’t settle for any old wood-splitting maul, so we decided to find the best one for our needs. We learned a lot along the way and will share it all in the following 10 reviews.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Fiskars 751110-1003 IsoCore Maul||
|Best Value||TABOR TOOLS J55A Splitting Maul||
|Premium Choice||Wilton Tools 50836 B.A.S.H. Splitting Maul||
|1844 Helko Werk Germany 10058 Splitting Maul||
|Estwing EFF4SE Wood Splitting Maul||
The 10 Best Wood Splitting Mauls
1. Fiskars 751110-1003 IsoCore Maul – Best Value
One look at the Fiskars IsoCore Maul, and you can tell it’s something special. Based on looks and performance, we’d expect this tool to cost a lot, but it’s very affordable, even though it has a lifetime warranty. This maul has a double head that features an ax blade on one side and a sledgehammer on the other side that’s perfect for driving.
The handle is made with a patented IsoCore Shock Control System that absorbs most of the force of each impact. After using this maul, others seemed to beat our arms into oblivion. When you need extra leverage, the 36-inch handle of this maul will provide all you need and then some.
We never had any problem powering the head through wood of any type, even thick hardwood logs. However, the logs seemed to dull the blade quickly, and we had to resharpen it often. But considering the affordable price, lifetime warranty, and the reduction in arm fatigue this maul provides, we think it’s the best overall maul.
2. TABOR TOOLS J55A Splitting Maul – Best Value
When we first started shopping for mauls, we were surprised at how expensive some were. While premium tools might be great for someone chopping a cord of wood every third day, for the average person who only chops a few logs here and there, they’re simply too expensive. But this maul from TABOR TOOLS is one of the best wood-splitting mauls for the money. It’s affordable but still packed with all the great features you need.
For instance, its 32-inch handle provides plenty of leverage for chopping large logs. Moreover, the handle is fiberglass and helps reduce the impact transferred into your arms. The head is well-balanced and has a protective coating to prevent corrosion. You even get a rubber sleeve to protect the blade when it’s not in use.
On the downside, this maul is good only for chopping. There’s no sledge head on the other side to use for driving, but we can’t complain at this price. Overall, this is the best splitting maul for the money we reviewed this year.
3. Wilton Tools B.A.S.H. Splitting Maul – Premium Choice
As soon as you hold the Wilton Tools B.A.S.H. Splitting Maul in your hands, you know it’s a serious tool. The quality of this tool is second to none, and it’s loaded with features that make it an easy pick for our premium recommendation. For example, this maul features a steel core handle that’s unbreakable.
It won’t shatter like other mauls, even if you miss and hit the shaft. It’s also equipped with an anti-vibe neck that’s tapered to eliminate the vibration impact from striking. This is one of the greatest features of this maul. Even after extended use, your arms won’t be destroyed. To provide ample power and leverage, the handle is 36 inches long.
After reading about all these great features, it shouldn’t be surprising that this maul is quite a bit more expensive than some of the others we tested, though it’s far from the most expensive. However, it has a unique $1,000 guarantee, which is several times the cost of the tool.
4. 1844 Helko Werk Germany 10058 Splitting Maul
There’s no question the Helko Werk Germany Splitting Maul is one of the most unique mauls we’ve ever seen. It features a durable bolt-through head mount and is quite a step away from the traditional mounting methods that most of the other mauls on this list employ. Helko Werk’s maul features a 36-inch handle made from grade-A American hickory and finished with boiled linseed oil. The head is hand-forged from German C50 high-carbon steel to ensure it’s as durable as any maul head on the market.
This tool looks and feels like the impressive, high-quality tool that it is. It even includes a leather sheath that buckles closed to protect the blade of the maul. But one thing that holds this tool back is the exorbitant price. Considering the excellent tools you can purchase for less, it’s just too expensive.
5. Estwing EFF4SE Wood Splitting Maul
Not every maul has a 3-foot-long handle for maximum leverage. Some, like the Estwing EFF4SE Wood Splitting Maul, have a much shorter handle that makes them more portable for fieldwork. This maul has a 14-inch handle, so it fits nicely on a tool belt. Of course, you won’t get as much leverage from the short handle, so don’t expect to chop large hardwood logs with this maul.
Despite the small size, the Estwing maul costs as much as many others that are much larger. It’s made in the U.S.A. from high-quality materials. It has a double head with a sledge and maul so that you can drive or cut.
One of the most important factors when picking a maul is durability. Luckily, the Estwing maul features a highly durable one-piece head and shaft. There’s even a special grip on the handle that reduces impact vibration by 70%. Since we can’t get through the big logs with this maul, it doesn’t break into our top three.
6. Husqvarna 576926601 Wooden Splitting Maul
Husqvarna is a big name in woodcutting, though most people know them for their chainsaws and other power tools. The Husqvarna maul is a well-built device that lives up to the name, but it doesn’t offer enough to place ahead of all the other great tools on this list. Still, there’s a lot to like about this maul.
To start, it has a durable 32-inch hickory handle that provides plenty of leverage, though it doesn’t absorb much of the impact. The head is secured to the shaft with steel and wood wedges, ensuring a secure fit that won’t come off when you swing it. Speaking of the head, it has two faces, so you can use it to drive or to split. There’s even a leather edge cover to protect it when not in use.
But even considering all these features, the Husqvarna is a very expensive maul that we think passes into the realm of being overpriced, especially considering the weak 90-day manufacturer’s warranty. We expect to see a lifetime warranty like other manufacturers offer for this price.
7. Truper 32415 Splitting Maul
With a 12-pound head and a 27-inch handle, the Truper 32415 Splitting Maul is uniquely designed. The steel handle is durable, but it’s difficult to control. After using this maul, we realized just how important the shape of the handle is. Since this one is round, there’s no way to tell by feeling which way the head of the maul is pointed.
It has considerable splitting power thanks to the heavy head, but the head is only good for splitting since there’s no sledge side. Moreover, the extra weight of the head on the shorter 27-inch handle is more challenging to control and wears you out quickly.
Our final complaint is about how much impact gets transferred through this handle. The steel may be durable, but it doesn’t dampen the impact. In fact, it almost feels like it multiplies the impact, causing fatigue much earlier than other mauls.
8. Gransfors Bruk 450 Splitting Maul
This is one of the most expensive mauls we’ve ever seen. Considering the astronomical price, we almost expected it to do all of the cutting for us. That didn’t happen, which is why this maul is ranked so low on our list. No matter how good it is, we can’t justify the insane price tag.
Still, there are good features worth mentioning. It has a double head that’s great for driving and splitting. However, it only weighs 5.5 pounds, so you’re not getting as much power with each blow. It is built from tough steel and seems to dull pretty slowly. It’s also not very susceptible to chipping, which we like. But that’s not enough to warrant the astronomical price.
9. True Temper Splitting Mauls
This True Temper Maul feels a lot like the Truper maul we reviewed, though it has a much longer handle at 34 inches. It has the same 12-pound head, which provides excellent splitting power. The head and shaft are one piece, which is a durable design, to be sure.
But there are far more negatives than positives when discussing this maul. First, there’s no sledge face, so you can’t use it for driving. Worse, the round handle isn’t intuitive to use. Often, you’ll bring the maul down thinking it’s straight, only to have the head hit at an angle and bounce off, which is quite dangerous.
Because the handle is all steel, the amount of impact transferred through it is immense, and we were sorely missing the fiberglass handles of the other mauls we tested. Despite all these drawbacks, this is one of the most expensive mauls we tested, and we don’t think it’s worth anywhere near what it sells for.
10. Performance Tool M7111 Splitting Maul
This maul from Performance Tool has an 8-pound head and a length of 35 inches. It has a double-head design that’s great for driving and splitting and is affordable. So, why is it at the bottom of our list?
Well, it’s a simple design with no extra features that’s cheaply made and won’t last. The fiberglass handle is poorly connected to the head, and the handle feels cheap. After just a few strikes, it showed signs of wear below the head.
But what threw us off with this maul was the offset of the head. This mistake from the factory made the maul so hard to use that no one wanted to test it. When holding it straight, the head was angled off to the side, making it difficult to land clean blows. This might be an affordable tool, but it’s not a great value at any price if it’s not usable.
Buyer’s Guide – Purchasing the Best Wood Splitting Maul
A splitting maul seems like a pretty simple tool. It’s just an ax head on a handle, after all. But there’s much more to a maul than just what you see. It wouldn’t matter which maul you choose if it were that simple. But after testing all of the mauls for this list, we can tell you with certainty that it does matter which maul you choose.
We want to make sure that you make the right choice, so we’ve written this short buyer’s guide to help you determine which traits are most important to you so you can make a more informed decision about which maul will fit your needs best.
What to Consider When Choosing a Splitting Maul
There are more features on a maul than you’d think. However, if you figure out what you need in each of the following categories, you’re sure to pick a tool that meets your needs.
Mauls come in various lengths, from 14 to 36 inches, sometimes even longer. But what difference does the length make?
A longer maul gives you more leverage, making it easier to chop through harder, thicker logs. But the extra length also makes it less portable. A shorter maul might fit onto your tool belt, but it won’t have the leverage to split large logs.
Weight of the Head
The length isn’t the only thing that will affect how much power you produce with your maul. Another critical factor is the weight of the head. A heavier head will provide more momentum and create more splitting force when it impacts the log. It will also take a lot more strength and energy to get the swing started.
If you’re not physically up to the task, a heavy head might wear you out or prevent you from swinging the maul altogether. On the other hand, a head that’s too light won’t have the same splitting power, and you’ll have to swing it more times.
Every time you bring the head of your maul down onto the waiting log, it creates a serious impact. With the wrong handle, a lot of that impact will be transferred up the handle and into your forearms, traveling along your bones. It’s not comfortable.
Luckily, manufacturers have taken notice and started including shock-reducing handles. Most of the handles are fiberglass, and some even have steel inserts for durability.
Some of the mauls we tested had just an ax head, and the other side of the head was wasted. But many of our favorites had double-faced heads with an ax blade on one side and a sledge face on the other. They improve the tool’s usefulness since they can split and drive. This is especially great if you need to use a sledgehammer, which you won’t be able to do without a double-faced head.
Your maul is going to put up with abuse, and you need one that can withstand it. But things happen, and even durable tools break. In that situation, a warranty is your best friend.
Many of these tools come with lifetime warranties that protect the tool against regular use for life. However, others included weak warranties as short as 90 days. We’d stay away from companies with limited warranties that don’t have as much faith in their products.
After testing so many mauls for these reviews, we can probably do away with our gym memberships because our arms and shoulders have had more workouts than they needed. But through this process, we narrowed down the wide playing field to just three mauls that we’re confident will meet the needs of almost any consumer.
Our top pick is the Fiskars IsoCore Maul. It has a 36-inch handle for plenty of leverage and is equipped with an IsoCore Shock Control System to reduce the impact transferred to your arms. Best of all, it’s reasonably priced and protected by a lifetime warranty.
For the best value, we suggest the TABOR TOOLS Wood Splitting Maul. It’s one of the most affordable mauls we tested, but it’s still packed with great features like the shock-absorbing 32-inch handle and the balanced head with a protective coating.
When you need the best and don’t care what it costs, we recommend the Wilton Tools B.A.S.H. Splitting Maul. It’s equipped with a fiberglass handle with a steel core and anti-vibe neck, making it practically unbreakable while saving your bones from all the heavy blows.