If you need to create your own firewood, you need to use a splitting tool to do this. Splitting wood is more effective than chopping as it leads to less waste. When looking at splitting wood in its most simplest form, it comes down to a splitting axe vs a splitting maul. That is if you don’t want to spend hundreds on a more superior log splitter. But in order to determine which one is better suited to your lifestyle and environment, you need to consider what each is and what the differences are.
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What Is A Splitting Axe?
A splitting axe is a cutting tool that has a tapered head commonly made of metal and will weight approximately 3 to 6 pounds. A splitting axe has been designed to split wood along the grain to break apart the fibers. This is different to the traditional axe which was designed to chop wood across the grains. When using a top quality splitting axe, the force created by the head will split the wood for you.
What Is A Splitting Maul?
When looking at a splitting maul, you might mistake it for a splitting axe as they are similar. The splitting maul also has a metal head, but it weighs more at 6 to 8 pounds. The head of the maul will be wedge-shaped and wider than the head of the splitting axe which makes it better at splitting wood. The shape of the head will ensure that the splitting maul does not stick in the wood when it is splitting it and will prevent any jamming.
Axe Versus Splitting Maul Pros And Cons
When looking at the splitting axe and the splitting maul, you need to know what the differences are. There are 4 differences that you need to take into account when you choose between these tools. These are as follows:
1.Weight Of The Splitting Tool
The weight of the tool is the first difference. The splitting maul is heavier than the splitting axe and you need to remember this. The difference in weight does make a difference in how the tools can be used. The lighter weight of the axe allows you to use it for other purposes as well as splitting wood.
However, the heavier weight of the splitting maul does make it more efficient when it comes to the primary task of splitting wood. The heavier the head of the axe, the more power it can generate to split through tougher logs. While the lighter axes can be used quicker and by less physically strong people. Either options are a great form of exercise.
The design of the head is perhaps the biggest difference between these two tools. The splitting axe offers a tapered head with a sharper blade which makes it able to split and cut wood. Splitting mauls have a fatter and blunter head with a wider wedge which makes it extremely effective when splitting large wood.
However, the blunt head means that you do have to pure more effort in when using the maul, but if you have the right technique splitting wood will actually be easier. Less swings for more results is always going to be a positive. Just make sure the maul is not too heavy for you to use repetitively.
Axe Handle Or Maul Handle?
The design and material of the handle will also differ between the splitting axe and the splitting maul. The splitting maul will generally have a longer handle which can be used to guide the tool into the ground after it has split the wood and not back to your feet. This is a very important feature as it increases the safety of using the tool and will lower the risks of injury. The splitting axe has a shorter handle which makes it capable of splitting and chopping wood but at the risk of slipping into your body greater.
The material of the splitting axe handle will generally be wood. However, more modern brands are moving to composite materials. Splitting mauls will generally have handles made from fiberglass, plastic or hickory. However, it is possible to find them with wooden handles as well.
The Price Point
The last difference between the splitting axe and maul is the price. While it is possible to get a splitting axe and maul for the same price, the quality of the maul will generally be lower. If you are looking for the same quality, you will need to pay more for the splitting maul than you would have to for the splitting ax. The maul is a larger tool that uses more materials. So a premium quality maul is going to cost more than a axe.
Axe Or Maul – What Will You Split With?
For most people, the choice between the splitting axe vs splitting maul comes down to personal preferences. The greatest determinants will be the amount of work you have at hand and the size of the wood you are working with. When working with large pieces of wood, a maul would be better than an axe. This is due to the fact that you will be able to split quicker, but you have to consider that you will tire faster because of the splitting mauls weight.
If you have smaller pieces of wood, a splitting axe will generally be the better solution. The splitting axe is also a better choice for people who are smaller and not able to lift the heavier weight of the splitting maul. You should also look at a splitting axe if you are going to be chopping wood as well as splitting it.
The bottom line is larger work loads, opt for the maul. Lighter day to day tasks to keep the firewood turning over, stick with the axe. More family members would also be able to contribute with the axe than the splitting maul due to size and weight. So less weight on your shoulders so to speak.
However, if you are serious about wood splitting and plan to keep the house warm this season with firewood. Have you considered a log splitter. For about $1000 (Or less) you can pick up a high powered gas log splitter that will change your opinion on splitting logs forever.