Splitting mauls and wedges.

Splitting maul

If you are planning to burn wood in a crisis situation, one thing that you need to stock is a good splitting maul and wedges.

A typical maul for wood splitting will have a head weighing about 8 pounds.  Normally, mauls have a wedge-shaped head, although there are a few different modern designs that I have seen but not tried.  The original maul resembles an axe with a broader head.  For wood splitting, this tool is much better than a normal axe.  It works better because of the weight and because of its width; it is less likely to become stuck in the wood.  The wedge section of a maul head must be slightly convex to avoid jamming.  Unlike an axe, maul handles are normally straight and closer to round, more like those of a sledgehammer.  The handles are often made from hickory, though synthetic fiberglass handles have become common.  I have been told that fiberglass handles are harder to break and the heads are less likely to work free.  Mine still have the hickory handles and I have had no problems with them.  If you have the fiberglass handles, I have been told that they will last longer if protected from the sun when not in use.

Separate wedges

You also want several wedges.  Several wedges used together, permit you to split larger logs.  Get good steel wedges and not cheap foreign made ones.  Do not substitute axe heads for wedges.  A friend of mine did this and due to the type of temper used on an axe, a sliver flew through the air and imbedded itself in his arm.  He ended up with limited use of the arm.

To use the maul put smaller pieces on end, on a chopping block if possible.  If not, put it on the ground.  Most cut sections can be split with a single downward chop of the maul.  Split the wood apart along its grain.  Mauls are effective long after the edge dulls, as the primary mechanism is that of a wedge pushed along the wood grain, and not a cross-grain chop of an axe.

Just be careful and learn how to use one before you need to.  Remember one is none and two is one, get extras.


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6 Responses to Splitting mauls and wedges.

  1. Matt in Oklahoma says:

    These are awesome but sledges are still needed because that will get stuck at some point!
    Also outside the box, doors can be taken down with the maul as well and the wedges can be used to drive doors upward off the hinges sometimes.

  2. Guest says:

    I recently split a little over a rick of seasoned red oak. It has been many years since I have split wood. I used a simple axe, wedge, sledge and a new item from harbor freight, a wood diamond, the original marketing name is wood grenade I think.
    I used that item almost exclusively on the large trunk sections, only used the wedge when I got the diamond stuck on a couple of occasions. The diamond is a must have item, for $10, you won’t regret it or sell it for $20 after you have used it.

  3. Kevin says:

    I’ve always been skeptical of fiberglass handles in colder (think Alaska in January) weather. I’ll go solid hickory any time of the year though.

  4. Angela says:

    Splitting maul is very important for wood cutting.”For wood splitting, this tool is much better than a normal axe. ” Absolutely right

  5. Addy Adamson says:

    Hi, splitting maul and axe is very important but maul is better than axe because its performance is awesome from any other tools.Do you give me some details about the fire wood preservation technique?Thanks

    • Noah says:

      Agree with you about the usefulness of a maul. I first learned to use one back in 1984!! (I really am getting old!)

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