Which Splitting Maul is Right for You?
The Gransfors Bruks Splitting maul and the Condor Tools German Style Spliting Axe are both outstanding axes. These are the big boys. No need for finesse here. The splitting maul uses a 6-8 pound head swinging on a long straight handle to split end-standing cut logs along their grain. The long handle allows for more swinging force, leverage when prying the axe out of wood rounds, and also keeps any missed swings in the ground and away from your feet. The handles are usually Hickory, and straight with a round profile that allows hands to easily slide when setting up for big overhead swings.
It has a wide, sharply tapering head to push the wood apart along its grain. The shape of the head has a rounder profile with no long flat areas to avoid getting stuck and a wide flat butt end to use as a hammer when using a splitter on large uncooperative blocks of wood.
Keep in mind that the maul is the only axe designed to hit another tool such as a splitting wedge. Most other single bit axes use the back of the head as a weight only (with a few exceptions). The splitting maul is a must have if you are splitting wood for burning.
The splitting maul is probably the least exciting of all the axes, but it is indispensable for firewood and your collection deserves a quality choice that will last a lifetime. Below is some information to help you choose the best splitting maul.
Gransfors Bruks Splitting Maul
Located in the Swedish village of Gränsfors, the Gransfors Bruks Forge has been making axes for over 100 years and their reputation is worldwide.
All the axes produced by Gränsfors Bruk are hand forged and they are so proud of the workmanship of their smiths that each axe head is marked with the identity of the man who made. The heads are minimally finished, just on the cutting edge so evidence of the quality forging is seen on the axe.
In addition to this handbuilt tradition, the Gransfors Bruks Splitting Maul team has made a commitment to the environment and only uses environmentally friendly materials in the production of their axes such as foregoing paint and epoxy adhesives on their handles and using no harsh chemicals when tanning leather for their sheaths.
Condor Tool German Style Spliting Axe
Founded in 1787 in Solingen, Germany the Condor Tool & Knife Company are legendary sword makers and have a long heritage in creating superior steel products. Some of the companies manufacturing has since been relocated some to Santa Ana, El Salvadore (including this axe) but Condor has maintained a good reputation with their current products.
It’s a stretch to call this German style splitting axe a maul, due to its lightweight cutting head, but its unique features make it an interesting option and one that might work well for folks that do occasional work on softer wood splitting and could benefit from the reduction in weight.
The head on this Condor is 7 in. overall with a 3.5 inch and is made from 1045 high carbon forged steel with minimal finishing. It weighs just 4.5 pounds which seems featherweight in comparison to the other axes in this class and what makes it really unique is the German style design.
On each cheek of the head is a polished and raised flare that transitions from the cutting edge into a narrow ridge for spreading the cut during penetration. This reduced cheek contact area on the Condor Splitting Axe helps drive penetration into the cut and reduces sticking significantly.