Splitting mauls: Helpful for many tasks
A maul is the colossus among forestry tools. With it even knotty logs and trunks can be split. It is used where a lighter splitting axes or hatchets are no longer successful. Despite modern ressources such as the chainsaw or harvester technology, mauls are still a standard tool for modern wood harvesting. Apart from splitting wood, this forestry tool is also suitable for driving wedges into the stem and for the turning of logs or parts of logs by means of the turning nose on the hammer head.
Splitting maul or splitting axe - it is the head that counts!
The most important part of a splitting maul is his head. Compared with axes it is much heavier, average head weight is between 3000 to 4000 g. The enormous impact at the stroke effects huge splitting forces, however it also may tire out its user more quickly. Therefore for splitting tasks of longer duration lighter splitting axes may be preferable to the maul.
The flanks of the head are shaped in such a way that the wood is quickly separated. Wedge angles > 20 ° are common. The Board of Forestry and Forestry Technology has accorded its KWF (test) seal of approval to a number of models. Pay attention to the mark of quality when you are selecting your splitting maul, especially when it is intended for heavy-duty forestry use.
In addition to the splitting of wood a maul is also suitable for driving wedges into the stem when felling trees. The striking face, the so-called wedge plate, is broadly shaped. The receptacle for the shaft, the socalled eye, is designed to endure strong striking impacts. This is not the case with ordinary axes! A hard blow on a wedge can damage the head of an axe. In the worst case, the mount for the handle can tear.
Some models are equipped with a stroke insert of plastic. With such mauls wedges of steel can be used without risk. The stroke insert can be replaced as required, which allows a long service life of the tool.
The maul handle - a question of faith?
The typical hand form with a wood splitting maul is straight with a knob at the end. The knob prevents slipping of the hand and at the same time alows work "in both directions". This distinguishes the handle of a maul from that of a splitting axe which usually has a so-called cow foot, the "kink" at the end of the handle. In the case of an axe, this handle shape provides additional support for (one-handed) splitting. However, since a splitting maul is always ambidextrous and used in both directions, a cow foot would be an impediment..
The handles of our mauls are either made of wood or a glass fiber reinforced plastic (GRP). Both variants have their advantages:
Wooden handles are proven for centuries and are easy and inexpensive to replace if damaged. In addition, wood is a natural material and is pleasant to the touch. Wooden handles also have good vibration dampening characteristics. Resulting vibrations are less likely to occur in the user's wrist and forearm. Splitting of wood is therefore less tiring. Wood from the native ash or the North American hickory tree are the most common handle materials to be found.
Apart from wood, glass fiber or glass fiber reinforced plastic (GfK) are an alternative for handle material well worth considerung. Unlike wooden handles, a GFK handles do not swell nor shrink. An unexpected detachment of the the head from the handle is therefore unlikely. The GFK handle, also known as fiber glass handle, is both resistant to decay and particularly robust. These handles break only when used most inappropriately. However, once such a handle breaks, it can not be replaced.
A general recommendation for one or the other type of handle is not possible. Professional forestry equipment can often be recognized by its seal of approval, e.g. the FPA test ("KWF Profi") mark. Other than these, split tools for semiprofessional use are frequently awarded the "KWF Standard" seal of approval. We offer proven splitting maul models by known brand manufacturers such as Ochsenkopf, Gränsfors, Fiskars or Bison, so that you find a wide variety of splitting tools in every price range.
A feature particularly unique to high quality splitting tools is the handle protection . This protection, usually made of steel or plastic, prolongs the service life of the splitter handles. The German manufacturer Ochsenkopf , but also Gränsfors, Fiskars and Bison equip splitting tools with protective handle sleeves. If necessary, wooden handles can be easily exchanged despite the sleeve. You can get the matching spare handles from Grube.
Tips for effective working with the splitting maul
- Fresh or frozen wood is easier to split than dry wood
- Make use of existing cracks
- "The wood tears, like the bird shits ...", ie it is easier to split wood against its one-time direction of growth
- Never hit steel on steel as this ensues the highest risk of splinter!
Do I have to sharpen my splitting maul?
A splitting maul achieves its main effect due to the wedge forces. Although the cutting edge does not have to be razor sharp for successful splitting, a sharp tool will facilitate the splitting of the wood. The splitting maul head does not bounce but penetrates more easily into the wood. The splitting forces can thus have a better effect. If necessary, you can sharpen your maul with a grinding stone. We strongly advise against sanding with the angle grinder or an electric grindstone. The steel loses its hardness and at worst will break. When re-sharpening, be it a splitting maul or a splitting axe, make sure that sharpening occurs on a ball-shaped bevel.
In our online shop you will find a wide selection of forestry tools. Benefit from the experience that Grube has accumulated for around 70 years. We are looking forward to your questions, wishes and suggestions. Just call us or send us an e-mail.