Top 4 Best Splitting Mauls For The Money

I think you’ll agree with me when I say:

Splitting wood is hard.

Good news:

I can help you make it a whole lot easier.

Choosing a good splitting maul will save you time and effort that is wasted when using cheap, inferior splitting mauls.

By choosing the best splitting maul for your needs, you’ll be splitting logs easier than ever. Notice I said for your needs.

One splitting maul may be perfect for one person but fall short in other areas that matter to you. To help you choose, I made a table that helps you quickly choose the best splitting maul for your needs.

If you’re a little lost on what features you should consider for your splitting maul, check out the quick buyer’s guide I included at the end of this post.

Best Splitting Maul for the Money: Fiskars IsoCore 8lbs Maul

fiskars iso core best splitting maul under 50

If I had to choose the absolute best splitting maul for the money, I’d pick the Fiskars IsoCore 8lbs maul for it’s power, durability, great warranty and budget price.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Handle technology absorbs vibrations and shock
  • Sharp heat-treated head with a rust-resistant coating
  • Great for splitting large amounts of tough logs without getting stuck
  • Non-slip rubber grip
  • Practically indestructible
  • Full lifetime Warranty
Cons
  • Plastic collar under the head tends to crack, but doesn’t affect performance

Features

Starting with the maul head, you’ll find a sharp forged steel blade with a rust resistant coating. Fiskars did an excellent job at making sure it can handle tough logs and split them apart like butter.

Rock Solid Design

The head is attached to the handle via a molded plastic piece that securely attaches and prevents any wobble or breaking even after plenty of overstrikes.

Underneath the head you’ll find a plastic collar that adds an extra layer of protection from overstrikes. I will say that several others have said this collar cracked after many overstrikes but that this didn’t have any effect on the durability or performance of the maul.

If you’ve ever used a traditional hickory handle splitting maul before, you’ll appreciate the IsoCore technology in this maul’s handle. This technology works by having multiple layers of various materials that make it stronger and better to use than traditional hickory handles.

fiskars iso core handle

Reduces Shock & Dampens Vibrations

Fiskars claims this handle transfers 2x less shock and vibrations that typical wooden maul handles. It’s a very noticeable difference and works great from anyone who suffers hand or wrist pain after splitting wood.

Great Fiskars Warranty

One of my favorite features about this splitting maul is the warranty Fiskars offers. They warrant this splitting maul with a lifetime warranty since they’re so confident in the durability of the handle and attachment system.

My Opinion

Fiskars’ 8lbs splitting maul is a great maul and a great deal that anyone can benefit from. This maul offers some of the best durability and power while remaining budget friendly.

Handles Any Size Job

Whether you’re taking on large 2 foot plus diameter logs or splitting some kindling for the campfire, this maul can handle it all. You can rest easier after the day is over without any hand or wrist pain thanks to the IsoCore vibration dampening technology.

Plus, if you ever manage to break it, Fiskars covers it with a lifetime warranty.

Sale
Fiskars Iso Core 8 lb Maul 36 Inch, 751110-1001
564 Reviews
Fiskars Iso Core 8 lb Maul 36 Inch, 751110-1001
  • Ideal for splitting wood (splitting face) or driving wedges and stakes (driving face)
  • Optimized blade geometry offers better penetration and blasts tough logs apart
  • Patented IsoCore Shock Control System absorbs strike shock and vibration to reduce the punishment your body takes, transferring 2X less shock and vibration than wood handles
  • Insulation sleeve captures initial strike shock before it can reach your hand
  • Full lifetime warranty. Forged, heat-treated steel is finished with a rust-resistant coating

The Best Budget Splitting Maul: Estwing Fireside Friend

estwing fireside friend

Estwing’s Fireside Friend is a great little tool that stands out from the conventional splitting mauls. Its small size and unique design make it easier to split firewood whether it’s in your backyard or at the campsite.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • One solid piece of durable forged steel
  • Weighs much less than other picks on the list
  • Great for splitting firewood at the campsite
  • Unique design makes splitting most logs easier
  • Budget friendly and relatively inexpensive
  • Made in the USA
Cons
  • Can’t handle super large and tough logs
  • Will need a hammer handy for splitting larger logs

Features

Estwing’s Fireside Friend is one solid piece of forged carbon steel that is made in the USA, giving it great durability and dependability.

Practically Indestructible

A rust-resistant coating combined with the paintjob makes it very corrosion resistant and significantly extends the lifespan of the blade’s sharp edge. There’s not much I can think of that can break this tool, making it a rock-solid pick that will always serve you well.

Packs Great Splitting Power

The most noticeable feature that sets this splitting maul apart from the rest is its size. Compared to the larger 36-inch and 10lbs splitting maul, the Fireside Friend weighs only 4lbs and measures 14-inches from head to handle. So why the small size?

blade side fireside friend

Small size is an advantage is the Fireside Friend’s case. Being smaller makes it easier to swing while still being heavy enough to split some decent size logs. This maul will surprise you at just how much power it has!

You can even use the Fireside Friend for larger logs too. In this case, using it is like how you would use a splitting wedge. Simply swing the Fireside Friend into a log and pop the back of it with a hammer and watch the log fall in two!

Doesn’t Neglect Comfort

While vibrations and shock aren’t as large of an issue, they’re still present considering the Fireside Friend. Considering its one giant piece of steel, any vibrations or shock from blows will likely go straight into your hands and wrists.

However, Estwing thought of this beforehand. They throw a leather grip on the handle that does a great job at absorbing shock and preventing hand and wrist pain. Since you won’t need to swing as hard as larger mauls, you likely won’t have any issues with hand shock at all.

estwing fireside friend handle closeup

Finally, let’s look at this tool’s warranty. Estwing offers what they call a “Fair to All” warranty which isn’t a lifetime warranty necessarily, but instead they aim to be fair with their customers.

Decent Manufacturer Warranty

If your tools breaks under normal use and not as a result or misuse, abuse or standard wear, they’ll likely cover it under their warranty. I believe this is a fair deal that benefits both the customer and the manufacturer equally.

My Opinion

Overall, I think Estwing’s Fireside Friend is a great tool to carry with you to the campsite and split firewood. Even splitting firewood in your own backyard can be made a little easier with this handy tool.

Its small size packs a whole lot of power that can handle all but the largest of logs. If you want to split any large logs, you can also begin a split then just smack the reverse face with a hammer to finish it through.

Sale
Estwing Fireside Friend Axe - 14' Wood Splitting Maul with Forged Steel Construction & Shock Reduction Grip - E3-FF4
385 Reviews
Estwing Fireside Friend Axe - 14" Wood Splitting Maul with Forged Steel Construction & Shock Reduction Grip - E3-FF4
  • FORGED IN ONE PIECE - The most durable, longest lasting striking tools available
  • WOOD SPLITTING MADE EASY - Weighted wedge design makes chopping logs and firewood a breeze
  • HEAVY DUTY SHEATH - Includes ballistic nylon sheath to protect hand sharpened cutting edge
  • GENUINE LEATHER GRIP - Hand sanded and lacquered for a durable yet comfortable finish
  • MADE IN THE USA - Our tools are proudly crafted in Rockford, IL using the finest American steel

The Overall Best Splitting Maul: Wilton BASH Splitting Maul

wilton bash splitting maul

I believe the Wilton BASH splitting maul is the uncontested winner and the overall best splitting maul. This maul has insane durability, great power, it’s easy to use and has a fantastic warranty all for a price that beats some of the more expensive splitting mauls on the market.

Pros
  • Extreme toughness and durability
  • Can handle any size logs
  • Practically indestructible
  • Handle reduces shock and vibrations
  • $1000 two-year cash warranty
Cons
  • More expensive than other mauls
  • Some many not like the Hi-Viz green paint job

Features

Wilton’s BASH splitting maul boasts many features that set it apart from the pack.

No Shortage of Power

Starting with the maul head, you’ll find durable forged steel that can handle splitting any size log. When I say any size log, I truly mean any size. I’ve heard of a guy that was splitting 36-inch diameter red oak rounds with this maul and said he wouldn’t choose any other tool.

wilton durability statistics

Practically Indestructible

You’ll be hard pressed to find a maul more durable than this one. Wilton manufactures these mauls with steel rods running the handle that make it nearly impossible to break in two. All of Wilton’s BASH tools are rated for over 25,000 over strikes, and this maul is no exception.

Lean and Mean

While the sound of steel rods may sound heavy, the handle only weighs 2lbs, and the head 8lbs, making the entire maul weigh 10lbs. Right in the sweet spot weight range.

Another benefit this maul’s handle offers is shock and vibration absorption. If you suffer from hand and wrist pain after a long day splitting, it may be wise to check this maul out.

Best Warranty in the Industry?

Lastly, I’m absolutely blown away by the warranty Wilton offers on these tools.

Check this out:

wilton bash warranty guarantee imageWilton offers a $1000 cash warranty for two years on every BASH tool they sell. If you can somehow manage to break this tool’s handle during normal use, which I highly doubt, Wilton will have you covered.

My Opinion

After all the features I’ve laid out above, I’m truly convinced this is the overall best splitting maul you’ll find anywhere. Combining superb durability, great power, and a warranty that blows every competitor’s out of the water makes this tool a clear winner.

Wilton Tools 50836 8 lb Head - 36' B.A.S.H Splitting Maul
32 Reviews
Wilton Tools 50836 8 lb Head - 36" B.A.S.H Splitting Maul
  • Unbreakable handle technology
  • Steel rods in handle eliminates breaking
  • Hi-Viz drop forged splitting Maul head
  • Anti-vibe Neck absorbs vibrations
  • No-Slip grip of vulcanized rubber on handle

The Best Quality Splitting Maul: Gransfors Bruk Splitting Maul

gransfors bruk splitting maul side view

Gransfors Bruk is a name known for delivering the best in handmade quality tools that will last a lifetime. If you’re after a more traditional splitting maul that is among the best in quality, check out the Gransfors Bruk splitting maul.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Powerful maul that can split any size log
  • Sharp and durable hand forged steel maul head
  • Made with durable Grade-A American hickory
  • Overstrike collar protects the hickory handle
  • Includes handmade leather mask
  • Comes with 20-year warranty on maul head
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Hickory handle may not last like composite handles

Features

Let’s first look at the head of this splitting maul. You’ll find a hand forged carbon steel maul head that is worth of the Gransfors Bruk name. Each steel head is hand forged by craftsmen in Gransfors Bruk’s forge in Sweden.

Packs Huge Power

Splitting logs requires a heavy head and a sharp blade. This maul delivers both, with a sharp blade and 5.5lbs head that can take on any size log. While the head is a bit lighter than the “sweet spot” for splitting mauls, it can still tear through logs.

gransfors bruk head closeupA benefit of the lighter weight head performing just as well as heavier ones is that you’ll have more energy left at the end of the day and be less sore the day after splitting wood.

All-American Hickory Handle

Grade-A American hickory is chosen for the handle because of its density and durability that comes from the straight and tight wood grain. You’ll find the handle weighs about 1.5lbs, giving the maul a good overall balance that’s great for swinging.

Smart Over Strike Protector

To protect the beautiful hickory handle, there’s an overstrike collar underneath the maul’s head. This collar protects the handle in case you overstrike on a log. Instead of tearing up the grain and possible breaking the head, instead you’ll only make a dent in the metal collar, sparing the handle of any damage.

gransfors bruks leather mask

Great Quality Handmade Sheath

Gransfors Bruk also includes a handmade leather mask with this maul. It’s made from vegetable tanned leather that is hand crafted to create this beautiful sheath that you should use to protect the maul’s blade from damage and dulling.

Comes with Stellar Warranty

Gransfors Bruk warrants these mauls with a twenty-year warranty that covers the quality and workmanship of the maul’s head. If your head cracks or splits, it’s covered under the warranty and should be replaced be Gransfors Bruk.

My Opinion

Overall, I think the Gransfors Bruk splitting maul is a great example of quality workmanship and excellent materials made into a durable and high-performance tool. Expect to pay more for the quality you get from this maul.

Doesn’t Short Performance

One of my favorite features is the great performance from the maul head that can split nearly any size log. If you’ve got a stack of hardwood out in the yard that’s been needing to be taken care of for a while now, this maul may be your solution.

Built to Last Tough Over Strikes

Another thing I really like about this maul is the overstrike collar. It adds another level of durability to the handle that hickory handles typically lack. When combined with the durability that comes with Grade-A American hickory, expect this handle to last a long time.

Gransfors Bruks Splitting Maul
91 Reviews
Gransfors Bruks Splitting Maul
  • 5 1/2 ib. Head
  • Length with handle: 80 cm (31.5")
  • Weight: 3,2 kg (7 lb)
  • Sheath in vegetable-tanned leather

What’s the Best Size Splitting Maul Weight?

Splitting mauls come in many shapes and sizes. Most standard mauls weigh between 8lbs to 10lbs, giving them plenty of heft and muscle to split logs with ease.

But there’s also outliers like the 4lbs Estwing Fireside Friend, which aims to be a hand maul that you can pop with a hammer to split logs.

I’ve even seen some monster splitting mauls that go up to 20lbs! Now, I don’t recommend getting that heavy of a maul, as you’ll tire out much faster and be sore the next day without a doubt.

Here’s my recommendation to you:

Pick a maul between 8lbs to 12lbs. Choosing a maul in this weight range gives you enough power to split logs with one swing while remaining light enough to not tire you out quickly.

fireside friend on log

Now if you want a splitting maul for camping trips or don’t want to swing around a large maul, the Fireside Friend is still a viable option despite being 4lbs. I’ve found popping its backside with a hammer to be a great way to split logs without slinging around a heavy maul.

In short, it all depends. If you’re after a traditional splitting maul, stick to between 8lbs and 12lbs. If you want a more compact solution that doesn’t require swinging around heavy tools, opt for the Fireside Friend.

What’s the Best Splitting Maul Handle?

Yes, there’s more than one handle type. I’m not referring to odd shapes or configurations, but instead the kind of materials used to make the handle.

Different handle materials can make quite the difference when you’re slinging around that heavy splitting maul.

If you choose a traditional hickory handle, you’ll get the classic durability and strength that hickory wood is known for.

But there’s a few downsides too. Two that immediately come to mind are overstrikes and handle vibrations.

axe overstrike

If you overstrike with a hickory handled splitting maul, there’s a chance you could damage or even completely break the handle.

Also, when you strike a log hard with your maul, you may be familiar with the handle vibrations that travel through the handle, into your hands and wrists. This can cause wrist pain after only an hour of splitting or so.

So, what’s the alternative to hickory handles?

Composite handles.

Instead of being one solid piece of hickory, composite handles utilize one or more layers of fiberglass, polymers, plastics, and metal to create a handle that is just as strong, if not stronger, while reducing handle vibrations.

Looking at the Fiskars IsoCore maul’s handle, there’s many composite layers to this handle that make it strong than a hickory handle, while reducing vibrations to near zero.

fiskars isocore handle layers

Let’s also look at another splitting maul with a composite handle, this time the Wilton BASH splitting maul. This maul can withstand over 25,000 overstrikes! Plus, if you manage the break the handle within two years, Wilton will give you $1000 cash as compensation.

Ok, so composite handles have a leg up over hickory ones, but does that mean they’re inferior in every way?

Not quite, because many mauls like the Gransfors Bruk splitting maul have overstrike protectors that keep the handle from breaking. Plus, you don’t get the same hand forged carbon steel quality that comes with the Gransfors Bruk name from companies that make composite handled splitting mauls.

In the end, it’s a toss up as to what you prefer. If you like the traditional hickory handle and the forged steel maul heads that come with them, opt for a hickory handle.

But if you prefer a composite handle that’ll likely never break or fail on you, composite handled splitting mauls are just as capable and competent as their hickory handled brothers.

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