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12 lb maul?

Post in 'The Gear' started by cbrodsky, Nov 2, 2006.

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  1. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Messages:
    517
    Loc:
    Millbrook, NY
    Was at a friend's house - they just scrounged wood for the first time and were having trouble splitting it. I figured I'd stop by to see for myself. They have a 6 lb maul with flared sides. I tried it and while it worked, it seemed fairly hard compared to what I'm used to - often took more swings that I would have expected. So the next day, I brought over my 8 lb maul - night and day better for me, and even for them, still having difficulty with the weight, it was working better. Smaller splits are just 1/4 swings with it for them - they are sold on 8lb now.

    It now has me thinking maybe I should try a 12? The 8lb was fairly heavy a year ago; a few cords later, it's become a piece of cake. On nasty large pieces, I tend to use full 360 degree swings with it and have solid control to aim it, so not much more I can do for speed either.

    Anyone make the same transition and how did you like it? Was it worth moving to heavier weight or is 8lb reasonable upper limit? Oddly, seems like there's only one game in town for 12 lb mauls - same company sells one with a steel handle through many outlets. Worried about how that will be relative to fiberglass too. Interestingly, I haven't seen any 10 pounders...

    -Colin

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  2. whenley

    whenley Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    27
    Loc:
    Warrenton, VA
    I have several 6's and one 12lb 'monster maul'.
    The 12 pounder comes out for the really stubborn stuff - but for most work the 6lb works fine. For large rounds, I start with an 8lb sledge and wedges, then once it is broken up a bit, the 6lb brings it down to stove size.
    The 12 pounder is great for knotty splits. Several years ago, it was my only maul. Swinging it for a couple of hours will wear you out (but build you up!). You don't really have to swing it, just get it up top, then just give gravity a slight assist. After swinging the 12, the 6 feels like a toy and you can really get some head-speed. It is good to have both mauls, plus the sledge/wedge, then you are ready for about anything.

    When splitting wood however, I find it is not so much the swinging that tires me out, it is the lifting and placing of the rounds to split - and then picking up and stacking the splits. All the bending over, my back is what gives out first.
  3. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Messages:
    517
    Loc:
    Millbrook, NY
    That might be the ticket - for example, I recently went through about two Tacoma truckloads of wood that I picked up from my uncle that a tree service had done. Ended up with about 7-8 chunks that were fairly gnarly. Over the entire year, I might get a pile of 50 of these when done with 5 cords. Not enough to justify a powered wood splitter. Maybe enough to justify one of those $99 hydraulic splitters, but not sure they will do the job on those pieces. But if a 12 lb would knock off another 20-30 of those, that might be worth it.

    Sounds like the message is even if I get one, keep the 8lb around too...

    -Colin
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