Post in 'The Gear' started by dlatheman, Feb 23, 2010.
My old double bit ax does pretty well but I would like to hear what everybody else likes and why.
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You'll get many different endorsements, but what has worked for me for decades of manual splitting is a 6# maul with a full-length handle.
I'm partial to the Fiskars Super Splitter.
Sledge and wedge and an 8lb maul. I did go to my parents house and get the old 15lb maul I used when I was younger. I used it today and it works well. I haven't used it in 25 years.
Fiskars super splitter-nuff said!
I agreed with this till I got a Fiskars last year.
If you want a lighter tool that will do most of your splitting, get a fiskars. I used an eight pound maul for years now use the fiskars almost exclusively. I always reach for the fiskars, its half the weight and gets the job done.
I'm considering a Fiskars SS to partner with my new Stihl 390 that's on the way. I'm concerned about the short handle. Has there been any sign from Fiskars that they might come out with this head on a longer handle? I'm 5'11" and I keep reading about problems with this axe with taller people. Can anyone advise me on technique using the Fiskars so I don't chop part of my foot off?
A 3 1/2 lb axe with a curved handle worked well for the first 50 years of my life until I got a hydraulic splitter. I would never use anything with a straight handle.
I'm 6' 3" and love my Fiskars SS! I use a 20" tall 30" wide round with a tire on top for splitting--never had a single problem with the Fiskars that wasn't an issue with ALL mauls/axes, i.e. be careful and focus on what you're doing. I wouldn't want a longer handle even if it was available.
I have 3 mauls, plus 3 sledges, at least 3 wedges.... On most days i like the light, slim, fast one; it's 3 1/2 lbs. I'm guessing. The 6lb. maul is also very good. On occasion I'll use the 6lb job that has 'cams' on either side my MIL got at a yard sale. It seems that different wood may take different mauls.
I confess I have come to the point of wood snobbery. I have walk past large Elms that I could take for free. I turned down Poplar delivered for free. Ash, Oak, and even Silver Maple split readily. I still split a fair portion of my wood by hand in the winter. When cutting standing dead I just can't see hauling out the hydrolic splitter. Makes for less wood handling especially important with the deep snow.
I love my Fiskars Pro Splitter for most of my wood and the big stuff I switch to the Supper Splitter. Why swing an extra 2# if you don't have too
Welcome to the forum dlatheman. You are amongst friends here.
Like you, I split with a double bitted axe for many, many years. I used a sledge and wedges for the tough stuff. I never owned a splitting maul until I was given one when I was around 40 years old. It was, and is, a 6 lb and does a good job. I would not go any heavier than the 6 lb. a
As you see, there are many on here that love their Fiskars. From what I see of them I probably would not use one as I just do not like those short things and I can't see why they would do any better or as good as a splitting maul. Also, I have noticed the most of the folks who use the Fiskars are new to the splitting game. New folks like to try new things and that is normally a good thing but sometimes the older ways still work best.
For me, now that the body has seen better days I use the hydraulic splitter; a 20 ton MTD model. Now I can split wood while I sit on my duff and it is difficult to work up a sweat. Very nice indeed.
I have a sledge and wedges to break the really big rounds once. Medium rounds I break with my 6 lb maul. Everything else gets split with my luddell (liddell?) axe I got from home depot. I think it's a 4 lb head - and it has split alot of wood for me and does really well.
All the Fiskar super splitter endorsements on here have made me curious to try one - but I've never gotten around to buying one.
I also rent a hydraulic splitter atleast 1 day a year to get ahead. I really enjoy splitting with an axe. It's truly theraputic.
I've been splitting wood for 20+ years--hardly a newbie! lol. For me, all it took was 5 mins of using my Fiskars SS to realize that it is simply the best splitting tool I've ever owned or used--nothing else even comes close and I've owned just about every type of maul and splitting axe there is!
For those of you that have never tried one, I can't understand how you'd knock something you've never even tried (especially when there are literally hundreds of people on this very forum who rave about this tool....) but I guess there will always be people who like to stubbornly buck the popular trends and stick with their old ways even when it's much harder and less efficient.
what gets me on the Fiskars is when I use it, I "feel" like I have more leverage going into the head of the splitter than with a traditional 8# sledge and wedge or a traditional long and straight handled maul. In a sense, the fiskars splitter seems to give more balance and leverage with the shorter handle and shape of it to generate more splitting force-I think/feel like I'm splitting more efficiently-isn't efficiency the name of the game. That's strickly opinion, but there it is for what it's worth. Now I'd be curious to find out if Fiskars has any graphs or engineering research to back up why they use a shorter handle and design their splitter and handle the way they do.
At the same time, Dennis is so right, there ain't nothin better than splitting with a 20 ton hydraulic splitter. I don't own one, but a friend does that I borrow once a year. It makes quick work of big rounds!
Same here Noprophet, I have 20 yrs of splitting with a maul. I have the same head but been through a few handles. A friend told me about the Fiskars, after reading all of the positive comments in this forum I gave it a a Pro Splitter a try this year. Wow, I really liked my Pro Splitter. The first time I went out for my usual 2 hr. splitting session it flew by, after 2 hrs. I was feeling great, this is usually when I put the maul down. I had some pieces that the Pro couldn't handle so I picked up a SS and went through like knife through butter. If Inferno wants to work hard let him.
Not me, Work smarter, Not harder!
I used an 8 lb maul for years till I got my Friskar Super Splitter this season. Have not touch the 8 lb maul since.
I'm not sure how long I have been splitting wood but it close to 30 years. I can remember the days when we didn't have a hydraulic splitter and there were quite a few gnarly chunks that just got passed over because it would be easier to fell and buck another tree than to continue trying to split it. It very rarely happens with a hydraulic splitter.
That said, I'm a believer in the Fiskars. I use mine quite often. There isn't really anything magic about it. I think it comes down to e=mv^2. With the lighter head, v increases considerably and since it is squared has a greater effect on e.
I let two of my 70+ yr old uncles try the Fiskars out the other day. They both liked it. One of them liked it well enough that he said, "Order me one."
While I'm only 32, I've been splitting wood every winter for at least 17 years.
What I've settled on is an 8lb axe eye maul, with a long heavy axe type handle with a little bend in it. My maul head isn't very blunt, like most of the mauls I see for sale and it splits better than anything i've used. Although, I see a lot of recommendations for the fiskars axe/maul thing, I'll have to check that out.
I can recommend what NOT to use. Those terrible metal handled traingle headed things that weigh 12 or so pounds. Its not that they are too heavy - the problems are that the handle is too short and are round (and hollow). I would not advise to use anything with a round handle as you don't ever really know which way is forward, and sometimes you'll come down with the side of the head on the wood and give yourself a terrible jar.
This is a big part of it, but it's also the edge geometry/blade profile on the fiskars. It's made from a different type of high strength steel that allows the edge to be at a much gentler taper. Because of the blade profile, the blade goes into the wood a lot further before it directs the energy out to the sides. The fiskars cuts the wood apart when it splits, as opposed to a maul that uses blunt force trauma to smash the wood open.
This is the same one that I use on the fresh stuff. It is damn heavy but it rips through really hard rounds. I also have Super Splitter and Pro Splitting Axe by Fiskars, both very nice too but again this 8lb maul, hell mine might be 10lb, was my Gramps and it was passed on to me. I like my Fiskars for small rounds, it is nice and light and with the sharpener it stays ready to chop
The thing that is confusing for me about Fiskars is which one? I've seen Chopping Axe, Power Axe, Pro Axe, Super Splitting Axe. Theres 4.25 lb, 2lb heads, 28 inch to 17 inch........ and the prices are all over the place.
WHICH ONE? It's confusing - I don't want to get the wrong one. I'd like to walk into a store and give one a swing and get my hands on it before buying - as I have done with all my other tools.
I think the one that looks best for my needs is the Super Splitting Axe 4.25 lb head - 28 inch handle I think 7854 is the model? I've seen it going anywhere from $ 52 to 39.99 at Baileys. I would like to get one.
7854 is the Super Splitter that rules if you ask me. . . . if you jump on FleaBay, Denny and Kathy's out of Minnesota have them for something like $31 or $32 plus $9 shipping, which is a steal. If you have a Menards around you, I've heard from time to time they have them on sale there. If it were me, I'd grab the Super Splitter and the sharpener.
If you live anywhere near northern Michigan, I have a whole bunch of freshly cut beech, bass wood, and maple rounds if you'd like to try one out. In fact you could try it out for the whole day out at the wood lot if you'd like to see if you'd really really like it
I tried a 20-ton splitter, but I could barely lift it...
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