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confused Axe/maul

Post in 'The Gear' started by n3pro, Aug 16, 2010.

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  1. n3pro

    n3pro Minister of Fire

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    I currently use an axe, many say use a maul. I hear a lot about Fiskars so I look them up and all I see is splitting axe, no maul. It a fiskars splitting axe a maul - the pictures on the site an amazon are all from the side so I can't tell?

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  2. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Splitting axes, like the Fiskars tools, are elegant, light-weight precision-made, sharp tools, best suited to the discriminating wood splitter who places a high value on effficiency (output vs. effort expended). Mauls, on the other hand, are rather crudely fashioned, dull, heavy tools which rely mostly on brute force and a lot of energy expended to get the job done. Mauls are favored by the chest thumping Tarzan set. :p Rick
  3. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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  4. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Clearly a case where the tool is smarter than the doofus wielding it. :p
  5. Beetle-Kill

    Beetle-Kill Minister of Fire

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    I swear that looks like a kindling axe. Or, he's 7' tall. Either way, the words-"Hydraulic log splitter" need to be introduced into his vocabulary.
  6. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    It's quads, our most dedicated maul user doing a parody on Fiskars.
  7. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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  8. Beetle-Kill

    Beetle-Kill Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, I've seen the video, and a few "Clash of the Titans" fans have been known to yell- "Unleash the QUADS!!" when the splitting-with-the-maul time comes. Funny but true. The stuff of legends?
  9. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    And hydraulic splitters are favored by folks who would rather work smarter than harder . . . these folks pay a premium for the ability to quickly and easily split wood for hours upon hours . . . including the dreaded American elm. ;) :)
  10. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Never really wanted a hyd splitter but the 429 one I missed and the white ash(for some reason the hardest ash I have ever split) plus my age makes me want one very much.
  11. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    I have a gas powered 27-ton hydraulic "maul". I love it. I'll be 62 this year, and can use all the hydraulics I can get. I still do lots of hand splitting, resplitting, making kindling & such...all with lightweight Fiskars tools. Works for me. Rick
  12. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    Ya, me no so samrt. Me hit um big piece of wood wit littl axie fisky thingie. Me bigun doofus. Haven't you heard the Fiskars saying? "Once you've tried a Fiskars, you'll never go back to women. It's that good."

    Seriously though:

    1) Do you intend to split your rounds out in the woods, on the ground? Yes = splitting maul.

    2) Do you intend to split your rounds at home, on a designated splitting block? Yes = splitting axe.

    I've heard that they both split firewood just fine, but work best in different situations.
  13. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    I split firewood with curved handle axes most of my life. I tried a maul once and thought they were the work of the Devil looking to populate Hell. It was not until after I turned 50 that got a hydraulic splitter. I look at those straight handle Fiskars as also the work of the Devil.
  14. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    These are my splitting tools. Each has a purpose for which it's well suited. I use them all...but I use no maul. Rick

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  15. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    One thing I should mention is that while the non-doofus types are setting here typing about how a maul is so hard to split wood with, I am out there in the mosquitoes and briers using that maul to make money, almost everyday. Now, while I certainly understand why Jane might need something lighter, and I have no problem with that, I also do not understand why so many people think that just because they find it hard to split wood with a maul, should it be assumed that it's hard for everybody else and a maul is junk? Trust me, I have no problem splitting firewood with a maul and have no desire to ever swing a light-weight. As a matter of fact, splitting firewood is one of the favorite things to do in this Tarzan's simple life. I love it! But would I say that anything other than a 6lb maul is junk and can't be used for splitting firewood? No, never. To each his own. If a little light-weight is more suited for somebody else, so be it. We're all doing the same thing, even if some of us are maybe not quite as used to it as others. If a maul is too heavy and hard to swing for some people, so what. Doesn't mean it's junk for everybody else. It's just suited better for other people that can swing it easily, especially the scary ape-types like me. Then it becomes an efficient ground shaking splitting machine.

    But I'm not going to say it's the only thing suited for the job for everybody.

    Taken just moments ago:
    [​IMG]
  16. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Quads, I don't think anyone here is dissing the maul as a useful tool, and I think we're mostly nothing but impressed with the way you use it. A lot of what we (including you) post here is in playful jest. I've split plenty of wood with a 6 lb maul in past years. It used to be my tool of choice, in fact (and in my best day, I wasn't a man of your physical stature). Well, the years go by, and now I find that after a couple of nearly symmetrical shoulder-related injuries, and a lower back that's never been all that strong, I really appreciate the fact there are other alternatives available to me that make it possible for me to keep on keepin' on. I enjoy the work, but I'm simply not as capable as I once was. The hydraulic splitter coupled with the very effective lighter weight tools allow me to continue to enjoy being productive while taking into account the limitations that age and wear and tear from years past necessitate. There's no universal "right" way to get the job done...we each have to find what works best for ourselves, our working conditions, and our capabilities. Keep on swingin' that maul as long as you can, young man! :) Rick

    BTW: I never called you a doofus...I called the character you portrayed in your parody pic a doofus. There's a difference. I would never, for example, refer to Jim Nabors as a doofus...but Gomer Pyle, on the other hand...
  17. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    I have wood that the fiskars has trouble with and I grab the "man" maul and then I have wood that the "man" maul doesnt work very good on and grab the fiskars so both come into play, have splitt with a 8lb maul for years but I like the light sharp fiskars for a lot of stuff. The only maul I really did not like was my friends monster maul, too heavy for me. Who are you calling a Jane, I am more of a Nancy! :)
  18. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Hmmmm...I split wood with a simple axe for many years. Didn't know what a maul was and a hydro splitter never crossed my mind. NOW who's the doofus. Me. :red:

    Note: by the pics and video it appears that Quads and I are of similar stature.
  19. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    This photo may explain some of the reported effectiveness of the Fiskars design. Here is a bird's-eye view of my Fiskars SS compared to my 8-pound maul (sporting it's brand-new handle). Notice that, in spite of the much touted sharpness of the Fiskars, the actual included angle of the wedge-shape is much greater than in the old fashioned maul. Anybody can sharpen the edge of a maul if they want, but you can't alter the basic geometry. The Fiskars seems to explode the wood apart, and I think that has to do with the wide included angle of the head design coupled with the sharp relief just behind the widest part.

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  20. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    Haha! Yes, I understand! No offense taken. And none given on my part. The light-weight tool is much more suited to your situation. As I assumed.

    - quads a.k.a. Archibald 'Tarzan' Fiskars :)
  21. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    They're nicely engineered and very well made tools. They're effective at what they're intended to do. I'm glad they're on the menu of choices available to us...but as Quads & others have said, they're not everybody's cup of tea. So be it. Rick

    ETA: IRT BK's post #18 above
  22. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    To the OP, a splitting axe or a maul are both very effective splitting tools. A regular (chopping) axe is an effective tool for gettig stuck in the piece of wood your trying to split and allowing you to dance around tugging on the handle trying various angles & leverages to get it out & then lifting the whole round overhead by the axe handle & slamming it down on your block in a desperate attempt to split it & get your axe back.
    Quads makes a good point about using a maul for splitting on the ground & fiskars or similar on a block. A splitting axe has to stay sharp to work well & burying it in the dirt will dull it in no-time. A maul can be dull & still work quite well.
  23. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    It sucks to splitt on the ground as it absorbs some of the energy so like to splitt on a block of wood no matter what I am using.
  24. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    Guess it works if you have some energy to spare in your swing (per Quads vid) and a long handle. I don't do it 'cause it kills my back, but can see how it could be faster to split as it lies.
  25. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    I think the point quads is trying to make is that when you are out in the woods and splitting without a block, the maul trumps the splitting axe due to its greater mass creating the extra inertia needed to overcome the energy absorbing ground.
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