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Manual splitting mauls 6 pound vs. 12 pound

Post in 'The Gear' started by jj3500, Jun 24, 2009.

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  1. jj3500

    jj3500 Member

    Oct 7, 2008
    Orange County, N.Y. Southeast corner.
    Anyone using a 12 pound splitting maul? Seems like a heavy maul. (thinking of buying one). Today, I was using my Stihl 6 pound maul and it was bouncing off of an oak round. Its been cut and stacked for over a year now. I just tried to split the round and it bounced. I had to get the most outer edge and sorta peel out the layers.(if you know what I'm doing).



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  2. zzr7ky

    zzr7ky Minister of Fire

    Jun 12, 2006
    Hi -

    I find I use my 6# the most. I have 3 mauls and and 8 and 20# sledges... They all get used once in a while but the 6# does 85%. I also pare off the outer sides to have a better chance of getting a log apart with the least number of whacks.

    Mike P
  3. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

    Aug 22, 2008
    West Michigan
    BS (Before Splitter) I was using an 8 pound maul and it seemed to work fine. I think I'd complain a lot more with a 12 pounder. Seems heavy to be swinging all day.

    Typically when splitting with a maul I'd try to clean up my edge with a file every cord or so I split. Not super sharp, but just enough to help it along. I felt like it helped on the really crazy and big stuff....
  4. Hurricane

    Hurricane Minister of Fire

    Feb 18, 2009
    Central NJ
    I also use an 8lb and I agree a 12 lb seems heavy to use except for the occasional log. In that case now I use a wedge and sledge. Also for some reason ( unknown to me ) try splitting the log from the other end when that happens. Does not always work but it works enough times that I still try it.
  5. joshlaugh

    joshlaugh New Member

    May 1, 2009
    Granville, Ohio
    I use a 6lb. I think I would get tired a lot quicker swinging twice the weight. If your maul is bouncing off the round, I sometimes flip the round over and try or use a wedge/sleg hammer to get it started.
  6. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

    Nov 9, 2008
    NW Ontario
    I never use a maul but swinging a 3 1/2 lb axe, I found that the fresh cut side always worked best. The old dried out side end grain would be opened up enough to let the axe get wedged in and stop before the round would split. If I didn't have time to split the stuff right away, I would buck them to double length and make the final cut when I was ready to split.
  7. TreePapa

    TreePapa Minister of Fire

    Dec 24, 2008
    Southern Calif.
    Thumper (my mega-maul clone) has a 12 # head. If I swing that s.o.b. for 20 minutes, my arms and shoulders are cooked. Comes from being over 50 and sitting at a desk all day.

    I only use it on rounds that I can't split otherwise and I'm afraid that wedge will get stuck in. Most of the time, I use the 4.5 # super splitter, which is really more of an ax than a maul.

    - Sequoia
  8. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

    Oct 19, 2008
    Shelton, WA
    Fact: While a 12lb maul is 2x heavier than a 6lb maul, it will wear you out 10x faster.

    EDIT: I do about 99% of my splitting with a Fiskars Pro Splitting Ax (2.25lb) but when I did swing a maul I just chainsawed anything I couldn't split. Life is too short to waste time finessing firewood.
  9. Spikem

    Spikem Member

    Nov 2, 2008
    Middleboro, MA, USA
    I would think you wouldn't be able to get the swing speed fast enough to fully utilize the weight of that bad boy.
  10. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

    Nov 20, 2006
    Northeastern MA (near Lowell)
    Pre-hydraulic, I mostly used a 12lb Monster Maul clone (and it is probably one of the reason my left elbow went out so that I HAD to go hydraulic...) it worked well, but did take a fair bit of oomph... The arguement in it's favor is that it has a lot more momentum working for it than a lighter axe...

    Yes one can swing an axe faster, but there is a finite limit there of how much accelleration you can impart due to basic bio-mechanics - your body only moves so fast... With effort you can get that monster maul moving pretty fast, and it isn't going to stop just cause there is a puny chunk of oak in it's way....

    The arguement is sort of a question of running a vehicle into a barrier - either a truck at 10 mph, or a VW at 20 - which one will do more to the barrier? The car has kinetic energy, but the truck has momentum...

    I would tend to say that both tools have a place in the splitting arsenal.

  11. computeruser

    computeruser Feeling the Heat

    Jan 16, 2007
    East Lansing, MI
    I now use a nice 20ton Timberwolf splitting maul on wheels, but when I was still swinging at logs instead of standing there, pulling a lever, I preferred the Iron & Oak 15lb (10lb head + metal handle) wedge-on-a-stick maul for most of my splitting. If the stuff was knotty or large, you could bust stuff apart that had the 6- and 8-pound wood handle mauls bouncing. It actually was less tiring for me to use the heavy one, since I didn't have to take a full, fast swing with it.

    After I bought that maul, I almost never used my sledge + wedge anymore, and only used the 6lb maul on the ultra-easy stuff, like ash.
  12. wellbuilt home

    wellbuilt home Minister of Fire

    Jul 6, 2008
    I like a 15lb maul. Ive split every thing with it . One swing and i get a split . I would use the largest maul you can swing . Ive split a lot of wood with my 15lb I have a 20lb but don't use it much . Even throw i have a hydraulic splitter mI still like to split with a maul
  13. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Gotta' agree. The weight and shape of the monster maul make for less swings. Hell, a 6# go-devil, a good hickory handle weighs more than the head!!Totally throws the balance off.

    But you have to pick your battles. Don't spen the opening 20 minutes of your splittin session whackin at a piece of hard maple that ai't gonna split without a wedge. But if you're splittin oack and you have to peel it to split it . . . something is wrong.The only two things I've split easier than oak are ash, and my pants!! :coolhmm:
  14. Backroads

    Backroads Feeling the Heat

    Jun 19, 2008
    Richmond, RI
    If I need a 12lb maul, than that's what hydraulics are for! Big fan of 6#'s and always will be. 12 tires me out.
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