1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

splitting axe handle - wood or fiberglass?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by kalevi, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. kalevi

    kalevi Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Messages:
    167
    Loc:
    Ottawa Ontario
    What is better for a splitting axe handle - wood or fiberglass?

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    15,283
    Loc:
    Northern IL
    I personally prefer wood, but the fiberglass can stand up to a little more abuse.
  3. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,972
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    I have a lot of both and Like jags perfer the wood.
  4. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Not sure what is meant by 'splitting axe' . . .

    In my experience, if you get a wood handle, make sure it's hickory, NOT ash!

    But, as far as I know, Monster Mauls only come with steel handles . . . not sure why you would split with anything else.
  5. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    If you are splitting wood, use a wood handle. If you want to split fiberglass....
  6. CTYank

    CTYank Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Messages:
    931
    Loc:
    SW CT
    Another wrinkle on the first bit: an axe is a cutting tool, can be very dangerous for splitting wood (as opposed to kindling.) I've seen the result of "oopses" splitting with an axe and it's really ugly. Now, a MAUL on the other hand, different story.

    M'self, I'd never bother with something like a "Monster Maul" for a bunch of reasons:
    -6 lb steel seems about the optimum for me for velocity & control (else, get a chainsaw.)
    -rigid steel pipe handle is really hard on the hands, reportedly. For starters.

    6 lb of steel on a nice piece of hickory, bring it.
  7. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    You need to at least try the MM. 6# mauls are so awkward . . . the handle weighs nearly as much as the head :wow: . Don't get me wrong, MM's are not good for stringy, nearly impossible to split stuff. But for rounds that it normally takes 3 shots with a 6# to pop, the MM will generally do on the first shot.

    Amen on the "how'd that happen, I swung the axe, and a slight mis-aim and the glancing blow sent the head off in some other direction" scenario. MM's don't glance off, and they don't get stuck.

    Now. . .dainty hands from CT, huh? Is this Don Imus?? :lol:
  8. Lumber-Jack

    Lumber-Jack Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    1,879
    Loc:
    Beautiful British Columbia
    I'd have to go with fiberglass.
    I'm no Fiskars fanatic, but I do like their handle-head design. Plus they are guaranteed for life, so " even if you ever do by some stretch of the imagination get the head to loosen up there guaranteed for life so you will get a new one." How many other maul manufactures offer that?

    [​IMG]
  9. project240

    project240 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2010
    Messages:
    150
    Loc:
    Alberta
    I definitely prefer a wood handle. To me, I feel the need to wear rubber gloves for extra grip on a fiberglass handle.
  10. CALJREICH

    CALJREICH New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
    Messages:
    193
    Loc:
    PENNSYLVANIA
    were you the kid always letting the bat fly in little league?
  11. gerry100

    gerry100 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Messages:
    523
    Loc:
    NY Capitol Region
    Good quality fiberglass maul.

    If you're new at splitting you'll save the time and expense of replacing wooden handles. Wood handles will also weaken and fail with time and usage.

    I've got a an 8lb fiberglass handled maul that's been laying around the barn in the elements for at least 15years and works like new.

    I used to use wood on my 6lb maul but don't really notice the difference and neither does the firewood.
  12. Elim

    Elim Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2010
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Putnam County, WV
    I am a Fiskars fan. Fiberglass all the way! I have broken a couple wooden handles, but no fiberglass ones yet. (Knock on wood)
  13. bboulier

    bboulier Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Messages:
    441
    Loc:
    NE Virginia
    Not sure what you mean by a "splitting axe". I have only owned the Fiskars super splitter for a short while, but I really like the fiberglass handle. I have two other mauls with wood handles. I did cover the wood near the head of each with rubber shielding, but still broke the handle on one and had to replace it. While wood feels good to the bare hand, I usually wear gloves when splitting and can't tell the difference between fiberglass and wood with gloves on. So, all things considered, I think I would go with fiberglass.
  14. lobsta1

    lobsta1 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    Messages:
    220
    Loc:
    Eastern Ma.
    If you are using a maul, WOOD all the way. Except for a Stanley hammer on EVERY single fiberglass handled tool I have tried,(3 lb engineers hammer, 8 lb sledge, 8 lb maul) the epoxy bond holding the tool to the head has let go. I would get years out of a wooden handle using the same tools. Now I use a splitter. (vertical style) I'm now 62, 5'6" & until a few years ago I was only 150 lbs & I still managed to crack that epoxy loose.
    Al
  15. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,746
    Loc:
    Central Sands, Wisconsin
    I replaced the wooden handle of my trusty maul with a fiberglass core/polypropylene handle over 25 years ago when it was new technology (or so the sticker on the Collins handle said). At the time it seemed like the fiberglass was easier on my shoulders; took some of the shock off of my arms. I have split a minimum of 5 full cord with it every year since. Two years ago I noticed a crack developing in the epoxy and thought I would have to replace it soon. Last year I noticed the head felt a little loose. This year, 10 cord later, a bit of the plastic/polypropylene covering has disintegrated and I can see the fiberglass core if I peer in there near the head. For the first 25 years I had zero problems with it. If I had known that handle was only going to last 25 years and 130 full cord or so....what a rip-off! ;-)

    Anyway, I have a spare wooden handle that's been sitting on a shelf in preparation for the day when the ancient fiberglass handle gives up (but like the Energizer Bunny, that fiberglass handle just keeps........) I think I will try a wood handle again when that time comes and see how it goes, it's been a very long time since the last one. It's a fancy CURVED handle too!
  16. gerry100

    gerry100 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Messages:
    523
    Loc:
    NY Capitol Region
    My FG handle maul (and Quads)was probably made when the technology was new and not cost reduced to a price point in China.

    To rely on Chinese product engineering to hold the head safely on my maul could be a mistake and there is something to be said for a wood handle you put on yourself.
  17. NH_Wood

    NH_Wood Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2009
    Messages:
    2,602
    Loc:
    southern NH
    If anyone's planning on splitting with Quads, better watch out......! ;-)
  18. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,746
    Loc:
    Central Sands, Wisconsin
    Nah, it'll hang on for awhile yet! Maybe, just to be safe, stand off to the side of me a little......
  19. kalevi

    kalevi Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Messages:
    167
    Loc:
    Ottawa Ontario
    I meant a maul. Thanks for the replies.
  20. maplewood

    maplewood Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    610
    Loc:
    NB Canada
    Okay - I don't get this logic. He's supposed to use a wooden ax: handle and head?
    I see you in your avatar sitting on a plywood box, wearing wool & polyester clothes, leather gloves, steel toed shoes (I hope) and running a steel splitter - bustin' up your winter's wood.
    What do you use to spread your peanut butter?
    :)
    PS - I prefer fibreglass (with a steel head). I've missed a couple of times and hit the handle on both types, and the fibreglass is more forgiving.
  21. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan

Share This Page