splitting tools

jrendfrey Posted By jrendfrey, Dec 5, 2012 at 5:01 PM

  1. jrendfrey


    Jan 15, 2012
    green mtns vt
    just curious about some splitting tools i see some of you guys have. i currently use an 8 pound maul to split everything i come across and it works pretty decent. i was wondering about a fiskars super splitter i had a smaller one probably 5 yrs ago and from what i remember it worked good but ended up getting dull from my sloppy splitting habits. now were i bought my maul they have a short very heavy very wide type maul that i am curious about its red in color and maybe 36 inches long does anyone have any expertise with this tool? so those are the three i am curious about like i said the 8 pounder does the job just wondering if i can make it easier on myself. any input like always is greatly appreciated! thanks guys
  2. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck
    Minister of Fire

    Feb 26, 2009
    Central PA
    I had an eight pound maul and a Fiskar's splitting ax. The maul is currently broken (oops) so I am using the Fiskar's, which isn't the Super Splitter, but rather the lighter Splitting Ax. I like having both tools. The Fiskar's is much lighter but still splits most wood pretty well. It is definitely easier for the small stuff. The maul has more power for larger pieces. I have not tried one of the wedge-shaped, very heavy mauls.

    When my Fiskar's gets dull I sharpen it with a standard bastard file, which works fine.
  3. jdp1152

    Minister of Fire

    Oct 4, 2012
    Fiskars x27 for almost everything.
    4 wedges and a sledge for more difficult rounds
    Fiskars x7 Hatchet for making kindling
    I have a kit of files for getting burrs (hidden rocks under soil mostly) off the axe and use the Fiskars sharpener after some heavy use. Couple of passes with it and all is well.

    About the only thing that those can't handle are really knotty wood. I chunk those rounds to the side and will rent a hydraulic splitter someday.
  4. Jasonhudd


    Dec 1, 2012
    I have got the fiskars x25 and it is awesome with most wood. I really am wanting to get the x27 also. I hit some very large and very green poplar the other day and it just sunk in then drive two wedges in and it still wouldn't split ended up having to get the chainsaw and cut my wedges out. But bust some oak not long ago and the x25 just went through it like butter. Oh and by the way the poplar was so wet that as I was beating the wedges in water and juice from the tree was going everywhere
  5. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage
    Minister of Fire

    Feb 14, 2007
    I split wood by hand up until the late 1980's and had split wood from the time I was about age six. I used to split most wood with just an axe but on the tough stuff used a sledge and a couple steel wedges. Got along just fine and always enjoyed the splitting. I think it was in the 70's when I somehow came upon a splitting maul and used that for many years. After an injury to my back, I then graduated to hydraulics. Wow! Wish I'd had this before!

    I ready many threads here about the Fiskar's and there are many who love them and claim they will do wonderful things. Last winter I got a chance to try one out. I could not believe it! The tool was not totally worthless but certainly no better than any plain old axe. Someone questioned me because of my age and the bad back that perhaps this is why it did not work out so well. However, beside me was a young man and he did no better than I at the splitting. I will add that we were trying to split white ash and that is one of the very easiest woods there are to split. It took several swings to split a block that was about 10" diameter. That should have split easy with one swing.

    I am not trying to put down others or the Fiskars except to say it is no better than any others and the splitting maul will easily outsplit it. So I'd advise that you stick with your splitting maul. As for the other you mentioned, I've tried some but would not advise getting one.
    quads and Nixon like this.
  6. bogydave

    Minister of Fire

    Dec 4, 2009
    So Cent ALASKA
    I don't think a fisker's will split better than a 6 - 8 lb maul over all.
    It wouldn't split the spruce I tried one on, but the 8 lb maul did.
    In easy splitting wood, it's lighter & easy to swing & works well
    but lacks the mass & width to split some of the tougher wood.

    I'd say if you want a fisker's in the arsenal, go for it. Works well on some wood & you'll have the mauls for the tougher stuff.
    I'd get the biggest one they make .
    Tried my neighbor's & decided not worth it for me.

    Have used the "monster maul" with a steel pipe handle. It splits wood but a heavy monster. Don't think you can break it though.

    But now, like Dennis, I went hydraulic few years ago , & split 98% with it now.
    quads likes this.
  7. Nixon

    Minister of Fire

    Aug 6, 2008
    West Sunbury ,Pa.
    I'm in Dennis' camp . Used to split wood with an 8 pound maul and wedges . Fractured 6 vertebrae ..... Went hydraulic with a log lift .
  8. Jasonhudd


    Dec 1, 2012
    I have got one of the monster mauls and I have not had any luck with it!!
  9. jrendfrey


    Jan 15, 2012
    green mtns vt
    ok guys thanks for the replys and fast too lol. im keeping the 8 pounder the fiskars is not going to be in my arsenal. was just curious as if there is something better i could be using. still a little intrigued by the heavy monster maul though. i will just keep using my 8 pounder as it works wonderfully thanks agian guys
  10. timusp40

    Feeling the Heat

    Feb 3, 2010
    Lake Orion, Michigan
    There can be no single tool for handsplitting that works for everyone and is better than everything else. To me, you find what works for you and of course what you are splitting, how tough it is etc. I have a maul and a X27. Use both of them. Every piece of wood that you see in my avatar was split by this 67 year old with one or the other. Won't go to hydraulics till I have to. The way I figure it, if I get 3 years ahead, it should be easy to continue hand splitting and getting the workout, that is until the body tells me otherwise.
    quads and Thistle like this.
  11. jeff_t

    Minister of Fire

    Sep 14, 2008
    SE MI
    I have one of those heavy red bastards. I hoped it would be like the original Sotz Monster Maul, but it doesn't really compare. I prefer the Fiskars. Actually, I prefer hydraulic, but I play around now and then.
  12. Jacktheknife

    Minister of Fire

    Dec 4, 2012
    Lakota, Iowa
    This thread is a good read. I am expecting to recieve a 8lb fiberglass maul for xmas and am glad to read that it seems to be among the top non-hydrolic choices. The original poster mentioned bad splitting habbitd-- can anyone expand on these?
  13. XJma

    Burning Hunk

    Oct 28, 2012
    I have an 8# and it works great. I really want to get a fiskars too, been very impressed with their axes and the company in general.

    One thing that I do with my regular 8#er is I always use a big round as a splitting base/block. I have a few good ones in strategic locations where I am likely to be splitting rounds. I find I can get a better hit on the rounds when they are up off the ground a bit, and they're on a nice solid base so they don't move around. Plus, with a miss or a swing through, the head of the maul rarely touches the ground=less sharpening.
  14. pen

    There are some who call me...mod.
    Staff Member

    Aug 2, 2007
    N.E. Penna
    A lot of this is personal preference, but for me, the only non-wood handle I've ever found I liked is the one on the fiskars.

    Last time I bought a sledge I picked up a 10lb one w/ a fiberglass handle. Still regret it to this day. No problem with durability, but simply feels like poo as it strikes something.

    As far as the fiskars go, the cabin I cut most of my firewood at ends up having upwards of 30 cord of firewood processed on it each year. Up until 2 years ago, everyone used a difference choice of tool. 1 used my trusted 8lb maul that used to belong to my grandfather. A buddy has a more modern 8lb maul which was more blunt in design. 2 others used a 6lb maul, and another used a 12lb (or whatever the heck the sucker is) old monster maul. From time to time, there was a Chopper 1 that would get thrown in the mix and also sledge and wedge for the nasty stuff of course, various axes, etc.

    After reading all the positive reviews for the fiskars on amazon, I asked for 1 for my birthday, determined that the folks using that measly 4.5 lb axe were inexperienced / city slickers / whatever. I couldn't rationalize any way that it could work any better than any other tool that size. The x27 hadn't come out yet so I received the x25. I proceeded to head outside and blow through my pile of "uglies" and was completed surprised. At this point, since it was merely the first day I tried it, I didn't tell anyone of the success as I was still certain it was a fluke. A few months go by, and I split a few more face cord with it. Was again impressed. While doing this, I kept switching back and forth between it and my other tools, trying to do an honest comparison. At the end of each session the x25 kept coming up on top through a variety of different wood.

    Fast forward a few months later, and (I still hadn't even posted a review on hearth.com yet) I finally decided to hand it off to a buddy while bs-ing after a cutting session. We weren't splitting but just told him to take a few whacks. We kept shooting the bull, he never commented and just handed it back to me. A week later, he hands me an x27 (just came out on the market). He ended up buying 6 in total and handing them out to this father in law, himself, me, and a few other buddies (the same ones mentioned above using a variety of different tools).

    Fast forward to today, with probably 60 cord of wood on our x27's, and the only time any of us end up using our old favorites is if someone forgets to put their x27 in the truck.

    But again, that's my group's experience after a pretty thorough testing IMO, as with any tool, everyone winds up with their own preferences.

    Senatormofo likes this.
  15. jrendfrey


    Jan 15, 2012
    green mtns vt
    when i used my fiskars aboot 5 years ago i was splitting red oak that i bought as seasoned wood and well it wasnt. put a piece of that it the stove and it put the damn fire out. i was really p-off. so everynight when i got home from work i had to split it into little tiny pieces and make due. i usually downed 5-6 totties in the process to try and cope with this bad decision i made on buying the wood. well sometimes i missed the log lol. never been burned since cause now i buy log length a year or more ahead of time. lesson learned seems everyone gets it at one point. find a honest seller and stick with him. that fiskars is sitting in the woods at my FILs house i want to go get it but the 8 pound maul i got has split everything ive gotten so not much of an issue. btw mine has a fiberglass handle also its the only way to go
  16. red oak

    red oak
    Minister of Fire

    Sep 7, 2011
    northwest Virginia
    I use a standard 8 lb maul for just about everything. Now I split mostly oak so it's usually easy. I also have a sledge hammer and wedges that I use for a small amount of splitting. After that, each year I have 20-30 pieces that won't split - those are for campfires or get the chainsaw.
  17. Boog

    Minister of Fire

    Oct 31, 2012
    NE Ohio
    I have an original 20+ lb Sotz, still swinging it, but at 57 getting ready for the hydraulic soon. Here I was about two weeks ago. That's knotty, twisted pignut, the red 6 pounder on the trailer won't touch it. Sometimes that maul goes right through them with enough left over force to split the one underneath. I know from previous threads that several of the "old timers" on here still swing them!

    smaller mauling.jpg
  18. osagebow

    Minister of Fire

    Jan 29, 2012
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    I think he means splitting without a large round or something else underneath to protect the edge. i nicked my x27 pretty good shortly after purchase with a
    horrible swing that glanced and hit dirt/rocks. Like the 8 lb or wedges for heavier stuff but can swing the x27 longer.

    look for old wedges at flea markets. old steel is better than the glorified pot metal they sell today and therefore less likely to send a chip flying. :eek:
  19. Thistle

    Minister of Fire

    Dec 16, 2010
    Central IA
    Received 15lb Sotz Monster Maul as a gift around 1980.Used it on most everything with the exception of 5lb Plumb double bit for the easier ones & 12 or 20 lb sledge & 4-6lb wedges for the nasty ones until early 1996.Bought Speeco 20 ton H/V (Which I ALWAYS used vertical ;)) w/8HP Tecumseh in April that year.

    Used hydro 99% of the time until Dec 2005,when I sold it to brother when needing cash due to a pre-Christmas temp layoff.Went back to manual splitting ever since. As I got older the Sotz maul (since reinforced with 1/4" thick wall galvanized pipe handle which added 5lbs weight also _g) wasnt easy to swing as when I was a younger man.Bought the X25 in May 2011 (X27 not available locally & didnt want to wait a week for shipment). While it wont split everything - it does take care of 90% of what I got with comparative ease,I think its great. The monster maul will sit for 2-3 months or more sometimes now.Its still there in my arsenal,same with all the sledges & wedges for when those extra gnarly or huge ones appear occasionally.Gonna get an X27 eventually also.

    Like someone else said,there's no "one size fits all" either in wood splitting tools or chainsaws.Its nice to have several choices at your disposal.Makes your work easier,faster,safer & more productive.

    And yes,even FUN.
  20. jatoxico

    Minister of Fire

    Aug 8, 2011
    Long Island NY
    As was already stated no one hand tool is going to do it all. That said my Fiskars 25 does a tremendous job on most everything I run into. I also use an 8# maul and wedge and sledge as needed. IMO for $35-40 bucks you should have a version of the Fiskars if you are going to split by hand.

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