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Stihl Spliting maul

Post in 'The Gear' started by Jefflee1, Apr 25, 2006.

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  1. Jefflee1

    Jefflee1 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2006
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    Loc:
    Willington CT
    Before I get into my feelings about this product, let me give you a little background of myself.
    As a kid we burned wood since I can remember, we (parents and a friend of there’s) got into delivering wood for a bit, $55 a cord cut, spit and delivered. .LOL those were the days..... when I was in my teens my job was to split the wood, we didn't have any hydraulic splitters then, just man power. I was to split as much wood as I could, I found as I got into my later teens I was using a 8 lbs maul. Worked for me.

    Now present day, ( yes I am 40yrs old) I have been burning the last 4 years on and off, this year a bought a new stove and was going to get "serious" about wood this year. so now I have about 2 1/2 cord in my yard that needs to be split, I was using a 6lbs maul, and it worked fine, but I wanted a 8 pounder.
    So off to the local hardware stores to get one, all the had were these mauls that had to much of a angle at the point ( too wide , the would just bounce off the wood ) .

    The local Stihl dealer had a couple of the, so I got the biggest one Model # PA 80 http://www.stihl.us/handtools/axes.html
    6.6lbs head Hickory handle. I have been using it the last couple night and all I can say id WOW. I am splitting stuff I would have not though possible or near impossible. It feels much heavier than 6.6lbs, very solid, and sturdy.
    Using this maul I feel that I am splitting pieces faster and with less blows and with any other maul I have ever owned.

    The good... Very well balanced, very nice construction and great feel...

    The Bad, nothing as of yet well, I guess if 50.00 for a maul is to much, then yes that is the bad.

    My feelings, well worth the money, I am thinking of getting the PA 50 for my son...

    Respectfully

    Jeffrey D Pierce




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  2. DonCT

    DonCT Minister of Fire

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    Dec 9, 2005
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    609
    Loc:
    Bristol, Connecticut
    I guess you use what works for you. I originally used a little 4 lb. splitter that I could swing 500 mph ;)

    But then on some pieces, I would end up just sinking the head into the wood without even a crack. So I picked up a plain jane 8 lb maul and I use that for my bigger pieces to just get them atleast halved.

    Those Stihls look nice!! It's a shame they're that expensive.
  3. carpniels

    carpniels Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    536
    Loc:
    Rome, NY, USA
    Hi Jef,

    Thanks for the heads up. I was looking at mauls too and found them too blunt for my taste. I guess I will be checking the Stihl mauls out soon.

    Thanks

    Carpniels
  4. Rick

    Rick Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    185
    Loc:
    Connecticut
    I bought one last year and I also love it. It was my maul of choice until I purchased a hydraulic splitter earlier this year, but i still use it for the smaller rounds.

    Rick
  5. count brewski

    count brewski New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2005
    Messages:
    30
    Loc:
    Maryland
    a wood handle on a splitting maul? and it's 50 bucks? PT Barnum was right.....
  6. PAJerry

    PAJerry Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
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    224
    Loc:
    Waterford, PA
    I got a 6 lb. maul with a nice fiberglass handle for $32 at Tractor Supply and it works great. Also have same size with wooden handle but got tired of replacing the handle at $12 a pop so it is now my 'spare', in case one of my kids comes over to help.
  7. carpniels

    carpniels Minister of Fire

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    Hi brewski,

    I am sorry but I do not understand your comment: PT Barnum was right. What does that mean? I know the guy owned a circus, but what does that have to do with a maul?

    And what is so bad about a wood handle? Does it break that often? PAjerry replaced it many times? Is he overhitting the wood? Is it not a matter of hitting the wood properly and you will not need to replace the handle that often?

    Thanks

    Niels
  8. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Niels,

    It comes from his alleged observation that "There's a sucker born every minute."

    My son has the unique ability to break any handle, any time. Apparently he learned somewhere that if you destroy the means of production, production becomes impossible. That sounds like a paraphrase of something Karl Marx may have said, but I'm not sure because my knowledge of important world literature ends with the likes Yogi Berra and P.T. Barnum.
  9. adrpga498

    adrpga498 Minister of Fire

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    New Jersey
    Neighbor new at processing wood. He broke a fiberglass handle with 8lb. head within 1 year. About 1 and a half cord split. Me, 6th year with same wood handle & 6 lb head at 3 cord per year. Seems like he needs a lesson on clubhead speed and shaft angle of attack.
  10. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    6,980
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    Is this maul better than your typical Home Depot model (like I've got :) )?
    I'm having a heck of a time getting through some stuff.
  11. carpniels

    carpniels Minister of Fire

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    Rome, NY, USA
    Hi velvet,

    I guess it all depends on the wood. Eric Johnson was over this weekend to help me with moving a log splitter I rented. The gas splitter worked great and got stuck only once. But it is expensive and you have to work like a dog to get all the logs and then the splits moved and stacked before the rental expires. Eric brought his 6 and 8# mauls and showed me how to use it. He has an interesting technique. He lifts relatively slow, but really wacks it down. And accurate too. We split some 24 inch logs easily (I believe it was aspen). Very straight grain wood. It was hard for me since I am used to a 3# Fiskars 'maulette'. But as we all know, he splits 20 fill cords per year all with this one maul. And it looks exactly like the one they sell at Ace for $25. Except he has a wood handle and Ace's has a fiberglass handle. I am not used to the weight.

    I will buy a 8# maul and try it out for a while. Might get the trick done a little wood at a time instead of one weekend working like a dog.

    Carpniels
  12. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Actually, it was ash. Nice straight grain, but pretty big diameters, so it took a couple of whacks.

    If, like Carpniels, you have a steady supply of wood available, the incremental approach works great. I cut and split about a full cord a week, so it's enough activity to stay in shape and grow your wood pile over the course of the spring, summer and fall months. The way my schedule works out, I can comfortably do about 20-25 cords over the course of the cutting season, which is somewhat more than what I burn for the rest of the year. Right now I'm about a year ahead, which takes the pressure off.
  13. mailman

    mailman Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
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    "I can comfortably do about 20-25 cords over the course of the cutting season, which is somewhat more than what I burn for the rest of the year."

    How much do you burn?! Holy cow!
  14. carpniels

    carpniels Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Rome, NY, USA
    hi mailman,

    I guess you are new to this forum. Eric is the king of burning; he burns abourt 20 full cords a year. I guess he has a beast of a boiler that requires a lot of food!!!

    I suggested to him to upgrade to a newer, more efficient, less polluting wood boiler (Tarm, new horizon) but they cost a lot (5-10K) and he really likes the work and his wood is free.

    Carpniels
  15. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

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    I thought Eric changed some things around and got it down to about 15?
  16. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I burned 16 cords last winter, early Sept. through late April.

    People always seem shocked at that total without knowing the circumstances that bring it about. I have a big, old house in a cold climate. We keep it warm and heat all our domestic hot water. So if I didn't burn a lot of wood, I'd be burning a lot of natural gas.

    I'm not at all sure that a more contemporary boiler would result in significant savings in wood consumption. Not sure enough to lay out that much money for the privledge of using less free wood, at any rate. I'll trade good exercise for cash any day of the week.

    Getting back to splitting for a minute: Since I'm a year ahead on my wood, I'm not as aggresive with my splitting. The wood I burn next season will be two years old, so even relatively large rounds will be dry enough to burn well. Now I generally split rounds eight inches in diameter and larger. If they give me any grief, I leave 'em alone if they will fit through the boiler door, which is about 9x11. My first year in this house I split everything 4 inches and up in an attempt to get it to dry more quickly. That was a lot of work. Since I cut whole trees, I get a nice mix of branchwood and trunks. Everything but the squeal.

    One nice thing about cutting the trees, blocking them and then leaving the wood on the ground for a year is that the branches you missed are easily snapped off by hand when loading the wood onto the pickup, which avoids having to put on the safety gear and crank up the chainsaw. The wood is also usually pretty dry, and that makes it easier to handle and puts less strain on the truck. Most of the bark stays in the woods.
  17. Turner-n-Burner

    Turner-n-Burner New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    North of Boston
    Eric,
    You'll have to add me to the list of converts... I tried your above-the-head technique last night. I'm still not quite as accurate as I'd like to be, but more so than I was, and the reduction in expended energy is very noticeable! I'm using a knock-off chopper 1 supplemented by a sledge and a wedge. Pop the big rounds apart with the wedge, then whittle them down to stacking size with the chopper1...

    Thanks for the tip!

    -Dan
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