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What features do I look for when purchasing a maul?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by dwsj12, Nov 13, 2008.

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  1. Gark

    Gark Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    Messages:
    808
    Loc:
    SW Michigan
    The only thing needed in a maul is an unbreakable handle. After busting so many wooden handles and running for more,
    my wife says "Well, why don't you just buy truckfulls of handles and burn THEM?" Hmmm... the wooden handles are
    HICKORY, hmmm...

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  2. colsmith

    colsmith New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Messages:
    323
    Loc:
    near Milwaukee, WI
    I want to disagree about the fiberglass vs. wood handles. Our first maul (8#) had a wooden handle. After 2 years of splitting and a lot of duct tape we really feel it is on its last legs. Wanted to put in a new wooden handle, but refuse to pay the same price for the replacement handle as for a new maul (can get either for about $13-$15). Bought a Monster Maul (12# head) the first year, too. Use it sometimes but it is SO darn heavy (I am big and strong for a middle aged woman, but it is a bit much for me). This spring we bought another 8# maul but this one a Sears Craftsman with a fiberglass handle. I know that I should use the fiberglass handled one that Sears will replace if I manage to break it, but it bothers my hands. The wooden one has more spring or something, I can split with it for a lot longer. After I use the fiberglass handled one, my wrists feel sort of sproinged. I have carpal tunnel and ulnar nerve problems. So if that is any consideration for you, the wooden handled one is MUCH easier on my arms/hands.

    By the way, we recently bought a foot pumped splitter from Menards for about $110. It is used mostly by hubby who has a bad shoulder and can't swing a maul. Working really well but we doubt it will make it to its first anniversary (when the warranty expires). Seems to already be bending and oozing a little hydraulic fluid and so on. It helps even out my workout, upper and lower body!
  3. forby

    forby New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Messages:
    67
    Loc:
    Northeastern PA
    After breaking my maul on my 12th cord of wood, I decided to come here for advice on a new one.

    I was debating between another maul with wide flanges (like the one I broke) that weighs about 4 pounds or a 6/8 pound traditional maul.

    I was contemplating the heavy maul thinking it may work a bit better.........

    Then it hit me!!!!!!! I remembered my physics class and the energy equation where energy increases with the square of the velocity. So...... the faster I can swing, the more energy I can transfer to the wood. The velocity will contribute a greater result than the weight of the head by a huge factor!!!!

    Remember the USAF fighter jet that flew under the cable for a transport lifting people up a mountainside. I think it was in Italy maybe 8 or so years ago. The pilot clipped the heavy steel cable with his paper thin vertical stabilizer. Because he was traveling so fast, the steel cable was severed by the aluminum fin and the pilot returned to the airport with minimal damage.

    So.... I guess I answered my own question. I'm getting the lightest one I can find.

    Can anybody substantiate this for me?????
  4. gerry100

    gerry100 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Messages:
    506
    Loc:
    NY Capitol Region
    The problem is that it's not linear.

    The head speed you can generate efficiently is in a narrow range, so you need a maul weight that maximizes MV(squared). Hundreds of years of wood splitting has lead us to settle on 6 or 8 lbs.

    Lighter doesn't increase the speed significantly enough to make up for the loss in M, even when squared.

    Of course , if you went to zero mass you would approach the speed of light and the ultimate impact energy of MC(squared).

    No one wants to go there.
  5. jlore

    jlore New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2008
    Messages:
    23
    Loc:
    south jersey
    i do all my spliting with the following tools

    8 pound slege from sears which one should never buy. yes the are guaranteed for life, but it seems like one mis hit and the little piece of plastic on top breaks off and the sledge starts creeping forward. i've gone through soooo many

    the chopper 1 axe is really nice for splitting smaller stuff; i used to have an 8 pound maul, but i don't really use that anymore now that i got chopper 1

    i have a diamond wedge which is really handy but they don't last forever; the tip will break off eventually.

    and i have about 3 or so other wedges that will last forever. i don't even know how i got them i think i found them in a shead.
  6. beau5278

    beau5278 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Messages:
    92
    Loc:
    western NY/northeast PA
    I don't see much difference between a 6 or 8lb maul,for me,I can swing a 6lb longer without getting tired.I've only had one fiberglass handle,the handle didn't break but it came out of the head in about 1 seasons use.Other than that,I've always used wood,tape the handle,near the head,I just use good electrical tape but buy an extra handle or 2 when you get the maul,you'll need it eventually.
  7. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,528
    Loc:
    USA
    I use an 8# maul with a hickory handle... well at least I use to. These days the only maul I've been using lately is the one welded to the other end of my Super-Split. :D
  8. GKG-MO

    GKG-MO New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    Messages:
    38
    Loc:
    Gray, PA
    I have one of these http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=147592-302-1190700&lpage=none but mine doesn't have that funky wavy handle, just a fiberglass re-curved axe handle. I think it was around $20 when I bought it, seems to be a little more now. I've used this for 4 years now and it works great. Most rounds split with one good whack. Even fresh cut rounds. Those that don't go, will with a couple whacks from the sledge. It looks like a splitting axe with two ramps built into the side that force the wood apart. I also have a 6lb and a 8lb maul. This seems to work better because I can swing it much faster then either maul and I can swing it more accurately. Also its light enough that my wife can swing it without hurting herself.

    My 2 cents.
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