Axes are made for cutting, splitting, felling, and shaping wood. If you need to split some firewood, then you'll need a wood splitting axe to make your job easier. Splitting axes are designed to split the wood into smaller chunks and manageable pieces by splitting the wood fibers apart, as opposed to a felling axe, which cut the wood fibers. You'll be super frustrated if you use a felling axe for wood splitting purposes. Trust us- having the right tool makes all the difference in the world. The best axes for splitting wood is a either a wood splitting axe or a splitting maul. What are the differences between these two types of tools?
As we touched upon earlier, a splitting axe is designed to split along the grain of wood to break the fibers apart, not cut them. It has a tapered head, generally weighing about 3-6 lbs. When you swing the axe down, the force of the wedge causes the wood to split. Generally lighter than a splitting maul, the splitting axe is multi-purposed and can be used for a longer period of time. You can chose between a wooden handle or composite handle. The composite splitting axe is lighter than the wooden handle and more durable, but both are great options as many people still love the feel of an old wood handle axe.
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A splitting maul is like a huge sledge hammer with a pointed axe head. The maul head generally weights around 6-8 lbs. With a longer handle and duller blade edge, it bluntly splits the wood based on more pure force. However, the disadvantage of using the splitting maul over a splitting axe is its total weight. Requiring more energy to swing the maul, you will get tired more quickly.
Which one is right for me?
Ultimately, personal preference, the size of the wood piece and how much wood you plan to split will determine which axe to use. For very large chunks of wood, the splitting maul is a great tool because of its axe weight giving you more power. You'll spend less time getting the job done. However, the disadvantage of its heavier weight means you will get tired faster. Also, if you're a smaller person, you'll find the maul harder to swing. For smaller pieces of wood or splitting around the edges, the splitting axe is a better choice. It's lighter, easier to swing and essentially does the same damage as a splitting maul. We recommend that you have both- together they form a nice 1-2 punch for all of your wood splitting needs.