You might think of a splitting maul more as a great melee weapon in video games than an actual tool. Of course, this is the case unless you’ve been using one professionally or as a hobby.
Splitting mauls became famous along with crowbars as weapons in video games around the early 2000s. That’s a testament to how durable, sturdy, and versatile it is. Today, we’ll talk about buying the best splitting maul, which could help your tasks a whole lot easier.
Last update on 2019-09-19 at 13:27 PST - Details
Introducing the Maul
Splitting mauls are a subtype of the maul. Thus, before discussing the former, let’s consider its parent tool before anything else. For starters, mauls are a general category of devices that particular function to wreck, ram, and shatter.
These hammers became a favourite tool back in WWII and after it. Many mauls were used back then to destroy various objects such as hollow walls and glass. After WWII, it still retained its reputation as a real destroyer. Nowadays, it’s used by police SWAT units for rescue missions.
Besides government security units using mauls, demolition and construction projects rely on it a lot too. Perhaps, the most common use of a sledge today is in demolishing houses and other buildings. There is no better handheld tool to ram hollow blocks than a hammer!
Types of Mauls
Now that we have a grasp of what mauls are, it’s important to differentiate its types. When you don't know some of the main categories, it can make you confused in buying and using a maul.
Moreover, you might think that you need a tool like a splitting maul, but you might need a different type after all. Here are the three common types of hammers that you should know!
The sledgehammer is probably the most common and famous type of hammer. When it comes to overall power, the sledgehammer wins it above the rest. This tool is like a giant hammer, with a big head and a smaller handle that acts as its lever.
The large top of the sledgehammer allows it to cover more ground compared to its cousins like the hammer and mallet. Thus, it’s famous for ramming walls and smashing stones.
It’s so powerful that it is often used by specialised units of the police to destroy hardened carbon glass. Moreover, it also became an icon tool for western pop culture to use it as a weapon. It’s quite close to the mallet. However, the hammer’s material is heavier.
A mallet is typically manufactured to have a rubber head. That makes it lighter and better for pounding instead of destroying. On the other hand, sledgehammers come with durable and heavy-duty metal.
The post hammer is another type that closely resembles a sledgehammer. However, upon closer inspection, you’ll notice the sledgehammer is longer from the head. The post maul, on the other hand, is more compact and flatter.
That’s because the post maul is designed to hammer large objects to a surface. So instead of destroying things, this one’s meant to pound hard. Thus, its design is a lot lighter for it not to wreck the chisel that it’s pounding.
Typically, post mauls are suitable for yard work. Nailing fences and tree stakes on the ground are some of the most typical uses of it. That’s where you’ll benefit with a wider and more compact head.
The spike maul is a lot different in shape and function compared to the sledgehammer and posts maul. This kind of hammer is a specialised tool, mainly used to hit spikes in railroad tracks, thus its name.
The spike hammer’s body is a lot more elongated than the previous ones. Also, it’s a lot thinner. The idea here is that the user will be able to hit high rails with that sort of shape. Although it’s a lot different compared to the sledgehammer, it’s a close relative of the splitting maul.
Similar to the splitting maul, the spike maul has two sides. One is wider and shorter, providing less accuracy but more power for average spiking. Meanwhile, the thin and elongated head is used more for pinpoint strikes at the rail.
Splitting mauls aren’t the most common or well-known type. However, since it’s the central topic of this article, let’s discuss it first.
They’re meant to split like an axe, but they’re also mauls. With that said, what you’re left off is a product that’s dual-purpose, making it highly versatile.
The first thing that you might notice with a splitting maul is that it looks more like an axe than a maul. And that’s entirely true; you can make an argument that this is part of the axe family instead of the hammer category.
Axe vs. Splitting mauls
However, you’ll notice that the splitting maul has two heads. While the axe-like head is prominent, the opposite side shows its hammer head too. That makes the splitting maul good not only for chopping but for pounding as well.
So, why should you get a splitting maul if it’s like an axe? The best answer here is strength and versatility. Axes have been used for many centuries now, and it’s pretty much outdated but still functional.
If you’re only cutting lightly, the axes should do the trick. However, a splitting maul is a lot wider, and the material is a lot stronger. The larger head gives you a lot more leverage compared to the axe when splitting wood.
Moreover, the sledgehammer makes wood chopping easier because you can use it to bruise wood. For example, should the wood be too tough, you can start by slashing it first with the hammer.
As the wood starts to brittle, chopping it off with the axe-like end will be a lot easier. When deciding between an axe and a splitting maul, it all boils down to the nature of your work.
Our Top 5 Picks
Despite not coming with a warranty or guarantees, Estwing’s might be a good option for you. Especially if you’re looking for something lightweight, easy to swing yet sharp and sturdy enough to split wood chunks. Also, it’s handle which is shock absorbent is also a great safety feature.
But then again, at the end of the day, the best splitting maul all boils down to your needs. Do note, however, that you must also consider safety.
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