Splitting Axe vs Maul

Many years ago, people chopped wood by hand. Incredible isn’t it?. With the evolution of technology, it’s possible to split, chop and cut wood with many new tools. Nowadays, two main tools are necessary for quick and easy wood chopping: the splitting axe or splitting maul.

But how would you know which is the right one? Let’s see the differences between the splitting axe and maul and see which one is the right choice for you.

Differences Between Axe and Maul

What Is a Splitting Axe?

A splitting axe is a tool that is considered a survival weapon, designed to split, cut or chop wood. If you need to cut a big tree or wood, the axe will not help you. When the user swings with the axe on a wood’s surface, its force manages to cut or chop wood in the needed shape. The primary part of an axe is the head, which may have several kinds of metals.

Many companies make the axe head out of steel. An ideal axe weighs about 3 – 6 pounds. Usually, they are less heavy than splitting maul and can be used in different situations for a long time. The axe blade is sharp and comes in 3 to 5 feet in length. When it comes to the axe handle, it can be from plastic, wood, or steel, and it also has various lengths starting from 14 to 37 inches.

Popular Axe Brands

  • Husqvarna
  • Fiskars
  • Leveraxe
  • Gerber


  • One-handed size
  • Light weight
  • Easy to handle
  • Ideal for other wood working tasks


  • Trouble splitting sturdier logs
  • Not ideal for long tasks

Check Price

What Is a Splitting Maul?

With the maul, you can cut down big trees, logs, or wood. The maul is usually heavier than the axe. Here, the head of the maul has two purposes, and each side is different:

  • One is holding a sharpener axe head.
  • You can use the other as a hammer.

The maul’s head weights from 6 to 12 pounds, which is much heavier than an axe head. The blade length is more significant than the axe blade, giving you the ability to split heavy and oversized wood. Its handle can be from wood, plastic, or fiberglass.

Popular Axe Brands

  • Fiskars
  • Truper
  • Husqvarna
  • Estwing
  • Gransfors Bruks


  • Lenghty grip
  • Shape and weight help do the work for you
  • Ideal for long tasks
  • Cuts through sturdy logs with relative ease


  • Considerable weight
  • Challenging to master

Check Price

Splitting Axe vs Splitting Maul Pros and Cons

Weight – the weight of the tool and head can make a big difference while you are working. The heavier the head is, the easier it is to split the wood.

Design – In our opinion, the most significant difference and where the biggest pros and cons are, without a doubt, is the head.

Handle – There are a lot of different variations of handles. The tool is mainly affected by the grip you have on it.

Main Differences Between the Axe and Maul

1. Weight

The axe is lightweight, and the maul is heavy. The axe is lighter on purpose so that you can use it for more extended periods without fatigue. A maul is slightly heavier but gives more efficiency in the division of the wood.

2. Head Size

The other significant difference between these two tools is the head’s design. The axe’s sharp blade and trellis head are for cutting or splitting wood, making it a great multi-tool. On the other hand, the mauls head has a blunt end and a flat one, making it easier to cut sizeable coarse-grain wood.

3. Handle

Most axes come in with small handles because they are targeted for chopping or splitting firewood. The short handle allows you to swing easily over the laying tree on the ground.

Most of the mauls have large handles, allowing you to split sizeable trees or wood. Working with a maul is more challenging because of its weight, but the work is more effective.

Which Tool Is Better for Splitting Wood?

People used the axe to split wood for many centuries, but it is best to use a maul instead. That is because the maul is blunt and not sharp. The axes create small, sharp chips when cutting wood with it, but the maul’s blunt edge creates cracks in the wood instead.

The maul’s V-shaped part is what ultimately splits the wood. With the axes, you are cutting the wood, while mauls, you are splitting the wood. In the end, it is a personal choice, but you need to consider the size and amount of wood that you need to split.

How to Choose Between Axe and Maul?

First of all, you need to know the differences between the two tools.

The real axe has two characteristics, sharp and thin. The axe is also lightweight, and it weighs about 6 pounds. Its handle is from plastic or wood, and the length is equal or the length of your hand. You can use it to chop wood and prepare wood chips without fatigue. The axe is light and gives you the ability to chop thin logs. However, with the axe, you will have difficulty splitting thick logs.

The maul has a broad, heavy wedge-shaped head. Its blade is not as sharp as the one on the axe. You can tell it is a maul by the head’s backside, which you can use as a hammer, and the maul weighs over 6 pounds. The handle that holds the head is either from metal or wood. The length is always longer than your hand.

You can use the maul to make cracks in the logs, and thanks to that, it splits it into smaller pieces. With the maul, you can chop wood, and because of its weight, it will fatigue you faster.

In the end, we can conclude that each tool is ideal for specific tasks. You need to know what you’re going to do in advance: chopping trees or splitting logs.

The axe can satisfy your household’s basic needs, and you can use the maul to harvest large quantities of firewood. You will need both tools for practical work.

Know How Much You’re Splitting Beforehand

One thing that always gets overlooked is how much you will split. The more you need to split, the more effort you need to exert. Depending on how much wood or type of wood you’re planning to split, we’ll give you an idea of which tool to use.

A splitting maul is a perfect option if you need to split a lot of large logs. It’s important to know that using a maul for an extended period will quickly fatigue you. For longer tasks, using a wood splitter would be ideal instead. These tools can be expensive, but they will save you a lot of time and help save your body in the long run.

Splitting axes are perfect tools for people who need to do only a little bit of splitting since they don’t weigh as much as the maul. That makes them the best choice for all smaller tasks or short periods.


Keep in mind that whether you get a splitting axe or maul, you will get a tool that will make your everyday life easier. They both are great tools that don’t cost much. For example, the log splitter is more complex and expensive. They both have different uses, so it is best to get them both or pick the one you think is the best for your task.

In our opinion, it is best to get yourself a maul because it can work nearly as an axe, not to say axes are useless. Mauls have more engineering in them that makes them more efficient, despite taking more energy to handle.

Leave a Comment

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap