Splitting Axe vs Maul – Which One Should You Buy in 2020!

Splitting axe vs maul has become a matter of ongoing debate that a lot of people get confused about.

If you want to cut wood easily, you need to know which one is better for you. That way, you can pick the right one for you, and thus, you’ll be able to do your job a lot easier.

To help you with that, let’s take a look at everything you need to know for deciding which one is going to be the right one for you. We’ll look at them individually first, which will help you to compare it way better afterward.

Splitting Axe

A splitting axe is commonly used among people to chop down woods. It has a tapered and sharp head that works great for getting the chops more effectively.

The amazing thing about a splitting axe is that it’s pretty lightweight. It typically weighs somewhere around 3 to 6 pounds at max. That’s why you’ll be able to use a splitting axe for longer periods without having much trouble.

Also, you’ll find wood or composite handles available for splitting axes. That grip, lightweight feel, and sharp edge makes it one of the best tools that you can use to chop down logs.


A maul is a very effective tool for cutting big logs or chopping logs with one hit. It typically has a fat and blunt axe head that’s pointed as well. That allows you to get a deep cut with your hits.

Also, a maul is a bit heavier if you think about its weight. It weighs somewhere around 6 to 8 pounds on average. You can tell how it’s going to give you extra leverage in every swing.

Another thing about the maul is that it has a longer handle. That lets you get a longer swing for more power. But it takes more energy and force as it’s pretty heavyweight in the first place.

So, you can get the best splitting maul for yourself if you want to chop down bigger and heavier logs.

Key Differences Between a Splitting Axe and a Maul

Now you should have a clear idea of what a splitting axe and a maul are. And you can see that there are a few differences between these two. Let’s compare the splitting axe and maul down below and see what’s different in those two.

i. Functions they perform

You might think that they perform the same actions, but they are designed especially for specific tasks.

Splitting axes are most commonly used when you are working with logs that are small in size. You can get good results with medium-sized wood as well. You can use the splitting axe to split those into small pieces of firewood that you can use.

Yet, you can use the axes that are small in size to do some finishing works, such as chopping them into even smaller chunks.

If you are someone who loves camping, splitting axes might be the perfect fit for you. You can use them without much effort, and you can use them for bushcraft and clearing trails as well. Also, you can simply pack it up after you are done.

Splitting mauls are mainly designed for handling the heavy works for you. That can be chopping big and heavy logs or even felling big dead trees as well. You can turn it into woods that are of medium-sized blocks. From then, you can use the splitting axes to chop it into even smaller parts.

If you’ve gone through any splitting maul reviews, you know that maul generates a good amount of power to take those heavy logs and fallen trees without any trouble. So, if you need that for some reason, a maul is going to be the best tool for you to pick.

You just saw how a splitting axe and a maul both have their different dimensions. These are pretty different when it comes to functionality.

ii. Head

The head is the most vital part of an axe or a maul without any doubt.

For a splitting axe, it has a sharp blade that’s pretty effective in the hits. Also, it’s well balanced to get the perfect hits every time you use the axe

Also, the head cheeks are very thin, which gives you more penetration without having to hit extra hard. That’s perfect for you if you are working with smaller sized logs. It’s going to save up a lot of your energy and time as well. But, you can tell why it’s not that effective for bigger blocks of wood or dead trees.

On the other hand, a splitting maul has a thick head that’s typically heavier than a splitting axe. Which is why the blade is duller if you compare it with a splitting axe. Also, the back is like a hammer that you can use to hit wooden wedges or stones, which a splitting axe doesn’t have.

Yet, the head cheeks are pretty thick. That requires you to use more force to penetrate through the logs. That’s not that big of an issue for a maul as it’s designed for giving you maximum leverage.

iii. Handle

Handle for splitting axe and maul come in different sizes and shapes. It can be made of American hickory wood or even some strong fiberglass material that’s super sturdy.

American hickory also has a pretty strong construction, and it can last you very long as well. On the other hand, fiberglass or plastic handles are very lightweight and unbreakable as well. That way, you can work with it for hours without getting much tired.

The splitting axe handle typically is made out of fiberglass. That’s because they have more balance and it’s pretty lightweight as well. Also, the splitting axe handles are unbreakable and non-replaceable as well. That can be an issue sometimes

However, the fiberglass handle compliments the main characteristic of the splitting axe in the first place.

Yet, the maul handles are bigger compared to a splitting axe, which has a medium sized handle. That allows it to maintain the balance of the heavy head that has on the top. It’s mostly made out of American hickory wood with straight grains or sometimes with fiberglass materials as well.

However, the handles used in the maul are very strong so that it can tackle heavy strikes without any problem. That way, you can hit as hard as you want without worrying about the handle to break.

iv. Weight

The splitting axe and the maul have a different weight, and that’s for a specific purpose.

In the case of a splitting axe, it can weigh anywhere from 3 to 6 pounds. That allows you to use it for hours without getting much tired, and it’s perfect for chopping small to medium woods.

On the other hand, the maul is a bit more overweight. It weighs anywhere between 6 to 8 pounds that lets you get more leverage and power in each hit. That’s perfect if you want to work with bigger blocks of woods or dead trees and such.

You can see how they are differently designed for a specific purpose in mind.

Final Thoughts

We just went through a lot on splitting axe vs maul. Now you can easily pick which one is better for you.

As you saw, it’s not that different in most cases. But the slight differences can help you in a lot of scenarios, and thus, you can take advantage of those. Just make sure to identify your needs first. And based on that, you can pick the perfect tool to cut down the logs.

I hope that you find this article helpful, and you got answers to the question that you might’ve had previously.