Axe VS Splitting Maul: What Is the Difference

A long time ago people chopped wood with their hands using some simple tools. Nowadays, wood cutting becomes easier for various types of tools. It begins a revolution in wood cutting.

Axe and splitting maul are kind of simple tools that are used for cutting, chopping, and splitting. But which one is used for which purpose, you do not know until you learn about these two.

In this article, you can learn about the details of axes and splitting maul. Here axe vs. splitting maul is given below:


Axe is a simple tool that is made of a narrow metal head and wood as a handle. The pressure concentration of a blade splits the wood into two pieces. The handle works as a lever to maintain forces at the cutting edge.

The stone age axe was a hand axe without a handle used from 1.5 million years BP. The revolution of technologies develops today’s axe. Now, the axes are made of copper, bronze, iron, and steel.

Splitting Maul

A splitting maul is a kind of tool used to cut large wood or log size. A wedge-shaped head was used for splitting maul in previous days. But now, it is upgraded to a sub-wedge head or conical head.

The splitting maul is heavier than the axe. It can be used in two ways, the backside as a hammer and the frontside as axe head. As the blade is longer than the axe, it can split heavy wood easily. By using a more extended handle, the axe helps to reduce the injury risk.

Difference Between Axe and Splitting Maul

axe vs splitting maul

Though the axe and splitting maul work for the same purpose, there are some differences between them. The significant three differences are given below:   


The first difference between them is the weight. Axe is lighter than the splitting maul. The weight of the axe varies between three to six pounds. On the other hand, The splitting maul weight varies from six to eight pounds.

Generally, axes can be used for multi-purposes. For the lighter weight, you can work for a longtime without any exhaustion. But it reduces the efficiency of the axe. In splitting wood purpose, the splitting maul is more efficient despite the heavyweight.  

Design of Head

The most important difference between the two tools is the design of the head. The axe has a very sharp blade with a tapered head that splits and cuts wood. That is the reason for making the axe a multi-purpose tool.

On the other hand, the maul’s head is bigger and blunter with a wide wedge to be efficient. With the bigger size and weight, the wood can split perfectly.

The Material of Handle

Another important difference is the handle material. The axe handles are shorter, which can chop and split wood simultaneously. Most of the axe handle is made of wood. Because of this, it is easy to break.

The maul handle is longer than the axe. This handle helps to come to the ground and not towards the feet. In this way, it eliminates the risk of an unexpected injury. Some maul handles are made of metal that provides better durability while splitting wood.

The Preferable Tool for Splitting Wood

As both of the tools used for wood cutting and splitting, you can choose any of them. The axe has been used since the stone age. But many people recommend using maul because it is blunt and not sharp.

As the axe is sharp, it can create a small and sharp chip during cutting or splitting. If the small pieces come to contact with the eye, it may cause injury. On the other hand, the maul creates a crack on the wood because of bluntness, and the V-shaped part splits the wood.

Which tool would you want to use is a totally personal choice. You may consider it depending on the size and quantity of the wood. If you need to deal with the large wood size, it is better to use the maul. You can work quickly with the maul but may feel exhausted because of the weight.

If you want to split the wood, then the best choice is to use an axe. If you want to carry any wood cutting tool, then the axe is preferable for its sharpness.


Is It Necessary for a Maul to Be Sharp?

A maul must be sharp at least for cutting and splitting wood. There is no need to be sharp like a chopping axe for splitting maul. Because the most important thing is to consider thicker maul heads to split wood.

Which One Is Better?

Both the axe and splitting maul are better. Depending on the purpose, you can choose the right tool. If you are thinking only about splitting, then maul will be the right choice. On the other hand, for chopping wood, the axe will be the right one.

How Do You Build Muscle by Using an Axe or Splitting Maul?

Splitting or chopping wood is a marvelous exercise. Whenever you are swinging the axe or maul around, it works with your arms and backs muscles. Also, it works for a cardio workout.

Is Chopping and Splitting Dangerous?

Chopping and splitting are dangerous. Every time you are wielding an axe or splitting maul increases the risk of injury. But you can minimize the risk by using safety equipment.

Final Words

In this article, I try to discuss the basics of axe vs. splitting maul. By reading this article, you can choose the right tool for your purpose. Generally, an axe is suitable to satisfy the basic needs as a versatile tool. If you are dealing with a large quantity of wood, applying both tools for the best outcomes is better.

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About Gavin Ford

Hi, I am Gavin Ford. I am a full-time power tools salesperson and a part-time mechanic. I help my friends and neighbors with their tools. Which one to buy, how to buy it, how to use it, methods to fix broken tools, and so on. In I will do the same for the rest of the world. You will get everything you need to know about tools for regular and professional use.

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