Park the noisy gas-powered hydraulic log splitter in the barn, and get out the Gransfors Bruks splitting maul instead. Splitting wood by hand is fun, excellent exercise, and faster than splitting with a machine. Don’t forget the steel wedges for the tough blocks.
Even a cheap splitting maul can handle most rounds of firewood without the wedges, but cheap mauls come with built-in problems. They’re usually lighter than a sledge hammer, and companies that make them seem to think no one cares about rough painted surfaces and extra friction. With the Gransfors Bruks Splitting Maul, you can be satisfied you’re getting the best. If you split much wood, you’ll notice the difference immediately, and in a pleasant way. A swing of this classy splitting maul does more work.
The 5-1/2-pound axe head is half splitting axe and half sledge hammer, so you won’t need to bring two tools. The forged head is tempered for either purpose, unlike the polls of axes — which look like they’d be good for driving a steel wedge but turn into shrapnel if you try it. The polished faces of the axe blade reduce friction as the smooth wedge of the axe head drives the block apart. Most log sections won’t withstand a well-placed swing from 5-1/2 pounds of steel, so you’ll need those wedges less than usual. Gransfors Bruks armors the 31-inch-long American hickory handle with steel plate below the axehead, and that’s a perk you won’t find in the ordinary version of this tool. Of course, a master of the splitting axe never overswings either wedge or wood, but should that happen, the steel plate prevents major damage to the axe handle. When splitting logs with twisted grain, the steel collar protects the handle from the block on the way through.
Even splitting mauls get stuck sometimes, and a good tool like the Gransfors Bruks Large Splitting Axe can free them quickly, given some careful planning.