Splitting Maul Vs Log Splitter | Which’s The Best?

The age old debate against machinery and human power when it comes to splitting firewood – is a maul better than a log splitter?

Why you should use a splitting maul

Image by Luigi Chiesa via Wikimedia Commons

Making wood with a splitting maul is cheaper than with a log splitter.

A good quality maul might cost you only around 50 dollars, while a proper log splitter, depending on which type you choose, is starting at around 200 dollars and easily goes up way to 2000.

The prices of both tools may be significantly cheaper if bought used, but the price difference still exists.

You also have to remember that log splitters use fuel, and fuel can be expensive. Not saying that us, humans, don’t use fuel in a form of food, but it is going to cost you more to run a log splitter, especially an electric, than chopping wood with your own hands.

Log splitters need frequent and costly maintenance, especially the gas ones. You will have to change oil, sparks plugs and such as it’s a machine with a combustion type engine.

A splitting maul, on the other hand, really only needs to be sharpened from time to time. If it has a wooden handle and you break it, it’s easy to replace; if time comes to apply some varnish to it, you apply it in a pinch.

It is a form of very “manly” exercise. I’m not saying that women can’t split firewood, but there’s really nothing more masculine for a man to grab a good old maul and split away rounds as the day goes.

This is just one of those things many homeowners appreciate, and those people who can even afford a log splitter, choose not to buy one solely because of this reason (especially if there is not that much wood to process each season).

Why you should use a log splitter

Image by Leslie Ashby via Wikimedia Commons

A lot quicker to split wood with a log splitter than by hand.

Gas, or electric hydraulic splitters might seem to work slow (trust me, even then they go through wood faster and easier than you would) there are even splitters which go even faster, like the kinetic kind.

It’s a lot safer to split firewood with a log splitter. Popping wood apart by hand will start wearing you out even just after an hour – the more tired you get, the less attention you start to pay on swinging correctly, and if you manage to over swing, you can hit your leg and severely injure it.

Using a log splitter to make firewood is simply easier. Forget about constantly grunting on a piece of even the knottiest wood, as many of these splitters, especially the powerful gas ones, will go through most tough wood without breaking much sweat.

The Conclusion

To each their own as they say, and the same applies to both of these tools.

The most effective tool for the job is no doubt the log splitter.

It is generally uncommon to stumble into wood you can’t split with a regular splitting maul, especially in combination with a proper wedge, but an actual log splitter makes the task that much easier.

I mean, we don’t use axes to fell trees, or crosscut saws to buck them that much anymore – we have chainsaws, tools which make the tasks so much easier and faster, so why should we still have the old-fashioned approach when splitting it?

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