Best Splitting Mauls of 2023:Forestry Review


As an avid outdoorsman and frequent user of various wood-splitting tools, I’ve been able to test out a host of splitting mauls over the years. Today, I’m focusing on four top-tier splitting mauls that are reputed for their reliability and performance: the Fiskars IsoCore Maul, Husqvarna Wooden Splitting Maul, Gransfors Bruks Splitting Maul, and the Estwing E3-FF4 Splitting Maul.


  1. Fiskars IsoCore Maul
  2. Husqvarna Wooden Splitting Maul
  3. Gransfors Bruks Splitting Maul
  4. Estwing E3-FF4 Splitting Maul

Fiskars IsoCore Maul

Fiskars IsoCore Maul

Product Specifications

  • Head weight: 8 pounds (3.63 kg)
  • Overall length: 36 inches (91.44 cm)
  • Handle material: Insulated, shock-absorbing fiberglass composite with Softgrip handle for a comfortable and secure grip
  • Blade material: High-quality forged steel with a non-stick coating to prevent sticking and corrosion
  • Blade geometry: The blade is designed to deliver maximum splitting power with minimal effort, thanks to its wedge-shaped head and beveled edges
  • IsoCore shock control system: This feature includes an insulation sleeve that reduces shock and vibration by up to 2 times, minimizing muscle fatigue and joint pain
  • Lifetime warranty: Fiskars offers a lifetime warranty on this product, ensuring that it will stand up to the rigors of heavy use and provide reliable performance for years to come.

The Fiskars IsoCore Maul is a modern take on the traditional splitting maul. It weighs 8 pounds and comes with an overall length of 36 inches. The maul’s head is made of forged steel, promising durability and a long lifespan.

One remarkable feature of this maul is its IsoCore Shock Control System, which significantly reduces shock and vibration. I’ve found that it helps in minimizing the strain on the hands and arms during prolonged use – an invaluable feature for those engaging in heavy-duty splitting.

The downside, however, is its synthetic handle. Although designed for durability, it doesn’t provide the same traditional feel and aesthetic appeal as a wooden handle.

IsoCore Shock Control System reduces vibration and shock, minimizing strainThe synthetic handle may not appeal to those who prefer a traditional wood handle
Durable forged steel headIts modern look might not be everyone’s cup of tea
Excellent weight distribution for powerful swingsSome users might find it too heavy for prolonged use
Overstrike protection to help protect the handle

Husqvarna Wooden Splitting Maul

Husqvarna Wooden Splitting Maul

Product Specifications

  • Length: 30 inches
  • Head weight: 5 pounds
  • Material: Hickory handle with hardened steel head
  • Durable and shock-absorbing hickory handle
  • Sharp and effective steel blade
  • Well-balanced for accuracy and control
  • Resistance to wear and tear
  • Weight and length may vary slightly due to natural variations in wood

Husqvarna offers a classic, well-crafted wooden splitting maul. The maul’s head weighs 5.5 lbs, and with a handle length of 32 inches, it’s slightly shorter and lighter than the Fiskars. The hand-forged Swedish steel head and hickory handle make it a durable and robust choice.

The balance between the head and handle of this maul is exceptional, providing excellent swing momentum. However, the wooden handle, though aesthetically pleasing and comfortable to use, can be prone to damage over time, particularly if not properly maintained.

Excellent balance between the head and handle for efficient swingsThe wooden handle can be prone to damage over time if not properly maintained
Durable hand-forged Swedish steel headMay require more maintenance than synthetic handles
Traditional wooden handle provides a comfortable grip and aesthetic appealSlightly shorter and lighter than some other models, which might impact splitting power

Gransfors Bruks Splitting Maul

Gransfors Bruks Splitting Maul

Product Specifications

  • Length: 31 inches
  • Head weight: 5.5 pounds
  • Material: Hickory handle with hand-forged steel head
  • Durable and shock-absorbing hickory handle
  • Hand-forged steel head with the sharp and effective blade
  • Well-balanced for accuracy and control
  • Comes with a leather blade cover for protection
  • Handmade in Sweden
  • Weight and length may vary slightly due to the hand-forging process

If you’re looking for a premium splitting maul, the Gransfors Bruks Splitting Maul could be the one. It’s a beautifully crafted, high-end maul with a 5.5-pound head and a 31-inch handle.

This maul stands out in terms of craftsmanship and materials used. The steelhead is hand-forged by professional blacksmiths, and the hickory handle provides a comfortable grip. It splits wood efficiently, but due to its premium price tag, it might not be the best option for casual users or those on a budget.

Exceptional craftsmanship with a hand-forged steel headA higher price point might not suit all budgets
High-quality materials ensure durability and longevityIts premium features might be overkill for casual or infrequent users
Efficient at splitting wood thanks to the well-balanced design
Comfortable hickory handle

Estwing E3-FF4 Splitting Maul

Estwing E3-FF4 Splitting Maul

Product Specifications

  • Length: 34 inches
  • Head weight: 4 pounds
  • Material: One-piece forged steel construction
  • Shock reduction grip for comfort and control
  • Heavy-duty and durable design
  • Comes with a nylon sheath for protection and storage
  • Made in the USA

The Estwing E3-FF4 Splitting Maul is another excellent option. It features a unique one-piece steel design, meaning the handle and the head are forged from a single piece of steel. This gives it unparalleled durability and longevity.

Weighing in at just 4 pounds, it’s the lightest among the mauls reviewed. However, this might not be beneficial for all users. A lighter maul requires more force to split larger logs, potentially increasing fatigue over extended use.

On the bright side, the Estwing maul comes with a shock reduction grip, reducing impact vibrations by up to 70%, a boon for those long splitting sessions.

The one-piece steel design provides exceptional durabilityIts lighter weight requires more force to split larger logs
Reduced impact vibrations thanks to the shock reduction gripSome users might find the steel handleless more comfortable than wood
Compact and easy to carryThe aesthetic of the one-piece design might not appeal to everyone
More affordable than some other options

Conclusion and Recommendation

All four mauls have their strengths and weaknesses, and the best one for you largely depends on your specific needs.

For heavy-duty splitting and long-lasting performance, the Fiskars IsoCore Maul comes out on top. Its innovative shock control system reduces the strain on your body, making it an excellent choice for prolonged use.

For traditionalists who prefer a wooden handle, the Husqvarna Wooden Splitting Maul is a well-balanced, reliable choice. Just keep in mind that the handle requires regular maintenance to ensure its longevity.

If budget isn’t a concern and you’re seeking a premium, hand-crafted maul, the Gransfors Bruks Splitting Maul is hard to beat. Its superior craftsmanship and materials make it a joy to use, albeit at a higher price point.

Finally, for those seeking durability and compact design, the Estwing E3-FF4 Splitting Maul is a strong contender. Its one-piece steel design ensures it will last for years, even with heavy use. However, its lighter weight might not be suitable for splitting larger logs.

In summary, the Fiskars IsoCore Maul stands out as the best overall due to its perfect blend of modern design, durability, and user comfort. It’s a maul that will serve you well in all splitting tasks, reducing the strain on your body even during heavy-duty splitting.

As we wrap up this review, it’s clear that a good splitting maul is an investment worth making. Whether you’re a seasoned woodsman or a beginner looking to split your own firewood, the right tool can make a world of difference.

I hope this comprehensive review of the Fiskars IsoCore Maul, Husqvarna Wooden Splitting Maul, Gransfors Bruks Splitting Maul, and the Estwing E3-FF4 Splitting Maul has provided you with valuable insights to make the best choice for your needs.

Remember, the best maul is not just about the weight, the handle, or the material used. It’s about the balance, the swing, and most importantly, how it feels in your hands.

Stay tuned for more in-depth reviews and tips on outdoor tools and equipment. Remember to follow safety guidelines when using these tools and always respect the great outdoors. Until next time, happy chopping and stay safe!

Happy splitting!


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