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Why do I need a Swedish splitting maul?

Shagbark

Shagbark

ArboristSite Guru
Joined
Jun 6, 2009
Messages
524
Location
N.E. Indiana
I am seriously fighting the compulsion to acquire a Wetterlings or Granfors Bruk splitting maul. Are they really that much better than a 6lb or 8lb traditional maul or an X27?
 
zogger

zogger

Tree Freak
Joined
Nov 23, 2010
Messages
16,456
Location
North Georgia
Can't say, never tried one.Tthere's want then need..new bugatti chiron.hmm..need it..err....want it..err

checks wallet..I can afford to run off a picture of one on the printer...

If you like the x27 and just want a heavy maul to compliment it, the isocore 8lber is not too shabby for $65

Around here..the view is..buy a high end euro wood whacker! We are enablers....and proud of it!
 
lindnova

lindnova

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Aug 28, 2013
Messages
355
Location
SE Minnesota
I have a Husqvarna (Wetterling clone I think) splitting axe. It works just as well as the Fiskars super splitting axe. Acutally a little better since it holds and edge. I was surprised that the shorter handle works good for me - I am 6'-4".
 
Full Chisel

Full Chisel

Slingin' Stihls and runnin' Huskies
Joined
Oct 12, 2014
Messages
1,928
Location
In the Timber
You get what you pay for...up to a point. The high end mauls and axes have very quality handles and hand forged heads. The cheaper hardware store tools...not so much.

I've been extremely impressed with the Stihl pro splitting maul. It took a bit to get used to the heavier weight and longer, bigger handle. But once I got dialed in it splits with authority. They are easily worth the $100 price tag, IMO.
 
zogger

zogger

Tree Freak
Joined
Nov 23, 2010
Messages
16,456
Location
North Georgia
I have a Husqvarna (Wetterling clone I think) splitting axe. It works just as well as the Fiskars super splitting axe. Acutally a little better since it holds and edge. I was surprised that the shorter handle works good for me - I am 6'-4".
You are correct and dang, I had forgotten, have the same one! It's a tweener for me at 6 lbs, but if that is all I had, it for sure would get the job done.
 

svk

A little bit of everything
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Messages
24,010
Location
MN
No personal experience but it sounds as through the Gransfors are the top of the heap when it comes to wood handled tools. From those who have run the Wetterlings against the X27, most gave the nod to the Fiskars.

If you are willing to own something with a "plastic" handle the Husqvarna S2800 works wonderfully.
 
Full Chisel

Full Chisel

Slingin' Stihls and runnin' Huskies
Joined
Oct 12, 2014
Messages
1,928
Location
In the Timber
No personal experience but it sounds as through the Gransfors are the top of the heap when it comes to wood handled tools. From those who have run the Wetterlings against the X27, most gave the nod to the Fiskars.

If you are willing to own something with a "plastic" handle the Husqvarna S2800 works wonderfully.
No personal experience here either but from what I hear the quality is top notch across the board from Swedish axe makers. I really like the looks of some of the Hultafors but haven't pulled the trigger on one yet. I'm in the market for a nice splitting hatchet. I haven't gotten around to making a handle for the one I have and the Fiskars hatchet just isn't doing it for me.
 
c5rulz

c5rulz

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Nov 29, 2010
Messages
2,713
Location
Wisconsin
To OP,

Consider the German stuff too. IMHO, the Helko line is very nice. I liked the concept of the Vario line with easily interchangeable heads and handles. I bought a Vario 2000 but it was such a work of art, I hung it one the wall and never used it. Then got it's little brother to hang next to it but don't have a pic yet.

http://www.helkonorthamerica.com/store/p10/Vario_2000_-_Hatchet.html


 
blkcloud

blkcloud

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Jan 25, 2012
Messages
452
Age
52
Location
tn
A buddy of mine is trying to trade me a Granfors ( I think) he said it was Swedish.. For some machine work.. I asked him did it have electric start or a pull rope.. He said it was a Armstrong...
 
Raganr

Raganr

ArboristSite Guru
Joined
Dec 31, 2011
Messages
692
Location
TX
Have a few GB wood processing tools and have continued to be happy with their purchase. Rarely can you own the best of anything for a few hundred dollars.

Considering how much time I spend using them, the cost is even more insignificant. I use my multiple $1k chainsaws far less.
 
waldtricki

waldtricki

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Feb 15, 2010
Messages
14
Location
Portland, OR
I am seriously fighting the compulsion to acquire a Wetterlings or Granfors Bruk splitting maul. Are they really that much better than a 6lb or 8lb traditional maul or an X27?
It’s been a while since I’ve been on these forums so I guess you could consider me a semi-lurker. The question in the initial post is one I have wondered myself. I don't own a GB maul however I studied various pic/specs of them and reground on old 8 lb. maul head (good steel) to attempt mimic the GB in shape and weight. I can’t recall what the GB weighs with a handle but after modifications mine is just over 8 lbs. including the handle. The performance difference is very noticeable. I've attached a picture to better explain (i gave up on ms paint and just hand drew it).

While it varies slightly from maker to maker, a few of the problems with the traditional Maul Design are in my estimation: (not limited to)

1. The cheeks are too fat as you move closer to the edge of the maul – especially the last third

2. The rather extreme flare of the heel and the toe. I believe this slows the maul down and acts a place for uneven grain to catch that part of the bit because of the lack of mass behind that portion of the blade.

It makes much more sense to have this sort of flare on a felling axe designed to sever fibers and pop chips across the grain.

If you look at the GB maul, you’ll notice the “toe” flare is not there at all; surprisingly it is slightly canted down. This struck me as odd the first time I noticed it since it differed from other designs. The top red line of the side view of my picture indicates where I cut off the pronounced flare of the toe of the axe as well as the heel and canted them downwards slightly.

I didn’t really know why I was doing this other than it was my attempt to copy GB since I couldn’t afford one and wanted to see what all the fuss was about. After using my modified version. I’ve noticed that slight can’t downwards is designed to have maximum impact in the arc of a typical splitting stroke-that is only if you are proper alignment with the wood where the bit has good contact across the face and where your body can generate the most power with your knees bent. I am 6’5” so I am very uncomfortable splitting wood on the ground/grass and when I do so (esp. w/ flared maul or axe) the flared portion (where there is less mass) hits the wood first and it simply doesn’t work as well.

If doing all that grinding and reshaping isn't your thing, I might suggest you take a look at the new Stihl splitting maul. These are made by Ochsenkopf and are an excellent value and design. $99 bucks where you’d easily pay 150 from them directly for one of these. They have the steel protector and the rotoband handle system. I am going to buy one for my Dad for father’s day… and I will totally admit much of my reasoning is so I can also try it out =)


If anyone is interested I will take some pics of my modified axe so you can see “the real thing” as these drawings are the best I could come up with while on my lunch break at work. My co-workers I think wonder about me =)
 

svk

A little bit of everything
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Messages
24,010
Location
MN
It’s been a while since I’ve been on these forums so I guess you could consider me a semi-lurker. The question in the initial post is one I have wondered myself. I don't own a GB maul however I studied various pic/specs of them and reground on old 8 lb. maul head (good steel) to attempt mimic the GB in shape and weight. I can’t recall what the GB weighs with a handle but after modifications mine is just over 8 lbs. including the handle. The performance difference is very noticeable. I've attached a picture to better explain (i gave up on ms paint and just hand drew it).

While it varies slightly from maker to maker, a few of the problems with the traditional Maul Design are in my estimation: (not limited to)

1. The cheeks are too fat as you move closer to the edge of the maul – especially the last third

2. The rather extreme flare of the heel and the toe. I believe this slows the maul down and acts a place for uneven grain to catch that part of the bit because of the mass behind that portion of the blade.

It makes much more sense to have this sort of flare on a felling axe designed to sever fibers and pop chips across the grain.

If you look at the GB maul, you’ll notice the “toe” flare is not there at all; surprisingly it is slightly canted down. This struck me as odd the first time I noticed it since it differed from other designs. The top red line of the side view of my picture indicates where I cut off the pronounced flare of the toe of the axe as well as the heel and canted them downwards slightly.

I didn’t really know why I was doing this other than it was my attempt to copy GB since I couldn’t afford one and wanted to see what all the fuss was about. After using my modified version. I’ve noticed that slight can’t downwards is designed to have maximum impact in the arc of a typical splitting stroke-that is only if you are proper alignment with the wood where the bit has good contact across the face and where your body can generate the most power with your knees bent. I am 6’5” so I am very uncomfortable splitting wood on the ground/grass and when I do so (esp. w/ flared maul or axe) the flared portion (where there is less mass) hits the wood first and it simply doesn’t work as well.

If doing all that grinding and reshaping isn't your thing, I might suggest you take a look at the new Stihl splitting maul. These are made by Ochsenkopf and are an excellent value and design. $99 bucks where you’d easily pay 150 from them directly for one of these. They have the steel protector and the rotoband handle system. I am going to buy one for my Dad for father’s day… and I will totally admit much of my reasoning is so I can also try it out =)

If anyone is interested I will take some pics of my modified axe so you can see “the real thing” as these drawings are the best I could come up with while on my lunch break at work. My co-workers I think wonder about me =)
Good stuff! We always like how to threads. Your observations make a lot of sense to me.
 
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