Axe and Maul: Is an Axe Similar to a Maul?

Axe and maul are tools for cutting wood that man has used for generations. Using the two sums up a cost-effective way rather than spending more on a wood splitter.  

Overall, personal preference and the quantity of work available go a  long way in determining the appropriate tool. Read along to learn more about axes and mauls!

Axe and Maul: Definition

An axe is a cutting tool with a tapered metal blade that weighs between 3 to 6 pounds. It has wood or composite handles that measure 32 to 36 inches long. An axe is specifically for splitting firewood along the grain and breaking the fibers apart.

On the contrary, a maul has a heavier hammer-like metal head weighing 6 to 8 pounds. The maul has a larger wedge-shaped head, making it more effective in prying wood open. 

The head is heavy to concentrate the force on the blades to break the wood more forcefully and deeply. Additionally, the shape of the head ensures that the maul does not jam and stick to the wood while splitting.

An axe-cutting birch firewood

An axe-cutting birch firewood

Comparison Chart: Axe vs Maul

Features AxeMaul 
The HandleAxes have wood or composite handles that are short and, most times, not longer than arm’s length.Conversely, mauls have long handles made of wood, metal, fiberglass, or plastic.
Head DesignAxes have a light blade with sharp cutting edges and a tapered head design.On the contrary, mauls have long, fat, and blunt heads that are wedge-like with a short cutting edge.
Weight A standard axe typically weighs between 3 to 6 pounds.A maul typically weighs between 6 and 8 pounds.
ApplicationAn axe is essential in cutting down trees,  splitting firewood, or even flattening lumber for building.Mauls are vital in splitting thick and heavy wood since it is simpler to penetrate wood due to additional weight.
A log-splitting maul 

A log-splitting maul 


Choose the maul if the workload is heavier, and stick with the axe for lighter duties. Consider the merits and drawbacks of each tool when deciding the most suitable one.

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