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 Sharpen a splitting maul?
markl32  [Member]
1/7/2009 1:11:21 AM


My father-in-law is a long time forest products industry veteran and he laughed at me for sharpening a splitting maul.

Should a splitting maul be sharpened?



RobbyNOLA  [Member]
1/7/2009 1:39:31 AM
My guess is that your FIL's theory is that the weight and momentum of the thing splits wood as a wedge instead of cutting through it like a knife. Honestly, you'll be hitting the logs just as hard whether the thing is a little dull or not but sharpening will probably save you a couple extra swings.
AR15Texan  [Member]
1/7/2009 1:42:37 AM
Sure, why not. If it is dull it just pushes and compresses the fibers of wood.
Erschlagen_Du  [Member]
1/7/2009 1:59:32 AM
If he's an expert why not take his word on it? I'd say no unless you've blunted the edge beating concrete or steel.
warlord  [Member]
1/7/2009 3:07:11 AM
I've never split wood with a maul, so anyways isn't spitting maul like an axe? I would guess if you sharpen an axe you would sharpen a splitting maul.
Any-Cal  [Member]
1/7/2009 3:12:27 AM
A maul splits with the sides, not the edge. If you look at a log with the maul halfway through it, you will see that the edge doesn't even touch the wood. So basically, sharpening helps ease the travel of the maul through the first 1/8" or so of the surface, at which point the sides of the maul are pushing the wood apart, and the edge is hanging in space.

You might ask the FIL if there is anything you could do to beef up the performance. I know some guys polish the sides of their axes for splitting efficiency, but am unsure if that applies to mauls or not.
Kar15  [Team Member]
1/7/2009 3:54:17 AM
sharpening the very edge will give you a better "bite" into the wood though. i hate when the maul bounces or rockets the wood i'm spliting off of the spliting block...

i wouldn't sharpen it up nearly as much as iwould an axe though. polishing the sides is a good sugggestion also... just my $.02

K.
tommygun2000  [Member]
1/7/2009 7:10:41 AM
A sharpened maul will always split better.
Roguetoad  [Team Member]
1/7/2009 7:50:28 AM
I don't sharpen mine like I do an axe. But, I do run a file over the blade a few times to help in splitting. Does it help? Not sure, but it sure as hell doesn't hurt.

Toad
Coolio  [Member]
1/7/2009 7:57:36 AM
I just sharpened mine, and it does seem to work better; seems to "catch" better.
But I think your dad is basically correct that you certainly don't have to be finicky about it. In fact, I doubt that a maul can be sharpened to the fine edge of an axe even if you wanted to do it. It has a different edge angle.
markl32  [Member]
1/7/2009 1:25:10 PM


So I started out to put an "edge" on it about the same angle you would on a shovel blade. It's not done, and the top third of it is really rounded off from years of misses and over power shots. Imagine the part of the place that hits the dirt if you swing and miss.

It seams I have created some dissension in the ranks as my Mother-in-law swears it splits better now...

Polishing the sides is an interesting idea.

Thanks all for the input.
brutus1776  [Member]
1/7/2009 1:31:53 PM
no need to sharpen it. if you are splitting straight grain oak or something, it will make no difference. only difference i have seen is a little extra 'bite' into a green log or knotted up log. use a log splitter on the knotted logs or burn whole in an outside fire pit or something and split the green wood when its seasoned.
blueheeler66  [Member]
1/8/2009 8:33:36 PM
on subject hijack.... what is the best splitting maul that you have used?
rusteerooster  [Team Member]
1/8/2009 8:38:16 PM
I have been useing my maul for close to 20 years and have never sharpened it and it works fine. I would say you don't need to.
blackhawkhunter  [Team Member]
1/9/2009 7:46:27 AM
Originally Posted By rusteerooster:
I have been useing my maul for close to 20 years and have never sharpened it and it works fine. I would say you don't need to.


I agree.

Feedingcannibal  [Member]
1/9/2009 8:45:47 AM
Originally Posted By blueheeler66:
on subject hijack.... what is the best splitting maul that you have used?


All-metal. No more broken handles when your buddies borrow yer maul.



SouthHoof  [Member]
1/9/2009 9:40:51 AM
Originally Posted By blueheeler66:
on subject hijack.... what is the best splitting maul that you have used?


I have a 30yr old maul. I've never sharpened it.

I don't recall the name but I did buy it at Tractor Supply. Black fibre core ABS plastic handle with an 8lb head. Back then it cost about $25. That was alot compared to $8 for a wood handled maul.

It is my understanding that a maul is not intended or designed to chop through wood but rather it breaks open the wood block.


Wood spitting tips: It's easier to split frozen wood blocks.
Orient the block so that it is upside down before you strike it with the maul. IE, turn the block so that the top of the tree is down.
Quarterbore  [Life Member]
1/9/2009 10:42:04 AM
I used to cut and split a lot of firewood in Highschool and College and I would always keep my maul and wedges reasonably sharp. As others said, it help prevent the worthless bounse and once the mall is in there you use a sledge hammer to get the log split enough to use the wedges.

No nead to be able to cut anything with it but a rounded edge causes more effort.
blackhawkhunter  [Team Member]
1/9/2009 10:52:23 AM
Originally Posted By SouthHoof:
Originally Posted By blueheeler66:
on subject hijack.... what is the best splitting maul that you have used?


I have a 30yr old maul. I've never sharpened it.

I don't recall the name but I did buy it at Tractor Supply. Black fibre core ABS plastic handle with an 8lb head. Back then it cost about $25. That was alot compared to $8 for a wood handled maul.

It is my understanding that a maul is not intended or designed to chop through wood but rather it breaks open the wood block.


Wood spitting tips: It's easier to split frozen wood blocks.
Orient the block so that it is upside down before you strike it with the maul. IE, turn the block so that the top of the tree is down.


I had a great Plumb maul, but in college I had to buy a fiberglass handle cause my friends kept breaking the wood handle. I didnt like it, but it lasted... and it is still going strong 25 years later.

I agree that reading the grain and orienting the wood right is more important than a sharp maul. As long as you dont hit rocks I cant imagine a maul getting that dull unless it has been oversharpend at some point in time.

Frozen oak splits like ash does normally!
efxguy  [Member]
1/9/2009 11:09:15 AM
Originally Posted By markl32:

So I started out to put an "edge" on it about the same angle you would on a shovel blade. It's not done, and the top third of it is really rounded off from years of misses and over power shots. Imagine the part of the place that hits the dirt if you swing and miss.

It seams I have created some dissension in the ranks as my Mother-in-law swears it splits better now...

Polishing the sides is an interesting idea.

Thanks all for the input.




Son, you are already miles ahead of the rest of us if you have your mother-in-law spittin wood for you, sharp maul or not!


And I agree that a sharp maul is not necessary for splitting wood, but it does help the maul to "bite".

efxguy
blackhawkhunter  [Team Member]
1/9/2009 12:57:34 PM
Originally Posted By efxguy:
Originally Posted By markl32:


It seams I have created some dissension in the ranks as my Mother-in-law swears it splits better now...

.



Son, you are already miles ahead of the rest of us if you have your mother-in-law spittin wood for you, sharp maul or not!



You got an excellent point there.... if she wants it sharp then it is absolutly the right thing to do!
RDwyer  [Member]
1/10/2009 1:19:23 AM
To be kind, you didn't ask him why he was laughing and to show you the right way.
Instead you post a msg on here getting 10 different ideas. Man Up and say show me.
LazarusLong  [Team Member]
1/10/2009 3:19:09 AM
Originally Posted By Feedingcannibal:
Originally Posted By blueheeler66:
on subject hijack.... what is the best splitting maul that you have used?


All-metal. No more broken handles when your buddies borrow yer maul.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31BQHA9KWEL._SL160_AA160_.jpg



Those things rock.
shibumiseeker  [Member]
1/10/2009 9:49:49 AM
Rub a little soap or candle wax on the sides of the maul when you start
splitting, it helps on tougher woods like hickory or sycamore.

You don't NEED to sharpen a maul unless you've hit a lot of rocks or concrete,
but it does help a little. To echo other posters, don't put the same edge as
you would on an axe, you want a convex edge (rounded out).