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GRANSFORS SPLITTING MAUL really worth the dough?

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by Joe Duder, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. Joe Duder

    Joe Duder

    Jan 22, 2013
    I've been seriously contemplating forking out the money for a Gransfors Bruks splitting maul. The price is putting a damper on my "clicking buy" reflex. I have a cheap 6lb made in china splitting maul that does the work I want it to do, but I'm stuck wondering if the Gransfors maul will make splitting any easier.

    I use my Lopi insert to heat my home, so I usually spend "the summer time cuttin' up logs for the winter". Free wood is far less expensive than my gas utilitie's rates.

    Question time:

    What are the benefits of a Gransfors? Examples are much appreciated.

    Where's the best place to buy one at a reasonable price?
  2. cooperhill


    Nov 14, 2011
    I just know it works well. I used to use fiberglass mauls and wedges. I now just use the gransfors maul for large rounds ( I then use an axe to split into smaller pieces for the stove). I like the wood handle and the steel collar. It just seems to split really well. I've used the large splitting axe by GB and it also is very effective.
  3. Joe Duder

    Joe Duder

    Jan 22, 2013
    I'm currently using a fiberglass handle maul. It does do the job, but I'm always looking for a better tool to make things easier. Well let me rephrase, splitting big rounds is never easy work, but if I can split smoother and with less effort than a Gransfors would be worth the money.

    Thanks for the input Cooperhill.
  4. killa_concept


    May 19, 2009
    I only own a GB Scandinavian and GB Small Forest Axe, so I can't really speak as to the effectiveness of their splitting maul. I also am not in a position where I need to split large quantities of wood regularly (though I have in the past whilst spending winters up in Canada).. But if that doesn't completely invalidate my opinion, I'd say the advantages of buying a GB product are kind of lost on that sort of tool... you're paying a high premium for the GB fit and finish and that's really not as critical on a tool that's probably going to see some abuse. The high quality heat treat, edge hardness/toughness, and level of edge refinement won't be too critical either since it's actually the head geometry (and not the edge itself) that's doing the splitting. So long as the heat treat is alright (high 40s to mid 50s), and you know how to establish a so-so edge with a file, any ol' maul head is going to split wood just as well as a razor sharp GB at 57hrc.

    The one thing that I do like about the GB maul is that it has a standard axe eye (egg shaped) vs a typical maul eye (round). I'm sure most people who've tried out both would agree that the overall feel and accuracy is much better with a non-round handle. Ultimately though, I'd feel like I was just paying for that, the steel collar and not having to invest any additional work into the product... so I'd probably just pass and keep an eye out for a vintage splitting maul head with an axe-eye.
  5. cooperhill


    Nov 14, 2011
    I really think it does. Obviously there may be cheaper options out there but I stand by this one as an effective splitting tool. Time and effort are definitely worth something to me. I'm not super big on GBs anymore but this one is a nice tool. I think Bearhunter has one too
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013
  6. jimdandy197647


    Oct 17, 2007
    In one word , yes. I bought one for my father in law 5 years ago, and he loves it. Before that he was going through one maul a year splitting wood. The gransfors will pay for itself.
  7. chogue1980


    Aug 10, 2010
    i OWN A wetterlign splitting mual and splitting axe. I've gone thru tru-temper, ace hardware brands, china junk, etc etc and finally dropped the dough on my Wetterlings. Hands down it was worth the money, no rolls or egde chips, great geometry, easy to re-sharpen, amazing, would buy it again in a heartbeat.
    I went wetterling because I have a bunch of their axes and have been happy, the GB has the advantage of the steel collar for overstrikes, which is nice, but otherwise they are very similiar, I think quality tools that last a life time are a good purchase, my vote is go for it
  8. flexo


    Mar 14, 2013
    i'm pretty axe and axemanship enthousiast,and i really like traditonal wooden hafted axes.
    but ,about splitting mauls i do prefer plastic handle,easy miss forgiver!
    actually, french leborgne splitting maul,designed for getting thru wood easily is worth considering.

    personnaly i would save money to buy a decent axe and split with a good maul with plastic haft,in a medium price range!
  9. sideways


    Feb 19, 2013
  10. G-pig


    Jul 5, 2011
    How is that more efficient? Or are we going on the assumption that time efficiency is now the end all be all of efficiency in general? Can you say a marathon runner loses a race to a relay team, since only one person is "technically" crossing the finish line to beat him? This isn't taking into consideration the ridiculous double standards of modern people, who use these insane industrially produced machine that require regular servicing and energy input until their doctor gets mad at them for not exercising, and then go join a gym. The complexity will never stop compounding its own problems, and they continue getting worse.

    Axe wins hands down in my mind, as an all-things-considered more efficient (and enriching) efficient means to many ends.
  11. Sparrow92


    Mar 16, 2011
    Well said.
  12. Joe Duder

    Joe Duder

    Jan 22, 2013
    I agree with g-pig, the axe wins hands down or in my case the maul wins hands down. Depending on how big your rounds are, it's tuff work, but damn you feel great after a week full of splitting. If I had more than 2 cords to split in a short period of time I'd probably think about renting a splitter, or just call some of my good ol' boy buddies and have a splitting fest. It's amazing what a case of beer and a fifth of Jim Beam can do to one's motivation.
  13. lobo9er


    Jan 5, 2013
    I'm using a (and have rehandled) a yellow fiber glass handle nameless maul my dad bought 20 years ago from a local hardware store that was run out of town by Home depot. So all I can say is the cheap-o's split good. As good as a GB? Maybe some day I will know.
  14. sideways


    Feb 19, 2013
    Well I was thinking in terms of output capacity but yeah, time efficiency is another way of seeing it. Any task that can be automated frees people up to do other things with their time.

    If you enjoy processing wood manually in your spare time, power to you. :thumbup:
  15. G-pig


    Jul 5, 2011
    Stacking complex functions like that-- Running one of those contraptions allows you to halfass another thing, all while producing enough firewood to heat your 4,000 square foot house with cathedral ceilings all day while nobody is in it (guess where? At work, to pay for all of this).

    Not directed at you specifically, but insanity in general, so don't be offended.
  16. Joe Duder

    Joe Duder

    Jan 22, 2013
    F'ing classic.
  17. Joe Duder

    Joe Duder

    Jan 22, 2013
    Actually I do enjoy splitting wood. However, I only enjoy it because I know I don't have to (I also have a heater) and because it's a work out. If I were in a situation where I had to split wood or freeze, then it would undoubtedly suck. At that point, it would be a very necessary laborious chore and nobody likes those.
  18. sideways


    Feb 19, 2013
    No offense taken. I don't think I'd know what to do with 4000 sq ft... Maybe get a roommate or two? :D

    I'm a minimalist at heart and go for the simple solution whenever it is appropriate. The reason for mentioning the industrial monstrosity in the first place was because the OP said he would be doing lots of wood prep. I rent one of those machines from a neighborhood coop and process my wood for the year in a day. The machine then goes on to serve others and I can do other things with my time.
  19. SamuraiDave


    Apr 6, 2001
    I have several mauls. However all have been given to me and they are probably 20+ years old.
    From what limited splitting I have done the one that I "smoothed out" on my belt sander splits way better due to its improved geometry and smoother sides that don't hang up while it is wedging its way through the round.

    Also, there are alternatives to Axe Eyed Splitting Mauls.
    I've been interested in Council Tool's version for some time.
  20. avoidspam


    Jul 2, 2011
    My house is run on wood (heating, cooking, hot water) through the winter. I've got a couple of nice GB's for snedding and clearing small windblow and a carving axe for, carving! I use a cheapish fibreglass handled maul, medium weight and it's done me fine for 3 years now. I'd argue a keen edge isn't essential with splitting, you're generally running with the grain. You risk chipping the tool if the edge is too fine. I worked as a tree surgeon for nine years and we'd split a heck of a lot of firewood to sell. This trade taught me a lot about how wood is structured and, you can apply that to splitting logs. As this knowledge improves so will your efficiency. you'll also get more efficient by being careful where you cross cut your timber, try to make your cuts near the knots, leaving one clean end to split. These days I'll always have a few 'tough nuts' I won't waste my energy with but let the chainsaw sort out!

    Maybe the GB has marginally better geometry..., tricky to assess the benefits...

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