View Full Version : Splitting mauls...

06-03-2007, 12:25 PM
Any thoughts on the Gransfors Vs. the Iltis??...

Both can be veiwed here for reference.


06-03-2007, 12:43 PM
I have the GB large splitting axe. After 15 years of using an 8-12lb maul and a sledge hammer on our local oak, I will never go back. It's strange how a 3.5lb splitting axe with a 27" handle works so much better but it sure does. The one in the pic has been through about a dozen cords of oak and twice that much pine. The steel collar is very helpful for those less than perfect times...

I could split the oak round in this pic with the GB faster than I could with a 12lb maul and sledge. It's much more efective on 10-14" rounds that can be quartered into perfect sized firewood though.


06-03-2007, 05:20 PM
Jonathan- That's kinda where I'm at right now...8 lb maul w/ a 12 lb sledge for additional persuation...the handle is on it's way out and I'd consider upgrading to re-handling as long as I'd see a performance gain.

I've found a place that might still have the Gransfors for $86...I'll call tomorrow to check there stock, and if they have them for that price I think I'll try one out.

06-03-2007, 07:11 PM
If you're working with 24" oak rounds all day I'd go for a hydraulic splitter. If you're working with the more typical 10-16" rounds you will fall in love with the splitting axe. Ever had a dull maul bounce out of a piece of green wood? Never happens with a GB splitting axe.

If you check out the Axe Book that comes with all the GB axes you'll see a drawing of a guy splitting rounds where he sticks the axe in the round, raises both over his head and comes down on the poll of the axe (with the round on top) and uses the weight of the round to split the wood. Be careful when you've got it up over your head but I've found this to be extremely effective and something that you just can't do nearly as well with a 12lb maul.

06-03-2007, 07:25 PM
That sounds like a headache waiting to happen for a klutz like me.

Most of my wood is in the 16"-20" range.

I've been digging around all night reading what I can about the Gransfors/Iltis...I can't really find much on the Iltis...but most reports are favorable about the Gransfors. Some claim that there isn't enough difference to justify the additional cost, but most say the same thing you do...the 5.5 lb Gransfors splits like a much heavier tool on the nasty stuff, yet is much less tiresome on the easy splitting wood.

Sounds like a winner to me.

06-03-2007, 07:34 PM
Someday, I may get a hydraulic splitter, as my indentured servants are about out of the house..... Until then we just use axes to split. A mixture of Vaughn, Plumb, Craftsman and Norlund. And my mini and Marbles are in the pic, too. I have a monster maul for crotches and tuff ones. I would like to try a true splitting ax sometime. Here are my choppers......
About all I use is pine or pinon, and if a handle goes, I toss a fiberglass on the head. Ain't broke one of them yet.Don

06-03-2007, 07:37 PM
dang...'tween you and Jon I'm really getting a case of axe-envy...

Ed C
06-03-2007, 07:39 PM
I used to drive nails with rigging axes like the ones on the bottom----until I got a Ruger Stilleto.

06-03-2007, 07:48 PM
That's why the riggers are delegated to chopper duty. After swinging the titanium for a few years, the hatchets ain't drove a nail since. Patrick got to use the hammer at the rondy to set up tipis, and I think was duly impressed...... Do they make a titanium splitter?<grin> Don

06-03-2007, 07:52 PM
I hope not...the Gransfors appear to be 'spensive enough...

06-03-2007, 08:04 PM
And for that reason, it will be a while before I get one, let alone wearing out all the ones I already have.......

06-04-2007, 10:18 AM

How do you like that Hunter's axe? I've been eyeing one since it seems about the right size for a bush axe although the mini and wildlife hatchets would be easier to pack. I thought the hunter's might be a good base camp tool.

06-04-2007, 11:24 AM
It was the first GB I ever bought. It's a nice size between the 3/4 axe and a hatchet. Very packable. If I was going to take something bigger than a GB mini I think I would skip the wildlife hatchet (or 13" Wetterlings) and go straight to the Hunter's axe.

I prefer the shape of the Hunter's axe handle to the traditional recurved axe handle shape. Feels like swinging a good Dalluge framing hammer if you choke up a bit. It splits mid sized stuff well but the rounded poll doesn't really do much for me. I've never used it for it's intended purpose of removing the hide from the critter. Used as a hammer for tent pegs it gets a little hard to use. It also tends to bust any batton up more quickly if you need one to split a round.

06-04-2007, 11:30 AM
I should add that I rarely if ever "chop" with an axe. Especially the smaller ones. Almost all my backpacking/hunting use of an axe/hatchet is for splitting. I use a saw for anything I need cut to length. Chopping with a knife is anathema to me /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif

Saws are for cutting, axes are for splitting and knives are for slicing.

06-04-2007, 03:55 PM
The prices were just too good to pass on...


It appears to me that these prices do not yet reflect the 2007 Gransfors pricing sheet.

I got the splitting maul and 2 Mini's (one for me, one for Jr.).

I missed the boat back when the mini's were $65 a few years ago. I figured I'd better get them now before they want $150 apiece for them.

06-04-2007, 05:30 PM
Thanks for the insight Songdog. I suspect that I will also rarely, if ever, use it for skinning game but the size looks about right for my intentions and the design is appealing.

06-04-2007, 05:41 PM
My #2 son loves the Hunter's axe. They each start with a small 13" Wetterlings, move up to the Hunter's axe and so far my oldest (10) is swinging the Scand Forest axe. Kind of like teaching them firearms safety. Seems to be a lost art these days. I don't have to cut much stove wood anymore /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif


06-04-2007, 05:46 PM
If the boys are spending time over all that concrete with those axes and you are STILL letting them use those axes, that tells me that they are handling them well and not dinging up the edges too bad.

I'd say a job well done by all of ya!...lol...

weekend warrior
06-05-2007, 05:52 AM

I see what you mean about the prices. I just bought a Scand Forest axe while on a trip to Stockholm. With the $ conversion and getting my taxes back at the airport it's still about the same price. Only thing I saved was shipping.

Darned Dollar is in the tank against the Euro and Kroner. Good for made in America goods but hurts when you're in the market for foreign made toys..... /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

06-05-2007, 06:06 AM
FWIW, I do not recommend the hunter axe for a backpacking axe. I you look at the poll of that axe, it is very thin and narrow, and is not really all that functional as a splitting axe, IMHO.

I was disappointed in the Hunter's axe, as it is designed more for skinning than chopping.

The little Gerber that I use for backpacking is a far superior splitter.

I love Gransfors, and currently own the splitting maul, small splitting axe, and the hunters axe.

If you are going to use the axe for backountry splitting of wood for a kifaru stove, I would consider the wildlife hatchet or the mini.

There was a photo of the long thin poll of the hunters axe somewhere on here, and it pretty much illustrates why that axe isn't a monster splitter.

06-05-2007, 09:22 AM
Shawn- How do you like your maul?

Mines scheduled for a Thursday delivery.

06-05-2007, 12:02 PM
The splitting maul is awesome.

I don't have a lot of history chopping wood. I moved up to Montana from Illinois about 5 years ago.

Picked up the splitting maul about 2 years ago, and quite a few of the locals were very impressed with it. Especially the collar!

I also have a small splitting axe, and it kicks butt as well.

The hunter seems to have a different design purpose though

06-05-2007, 01:10 PM
ken, thanks for the link above, I have my 3rd GB Product on the way. Good prices!

06-05-2007, 01:43 PM
Your very welcome...waddya get?

06-05-2007, 06:36 PM
I already own the wildlife hatchet and scandihoovian forest axe but I've been debating on whether to buy a log splitter for the approx 1 cord of pine I use each winter. I think I'll give the large splitting axe a try before I spend money on another gas/electric powered contraption. Ordered it today.

06-06-2007, 09:28 AM
I have the GB maul and it is great for the fir and maple I cut each year.

06-06-2007, 06:41 PM
I have the GB small splitting axe and GB small forest axe. I find the blade on the forest axe too thin for easily splitting wood. The splitting axe works much better for me. I think the small forest axe is the same as the hunters axe minus the rounded poll it is left square.

06-08-2007, 03:09 PM
...took delivery of the axes today...ALL were shaving sharp...never seen anything like it...

BUT...gotta send back the maul...it has a big gouge out of the side...metal collar included...

The fellas at Wiseman were more than accomodating though, it pains me to send back a splitting maul that will shave my arm...

I'm truely impressed w/ Gransfors.

06-13-2007, 05:36 PM
I recieved the replacement maul today and finally got to do some splitting with it. My intitial impressions are very good. The axe really works well on straight to fairly straight grained wood...almost no effort required to drive the maul home. On the tougher twisted chunks I still need to pound the maul with a 12 lb. sledge...but even so, the Gransfors outdoes my other maul as it threads it's way down through the gnarled wood rather easily. I'm also finding the head stick less and takes less effort to remove when sunk compared to my other maul.

I must say that swinging an ultra sharp 5 1/2 maul takes some getting used to...what used to leave me w/ a bruise will now require stitches. I sudddenly seem to be choosing my battles a bit more carefully...

06-15-2007, 11:48 PM
hay guys check out Fiskars axes they have a splitter that even my wife enjoys running. My friend bought a hatchet from them and I don't beleave in hatchets, but he brought it on one of our trips sheep hunting and man could one wack up a load of wood with just the hatchet. I ran out and bought the splitting axe, it never gets stuck, in any species of wood, it's virtually unbreakable. It looks a little light to be a splitter bought the angle it chops at and the wedge that tappers through the wood is just right. I pack it with me hunting to. It works well for general camp work also. I beleave in carring abit heavier axe with a decent length handle, it takes less energy to work the axe for chopping and splitting. I use it all the time, since I heat my house with wood. I let my friend try it out he says it's just like a chainsaw, if that says something. I haven't found a better axe for splitting or chopping to date, it does both jobs equally real well, I use it on the trail, at home, 24/7 with no worries. Check one out, you won't be disappointed.

07-05-2007, 07:28 AM
I've got 3 full chord or better split w/ the new maul...damn, the thing is impressive.

I've had to file the head down a bit as it was starting to mushroom from pounding it with the sledge. I've since decided to sharpen up my junky wedge and start using that more to save the wear and tear on the maul. I'd rather beat the $10 wedge to death rather than senslessly killing a great splitting tool.

I gotta agree with Johnathan though...no more dull mauls for me. The Gransfors has converted me! /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif

07-05-2007, 07:38 AM
btw...How's the new axe Elm??...are ya having any fun with it yet??...