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How to Sharpen a Splitting Maul

Are you a woodman or an occasional firewood cutter? Then you must know the importance of a splitting maul and what a crucial role a sharp maul can play in the process. A splitting maul is a tool used to cut down wood from the trees and break it down into smaller pieces.

It is extremely useful, and there is no other alternative to this particular tool. People who work with the best splitting maul knows better to always keep their mauls sharp. Here is a guide to how to sharpen a splitting maul and everything else that there is to know about it.

Benefits of Using Splitting Maul

A splitting maul is different than an axe, though they can look the same at first glance. But a splitting maul is fat and blunt with a wider butt than an axe. Also, an axe is used to chop down wood fibers, whereas a splitting maul is used to cut large pieces of wood into smaller pieces.

There are other benefits to using a splitting maul as well, and they are as follows:

  • Using a splitting maul can be considered a workout as an immense amount of energy is conserved during the process.
  • A splitting maul is extremely durable, so you can use it as much as you want.
  • It gets you closer to nature as there are no other machines at work, it’s just your hard labor in a forest and nature all around you.

Why Do We Need to Sharpen a Splitting Maul?


Every woodman knows that any kind of cutting tool they need to stay sharp and rust-free at all times or otherwise, their entire purpose is lost. It is the same case with the splitting maul. A sharp splitting maul helps you to save time and energy as large pieces of wood can be cut into half in one blow using a sharper maul. 

Also, if your maul isn’t sharp enough, there is a risk that it will not penetrate the wood and can bounce back. This is extremely dangerous for the woodcutter and also if there is anybody around them.

Things You Need to Sharpen a Splitting Maul

There are many ways one can sharpen something sharp. However, the basic tools usually used to sharpen a splitting maul are listed below.

  • Grinding wheel
  • Disc grinder
  • Flat fine cut hand file (bastard file)
  • Wet or dry hand stone
  • Safety glasses
  • Protective work gloves
  • Honing steel

How to Sharpen a Splitting Maul


People who love wood cutting often gets scared or lazy when it comes to sharpening your tools. Butt sharpening a splitting maul is fairly easy. There are three methods of sharpening a splitting maul, and they are categorized as per their difficulty level below.

The Easy Method

Here is the step-by-step method:

STEP 1: Put the maul on a flat surface sideways, making sure the sharp edge is away from your body.

STEP 2: Rub the bastard file on the edge of the maul. Make the strokes upward and slightly angled away from you.

STEP 3: Flip the maul on to the other side and repeat it.

The Medium-Hard Method

Below is the medium-hard method. Take a look!

STEP 1: Set the grinder up.

STEP 2: Use a C-clamp to lock the grinder down.

STEP 3: Start the machine and brush the maul against the wheel for a maximum of 10 seconds. Your maul should be done sharpening within these 10 seconds.

STEP 4: Turn it around and brush the other side of the maul for another 10 seconds.

STEP 5: Add water to the hand sharpening stone and hold the maul away from your body in a tight grasp.

STEP 6: Use the hand stone to rub it against the edge of the maul. Then use the dark side for the damaged parts of the maul and the lighter side for the other parts. Make sure that you make small clockwise movements on the already ground edge and count the number of circles you make.

Step 7: Repeat the previous step for the other side of the maul with the same number of circles you made before.

The Hard Method

The hard method is stated below:

STEP 1: Follow all the steps of the easy method.

STEP 2: Follow steps 5, 6, and 7 from the middle method.

STEP 3: Use the honing steel to level down any rough edges. The maul must be facing down and push the maul up against the honing steel, for 6-8 times.

STEP 4: Repeat the previous step for the other side of the edge of the maul.


  • Use a 12-inch bastard file as it is the easiest to use
  • While sharpening make sure the cutting edge is parallel to the handle
  • You don’t want your maul to be too sharp or else it will get stuck in the wood
  • Take safety precautions


Sharpening a splitting maul not only makes wood cutting easier, but keeping a sharp maul could expand its lifetime and make it more efficient.

Now that you know not one but all the ways you can sharpen your splitting maul and everything else related to it, I hope your maul never goes blunt, and your house is always warm with freshly cut wood.

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