How to Sharpen a Splitting Maul

Hand-splitting your own firewood is always a workout, but it doesn't have to be torture. One way to make the job much faster and easier is to make sure that your maul has a true edge on it. A dinged or warped maul is hard to get set into the wood and forces you to hit the log harder and more often to make through. You might not notice the difference at first, but by the time you've made it through a face cord you will definitely feel it! Fortunately, you can reshape the edge of your splitting maul with just a few common shop tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Splitting maul
  • Grinding wheel, disc grinder or flat fine-cut hand file
  • Wet or dry hand-stone
  • Safety glasses
  • Protective work gloves

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Shaping the Maul Edge

Inspect the maul edge for damage or distortion. The maul edge should be straight and parallel with the handle. If you see any dings, dents or distortions, its time to get out the tools.

Use the grinding wheel, disc or file, grind the cutting edge of the maul so it is parallel to the maul handle.

Run the grinding disc or file along the forward sides of the maul, being careful to follow the angle of each side. Use a firm but even pressure. The sides of the maul should be straight all the way to the cutting edge; don't bevel it inward as you would when you sharpen an axe.

Inspect the maul head to make sure the front edge is parallel to the handle and the wedge sides are now straight.

Use the hand-stone to remove any burrs or rough edges left by the shaping process.

Tips & Warnings

  • Remember that you don't really want the edge of the maul to be very sharp.That would cause it to stick in the wood with each stroke.
  • Make sure that the cutting edge of the maul is parallel to the handle.Older mauls can develop a slanted edge, greatly reducing the splitting efficiency of each blow.
  • If your maul had a painted head, you might want to re-paint it after you've reshaped it. This makes it easier to find in the woods.
  • Always be sure to wear protective glasses and gloves as you reshape your maul. The process will cause metal filings to fly -- and if you're using a power grinding tool, those metal specks will be red hot. Hot filings can cause serious burns, skin irritation or eye damage.

References

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