Whether you have a monster wood-burning furnace in your basement or small cook stove in the kitchen, providing the right size wood to keep the wood burners burning is an ongoing winter chore. And having the right wood cutting and splitting tools can be a real asset.
In 1979 and 1980 Mother Earth News magazine ran the results of two wood splitting contests and mentioned the monster maul in both. This maul is an all metal ax with a triangular-shaped head similar to a splitting wedge. But in this case, the head is attached to a full-length metal ax handle. In 2001, when I started working for Mother Earth News, one of the first reader questions I was asked was 'where can I buy the monster maul?'
As a new employee, I might have been stumped, wondering what a monster maul was. But, as it happens, I own one. In fact I first saw it advertised in the magazine in the early 1970s. The original manufacturer was the Sotz Corporation, which I discovered is no longer in business. This was not good news. The monster maul is a great tool, especially for splitting tough, knotty rounds of wood.
An Internet hunt revealed that Northern Tools sells a similar splitting maul. It's a bit lighter weight than the monster, 12 pounds rather than 15. But I have been pleased to direct readers who ask for the monster maul to their Web site.
You can read more on cutting and splitting firewood in these articles or by searching at www.MotherEarthNews.com
And you can share your favorite wood cutting or splitting tools in the comment section below.