If you’re looking to split logs, you could always use a large, heavy log-splitting machine to do the work for you. But sometimes, we just want to roll up our sleeves and release our inner lumberjack.
The problem is that, for most of us, the only axes we’ve seen are safely encased in a shrine of glass, ready to be used “in case of fire.” What you can always do is look for a reliable axe manufacturer and see what type of log-splitting tools they have in store.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at one such manufacturer’s products and compare them head-to-head. They are the x27 Axe and the Iso Core Maul from Fiskars. Although Fiskars makes a wide range of tools for both indoor and outdoor use, their line of axes is something to behold. Since both of them have received huge amounts of five-stars, we’re going to compare the two to see which has the better overall performance.
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x27 and Iso Core Maul
Axes come in all sizes, ranging from small, one-handed hatchets to long, two-handed axes. A short 14-inch hatchet might not be the best option to split logs, but a long 30-plus-inch model won’t give you the precision needed to cut and split pieces of lumber. Both the x27 and Iso Core Maul axes are 36 inches long from end to eye. These are both two-handed models, usable by short and tall lumberjacks, for splitting logs and chopping down trees.
Since you’re going to be manually swinging around this axe all day long, you should be confident that the blade won’t fly off and the handle won’t warp or snap. The x27 is constructed using Fibercomp – a high-strength, heat-treated, reinforced carbon fiber. Users have commented swinging these axes all day long without having the slightest worry of damage to the handle. The blade, however, is prone to warping when hitting hard objects (e.g. stones, metal).
Iso Core Maul
Like the x27, the Iso Core Maul’s blade can also be damaged when swinging it stone and metal. However, when chopping and splitting lumber, there’s virtually no risk of the tool breaking on you. The Iso Core Maul is made of forged steel and finished with a thick application of a rust-resistant coating to make to withstand moist environments.
Conclusion: Both of these tools are marketed as virtually indestructible, but there have been a few cases where the handle has bent slightly. Luckily, the company offers a lifetime warranty for both of these products and will send you a replacement if your Hulk-like strength ends up damaging the axe.
The best things about manually-operated tools are their versatility. You should be able to perform a wide range of different tasks using a single tool. However, the only versatility the x27 offers is chopping trees and splitting logs. The axe isn’t designed to do much more than this. Don’t even think about shaping wood or making intricate designs in fancy logs with this axe.
Iso Core Maul
Similar to the x27, this axe’s blade isn’t made to shape or make intricate cuts in wood. However, if twist the axe around 180°, you’ll find a driving face which lets you safely drive stakes into the ground. The long handle will give you enough leverage to drive long stakes into the ground with just one or two perfectly aimed swings.
Conclusion: The Iso Core Maul is a multi-purpose tool for the outdoorsman or the home-project DIY-er. The ability to both chop logs and drive stakes makes this axe the preferred choice over the simple, one-trick-pony x27, though we admit that it does chop and split logs just as perfectly as the Iso Core Maul.
Shock and Vibration Control
The main anti-shock feature of the x27 comes from the design of the Fibercomp materials used to construct this tool. Upon making contact, there will be a noticeable buzz or shock that runs up your arms. However, it’s nothing to worry about and won’t cause any damage to you or the tool. In fact, the FIbercomp performs rather well in absorbing most of the shock when swinging in a wide arc.
Iso Core Maul
The Iso Core Maul uses the company’s proprietary IsoCore shock control system where the shoulder bears most of the shock and vibrations produced when smacking the blade against lumber. The handle also works in absorbing a lot of the shock so even when swinging with all your might and the widest arc possible, you’re highly unlikely to lose control after making contact.
Conclusion: Both of these tools’ shock-absorbing systems work well, especially considering their respective weights (more on this in the next segment). However, we feel that the Iso Core Maul’s handle works just absolutely beautifully in taking in a lot of the shock. We and numerous customers can control the axe comfortably and without yelping in surprise when the blade smashes into lumber.
The weight of an axe is an important consideration to take into account. Even though you want something lightweight so it won’t require all of your energy to lift, let alone swing, you’ll still want something with enough body to help you in making deeper cuts in lumber. The x27 weighs just under 6 pounds, so it’s extremely lightweight. However, we found that it doesn’t have enough “meat on the bones” to help dig the blade deeper into a tree’s trunk or branches.
Iso Core Maul
The Iso Core Maul is only slightly heavier than the x27 (8 pounds), but the added weight makes a ton of difference in cutting performance. With an additional 2 pounds, we found it to be comfortable to hold, not overbearing when lifting and swinging and drives deeper into logs with less effort on our part.
Conclusion: Even though the Iso Core Maul is around 33% heavier than the x27, it can still be categorized as a lightweight axe. In fact, it’s the added weight (2-pound difference) that makes it easier to use when chopping and cutting logs. In order to get the same results, you’d need to exert more energy per swing.
Fiskars’ axes are some of the best chopping and splitting axes out there. Not to mention they’re also aesthetically pleasing. Both the x27 and Iso Core Maul from this Finland-based tools manufacturer are extremely durable, lightweight, easy to control, and won’t break your arm with resulting vibrations when chopping logs with all your might.
However, if we had to recommend one of these axes over the other, we’d wholeheartedly advise that you get the Iso Core Maul. When looking at the larger picture, the differences between the two may seem minuscule, but there are several things that the Iso Core Maul can offer that the x27 can’t. First of all, the Iso Core Maul is a multi-purpose tool that both cuts logs down to size as well as drives long stakes deep into the ground. Second, its neck and handle offer better shock absorption than the Fibercomp material used to make the Fiskar x27. Third, the Iso Core Maul is heavier, thus giving you more power per swing without exerting as much effort in the process.