Good things come in small packages, but does this apply to the Fiskars Pro IsoCore 2.5lb Maul? This mini maul is designed to split small logs and kindling and we wanted to know how well it performs. This article will review the Fiskars Pro 2.5-pound maul and closely examine its features, strengths, and weaknesses.

What is a Fiskars Pro IsoCore 2.5lb Maul?

The Fiskars 2.5lb maul is a hatchet-sized splitting tool for small logs and kindling. People that regularly split wood but don’t want to swing a cumbersome two-handed axe will appreciate this tool. Its pole also has a hammer for striking and driving in wedges.

With some extra effort, this maul can chop bigger logs, but that’s not what it’s designed for. Your wrists will thank you for saving the tough jobs for a full-sized Fiskars maul or the X27.

Infographic showing data about the Fiskars 2.5lb maul
Quick stats on the 2.5lb maul.

How does the Isocore mini maul perform?

This tool is no hatchet, even though its size is comparable. It’s a mini-beast that feels weighty in the hand and powers through wood fibers. A well-designed head and ergonomic, shock-free handle result in a formidable combination. 

We tested this pint-sized maul on various types and sizes of wood. Its no-nonsense blade drives through softwood like Douglas fir and hemlock like a knife through butter. Hardwood like ash and cherry took an extra swing or two to split, but the smaller logs were fine.

This mini maul packs power for its size.

The sweet spot for this maul is chopping logs with a diameter of 6-8″. Going bigger is fine, but larger, purpose-built tools are a better option.

The maul was also tested on a larger round of cottonwood crotch. That’s the gnarly, twisted tree segment where branches and trunk combine. Within a few blows we quickly gave up on that idea. Using one hand and the short handle length means power is compromised. Fiskars makes it clear that this tool is for smaller splitting jobs, but we had to test it out, right?

Important Features

  • Built for smaller splitting jobs
  • Inseparable riveted head
  • Unique anti-vibration handle
  • A sledgehammer on the head’s poll
  • Rubber blade cover for added safety
  • Full lifetime warranty
Top down shot of the Fiskars mini maul with labels showing the tool's features
Features of the Fiskars 2.5lb maul.

Parts of the Pro Isocore 2.5lb Maul

For a modest-sized axe, the Isocore 2.5lb maul is feature-packed. Let’s look at this tool’s components and how they’ll make your job of wood splitting easier.

Maul head

The head is smaller than most traditional maul heads. In fact, the entire axe weighs less than just the head on most standard mauls. While this size and weight reduction results in less power, we were surprised at how effective it was with small logs.

With a convex wedge shape, the blade efficiently tears along the wood grain. It forces the wood apart without constantly getting stuck. A problem people using hatchets may be all too familiar with. One well-directed blow is enough to send the pieces flying in most cases.

Closeup of the Fiskars 2.5lb maul blade
The head is smaller than most regular mauls.

The maul’s head is made with heat-treated steel, which makes it tough enough to take the knocks. A rust-resistant coating reduces binding when driven deep into wood. Having used the Fiskars X27 for several months, we should point out that the layer tends to wear off with use. Over time the blade will stick more, but that’s unavoidable.

Without the coating, you’ll also lose some of its rust resistance, but that’s not a big problem to overcome with fine-grit sandpaper and a little WD-40.

Getting the blade stuck in wood is time-sapping and a little frustrating. Thankfully, this maul has a large poll made for hammering on. Instead of wasting time wrenching the bit free, use a mallet to bash the blade through the toughest wood. 

The poll is also great for hammering in wedges and stakes. It’s like a hammer, only much heavier. This is a super-useful tool to have on hand for camping.

Zoomed in shot of the poll on an Isocore 2.5lb Maul
A huge poll doubles as a hammer.

The Fiskars Pro 2.5lb maul is built to last. Its head is riveted onto the handle, making it inseparable and very safe. There’s no need to worry about sharp axe parts flying off and causing injuries. A vast pile of unsplit wood may cause stress, but worrying about the tool breaking shouldn’t add to your concerns.

Maul handle

Features like an “anti-vibration system” sound like bold marketing claims, but we were impressed with the result. Compared to a wooden handle, the hands, wrists, and arms experience up to 50% less jarring. Rock-hard seasoned elm created some discomfort on impact, though.

The Fiskars 2.5-pound maul is a modest 14″ in length. That size makes it ideal for anyone that doesn’t want to swing an unwieldy full-sized axe or maul. It is designed for swinging with one hand and delivers impressive power for its stature.

Handle closeup showing dimples in the Pro Isocore Maul
The grip is easy to hold onto.

An ergonomic orange handle looks modern and makes spotting the tool easier when you’re outdoors. Its grip is super-comfortable and won’t slip when wet. Covered in thermoplastic rubber with textured dimples, you get improved comfort and control. In hot weather, you can swing gloveless and won’t have to deal with blisters or hot spots.

Unlike the X-Series axes, which have hollow handles, the mini maul has a steel-reinforced fiberglass core. It is a feature consistent with the full-size Fiskars Isocore 8lb maul we reviewed here. It adds extra bulk, assisting with crushing through wood and absorbing shock.

When you’re splitting extra-tough wood, the shock waves get absorbed and dispersed. That means less pain and discomfort in your hands. However, anyone used to wielding a hatchet should be prepared for a much heavier tool.

End of the handle closeup on the Fiskars mini maul
A solid handle adds weight for easier splitting.

The maul has a flared knob at the end of the handle, allowing better control. Even if the grip slips, you’ll catch it before flying loose. Unlike the X-Series, this maul does not have a hole in the handle for hanging it on packs and tool shed walls.

Traditional axe users may think the handle’s material doesn’t compare to the look of hickory, but it’s hard to doubt this tool’s durability. It is built to last and outperform even the strongest wood.

This maul probably won’t appeal to tinkerers that love working with wood. You won’t be able to thin the handle, paint it, or perform any maintenance.

Protective sheath

Although not every axe or maul comes with a sheath, it’s great when they do. The bit is protected from unwanted chips, and injuries are less likely.

The Fiskars 2.5lb Maul comes with a small rubber bit cover. It provides some protection, but we prefer the X-Series sheaths. They are made with hard plastic and cover the entire head, doubling as a carrying handle.

Suggested reading: Do you need a lighter, more versatile axe that’s also great for chopping branches? Check out our review of the Fiskars X7 Hatchet. It’s easy to carry and ideal for camping, hiking, and hunting.

Strengths

  • Cheaper than full-sized mauls.
  • Impressive power for small-medium logs.
  • Built to last with durable materials
  • Less vibration than wooden-handled mauls.
  • Use the poll for hammering.

Weaknesses

  • Lacks the versatility of a regular hatchet.
  • Can’t thin or maintain the handle.
Holding the Fiskars Mini Maul at chest level with a forest in the background
The Pro Isocore 2.5lb Maul is easy to swing.

Commonly asked questions

What’s the difference between a Fiskars Isocore 2.5lb maul and a hatchet?

Anyone who has held a hatchet will immediately notice that the Fiskars maul is much heavier. For example, the Fiskars X7 hatchet weighs 1.42 pounds, while their mini maul is over twice the weight at 3 pounds.

The added weight and an aggressive blade profile make it a much better option for splitting wood. However, regular hatchets are lighter and easier to maneuver, making them suitable for a broader range of jobs.

What blade type is used for the Fiskars Pro IsoCore 2.5lb Maul?

The Fiskars Pro Maul has a blade made from high-quality forged steel. Its shape has a hollow grind that resembles the profile of a knife.

What’s the difference between the 8lb and 2.5lb Fiskars Pro Mauls?

The Fiskars 8lb maul is 36″ long and designed to power through the toughest, oversize logs. It is heavy, and some people will find it challenging to wield accurately and safely.  

The 2.5lb maul is 14″ long and is made for splitting small logs and kindling. Swung with one hand, it is a much lighter tool and is suitable for all sizes and levels of experience.

Where can I buy a Fiskars Pro IsoCore 2.5lb Maul?

Fiskars mauls are sold throughout the United States and many other countries in hardware and tool specialty stores. They’re available online if you can’t find a store near you.

What is the best alternative to the Fiskars IsoCore 2.5lb maul?

If you’re looking for a splitting axe that you can use with two hands, consider the X17 axe. It’s light and easy to swing, suitable for most people. The X21 and X25 have bigger handles and can deliver excellent power even though they aren’t full-sized.

Are Fiskars mauls made in China?

The Fiskars maul range is made in the small village of Sorsakoski, Finland. By staying local, the company plays a vital role in bolstering employment in the community. Finnish production has the added bonus of improving product quality.

Is Fiskars a trustworthy manufacturer?

Fiskars has been making tools since 1649 and has built a solid reputation for long-lasting products. Finland’s oldest private company forges its tools locally under strict quality guidelines.

Fiskars makes a wide range of products and is perhaps best known for its iconic orange scissors. They also own brands like Royal Doulton, Gerber, and Royal Albert.

A mini maul on the shoulder with bush in the background.
The Fiskars axe range has an excellent reputation.

Fiskars Pro IsoCore 2.5lb Splitting Maul Specifications

AttributeImperialMetric
Total maul length14”35.5cm
Head weight2.5lb1.1kg
Total weight3lb1.4kg

Summing up

Having already tested out the full-sized Fiskars maul, we were keen to try the condensed 2.5lb option. It only took a few swings to get a feel for how well this tool splits wood. The design provides an enviable combination of comfort, durability, and performance.

The Fiskars 2.5lb maul is a specialized tool that does one job very well. It’s much easier to work with than regular mauls, yet it has surprising splitting ability (split-ability). This is an excellent choice to split small logs and kindling.

Based on its size, don’t be fooled into thinking you can use this tool like a hatchet. This maul is much heavier, making horizontal swinging exhausting and uncomfortable on the hands. It’s not made for thinning out saplings, pruning, or other everyday jobs that make hatchets so popular.

Likewise, large logs and tough wood aren’t well-suited to the Isocore 2.5lb maul. You’ll probably split anything with enough swings, but the expended effort and hand strain won’t be worth it. Instead, we suggest a larger axe or maul for the big jobs.

If you like the look of modern-looking tools, then the Fiskars Pro should impress. This maul may not be a hand-forged heirloom tool, but it looks sleek and is an over-achiever for its size.

Keep in mind if this maul breaks, you won’t be able to fix it. That means people who love tinkering with wood and survivalists may want to choose a more traditional wooden tool.

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