Sunday, December 30, 2012
Revisiting The Sotz Monster Maul
We had a comment on our YouTube video showing how to use a Sotz Monster Maul, and it was a pleasant surprise. Ed in Detroit bought the unsold stock from the Sotz corporation, and he is selling it all via Craigslist.
The Sotz Monster Maul was a well-thought-out design which solved inherent problems of wood splitting mauls. Most mauls sold in the pre-Sotz era had wooden handles, which broke with annoying regularity when splitting wood. Sotz fixed that by making the handles out of steel, with a reinforcing collar just above the head. Most splitting mauls are only six to eight pounds, and you swing them like an axe to deliver sufficient energy for splitting. That's great if you are young and athletic, but big swings don't work well for middle aged and older folks. Sotz's solution was to make the head a big slow bullet; 16 pounds heavy. You don't swing it; you raise it, and then bring it down, using the handle as a lever to deliver a bit of speed. We were able to split any species of hardwood with our Sotz mauls, even elm, though we never did enjoy busting elm wood.
The other problem with splitting mauls and axes is that they stick in the wood you are trying to split. The wide angle of the Sotz head eliminates sticking almost 100%. I finally gave up using a maul and bought a hydraulic wood splitter a few years ago because of a bad elbow, but that was caused by using a hoedad for tree planting many years ago. If you use a Monster Maul correctly, it won't cause tennis elbow.
I looked around on the internet a bit, and Monster Maul knockoffs are not as heavy as the original product. Northern Tool has a Monster Maul wannabe that has a 12 pound head, and that is typical. If you want the original, check the Craigslit page and order one. Ed does ship, so anyone in the country can still buy one of these useful artifacts from the 1970's energy crisis.
Ed also has some Sotz fireplace tools, which were designed to use with their barrel stove kits. He is asking $40 for these, and that looks like a very fair price for useful American made product. When these are gone, there won't be any more, so visit these pages and have a look.
Sotz Product List
Sotz Monster Maul
Sotz Fireplace Tools