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Stop at your nearest hardware store and take a look at the axes. They all look oddly similar, don’t they? Most appear mass produced, similar, bland. Worse still, mass production can reduce quality. Let’s go back to hand-crafted axes for that sought-after strength and craftsmanship. And the best axe for the job is the Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe.
The kind of hatchet you want at your side for personal use: strong, beautifully crafted, and a service that can last a lifetime with proper maintenance.
Where does it stand with firewood? Depends on the size. It was too small to do any real damage to your average log. For that, the Fiskars Super Splitting Axe was the obvious champ. But small trees? Absolutely. It did a fine job cutting across the grain and, with enough effort, you can split large logs. Where it stands, light to medium cutting is where it shines the most. However, it can take some time getting used to. It’s lightweight and any beginner might be thrown off by that. A lot of the force is coming from your own strength.
Taking one look at the Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe and you’ll realize just how different it looks from your average, everyday, mass-produced axe. It looks hand-crafted because it is. The axe head is high carbon steel hand-crafted into a strong, lightweight shape. It is then fitted to a smooth hickory handle, as is the Husqvarna 26 Wooden Multi-Purpose Axe.
That beautiful craftsmanship does come with a cost: maintenance. It’s delivered to you nice and sharp and will stay sharp for some time—but it’s necessary for the longevity of the axe head; a vegetable tanned leather sheath will help, too. And don’t forget keeping it oiled and stored in a dry, cool place.
Why would you want this axe? Is it because you read the Gransfors Bruk Axe book? If you want an axe for occasional use, this Swedish axe is not for you. It requires too much attention to be locked away in some hot, damp shed. This is first and foremost a wildlife hatchet. If you need a recreational axe, one that will last a lifetime (when properly cared for), then this is definitely the axe for you. It’s a bit pricey, yes, but far superior in performance and design than a Coleman Camp Axe.
The Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe has “premium” written all over it, from its performance to craftsmanship. It isn’t large enough to fell trees and large logs, but it stands strong against thin ones and smaller jobs. With the right maintenance, it stands as a shining example of what a hatcher should strive for.