Gransfors Bruk Axe Guide | Which Axe Should You buy?
Gransfors Bruk, a renowned Swedish brand, takes pride in hand-forging their axes in Sweden, ensuring exceptional quality with handles crafted from American Hickory. Each axe bears the maker's mark, adding a personalised touch. There is a Gransfors Bruk axe for most outdoor applications, which can make selecting the right axe for your needs difficult. In the video below, Chris delves into the dissimilarities between splitting axes, forest axes, hunting axes and hatchets, shedding light on their unique characteristics and applications.
Filmed and edited by Pat Ryan, presented by Chris Russell
The clue to understanding the difference between splitting axes and forest axes lies in their names. Splitting axes, as the name suggests, are primarily designed for splitting materials or wood. Gransfors Bruk classify forest axes as tools for cutting across the grain, while splitting axes are intended for cutting with the grain, effectively splitting the timber apart. Splitting axes typically feature a heavier head, providing increased mass and power as they make contact with the wood.
The Splitting Maul is an exceptional example of a splitting axe. It features a 3.2kg head and an 80 centimetre long handle. The straight handle design has circular grooves towards the end, offering improved grip. The back of the head is designed to accommodate a splitting wedge. This wedge, such as Gransfors' own splitting wedge, facilitates the splitting process by gripping the timber and forcing it apart. It is important to note that only the splitting maul is intended for use with a splitting wedge, as using one with other splitting axes can damage the axe itself.
The Large Splitting axe has length options of 80 or 70 centimetres, both with a 2.3kg head. The choice of length ultimately depends on personal preference. The shorter handle may be favoured by those with a smaller stature.
When purchasing pre-split firewood or working with smaller timber pieces, these axes provide the necessary splitting power. The Small Splitting Axe features a 1.6kg head and a 60 centimetre handle, while the Splitting Hatchet boasts a 1.5kg head and a shorter 48 centimetre handle.
Forest axes, in contrast to splitting axes, are designed for cutting across the grain of the wood. These versatile tools excel at felling trees and cutting logs into smaller pieces. While their primary function is cutting across the grain, they can also perform light splitting tasks if required.
With a 2.3kg head and an 80.5 centimetre handle, the American felling axe is the ideal choice for tackling large trees during felling operations.
Featuring a 1.2kg head and a 64 centimetre handle, the Scandinavian Forest Axe strikes a balance between portability and functionality. It is suitable for felling smaller trees or limbing a felled tree.
Both the Small Forest Axe and the Hunter's Axe are compact options, ideal for carrying in vehicles or backpacks. The small forest axe has a 0.9kg head and a 49 centimetre handle, while the hunters axe shares the same weight head but includes a rounded back of the head for enhanced performance during hunting and carcass preparation. The hunters axe has a 47cm handle with grooves at the end for grip.
Developed with the help of survival and bushcraft expert Lars Fält, the Outdoor Axe is for light splitting wood-splitting tasks or for use as a large knife. It can also be used to fell a small tree as it has a relatively long handle at 37cm and elongated head which weighs 0.5kg.
A traditional scouting and camping axe that's compact and can fit into a hiking pack. The handle length is long for a typical hatchet at 34cm with a 0.6kg head. The Wildlife Hatchet is ideal for general camp chores.
The Hand Hatchet is compact yet still functional for splitting kindling, firewood and limbing branches. It has a 24cm handle and weighs 0.6kg, so takes up little space and can fit in a backpack for hiking trips.
The Small Hatchet is the lightest of hatchet offerings from Gransfors. It's perfect for hiking when every kilo counts. Weighing in at 0.3kg with a handle length of 26cm.
Gransfors Bruk provide a wide range of options for various cutting and splitting needs and understanding the differences between splitting axes and forest axes is crucial when selecting the right tool for the job. Whether you require the forceful splitting capability of the Splitting Maul or the precision and versatility of forest axes, Gransfors Bruk ensure exceptional craftsmanship and quality in all their products. Gransfors Bruk also have a range of carpenters axes and tools such as sharpening stones and files. Shop the full Gransfors Bruk range here. And, or any further inquiries or questions, feel free to reach out to our store here.