axes

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punkrockcaveman

Full Member
Jan 28, 2017
838
646
yorks
When it comes to axes there are a great range of styles available to buy, and like most things each style has it's own pros and cons, and it comes down to what you intend to use the axe for.

I thought I'd review the 3 axes that I own as they all do different jobs.

They are from top to bottom;

Husqvarna hatchet
Gransfors bruks small forest axe
Husqvarna sledge axe

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Husqvarna Hatchet

The Husqvarna hatchet is a budget axe, I think I paid £20 for it inc. postage. The grain on the handle isn't the best, but it's never shown any sign of movement, and the edge is not the best finish. It has a tendency to chip, which I can only think is either that it's too hard or the composition of the steel isn't great. The sheath isn't the best as it can be knocked off, I think I could doctor that easy enough though. But for £20 it's great.

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The GB small forest axe (SFA) is another league quality wise. The steel polishes up really nice, it has never chipped and holds the edge really well. The handle has been well picked with good grain, and the sheath is well designed, although I did cut it open once and bodged it with 5 min epoxy. You do expect quality for the money though.

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The Husqvarna sledge axe (I would just call it a maul really) is a better level of quality than the hatchet. The steel seems better, the handle has been well selected and the sheath stays on well.

So the main deciding factor about an axe for me is the profile of the head.

On the Left is the Husq hatchet, then the SFA, then the Husq sledge axe.
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Immediately this tells you so much about the intention of the axe, that you don't get from the side view. The SFA in the middle is a great cutter, a slicer, it gets deep into wood quick with little friction, almost knife blade like. At the other end of the scale, the sledge axe on the right is super fat. It's a struggle sometimes to just get it to stick into wood like in the pic. It either splits right through or bounces.

The SFA on the other hand is 'sticky'. You don't need much force for it to go deep into wood. It's great for limbing and cutting jobs, and good for carving work.

The hatchet is somewhere in between. It's a great kindling chopper. It will limb, but it doesn't have the bite of the SFA. I probably shouldn't but quite often I use a wooden mallet to baton big logs with it. I've split many big rounds that I would normally use the sledge axe for this way, and it's efficient at doing it too. It's actually not that bad for carving. I think because it's cheap I tend to do a lot of dirty work with it, and it copes well with the abuse.

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Handle length is important too, not as important I believe. The hatchet I think is a tad under 40cm long. Even though it's quite a heavy head it's really usable as a single handled axe. Although bear in mind shorter axes are probably more dangerous. The SFA I think is a tad under 49cm. I can use it 2 handed or single handed, but it can get tiring, and you are further up the handle with one had generally so it's not quite as comfortable. The sledge axe is something like 80cm. Nice and safe, really designed around 2 handed use, but for softwood kindling it will work if you can't be bothered pulling out a better tool.

Hopefully this review was useful to a few of you!

P.s. my favourite is the Hatchet :)
 
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gra_farmer

Full Member
Mar 29, 2016
708
424
Kent
Nice review, I like axes a little to much, must do review myself, I have about 20 or so.....

I have the Husqvarna hatchet, and like it very much, I paid about £22 for mine, but a little heavy for the length, so limited use. very much upset that I missed the witterling version of the Husqvarna hatchet, that was a round prior to 2010, that was a hatchet on my wish list.

Between the GB small forest axe and the carpenter axe, I went for the latter, much better in my view for carving and fine bushcraft use, same length too.

But for carving, it has to be the robin wood small carving axe, it is a dream to work with. To get a personalised view of an axe, you need to try working with it for 20 mins non stop, if you are exhausted within that time, the axe may not be suitable for you.
 
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punkrockcaveman

Full Member
Jan 28, 2017
838
646
yorks
Nice review, I like axes a little to much, must do review myself, I have about 20 or so.....

I have the Husqvarna hatchet, and like it very much, I paid about £22 for mine, but a little heavy for the length, so limited use. very much upset that I missed the witterling version of the Husqvarna hatchet, that was a round prior to 2010, that was a hatchet on my wish list.

Between the GB small forest axe and the carpenter axe, I went for the latter, much better in my view for carving and fine bushcraft use, same length too.

But for carving, it has to be the robin wood small carving axe, it is a dream to work with. To get a personalised view of an axe, you need to try working with it for 20 mins non stop, if you are exhausted within that time, the axe may not be suitable for you.

Nothing wrong with that, unless you have to pick just one to carry!

That was the original reason I bought one, in the hope it was of the wetterlings quality but it wasn't. Not disappointed by it though! I was weighing up the robin wood axe last year, it looks and sounds great.

Is that cord or sniper tape below the head?

It's paracord that I've rubbed in beeswax

If you get chance try the GB Wildlife Hatchet. Superb all rounder

Cheers Mike will do if I get the chance. Whats the profile like? A little fatter than the SFA?
 

mikehill

Settler
Nov 25, 2014
723
167
Wigan
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gra_farmer

Full Member
Mar 29, 2016
708
424
Kent
Just got hold of a few axes to compare.

Pictures from smallest to largest,
Robin Wood carving axe
Husqvarna hatchet
Hultafors trekking axe
Gransfors carpenters axe

In order of cutting penetrative depth
Robin Wood
Hultafors
Gransfors
Husqvarna

For carving the robin wood and Gransfors, but the Gransfors is quite a wedge for a carver.

Out of all of them, the robin wood axe is the best, and has the best sheath (although it is an optional extra).

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punkrockcaveman

Full Member
Jan 28, 2017
838
646
yorks

cheers Mike, just had a looks on gransfors site, sounds like a really handy axe. Might have to see if someone fancies a swap for the SFA or maybe sell it to fund one

Just got hold of a few axes to compare.

Pictures from smallest to largest,
Robin Wood carving axe
Husqvarna hatchet
Hultafors trekking axe
Gransfors carpenters axe

In order of cutting penetrative depth
Robin Wood
Hultafors
Gransfors
Husqvarna

For carving the robin wood and Gransfors, but the Gransfors is quite a wedge for a carver.

Out of all of them, the robin wood axe is the best, and has the best sheath (although it is an optional extra).



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Brilliant! great way of summing them up with cutting depth. I think you have summed up why I like the Husq hatchet, as it is really a splitter more than anything

I used to have a gransfors small hatchet, the one that is tiny, and that was a great cutter, but I ended up selling it. Regret it now as it was a really handy bit of kit. Weighed less than most bushcraft knives!
 
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gra_farmer

Full Member
Mar 29, 2016
708
424
Kent
I thought I would add a trusted and much used tomohawk, this bites deep and clean.

Worth a thought, as an alternative......
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Hultafors Outdoor knife for Sale

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You can see more details here in this thread OUTDOOR KNIVES The price is £27 posted to the UK. Pay via the paypal button below.