Best brand of axe?

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WittyUsername

Tenderfoot
Oct 21, 2020
88
23
35
Kent
Hi, I’ve got myself a few knives (carbon Garberg, TRC South Pole, and I just ordered the new Fallkniven F1 in Elmax), and now I’m going to get an axe or two for my kit.

What’s the best brand? I like the look of the Granfors Bruks ones. I’d only want something 600-700mm long at the most, I think. I just know nothing about the quality of the various brands.

Any help would be much appreciated, cheers.
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
4,094
3,261
Mid Wales
Welcome to the forum!

What do you want one for? to process wood at a camp (i.e. to split wood for the fire when there's a group of you), to carve the bulk off wood blanks so you can do other carving with a knife, to cut kindling at home, to throw at log targets, or to sit besides you at the camp fire?

For the latter, you'll have to get a GB otherwise you'll not be able to hold your head up; for the rest there are a whole load of axes ranging from £2 or £3 off the car boot sales to £30 in farm supply shops that will do the job just as well. OK, modern cheap axes are often (but not always) cast not forged but they are very capable of doing everything you're likely to want to use it for. Old English steel axes you can pick up from car boot fairs for next to nothing and they have history, character and are made of excellent steel.

OK, I'll get off my soap box now :) - and let the axe enthusiasts have their say.
 
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Billy-o

Native
Apr 19, 2018
1,581
673
Canada
See if you can find a Plumb.

But there's not just axes. There's leukus and billhooks and other things to ponder on too.
 

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
2,074
778
Berlin
Because I get not payed by Solingen I just set this link here, where I recently wrote a bit about axes which are currently made in Germany. Fiskars axes from Finland also are very good and pretty cheap, especially the X7 is worth to look at as a rucksack hatchet.


At home I split my logs for the oven with an ugly yellow Aldi splitting axe which works surprisingly well.

I guess it's more the personal technique than the brand, but of course the axe should be securely and straight put together.

I agree that old axes can be very nice too.
They throw the stuff everywhere behind you.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,706
1,650
McBride, BC
I have all sorts of Fiskars pruning tools.
Probably a couple of Fiskars axes and hatchets in the shed some place.
Reliable. Pieces don't fall off. Nothing splits.
In a camp, I'd rather use a bow saw or a power saw for firewood.

I like the whole idea of restoring old axe heads from your car boots.
I'd even consider carving a billet for a new ash or hickory handle.
 

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
2,074
778
Berlin
What's about this one?

 

C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
6,047
1,070
Bedfordshire
There feel like there have been a lot of questions about this, but looking back at the search suggest it has mostly been people asking about handles lately. As Broch asked, what do you want to do?

New axes you won't go wrong with a Gransfors, Hultafors, or Helko, if you can pay for them. The more expensive tends to be a little better finished, but they will all chop. Old axes or axe heads can be found cheaper, but by the time you spend £20 on a head, £20 on a handle, a little more for some wedges, then put the time in to clean the head, then fit the haft...well, maybe it would have been no more expensive to buy a Gransfors Small Forest :lmao: There is something cool about using a tool you created though. Its okay though to want a tool to use, rather than a project to search for parts and spend time on.






 
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gra_farmer

Settler
Mar 29, 2016
548
304
Kent
See if you can find a Plumb.

But there's not just axes. There's leukus and billhooks and other things to ponder on too.
I have been after a Plumb scout axe for ages, just cannot find one.....possible to point me in any directions?
 

Billy-o

Native
Apr 19, 2018
1,581
673
Canada
You'll always see them on the ebay.com, gra_farmer -- $50-150 plus shipping ... maybe $30+ from US. Different states of polish and repair.


 
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,706
1,650
McBride, BC
It's -10C tonight, I don't expect it to be much warmer until next April.
That's a 5-6 cord winter coming if you use round wood for heat. All split, ready to go?
I'm hearing the song of the power saws all day long right now.
More and more people here are using electric or hydraulic splitters, I suppose it's a sign of age.
You can see the bits of log behind me in my avatar. Those took wedges to break them into pieces that the hydraulic splitter could eat. That us geezers could lift!

The deal is, what do you need to be able to do with the axe?
A nylon or a fiberglas handle is elastic enough to save some energy.
You can feel it flex under your hands. Interesting sensation.
I think that I depend more on accurate sharpening for splitting vs cutting
to enjoy what I need to do.

I believe there's a Zen thing, swinging an axe and splitting firewood.
You get to shift your thinking to far away places.
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
4,094
3,261
Mid Wales
I believe there's a Zen thing, swinging an axe and splitting firewood.
You get to shift your thinking to far away places.

I agree; there's nothing more satisfying than swinging a good sized axe down onto ash logs :)

However, I have resorted to an electro-hydraulic splitter for my house fuel because swinging an axe for more than ten minutes upsets my sciatica and once started the pain lasts weeks :(
 
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Sieddy

Full Member
Nov 12, 2016
222
36
Oxford uk
I just got the Hultafors trekking axe from heinnie 40 quid and it's awesome perfect for my (mostly garden firewood chopping needs) but the Husqvarna forest axe is available for £37 that surely is the best bang for the buck option right!?!
 
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xellos99

Full Member
Nov 21, 2016
24
7
wales, uk
Hultafors are good, they have shot up in price ALOT since i bought one many years back.

I paid £29.99 for a huge one from FX tools.

Now they are £36.64 for the mini version
 

WittyUsername

Tenderfoot
Oct 21, 2020
88
23
35
Kent
Sorry everyone, I made this thread and I’ve been flat out at work ever since. I’ve only just found the time to sit down and reply.

As for ‘what I need the axe for’, it’ll just be a variety of camp needs. Chopping the odd small dead tree down, splitting logs, trimming small branches off tree trunks, etc. Nothing in particular, but everything you’d use an axe for.

The only ‘speciality’ I’d like from it is a nice, flat back on the opposite side of the head to the edge (I don’t know the terminology), basically so it could be used as a mallet if needed.

Thanks very much for the help so far, I’ve got some time this evening to sit down and google through some of the names you’ve recommended.

Much appreciated, and thanks for the welcome.
 

Billy-o

Native
Apr 19, 2018
1,581
673
Canada
The thing about the Plumbs is that they are shaped to maximize their ability to both cut and split. GBs are shaped to maximize their capacity to do one or the other.

Personally, of all, I prefer the short handled Roselli; for a number of reasons, but mainly because you can choke up behind the edge ... and, like the Plumbs, they both cut and split.
 

henchy3rd

Full Member
Apr 16, 2012
166
88
51
Derby
Wedge shape for splitting, fine taper for detail.
Although I find my cheap Condor Agador pretty useful for both jobs.
 

lostplanet

Full Member
Aug 18, 2005
1,779
96
50
Kent
I've got a couple of super cheap hatchet/axes (bahco and spear and jackson) which need tlc on the the handles to stop blisters etc.
I mainly use a laplander, as I don't do much timber processing but I like to have the axe option. The next beater I will be getting is a Estwing 24a sportmans axe. I like the stacked leather handle. They pop up every now and then cheap on offers. Might not be the best axe available but Its good enough for me and has a decent hammer, I know its going to be tough and will probably outlast me.
 

TLM

Native
Nov 16, 2019
1,336
564
Vantaa, Finland
A nylon or a fiberglas handle is elastic enough to save some energy.
You can feel it flex under your hands. Interesting sensation.
I think all "plastic" axe handles are about 30% short glass fiber filled PA, except the ones that are PE/long fiber pultrusions or a few resin injected ones. All the long fiber ones are stiffer than wood, on the short fiber ones it depends.

But to save energy on what? One wants all the energy in the swing to transfer to cutting or splitting wood ".".

If one is doing work with known softer woods like we do here in Fennoscandia I prefer a tough steel on an axe especially when splitting where edge keeping is of secondary importance. On harder woods it really depends what one is doing but it seems quite logically that for cutting many prefer harder edges and better edge keeping. The end to that trend comes when the edge has insufficient toughness and starts breaking or you happen to have a cold brittle axe head in -40C.
 

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