Gransfors Bruks Forest Axes

Overview

The rhythmic pounding of hammer and steel has been echoing from the village of Gränsfors for over 100 years. This small forge nestled in northern Hälsingland, Sweden churns out some of the finest working tools in the world; all with only about 30 employees. In order to reach this level of quality, all Gränsfors axes are made by hand.

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“An axe is only as good as the accumulated skills of the people who forge, grind and attach the handle to the axe. All our axes are made by human hand. And all these people deserve great respect and recognition for their professional expertise. Our company would be nothing without them.”

Gränsfors backs up this statement by stamping each finished axe head with its maker’s mark upon completion.


Construction

Steel

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The steel used in these axes is a secret proprietary blend of Swedish steel. A closely guarded secret sought after by enthusiasts and competitors alike. Although the exact make-up remains unknown, the characteristics of the finished product speak for themselves. Each head is hardened to about 57 HRC on the rockwell scale. While neither too hard nor too soft, this is considered the upper limit of simple filing and sharpening. Although the blade will accept a beautiful edge with minimal effort, it can withstand incredible abuse. Fortunately, it comes shaving sharp out of the box. Caution is warranted however as it may slice through layers of skin on accident, even after a hard day of limbing and chopping.

Head

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True to its name, these axes are most at home performing light forestry tasks. Categorized as a “limbing” or “snelling” axe by Gränsfors themselves, the head is shaped with a narrow profile. ideal for removing most limbs in one effortless swing. While this thin blade is specialized for light bush work and carving tasks, it is not very well suited for heavy splitting. It can be done, and makes short work of small logs, but should not be used for splitting large timbers. The lightweight head is sufficient enough to fell medium sized trees, yet small enough to carve a spoon. Once sharpened, each head is dipped in water repellant and rust-proofing oil.

Handle

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Gränsfors Bruks’ handles have been designed by Hans Erik Persson to adapt old traditions for modern use. Each handle is made from hickory for its strength, flexibility, and long parallel fibers. The grain structure is aligned perfectly within the handle to ensure longevity and shock absorption.

All wood is dried before turning to ensure the handle will not shrink further and come loose from the head. Furthermore each piece is soaked in hot linseed oil after fitting, then treated with beeswax to repel oil, water, and dirt. Ergonomically the axe performs like an extension of your arm. Each subtle curve chosen to maximize both comfort and utility. It is an absolute joy to swing this axe.


Small Forest Axe

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  • Length (with handle): 19 inches
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Steel: Unknown Swedish steel, 57 HRC Rockwell

Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe

Scandinavian Forest Axe

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  • Length (with handle): 25 inches
  • Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Steel: Unknown Swedish steel, 57 HRC Rockwell

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