Gransfors Bruks American Felling Axe Review


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The Specs

Total Weight: 5.3 lb 
Head Weight: 3.3 lb
Length with handle: 35 inches
Handle: American Hickory
Steel: Hand forged Swedish high carbon steel
Country of origin: Sweeden
Retal Price: $280 – $315  (Check the Current Price Here)
Comes with Axe Book and a Leather Sheath.

There are 3 variations of this handle, with 1 head to chose from. 2 Curved handles (32 inch – 35.5 inch) and a straight handle (31 inch)

This is quite a heavy axe – almost twice as heavy as the Scandinavian Forest Axe. You quickly get a good feeling of the chopping power by the weight in your hand. You can really feel the power of this gränsfors bruks american felling axe just by the weight of it in your hand.

American Felling Axe Handle

The handle is made out of American Hickory that comes covered with boiled linseed oil giving it a nice yellowish finish. Just like on every Gransfors Bruks Axe, the logo is stamped into the side of the handle. The top wedge is very tightly fitted into the head – similar to all the Gransfors axes.

One note about the handle as reported by a few customers, is that it comes delivered very rough. This may not be the case for every single one, but feel it out and see if you can wear gloves the first few times.

When you look at the grain orientation on these handles you will notice everything is aligned just right and is very tight. The handle needs to be extra strong for the type of work this axe will be doing.

The choice between the curved handle and the straight handle is really just preference. However, the curve does feel great when going for heavy chopping and felling. Since this is such a heavy axe compared to most others – it delivers more power on hard swings than you may be used to.

The long handle does come with positives and negatives.

The main Pro of the length of this axe is the transferred chopping power. The further away from the point of impact you are holding this axe, the stronger the blow will be. So a longer handle definitely allows for some hard chopping. On the other hand, if all you have is light work to take care of – leave this beast inside and pick up a smaller hatchet.

The main Con of such a long handle is that it’s not very easily transportable. A smaller axe or hatchet is great because it goes nicely in your backpack along with everything else you may need. This buy guy will need to be hauled around somehow.

This may not be a big deal to some – but is worth considering before purchasing. If you are looking for something more compact, my first choice would be the Small Forest Axe.

American Felling Axe Head

The first thing you notice about the head of this axe is how well it is fitted to the handle. Looking at it from all angles, the metal sits in there very tight(top and bottom) around the whole handle. This handle also has ears around the sides giving it an extra bond to the handle.

Like all Gransfors Bruks axe heads, this one is made by hand stamped with the initials of its maker alongside the Swedish Crown stamp. There are only a handful of Gransfors Bruks blacksmiths working on these – most of the precision that these axes produce is thanks to the well made heads.

Some measurements

-The axe head itself is just over 7 inches
-The cutting edge is 4 1/2 inches
-The pole is 2 7/8 inches long and 1 inch wide
-The ear goes down 3 1/2 inches to the handle

The head itself is on the bigger side with the blade being a bit thicker. This means that it will not slice into and bite the wood as well as a thinner bladed axe. However, it might still get the job done faster if you are dealing with a bigger tree.

Remember that even though some of these axes may seem similar – they do very specific tasks better than others. For this big boy, felling trees and power chopping for the heavy duty stuff is where it shines. The shape and weight of the axe head is specifically designed with that in mind. We can see the opposite of this with the Wildlife Hatchet – it has a very thin blade and excels at slicing vs chopping.

One common positive about this axe head from the axe community is the fact that it comes delivered very sharp and stays that way for a while. After several months of use the blade seems to be sharp enough to still be very useful without any touch ups.

The edge retention on this axe is excellent. A light stropping is enough to do the trick of getting it razor sharp. We’ve also tried a quick honing on a 1000 and then a 4000 grit sharpening stone. This Gransfors Bruks Grinding Stone is perfect for the job.

Best Uses For This Felling Axe

In places like America where there is a lot of hard wood, this axe will be the perfect choice. Especially if you are a taller person, you will find this handle length (31″ or 35″) very appropriate.

If the 31″ handle length still seems like it is too big for the job, you may need a smaller alternative. This is quite a big axe to lug around, the biggest Gransfors Bruks makes – designed for the toughest tasks. This felling axe should be your #1 choice if you need a big tree to come down. Keep in mind that even thick branches require a smaller axe to more comfortably de-limb. There are many different axe types for different tasks.

For smaller jobs, smaller tools work better. Within Gransfors Burks own lineup the Wildlife Hatchet and Small Forest Axe are both good lightweight alternatives. To see if one of these is better for your purposes, check out this Wildlife Hatchet vs Small Forest Axe comparison article.

There have been over 40 different Gransfors Bruks axe designs in production. Not one is the same as another, the reason is high quality precision for certain tasks. The American Felling Axe has its task and it does it’s job very well.

Comparing this axe with other felling axes, the one thing that stands out is longevity.

Where as you can get used to which ever axe you’ve been using – the Gransfors Bruks seems to stay in great condition after many uses. Other axes require lots of touch up work and extra sharpening compared to this (and every other) Gransfors Bruks product.

Price

Just like any other Gransfors Burks axe – this is definitely more pricey than any leading competitors. Whenever the question “is it worth the money?” comes up, my answer is always the same:

-The 20 year guarantee makes up for having to buy more subpar axes if they happen to break.
-To some, the Gransfors Bruks name alone is worth the purchase – great resale value in these axes
-May end up saving money in the long run, this bad boy stays in brand new condition after many uses, many years later.
-To some people ~$300 is not a lot, to others it is way too much for an axe. Decide if the best quality is worth the money for yourself.

Check out how you can get your Gransfors Bruks American Felling Axe for sale here

One main competitor of Gransfors Bruks are their Swedish countrymen Hults Bruk. These 2 are the biggest axe manufacturers in Sweden and make similar axes in very different ways. If you are looking for a Gransfors alternative, check out this Hults Bruk vs Gransfors Bruks comparison here.

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