Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe Review


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The Gränsfors Bruks small forest axe is a very popular axe that gets more and more purchases every year.

In this article we’ll do an in depth review to find out if the axe is really worth the price tag and how it compares to its competitors.

This axe varies in price depending on the time of year. Check out the current price here.

Gränsfors Bruks has been around for many years, specializes in the creation of many different types of high quality axes. The Small Forest Axe is one of the smaller axes in the Gränsfors Bruks range weighing in at 2 lbs. with a length of 19 inches including the handle. The axe is supplied with a vegetable tanned leather sheath.

The Small Forest Axe has a long handle and a skinny blade allowing for easy cutting and chopping. This makes the axe ideal for splitting small sticks, or cutting branches and limbs of wood.

Whether you are a camper looking for an all-purpose camping axe, or like throwing some axes at a target, you can’t go wrong with the Gränsfors Bruks Small Forest Axe. The Swedish made axe can do it all and will last a long time. The axe does in fact come with a 20 year warranty, something that no other axe manufacturer offers.

Gränsfors Forest Axes are available in different sizes, with a range of handle and axe heads. The Gränsfors Mini Hatchet is the smallest weighing only 0.3 kg and it is 26 cm long. This axe has an extremely thin edge and can almost be used as a filleting knife. The American Felling axe is the largest, weighing in at 2.2 kg and it is 90 cm long. This axe is used to fell massive trees.

The model of Forest Axe you choose depends entirely on what you want to use it for. Now, lets take a closer look at our Small Forest Axe details:

The Gränsfors Small Forest Axe – Details and Uses

The Gränsfors Small Forest Axe has a slightly bigger head than the Wildlife Hatchet and its handle is longer, thereby providing more chopping power. It is however still small enough to easily fit into a rucksack. The Small Forest Axe is excellent for limbing and felling smaller trees.

All Forest Axes come with a sheath of vegetable-tanned leather and a copy of The Axe Book. The axe handles are made from hickory and the hole in bottom of the handle can be used to attach a cord in to make a wrist strap.

The axe head is hand forged and each head is stamped with the initials of blacksmith that made it. Unlike most other axes, Gränsfors axes are extremely sharp right out of the box – be careful not to cut yourself when you buy this axe.

Small Forest Axe Blade Close Up

The edge is in fact so sharp that you can actually carve wood with it and the ergonomics of the handle is such that you can easily grip it right at the top when carving. Apart from using the axe for carving, you can also use it to “featherstick”, creating ultra-fine, small shaving to start a fire with.

Comparison to Other Axes

Trying to compare the Gränsfors Small Forest Axe to other, cheaper axes is very difficult since they have a quality of their own. Specialized axes for everything from hunting to carving, this one being a general forest axe. 

Its hand forged head, extreme sharp, hard and durable edge and ergonomically designed hickory handle are features not available on other axes. The fact that Gränsfors offers a 20 year warranty on all its axes also speaks volumes.

Within Gransfors itself, the closest comparison could be to the Wildlife Hatchet, a smaller and lighter tool. See the full comparison of the Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet vs Small Forest Axe article to see if maybe a smaller hatchet from Gransfors would be better for you.

When looking at other comparisons of this axe to others on the internet, two factors emerge that make those comparisons virtually meaningless:

  1. Many reviews compare the Small Forest Axe to an axe that is actually bigger and heavier. This is not a fair comparison. These same articles and videos also tend to evaluate the axe for its wood splitting capabilities. This axe does an excellent job at splitting wood, but this is not what it was designed for. With its thin, razor sharp edge, it excels at cutting against the grain with minimal effort. If you want the best axe for splitting logs, select one of the other Gränsfors axes designed specifically for this purpose.
  2. The second tendency of comparison articles and videos is to modify the other axe before trying to compare it to the Gränsfors. In my view, this is in itself an acknowledgment that that the Gränsfors Small Forest Axe is far superior to any other axe on the market. Typical modifications include sanding the handle, sharpening the axe and even tempering the head by heating it and then cooling it down fast with either oil or water.

The Gränsfors Bruks Company

Gränsfors Bruks has been committed to developing and manufacturing axes for more than 100 years. Each axe is designed specifically to meet an exact function, while the company tirelessly focusses on high quality and area of use. A large amount of effort is also put into manufacturing axes in such a way that each axe has sound green credentials, and unnecessary consumption of natural resources is always avoided.

All products that are manufactured need resources, and all resources impact on both the environment and on people in some way or another. Every company is ultimately responsible for the choices they make in terms of which resources are used and what those resources are used for. Gränsfors Bruks views this as a combination of social, ethical and environmental responsibility and take total responsibility for the overall picture, seeing it as their obligation to always work on these issues.

Humans have used axes for hundreds of thousands of years. Throughout our history, axes have helped us protect ourselves against enemies, build houses and source wood for our fires. These are but a few of the numerous uses of axes. Axes have in fact meant the difference between life and death for most of our existence.

Gransfors makes many similar looking axes, but with precision like attention to details. These differences make each and every axe unique and specialized for a particular task. This Small Forest Axe may seem similar to the Wildlife Hatchet in dimensions and weight, but their designs are different for different purposes. Check out this Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet Review for a nice comparison of this axe vs that one.

Gränsfors Bruks feels strongly that knowledge of axes and axe making should be preserved for future generations, and strive to make the best possible axes, based on these criteria:

  • Making axes while respecting the people who create them
  • Making axes that impact our environment as little as possible
  • Making axes with the best possible function for their specific area of use

Manufacturing axes based on the criteria above is the company’s way of showing responsibility towards everyone who purchases and uses axes, towards their staff and towards the environment. These environmental factors may not mean everything to some, but most people see what Gransfors are doing and respect them for it. 

Gränsfors Bruks have five different categories of axes, based on their specific function. The five categories are:

  1. Ancient Axes.
  2. Double Bit Axes
  3. Log-building and Carpentry Tools
  4. Splitting Axes
  5. Forest Axes

As the name indicates, Gränsfors Forest Axes are used in the forest for everything from limbing small logs to felling large trees. The Forest Axes’ distinguishing feature is a long, rounded edge, with a flat elongated axe head. These have been designed to cut across the grain of wood fibers when limbing and felling, rather than along the grain of the wood fibers as is done in log splitting.

Each Forest Axe is designed for a specific function, and have been developed in collaboration with professionals and specialists. Forest workers, hunters, fishermen, survival experts and hikers have all had some input into the product development of these axes. 

Gransfors makes premium quality products. Another Swedish axe maker Hults Bruk is in competition with Gransfors focusing more on machine production vs Gransfor’s hand made approach. Check out the differences in this Hults Bruk vs Gransfors Bruks article.

Conclusion

If you use an axe often and want the best money can buy, the Gränsfors Small Forest Axe is quite simply the axe you need to get. Check out this bad boy in action here:

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