Hultafors Axe Review – Which is the Best?

Hultafors Axe Review

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Few brands match the premium construction and craftsmanship in axes that you find in a Hultafors axe. These high end outdoor woodcutting tools deliver some of the best cuts you can get, all while keeping that classic, timeless look of a wood and steel axe.

While most companies are embracing new materials to ensure ergonomic design and usability, this premium brand relies on sheer craftsmanship to get a high quality axe. Instead of fiberglass and composites, Hultafors sticks to good old wood and steel.

Even without the modern materials, these axes are still some of the best you can get. You can cut down on axe sharpening with resistant steel blades, and your swings will be easy to guide with the superior balancing.

Of course, each of these axes have a price that shows the quality. So while your novice axe user may not be interested in these tools, experienced outdoorsmen and woodworkers will appreciate this quality. So let’s go over some of the offerings from this brand, ranging from axes to carpenter’s tools.

In this Hultafors axe review, we will be looking at what I consider to be their 4 most useful axes.

A History of Hultafors

Hultafors Factory
Hultafors has been in business for over 100 years, even though they started by making rulers

Sweden gives us some of the biggest names in axe construction, with companies like Fiskars and Husqvarna being around for hundreds of years. Just like these other brands, Hultafors has been in business for over a century.

This brand was founded in the 1870s, with the invention of a now-common staple of the workshop, a ruler with metric measurements on one side, and traditional measurements on the other. By the 1980s, Hultafors would become a holding company, purchasing other businesses, including axe legend Hults Bruk.

Hults Bruk has been around since 1697, and is one of the oldest continuously operated businesses in the world. They make axes under their own name, but also make the axes under the Hultafors brand.

Today the company offers tons of workshop gear, including several types of axes. The gear under their brand name is high end, premium equipment that is durable and does the job every time. The only axes they don’t offer are combat axes, throwing axes, and viking axes, but otherwise, they have you covered.

Hultafors Hand-forged Swedish Felling Axe

This is a classic chopping axe that is meant to cut down trees, split logs, and do all-around wood cutting work. The 32 inch handle lets you get all the force you need in a single swing, and the head is weighted perfectly to make it easy to take down even large trees.

This axe is meant for professional use, letting you clear out forested areas on your property, or to prep firewood for the winter. You won’t want to take this thing backpacking, since it isn’t super portable. But if you have a wood cutting job, this is the right tool for it.

All of the axes that we’ll be talking about today have that classic natural axe look. They all feature a wooden handle with traditional contouring, and a steel bit that’s weighted and forged by hand.

  • Total Weight: 4.41 pounds
  • Head Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Length with handle: 32 inches
  • Handle: Hickory
  • Steel: High Carbon Steel
  • Price: See Current Price Here

The Bit

The head of an axe is what does the chopping, making it the most important part of the axe for cutting wood. It goes without saying that you want the weight to center here, letting you get a powerful swing to move through the wood.

This bit is made of high carbon steel, which makes it durable and resistant to weathering. You won’t have to constantly sharpen this axe, and you’ll get more of those one-swing cuts with the broad blade of the head.

The head makes up more than 75% of the total weight, which is ideal for getting an even arc in your swing. The bit is also balanced to make it easy to guide, with the weight of the bit centering where it meets the handle.

The Handle

Nothing beats the classic look of a hickory handle. This 32 inch shaft is long enough to ensure that you’ll get a full arc in your swing, letting you strike with plenty of force. This is an ideal length for felling axes, but can make it tough to use for more precision jobs, so keep that in mind when making a purchase.

The wood is contoured for maximum comfort, and is unfinished to ensure that you have a completely natural grip. Modern tools opt for composites and rubber grips for their handles, which is fine for cheaper axes, but can make the handles unbalanced, which you don’t get with wood.

Hultafors Classic Hunting Axe

This multi-purpose hunting axe is probably the best tool to take on a serious outdoor trip. It can help with chores at home, but it’s really meant to be used like a bushcraft axe. You can cut brush, chop firewood, and survive the elements with this powerful axe.

It’s nearly the lightest axe on this list, which is impressive considering the length. Almost all of the weight is centered in the head, maximizing the weight-to-force ratio in your swing. This makes it perfect to take on any backpacking, camping, or hunting trip.

  • Total Weight: 2.16 pounds
  • Head Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Length with handle: 20 inches
  • Handle: Hickory
  • Steel: Forged Steel
  • Price: See Current Price Here

The Bit

The bit of this axe is made of pure forged steel, and is large enough to still cut, yet small enough to make it easy to carry around. It still has the same classic look and balancing of the larger tool, but packed into a smaller, more versatile head.

Every product from Hultafors comes with a heavy duty leather sheath, making it easy to store this tool between uses. Pair that with the durable, quality blade that doesn’t dull easy, and you have a tool that’ll last you for years.

The Handle

The handle is also made with the classic hickory design. It has the same contouring as the felling axe, and is also unfinished to make sure that it doesn’t fly out of your hands when you swing it.

The length is hit-or miss. A 20 inch shaft is usually intended to make an axe more versatile, which it does, but also hampers its usability. It’s just a little too long to comfortably use with one hand, but not quite long enough to get a full swing with 2 hands.

The weight of the head is the solution here, making it easy to get all the force you need, whether you’re using one or two hands. That’s where the premium craftsmanship goes, making sure that this odd length is as practical as possible.

Hultafors Trekking Axe

This is the smallest axe on this list, and is the only hatchet that we’ll be covering. This one-handed tool has the same classic look as the other items we’re looking at, but has some unique balancing choices to ensure usability.

Hatchets are also highly versatile, and can be used for both recreation and heavy duty work, but they can’t be used with 2 hands. This offering is one of the finest out there, reflecting the heritage of quality that you find in all Hultafors axes.

  • Total Weight: 2.12 pounds
  • Head Weight: 1.77 pounds
  • Length with handle: 14.8 inches
  • Handle: Hickory
  • Steel: Swedish axe steel
  • Price: See Current Price Here

The Bit

The bit of this axe is made of the same high carbon, hand forged Swedish steel that we see in the other offerings. It weighs 1.77 pounds, which isn’t much less than the hunting axe, even though it’s significantly smaller.

This weight is meant to ensure that you’ll be getting the force you want out of a one-handed swing. Otherwise, it’s your standard steel bit, with the same contouring and balancing to ensure a clean cut and an accurate swing.

The Handle

This hatchet is 14 inches long, which is pretty standard for a hatchet. The handle of this axe is actually heavier than the one in the hunter’s axe, even though it’s 6 inches shorter. This choice is meant to make it easier to accurately swing when you only use one hand.

By putting more weight to the handle, you lower the risk of injuring yourself if you swing to hard. This isn’t anything particularly innovative, but it’s worth noting for safety’s sake. One handed swings are easier to injure yourself on, and this weight addresses that issue.

Hultafors Classic Carpenter’s Axe

Carpenter’s axes are meant for precision cuts made on home projects. While you can take them out on an outdoor trip, you get the most value out of them for craft work. The Hultafors carpenter’s axe is specially designed  to make each swing accurate and forcefull, letting you make those tight cuts.

Like every other axe here, this tool has the classic look and feel, using a forged steel head and a 20 inch hickory handle. It’s similar in shape to the hunter’s axe, but balanced differently to help you guide the swings better.

  • Total Weight: 2.65 pounds
  • Head Weight: 1.75 pounds
  • Length with handle: 20 inches
  • Handle: Hickory
  • Steel: Forged Steel
  • Price: See Current Price Here

The Bit

The head weighs 1.75 pounds, which is less than the head of the hunter’s axe, even though the overall weight of this tool is more. That means that less of the weight is centered around the tip of the axe, making it more balanced overall.

While you won’t get as much force in the swing, you’ll have a much easier time guiding the axe, which is the purpose of this tool. Whether you use one hand or two, this axe is all about accuracy.

The Handle

The hickory handle is much heavier than the one on the hunter’s axe, but is the same length. This also works to balance it, though you may be less comfortable using it. It’s designed to be used with either one or two hands, and the balancing works to make it as smooth as possible.

Which Axe Should I Choose?

Check out the full lineup of Hultafors Axes here:

Complete range of Hultafors Axes

The most useful axe on this list is the hunting axe (here). It has all of the versatility and portability of the hatchet, is a similar shape to the carpenter’s axe, and has a balancing similar to the felling axe. It’s the most all-around option offered by Hultafors.

If you need something heavy duty, then the obvious choice is the felling axe. It has a length and weight that maximizes the force behind each swing. While it may be tough to take camping, it’s an indispensable tool for heavy duty use.

Using the Right Tool

Hultafors makes some of the best axes on the market, whether you need something big and heavy or small and precise. Any of these options will make a great addition to your backpack or your woodshop.

While you definitely pay for the extra craftsmanship, you’ll know where the money goes. These tools will do a superior job compared to the cheaper competition, are made for durability. You’ll be doing clean cuts for years to come with a Hultafors.

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