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When you’re headed into the wilderness for an outdoor adventure, you want to make sure you’re bringing the right equipment. For any sort of backpacking, hunting, or camping trip, you’ll want to consider taking an axe.
Axes are the ultimate tool for survival and bushcraft. Whether you’re braving the Mojave Desert in California or hiking the Rockies of Colorado, an axe will let you clear trails, prepare firewood, and any other task you need a blade for.
Hults Bruks is one of the biggest names in the axe crafting industry. Their centuries-old history has seen them making some of the finest axes out their. They mostly make tools for the hard core axe enthusiast, with prices that aren’t meant for beginners. Their Akka axe is possibly the best bushcraft axe on the market.
In this Hults Bruk Akka review, we’re going to cover what makes this axe an incredibly versatile and nimble tool. It’s marketed towards the hardened survivalist, being ideal for both precision work and medium chopping tasks.
A Quick Look
Akka seems to be the name of a Scandinavian spirit associated with life in the forest. While the company doesn’t explicitly acknowledge this, it’s a fitting name for an axe. It’s a lightweight, sturdy tool that can do any recreational foresting job.
Whether you’re splitting firewood or cutting brush, this is one of the best axes to take on a camping trip. It has a smart design that makes it comfortable to use in a variety of settings. A tempered steel blade helps keep this axe hard, reducing the amount of axe sharpening you have to do.
The contoured wooden handle is perfect for any cutting task, whether you use this axe with one or two hands. It is finished and shaped to ensure that your axe won’t fly out of your hand on the upswing. It’s also astoundingly lightweight, making it perfect for travel.
The main drawbacks for this axe are the price and the weight, if you’re looking for a bigger axe, that is. It comes in at nearly $200, which is well out of the price range of many chopping enthusiasts. It’s also very lightweight, which is perfect for a survival hatchet or axe, but not good for an axe used to chop down trees or split logs.
- Total Weight: 2.2 pounds
- Head Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Length with handle: 24 inches
- Handle: Hickory
- Steel: Forged Steel with Tempered blade
- Country of origin: Sweden
- Price: $160-170 (Check Current Price Here)
Hults Bruk Overview
Hults Bruk is one of the oldest forges in Sweden, operating continuously since 1697. Many Scandinavian axe manufacturers like Husqvarna, Hultafors, and Fiskars started out this way, making simple tools and weapons for their local village.
For nearly 150 years, Hults Bruk operated more or less as a public forge, but it was run like a business starting in 1820. By the 1900s, it would begin to modernize its production process to be modeled more after American factories.
By the mid-twentieth century, the brand was a competitive innovator in the foresting industry, making some of the finest axes in the world. From here, the company would be purchased and passed around between different holding companies.
Hults Bruk is actually currently owned by another big name in axes, Hultafors. The Hultafors Group doesn’t actually manufacture any axes, instead using Hults Bruk to hit the market. If you do see a Hultafors axe, it’s manufactured by Hults Bruk.
The head of an axe is the most important part of the tool for actually cutting through wood. Everything from the shape of the head to the material to the weight can have a huge impact on its performance, so pay attention to the head of any axe ou want to purchase.
The Hults Bruk Akka really hits the nail on the head with its design. Combining powerful and traditional materials with modern blacksmithing, this axe has one of the best designed heads on the market. It’s both a chopping machine and a precise blade.
Forged steel is really common in axe heads, and is usually seen as higher quality than tempered or moulded steel. This ensures a powerful cut that’s going to weather the elements, which is perfect for outdoor recreational use.
This axe actually has an innovative design technique that you don’t really see anywhere else. In order to ensure that the blade stays sharper for longer, Hults Bruk actually tempers the edge of the cheek and the blade. This increases the hardness, making sure that your axe will be making both those deep cuts and those fine slices for years.
If you’re experienced in axe restoration or maintenance, then you know how important it is to take care of your blade. Make sure that you’re using the best sharpening stone for axe heads to keep this blade well honed and ready to go.
The shape and weight of the head are what separates a cheap tool from a premium one. You can easily sharpen cheap metals like tin and aluminum to have a fine cutting edge, but you can’t fake that balance, feel, and swinging power.
The Hults Bruk Akka has a perfect design for the head to make it useful in many situations. It’s pretty lightweight, coming in at 1.5 pounds, making up less than 60% of the total weight of the tool. This makes it less ideal for heavy-duty cuts, but perfect for travel and small cutting jobs.
The blade is curved to ensure that your PSI is maximized in each swing. A cutaway in the cheek makes it possible to grip the axe at the head for finer one-handed cuts. This shaping and balancing are what make this axe so versatile, demonstrating the brand’s commitment to excellence.
Handles are the primary place where we interface with the tool. They need to be comfortable and usable, but also sturdy and balanced. Because of this, finished hickory is the one of the more popular options for axe handles.
The Hults Bruk Akka has a 24 inch solid hickory handle with moderate contouring for maximum comfort, grip, and usability. It’s remarkably lightweight, again making this tool ideal for backpacking and outdoor recreation.
Hickory is the standard in most axes, and is almost exclusively what you see in higher end tools. It’s an incredibly breathable yet sturdy material that’s easy to work with and can easily resist the strain from chopping and cutting wood.
The handle on the Akka is a high quality hickory with a coating that further improves the resistance to ordinary wear and tear. It also helps prevent slippage, making it safe to use this tools for vigorous swings.
In lower end axes, you see lots of composite and stainless steel handles. While this is fine if you need a sturdy tool to do some housework, it lacks that natural feel and balancing. So the hickory is a nice touch to ensure an authentic feel.
24 inches is a pretty common length for versatile axes. With the right axe, it’s short and light enough for powerful one-handed use, while still being long enough for 2 handed use when you need some extra force.
Because of the way torque works, having a longer handle magnifies the force coming from the weight of the handle. So by going with a 24 inch option, you really get the best of both hatchets and axes with this axe.
The contouring is meant for maximum comfort and also helps prevent slipping. One of the grooves is meant for holding near the base of the axe, while another near the head lets you get your hand right on the bit for guided carving.
The weight of the handle is incredibly light, totalling about .7 pounds. This is made easier by the wooden handle. It may affect the balancing for larger users, but it should be perfect for most outdoorsmen.
What the Hults Bruk Akka Is Best For
As Huts Bruk mentions, this tool is meant for overnight wilderness use. It’s a weather resistant tool that’s perfect for clearing brush, making cuts, carving, and prepping firewood. It’s a top notch tool for a hardcore survival enthusiast. Use it along with some of the best survival equipment out there, like this cool waterproof match and waterproof lighter.
This tool is not meant for casual campers, novice woodcutters, house work, or heavy duty chopping. While you can easily prepare firewood and even take down small trees, this tool isn’t going to take down larger logs and trees.
The price is not on the cheap side, making it a bad choice for beginners. But if you’re serious about getting out into the wilderness, this is one of the many tools you’ll need to take your survival training to the max. Pairing this axe along with aheavy duty flashlight like this one will let you survive those rough nights for weeks on end.
- Incredibly lightweight and versatile
- High quality materials and construction
- Comfortable and easy to use
- Too light for heavy chopping
- High price point
How Does it Compare?
If you like what you’re reading about this axe, but the price is too much for you, we have a few other recommendations to substitute this one. Or if you want something even more premium, you can check out anything from Gransfors Bruks.
If you want a sturdy axe that gets the same job done at a fraction of the price, check out the either the Husqvarna Carpenter’s Axe or the Estwing Camping Axe. These highly affordable axes are incredibly lightweight and versatile, and are significantly cheaper without skimping too much on the quality.
If you want a more luxury axe, the best outdoor survival axe in my opinion is the Gransfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest Axe. This powerful tool is hand forged by a single master blacksmith, ensuring the utmost quality and usability.
Should You Get the Hults Bruk Akka?
As we’ve covered here, the Hults Bruk Akka is a perfect tool for the hardcore outdoor enthusiast. From powerful ergonomic design to incredibly versatile handling, this axe is a must for anyone looking to get serious about wilderness survival.
If you’re into casual camping and day trips, this axe isn’t worth the money. It’ll definitely get the job done, but so will a more affordable option from Husqvarna or Estwing. Similarly, you don’t want to use this axe if you’re only chopping down trees.
Hults Bruk has been committed to masterful craftsmanship and sturdy design for centuries. They continue that heritage of quality even to this day, with excellent products like their Akka axe.