As you guys know, thanks to my girlfriend, I now have a Gransfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest Axe. That will allow me to finally start posting about midsize axes, as I will have a known standard to which to compare. I do however realize that the Scandinavian Forest Axe is not nearly as well known as its smaller cousin the Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe. As such, I want to take a brief look at the two, so that people who have never seen a Gransfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest Axe have a better idea of the point of reference.
Manufacturer: Gransfors Bruks AB
Axe Head Weight: Advertised as 2 lb, but actually measured as 1.75 lb
Axe Length: 25 inches
Axe Head Material: Unknown Swedish steel; HRC 57 on the Rockwell Scale
Handle Material: American hickory
The axe is everything you would expect from a Gransfors Bruks axe. The alignment and finish are perfect. It comes with a nice leather sheath. Everything seems to have been well thought out and checked before the axe was put on the market.
The Scandinavian Forest Axe is a serious tool. It has a much more substantial feel than the Small Forest Axe, although it is still light enough to be carried in a backpack or used with one hand when carving. This size axe however is towards the high end of what I would consider carrying in a backpack over an extended distance.
Here you can see the Gransfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest Axe next to the Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe.
The heads of the two axes are identical in shape with that of the Scandinavian Forest Axe being proportionally larger. The head is advertised as being half a pound heavier than that of the Small Forest Axe, but I measured it as being only a quarter pound heavier. The measurement was done by weighing a replacement handle and subtracting it from the total weight of the axe. The attachment method is the same, and has proven to be very secure.
Just like with the Small Forest Axe, the head expands a bit too abruptly for my liking when it nears the eye. This takes away from some of the splitting efficiency.
The balance of the axe is almost perfect; something that becomes very important with axes this size. As you can see, the balance point is right near the head, and the head sits almost horizontally. The bit is only slightly heavier than the poll, and that is why you see it tipping down by a small degree.
The handle of the Scandinavian Forest Axe is about five inches longer than that of the Small Forest Axe, and the grain is very high quality. The Scandinavian Forest Axe is the one on the left.
The performance of the axe is great as expected. There is nothing here which would deviate from what is expected from a Gransfors Bruks axe, and would give a great point of reference when looking at some other axes in this size range.