When judging the weight of an axe head, we most often go by the manufacturer’s specifications. Often, there is no need to doubt that when they say an axe has a two pound head, it in fact has a two pound head. Over time however, some things have not been adding up. Several axes which are supposed to be of the same weight, are not. That is why I decided to just find a way to measure the weight of the heads myself. The axes that I wanted to look in particular are the line of Gransfors Bruks axes because I use them as a point of comparison so often. The ones I will look here are the Wildlife Hatchet, the Small Forest Axe, the Scandinavian Forest Axe, and the American Felling Axe. For comparison pictures, see here. I will also take a look at the Husqvarna Traditional (Multi-Purpose) Axe, since it is the reason I became skeptical about certain axe weights.
The method I used the measure the weight of each head is to buy a handle for that particular model axe. I then measured the weight of the whole axe and that of the handle, and subtracted one from the other. The results are fairly accurate, although there will be a small margin or error.
Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet:
Total Axe Weight: 1 ½ lb
Handle Weight: ½ lb
Axe Head Weight: 1 lb
Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe:
Total Axe Weight: 2 1/8 lb
Handle Weight: 5/8 lb
Axe Head Weight: 1 ½ lb
Gransfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest Axe:
Total Axe Weight: 2 ½ lb
Handle Weight: 7/8 lb
Axe Head Weight: 1 5/8 lb (most likely 1 3/4 lb)
Husqvarna Traditional (Multi-Purpose) Axe:
Total Axe Weight: 3 lb
Handle Weight: 1 lb
Axe Head Weight: 2 lb
Gransfors Bruks American Felling Axe (35 inch handle):
Total Axe Weight: 5 lb
Handle Weight: 1 3/4 lb
Axe Head Weight: 3 1/4 lb
With most axes the results were as expected. All the head weights, with the exception of the Scandinavian Forest Axe and the Husqvarna Traditional (Multi-Purpose) Axe were as listed by the manufacturer. The Scandinavian Forest Axe however, has a head weighing closer to 1 3/4 lb rather than the 2 lb specified by the manufacturer. The Husqvarna Traditional (Multi-Purpose) Axe has a 2 lb head, rather than the advertised 1.87 lb head. It appears that had the manufacturers switched axe heads, the advertised weights would have been correct.