When it comes to Husqvarna axes, there has always been a lot of confusion, mostly because they out source their axes and at the same time they are horrible at providing accurate information about their products. Earlier I reviewed the Husqvarna Traditional (Multipurpose) Axe. At that time the major supplier of axes to Husqvarna was Wetterlings, and the Traditional axe reflected that. In 2011 Husqvarna moved back to using Hultafors (Hults Bruk) as their source for axes. This is a manufacturer they had used years ago before the contract with Wettelings and other axe manufacturers. As a result, the new axes have some changes, and are nearly identical to the Hultafors axes currently on the market.
Manufacturer: Husqvarna (Hultafors/Hults Bruk)
Axe Head Weights: 1.75 lb
Axe Length: 26 inches
Axe Head Material: Undisclosed Swedish steel
Handle Material: Hickory
This is a very reasonably priced axe, and while not heap, it is about half the price of a comparable Gransfors Bruks. The first thing to note when compared to the older Husqvarna model is that the new axe is not as heavy. While Husqvarna continues to list both of them as having 2lb heads, the reality is that the old model had a 2lb head, while the new one has a 1.75 head, just like the Gransfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest Axe, which is also improperly listed as having a 2lb head, but in fact has a head weight of 1.75lb.
Here you can see the Husqvarna Forest Axe next to the Gransfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest Axe.
The handles are made by the same manufacturer for both axes, so they are nearly identical in quality and design. The one of the Husqvarna is a little longer, but that might just be a result of the handing process. The handle is attached to the head using a wooden wedge and a circular metal pin.
The heads are also nearly identical. Aside from some cosmetic details, the shape and thickness is about the same. The only difference worth noting is that the Husqvarna Forest Axe was not well sharpened. I know some people have complained about how you can see grind marks on the bit, but since I don’t plan on using this axe as a decorative piece, I don’t care. The grind is very good. You will not need to alter it in any way. You will however have to spend a few minutes with a sharpening stone to get a razor edge. As it is, it is functional, but not nearly as sharp as it should be.
The balance of the axe is also quite good. It is not as perfect as on the Gransfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest Axe, but still good.
The axe comes with a leather sheath that covers only the bit. It has been my experience with this design that they tend to fall off quite easily. This one however seems to stay in place without any problems.
Overall, just like the other Husqvarna axes, this one is a great value for the money. With some minor work you will have an axe that will perform just as well as a Gransfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest Axe for half the price. I know that people will always compare it to the older model, and as with all things that are gone, will idealize the old one and put down the new version, but the reality is that in terms of quality they are about the same. They will not be perfect axes, but are a great value for the money.