Friday, April 29, 2011

The Actual Weight of Axe Heads

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.

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