Monday, April 11, 2011

Grasfors Bruks Outdoor Axe Review

You guys have seen me mention Omaha Knife before, primarily because they carry good quality handles, along with the full line of Gransfors Bruks replacement handles. Well, they also carry the whole line of Grasfors Bruks axes. When I was dealing with them with respect to handles, the owner told me that if I was interested in reviewing any of the harder to come by Gransfors Bruks models, he would be happy to lend me some of them from his collection. Of course I jumped at this incredibly generous offer, and a week later ended up with this axe in the mail. Please go check out the store. The guy who runs it is a great person, and genuinely cares about the community. So, without further delay, here is the Gransfors Bruks Outdoor Axe:

Manufacturer: Gransfors Bruks AB
Axe Head Weight: Total axe weight is 1lb 2oz. Head weight is about 3/4 lb.
Axe Length: 14.5 inches
Axe Head Material: Unknown carbon steel
Handle Material: Hickory
Cost: $174.00

The hatchet is clearly an expensive one. It is designed to be a specialty tool, and under other circumstances, I would not have been able to spend this type of money on it. Its closest relative is the Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet, so I’ve taken some pictures of them side by side.

The handle of the Outdoor Axe is a bit longer, and a little thinner than that of the Wildlife Hatchet. It is also made of hickory, and had adequate grain orientation. The one distinctive feature of the Outdoor Axe handle is that it has a metal collar hear the head. This is typically put on axes designed for splitting wood, to prevent damage to the handle. It appears that his small hatchet was designed with the splitting of wood in mind.

The head of the Gransfors Bruks Outdoor Axe is also designed with the splitting of wood in mind. While smaller than that of the Wildlife Hatchet, it looks very much like a splitting maul. The bit is shorter, and the extra metal is used to expand the head fairly rapidly. Near the eye, the head is about as wide as that of the Wildlife Hatchet, even though it is a quarter of a pound lighter.

The axe came sharp, and even though the head was primarily designed for splitting, it does a fairly good job at chopping. Because the head is smaller, the angle of the bit is not that much wider than that of the Wildlife hatchet, even thought he angle of the head overall is significantly wider.

Overall, it is hard to evaluate this axe because it is designed so differently from all the other axes. All that aside however, it performs very well for what it is. It will function very well as a belt axe of hawk, and I’m sure any trapper of explorer of the 17th century would have been very happy to have it with him. It is great for making kindling and will also do an adequate job at chopping for the weight. If you already ow a Wildlife Hatchet, I don’t see sufficient value in buying the Outdoor Axe as well, but if you have been looking for a very lightweight belt axe, and have the money, this may be a good way to go.

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