Thursday, 26 May 2011

Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet

From an article i wrote in June 2009 about the GB Wildlife Hatchet.

I was given the opportunity to give my new Gransfors Hatchet a bit of a work out today, so where to start, i suppose the beginning is a good a place as any?

When i received the axe it was shaving sharp straight out of the box, no work needed at all to get a good edge, the cutting edge is a wonderfully shaped symmetrical convex and the head of the axe was lined up with the helve, as with all Gransfors axes, the company logo and the makers initials are stamped onto the axe head.

The axe has a 3' face with a head weight of 1 lb



The helve itself is hickory with a small lanyard hole, the helve is 14" long and is nicely finished as you would expect from Gransfors, it has a nice tactile feel to it, used either choked up on the head or holding the bottom of the helve for more powerful "chops", the helve will only get better over time as a bit of dirt and linseed oil get mixed together and the wood takes on a nice patina.

So what did i use it for today, well the tasks i presented it were:
  • Splitting
  • Battoning
  • Slicing
  • Planing
  • Limbing
  • Truncating

Needless to say it performed flawlessly, i split logs of 4" diameter with little or no effort at all, either by placing them on a block and splitting in the conventional manner as well as bringing the log and axe down together, slicing took no effort at all and the same can be said for the other tasks i presented it, the only thing being was truncating was limited to 0.5" diameter dry sticks, before you needed more than a single chop to get through, green sticks needless to say were much easier and you could truncate a 1" stick with ease, although it goes without saying that this test will be different on other woods, i was using Sycamore today.

Carving with the hatchet

I sat down last week and used the axe for some spoon carving, the axe felt well balanced in the hand and making stop cuts and removing large quantities of wood was easy, unlike the SFA & Mini hatchets i used previously, the wildlife was absolutely spot on, with just the right head weight and size to achieve effortless carving, obviously if carving something bigger than a spoon, like a canoe paddle for instance then the larger SFA would be a better choice, like wise if carving a small teaspoon as opposed to an eating or serving spoon, the mini hatchet would be a better suited tool.

Conclusions

Pro's

Well made, with the head being aligned with the helve
Sharp straight out of the box
20 year guarantee
Helve is straight grained
More than up to the job it was intended for.
Good size for a day pack or general camp tasks
Well balanced in the hand
Ideal for general carving tasks

Cons

Cost
Crappy leather sheath
Cost

Needless to say I'm am entirely happy with this tool and it has a permanent home in my kit, both carving and for camp tasks when the SFA is just too big.

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