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Gränsfors Bruk Outdoor Axe Review 2013/06/06

I got so used to using the Small Forest it took me a little while to get accustomed to the Gränsfors Bruk Outdoor Axe. However I think in the long run it made me learn how to use an axe in a better, more confident way.

Introduction

The Gränsfors Bruk Outdoor Axe is new in their range and fits between the wildlife hatchet and small forest axe. It's a highly portable and packable tool with a strengthened collar and straight handle. A long time Small Forest user I found, at first this shorter lighter axe was very odd to use. Gone were the power filled cuts, strong swings and splitting ease that were so usual with the Small Forest. Was I doing something wrong?

Use

Everything came to a head when, on one of our courses, I was demonstrating splitting logs for firewood. The Gränsfors Bruk Outdoor Axe was just bouncing off the wood with no effect. I must be doing something wrong... so back home I went with time to think. It was here I decided to use this smaller axe a lot more like a larger knife and then the magic started to happen. The Gränsfors Bruk Outdoor Axe is very lightweight tool and about a hands length shorter than the Small Forest with a thinner and more rounded handle. The head is more of a wedge shape and copes better with splitting than carving. The wood just beneath the head is protected by a metal collar, this is the area on any axe that takes a beating as wood tends to strike this area when you are driving your axe through material. Overall weight of the axe is 540g which is roughly half that of the Small Forest. So still feeling rather frustrated with the Gränsfors Bruk Outdoor AxeI decided to head to the woods for some more real world use. I had a trekking trip coming up where I would have to decide what axe to take.


Aware that this smaller axe would require a different approach I started to become more accurate in my strikes at the wood. The Gränsfors Bruk Outdoor Axe has the perfect size for really precise one hand swings to be achieved and this was the beginning of a transformation in my use of the axe.

Changing my Axe Style

Now the Gränsfors Bruk Outdoor Axe was working very well. As a small camp axe and lightweight trekking tool it seemed at home finally. Putting points on branches for tent pegs, preparing kindling for a fire to splitting larger logs with the help of battoning. The Gränsfors Bruk Outdoor Axe did all of these tasks exceedingly well. All it took was a slight change of the method of use and this tool really started to shine. For heavier tasks you may need to batton, for splitting and chopping tasks you will need to be more accurate, but its worth it in the end. Having the Gränsfors Bruk Outdoor Axe in your pack saves a considerable amount of weight as well as saving the sharpness on your bushcraft knife as you can use the axe without having to rely on your knife. You may also feel more inclined to take an axe along with you without having to worry about all that extra weight, as the Gränsfors Bruk Outdoor Axe is very light.

Conclusion

General quality is spot on, with the craftsmen’s initials stamped on the head. Something that really sets Gränsfors Bruk apart from other axe brands on the market. Perfect for practising bushcraft. So going trekking through remote areas and cooking by fire, travelling by canoe or kayak? The Gränsfors Bruk Outdoor Axe would make a perfect choice. Building an emergency shelter with this smaller axe is fine. However travelling in winter and wanting to build a more permanent shelter I would suggest that the Small Forest axe would come into its own here. If you understand how it should be used and are prepared to spend a little bit of time getting used to it the Gränsfors Bruk Outdoor Axe makes for an indispensable bit of gear.

Care and Maintenance

Gun oil for the metal, boiled linseed oil for the handle and Hestra leather balm for the leather. Highly Recommended

-Sunny

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