Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Gränsfors Bruk Wildlife Hatchet, and Mini-Small Hatchet, My Favorite Bushcraft Hatchets!

Today we'll be taking a bit of a side detour from all the military tools we've been looking at, and venturing over to the "civilian world".  Specifically, I"ll be showing off my two favorite hatchets, both made by Gränsfors Bruk of Sweden.

They are the Wildlife Hatchet and the Mini-Small Hatchet, both hand forged at Gränsfors Bruk.

When it comes to axes and hatchets, Gränsfors Bruk makes the best that can be bought. 
They are definitely not inexpensive, but worth every penny!  Each axe and hatchet is forged by hand, by one blacksmith, finished by hand, hafted by hand, using vintage tools, techniques, and equipment, and finished to old world standards.  In short, each axe and hatchet is a timeless work of art that can trace its roots back to the age of the Vikings. 

Before we go further, I'd like to post a couple of links to the Gränsfors Bruk website, where you can read about the forging process, and about their history.  They are dedicated to making traditional handmade axes, of the highest quality, using only the best Swedish steel, and wood, using the old school, traditional methods and equipment.  How often do you see that these days!

Here is a link to an amazing video documentary about the forge and the blacksmiths that work there.  It's about eight minutes long and definitely worth watching!

By now I think you've figured out that I am completely sold and hooked on these beautiful Swedish hatchets.  They are traditional, the best quality that I have ever encountered, and have a very real connection to actual craftsmen and history.  In fact, each axe and hatchet head is hand stamped by the blacksmith who forged it, with his initials.  

My Wildlife Hatchet was forged by Mattias Blixt-Pettersson, and my Mini-Small Hatchet was forged by Kjell-Åke Sjölund, stamped MB and KS, respectively.

The balance on these hatchets is perfect, and they arrive honed razor sharp and perfectly ground.  They chop and split wood like a dream!  The wood hafts are oil finished and each axe or hatchet comes with an oiled leather head cover.

They are absolutely top notch. There is nothing that you need to do to fine tune or finish on these tools......... they are grab-and-go, out of the box!

The Wildlife Hatchet is my go-to, utility chopper, that is perfect for camp use.  My Mini-Small Hatchet is my favorite though.  This little hatchet is amazing.  It is small enough to fit in a small day pack and still packs a wicked edge and ability to process small wood for camp. The Mini-Small Hatchets that are forged by Gränsfors Bruk are some of the smallest hand forged hatchets ever produced.  There are only a few blacksmiths in the world with the skill to forge a bit this small, and two of them work at Gränsfors Bruk!

Even though these little hatchets are "modern", they have an interesting link back to the military side of things.  Many of the military axes, hatchets and forged tools of the Swedish military were made by Gränsfors Bruk.  In a previous post I reviewed a WW2 vintage Swedish Army pick-axe that was forged by Gränsfors Bruk.  You can check out that blog posting here:

And now, without further delay, here is the album of these two wonderful little hatchets:

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