Gransfors Small Forest Axe VS Hultafors Felling Axe

When did people in the woods start caring so much about designer labels? A question that’s been bothering us for long time now…

6 minutes...

Gransfors Small Forest Axe VS Hultafors Felling Axe

Hultafors VS Gransfors

When did people in the woods start caring so much about designer labels? A question that’s been bothering us for long time now...

The first thing that lots of people do after discovering the joy of a day spent amongst tree’s and wood smoke is go out and spend £100 on a knife and £120 on a Gransfors Small Forest Axe.

Brands and labels have become important, sometimes they're important for the wrong reasons.

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Cost vs Performance

Snobbishness in the woods is ridiculous and it’s just not necessary, anyone staring out in the woods can afford a Hultafors Heavy Duty Knife, superb tools, absolutely functional, great steel, razor sharp and only £6, but that’s a whole new blog.

The UK’s obsession with Gransfors axes is weird; don’t get us wrong they're nice axes, are very well finished and the little booklet that comes with them is lovely; but, we think, that, perhaps, they are not worth the price that people pay for them.

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Size matters

As a tool the Gransfors is too small to be effective as an all rounder and too big to replace a heavy ‘chopper’ like the classic Martindale. The Gransfors Small Forest doesn’t do much very well. It’s designed to be carried in or strapped to a pack but very few people who use  axes in the UK actually carry them for any distance in this way?

The short (19”) handle and lightweight (1.5 lb) head on the Gransfors mean that any task heavier than splitting rounds can be inefficient and slow.

Why buy an elongated hatchet if the jobs that need to be done can be easily done by a normal hatchet - cheaper and safer when teaching groups.

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Buy the tools to suit the job

If you buy an axe for medium to heavy work then buy a tool that will do the job well. The Hultafors Felling Axe is significantly longer than the Gransfors and the head is 170 g heavier.

The Hultafors is compact enough to be easily transported yet is big enough to be efficient, chopping and splitting is easy and using two hands to work is comfortable and effective.

The steel of the Hultafors is great and the cutting profile of the head is really efficient, perhaps most importantly the Hultafors is much cheaper than the Gransfors Small Forest Axe. 

The Gransfors costs a mighty £120; buy the Hultafors and you get more axe for less money at £80.

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Buy a tool, not a showpiece

I know all the arguments for buying a Gransfors, I’ve heard them many times, usually from folk that spend more time on bushcraft forums than they do in the woods. 

YES the finish is better on the Gransfors, YES the supplied cover is better quality and YES you get a lovely booklet with the axe. Why are these things important? Why do they matter in the woods? 

Buy a tool, not a show piece; buy something that is designed to do a job really well. If I could give you one piece of axe related advice it would be to consider buying a Hultafors axe.

Hultafors make axes our of Swedish Steel in Sweden :

Gransfors Bruk make axes our of Swedish Steel in Sweden:

Land & Wave trains Bushcraft Instructors in Dorset. We also run the Ultimate Stag Weekend in the woods. 

Enjoy the pathless woods...

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by Owen Senior

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