Gransfors Bruk Wildlife Hatchet 415
The Gränsfors Wildlife Hatchet is a traditional scouting and camping axe, with the same head as the Hand Hatchet but on a longer handle. This longer handle lends the axe more power, not least when felling trees. Practical for carrying in your rucksack when you need a small axe with plenty of power. The axe is capable of lopping off quite large branches or splitting small logs for the campfire. The shape of the sheath, which covers the edge and the top part of the poll, stops the axe head cutting into your rucksack.
A quick rundown of what I like about this Lil' guy-
-gorgeous to behold
-ergonomic, silken handle
-my example's handle having as perfect a grain as can be wished for
-comfortable, even after extended sessions of use
-head geometry is great for limbing, carving
-'choking up' on head is easy peasy for fine carving detail
-durable steel...takes a wicked edge rapidly and (so far)refuses to chip!
-leather mask is quality, if utilitarian
-price balking aside, it's still cheaper or comparable to many quality fixed blades
-for me, easily replaces larger knives en masse(barring machetes and their ilk)
- made by artisans in a 'green' manner
-proudly 'signed' by said artisans
-heirloom quality, as evidenced by my son bequeathing it to himself(way, waaay prematurely, I hope...)
- did I mention gorgeous?
Now, there is a few things I don't love about this hatchet, namely-
-the cost. I've made my peace with it, but I can see why others would, and will, grumble.
-the edge wasn't 'shaving' sharp on receipt. A minor nit, but still...
-the head's eye was punched a tad off. When sighting the edge from toe, to heel, down to the end of the haft, you can see that the heel(lower blade edge only, the top 'toe' is centered)is biased to the left. It's close though, as the heel still aligns within the haft(approximately 33% in, as opposed to bisecting it perfectly at 50%...for those who care) , but it's annoying. Disappointing for the price, but luckily this subtle cant does not effect a swing. I can hit where I aim, and glancing is rare. So after two+ years, I can say it's a mental issue only. As an aside, this issue could possibly just be from an imperfect head hanging. I won't know until I have to replace the handle. So watch this space circa 2035 for an update!
Overall, though, it's a great tool.
Five stars for me, but perhaps four as a recommendation in light of aforementioned concerns.
I can't put into words what a joy it is to work with Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet. It's one of my, if not the favorite tool I carry when I do backpacking trips. GB has a reputation for building quality, long lasting and beautiful hand crafted tools and the Wildlife hatchet is no exception. The hatchet holds its edge extremely well and sharpening is a breeze. I can sit here and tell you all about the weight of the head, type of wood and all that but you can get that info in the description. You can't truly understand what makes a Gransfors Bruks tool worth it until it's in your hand and you begin to break down wood. The feel is second to none.
I often find myself creating more firewood than necessary because I just have such a good time using this little hatchet. Speaking of "little", this hatchet is pretty small. I use this hatchet when I'm trying to keep weight down for long backpacking trips. If you plan on splitting larger pieces of wood or work with hardwoods more often than not, I would recommend Granfors Bruks Small Forest Axe.
All and all I highly recommend this hatchet. You won't regret the purchase and you'll have a tool that you'll love using and can last a lifetime if cared for properly.