Choosing an axe

Topic:Is the Hunters Axe worth having?

  • By Matt, on 10 December, 2015 at 16:07

    I very recently (today) became the owner of my first Gränsfors … a SFA which I’m very happy with. I did agonise over choosing this or the Hunters as I very much like the smart ideas have have gone into it’s design. Working outdoors I decided to go with the well reputed SFA but I have to wonder if it’s worth saving a few hard earned and going for the Hunters as well? Does anyone have both?

    My new SFA has had some love from smurf poo on leather (not that it needed much!) and a coat of Danish Oil and Ballistol and is currently warming slightly by the wood stove… It won’t be allowed to stay there I’m sure but a few days of warmth and oiling will give it a long working life I’m sure.


  • By mhopper4, on 14 January, 2016 at 19:21

    Because your name is Matt and I went through the same thinking process I decided to register and respond to your post.  I discovered GB while doing some research on quality axes still being produced.  I found their hunter’s ax and thought it was pretty cool for the intended purpose.  I searched out the nearest dealer and planned a trip to view their selection.  I ended up purchasing a hunter’s ax as I thought the quality and intended purpose was well thought out.  So far I have used it to break wood to start fires at home and it has worked quite well.  I tend to be extra careful with it due to price and don’t abuse it as I would a cheaper ax from the box store.  I have taken it on one camping trip as the main tool to see if I could get by with just it and a few other essentials.  I was able to break wood to get the fire going and used it to cut various other things.  One area it fell short was driving in tent stakes.  The rounded poll is small and slick and I found it difficult to accurately drive stakes in the ground.  I know the poll of most single bit axes is not designed for pounding but stake driving in medium ground should not be a problem.  I would describe it similar to driving a finish nail in wood using the peen side of a ball peen hammer.  It can be done but there were several missed strikes (no damage to the poll though).  This was made more difficult by low light conditions.  After that experience I decided to purchase the small forest ax as it was virtually the same except for having a flatter poll.  I went back to the dealer only to find they carried every model except for the SFA.  Since I made the several hour trip and I had money in my pocket I wasn’t going home without another ax.  I looked at all the available models and decided on the Scandinavian Forest ax.  It’s a bit larger but still manageable.  I have used it quite a bit and found the size is perfect for an all-around ax.  I’m sure smaller and larger axes are better in some situations but for an all arounder it can’t be beat.  I still have the hunter’s ax but it has taken a back seat for the moment.  I want to keep it clean, sharp, and the poll smooth and polished for my next hunting trip.  Although any hunting task can be completed using a good knife I like the novelty idea of using a “hunting ax.”  I will just have to wait for the opportunity to try it.  That being said, if the Scandi continues to perform I might just take it hunting along with a knife.  The reason I haven’t considered selling the hunting ax is because I have two small boys and I now have an ax for each of them to pass down.

    The differences I have found between the SFA and hunter is the poll shape, the handle shape, and the added texture in the form of rings on the handle of the hunter.  Other than that they are essentially the same size and can perform almost all the same tasks minus stake driving.  I personally like the handle shape of the SFA but to each his own.  If I were you, I would keep the SFA and consider picking up a Scandi so you have two different sizes and pick the best one for the job at hand.  If you are still set on the hunter and want to trade your SFA for my hunter I would consider that.

    I have several axes in my collection of different shapes and sizes from various manufactures.  The collection includes cheap to expensive, new to old.  If the phone rings and there is work to do requiring an ax the first one I will grab will be the Scandi (for me to use).  If I need to lend an ax for someone else to use it will a cheaper one for obvious reasons.  Hope this helps.



    • This reply was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by  mhopper4. Reason: Formatting
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by  mhopper4.
  • By Matt, on 15 January, 2016 at 01:00

    Wow what an incredible write up thank you for taking the time chap… Well I think I’m going to have to have to have a wonder to my local Gränsfors supplier (a good distance it seems) and get a feel for the Hunters and the Forest Axe… I work with my axes for a living and voluntarily to help a couple of friends out and I have been considering a Forest Axe for some heavier work… I’m loathe to do it but I might just have to spend the money and have all three at this rate! Oh and and the small hatchet as I’ve always fancied trying my hand at some intricate carving …


    … she’ll kill me if I don’t have a valid excuse for yet another expensive sharp thing… good thing I’m well armed!

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