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Who likes Gransfors Bruks?

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by AStone, Apr 7, 2013.

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  1. AStone

    AStone Member

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    These tell a story, but I'll tell it later.

    For now, just images of fine axes on a river in Maine.

    wildkub03.jpg

    kb3t.jpg

    baconbeanssausage.jpg

    wildpeeling.jpg

    kubbensfaprofile2.jpg


    47516767.jpg
     
  2. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Nice pictures!
     
  3. AStone

    AStone Member

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    Thanks, John. :)

    Great axes (as I learned here) in a great place.
     
  4. BullRunBear

    BullRunBear Member

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    Great photos. That skillet meal made me hungry. I'm learning to use a GB hatchet to rough out carvings. It's a fantastic tool: sharp, comfortable and easy to control. I wouldn't hesitate to get another one if needed.

    Jeff
     
  5. P.B.Walsh

    P.B.Walsh Member

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    So what exactly would you use that mini-hatchet for? Could you not just choke up on the other? Forgive my ignorance.
     
  6. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    I dig their splitting axe.
     
  7. Mp7

    Mp7 Member

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    They`re called Fiskars now, right?



    ( runs and ducks for cover!! :D )
     
  8. BullRunBear

    BullRunBear Member

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    P.B.,

    I found the shorter handle gives me more control. I do choke up on it when I need to be precise. That's for wood working/carving. For general outdoor use or even defense, I would go for the bigger hatchet. I suspect someone with more skill and training could use the larger version for all their needs.

    I have found the GB edge holds up MUCH better than the inexpensive Fiskars hatchet.

    Jeff
     
  9. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    A great tool you seem to have mastered and put to good use.
    Nice pic's!
     
  10. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    I never did - that is, right up till seeing them for the first time in this posting... Nice!
    I like the content shots as well.
    Did they come with any sort of scabbard/cover?
     
  11. swiftak

    swiftak Member

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    I have one. the thing is sharper than most knives.
     
  12. AStone

    AStone Member

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    Right after posting this last night and a quick follow up to John's post, I hit the sack.
    Just checking in for now before starting work for the day.

    Today and tomorrow are super busy for me - tomorrow (Tuesday) is a huge pivot day (a board is voting whether to support a major funding proposal for my work; if yes, it's going to make my life easier for the first time in over five, long, hard years).

    But I promise to return with thoughts, ideas, experiences and more pictures. (Thanks for your complements! :) )

    Oh, just for now, re the small hatchet. It's not a 'mini' - that's a different beast entirely that I probably won't own (too small for my taste). That short one I have is called their 'hand hatchet' or - the name I prefer - Kubben, which is Swedish for carving axe (or something similar).

    It's the same head as the Wildlife Hatchet mounted on a 10" adze handle. (WH is 13.5").

    The shape of the kubben handle is radically different from the WH. It's made for one thing: carving, and it does that deliciously. Confession: I'm a total novice newby lower than low when it comes to axe carving. I've only messed around with it so far, just exploring what various grips (choke up, rotate, etc) will do, angles of chopping, etc, mostly on scrap wood or 2 - 4" sapling sized dead wood.

    It's hard to explain in words just how much difference that Kubben handle makes for handling the same head. One would think one could just choke up more on the Wildlife Hatchet (henceforth, WH) and do the same. Well, you can, but trust me - it's different. That adze handle adds a couple of dimensions that the WH is missing, including weight redistribution, and that missing extra 3.5" makes a difference in terms of maneuverability. If your project is a one-time, 20-minute camp job, forget it. If you're going to consider serious carving and many projects, for me, it's worth it. That little swelling on the neck - the humpback - makes a world of difference in the grip when you're choking up.

    kb2g.jpg

    k01xx.jpg

    bowlearly.jpg

    I can do camp chores (kindling, tent stakes, shelters, etc) with kubben (I call it 'kub') in a pinch, but it's the same weight as the WH, so I just carry the latter hiking, and leave kub in the studio for carving time. For the record, I cut wood with a Sven saw, then split with a hatchet.

    [​IMG]

    I'm also adding scandi carving knives to my kit: Spyderco Bushcraft on the long end, Helle Nying and - most recently (came Saturday) a Mora 2/0 (3") that is the sweetest little detail carver I've ever handled. My point is, I've always liked carving, but now that I'm getting older, I want to explore it more deeply, both in terms of small figurines and larger stuff like a life sized statue and bowls and spoons and stuff.

    Here's a couple of pics of my first try over the weekend.
    First is roughed out (90 min), second is 90 minutes more.
    Not sure where it's going.

    I'm already seeing a bigger version of something like this on a log with my kubben as the main cutter.

    fig102.jpg

    bluehead.jpg
     

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    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013
  13. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    I love GB axes. I used the big ones a lot out in the sticks, and keep some of the small camp axes now.
     
  14. AStone

    AStone Member

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    PS: forgot to mention, I no longer have the small forest axe pictured in the OP (marked with initials "AS"). I traded it for my wildlife hatchet, which meets my camp needs fine for warm season. I'll probably add another small forest axe for bigger wood duty next winter. The hatchet is a bit small for winter wood up here where a long fire with lots of 4' logs feels good on a winter night.

    Speaking of initials, of smith names, I have a few things to add about Gransfors Bruks as a company, including their philosophy as espoused by their current owner and CEO, Gabriel Branby. But I'll save that for a later time.
     
  15. Geddinight

    Geddinight Member

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    They sure are sharp. I recently got a small forest axe and I love it. It's the best axe I've ever handled.
     
  16. AStone

    AStone Member

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    ^ Yes, they are indeed very sharp, and easy to keep sharp - even for blade sharpening challenged people like me. :D

    I've got a minute or two while dinner is heating to respond to a few posts (been a busy couple of days with very disappointing result today - back to the salt mines tomorrow, no easy buttons for Nem. :( )

    MP7, yes, Fiskars and Gransfors Bruks are equivalent. :D Funny you mention that, my first Maine axe - purchased during a desperately poor time for me last winter when I had to have an axe for a project but could not yet afford a GB, was a Fiskars X7. For $26, I can't complain. It's worth $26. But it's no Wildlife Hatchet; not even close. Not even in the same league.

    BikerDoc, thanks! Not mastered yet, though. Still consider myself an axe grasshoppa, even at 60. Worked with them a fair amount in my teens and twenties (well, hatchets back then) and an axe a bit in my 50's. This time, I'm doing it right, actually studying axecraft (studying Kochanski, for example) and studying proper use and techniques. I'm amazed I haven't lost a limb in years past; better proper learning late than never.

    ApacheTodd, yes, they all come with a well-made leather sheath (?) with a strap that wraps around the neck and snaps in place. I like them a LOT better than plastic.

    Here's a pic of mine before it got to me. The dealer took a pic of it for me to make sure I got the handle I wanted (dark with rich grain, I said).

    [​IMG]
     

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  17. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    Thanks for the new photo.

    I dig the open nature and leather construction of that cover.
    What an outstanding companion that would make in form and function to my "Canadian Trapper" Grohmann.

    I see a knife under the hand axe looking a lot like my David Andersen Bunad knife. Is it so?
     
  18. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    Never owned one but all I have ever heard is they are great.
     
  19. AStone

    AStone Member

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    Apache, you mean the Wildlife Hatchet, right? Their 'hand axe' is what they call their Kubben on the street.

    So I assume you mean in that dealer photo just above.

    If so, it's probably a Helle knife. I see several of them in the glass case under the hatchet, including a Helle Fire. I own their Nying (gifted to me recently; amazing little scandi).

    The dealer is Appalachian Outdoors, so you can contact them about your question. Great people, great service, great prices (in my experience, $1 more than AmaBig with free shipping and 100X better service), so they'd be happy to respond. All three of the GB I bought are from them.
     
  20. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    Cool, hand axe/wildlife hatchet... I like the distinction. You caused me to go to their site only to be overwhelmed by the broad range of sharp 'n hards.

    Yeah, I was referring to those Hellas I guess. I didn't note the price tags and assumed they were yours.
     
  21. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    Real quality axes.
    I have a wildlife hatchet that rides in my hunting pack. I also have a hunters axe which I bought first. I once shot a deer that dropped dead on an extremely steep slope of an old gravel quarry. I used it to cut saplings and wedged them into stumps to make a "ladder" so I could get down to where the deer was, and then used the axe to quarter the deer so I could get it out.
    If I had bought the wildlife hatchet first, I probably would not have the hunters axe. I have tried the flay poll for skinning but I can't make it work better for me than a sharp knife.
    I once shaved my face clean with the hunters axe just to prove I could. They really are that sharp.
     
  22. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    I wasn't aware of these before this thread. Thanks Nem! Looks like just what I was looking for to put in the vehicles.
     
  23. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    They come sharp as hell but if you strop one on a sheet of 600-800 grit wet/dry oxide paper on top of a piece of leather, and then strop on the rough side of the leather alone, you can get a downright scary sharp edge on a GF hatchet.
    Note:These are hand forged high carbon steel and will rust easily if not treated properly.
     
  24. BullRunBear

    BullRunBear Member

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    Found another use for the Kubbin. I was given some pieces of boxwood by a friend. The bark is extremely hard to remove and the branch shapes make it difficult to use a draw knife. Turns out the hatchet works great at the removal without gouging the wood. And it's safer. Using these hand tools has another benefit: they teach patience.

    Good choice with the Mora knife. I have several. Probably the best value on a fixed blade out there. If you want to stay with a Nordic theme for carving, check out the traditional Norwegian carving of Harley Resfal. He does it all with a single knife in what is called flat plane carving. I'm trying to learn the technique. It would probably help if I had some ability. :rolleyes:

    Love the curly birch handles on the Helle knives. What a beautiful wood.

    Jeff
     
  25. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Jeff,

    That was a GB that was riding around in the back when you came down to visit.
     
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