Monday, 8 December 2008

Wildlife At Birthday Party

Still feeling pretty rough after the celebrations, so I was pleased to be able to recycle this post out of one I started a while back.

I only own one hand axe, and frankly can’t see myself needing another one, but if I did get another I’d be sorely temped by the output of Gransfors Bruks.
In a world where ‘not my job’ is the cry and ‘arse covering’ the modus operandi, it’s great to hear that a company gives its people the authority to work on a piece until they are happy to put their name to it. Literally. Each axe bears the initials of the person who made it, one person. A person who actually gave a monkeys, worked on it to their satisfaction, before putting their name on it and sending it out of the factory gate.

Look on any bushcraft site and there'll be pictures of them, look on any bushcraft forum and there'll be people (OK it's mainly guys) waxing lyrical about how much they love them and the things they've made using nothing but. Other brands have spent fortunes trying to get this level of authority in their marketplace. For once 'simple things done well' have won the day. How could we make more of life like that?

So I was totally effing delighted when R&E bought me a Wildlife Hatchet for my birthday!

Here at the time of Un-Boxing are a few observations.
1. They come WAY SHARP, actually a fair bit sharper than some knives
2. They do have magic powers - there's 'just' something about them
3. The shaft-to-head fit aint perfect, but looks adequate to last the first five or ten years.
4. There's a more in depth review here
5. Mine was made by MM
6. Pablo has the next sizes up and down in his 'family' of tools
7. The Backyard Bushman has a great review here
8. The sheath is more of a guard - but making one with a belt loop will be fun

Now I will have to succumb to Kit Tarts Rule 2
"For every 'must have' piece of kit there is a 'must have accessory' to accompany it"
And buy myself a special stone to sharpen it..

The only 'pimping' I can see being necessary will be dyeing the shaft 'ah that's where it is orange'.

Thanks for reading


Anonymous said...

Have you read the book, 'Hatchet' by Garyl Paulsen? Actually, anything by Gary Paulsen is pretty interesting reading if you are into the outdoors and survival.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Not yet! Thanks for exposing another hole in my education, I'll check it out.

bushman said...

Nut'n beats a good axe...

Anonymous said...

Glorious... and belated birthday wishes. I'll let you into a secret - I've got one of those too (some poor sod short of cash!)

Ref the head fit, soak the axe head in anti freeze for 72 hours and the head will never come off. Honestly. Mors Kochanski gave us that tip. A little linseed oil won't go amiss as well.

Finally I've got two MM's and one LP.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

thanks for the tip, I've always suspected your sharp tools page was only the tip of the iceberg!
PS not forgotten just working odd hours so not been to the post office.

drew dunn said...

dear sbw i have a small forest axe which i got for my bday so we are both excited by axes not just me thank god cos i was starting to think i was strange

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Phew its not just me!

Which of us will be the first to crack and order the sharpening stone?

drew dunn said...

that was me then at two oclock this morining drunk after a nite out it just looked to tempting.
The only downside is mr credit card is now screeming blue murder at me but it was fun, and happy birtday said...

Great tool. I use my one all the time. More so than all of the others in the range put together. It just feels right in the hand!


Keith said...

The best tool for this job is a tomahawk. They are lighter than a hatchet, the helve fits in from the top of the head like a pickaxe so it is stronger and easier to make and replace in the field. You do not need a special stone for sharpening, a tomahawk/hatchet blade is sharpened in the same manner as a knife blade.
Le Loup.

Perkunas said...

Hey man,i saw you have checked out my trips report,thanks for reading it,im making more detailed sequels tonight and post em tomorrow. Talk about axes...i picked up,during the latest trip,one small axe too,its made by S.A. Wetterlings.Its their mini-axe,and i used it to chop some reindeer carcass,to split smaller logs for a firewood etc,seems to be good tool for smaller and accurate tasks,and i will be making new belt-sheath to it.I have couple fiskars axes too,one large with splitting head,and two smaller ones,models 500 and 600,and the "600" is my main hiking axe,as it provides anough performance without being significantly heavy to carry.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...


I'm fascinated by your blog and looking forward to your next trip report.

For hiking the fiskars is by far the lightest, but the wildlife is, well special.



SB --
I could agree more, turning that handle orange is the best thing to do!

When I first started out hunting, and especially when I was special forces, camo was the way to go.

Now completely into hunting for sustenance, sometimes spent and I'm field-dressing a large animal, the worst thing for me is a tool that suddenly disappears into the bush, hiding from tired eyes...

Nowadays when I'm sent equipment to review for my outdoors column, I'm always asking if they have one in blaze orange.

...And after what I read, I know I'm gonna have to get one of these Gransfors for my next elk or wild pig hunt!


The Suburban Bushwacker said...


thanks for commenting.

The whole camo Kit thing is just hilarious to me.

BoB (brother of bushwacker) describes the choice thus:
Where did I put it green (or camo)
That's where it is Orange