Gränsfors-Bruks Mini Hatchet Review
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Glenn S
(Glenn64) - M

Locale: Snowhere, MN
Re: Re: Uses for hatchets and saws on 03/26/2014 16:41:47 MDT Print View

3 things are listed as to the benefits of a hatchet.

Keeping your hands clean and free from splinters? A pair of cut-resistant Hy-Flex gloves are only an ounce, work great on rough wood and the rubberized grips make handling slimy branches much easier too. They also make nice pot grabbers (although they melt on hot windscreens, don't ask me how I know ;) ).

Getting to dry heartwood? If you're doing that, then it's most likely for kindling and is something to which a knife is more adept. By the time a fire is big enough to burn big enough split wood to need a hatchet, it should burn wet branches anyway.

It's fun to use? That's debatable. Seems like a big calorie burn to me. A saw seems much easier.

I also noticed that nothing pictured in that article couldn't be accomplished with a small saw. Even a 1.2 oz Sierra Pocket Saw could cut anything shown there. Feeding a BushBuddy with a hatchet? For real? Again, cutting one inch "logs" into wood pellets is a lot easier than stuffing twigs in it every five minutes, but when the tool weighs more than the stove, something's out of balance.

Thomas Glennon
(Eagletrek007) - MLife
Out of character???? on 03/26/2014 17:15:06 MDT Print View

Glad to see an article on a GB axe. While an advocate of light weight backpacking and a LNT Master Educator it may seem strange that I can see the need for carrying an axe or a folding pack saw in certain situations. While it may not be the primary "go to" item it might save your knickers in a pinch. My favorite GB "implement of destruction" (only in jest) is the GB Small Forest Axe.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
for 12 oz- I'd choose a saw and a knife over a hatchet/axe on 03/26/2014 17:37:50 MDT Print View

or maybe even a good micro-brew :)

like others have posted, a fixed blade knife and folding/sliding saw will be much more useful than a hatchet/axe for shelter construction, small fires, cleaning fish, fowl and game, etc

I own a small Wetterlings axe and it's handy when I go cabin hopping in the winter, but outside of splitting large amounts of wood- a fixed blade knife and saw will do more for less weight

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: axe head profiles on 03/26/2014 19:01:43 MDT Print View

"Any thoughts on Wetterlings "Buddy" or Wilderness hatachets for cutting wood for cooking fire?"

Other than steel quaility, axe head profiles vary to suit cutting, chopping, and splitting. If youvreallyvwantrd to get the lowdown, a side by side comparison with a number of users should be done.

Someone mentioned the small Vaughan hatchet. It vid so small and light that it has no driving force to do effective chopping. It's a kitchen stove wood tool, IMHO.

David Wood
(RedYeti) - MLife

Locale: South Eastern UK
Be very careful they are sharper than you might think on 03/27/2014 03:51:25 MDT Print View

I got a beautiful Gränsfors Bruk Liten Skogsyxa (little wood axe) for my birthday a couple of years back. I live a few hours drive from them nowadays as it happens.

Gorgeous bit of kit but sharper than you might be used to.

I was practicing left handed wood splitting (I'm pretty good with my right). I was simply resting the axe on the end of the log as I assessed where there might be a crack already opening up in the drying wood. The head of the axe just slipped off, and fell, without force, about two inches onto the tensioned tendon at the back of my right thumb - neatly severing it.

Little blood, almost no pain. Very clean wound. Some pain as the tendon disappeared up towards my wrist though.

I'm no superhero but I've had my fair share of toe-curling injuries over the years from sports and martial arts and I can cope pretty well. However, I had to lie down and nearly passed out. The knowledge of how seriously I'd just managed to injure myself was one of the most unpleasant things I've experienced. To clarify, having no useful thumb is counted as a very serious disability in terms of the scale of the help available in most developed countries.

Of course, a drive to a very well equipped Swedish hospital and some fun-to-watch surgery as the surgeon lengthened the wound considerably to retrieve the severed tendon, and all was well again (after six weeks in a painful cast with my thumb held hard backwards).

Two years on and with a fair bit of physio I have most of the extension range in the thumb and the grip strength is about what it was.

So - gorgeous tool but be very aware that they are razor sharp and require no force to slice though flesh!

Be careful with such things in the back-country. ;)

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Be Careful They are sharper then you think on 03/27/2014 05:37:24 MDT Print View

Good warning, a lot of people abuse their hatchets till they are basically a blunt instrument. This breeds carelessness.

I used a sharp axe once and was very surprised by what it could do. It was more fatiguing then a saw but just about as fast (if not faster in some cases).

peter vacco
(fluff@inreach.com) - M

Locale: no. california
Re: Re: Gränsfors-Bruks Mini Hatchet Review on 03/27/2014 06:57:02 MDT Print View

" It's just hard to cut up your steak with a hatchet :) "

Moriya demonstrates steak vs axe eskimo technology.moriya and her axe

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: cleaver on 03/27/2014 08:49:48 MDT Print View

Like I said, small axes have been used by hunters for field butchering game for millennia. They might be a little less handy at the table.

I have a scary sharp cleaver for such things in the kitchen.

David Olsen
(bivysack.com) - F

Locale: Channeled Scablands
Husqvarna on 03/27/2014 08:56:41 MDT Print View

From my ancestral home.

Vikings were famous for axes.

Better price -$31

http://www.amazon.com/Husqvarna-Hatchet-1-2-lbs-Handle/dp/B004VLKLJE/ref=pd_sim_sbs_sg_6?ie=UTF8&refRID=0TYTZWB0M4RE39541N4S

They make good sewing machines, target rifles, chain saws and motorcycles too.

Edited by bivysack.com on 03/27/2014 10:04:05 MDT.

Joe Cameron
(DocOnes6005) - M

Locale: Southeast U.S.
I'm glad to see this thread on 03/27/2014 13:57:11 MDT Print View

I am a "bushcrafter" that is leaning into UL. So it's cool to see this thread.

I'm a fan of knife/saw combos and have an EKA Viking for hunting and expeditions and a dual direction chain saw for regular backpacking. I use them both frequently. I recently switched from an ESEE knife to the LMF/Mora knife which works well for all types of applications, including light batoning.

I understand LNT techniques, but fires are useful and when care is taken when finding wood (nothing green) it is actually helpful to the environment in the Midwest (where I live). Local agencies support fire building to decrease the amount of large fuel available to grass fires and when clearing areas to create fire breaks in the event of one. Just last week a ranger in the Buffalo National River Preserve told me to build a fire to dry out my clothes. When I commented on LNT he said as long as it's already dead and displaced that it just saves him work and keeps the park safer when dealing with fires (they control burn regularly).

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Uses for hatchets and saws on 03/27/2014 17:29:52 MDT Print View

From my perspective, it's a neat backcountry toy. I wouldn't mind having one. But I certainly wouldn't put it into an essential category.

Not that there's anything wrong with toys or non-essentials.
I lump my larger, fixed blade knives into the same category.
I can always find plenty of fun and useful things to do with them when I have them. Feathersticks, batoning wood, bushcrafty stuff...
But when I don't have them, I don't miss them. Something as small as a Spyderco Ladybug can handle any realistic chores I need done.

I think part of it is simply regional; being in the southwest there simply isn't much to do with a hatchet if I'm not looking for things to do with a hatchet.

Edited by xnomanx on 03/27/2014 17:31:57 MDT.

E J
(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
knives, axes and saws on 03/27/2014 18:47:55 MDT Print View

Knives and saws can do most of what you'd use a hatchet for, except for splitting wood efficiently (yes you can baton wood with a good quality knife but a good ax or hatchet is much easier). A slightly longer, heavier and properly sharpened hatchet will do that much better than the Mini. But no matter which tools you use, practice is essential so that you can use them well before you really need to.

+ 1 Tony - I'd love to see an article on bushcraft basics, with light weight in mind.

In the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts we spent a lot of time learning how to use axes and hatchets and processing downed trees and branches. Miracle none of use injured ourselves or others. Ax use and fire-building practice really helped the scoutmasters keep us busy. Yes it was fun.

M G
(drown) - F - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah
Regional on 03/27/2014 18:59:57 MDT Print View

"I think part of it is simply regional; being in the southwest there simply isn't much to do with a hatchet if I'm not looking for things to do with a hatchet."

Growing up in a logging town in Canada I was given a hatchet at 8 years old. Bushcraft was a given. Lots of conifers, long winters, firemaking and shelter building were highly emphasized in our scout troop. LNT not so much. I agree with other posts that it was great fun and a hatchet in skilled hands is a highly efficient shelter and firemaking tool.

Edited by drown on 03/27/2014 19:05:56 MDT.

Gordon Smith
(swearingen) - MLife

Locale: Portland, Oregon
GB Mini Hatchet & Small Forest Axe on 03/27/2014 23:09:05 MDT Print View

I bought a GB Mini Hatchet a couple years ago. After using it a while I found I liked it so much that I soon bought a GB Wildlife Hatchet, and later a GB Small Forest Axe. They're classic tools, very well made and a joy to use. I think my favorite is the Small Forest Axe, which is really too big for backpacking but is perfect for car-camping. Here's a fun video featuring the Small Forest Axe from a guy who knows a bit on the topic:

Choosing a Proper Hatchet



.

Edited by swearingen on 03/27/2014 23:21:11 MDT.

Edward GOUVIER
(egouvier) - MLife
Gransfors Bruks Mini Hatchet on 03/28/2014 12:36:41 MDT Print View

I have several of the Gransfors-Bruks product line. Based on 2+ decades of practical experience, these are amongst the finest in existence. Cost aside, comparison of an AB to say a Gerber product (which is good too), is like comparing an original Van Gogh to a poster. With a modicum of care, the AB axe will still be serving you great-great grand children rather well indeed. For those looking for a lightweight axe with a longer handle, the GB wildlife hatchet should serve nicely.

egouvier

PS: for more information, beg, borrow or buy the Gransfors "Axe Book" which tells the story about how these are made.

Corrina Peipon
(Corrina)
Shelter / Pack on 03/29/2014 15:00:16 MDT Print View

Beautiful hatchet! Would love to hear about the shelter / pack that is pictured in this article. Is it oilcloth? What is the rope technique? Gear list, method, et cetera...