Woodlore — School of Wilderness Bushcraft

Gransfors Bruks Ray Mears Wilderness Axe
Gransfors Bruks

Gransfors Bruks Ray Mears Wilderness Axe

  Net Weight: 1494 g        

The Gransfors Bruks Ray Mears Wilderness Axe is an exclusive collaboration between Ray Mears and the Swedish company Gransfors Bruks. After years of designing, testing and refining, Ray and the Woodlore team are extremely excited to unveil this unique signature model; in Ray's words, it's the 'Small Forest Axe Plus'.

  Important Information about Cutting Tools
Under UK law, this item can only be sold to persons over 18 years of age. Please note that Woodlore use age-verification services for all UK axe, knife and blade purchases.

Further Information

The Gransfors Bruks Ray Mears Wilderness Axe is an exclusive collaboration between Ray Mears and the Swedish company Gransfors Bruks. After years of designing, testing and refining, Ray and the Woodlore team are extremely excited to unveil this unique signature model; in Ray's words, it's the 'Small Forest Axe Plus'.

While many Gransfors axes are forged en masse in large presses, the Wilderness Axe is produced in small quantities by Gransfors' experienced blacksmith, who work by hand with a traditional hammer press. Thanks to the use of this press from the 1940's, the production looks the same as it would have done back then.

Upon its release in December 2010, Ray sat down with us for an interview on this new axe, answering questions on its design, purpose and benefits over other models available today. An excerpt of this is shown below; to read the full interview, please visit the Ray Mears Wilderness Axe Interview on the Woodlore Blog.

What were your main goals when you set out to design this axe?

A good axe needs a combination of many features, but most importantly, it needs the right weight balanced with the right length of handle. There will always be a compromise between a small, portable hatchet and a large axe more suitable for felling; the Small Forest Axe is great, but it is lacking in weight and length for good splitting and chopping. I wanted an axe that was a little bit longer, better to swing with two hands, with a heavier head.

So what is it that makes the head of this axe so special?

It’s been designed to give real bite. The weight of the head combined with its size makes it a little more potent to use - you can split wood with it one minute and then use it for carving the next.

And what's different about the handle?

The length is different, which is critical to the functionality of the axe. The handle is long enough, and the head heavy enough, so that the head is doing all the work. This means that your muscles can instead focus on guiding the axe, making it a much safer axe to use. The length of the helve, in balance with the weight of the head, is designed to give perfect balance. It’s a mix between the Gransfors Scandinavian Axe and the Small Forest Axe, but there is real magic in it; anyone who uses it will see and feel the magic quality of weight and length - it makes it a very special axe.

What would you say are the ideal uses of this axe?

Anything you have to be able to do in the woods – felling trees, chopping dead trees that have blocked a portage trail, splitting, carving, fashioning a canoe paddle - but it does require expertise to use it well and these things take a long time to learn...


  • Ray Mears Bushcraft logo on handle
  • Head weight: 0.8 kg
  • Total weight: 1.4 kg
  • 60 cm hickory handle
  • Protective leather sheath included
  • 20-year guarantee


  Delivery in 1-2 days (within UK)
  Orders placed before 2PM GMT will be dispatched the same working day
  Overseas delivery times will vary depending on the destination

Please note that our offices are closed on weekends, so any orders placed after 2PM GMT on Friday will not be dispatched until the following Monday.

Orders with a total value over £300.00 will be dispatched via a next day delivery service within the UK at no extra cost.

Please note that in some instances, orders for heavy items may take an extra day to arrive.

For overseas deliveries, please refer to the following estimated delivery times:

  • Europe: 3 - 5 working days
  • Rest of the world: 5 - 7 working days


A full refund or exchange will be given provided that the items have not been worn or used, and are returned to us within 14 days of purchase, together with all relative labels and packaging.

Please ensure that you include a copy of your invoice, along with an explanation of why you have returned your goods. If you wish to return your goods for any reason, please do so to the following address:

Woodlore Limited
PO Box 3
East Sussex
TN19 7ZE
United Kingdom

Product Reviews

There are 27 reviews of the Gransfors Bruks Ray Mears Wilderness Axe

  1 of 27

  If you're considering a Gransfors Bruks axe you should seriously consider this Ray Mears edition axe. I was torn between the GB Small Forest Axe and the larger Scandinavian Axe. Ray Mears and GB hit a home run with this new design. Perfect weight and balance coupled with the best in quality. Buy this axe!! I'm a USA customer and the transaction was easy and shipping was fast. You will not be let down or have any remorse in your purchase.  

  Matthew Foley
6th April, 2015

  2 of 27

  After reading a lot of reviews on this axe I decied to purchase one and what a great purchase it was. The axe is everything I thought it would be; I've split kindling & logs with it and it has handled it flawlessly. It's the perfect size to take with me on our campervan trips.  

  Gord Cutler
14th March, 2015

  3 of 27

  I used this axe for the usual splitting firewood and kindling and it has worked a treat for snedding smaller branches and knocking in felling-wedges when working with a chainsaw. It also made a nice job of axing out a Kuksa from a silver birch log. Well recommended!  

  Richie Thornton
9th March, 2015

  4 of 27

  This is the second of these axes I've bought. They are really compact and ideal for a backpack. Excellent head weight. Brilliant craftsmanship. The second axe came even better with a mirror finish on the cutting edge. Worth every penny. Get the saw and sheath too, you'll be pleased!  

  David Lancaster
2nd March, 2015

  5 of 27

  The axe exceeded my expectations; going to love this axe. I spend an incredible amount of time bushwacking, trail blazing, and recreational camping. Together with my silky, and the wilderness axe, making camp is going to be a breeze.  

  Michael Smith
15th February, 2015

  6 of 27

  Wow. Used it for the first time today reducing the width of a tongue and groove floor board. Took me ages with a handsaw but changed to using this and made mincemeat of reducing the width within seconds. The end result was even better than other planks done with a saw. Ultra sharp and good balance when chipping away the wood with little effort. Also used it to plane smooth and level the finish. Some disappointments though when I received it. 2 pitting on one side of the cutting edge, one small and one large. They are deep. Will take some grinding to take this off but will do this much later when sharpening it. Might just leave it if I feel it is not affecting the way it cuts into the wood. Have oiled it to prevent further rusting for now. Secondly, axe handle appeared dry and coarse, needed sanding before applying linseed oil. Left overnight and dried out nicely which coating appeared to remain. Polished off with cloth and having nice colour and patina to it now. This was forged by AS. Planning to use this on large pile of sycamore wood for woodcarving, firewood and fencing. Very pleased I purchased this instead of mass produced one from tool stores. Will cherish using it, not only for diy work around the house but have ideas on the woodwork creations I have been dreaming of. First off will be long handle wok ladle made from sycamore wood. Thank you Ray Mears!  

  Simon Chua
15th January, 2015

  7 of 27

  I chose between the Ray Mears Wilderness Axe and the Small Forest Axe. Trusting the experience of Ray Mears, I purchased the Wilderness Axe. Pulling it out of the package, I was apprehensive of the weight, but after 2 weeks of life in the forest, I praise its magic; it works nicely. However, there is frustration, in the process of using I noticed that the blade on top noticeably looks at the right. Perhaps this is not the problem, but it is not good.  

  Kalach Valery Alekandrovich
11th November, 2014

  8 of 27

  Well, what can I say? I own the Small Forest Axe, which I bought for bushcraft use, however I found it slightly inadequate and realistically a little light when it came to most of the tasks. I saw the Ray Mears Axe and when I received it my only words were WOW. It's the weight distribution that gets you right away. It's ideal for carving, superb for felling, for bushcraft, and I wouldnt recommend any other axe. Obviously the longer handle is hard to hide, but everything about this axe is so well thought through. That little extra weight in the head enables much easier carving and punishes any logs you are trying to split. You would think that for detailed carving the handle would get in the way but it really does not. There is virtually no weight in the handle, which gives you much more control over your actions. I was a little weary at ordering, but it was worth every last little penny. I can't recommend this axe enough. Well done Ray, you solved my problem with wanting the perfect axe! The service was superb as always, thanks guys!  

  Mark Parker
21st October, 2014

  9 of 27

  I already have two of the Gransfors splitting axes which are excellent, but wanted an axe for using in the woods. The day I got it I used it to limb and split some Eucalyptus that I had cut down in the garden. The axe felt very balanced and I was able to use it one handed as well as two handed with no problems. Am looking forward to using it in the woods come the Autumn.  

  Timothy Brewer
1st September, 2014

  10 of 27

  I salivated over this axe for months and got it as a birthday gift. This axe is the finest axe I have ever used, it's perfect! The handle is gorgeous and the axe head is a work of art in itself. Razor sharp, literally shaved my arm hair from the start, and holds an edge well. I took down some standing dead trees today with ease. I will NEVER go to the woods without this axe and look forward to collecting more of the Gransfors Bruks axes as family heirlooms. I plan to build a log cabin and know exactly who I will be turning to for the tools.  

  Joshua Enyart
9th August, 2014

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