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As the Gränsfors axes are so widely known I don't find it necessary to write much about the general qualities of their products. Some comments state that their axes are pricey, the prices have increased quite a bit over the years, but really, you get very good quality for the money. There is always an option of getting hold of an old quality axe or axe head, if you find one cheap nowadays, and restore it, if you know how, that way you can probably save some money, especially if you don't have much money. Although I live in Sweden and the GB axes are made in Sweden I bought my Wildlife Hatchet from Woodlore as a part of a bigger order. I own four different Gränsfors axes and have tried many of their axe models. Here is my personal opinion on the Wildlife Hatchet. I love Gränsförs axes but the above axe is not my favorite, but by no means I think it is a bad axe, it just doesn't suit me as much as other axes do. The axe has a very 'aggressive' angle between the edge of the axe blade and the shaft, this makes it efficient at chopping tasks, such as taking down small trees or trimming branches for firewood. It is a very poor cleaving axe, because of the shape of the head the axe shaft can easily get chocked and get beating from the piece you are trying to split/ cleave. It's an ok carver. My main issue with the axe is the shaft, I don't like the form of it, how it sits in the hand and how it affects all the aspects of axe work. I very much prefer the shaft of the Hand Hatchet that features exactly the same axe head as the Wildlife Hatchet does. Although the shaft on the Hand Hatchet is much shorter it makes the axe an actual pleasure to use, in my hands, it may be the opposite for someone else! When considering the W.H. as an all-round tool for smaller tasks I would sadly say that the older version of the W.H. was better (Once again; in my hands!). The older version, no longer made, is of the same size as the new W.H. but looks almost exactly as the Small Forest Axe. I own an old W.H. and I find it more versatile and capable of heavier tasks as cleaving than the new W.H., I'd say the older model has better balance and seems safer to use. Those were the reasons why I give the product 4 stars. The Gränsfors axe sheaths are riveted along the axe edge and if you often carry your axe alongside other items in your pack then in a short time the edge of the axe head can chafe on the leather liner in the sheath and start to rub on the metal rivets blunting the axe edge. A sewn sheath, as the one made and sold at Woodlore, would do better in such case. Otherwise the axe I bought from Woodlore is in perfect condition after just two years of use. Those axes can last a few generations if cared for properly.
Francis Mazij14th June, 2019