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Gransfors Bruks Ray Mears Wilderness Axe

Gransfors Bruks

Gransfors Bruks Ray Mears Wilderness Axe


Brand: Gransfors Bruks
Weight: 1400 g         76 reviews
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:

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...

To read the full interview, please visit the Woodlore Blog.

  • 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

  Under UK law, this item can only be sold to persons over 18 years of age. Please note that Woodlore will need to verify your age before your order can be dispatched.


  Delivery in 1-2 days within the United Kingdom
  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 at weekends, so any orders placed after 2PM GMT on a Friday will not be dispatched until the following Monday.

Orders with a total value over £300.00 will be dispatched free 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.

  Overseas deliveries
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. You are responsible for the cost of returning items.

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

Gransfors Bruks Ray Mears Wilderness Axe is rated 5/5 based on 76 customer reviews.

All of our product reviews are from customers with verified purchases.

Overall Rating:


  1 of 76

  I am so pleased with the Wilderness Axe. I have been splitting wood my entire life and am also an avid hiker/camper. I was looking for something bigger to compliment my GB Wildlife Hatchet and was looking at the Small Forest Axe and the Scandinavian Axe. I stumbled upon this video by Mitch Miller https://youtu.be/BOFEjeuFX1I and was immediately sold on the Ray Mears Wilderness Axe. It came within a week despite the fact that I live in the USA, and the fit and finish is top notch. I put it to immediate use and am so happy with my choice. It has the perfect weight and handle length and fits perfectly in my pack.  

  Robert Sandt
18th September, 2018

Rated: 5/5

  2 of 76

  Overall I was a bit disappointed with the fit and finish of this axe. The fit of the head has a gap between the wood and front portion of the head on both top and bottom. The handle appears to be straight most of the way until you get to the palm swell, the swell is twisted about 45 degrees. For a company that takes so much pride in how their products are hand made and use such high quality standard, this is a bit disappointing. I would have returned it if I had time to receive a replacement. Unfortunately I had a camp trip scheduled and needed to use what was sent. Hard to believe this passed quality control at GB and RM.  

17th September, 2018

Rated: 3/5

Woodlore's Reply - 18th September, 2018
We are sorry to hear that you are disappointed with your Gransfors axe. Due to the nature of how the axes are made there can be some minor cosmetic flaws but please feel free to contact us by email and we will try to resolve this matter for you.

  3 of 76

  I received the axe very quickly. It was taken straight to a Viking event to use for fire wood prep which it excelled in. I also used it for some carving and axing out bowl blanks. Fantastic axe which is weighted very well and comes very sharp.  

  Jonathan Arey
9th September, 2018

Rated: 5/5

  4 of 76

  A great general purpose axe with that extra little bit of clout being a little bit heavier, however the shaft on mine is a little thin for my liking as I find I have to grip very hard when using the axe one handed, this is not a major problem but after I have been using it for a while one handed I begin to feel the strain a little, using a glove would help but then not ideal as I don’t feel I have the same control. Had I handled this axe in a shop before I purchased it would I have gone for something different? I’m not sure. Fortunately I have other axes that are very good for one handed work.  

11th August, 2018

Rated: 4/5

  5 of 76

  This is a wonderfully balanced axe. I’m glad I had it shipped all the way to the US. It has a shorter more manageable shaft but the heavy thick head splits well.  

13th June, 2018

Rated: 5/5

  6 of 76

  I purchased this axe to replace my Small Forest Axe. The Wilderness Axe is at the upper end of weight and handle length for me to consider it for canoe wilderness tripping. Having said that, I just used it on a 3 day canoe trip. It rained the second day and I used the Wilderness axe to fell a dead 15 inch diameter birch tree. At 5' 11' there was enough handle length to safely and efficiently take the tree down. After bucking with the saw it split the wood in one or two swings. I used it for the remainder of the day splitting various woods and was exceptionally pleased with its, splitting ability. It will be my go-to axe for canoe trips and shorter backpacking trips. I highly recommend the Wilderness Axe. I would like to make a special note of the Woodlore Team's professionalism and great communication. I was very nervous about ordering an axe oversees and not seeing the handle grain, etc. The axe arrived with a beautifully straight grained handle and shipped very quickly. This company is a pleasure to work with.  

  John P Brenne
23rd May, 2018

Rated: 5/5

  7 of 76

  I have just received the Wilderness Axe and have used it on a couple of camping trips. It definitely fills the gap between the Small Forest Axe and the Small Splitting Axe. Loving it.  

22nd May, 2018

Rated: 5/5

  8 of 76

  A big let down from months of waiting on back order for this axe. First problem was the packaging it arrived in. Flimsy yellow packaging left on my front porch with a hole in it and axe handle left hanging out. For 250$ cad you would hope it came in a box. As for the axe itself be warned, it is not like the pictures online. This axe isn't supposed to have a shoulder below the poll of the axe so you can choke up on it for fine tasks. Mine came with a sharp shoulder that leaves a hot spot in your palm. The ear 'lug' of the axe is deformed and looks terrible and is set back too far and rounded and not straight across like the Ray mears axe trade mark you see online. I talked to Diana and she said this is the new design? Seems to me it's false advertising. I could have spend 180$ and had the Scandinavian forest axe that's 1.5' longer and just a little thinner pole. Very disappointed with the axe as it's not what the picture shows. I know it's hand forged so they vary, as I have 5 Gransfors Bruk axes but this is one that shouldn't have passed quality control for the above reasons. Defeats the purpose of this special axe.  

  Scott Matthews
10th May, 2018

Rated: 3/5

Woodlore's Reply - 10th May, 2018
Dear Scott, Thank you for your comments. We are very sorry that you are not happy with the Wilderness axe that you received from us. I can only apologise that the packaging was damaged during transit. I shall certainly look in to reinforcing the packaging used for our deliveries, especially overseas. As I mentioned in my email to you previously, if you are not happy with your purchase we are happy for you to return the axe back to us and we will give you a full refund. Alternatively we would be happy to exchange the axe for you if you wished. As also mentioned in my email to you, the axes are constantly changing, very slightly, as they are hand-made and are being improved all the time, this is the reason for the differences you have noted. Thank you again for your comments and if you would like to contact us about a refund or exchange, please email us in the office: info@raymears.com.

  9 of 76

  This was a replacement of a Gransfors axe that I sold before coming to New Zealand! It's as good as I remember the old one! Fast service in postage from UK to NZ with no damage.  

  Andrew Nuttall
3rd May, 2018

Rated: 5/5

  10 of 76

  What can I say - this is the axe I've been waiting for! Amazing craftsmanship from Gränsfors Bruk and this Ray Mears Wilderness version has great weight and perfect length. Get one when you can; you won't regret it.  

26th March, 2018

Rated: 5/5

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Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to frequently asked questions on this item can be found here. If you have a question about this product, please contact us.

Does this axe come supplied with a leather sheath?

Yes, all axes by Gransfors Bruks come fitted with a leather sheath.

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