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Gransfors Bruks Ray Mears Wilderness Axe

Gransfors Bruks

Gransfors Bruks Ray Mears Wilderness Axe


Brand: Gransfors Bruks
Weight: 1400 g         72 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 72 customer reviews.

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

Overall Rating:


  1 of 72

  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

  2 of 72

  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

  3 of 72

  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

  4 of 72

  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.

  5 of 72

  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

  6 of 72

  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

  7 of 72

  Perfect balance and good craftsmanship.  

  Khwanchai Juangngoo
6th January, 2018

Rated: 5/5

  8 of 72

  The wilderness axe is awesome! I'm on the east coast of the US. 2 weeks and it was in my hands. I shaved my arm hair with it. I have used it every day and love it. Great purchase, great seller!  

13th December, 2017

Rated: 5/5

  9 of 72

  Just a superb axe that is worth every penny and backed up by a first class service.  

11th December, 2017

Rated: 5/5

  10 of 72

  Well worth the wait! The Wilderness Axe by Gransfors Bruks is outstanding! This axe is built to do it all! It comes razor sharp. This axe is compact and has just the right weight for a back pack. I am on the notification list because I want a 2nd one! Very fast shipping to the USA. 5 stars to the Woodlore team.  

  Marcus R Sandstrom
5th December, 2017

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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