Woodlore — School of Wilderness Bushcraft

Gransfors Bruks Ray Mears Wilderness Axe

Gransfors Bruks

Gransfors Bruks Ray Mears Wilderness Axe


Brand: Gransfors Bruks
Weight: 1400 g         62 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.


UK 1-2 Day Delivery possible

  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


Gransfors Bruks Ray Mears Wilderness Axe is rated 5/5 based on 62 customer reviews.

Overall Rating:

5 55
4 5
3 1
2 1
1 0

  1 of 62

  A fine tool which was delivered in super quick time. A pleasure to use. Not the cheapest Gransfors option but it is a very versatile bit of kit.  

  David A
12th November, 2017

Rated: 5/5

  2 of 62

  Fantastic bit of kit! Used extensively in the North Woods of Minnesota, for both larger limbing work and smaller woodworking projects. Perfectly sharp and the quality that one would expect from Gransfors Bruks. Excellent service and delivery to the US by the Woodlore team; thank you.  

  Paddy Cullen
25th August, 2017

Rated: 5/5

  3 of 62

  This axe is a true all-rounder and lives up to the quality that you expect from Gransfors Bruks. I have used this axe for a while now and it is still my go-to axe to cover all needs when outside working with green wood. The long handle allows two handed chopping to fell small trees with ease, slight curving of the handle means that your grip never feels like it is going to fail you when you are swinging the axe. The heavier head allows good penetration into the tree and a good keen edge on the blade makes easy work of trees up to 6 inches in diameter. The weighting of the head allows you to also work this axe with one hand closer to the head without it taking too much effort to chop smaller pieces of wood for kindling or cleaning up of smaller branches of trees. Where the handle length and extra head weight does stand it apart from other Gransfors axes is when you are limping a log, it simply does it with ease. The sheath is basic but it does the job. Overall I am impressed with the performance of this axe over others, keep it sharp and look after it, the handle and the sheath and it will become a faithful partner to most people working in forests or with green wood regularly.  

  Michael Windsor
28th July, 2017

Rated: 5/5

  4 of 62

  Superb axe designed by the master. I have a Small Forest Axe as my main pack axe. But the heavier head and length of the handle gives the Wilderness Axe the edge. If you don't own a GFB axe and are looking for your first, then of the two, this is the one I would choose. I just wish it had been available when I bought the Small Forest Axe! It comes packaged extremely well and there were no marks on the handle, however I do think that some of the blacking to the face of the axe has been rubbed off from storage with other axes. A minor point, but I am quite picky. The 'bit' is bigger and deeper than the SFA and makes splitting a cinch. It was near shaving sharp when unboxed, but I stropped it before use and the edge (as with all GFB axes) took a mirror shine. I'd recommend making a leather axe collar, and sealing any place where the wood and metal meet with beeswax to stop moisture getting in, but even without this, this axe will give you years of service in the toughest environments. I also stained the handle with gun stock oil, as the unfinished (well it's dipped in boiled linseed) looks nicer darkened down in my opinion). As does the leather sheath, just brush in black boot polish to make yours less shiny. Of course you don't need to do any of this, it's a top piece of kit right out of the bag. Thanks Woodlore and Ray Mears. You did it again 9.5 out of 10.  

  Rob Crombie
26th July, 2017

Rated: 5/5

  5 of 62

  Outstanding product. The Wilderness axe is the perfect compromise between the Small Forest Axe and the Scandinavian Forest Axe. Razor sharp!  

  Hugh Bailey
11th July, 2017

Rated: 5/5

  6 of 62

  A beautifully crafted axe, not too big, not too small - easy to use even single handed. Perfect for general work in our woods.  

  Brian Peacock
9th June, 2017

Rated: 5/5

  7 of 62

  Great axe! Not too big, not too small. Took it with on a backpacking trip and it made quick work of branches. It arrived to my house and it was super sharp! I was very impressed. Seems like a solid tool. Very happy with it.  

  Stephen Pappas
7th June, 2017

Rated: 5/5

  8 of 62

  For its size this axe is an absolute beast! Head weight and handle length work together, allowing the axe to chop with a bare minimum of exertion from the user. Choking up on the handle allows one to handle finer tasks. A must have for the serious bush crafter.  

  Darrell Smith
15th May, 2017

Rated: 5/5

  9 of 62

  Excellent piece of kit, razor sharp out if the box. Looking forward to giving it some serious use.  

10th April, 2017

Rated: 5/5

  10 of 62

  I ordered this axe and only had it a week when a buddy borrowed and refused to return it he liked it so much. He placed a Benchmade knife in front of me in trade and said 'I'm keeping the axe' Shortly after, I ordered another for myself then other coworkers began ordering this axe for themselves. Mr. Mears obviously knows that a light axe is more work to use and that a heavy axe is less work to use but harder to carry. With this in mind he found the sweet spot (for a bushcraft axe) when he designed this axe. This axe isn't specific to doing any one thing quite well, it actually does many things well for its size. It is a very handy and well-made axe. Splitting rounds of firewood will take a few more strokes but nonetheless it will get the job done while still being light and maneuverable enough for fine one handed work yet still being easy to carry. This axe fits the bill perfectly between a felling axe and a hatchet. As always the service at Woodlore is top notch and their people were very patient with me when I mistakenly thought my order was lost. (don't panic folks, it takes time to ship items overseas and through customs) these folks are honest and reputable.  

2nd April, 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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