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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 Crombie26th July, 2017