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         44 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.


1-2 Day Delivery possible

  Delivery in 1-2 days (within 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 on weekends, so any orders placed after 2PM GMT on 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.

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.

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 44 customer reviews.

Overall Rating:

  1 of 44

  I feel privileged using it. Love it.  

  Tim M.

Rated: 5/5

  2 of 44

  This is definitely the most versatile axe I've owned, it surpasses the small forest axe with more heft in the head allowing you to split longer pieces of wood with ease. No longer do I have to decide between bringing a small splitting axe or a small forest axe when I'm out on excursion. I brought this axe with me to the north shore of Lake Superior and I must say I've been in love ever since, it split maple as though it was pine . Awesome axe thanks so much I hope to do business with you again.  

  Terrance Akerson

Rated: 5/5

  3 of 44

  As always great service from the team. The axe itself is a great bit of kit and fits my hands perfectly with a good weight to the head. My only complaint is compared to my other Gransfors Bruks axes the leather sheath is very thin compared to the other sheaths. I know it's a minor grumble but it's a grumble never the less.. I would give the axe a five star rating but the sheath let it down  

  Tom Cashman

Rated: 4/5

Woodlore's Reply - 5th October, 2016
Thank you for your review. We have been in touch with Gransfors who confirm that all sheaths are produced using the same vegetable tanned leather and handled in the same manner. It may be that some pieces of leather are thinner than others, but they will look into this matter and try to ensure that all sheaths produced are the same thickness.

  4 of 44

  The craftsmanship in the axe head is second to none . The axe handle comes a little rough for me but nothing a little sandpaper can't fix. The handle is extremely well fitted to the axe head. The cutting ability of this axe is superb. I also purchased the Ice Bear waterstones to keep this in tip top shape. 10/10  

  Kirsty Watson

Rated: 5/5

  5 of 44

  Now that I have done the axe work on Camp Craft this is the best there is. It is now my third Gransfors Axe and with the Small Forest Axe are a constant companion on my trips. A beast of an axe which will take down some big trees in no time at all. Love it and the quality can't be beaten. I will never be without it and my knife and buck saw.  

  Andy T

Rated: 5/5

  6 of 44

  Excellent piece of craftsmanship. The head and bevel are amazingly done. The handle is nice too with the Ray Mears logo on it. I wish I could buy all of the stock!  

  William R.

Rated: 5/5

  7 of 44

  I love this axe. I have owned other axes before, either too big or too small but this axe is perfect in length and heavy enough to work with. The quality of the axe is as expected from Gränsfors, just excellent, and it fits perfectly together with the bucksaw. As we say in Sweden: den är aldeles lagom.  

  Joakim Olsson

Rated: 5/5

  8 of 44

  Woodlore does not sell junk. This is a real tool. Handmade Swedish quality - what more needs to be said? You will never be sorry you bought a Gransfors product, or that you bought from Woodlore.  


Rated: 5/5

  9 of 44

  I was looking for this axe for quite a while. I heard that there had to be an axe in between the Small Forest and the Scandinavian Forest Axe, but could not find it. Luckily I got the Woodlore newsletter and saw it was offered for a (somewhat) decent price. Somewhat decent, because Gransfors axes are cheaper over here in Holland generally, but also because I think the price on the Wilderness Axe is bit high (in comparison). Anyway, I ordered the axe and it landed here within a few days. Great applause for this great service. The axe itself is everything I expected from it. A little longer than the SFA and a great, heavier head. Great to fell some smaller trees and, thanks to the weight, a better bite than the SFA. Also a good size to carry in my backpack. So for splitting and felling it is doing a good job for me. Whether it will perform as good a carving job I have to find out, but I think it will do great. I'm very happy I finally got it and will use it with great joy in the coming years. Maybe even my grandsons will too.  

  Sieger De Vries

Rated: 5/5

  10 of 44

  Absolutely beautiful. This was a present from my wife although I got to pick it. Every bit as good, if not better, than I was expecting; uber sharp and just so well balanced and weighted, the guys at Gransfors know exactly how to make a quality product. It's good to use even one-handed, splitting, kindling or splitting logs. I'm hoping to be a good boy this year and get the maul next time to add to the collection. Overview: Volvo quality with Land Rover Defender styling. The best axe I have ever owned!  

  Joel E

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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