Some of the best and most popular axes in the world are made in the land of the gods, Sweden. And they have been making hand-made axes for hundreds of years, resulting in some high-quality premium brands. That is what makes Swedish axes are so popular, the true craftsmanship that goes into every Swedish Axe. I will tell you a bit about the different manufacturers and their history, the different models there are and how they compare to each other.

Swedish axes history

The Swedish axe makers go back a long way. The first Swedish axes manufacturer goes back to 1697. At the end of the 19th century, there were around the 10 axe factories in Sweden as a result of the large-scale logging operations in Sweden in the 19th century.

The Swedish axe makers are well known for the high-quality hand-forged axes, with their distinctive style and perfect balance. They are made in some of the oldest forges in the world.

Many axe manufactures have closed down over the years in Sweden. The only Swedish axe manufactures left are Gransfors Bruks, Hults Bruk and S.A. Wetterlings. (Fiskars is made in Finland)

Gransfors Bruks

For more than 100 years has Gransfors Bruks making and perfecting handcrafted axes. It’s a small company with around the 30 employees which results in a high quality and feel of the axes.

Gransfors Bruks is one of the leading axe producers in the world, creating high-quality axes. They are sold in more than 30 countries. A nice detail about Gransfors Bruks is that every axe is signed with the smith’s initial.

Gransfors Burk acquired Wetterlings in 2017. Both product lines are maintained, but the Gransfors axes are made by Wetterlings.

One of the most popular Gransfors Bruks axes is the wildlife hatchet with a 13.5-inch handle. This is a really nice axe to take with you on a hiking trip.

Hults Bruk, Hultafors and Husqvarna

Hults Bruk is making axes since 1691, Hultafors and Husqvarna didn’t make any axes self. So how do they fit together? Hultafors acquired Hults Bruk in 1992 and they started selling Hults Bruk axes in the United States in 2015 for the first time. You will find axes labelled under Hultafors and Hults Burk.

Husqvarna axes are also made by Hults Burk. So every Swedish axe is either made in the Hults Bruk forge or the Gransfors Bruk (and Wetterlings) forges! Something most people didn’t know.

S. A. Wetterlings

Wetterlings axes have been one the most favourite axes in the United States. They had a perfect balance between price and performance. After Wetterlings was acquired in 2017, they stated that the Wetterlings axe will be phased out in the summer of 2017. But depending on the demand, it is possible that some models may be in stock a little longer.

Today, Jun 2018, you can still buy the Wetterlings Axes on Amazon. Some hatchet models and a Hudson bay model are still available. These could become real collector items…

Swedish Axe models compared

So how do the Swedish axe models compare? I have broken this down in the main models, selecting the most popular model for each brand.

Swedish Compact Hatchet

A compact hatchet has a really short handle, around the 10-inches, making them perfect for carving, making kindlings and removing limbing. The head weighs around the 1 lb. They are all great hatchets with a really good quality.

Gränsfors Bruks Hand Hatchet
Hults Bruk Jonaker Hatchet
Hultafors 840760 HB FY-0,5 MINI Trekking Axe
Title
Gränsfors Bruks Hand Hatchet
Hults Bruk Jonaker Hatchet
Hultafors 840760 HB FY-0,5 MINI Trekking Axe
Length
9.5 in
9.4 in
9.5 in
Head weight
1.3 lb
1 lb
1 lb
Edge
3.25 in
3 in
3 in
Price
$188.99
$124.00
$159.95
Gränsfors Bruks Hand Hatchet
Title
Gränsfors Bruks Hand Hatchet
Length
9.5 in
Head weight
1.3 lb
Edge
3.25 in
Price
$188.99
More info
Hults Bruk Jonaker Hatchet
Title
Hults Bruk Jonaker Hatchet
Length
9.4 in
Head weight
1 lb
Edge
3 in
Price
$124.00
More info
Hultafors 840760 HB FY-0,5 MINI Trekking Axe
Title
Hultafors 840760 HB FY-0,5 MINI Trekking Axe
Length
9.5 in
Head weight
1 lb
Edge
3 in
Price
$159.95
More info

Swedish Hunter’s Axe

You can recognize a hunter’s axe by its longer handle, around the 17-inches with a head weight around the 1.5 lb. Hunters axes are better suited for fire building and creating shelter. They are easy to carry and versatile enough to chop, spit and carve small logs.

PECO 33003-PE Gransfors Bruk Hunters Axe
Hults Bruk Almike Small All Purpose Hatchet
Hultafors 840066 H 008 SV Hatchet
Husqvarna 13" Wooden Hatchet
PECO 33003-PE Gransfors Bruk Hunters Axe
Hults Bruk Almike Small All Purpose Hatchet
Hultafors Trekking Axe
Husqvarna 13" Wooden Hatchet
Length
18.5 in
16 in
17.5 in
15 in
Head weight
1.5 lb
1 lb
1.75 lb
1.3 lb
Edge
3.25 in
3 in
3.5 in
3.25 in
Price
$198.00
$134.00
$49.54
$39.53
PECO 33003-PE Gransfors Bruk Hunters Axe
PECO 33003-PE Gransfors Bruk Hunters Axe
Length
18.5 in
Head weight
1.5 lb
Edge
3.25 in
Price
$198.00
More info
Hults Bruk Almike Small All Purpose Hatchet
Hults Bruk Almike Small All Purpose Hatchet
Length
16 in
Head weight
1 lb
Edge
3 in
Price
$134.00
More info
Hultafors 840066 H 008 SV Hatchet
Hultafors Trekking Axe
Length
17.5 in
Head weight
1.75 lb
Edge
3.5 in
Price
$49.54
More info
Husqvarna 13" Wooden Hatchet
Husqvarna 13" Wooden Hatchet
Length
15 in
Head weight
1.3 lb
Edge
3.25 in
Price
$39.53
More info

Swedish Outdoor Axe

An outdoor axe is a compact, two-handed axe that fits in or on your backpack. Due to its length and weight, it’s perfectly capable of chopping and felling smaller trees that you can use to build a fire or shelter.

This axe model is really popular by a lot of outdoorsmen that love to go into the woods. A typical Outdoor Axe has a length around the 20 inches and a head weight around 1.5 lb.

Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe 19 Inch, 420
Hults Bruk Aneby, Stout Medium Sized Axe
Hultafors Classic Hunting Axe 850G
Husqvarna 576926501 19" Wooden Carpenter's Axe
title
Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe 19 Inch, 420
Hults Bruk Aneby, Stout Medium Sized Axe
Hultafors Classic Hunting Axe 850G
Husqvarna 576926501 19" Wooden Carpenter's Axe
Length
19.25 in
20 in
20 in
19 in
Headweight
1.5 lb
1.75 lb
1.85 lb
2.2 lb
Edge length
3.25 in
3.5 in
3,25 in
4 in
Price
$189.75
$139.00
$226.78
$54.92
Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe 19 Inch, 420
title
Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe 19 Inch, 420
Length
19.25 in
Headweight
1.5 lb
Edge length
3.25 in
Price
$189.75
Hults Bruk Aneby, Stout Medium Sized Axe
title
Hults Bruk Aneby, Stout Medium Sized Axe
Length
20 in
Headweight
1.75 lb
Edge length
3.5 in
Price
$139.00
Hultafors Classic Hunting Axe 850G
title
Hultafors Classic Hunting Axe 850G
Length
20 in
Headweight
1.85 lb
Edge length
3,25 in
Price
$226.78
Husqvarna 576926501 19" Wooden Carpenter's Axe
title
Husqvarna 576926501 19" Wooden Carpenter's Axe
Length
19 in
Headweight
2.2 lb
Edge length
4 in
Price
$54.92

Swedish Felling Axe

Felling axes are there in two kinds, smaller ones that are made for the softer wood types. They have a length of around the 26-inches and a head weight around the 2lb. The bigger felling axes, made for the larger hardwood trees, have a handle around the 32-inches and a head weight around the 3 lb.

Felling axes for softer wood types

Gransfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest Axe 25 Inch, 430
Hults Bruk Kisa Medium Sized Felling Axe
Hultafors HY20085SV 850g Long Chopping Axe
Husqvarna 26" Wooden Multi-Purpose Axe
Gransfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest Axe 25 Inch, 430
Hults Bruk Kisa Medium Sized Felling Axe
Hultafors HY20085SV 850g Long Chopping Axe
Husqvarna 26" Wooden Multi-Purpose Axe
Length
25 in
26 in
26 in
26 in
Head weight
2 lb
1.75 lb
1.85 lb
2 lb
Edge
3.5 in
3.5 in
3.5 in
3.5 in
Price
$259.00
$139.00
$60.54
$62.83
Gransfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest Axe 25 Inch, 430
Gransfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest Axe 25 Inch, 430
Length
25 in
Head weight
2 lb
Edge
3.5 in
Price
$259.00
Hults Bruk Kisa Medium Sized Felling Axe
Hults Bruk Kisa Medium Sized Felling Axe
Length
26 in
Head weight
1.75 lb
Edge
3.5 in
Price
$139.00
Hultafors HY20085SV 850g Long Chopping Axe
Hultafors HY20085SV 850g Long Chopping Axe
Length
26 in
Head weight
1.85 lb
Edge
3.5 in
Price
$60.54
Husqvarna 26" Wooden Multi-Purpose Axe
Husqvarna 26" Wooden Multi-Purpose Axe
Length
26 in
Head weight
2 lb
Edge
3.5 in
Price
$62.83

Felling axes for larger hardwood trees

Gransfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest Axe 25 Inch, 430
Hults Bruk American Felling Axe
Hultafors HY10175SV 1750g Chopping Axe
Gränsfors American Felling Axe
Hults Bruk American Felling Axe
Hultafors HY10175SV 1750g Chopping Axe
Length
32 in
32 in
32 in
Head weight
3.3 lb
3.5 lb
3.2 lb
Edge
4.5 in
4.8 in
-
Price
$259.00
$214.00
$67.83
Gransfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest Axe 25 Inch, 430
Gränsfors American Felling Axe
Length
32 in
Head weight
3.3 lb
Edge
4.5 in
Price
$259.00
Hults Bruk American Felling Axe
Hults Bruk American Felling Axe
Length
32 in
Head weight
3.5 lb
Edge
4.8 in
Price
$214.00
Hultafors HY10175SV 1750g Chopping Axe
Hultafors HY10175SV 1750g Chopping Axe
Length
32 in
Head weight
3.2 lb
Edge
-
Price
$67.83

Conclusion about Swedish axes

So what we have learned is that there are only a couple of Swedish forges left, making all the Swedish axes that are available these days. The prices of a Swedish axe ranges from the premium Gransfors Bruk to the budget Husqvarna. If you buy a Swedish axe you know you get a good quality product that will last for life and is hand-made in one of the oldest forges in the world.

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *