During the construction of our second cabin, hand tools have been an integral part of the process. Sledgehammers, wedges, and axes have always remained some of the most used items throughout our experiences, especially when it comes to dropping trees for building or for firewood. However, we've learned that the phrase is very true in telling folks that you get the kind of quality you pay for, and we experienced some time back a cheaper axe with a fiberglass handle breaking on us during use. When you're miles away from a store, there's no returning that axe.
We recently had the opportunity, however, to test and review an axe crafted by Hults Bruk. Hults Bruk is a company founded in Sweden in 1697, with experience in forging for over 322 years. This in itself is impressive to me, personally, as it tells me that they've been dedicated to the same quality for that long. Included with our axe was a very informative miniature booklet detailing the history of Hults Bruk, how the axes are made, and very important care tips including how to re-handle them.
The axe we were given the chance to work with is the American Felling Axe, a signature axe crafted in partnership with survival expert David ("Dave") Canterbury. Also included with the axe is another miniature booklet describing who Mr. Canterbury is, and how to use the axe properly. In total, the axe weighs 5 lbs with a 3.5 lb head weight, and comes with a 32" American Hickory wood handle with a MSRP of $214. Designed to fell trees comfortably true to its name, the American Felling Axe also is meant for bucking, limbing, and splitting as well.
Upon removing the American Felling Axe from the box, I immediately took notice of the head of the axe, and how the marks were clear to show this is truly hand-crafted. My husband has always used axes around our homestead, dropping the very first trees to clear our build site years back with only an axe, a sledgehammer, and a wedge. He removed the leather carrying sheath, examining the edge first thing and commenting that it had a sharp, clean edge to it. It was nice and balanced in the hand, and lightweight enough for myself to carry comfortably as well. There always remains concern for a wooden handle on an axe, but I believe proper use and storage would prolong the life of it.
My husband and I had the ability to put this axe through multiple tests with its recommended uses. After felling a small Oak tree, my husband bucked the log swiftly and we moved on to lopping the limbs with the axe. As mentioned, it was lightweight enough that I was able to limb with it as well. Because this was a fresh log and we wanted to let it dry out before processing for firewood, the axe was instead carried to the wood pile where seasoned logs were waiting to be split. It split through medium-sized firewood hunks with ease, and made it through knots on the inside of the wood where splitting mauls in the past have had trouble breaking through.
I believe it would make a great companion tool even for those who use chainsaws, saving the user gas by limbing with this axe. If you have the ability, this wooden handle is beneficial in that you can replace it in the future. For those who are survivalists, it is lightweight enough to be packed easily while on the move and serve you while in the woods. While it may be a bit heavy and large to be considered a camp axe, but a bit too light for those used to a heavier felling axe, this is a happy medium in that it can be a multi-purpose tool.
As a whole, our impression of the American Felling Axe has been a positive one, and we look forward to putting it through more work. The craftsmanship of Hults Bruk is evident, and the sharpness of the axe was still there even after multiple uses. If you're looking for a quality axe to process wood on the homestead, or pack for survival and camping, give the American Felling Axe by Hults Bruk a try.
View online: American Felling Axe - Hults Bruk
Head Weight: 3.5 lbs
Total Weight: 5 lbs
Handle Type: American Hickory wood
Handle Length: 32"
Fala Burnette is a homesteader with her husband at Wolf Branch Homestead in Alabama. They are currently building their own log cabin and milling their own lumber, along with raising heirloom crops in the Spring and tanning furs during the Winter. Read all of Fala's MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.
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