HÄLSINGLAND IS BEAUTIFUL. That is something one notices when visiting Gränsfors Bruks. Along the winding road between Gnarp and Bergsjö you can see green valleys, lakes and blue mountains. There are red houses and barns scattered among the meadows with grazing horses and sheep. Then a sign catches one’s eyes: Gränsfors Bruks. Turning off, nestled between wooden houses and apple trees, there it is, by a turbulent stream. The build- ing is somewhat bigger than the surrounding cottages and one can see how it has been enlarged throughout the years. Entering the wooden door in the older part of the house, you pass by the warehouse, lunchroom and old-fashioned office and get down to the forge in the somewhat newer annex. There, big flywheels are moving and a rhythmical throbbing is heard from the forging operation.

Next to the forging hammers, in ovens that are hotter than 1,200°C, steel bars are heated. When the right temperature is reached, which the smith can see on the red-yellowish color of the steel, a glowing piece is cut off and the treatment in the forging hammers begins. The smith cleverly handles the hot steel, and slowly the square piece is transformed into an axe head. The smith finishes his work by branding in the Gränsfors Bruks’ “label and crown” and his own initials, scrutinizing the axe head and hanging it up to cool.

The room next to the forge is the sharpening room. Here the right edge bevel is established by grinding (beveling) and, after the tempering and annealling operation, the beveled edge is ground with a finer stone, honed and polished. After the forging and the first step of sharpening the edge, the lower part of the axe head, the blade, is tempered by warming it to 820°C followed by a quick cooling in cold running water. Then the axe head is annealed: kept for 60 minutes in an oven that is 195°C. This relieves the stress in the steel, built up by the forging and tempering processes and gives the bit the desired hardness and toughness. The hardness of the bit is measured, 57 Rockwell C, and enery single head is tested by a smith who, with a big hammer, strikes on the edge’s corners. If the blade does not break the head is good.

After the final sharpening and the “stropping” of the edge (stropped on a rotating buffing wheel) it is time to put a handle on the axe head. With the help of a hydraulic press the handle is squeezed into the axe head together with a wooden wedge. The right angle in relation to the axe head, the alignment and the hang, are tested. The last step is to drive a three legged steel wedge into the wooden wedge. Finally the axe is carefully checked, the axe head is rubbed with a water repellant and rust preventive oil and the axe is given a leather sheath. Not to be forgotten, The Axe Book is tied to the axe.

the team at Gransfors Bruks in Halsingland


Developed by axe smith, knife smith, back-packer and fisherman, Lennart Pettersson, at Gransfors Bruks in Sweden. Pettersson has created a little hatchet which can be used as an axe and a knife. The poll, slightly rounded, functions like a "priest". The roots of Gransfors Mini Belt Hatchet go back many thousand years. In the old days in Europe it was common to carry a belt axe which could be used as a knife and an axe, a valuable tool and a weapon. A nice belt axe was also a symbol of status. In the 16th and 17th century, the French began trading axes with the American Indians.

The small Belt Axe, light and narrow, became the "trade axe" and was transformed into the tomahawk, but Gransfors' Mini Belt Hatchet is neither a tomahawk nor a scaled down axe. It is a functional new design in its own right, and is hand forged of high carbon Swedish steel and tempered at the bit to a hardness of 57 Rockwell C. To forge a small axe with the hole in the head requires great craftsman skill, and each of Gransfor's Mini Belt Hatchets are hand forged by the designer Lennart Pettersson.

This little hatchet has a 2 1/5" cutting edge, 10" hickory handle, 12 oz. total weight, and comes with a grain-leather sheath.



A small, light axe which can be easily carried, masked with it's leather sheath, inside your pack or on your belt. Even with a small axe you can manage a lot: cut branches in the backyard or chop and split sticks for a camp fire. This little hatchet awakes in many of us memories and dreams of exciting camps and adventures.

The hatchet has a 3" face, 13 1/2" hickory handle, 1 lb. head, and grain-leather sheath.


Specially made for hunters. The poll is forged thinner than normal and gently rounded and burnished to a Flay Poll to be used when skinning an animal. You pull the hide with one hand, at the same time you hit with the Flay Poll of the axe between the hide and the flesh; and stroke by stroke the hide comes off. The axe is good for chopping, in wood as well as meat. The grip of the handle has circular grooves which give a steady grip even if your hands are wet or sticky. This axe has received, as the first and only axe in Sweden, a design award from the Swedish Society of Crafts and Design.

The axe has a 3 1/4" face, 19" hickory handle, 1 1/2 lb. head, and comes with a grain-leather sheath.


Same size as the Hunter's Axe, but a more traditional pattern and poll. The blade is thin. The handle is long enough to allow powerful chopping, but not too long, so it will fit into a rucksack, the back of a car or a boat. Practical for splitting small sticks for the fire or cutting small-diameter limb-wood for starter fuel in a fireplace.

The axe has a 3 1/4" face, 19" hickory handle, 1 1/2 lb. head, and comes with a grain-leather sheath.


A more professional axe for those who want to limb a felled tree in the traditional way. Forged to a thin, curved bit and sharped to make it suitable for cutting branches in fresh, resinous wood, spruce or pine. The long handle gives extra strength and power to the cut.

The axe has a 3 1/2" face, 25" hickory handle, 2 lb. head, and comes with a grain-leather sheath.


The pattern of the Broad Axe and the handle is based on old Swedish logging techniques for squaring logs and structural timbers of all kinds. There is sufficient space between the "blade's beard" and the handle for the user's fingers, and the blade is beveled on both sides.

The broad axe has a 7" face and a 20" hickory handle. The blade weighs 3 lb. and comes with a grain-leather sheath.


This splitting wedge is designed to create extra separating power when splitting difficult chunks/'rounds" of wood. It can be hammered down into a pre-existing cut, or driven straight into the log to start.

The wedge is 9" tall, has a cutting face of 1 7/8" wide, and weighs 3 3/4 lb. Wedge comes with a grain-leather sheath.