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Scandinavian Splitting Axes

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by Dan Dill, Feb 4, 2007.

  1. Dan Dill

    Dan Dill ArboristSite Operative

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    I have always loved the looks of these axes, but I have never used them on splitting firewood. HAVE ANY OF YOU?

    I was looking to buy one of these for my wife to assist in splitting the firewood. I might buy a HELKO.

    What can you guys tell me?

    [​IMG]

    Look at these and the Varios.

    http://www.helko.de/produkt/k3e.htm
     
  2. Hansson

    Hansson ArboristSite Member

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  3. Dan Dill

    Dan Dill ArboristSite Operative

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    I have the wildlife axe.


    Have any of you actually used the Scand type splitting axes?
     
  4. LarryTheCableGuy

    LarryTheCableGuy Addicted to ArboristSite

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    WTF Pitchers Thread
    I have the Gransfors Large Splitting Axe and the Wildlife Hatchet.

    I am impressed with the quality & craftsmanship on both of them. The large splitting axe is kind of an "inbetween size" - not quite big enough for some of the wood that I encounter and overkill for splitting up a bunch of kindling.

    If I did it over I would probably prefer the Small Splitting Axe & the Splitting Maul .

    The Wildlife Hatchet is freaking sharp and holds an edge very well.

    .
     
  5. sedanman

    sedanman Just cut the piano!!

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    I have a Granfurs and a Helko, I prefer the Helko. Break a handle on either (not impossible) and you be back in the game faster with the Helko. ASK ME HOW I KNOW.
     
  6. Dan Dill

    Dan Dill ArboristSite Operative

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    What about the Fiskars for a woods carry axe and splitter.

    [​IMG]

    28 inch handle [a little short, but ...] and a 4 1/4 pound head.
     
  7. bigair

    bigair ArboristSite Member

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    I would go for the fiskars. Indestructable handle.
     
  8. treebogan

    treebogan ArboristSite Operative

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    Nice Handy Axe that one,no good for driving wedges

    My boss had one of those,he bought it to ride around in his R.V. untill we pirated it one day and the head flew off when I was driving some wedges into a large spruce.I has its place but perhaps at the "light duty" end of the spectrum.Cool looks are a big plus with that model though!
     
  9. enjoys cutting

    enjoys cutting ArboristSite Operative

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    i have one of the smaller fiskar axes and i think it's a great design.i use it mostly for splitting kindling wood and it's surprising how big a chunk of wood it will split.i'm sure the big ones with the heavier heads would work great as a ssplitting maul.
     
  10. livewire

    livewire Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Varios...

    ...look great and I want one. The only thing stopping me is you can't strike the back of it. I'm not afraid to say I get stuck from time to time! I'm waiting for RBW's mods.
     
  11. JamesJems

    JamesJems ArboristSite Member

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    Gransfors Large Splitting Axe.

    I swear by the Gransfors Large splitting axe. Here's a review I wrote for the product on Amazon.com:

    well, I was going to include an html link, but the link is too long. Here's what I said:

    First of all, there are hardware store, garden variety axes, and then there are the Swedes. Gransfors Bruks and Wetterlings are the kings. (They source their steel from the same maker, by the way). Mine is made by Rune Andersson, and i can tell that because he stamped his initials on the head next to the maker's mark. If it breaks, Rune buys me a replacement.

    People, if you take care of your tools and only want to buy them once, you owe it to yourself to check out Swedish-made Axes. They are a joy in the hand and make pleasant work easier. Seriously.

    The tool is so well thought out:

    Hardened Swedish steel to Rockwell 57-58.
    Polished and flared cheeks to power through rounds
    Just heavy enough to swing fast (3.5 pounds). Remember, force is a function of velocity and mass, so if you can swing this axe faster than an 5 pound maul, you'll do much better.
    Steel collar for overstrike protection, wrapped around a...
    Hot Linseed Oiled/Beeswax rubbed hickory handle that is shaped just right.

    Everything about this axe is right. Enjoy it.



    Here in the PNW, where I split mostly Fir/Alder/Pine rounds, it's 'da bomb. If you split harder woods, your mileage may vary. I doubt it though. It's a helluva tool. BtW, it's the same one as in my avatar.
     
  12. Hansson

    Hansson ArboristSite Member

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    I have the gränfors and the fiskars and the gränfors is the better one.
     
  13. Dan Dill

    Dan Dill ArboristSite Operative

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    I went with the Fiskars 4 1/4 with a 28 inch handle for carrying in the woods since I could get it locally. I want something bigger for the homestead now.
     
  14. Dan Dill

    Dan Dill ArboristSite Operative

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    Don't underestimate this little slammer! It will take your leg off!

    Mine came in today and cuts like lightning. I have cut madrone and tanoak and the pieces it wouldn't split still required too many hits with the old 10# maul. If this axe cannot handle it, then I am content cutting it with the chainsaw.
     
  15. Dan Dill

    Dan Dill ArboristSite Operative

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    I do not think my wrists could handle that. Also, how dense a wood are they using for the videos. I think out tanoak and madrone are muich harder than that.

    The Fiskars has been performing extremely well I must say. I am actually a little suprised and still learning to use it since it is do different from my 12 pound maul.

    I think I split just as well this weekend and was less tired than usual. there were a few that the Fiskar failed on [5 of them], and only 2 of the 5 could I split with the 12 pounder, and it took multiple hits with it. I would just as soon roll them into a pile and quarter them with the saw or a hydo splitter.
     
  16. Finland

    Finland ArboristSite Member

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    Information

    Hello Dan Dill
    I live in Finland, the lanf of Fiskars. I have the whole varioty of Fiskars axes.
    I have used them a lot.They are not bad. I allso have the Swedish axes, Hultafors and Gransfors. The German Helkowerk allso belongs to my axe collection. The Canadian Super spalter is with me, as well, and so are the Chinese copies.
    There was a good reason why I started to greate a totally new axe. I had to use the traditional axes, because there was not any other alternatives.
    Anyway, I started to think nearly 20 years ago, why the human race is still using a tool that was invented 4 million years ago on the stoneage.
    I experienced the traditional axes very dangerouse and hard to work with.
    So I started to use more and more my time to greate safe and very effective hand operated woodsplitting apparatus/tool. Finally I found the correct form and weight with totally new way to operate. It is a long story how I found the correct way to manufacture/produce the blade. That information is told on my homepages. (Directions for use. Click the flag of England).
    VIPUKIRVES/LEVERAXE easily beats all the axes mentioned above.
    By using VIPUKIRVES you do not have to worry about your wrists or legs, because the splitting mechanism is totally differeft comparing to the traditional one. Hit and loosen your touch on the handle and let it rotate in your hands. It does not hurt at all. The blade ramains on the block and does no come to your foot. The trees ,you mentioned , are not familiar to me, but the trees you see on my wideo are BIRCH, PINE/REDWOOD, WILLOW/OSIER.
    I allso have splitted ELM, OAK, MAPLE, SIX/SPRUCE, MOUNTAIN ASH/ROWAN.
    So far I have not had any difficulties with these trees.
    As told before, with these trees VIPUKIRVES is much more efective than any other axe what I have ever used before. VIPUKIRVES is specially designed for splitting purposes. Suggested lenght of the block is 25-33 centimeters/ 10-13,5 inches. The diameter can be what ever, there is no limit, because you can safely start the splitting from the outer edge/side of the block. You can split on the groun or on the rock. The blade remains on the block.It does not go throw the block.
    I do not touch any traditional axes any more.
    I split my firewood with VIPUKIRVES/LEVERAXE.
    I wish you all safe splittings.
    www.vipukirves.fi
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2007
  17. stihlgotwood

    stihlgotwood ArboristSite Lurker

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    I have a couple of Gransfors and can't believe how nice they are. I don't do much splitting with them because i have a splitter, but i like to use them on occasion. I was thinking of a fiska for kindling. They look pretty durable. It's amazing the feel of these professional axes, the balance and everything else. A lot of these are so nice looking i don't even want to use them-i just want to collect them. Definitely worth the money. After using a gransfor then picking up the Canadian tire special or any other cheap axe-forget it-they need to be retired to the garbage.
     
  18. Dan Dill

    Dan Dill ArboristSite Operative

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    Thanks you very much for this information. The tool really is amazing as it shows o nthe video. I might have to try one someday.
     
  19. Dan Dill

    Dan Dill ArboristSite Operative

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    I just cut and split another cord of wood, this time maple. That little Fiskars just sung through all of it, except two rounds from the butt that were bir's-eye and burl. Those are now cut , planed and end sealed for the woodturners.

    If these other axes work better than the Fiskars then they might be more than I need!
     
  20. StihlBoy440

    StihlBoy440 ArboristSite Operative

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    I have the Gransfors large splitting maul and love it. The weight is not as heavy as the cheaper american "go devils" but it splits rather well. It is well balanced and after splitting 2 cords in a day, I can still move the next morning. Excellent quality and the forged head is nothing short of a work of art. I highly recommend any Gransfors Bruks products!
     

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