Gransfors Bruk - Mini Belt Hatchet
Gränsfors Bruks, making the finest axes since 1909! Gränsfors Axes are forged by very professional smiths. The proof of this professionalism is that they are able to forge axes with such precision that no supplementary work to hide mistakes in the forging is needed.
The Mini Belt Hatchet is the lightest of all the axes from Gränsfors Bruk, making it perfect for hiking, when every mile counts. The axe is excellent for limbing and splitting firewood, despite its diminutive size. The Mini Belt Hatchet was developed by Lennart Pettersson (LP), axe smith, knife smith and keen angler, who was looking to create a very light axe that still retained that axe feel. The slightly rounded poll functions like a ‘priest’ (used to hit fish over the head).
|Guarantee||20 Years for axe head|
Canoe camping guru, Cliff Jacobson, introduced us to the Mini Belt Hatchet!
"The mini-belt axe is built like every other Gransfors model—solid! The high carbon Swedish steel blade is hardened to 57Rc, which is nearly as hard as a good knife, and much harder than most store bought axes. It comes from the factory shaving sharp, and with a good-looking, full-grain (one-eighth inch thick!) riveted leather sheath. These hatchets are extremely difficult to make; forging the huge hole in the small head requires great skill—akin to forging (not laser-cutting) a knife with a giant cut-out in the center.
The head is secured to the handle in a unique way: It is driven in tightly (form fit) until it protrudes about one-eighth inch beyond the head. Then, a wooden wedge is driven in. The wedge expands the handle and the part that protrudes, in effect, producing a reverse taper (similar to the handle on a tomahawk). Then, the two wide metal “cheeks” (lugs) on the head are pounded tightly to the wood. The result is a metal-to-wood bond that should never come loose. There's no need for epoxy or metal wedges to make up for sloppy workmanship.
Grasp it lightly just behind the head and you have an Eskimo ulu—one that will chop chicken salad and slice meat and vegetables into wispy strips. It will even cut cheese into respectfully thin slices!
Choke the handle as above but reverse the blade and you have a powerful draw knife that wisks through kindling. Hack away in the usual manner and it splits wood better than many axes that are twice its weight and size. The secret is the fine, knife-like edge that tapers progressively to the fairly beefy (.625") poll—this is not a simple "wedge grind"! Note that the end of the handle is cut at a 45 degree angle ("chopped tail") to facilitate a two-hand hold. The little axe will slash through large logs fast if you power with both your arms.
It is also a surprisingly effective wood splitter: I can easily split foot long, five inch diameter maple rounds by setting the axe head lightly into the end grain, then pounding the head on through with a chunk of log. Try that with a typical thin-bladed hunter's hatchet!
For go light trips where you don’t need to produce a shedful of firewood each night, the little mini belt ax can’t be beat."
Note from the Forge
'“Gränsfors Bruks Aktiebolag is currently experiencing a shortage in axes, hatchets and accessories driven by an unusually high global demand on one side and constraints in the supply chain on the other. The imbalance in demand and delivery capacity is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
The increased demand is not isolated to our industry, and we are experiencing shortages on most of our raw materials. Steel supply is very constrained now and Gränsfors is working closely with our suppliers to secure deliveries of key materials. We have increased our raw material buffers to counter the longer lead times, however on some specifications the lead times are long and uncertain beyond what can be managed with increased buffers alone. The huge global demand for steel has of course also driven up prices, and we are seeing significant price hikes across our raw material spend. While steel is the biggest driver of both supply constraints and cost, the same dynamics can be seen on our other raw materials, e.g. hickory …”
Thank you for your understanding and continued support!”