NOTE: We've had -- not a flurry, but a few--returns on Gransfors axes due to natural variations in materials and the inevitable micro-inconsistancies resulting from manufacturing machinery and processes that are centuries old. They do not look as consistent as the cover of your MacBook Air, and if that scares you, don't buy.
Don't get the idea that these are crude. They are %$#!@ gorgeous, excuse the computer swearing. They are precisely made, incredibly consistent, but the superficial vagaries that adorn (not afflict, not infect) any product made by humans more than machines, and made of natural materials and old-world processes.
It may be that you are not a good match for a hand-made, traditional tool. But if you are, you will love your Gransfors! It looks great when new, better when used.
19.2", 2 lbs, 1.5 lb head
This is our favorite 20 incher. When ease of packing is not quite at the top of the priority list, always go for the longer hatchet. Twenty inches is long enough to swing two handed with good leverage, small enough to choke up on for shaving kindling and small one-handed tasks. Still fits fine through a belt loop for hikes too. May be a bit bulky for bike camping and a bit heavy for ultra lightweight backpacking, but for everything else the Small Forest Axe is the way to go.
The most grandiose mistake you can make, as the new owner of an impressively & professionally sharpened ax, is to be afraid to dull it with use. If the ax maker knew you were going to buy something to hang over the hearth, he’d have taken a lunch brake instead of making your ax. These ax heads keep their sharpness well, and more important than that, they sharpen easily. You’ll never become a razor-maker unless you sharpen a lot, and you won’t wreck your ax by crappy sharpening, unless you’re world-class that way. Use, use, use…sharpen…use a lot more, sharpen again.