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Gransfors Bruks

If you look closely at a Gransfors Bruks axe head, you’ll find the stamped initials of Lennart Petersson, Rune Andersson, or another blacksmith from Sweden’s Gransfors Bruks forge. The initials denote pride in work well done: the smiths shape each axe head by hand until it is precisely the right shape and weight.

It wasn’t always this way.

For many years, Gransfors Bruks did what everyone else in the axe industry did. They mass-produced their axes on an assembly line. Any flaws in forging were concealed with grinding, polishing, and painting. Profits were poor; morale was low.

Faced with a floundering business, owner Gabriel Branby took a drastic step — backwards. Three years ago he shifted to traditional craftsmanship, permitting each smith to make axes from start to finish, one at a time. The smiths were so skilled that they forged their axe heads properly from the beginning, with no need for cosmetic finishing. “Our grinding machines now gather dust,” says Branby proudly.

Each Gransfors Bruks axe that we offer is a happy merger of careful craft and top materials. The steel, formulated specially for axes, is heated to 1200° C, forged, and then tempered for strength and resilience. Each axe head is securely joined to a handle of American hickory, gently curved for leverage and balance. The resulting axe is an heirloom-grade workhorse, unadorned and perfectly suited to its purpose.