|With a nasty knot, this was asking way too much of the SFA.|
|And yet, it powered through.|
|But that was the easy side. Anymore would have been abuse.|
There is just one problem with all my assumptions and poking fun; here I am with my very own Gransfors Bruk Small Forest Axe. What's more, it's pretty much as excellent as everyone says it is. It is an intelligent balance of chopping and splitting features for its size and purpose. More importantly, it will do a lot more work than its stature would suggest. With craftsmanship, quality and good looks all mixed together, you basically can't go wrong. For this splitting test, the Gransfors showed that it can take a licking, and put down some hurt. We jump up in weight another 8 ounces from the E-nep, this time to 2lbs 2oz. I didn't actually plan to make an 8 ounce jump with each tool, but it's interesting that it worked out like that. At any rate, in the case of an axe, that weight is concentrated at the head which certainly changes the game. Despite the cheekless, knife-like bit, the splitting power gets a significant boost from the somewhat abrupt widening at the eye. One of my few complaints of the Small Forest Axe is in fact the abrupt transition from the bit to the eye. Wood tends to want to follow the bit, then, as it meets the wider portion of the head, glance upward and off the head. It's not terribly annoying, technique tweaking alleviates it for the most part, and the SFA is a balancing act, jack of all trades sort of tool. However, I don't think a little cheek behind the bit would hurt performance in regard to any of those trades. And anyway, who doesn't like a little cheek? I have no idea what that means.
Bottom line? The Small Forest Axe is a great product, no question about it. It will split much more stubborn wood than I thought it would, it does a really nice job hewing, and it has the exact balance needed for one handed use. My only other complaint is that the swell actually doesn't work great for me. It turns in too abruptly and tends to rub the pinky on my left hand, but it's minor.
|The Small Forest Axe splitting, and doing it like a boss.|
|Here the SFA shows that it's ready to take on serious work. Would I want to do this all day long? No, but it is certainly a testament to its inherent power and versatility.|
|The chunk from the image above, reduced to fuel sized pieces.|
|Fuel sized pieces from the image above, reduced even further.|