Many people do enjoy splitting wood for the campfire or the wood stove, and the Gransfors Bruks Large Splitting Axe makes that warming chore go well. Ordinary chopping axes work fairly well for some types of wood but just bury themselves in others. This special axe blasts through.
The difference between a chopping axe and a splitting axe is that the splitting axe’s wedge-shaped head drives through the work with continuous force. The short cutting bevel of a chopping axe transmits very little splitting power to the bolt of wood, but the slightly concave sides of the splitting axe open the split wider as the axe goes deeper. As a result, tough woods fly apart.
Gransfors Bruks of Halsinglen, Sweden, celebrated its hundredth year in business in 2002 and still manufactures a full product line of traditional axes plus many improved modern versions. Instead of an assembly line process, each smith at Gransfors Bruks creates an axe from start to finish and stamps it with his signature mark on completion. The company does not embellish axes with unnecessary finishing steps, so you’ll find visible signs of hand workmanship along with the polishing and honing that really matters. In the splitting axe, both faces of the wedge-shaped head show a high degree of polish all the way to the shoulder of the eye. That decreases friction as the axe drives through the bolt of wood and transmits more splitting power with every blow.
See the Shingle Froe for another old-fashioned but very practical wood splitting tool.
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