Hults Bruk

Hults Bruk is a Swedish axe manufacturer located in a factory just north of Norrkoping, Sweden. The Swedes are well known for their metalwork, both knives, and axes, and Hults Bruk is no exception. The company produces over 100,000 axe heads each year and does so with just over 20 employees. The company boasts forging their axe heads in a factory that has forged metal tools since 1697. Hults Bruk has modernized the equipment and manufacturing methods over the years, but each axe is still hand-forged in the same factory. A factory that is now over 300 years old. Talk about staying power. Finally, in 2015, Hults Bruk axes became available for purchase in the United States. Let freedom ring to the sound of carbon steel chopping through wood like a hot knife through butter.

The Hults Bruk Aneby


The Aneby is a medium-sized felling axe from Hults Bruk. It is advertised to be the perfect woodsman companion for either camping or hunting. The size of the axe lends itself well to performing a variety of tasks in the woods. It has the power and leverage to fell small to medium sized trees but is small enough that you can use it for finer wood processing chores. (or for processing game if you were to take it hunting). Comfortable to use with either one or both hands the Hults Bruk Aneby is a great jack of all trades type axe.

The Review

Design and Build


Hults Bruk has such heritage that I expected the axe to be made impeccably. They did not disappoint. The Hults Bruk Aneby comes in its’ own cardboard box and includes a leather sheath and a small paper pamphlet that details the product, the company and basic care of the axe. The Aneby axe head is made out of a treated 1045 carbon steel that is hardened multiple times for durability. The edge was razor sharp out of the box, and I could literally shave with it at first. The finish on the head is beautiful. With the companies, insignia stamped into the side of the head and the dark grey weathered finish it looks like something a Viking would have hanging off of his back as he prepares to raid an unfortunate coastal town.

The handle is made out of American Hickory and has a curved profile to it with a hole at the bottom that cordage can be attached to, to make a retention loop. The thickness of the handle is comfortable, allowing you to get a good grip on it but not too much even for someone with smaller hands like myself. The grip on the handle is good, although when wet it can become a little slick. If you wanted to combat this you could either wrap the handle in paracord or take a knife to it to score the sides to give yourself a bit more purchase even when wet. Overall the design of this axe is old-fashioned but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Build Specs

  • 20inch Overall Length
  • 2 lb Steel Axe Head, hand-forged and made from Swedish axe steel in a foundry that has been in operation since 1697.
  • As part of the hand grinding production process, the steel is struck multiple times thereby increasing its density and resulting in more durability of the axe.
  • The head is constructed in such a way that there is a tempered zone designed to hold a very sharp edge even after many times sharpening.
  • The curved hickory handle is treated with linseed oil.
  • Each axe comes with a traditional leather protective sheath that is embellished with some unique Swedish decorative elements.

Functionality


The Hults Bruk Aneby is, as advertised, a great axe for camping. The axe’s chopping performance is superb. The length of the axe is enough so that you can get a lot of leverage behind the swing and the weight of the head is such that you don’t need to swing with all of your might in order to get the desired effect. It is best suited for medium to smaller wood processing chores, but you could take down a bigger tree if you needed to. I was pleasantly surprised that it also handled some finer woodworking tasks. By choking up on the axe all the way underneath the head it functioned well as a chisel or shaving device.

I wouldn’t take the Aneby with me if I were going on a backpacking trip due to the weight of it. (When backpacking I don’t generally bring an axe with me at all) But, it isn’t super heavy so if I were going on an extended paddle trip I would definitely put this into my kit. This axe would also serve as a great hunting axe since it is a great size for any field processing tasks.

Durability


I have put my Hults Bruk Aneby through the ringer and aside from some small nicks on the blade (easily removed) from hitting a rock or too while splitting wood, this axe has held up great. Since the axe head is carbon I make sure to periodically apply some oil to the blade edge to prevent corrosion. Depending on the wear of the handle you could always take some sandpaper to smooth it down and then reapply some linseed oil to refinish the wood. But, so far, my handle looks good as new, has no cracks or blemishes of any kind and the head is still firmly attached. Much as it says in the care pamphlet that comes with the axe, take care of your axe (any of your tools for that matter) and it will last you a lifetime.

Verdict


I love this axe. I have mostly been a knife guy and because of this tend to focus on them much more, but the Hults Bruk Aneby is just so beautiful and high performing that I find myself bringing it with me, even when completely unnecessary for the occasion. Backyard bonfire? Sure, I’ll bring my axe! I didn’t ask you to bring your axe. Oh, its not a problem, it’s already in my bag!! From the cutting performance to the craftsmanship that went into making it, this axe is well worth the money that you will spend on it. MSRP $131. Can you get a well-performing axe for less money? Yes. Will it look as beautiful and come backed by over 300 years of tool making heritage. Probably not.

Grab your family heirloom axe here!

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