I just dropped the price of
the permaculture playing cards
for a wee bit.

 

 

uses include:
- infecting brains with permaculture
- convincing folks that you are not crazy
- gift giving obligations
- stocking stuffer
- gambling distraction
- an hour or two of reading
- find the needle
- find the 26 hidden names

clickity-click-click

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Gransfors Bruks Small Hatchet  RSS feed

 
gardener
Posts: 697
Location: Mount Shasta, CA Zone 8a Mediterranean climate
134
books chicken duck forest garden greening the desert hugelkultur trees woodworking
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8 out of 10 acorns

This is the smallest hatchet that GB makes.

First my nit-picks:

Now I'm a fairly big guy with big hands used to gripping ropes, chainsaws, handsaws and all the other various tools involved in the professional tree care trade. With that being said this hatchet is a little small for my liking. A little bit more oval shaped handle would be nice because I felt that the hatchet had a tendency to twist if I was the slightest bit out of alignment with my swing. I would also really love to see their signature circular grooved grip done on this model.

Now for the good stuff:

As always, this little guy shows off the amazing craftsmanship that can be done by skilled hands with good basic tools. As soon as I pulled it out of it's sheath for the first time a quick test showed a razor edge capable of taking off a couple inch swath of hair from the back of my hand. Although I griped about the hatchet being a little small for my liking, that really is the entire point of this tool: An extremely small cutting chopping tool that can be packed even by those counting grams they take into the backwoods. This thing is small enough (10.5" long) that you could put it in the pocket of some cargo pants. That short of a handle makes it pretty unobtrusive when worn on the belt, too.

After showing every (slightly less interested) person my amazing hatchet that could shave my arm hair from the factory I quickly went out to do some cutting tests. Sure it could shave, but would that edge hold up to chopping? Half-inch pine branch? Like butter. One inch branch from the same tree? C'mon, challenge me the little hatchet seemed to say. Okay, let's try some little bit bigger choke-cherry stems... One slice! As long as I put a little tension on the stem this little bugger would cut through them cleanly with no problem up to probably a little over 1.5", 3" with two chops. Same thing with conifer saplings in the woods, put them under some tension and you could get through a 1-2" tree with one swing. Anything over about 4" starts to get a little tedious though because you're getting bigger than the blade of the hatchet and it starts to take a lot of swings with only one hand doing all the work. In my personal little forest this means that I can cut trees with this hatchet that will yield up to a 20' pole. I can fall, limb and top one of these trees in less then 5 minutes. True hardwoods slow this guy down a little, with the live oak I have around here being something that I wouldn't want to have to cut more than a 1 or 2" live branch.

Splitting 4 or 5" pieces of wood wasn't too terrible bit I think that if I had the option I would rather cut branches the diameter I wanted and cut them to usable length rather than split big stuff smaller with this hatchet.

All-in-all I would recommend this to anyone looking for a small hatchet that they want to take with them when their traveling extremely light. It's big enough to handle quite a few tasks but if you can handle the extra size/weight then in my opinion you're probably going to be better served by one that's a little bigger.

As a side note I have to admit that I love the little "The Axe Book" that you get with each axe from GB. I always compare the initials on the head of the axe to the staff picture in the book and try to figure out which person it was that actually made the tool that I'm holding in my hand. The book's opening paragraphs sounds pretty permie-esque, too:

"What we take, how and what we make, what we waste, is in fact a question of ethics. We have an unlimited responsibility for the Total. A responsibility which we try to take, but do not always succeed in. One part of this responsibility is the quality of the products and how many years the product will mantain its durability."

"To make a high quality product is a way to pay respect and ressponsibiity to the customer and hte user of the product. A high quality product, in the hands of those who have learned how to use it and how to look after it, will very likely be more durable. This is good for the owner, the user. But this is good as well as part of a greater whole: increased durability means that we take less (decreased consumption of material and energy), that we need to produce less (gives us more time to do other things we think are important or enjoyable), destroy less (less waste)."
 
Michael Newby
gardener
Posts: 697
Location: Mount Shasta, CA Zone 8a Mediterranean climate
134
books chicken duck forest garden greening the desert hugelkultur trees woodworking
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Here's a shot of a clean cut choke cherry stem:
20150603_111506.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20150603_111506.jpg]
Clean cut!
 
Michael Newby
gardener
Posts: 697
Location: Mount Shasta, CA Zone 8a Mediterranean climate
134
books chicken duck forest garden greening the desert hugelkultur trees woodworking
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Not too much work to cut through a 4" white pine, a little over 5 minutes from standing tree to limbed pole at a pace that I could keep up for quite a while.
20150603_175213.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20150603_175213.jpg]
20150603_175245.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20150603_175245.jpg]
 
Michael Newby
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Posts: 697
Location: Mount Shasta, CA Zone 8a Mediterranean climate
134
books chicken duck forest garden greening the desert hugelkultur trees woodworking
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The finished pole:
20150603_175554.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20150603_175554.jpg]
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/email
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