Big knife or the small Gränsfors Outdoor hatchet?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Sid Post, Jul 9, 2020.

  1. Sid Post

    Sid Post

    Oct 14, 1998
    I have seen a lot of threads over the years extolling the virtues of a large fixed blade over a small axe or hatchet for general use. In my case, I have tried that but it just doesn't work that well for me. The big issue is overall bulk, both sheer weight and size.

    I recently picked up a Gränsfors Outdoor hatchet:

    <non-supporting vendor link removed>

    At roughly 16oz and 14" slender inches, I'm so far finding it much handier to walk around with. Specifically, I drop it into the hammer loop in my jeans and it basically disappears until I need it. Bigger hatchets and small axes tend to swing excessively because they get hit by my leg and the weight is noticeable.

    The Gransfors Outdoor Axe has a very slender haft/handle and the head is relatively small and lightweight so, it is VERY EASY to toss it in the hammer loop and go about my day. It basically disappears until I need it. The head is easy enough to use as I would a large knife because it is relatively thin for an AXE! The downside, for me at least, is that I really have to swing and follow through with this axe if I want to chop something. I'm used to heavier heads so, gravity or momentum helps put power in the chop so this little axe requires a bit more effort and thought in actual use than usual. Overall, I see the total package of this axe being my new companion on the farm even though my other similar size axes cut better because they will be at the house when I need them while this little gem will be with me when the need arises.

    At ~$150 from my favorite Finnish vendor (shipped to my door in three days for free!), this axe is relatively expensive for hatchets and common axes. However, it is relatively cheap for a lot of knives! So, instead of your next Benchmade or ESSE purchase, you might want to rethink the axe/hatchet options!

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 9, 2020
  2. jfk1110

    jfk1110 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 9, 2013
    I'm a fan of hatchets myself! I love this Roselli axe! Even went so far as to gut out a deer with it! Holds a razor sharp edge for a looooonnnnngg time too!! Handy as hell! I generally carry it small of the back, thru my belt!! IMG_20200217_083848.jpg

    Good luck with your outdoor axe! I've always liked that model myself as well!!
    oldmanwilly, PNWhovian and Zulus like this.
  3. Houlahound


    Aug 2, 2017
    OP is missing the entire point of the cool factor carrying a big knife.
    Zulus likes this.
  4. Zulus


    May 29, 2020
    No Paul Hogan Syndrome at all !!!
    Houlahound likes this.
  5. Sid Post

    Sid Post

    Oct 14, 1998
    No, just getting a bit older and worn out to carry a Busse Battle Mistress or Rinaldi Armageddon on my belt for a simple walk around the property. Even a 2# axe slung on my back is easier on my body these days than either of those two monster blades!
  6. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    If you need to do machete like work an axe won't do, but when you need to do axe work a big knife is just not as good and I don't care what anyone says.
    oldmanwilly, strategy9, A.L. and 3 others like this.
  7. Sid Post

    Sid Post

    Oct 14, 1998
    The Roselli is an interesting axe profile. With its super thick cheeks, I always wondered how it performed in the real world. It seems like more of a splitting axe to me and I generally prefer something a bit thinner for penetration and letting the chips fly.
  8. jfk1110

    jfk1110 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 9, 2013
    It splits well and chops just as well too! I had reservations before I bought it. I read a review by this guy and was sold! I'll see if I can't find it for you!
    It's in this page along with a lot of other great info!!
    Here is article.
    Enjoy your new toy

    Last edited: Jul 9, 2020
  9. Sid Post

    Sid Post

    Oct 14, 1998
    Thanks James! That article agrees with the YouTube I watched. Felling required a wider V notch with its thicker profile and the cuts were a bit shallower. For campfire kindling, I can see it being a much better option as it will split a lot of stuff with a single stroke. For limbing though, it's just too thick. For Bushcrafty things, the abilities of the Roselli are hard to ignore. I have to admit though, I did look at a Gransfors 1800 axe of similar design but, at >$500 it was simply too expensive for any real consideration. At a bit over $100, maybe I need to rethink the Roselli and put some of my bias away!
    jfk1110 likes this.
  10. DocT


    Mar 25, 2012
    A small axe is usually better than a knife and often lighter as well. I’d prefer an axe to a large knife.
  11. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I would love to have that hatchet. I just don't use them very often. Hence I make do with what I've got. Big knives are fun, but I think a hatchet ultimately is a better choice if you're willing to carry it. Carrying it is the challenge for me. At this point I'm more apt to carry the big chopper knife. But honestly, I don't use them much and seldom even carry one in the woods as I feel a little stupid when I know I don't really need it.
  12. Sid Post

    Sid Post

    Oct 14, 1998
    Sounds like you really need to buy a hatchet like the one I got! :thumbsup:

    It's almost like wearing a watch. ;)
    jfk1110 likes this.
  13. gazz98

    gazz98 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 3, 2008
    I own an old Estwing hatchet from the late 80s/early 90s. It hasn't gotten much use the last few years.

    1. I've gotten use to carrying a Corona folding saw from Lowes. Lighter and much cheaper then a hatchet.
    2. Wife and I don't camp much anymore. We are lucky to do an overnight camp nowadays it seems. No need to process large amounts of wood for that short a trip.
    3. If I knew I had to process a lot of wood, I'd carry an axe.

    The important thing is that you found what works for you. That is a nice hatchet.
    jfk1110 likes this.
  14. KingMC

    KingMC The Pun-isher Super Mod Moderator Platinum Member

    Jul 25, 2014
    For nearly every use I've ever found for a bladed tool in the woods the big knife outperforms a hatchet, which makes any extra weight worth carrying for that extra performance. Granted, I may have the best big knife in existence (Becker BK20).

    I go camping with a gentleman who spent years trying to figure out a way to make a hatchet work for him in the woods, but every time he found the 'perfect' hatchet he'd take it camping and struggle with just about every application of a cutting edge he could find. A knife cuts better, a truly big knife chops as good or better (certainly easier), and splitting wood is a lot safer and easier with the batoning method instead of the hatchet-swinging method.

    I know hatchets are appealing to think about using and aesthetically pleasing to look at, but every time it's time to actually put it to work I've had big knives outperform them every time.

  15. Sid Post

    Sid Post

    Oct 14, 1998
    A hatchet and small fixed-blade or good folder serves me best. And, I find the hatchet easier to swing so, my large knives generally stay home. Someone living in a different area may find a different option works better for them but, where I live the hatchet rules in my life.
    jfk1110 likes this.
  16. 353

    353 Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 20, 2015

    I've REALLY TRIED to like my small axe(a small Hultafors), brought it with me dayhiking and camping. My conclusion so far is this: If you are gonna need an axe use a proper sized one.

    Still I love the looks of the outdoors axe, I ALMOST bought one in a weak moment untill I remembered my experiences with those small axes.

    I can surely see it comming in handy with you as a farmer though, I can see that one.

    But for me personally it's:

    Small Axe < Big(ish) Knife
  17. Sid Post

    Sid Post

    Oct 14, 1998
    Yes, some of us have different needs where and how we live.
    353 and jfk1110 like this.
  18. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I'd like to, but I am not going to buy one for the little amount of use I have and I have others. I have done stuff like this many times and they just sit unused.

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