Toughts and uses for the GB Mini

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by d762nato, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. d762nato

    d762nato Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 16, 2009
    I've been looking at the GB mini hatchet lately and was curious if any of you guys own one and how useful is is for you. It seems it is more $$ than the bigger hatchets, why is that? It would mostly be used for a backpack type of carry method where light weight is of a concern.

  2. FoxholeAtheist


    Apr 7, 2003
    From what I understand the reason it's more expensive than the larger ones is that it's trickier to make, hence there's a higher "fail" rate in quality control. (These are rejected before being sent out, but this means the maker did work for nothing, which drives up the cost of the ones that pass QC.) I owned one for a little while, and it was really cute, but I ended up getting rid of it for something larger as I felt it just didn't have the mass to do a lot of useful work. YMMV
  3. jurisprudence


    Jul 17, 2009
    I agree, the mini's require a higher degree of skill to make, and I think take more hand finishing than larger models.

    I like mini axes, I'll admit the bias. I have a couple from Gransfors and three from Bark River. I think there are cool. One can use them like a knife, chop, cut, and drive stakes. Also, they tip the scales at .75 lbs. The Wildlife hatchet weighs twice as much at 1.5 lbs, still not much but when one is watching ounces every little bit matters.

    One can do more work with a Wildlife hatchet. Weight, price, and coolness factor are considerations in favor of the mini.
  4. d762nato

    d762nato Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 16, 2009
    Thats what i was wondering just what it could do if pressed. I've already got a wildlife hachet so i guess there would'nt be much need for maybe just to carry a little less weight. I guess it would be harder to make like you say.
  5. d762nato

    d762nato Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 16, 2009
    I've got a wildlife hatchet but i was thinking about that little dude. Maybe a GB-SFA and the mini as a pair. I've never handled one myself, i would imagine you could also use it to shave with if need be.:D Well thanks for the insight and imfo much appreciated.

  6. Operator1975


    Sep 24, 2010
    Oh it's harder to make so.......

    What exactly am I buying again?

    Haven't "they" been making hatchets since 1820s??
  7. wildmike


    Nov 17, 2007
    I have one and it is a great little axe.

    I don't have a link, but one member posted a long thread about his use of the mini. They are capable of doing FAR more than first thought. You just have to think out the work a little more.

    I have the wildlife hatchet as well. And it is certainly no slouch in performance.

    Do a Google search on mini axes, gb mini hatchet etc. and you'll find a lot of blog and YouTube videos of the little guy in action.

    Personal I find it to make a great lightweight replacement to carrying a larger knife. PLUS it is a whole lot of fun to use.
  8. BasiliOS


    May 11, 2011
    I have the mini and the Scandinavian forest axe.

    Together they make a great pair!
  9. omniviking


    Feb 9, 2008
    I was licky enough to buy mine used but not to abused. it is great, fits in my back pocket if you want one go e bey and when you do a search go down the left side and find worldwide and click, I bought my Wildlife from England and with shipping it was still cheaper than local purchase. the Mini carves it prunes it chops it splits/batons. And it fits in the inside breast pocket of my Carhartt jacket. It may not have an extra point like some of them Sayoc hatchets do, but it would work pretty good in a pinch, hook, jab or chop.

    If you can afford one, I think you like like it.
  10. cherokee tj

    cherokee tj

    Aug 13, 2008
    Everyone in my deer camp uses my GB mini to skin their deer.
  11. collecter


    Aug 21, 2002
    They are really nice little "blades". If you compare them to other hand forged blades the price is much easier to swallow.

    I had one for a while but I eventually sold it. I found it too small.
  12. d762nato

    d762nato Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 16, 2009
    Mike i checked out the vids it is a little thing but can chop pretty good for its size.
  13. d762nato

    d762nato Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 16, 2009
    Now thats something i'd like to see. Thanks
  14. wildmike


    Nov 17, 2007
    Omnivicking, the mini is a bit light for sayoc, though it could do some damage.

    The GB wildlife hatchet however is the same size and weight as Winkler's RnD hawk. But without a spike. The lack of a spike makes it far less offensive to authorities, and a strike with the poll end is devastating in combative use.

    GB's Kubben hand axe, which uses the same head as the wildlife, is the same size and weight as Winkler's compact hawk
  15. storyville


    Aug 11, 1999
    After a few thousand years of 'design tweaking,' the axe and hatchet have evolved as the optimal hand tools for push cutting, whether chopping while extended or doing more precise work while choked up, for example, skinning a deer. You have a lot of control -- more than you get with a comparable mid-sized knife -- yet you also have more blade weight than a ~3" knife to help with finer push cutting. For the same reason it's very handy for food prep in a camp (or home) kitchen. I think of the GB Mini as an ulu with a handle for hatchet duties.

    As a hatchet, my wife and I use it mainly for splitting wood for fuel and kindling -- batonning and light, easy chopping -- where its profile works better than most knives. Choked up, it's also very good for making fuzz sticks for tinder -- push cutting again -- which shouldn't be surprising given its fine convex edge. Personally I still find that simple carbon steels work and 'feel' best for wood. With a strop it's really easy to maintain and restore a highly polished edge that 'bites' wood.

    For sectioning wood, we generally saw instead of chop, which is why I prefer the Mini to the Wildlife. If I'm willing and able to pack more than a Mini, I'd go with a small forest axe. Personally I find the Wildlife a poor compromise between the Mini and the SFA. For weekend treks or even long day hikes, I often pack the Mini, a Gerber sportsman's saw, and a Vic Farmer -- combined less than the weight of a Wildlife.

    All that said, the Mini is stupidly expensive, even if it is harder to forge. The prices of all GBs spiked a few years ago due to demand outstripping supply which, in the US, was exacerbated when GB's gateway distributor here burned to the ground. A LOT of inventory was lost. I'm glad I got two Minis for ~$75 a few years ago, before the huge price hike.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2012
  16. omniviking


    Feb 9, 2008
    yep no spike, but that kinda makes it like them little hammerless revolver pistols, easy to get out if ya needed to. not that I want in a knife, axe or gun fight. and light weight so it doesn't keep seeming heavier all the time.
  17. wildmike


    Nov 17, 2007
    Yeah Omni, I should have never started thinking bout this I have a Kubben on the way. Probably buy an outdoor axe one of these days as well.
  18. d762nato

    d762nato Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 16, 2009
    Thanks for all the advice and imfo sounds like you and your wife really enjoy the Gb mini. That makes alot of sense though with the SFA and the Mini together and a saw. I also wish they were still 75.00 thats a heck of a jump in price to now a'days price. I'm about ready to order a mini i might just give the GBWH to my son for his outings. Well have a great weekend and be safe out there.
  19. wildmike


    Nov 17, 2007
    Sticker shock really bugged me at first too. Then it hit me....I've spent more than the price of the mini a bunch of times on knives. Once I had it in hand, and had used it a bit, I no longer felt put off by the price.

    It has become one of those tools I'm reaching for all the time.
  20. Larry from Bend

    Larry from Bend

    Jan 5, 2007
    I have a Mini and a SFA. I sometimes stuff the Mini in a backpack or a shoulder pouch when heading out for a walk in the woods or desert. It's awfully small for a chopper, but my SFA or a regular-sized hatchet would be too large/heavy and I wouldn't pack it. I bought mine years ago after Dave Petzal did a nice write-up in Petersen's Hunting mag on how useful he found the the Mini on hunting trips. I ordered mine from a hardware store in the MidWest. It was $45 at the time.

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