Gransfors Bruks Small Forest and Splitting Maul Imperfections: Input needed

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by shouse, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. shouse


    May 20, 2010
    Just recently bought the Gransfors Bruks Small Forest and Splitting maul axe from ImagineGear on Amazon. They arrived with what I would call defects to the blade. Over-grinded on corners and one side to the small forest looking like they couldn't keep the angle straight when they were sharpening it. I figure pics will speak better than words. What do you think, return them? normal? Does anyone else have similar occurrences? I don't believe this to be intentional, as it's only done one side. Thanks for any input.

  2. VintageAxe


    Mar 12, 2011
    I'm the first to admit I'm what you might call a curmudgeon, but for what they make you shell out for that swedish steel, I think it ought to be perfect. Yeah, you could fix it, but it's not a $10 yard sale axe, so you shouldn't have to.
  3. VintageAxe


    Mar 12, 2011
    Then again, it's probably more work to package all that junk up, take it to the UPS store and ship it back than it would be to take a file and get on it...
  4. markv


    Sep 8, 2004
    i am trying to figure what to say here... argh.
    an old friend told me what i wrote below in so many words or less.
    btw, he could sharpen tools so they would cut you just by looking at them...

    "you buy a tool with an edge, right, an axe, hand chisel, bench chisel, etc;, the tool will have a factory edge, not anything to write home about, but an edge.
    [ this being the unwritten rule] as the customer consumer are expected to tune this edge up to your liking. i.e. hone a razor edge, thin off the bevel, flatten the back, and so on, whatever you need to do to get the tool up to your standards for the job at hand. you are expected to sharpen it for yourself or have someone do it for you

    in other words the tool is pre-ground , with the understanding , when you get it home , you'll fine tune it to your liking.

    here is a for instance from my shop, i had an old Plumb double bit axe, never sharpened by me, still had the original factory edge.
    i asked the old timer expert to sharpen it, he said do you want a grubbing side and a chopping side? in other words he planned to hone a very thin tree chopping edge on one bit for cutting down trees,
    and a more obtuse edge on the other bit for chopping out or grubbing out tree roots below ground.

    hope this helps

    i would get out my sharpening equipment and get to honing the axe , if it were mine.

    one of the misfires you run into buying sight un-seen on line. but might be the same buying from a store too.

    i've been in stores looking at production hatchets with maybe out of a dozen, two at most will have good handles. of course if you don't know what to look for so be it. but since you know what you like, your new axe will need some tuning to meet your standards.

    btw , if you get to using the axe some, you'll need to sharpen it anyway.


    if anybody actually reads what i posted and finds i am in error please set me straight. all good:cool:
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2011
  5. trailmaker


    May 15, 2011
    That's a bummer but personally I wouldn't hassle with returning it. Thanks for reporting this; Gransfors Bruks quality needs to be monitored if they want us to pay the high prices. If we get more and more reports of flaws then we know quality control is slipping. My experience with GB has been good so far. I have the heavy maul and carpenter's hatchet which both arrived in perfect condition.
  6. cooperhill


    Nov 14, 2011
    I bought both my GB splitting maul and American felling axe from Imagine Gear. Had one mix-up and they were very easy to work with. If you're not happy, I'd email them. The maul looks more of an issue. If the sfa issues are cosmetic, I wouldn't bother.
  7. bigbcustom


    Dec 20, 2005
    my small forest axe from Bruks has several imperfections... and it was the best of five they had at JAX supply when I bought it. There were issues, but I have fixed them and now have a wonderful little axe. Too much money for me to buy another, but a good axe none the less. Next will probably be a wetterlings. If I have to fix it, it shouldn't cost as much and Wetterlings uses good steel in their stuff as well. Wish a US company offered a line of axes like these.
  8. shouse


    May 20, 2010
    Thanks for the fast input guys, I really do appreciate the feedback. I agree, the sfa isn't really a huge deal. While the edge may not be perfect, the metal is there. I can always go and clean that up. But the maul, I can't bring back metal. They ground the corner down and there's no 'honing it up'. The whole edge will have to be thinned down if the damage is to be repaired correctly. Maybe the best option is to keep the sfa and exchange the maul.
  9. PayetteRucker


    Aug 4, 2009
    Unfortunately I've always been disappointed by the final F&F on the higher end Swedish blades as they come new from the factory. All that effort into forging an axe with a perfect profile, only to fudge up a 5 minute edge with a grinder. Seems asinine... thankfully the Lansky Puck always takes care of the grinding shortcomings and turns them into the perfect users they were meant to be.

    The US has several fine axe lines. I just picked up a Council Tool Hudson Bay new from the factory as well as a Kelly Double Bit Cruiser marketted by Barco. Stoked to try em out. I took 63 pounds of knife projects and axes to my parents' in Wisconsin and gave the TSA agent an excuse as to what I was doing with maybe a thousand dollars' worth of steel in a suitcase... something about restocking my arthritic pop's wood pile for Christmas and how Idaho doesn't market hardwood replacement handles for axes anywhere... Hitting Fleet Farm tomorrow for some Swel-Lock, hopefully some nice Appalachian walnut and some wedges to get some old reconditioned heads swingin' again.

    Dear Sweden, learn how to grind your axes. Thanks...
  10. Mossyhorn

    Mossyhorn Enlightened Rogue Gold Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    I bought a used GB small forest axe that looked better than that. I would send that one back.
  11. rocketbomb


    Apr 25, 2007
    Few minutes with a file will have that one looking great. The edge on an axe about always needs some fine tuning anyway.
  12. Operator1975


    Sep 24, 2010
    Step 1 - Go out into the field and use it.

    Step 2 - Now resharpen.

    Step 3 - Like it never happened.

    Its an axe, not a runway model. It is going to get dirty, turn somewhat ugly, etc. Dont worry about precious little things, beauty, etc. Worry about performance.
  13. Ravaillac


    Feb 14, 2005
    From pics, the axe seems ok to me.
    The grind defect on the maul is a bit gross, but on the other hand it's a maul, so it's a beater. High-end maul is a bit of an oxymoron to me.

    It seems to often be the same problem with GB.
    On one hand those are small defects so I'd say go with them,
    on the other hand those are expensive, so they could pay more attention.
  14. shouse


    May 20, 2010
    I'm trying to play nice here as I do appreciate EVERYONE's feedback, but I don't understand this file talk. I have Diamond bit stones, Japanese whetstones, plenty of leather for stropping, DVD's on sharpening knives(kitchen). I like to think I have at least some experience in the sharpening world. But with all due respect, when you tell me to go sharpen the edge I immediately think you don't understand the situation. Sharpening removes metal. The more metal you remove from that edge, the more the whole axe needs to be thinned. The corner on the maul was ground down A LOT at some crazy acute angle. Not only that, (it's probably not evident in the pictures), it looked intentional to try and get the edge of the axe straight. Sharpening removes metal, I need metal back! In order to do this RIGHT and actually put the same degree angle on the complete edge of the axe, I would have to thin down A LOT of axe. This is becoming the point of ridiculousness b/c of how much axe I would lose on something brand new. I'm used to buying knives that didn't spend much time on the stones before being shipped to me. But the basic edge was put on, and put on correctly. I would rather have that and finish up the edge myself than have someone attempt it and screw it royally. I mean, c'mon guys, really??? If I had sharpened a knife for a friend like the way the maul was done, he would never let me touch his knife again. I wouldn't blame him for it either! I'm not going to downplay it like it's 'just an axe' either. If it was 'just an axe', people wouldn't buy GP, they'd run down to Home Depot. I bought GF b/c of the craftsmanship; The good quality steel and the time they put into edge of the axe. I paid this money b/c I didn't have time to put on my own edge, it's a lot easier to just keep a nice edge going. Sorry guys, I did my research, I was told GP was perfection and I expect nothing less :/

    I apologize in advance if this came across offensive to anyone. I'm more than happy to debate this in a professional manner with anyone that wants to. I like to think I have an open mind about things.

    I sent Imagine Gear an email and they agreed this was not the quality work they expect from Gransfors either. They're sending me a return label and are more than happy to exchange them. Too bad the maul is out of stock until mid Jan though, oh well. Oh, and I also emailed GP directly. Still haven't replied, a little disappointing there....
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011
  15. shouse


    May 20, 2010
    Thanks for the heads up on these other companies, I'll check them out.
  16. RubiconSS


    Jan 12, 2011
    Shouse - I have two(2) GB's. They came perfect. I will say this, I use them both. I take care of them but by request of the gifter who knew I would probably Not use them,I use them.
    After the first sharpening - this will be a non-issue.
    That being said, your call. IF you are going to use it at all. Forget it, let it go.
  17. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010
    Looks like you came to a decision after getting various opinions. I think this forum is not really a debate but friendly input trying to be helpful. I see your point about the weaker edge on the corners of the maul, and wanting to get what you thought you paid for.
  18. PayetteRucker


    Aug 4, 2009
    It's understandable and I'm sure with GB's customer service they'll take it back without question. Have to just shake your head at this kind of stuff... world renowned artistry up until the final step, and some guy goes zzzzzzzzzzziiiiiiip sloppily across a belt grinder to mess up the entire piece. We don't have the piece in hand, just going off the one picture, so you may be seeing more than us as well.
  19. R.Russell


    Feb 24, 2009
    It should make the corners thicker, not thinner when you sharpen it up. My GFB SFA came with the corners zipped off too, I think they do it so folks don't poke themselves.????? I filed it back into a razor. These are hand forged axe heads, rough finish, not presentation pieces. I sense the Ernie Emerson in me coming out here. bought a large splitting axe years ago, the head was perfect but the haft snapped a week into using it. GFB sent me a brand new axe, and were very pleasant to deal with. Its the best axe i've ever handled, so I bought the SFA. They are makin a lot of them these days though so I'm not surprised by these small flaws. I'd say make it your own and work on it.
  20. Kanehale


    Oct 1, 2011
    I don't understand why people spend big bucks for a splitting maul. A maul is gonna get abused whether you meant to or not. Its basically a wedge with handle on it. Heck if get a maul stuck in a round I usually beat it out with a sledge or another maul. No biggie. Decent mauls are available at any hardware store for 20 bucks.

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