Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Chopping with a Ray Mears Wilderness Axe

I decided to bring my latest addition (or should I say "addiction" ?) with me on a recent photo shoot/gear test outing - a Ray Mears Wilderness Axe, made by Gransfors Bruks in Sweden. I've been dying to try one of these since they came out a couple of years ago. So right before I left to cover SHOT Show back in January, I placed my order for one at the Woodlore website.

Photo credit: raymears.com

The axe took a few weeks to get here from the UK, but thankfully made it safe and sound. Unfortunately, I was so busy after I got back from covering SHOT Show, that I had to let it sit and collect dust for a few months until I could break away from other commitments to give it a try.

I've been dying to try it out and I just couldn't take it anymore! So yesterday, while I was testing some other gear, I grabbed the Wilderness Axe and took it along so I could finally do some chopping with it.

I was able to find both a dead Douglas Fir and a dead Ponderosa Pine while I was meandering through the forest, so I gave the axe a whirl.

On the Douglas Fir, the Wilderness Axe chopped a nice, clean v-notch with relative ease:

I then bucked a dead Ponderosa Pine tree in half with it. The Wilderness Axe chopped through it like a breeze:

The Wilderness Axe has a much heavier head than the Gransfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest, so this really improves chopping performance over the Scandi Axe. Definitely a good first impression, and I was finally able to get my Wilderness Axe chopping "fix" filled!

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