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Patrick
04-03-2003, 07:50 PM
Hi all--

Just thought I'd rhapsodize a bit about a remarkable little item I won at auction at our recent RMEF Fundraiser. This little handmade (in Sweden) axe possesses the finest balance, the best "angles", I've seen in a lifetime of fooling around with axes. Weighs 14 ounces and is only 10 1/2 inches long. Daintiest little thing you ever saw, but boy does it work slick! All angles are just...perfect. Perfection in any art is rare, and so attractive I paid 100 bucks for this gem. Now I have to decide when I'll actually tote it. If solo, the trip will have to be rather short--I'm not going to carry 14 extra ounces on a death march when I have much lighter options for doing essential tasks in the field. But if ever accompanied by another rambler to help carry camp gear I do believe this little hatchet will ride in my pack from now on. I can't find a national distributor in the little (excellent) booklet that came with the axe, but y'all ought to keep an eye peeled for these in your area. The company crafts all sizes of axes, the one I snagged being the smallest.

While I'm here, a note to OZ: We'll be at the big Show in Anchorage NEXT spring; we didn't make it this year. Hope you and ol' Randy can make it down. And hey, the rumbles between Board correspondents is nothing new. If you'll remember, the original Wolf War began between us hunters right here on the Hunt Board. In fact, Maggie created the Political Board so the fight could move over there and rage without interfering with tech talk here on the Hunt Board. Then the Antis arrived in droves and the battle took on big-time dimensions. So. Look on the bright side--at least we don't have dear old Linda here on the Hunt Board. I'm sure you remember her. In short, don't make yourself scarce over "friendliness" issues. Even we hunters have disagreements. Hell, we hunters have some GREAT disagreements. It's part of our tradition. I too acknowledge what I think we all agree on though: we must stick together when looking outwardly at the don't-have-a-clue city folk!

Oz
04-03-2003, 09:15 PM
Thanks for the shout back Patrick. We'll put you on the calendar for next spring. Heck maybe YOU can fit my frame for a Longhunter-I sure couldn't make it happen! As for Grandfors-Brucks "cutlery" we have our very own distributor right here in Interior Alaska, and he has some fine stuff. He's always at the gun shows spring and fall, I think he's from Delta Junction, same as Vern. I don't have a POC for him but I work with a guy that does I believe. Will sniff around a bit, see what turns up. All for now, packing for KODIAK. Hee Hee. All my best, Oz

04-04-2003, 05:51 AM
Patrick: The complete line of Gransfors axes is carried by Piragis Northwoods Company 800-223-6565 or <a href="http://www.piragis.com." target="_blank">http://www.piragis.com (http://www.piragis.com.).</a> Cliff Jacobson (canoeist) has been singing their praises for years. I prefer the Gerber (made by Fiskers of Sweden) because of it's lighter weight. Although it is not as aestitically pleasing (plastic handle), the lighter weight more than compensates.
Incidentally, you should check out the D. H. Russell belt knive by Grohmann (#1s). If you should be so lucky as to pick one up, you would immediately realize the superior ergonomics. I have skinned numerous brown and black bears with mine. It is always in the top pack of my Kifaru freigher frame. I carry a large cold Steel Trail guide drop point in my pocket should I be so unfortunate as to be seperated from my pack.
I am puzzled why anyone would carry a clip point blade instead of a drop point. When skinning a brown bear which I have to pack out, the drop point leaves all the meat on the carcass instead of the skin. When dealing with a hide approaching 90 lbs. on a big bear, this is important if I am carrying it. I suppose it is the influence of the buck 110 folder combined with the fact that most knives don't get much blood on them.
Bob G.

VernAK
04-04-2003, 06:15 AM
Ahhhh!....a topic near and dear.....Patrick, you will enjoy that small axe...I have an axe and a hunter's axe and use them quite a lot.....excellent tools....not for backpacking but I do some moose hunting close to the house and always have an axe on my Spike Camp......These are not the tools I would loan to a brother-in-law...There is a dealer here close to me and he keeps all models ..... Gransfors has a web site and the same importer sells the Ullfrotte scandinavian wool underwear..... <a href="http://www.gransfors.com" target="_blank">http://www.gransfors.com (http://www.gransfors.com)</a>

Rocket
04-04-2003, 08:00 AM
I have two of there axes they are the best made they are razor sharp and designed by folks that use them. Very good products.

pointer
04-04-2003, 09:21 AM
Patrick- What do you carry instead of the GB hatchet?

Rocket
04-04-2003, 10:23 AM
Here is another handi little hatchet knife I use mine for gutting skinng chopping carry a small bladed floding knife in case I need it but carry this Uluchete for everything else. Very Sharp tough blade and you can even split wood with it by opening it up and driving it through the piece with a chunck green wood.

http://www.eknife.net/

Patrick
04-04-2003, 03:58 PM
Rocket-- Wow. Neat gizmo. Oz says he loves his ulu...I wonder if he's seen one of these. I'm impressed. May have to fetch one.

Pointer-- For Death Marches I have signed on with Kevin's Swiss Hunter knife. It weighs 4 ounces AND has a serviceable saw not only for my stovewood but for bones, skulls and such. Nothing can touch it for weight. Formerly I toted a small Green River style knife (4.5 oz.) and a Gerber saw (3 oz.). Saving 3 and a half ounces is a no-brainer. Of course I still ALWAYS have my 2 oz. Swiss Tinker in my left pants pocket.

elmbow
04-04-2003, 06:43 PM
BbMN, I'm inviting the wrath of Kahn but I'm compelled to interject a little of my philosophy on knives here......
Given the nature of this forum and its emphasis on getting way back and home again on shank's pony with minimum weight, I have to disagree with your choice of knives, not that they both aren't excellent blades in their own right. If you're backpacking, (my only caveat in this argument) then one knife should be able to handle all your cutting requirements. Having spent the last 23 years in the Army, I have a pretty good understanding of what a survival knife needs to be and by its nature it is a compromise. It does all things well but nothing extremely well. It needs a point that will hold up to severe abuse without breaking, steel that will hold an edge yet sharpen easily, enough belly to skin an animal and enough blade thickness not to break when your prying up rocks with it. The blade needs to be long enough to manage camp chores but not too long for fine work. I believe a modified clip point blade of minimum 3/16" stock 5-6" in length is ideal. One of the things that makes the Gransfors Bruks axes so good is that they are hand forged. That imparts a quality to the molecular structure of steel that no stock removal type of blade will ever possess. The same holds true for knives. We don't seem to bat our eyes at $1000 for optics, $700 for backpacking tents, and thousands for rifles yet we want miracle cutlery for under a hundred bucks.If you can only afford one knife, spend $200-$300 on a hand forged one. You will never regret it and it will make a great companion to that $3000 rifle of Patrick's. The cold steel trail guide is a decent knife but I would never rely on a folder for survival. I almost severed a pinky when one closed on me some years back. It's blade design is good for skinning but not brute strength. Likewise the DH Russel #1. A good design in its own arena but 1/8" stock and way to small at the choil for rough work. If you want to carry a specialized skinner, more power to you, but I feel one knife that does it all is a better choice for the serious backpacking hunter. I look forward to your reply.
Elmbow

Ed C
04-04-2003, 09:29 PM
Elmbow
Tell me more. You're obvioulsy very knowledgeable on knives. I'm always curious. I don't know what a choil is. Must be the part of the blade closest to the handle? You described your ideal knive pretty well, but what brand is it, who makes it? Or do you have it custom made[hand forged]? I too subcribe to the one knive theory for backpack hunting. Thanks
Ed

elmbow
04-05-2003, 05:58 AM
Ed, I'm not an "expert" but I do enjoy good knives and own a few. I'm absolutely not selling anything either. Having said that.....
I was turned on to "Randall Made" knives shortly after joining the Army and after doing my research bought a #1, a knife made famous during WWII. I have carried that knife for many years and just recently bought a #8, which they call a trout and bird knife but fills my need for a smaller survival/hunting knife. I recommend you go to their website: randall made knives (http://www.randallknives.com)
Look at the #25, #8 or # 26 although they have other excellent models as well. Spend a while on their webpage and there are some collectors organizations too. (Try bladeauctions.com) Randall has worked with the Marines in knife design, their knives have been to the moon and are in the Smithsonian. Ronald Reagan carried a #1 as did Gen Westmorland in Vietnam along with lots of special ops folks.
If you order directly from Randall, you will wait about 2-3 years for your knife. Instead look on Ebay and pay the extra 50 bucks or so and get it now. Better yet is to find a good cutlery shop that maintains a standing order with Randall and find out when their next shipment is to arrive, maybe do a down payment. Randalls are famous for their military/survival knives but their outdoors knives are the finest also.
I used to always carry two knives with me, the Randall and a tactical folder until I got a brain. That was my first overseas deployment. I had two duffels and my ruck, 200+ lbs. and the plane was about a mile across the tarmack at Pope AFB. By the time I reached the plane I had worn holes in my duffels from dragging them, I learned real quick about going light, so a one knife battery is essential for me.
There are many custom makers to choose from but I am a diehard Randall man. Hope that helps.
Elmbow

Ed C
04-05-2003, 08:12 AM
Elmbow
WOW those are impressive. Thanks

Ed

04-05-2003, 09:59 AM
Well I was surprised to hear of backpack hunters that would go for the extra weight of a hatchet.
Those G-B axes are fine,but another to consider is the super hatchets from Marbles.They make a pocket safety axe and a belt axe.Beautiful balance and steel.A little pricey, but made here and worth the money and weight.They are vintage style.Mine came from A.G.Russell knives. I think they have a website.Both Marbles and Granfors-Bruk's are available there.They also carry some great production and custom knives. I'm partial to the Morseth's,Randall's and Dozier's. I carry Bob Dozier' pro guide and personal. Handles everything from breakin' briskets to caping.

04-05-2003, 10:00 AM
Well I was surprised to hear of backpack hunters that would go for the extra weight of a hatchet.
Those G-B axes are fine,but another to consider is the super hatchets from Marbles.They make a pocket safety axe and a belt axe.Beautiful balance and steel.A little pricey, but made here and worth the money and weight.They are vintage style.Mine came from A.G.Russell knives. I think they have a website.Both Marbles and Granfors-Bruk's are available there.They also carry some great production and custom knives. I'm partial to the Morseth's,Randall's and Dozier's. I carry Bob Dozier' pro guide and personal. Handles everything from breakin' briskets to caping.

Huntsman22
04-05-2003, 10:00 AM
Well I was surprised to hear of backpack hunters that would go for the extra weight of a hatchet.
Those G-B axes are fine,but another to consider is the super hatchets from Marbles.They make a pocket safety axe and a belt axe.Beautiful balance and steel.A little pricey, but made here and worth the money and weight.They are vintage style.Mine came from A.G.Russell knives. I think they have a website.Both Marbles and Granfors-Bruk's are available there.They also carry some great production and custom knives. I'm partial to the Morseth's,Randall's and Dozier's. I carry Bob Dozier' pro guide and personal. Handles everything from breakin' briskets to caping.

Ed
04-10-2003, 06:31 AM
Hi All

I agree with Patrick on the craftsmanship on the Gransfors belt axe.
Also wanted to point out that it is lighter than the smallest size Gerber. The Gerber weighed in at 18 1/2 oz on my postage scale. With sheath of course.

Jim T
05-19-2003, 09:12 PM
Just wanted to thank Patrick on the recommendation for the GB axes. I bought the Hunter's Axe today. I am looking forward to trying it out skinning out a critter. Hopefully it will stop the nicks that the taxidermists love so much.

Jim

Patrick
05-20-2003, 04:24 AM
Jim T--

Reprieving this topic in a skinning-out fashion brings to mind Oz's penchant for the ulu. Which allows me to give a preliminary report on a concept brought to life by our very own Ed. He has handcrafted a knife that combines aspects of a traditional hunting knife and an ulu. He has one and I have one. We'll both be using them come fall. And will give y'all reports.

Meanwhile, how 'bout them axes!

Erik F.
05-21-2003, 01:42 PM
Gransfors Bruck is hands down the best axe that I have ever used. I have the hunters hatchet, I used it in helping to process five mule deer last year. I played around with the flay poll a little but because of close quarters to my buddys I did not use it to skin with very much. The axe was used to chop off heads split rib cages and chop of a few feet and it did these jobs like a hot knife through butter. This hatchet also chops wood amazingly well, I never new what a good axe was until I chop a little wood with this. I fully intend on getting a few more of their axes for use around the place.

Erik.

05-21-2003, 06:35 PM
I got one of the hatchetes and the first day i brought it home i was out but the outdoor stove and chopped little wood and then was distracted by my Dratthar and went into the house and it dwned on me the gem wa out by kennel I looked out aot my horro thewre was Hayward the Whirehaired pinter just begining to start in on the handle. Whew that was close he just put few rouhg marks in it for better handling. I have the splitting maul they make as well now that maul but NO ONE uses it except me.

Patick i ma intersted int eh little knife you are talking about as you know i use a ULUCHETE and love that thing it is awesome and easy to carry.