We all know Hultafors produce some decent knives, they're rough, ready and cheap, though often poorly finished with uneven grinds and in need of a touch up. However I've heared good things about their axes so I decided to take the plunge and went for the HY20, probably similar in size to the GB Scandinavian forest axe. It arrived in good time from the superb service of Heinnies and I took it out of the box for a quick look over.
First thing I noticed was the poor finish on the head, it had been badly ground to shape leaving seriously large grind marks and a very uneven edge profile
Looking closer at the edge showed a massive burr that had been left on with no signs of it having been taken to a finished edge, even the burr was uneven proving the grind was anything but neat.
The face of the axe has been covered in a silver lacquer and I always thought this was the natural steel colour but obviously not, I tend to believe that a paint job on a hand made item is there to hide something and not to embellish it.
next disappointment was the profile of the edge, the heel of the head has been seriously ground away leaving a very distorted looking profile, not that it is unusable but just disappointing for what is supposed to be a handmade item, it doesn't look like the craftsman has put much care and consideration into the product.
Here you can see just how much of the heel has been ground away and also the grind marks left during manufacture.
Now all these niggles do not render the axe unusable just maybe a little disappointing. I've often heard that Hults Bruks is good competition for Gransfors Bruks but after seeing this tool in the flesh I'd have to disagree.
For the price it's a decent enough tool and will do what it's supposed to but if you want quality in fit and finish you'll need to spend more than twice the price of this axe for a Gransfors, is it worth it? Well only you can decide that.