TOP OF THE TREE

The editor is mov­ing up the cut­ting power lad­der

Air Gunner - - Contents -

The editor gets more cut­ting power wtih a heavy-duty axe from Hultafors

Sev­eral years ago, I had the good for­tune to be sent a Hultafors axe that changed my view on what th­ese tools can do. Al­though it was quite small, its abil­ity to slice through wood shocked me and I quickly had to ad­just the ef­fort I put into each cut be­cause it of­ten flew right through smaller limbs and nearly con­tacted my own.

Be­cause of this pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence I was keen to try a larger model from their range suit­able for heav­ier work, so I or­dered the HY10 model with its 1500 gramme (3.3lbs) head and 700mm (28”) hick­ory shaft. This is clearly a twohanded model with the length and mass to take on much thicker logs.

The head is hand-forged and made from Swedish axe steel with tra­di­tional meth­ods in use since 1697. The steel is struck mul­ti­ple times, in­creas­ing its den­sity and thereby the dura­bil­ity of the axe. This is a slow and costly way of man­u­fac­tur­ing things, but it does make for a bet­ter tool ul­ti­mately. At the cut­ting edge it has a ‘clear tem­pered’ zone within which the axe can be sharp­ened whilst not de­tract­ing from the strength of the edge. To fin­ish it off, there is a coat­ing of clear lac­quer ap­plied to re­duce cor­ro­sion.

MOD­ESTLY PRICED

I quite like the fact that the head isn’t ground and pol­ished, but rather left as it comes from the forg­ing process. Think­ing about its mod­est price, I won­der if leav­ing the head un­pol­ished is a way of keep­ing costs down. It has the com­pany’s logo stamped in deeply, which looks great. I no­ticed that this axe has a much shal­lower grind than the smaller one, pre­sum­ably to with­stand the greater im­pact forces. As you can see from the photo, it has a curved edge which is stronger than a straight one, again suit­ing the na­ture of its work.

In use the HY10 sliced through wood as thick as my arm with just a few well- placed cuts, mak­ing quick work of clear­ing side branches. Big­ger logs were cut with an ease I’ve never en­joyed be­fore and it’s clear that the cut­ting power I’d ex­pe­ri­enced with the smaller model was ev­i­dent here in the more pow­er­ful for­mat. Hultafors pro­duces su­perb tools that deliver supreme cut­ting per­for­mance at a re­mark­ably low price mak­ing them a very ap­peal­ing choice in­deed!

ABOVE: The hick­ory han­dle is oil fin­ished and er­gonom­i­cally ex­cel­lent INSET: The forged head is left un­pol­ished, which is a look that I ap­pre­ci­ate

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