Resist the urge to display the Hults Bruk 325-Year Axe on your wall.
There’s something about bringing an axe on an outdoor adventure that makes everything seem a little more authentic. The mere act of carrying one connects you to deep, rugged roots.
This year marks 325 years that the Hults Bruk forge in Hult Valley, Sweden, has been in operation. The company has forged everything from nails to wood-burning stoves, and even rail cars over the years. But today we know Hults Bruk for its axes, hatchets, and wedges; those critical tools that allow people to work, survive, and play in the outdoors.
To commemorate its three-and-a-quarter centuries of forge-work, Hults released the aptly named “325-Year Anniversary Axe” this year. It’s a traditional belt axe that incorporates many of the best elements from Hults’ other axes and hatchets.
I was immediately smitten with the tool when I got my hands on one to swing around. The craftsmanship and attention to detail that went into this axe are impossible to ignore. Truly, it’s a work of art.
Once I was past all that mushy stuff, though, I took it to the woods for some chip-flying, log-splitting action.
In short: The Hults Bruk 325-year Anniversary Axe highlights some of the best features the steel forge has designed, over its 3 centuries in operation. The weighted head is well-balanced, and the hickory handle is ergonomic and very grippy. It makes easy work of splitting wood, clearing timber, or chopping limbs.
Hults Bruk 325-Year Anniversary Axe in Review
- Head: 1 lb., 5 oz. solid Swedish steel, Yankee pattern
- Handle: 15-in. American hickory, curved
- Overall length: 15¼ in.
- Overall weight: 2 lbs., 2 oz.
- Sheath: Vegetable-tanned, full-grain leather
I could tell this was more than your typical hatchet from the moment I picked up the Hults Bruk 325-Year Anniversary Axe and arced its first ceremonial swing.
The weighted head has a Yankee pattern and premium grind; the hickory handle is ergonomic. Its perfect length and weight allow for momentum to do most of the chopping work, saving your energy for dragging and carrying more limbs to buck.
Yes, it’s a limited-edition collectible — and that’s a big deal. But believe me, this axe will look even better with all of the bumps, scrapes, and scratches that come from use and abuse in the outdoors.
This isn’t a paperweight. It was made to do work and earn all the character marks that come with the job.
As soon as the Hults Bruk 325-year Anniversary Axe came out of the box, I started chopping through a big limb of ash that had fallen in my yard. It was roughly 15 feet long and ranged from 3 to 5 inches in diameter. But the premium-ground, factory-sharpened bit made quick work of the fallen behemoth.
Some parts of the wood were still wet and fresh, and others were dry or turning punky. Regardless, the whole job took me less than 20 minutes and I barely broke a sweat.
When I arrived in Vermont later in the week, I relied on the axe to cut down enough wood to keep me warm at night. It did the job with little to no damage or fatigue to my hands and forearms.
The grip is smooth yet tacky from the red paint, which kept my hand from slipping. That boosted my confidence, even though my palms were getting plenty sweaty in the sun.
I spent almost 4 hours hauling, chopping, and stacking various limbs and pieces of wood, and still had enough fuel in the tank to hang out by the fire late into the night.
The Hults Bruk 325-year Anniversary Axe was barely noticeable on my hip for the mile walk into the camp and for the additional 3 miles I put in gathering wood.
I had initially intended to strap the axe to my pack, but using a custom leather axe loop from Yellow Birch Outfitters allowed me to leave the pack at the cabin and keep the axe on my belt for easy access. That allowed me to work smart, not hard, keeping my hands free.
At 15.25 inches in total length, boasting a 2-pound, 2-ounce head, this isn’t the axe you want to drop a major maple with.
But, it is the perfect size, shape, and build for chopping up limbs, clearing smaller trees from the trail, or even splitting kindling at the house.
I have more than a dozen axes and hatchets, and have field-tested more than double that. But there’s something about the centuries-old story behind the Hults Bruk 325-Year Anniversary Axe that’s particularly special. I’m going to put a lot of mileage on this axe over the next few months.
I appreciate the attention to detail that Hults Bruk put into the Anniversary Axe. I have a fleeting urge to baby it, but the desire to put it to work is irresistible.
That said, if you’re serious about the tools you carry on your outdoor expeditions, the 325-Year Anniversary Axe is a well-balanced workhorse sized right for getting the job done and being carried without being a burden.
Take it with you on the trail, use it out by the fire pit, but don’t just buy it to show it off.
Beat the shit out of it first. An axe like this isn’t going to come around again anytime soon.Check Price at Hults Bruk 1697