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Hults Bruk Bjork Splitting Axe Review

Hults Bruk Bjork Splitting Axe Review

Hults Bruk Bjork Splitting Axe

Function
Versatility
Safety
Weight
Handle

Elegant Alternative to a Maul

The Bjork Splitting Axe is a great alternative to using a splitting maul, and wedges, especially for smaller, straight grainy wood destined for the wood stove. However, it lacks the heft and shape needed to split green wood efficiently.

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The Hults Bruk Bjork Splitting Axe is a lightweight axe with a 30″ long handle that’s good for splitting soft woods or dry wood with a straight grain. It’s perfectly good for around the house and splitting seasoned wood, but doesn’t cut it for splitting freshly cut green wood or wood with knots and twists in it. Think maple.

I spend a fair amount of time harvesting firewood from the National Forest (with a permit) where I live and I heat my cabin exclusively with a wood stove. I mostly burn ash, beech, birch, and maple. This past year I harvested and split about 4 cords with a friend, all by hand. We cut up downed trees with chain saws and split it on the spot before hauling it home in a trailer to dry. They say firewood warms you many times and that’s the truth. You don’t need a gym membership if you have a decent wood pile.

Harvesting firewood in the national forest
Harvesting firewood in the national forest

When I’m harvesting green wood, I usually split it with a 36″ Fiskars x27 Splitting Axe that weighs 5.4 pounds and has a 4 pound head. It does a great job, splitting meaty 75-year-old rounds with ease. The Hults Bruk Bjork has a much shorter handle (30″) and lighter weight, with a total weight of 4.7 pounds and a 3.4 pound head. It doesn’t pack the same wallop and it takes many more swings of the axe to split the same amount of green wood than the Fiskars X27.

The narrow head of the Bjork buries itself in green wood
The narrow head of the Bjork buries itself in green wood

But the main difference between the axes is the head shape. The Bjork has a narrow head that gets stuck in green wood and is a pain to remove, while the Fiskars has a wedge-shaped head that rarely gets buried and blasts the wood apart. The difference doesn’t matter as much on seasoned wood or a low moisture, straight-grained species like ash, but it’s very noticeable with green wood. I also suspect that the shorter length of the Bjork is a secondary factor, since a longer and heavier axe like the Fiskars X27 is probably traveling faster when it hits the wood.

The Bjork’s narrow head splits seasoned wood well
The Bjork’s narrow head splits seasoned wood well. 

The Hults Bruk Bjork is still a nice tool if all you have to do is split seasoned wood, including wood that’s been dried by a reseller and delivered to your house. It has a nice hickory handle and the head holds an edge well. I use the Bjork at home to chop kindling from seasoned wood and it works fine for that. But it’s not the right splitting axe for green wood, fresh from the tree.

Disclosure: Hults Bruk gave the author a sample axe for this review.

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11 comments

  1. i endorse the fiskars but nothing beats the 8 lb maul. i cut in 4′ bolts and split those. the fiskars cannot touch those. only works for the stove wood after i have run the bolts through the cord wood ssaw. jus’ sayin’

    • I’m sure the Fiskars 8′ Maul is good, but we have to split stuff in the woods because moving the fresh-cut rounds are virtually impossible to drag out because they’re so heavy, even with a sled on snow. It’s even worse now in winter with the moisture frozen inside the trees.

      • well…, the 8 lb is just garden variety from the local hardware store. i hesitate to think what fiskars would charge for one. had it 40+ yrs and have rehandled it about every 10 yrs or so i work wood up about 2 yrs ahead,which is why i cut “cord” wood.

  2. Gransfors Bruk have some excellent splitting axes as well. I particularly like that they have a metal collar to protect the handle near the head of the axe. They are expensive, but the quality and workmanship are unmatched.

  3. This month I bought a Council Tool 19″ handled Wood Crafter Axe for canoe and car camping. Good steel and Made in USA. An axe like this is also called a “Camp axe”.

    My 26″ handled all steel ESTWING axe has a blade that is much to narrow for splitting work.

    I have use axis, hatchets and splitting wedges W/mauls more than I care to remember but still like the heft of a quality axe.

  4. Actually, what “they” say is that wood warms you twice. But, as anyone who actually heats with wood knows, this is a serious underestimate.

  5. For splitting green wood it’s hard to beat a maul. I have four and six pounders. Don’t get me wrong I love my Kelly Works Vulcan boys axe and the Grandfors Bruk and Hulks Bruk small forest axes but they are not up for serious work.

  6. How does this ace compare to the Gillman X-8?

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