Gransfors Bearded Axe
The Gransfors Bearded Axe (Laminated Bearded Axe with Eye Socket) is part of a new Historiska Yxor line of limited edition historical axes. There are more pictures on their website as well as the specifications and information (in Swedish).
I have partly translated the information using google and interpreted and elaborated on based on my knowledge of axes.
The new Gransfors Bruk axe is called in Swedish Skäggyxa med skaftholk. Skägg means beard and yxa means axe. So it is a bearded axe. When announced on Instagram, Gransfors Bruk called it the Gränsfors Laminated Bearded Axe with Eye-Socket. Thus skaftholk must mean “Eye-Socket”.
I call it the Gransfors Bearded Axe.
Gransfors Bearded Axe Construction and Features
The design is Scandinavian / Northern European in origin (Vikings) from the early 1100s. Historically, the model was probably used as a weapon. The bearded axe was also a suitable tool in a number of areas such as forestry, logging, and carpentry.
This axe is laminated. Rather than being made out of a single piece of steel, most of the Bearded Axe head is made from iron and only the cutting edge is high carbon steel. Gränsfors has acid etched the axe. Etching highlights the contrast between the iron and carbon steel.
It seems as though the bearded axe is forged using a hand-wielded hammer and anvil rather than their power hammers and dies. The haft (handle) looks to be hung in a traditional fashion by lowering the handle down through the top of the eye. This method secures the head to the haft via a friction fit like a tomahawk. This is the historically accurate method as compared to the modern practice of driving the haft up from the bottom of the eye and wedging it.
The sheath (axe mask if you like) looks to be of a higher quality even than those included with Gransfors bruk’s other axes. It features stitches rather than rivets and the edges are cleaner.
- Length with handle: 69cm (~27 inches)
- Weight: 1.3 kg (~2.87 pounds)
- Item number: 511
Gransfors Bearded Axe Pictures
Images property of Gränsfors Bruks AB
Cost and Availability
The price tag of 7,400 Kroner converts to around 800 USD. So this is intened for the collector rather than the commoner.
Gransfors Bruks stated on Instagram these axes will be made as a limited edition each year with a series number and year stamped on the head. They also include a certificate of authenticity signed by the axe smith who manufactured it.
You can view The Gransfors Bearded Axe on the Gransfors website in Swedish here: https://www.gransforsbruk.com/produkt/skaggyxa-med-skaftholk-2/
Raw Google Translate:
BEARD WITH SHANK
Gränsfors Beard ax with shank is traditionally hand forged by heating the iron at the collar and then working with hammer and anvil at. The ax is forged according to old traditions of iron, with a blasted carbon steel in the edge. Carbon steel used to be very rare and expensive and was brought to the north by Norwegians who had gone to the Viking east. By using only carbon steel in the edge when they then forged axes, more of the fine steel could be saved. It is a complex and time-consuming process involving up to 100 heats and several thousand hammer blows. The ax is sharpened on the ax and comes with an etched ax so you can clearly see the contrast between the iron and the steel. Each ax has a number stamped.
Beard ax with shank is a Scandinavian / Northern European ax model from the early 1100s. Characteristic of the model is the wide and slightly rounded edge with a balanced beard as well as a strong shank hole for a good attachment of the shaft. The scaffolding became popular during the end of the Viking Age and developed from the older two-tab beard. The model was probably used as a handgun, but it was also a suitable tool in a number of areas. Historically, it has been used for logging, logging, twig and carpentry.