Budget VS Beauty? Fiskars X7 or Gransfors Outdoor Axe

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by Watcher of the Woods, Oct 31, 2018.

  1. Watcher of the Woods

    Watcher of the Woods Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I cleared my list of gear I want. I'm happy with everything I own. I don't need anything new.

    YouTube trap for 2 hours.

    WHAT AXE IS THAT!?!?!

    Ooooo, Gransfors Outdoor Axe

    YouTube trap and various online reviews for 2 more hours...

    I MUST HAVE IT. But really? Is it worth it? Right now I have a fiskars X7. Bought it for $25. Friend made me a kydex cover that cost as much as the axe... It cuts well, splits great, but I'll be damned if it doesn't look like it belongs on the death star being carried as a backup weapon for storm troopers. I don't mind modern gear. I own HPG packs. I use kydex. This thing is just ugly as sin (to me). It cuts well, it does it's job, but I just don't.... Feel it. While I'm using it. Is that shallow? Stupid? Is spending 6 times as much going to get me anything more? Will I actually have less function than with the X7? Just looking for opinions from the folks that understand how my brain works. Not going to talk to the wife about it... "YOU BOUGHT ANOTHER AXE/KNIFE/TARP/PACK?!?"

    Thank you all!
     
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  2. Butler Ford

    Butler Ford Supporter Supporter

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    If you have to ask, you don't need it. If you are looking for someone to blame to the wife...the" Gransfor's are AWESOME! I don't know how any outdoorsman can live without one!"
    Best of luck!
     
  3. RI Chevy

    RI Chevy Scout

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    One thing I have found out. You get what you pay for. I love the GB Axes thst I have. They work very well. The Fiskars will get you by as most other Axes will. But treat yourself to a really well hand-made, hand forged Ax. You'll be glad you did!
    It will outwork the Fiskars all day long!
     
  4. Portage_Monster

    Portage_Monster Scout

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    My first axe was a Estwig steel handled monstrosity. It could bludgeon anything to death, and was damn near indestructible but, like you, the aesthetic annoyed me. So, I broke down and after a few good weeks of OT checks I bought a GB SF. Worth every penny. The guys I camp with were blown away with how sharp it is and in the past five years it's hardly left my side if there's grass under my feet. Be warned though. Now I'm wondering if I need another... either a Scandi Forest axe or a American felling... It's an addiction.
     
  5. anrkst6973

    anrkst6973 Scout

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    My bro has a Gerber axe, it cuts. I know it will cut but I still hate it, it's the plastic handle. It's too light and if I did break it I couldn't fix or replace it. I hate the plastic scales on BK knives too. It's just a " feel" thing. If I wanted an axe...I would get the gransfors, no hesitation. ;)
     
  6. KFF

    KFF Scout

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    I got both, I use the Fiskars, I admire the gransfors. I might take it with me to collect birch bark, but Fiskars does the chopping of firewood.
     
  7. Elgatodeacero

    Elgatodeacero Tracker

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    The Fiskars is great for car camping, splitting small pieces of firewood into kindling, etc.

    The Gransfors Wildlife hatchet is a serious wilderness/woodworking tool and better suited to shelter building, skinning game, and other crafting.
     
  8. batmanacw

    batmanacw Guide

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    I get tired of using crap. The Fiskers works. The steel is a bit soft and it doesn't have the feel I like.

    I just like my GB Wildlife hatchet far better. Better heft for hard work. Better steel. There is something to be said about using a confidence inspiring tool.
     
  9. RI Chevy

    RI Chevy Scout

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    20171128_101457.jpg 20171129_232451.jpg 20171129_232525.jpg 20171219_110744 - Copy.jpg 20171219_110654 - Copy.jpg

    My Gransfors Bruk Axes. Worth every penny!
     
  10. Lichen

    Lichen Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I didn't like my Fiskars at all. Maybe it was just the looks, but a found a cheap Condor to be much better at everything.
     
  11. Mr. Tettnanger

    Mr. Tettnanger Supporter Supporter

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    You are really comparing two very different tools!

    I have not had the Fiskars. I have had the GB Wildlife, GB Mini, and GB Outdoor Axe. I wrote this about the GB Outdoor Axe on another recent thread:

    I've had multiples of both. I've also had many multiples of the Mini. I have sold them all off and only use the Outdoor Axe now. It definitely splits better than the the Wildlife. I also like the handle length to head weight feel. To me, it feels more agile in hand than the Wildlife. This one was gifted to me by a very generous forum member. If I lost it today, I would have another on order by days end. I couldn't say the same about the Wildlife/Mini.
     
  12. Kelly W

    Kelly W Love the Axe Supporter

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    My 2 cents. If you want a tool that works as intended and does a good job at it. Very reasonable price for how well the tool works and it's durability can not be questioned and you'll never break the handle. Buy the Fiskers. If you want for a Gransfors, buy a Gransfors. You'll not be disappointed in it either. I own both and am happy as pie with them.
     
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  13. tramp_trade

    tramp_trade Wet Woodsman

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    I would say if you have the coin to get one, do it. You will never fall in love with the Fiskars if you haven't already.

    I have the Fiskars 14" hatchet and it's a decent tool for what it is, but I am not crazy about it. My old Hults Bruks 2.5 lb axe on the other hand, is an outstanding tool that I will never part with.

    Knowing how good the bigger axe is, I will replace the Fiskars one of these fine days.
     
  14. CSM1970

    CSM1970 Guide

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    So why is a Council Tool Boys Axe not in the mix?
     
  15. Mr. Tettnanger

    Mr. Tettnanger Supporter Supporter

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    The tools in question are hatchets not axes.
     
  16. mtngunr

    mtngunr Scout

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    my experience now several years out of date says a Wetterlings handle grain will follow handle's shape/curves from side view, and be dead vertical at haft, while a (returned) Gransfors will do neither.

    Most axes handles do not follow shape from side, and they split in a straight line down side of handle, starting at a curve.

    Have seller send photos of end, side, and top grain before blowing that hard earned cash...
     
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  17. tomcfitz

    tomcfitz Supporter Supporter

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    This question is like asking "should I buy a fiesta or should I buy a ferrari"

    Maybe look at some of the mid-range hatchets? Or go used?
     
  18. J. Pierce

    J. Pierce Perpetually Off Topic, Sorry. Supporter

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    I have an old Gerber, that I think is the predecessor to the X7, and a GB Wildlife hatchet.

    I think the Wildlife is a much different tool from the GB Wilderness because of the blade geometry.
    But that thin blade is what I like about it for the way I use it.

    So I can't make a direct comparison of the X7 vs. the wilderness, but I do know it feels way better hitting dirt or a rock with my Gerber than my GB.
    As a splitting tool, the Gerber/X7 ain't bad to deal with, it's a brute force kinda tool, but she ain't much for the detail work, that wedge head ain't really meant for fancy stuff.
    I've never used one, but I always pictured the Wilderness as much more of a splitter, and I don't know that I'd pay GB prices for a clubbing tool.

    And every thread needs more pictures, so I'll throw one in of two hatchets your not even looking for..................

    [​IMG]
     
  19. x39

    x39 Hyperborean Supporter

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    Hmmm.... after spending time in proximity to @Youcantreadinthedark 's GB Outdoor axe, it had enough of an effect on my mind that it sort of led me down an uncharted path....:30: Man, you guys are a bad influence on me. Not withstanding all that, I do have the Fiskars, and it certainly is a serviceable tool. I don't think I'd be inclined to chop roots in gravelly soil with a really nice axe, with the Fiskars I really don't care, as depending on the severity, any damage can be fixed with a mill file or a trip to the hardware store for another.
     
  20. Ragman

    Ragman Supporter Supporter

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    Treat yourself and buy the GB. Then you'll have both. I do.
     
  21. CSM1970

    CSM1970 Guide

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    A Boys Axe is halfway between a hatchet and an axe. It is not much longer than a GB Forest Axe. But carry on.
     
  22. LostViking

    LostViking Supporter Supporter

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    Like many others here, I own both.

    The Fiskars is the pickup truck that hasn't been washed in years. It isn't pretty, but it gets the job done. Leave it out in the weather at camp. It hangs from some para in a tree.

    The Outdoor Axe is the sporty convetable. It rocks. But it needs to be washed and waxed. And you don't want to leave it out in the weather with the top down.

    Some additional thoughts on the Fiskars. First some hemp or jute wrap with epoxy could/should cure and handle slipperiness. Plus it will add some character.

    As to handle breakage. I have seen some reports of broken Fiskars handles. I'm not the least bit concerned. I equate it to the You Tube vids of the guy saying all he did was baton a one inch sapling with his BK-9 and the blade shattered like glass. OK, if you say so.

    Mine has hung in a tree now for long enough that I am comfortale it isn't coming apart.

    The one weak spot I see with the handle design is that it is hollow. Not an issue by itself. But I make sure mine always hangs handle down. I can see where snow and or rain could collect in there and freeze. I am almost positive most of the handle breaks could be ice related. Many wouldn't even know. Because when the return the ice is gone, but the damage is done.

    But that hollow handle also provides some storage space. Build your self a plug. Use the holes in the handle to keep it in. And suddenly you have a mini survival hatchet stuffed full of jute, birch bark, fat wood and a small ferro rod. Or what ever else trips your trigger.

    Also consider the prices. The Outdoor Axe had better be a notch up from the Fiskars. The Outdoor Axe is $130.00 as compared to the Fiskars at $28.00

    Horses for courses. Top down convertible, or low maintenance pickup truck. Why not both?
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
  23. Youcantreadinthedark

    Youcantreadinthedark Amphibian. Supporter Bushclass I

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    I'm firmly in the 'buy once, cry once' camp - wait the extra month and pay the extra bucks and get a tool you'll never have to replace.

    But in this case, the x7 and the outdoor don't really seem like tools for the same sort of jobs, so you're not really filling one niche with a redundancy. (I think the Fiskars and the Wildlife hatchet would be more analogous.) Once I got ahold of an outdoor axe, it started coming everywhere with me - it's a low-space, low-weight item that gives more than it takes. I've got absolutely no problem whaling on it, although they do say "don't use this axe as a hammer" loud and clear. (I get around that by using it as a mallet, not a hammer.) If and when my outdoor axe breaks, I will post about it, and think about it, but I won't go whining to Gransfors unless it's an egregiously obvious fabrication flaw.

    I think most of us are way beyond need where outdoor tools are concerned, so if you want one, figure out your least-used knife or piece of gear and sell it, and grab a new axe. You'll have fun with it.
     
  24. Ragman

    Ragman Supporter Supporter

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    You mean like this?
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
  25. Watcher of the Woods

    Watcher of the Woods Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Thank you guys. This is what I needed. My time in the woods is sacred to me. The things I bring with me, they are part of me. My life line. I carry very little, but they're all quality items. Time to head to the trade blanket...
     
  26. Doc.

    Doc. Scout

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    I’m a firm believer in the axiom “Function is the greatest beauty.” Contrary to previous assertions in this thread: if the Fiskars works well for you, you can indeed learn to love it. Doc.
     
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  27. RI Chevy

    RI Chevy Scout

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  28. Doc.

    Doc. Scout

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    And by the way, bushcrafters are not immune to the penchant for “social plumage”. Doc.
     
  29. Guttersnipe

    Guttersnipe Supporter Supporter

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    My $.02?
    I have several "choppers".
    Two Fiskars, hatchet and a long handle ax.
    Leather handled Eswing for probably 30 plus years.
    True Temper FSS Pulaski I found in the forest and restored. Even the handle had rotted away.
    An old 4 1/2 lb Plumb Rafters ax that I'm still needing to find a handle for. Or just make one.
    An 8 lb splitting maul w/ fiberglass handle, ala Harbor Freight.
    And then there's my 2 1/2 lb HB hung by me on a 28" handle that I modified quite a lot. I LOVE this ax. It's a perfect combination of length, weight, size for ME. Best of all, it cost me about $15 for the handle, and the hours I spent cleaning it up, and making it mine.
    If someone offered me $300 for it, there would not be a chance of getting it from me.
    Visit some garage sales, surf the net. Find an old unloved head, and breath life back into it.
    That will be the one you love the most.
     
  30. cbrianroll

    cbrianroll Professional Tinkerer Supporter

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    Husqvarna hatchets a good alternative....I like mine over my fiskars, but my fiskars is my dirty work hatchet. Never even held a high end hatchet....not sure I will....I've found peace with low and middle ground tools. Now if I found one for 50 bucks I would definitely buy one lol
     
  31. batmanacw

    batmanacw Guide

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    But he is asking about tools with 13" to 15" handles and 1.25# heads. You are commenting on an entirely different animal at 2.25# and 28" typically. Occasionally 24".
     
  32. tomcfitz

    tomcfitz Supporter Supporter

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    Honestly, that's enough justification for any hobby purchase, IMO.

    I have an old Datsun that is slower, less reliable, and gets worse gas milage than my base model golf. Sure, it isn't objectively better in any way, but heck if I dont have a stupid smile on my face whenever i look at it, and even more of a grin when i've got the keys in my hand. If a GB hatchet (or any tool) gives you joy to look at as well as use, then it is worth every penny.

    I think the key is to be happy not just owning and looking at it, but using it. The knives I have that I don't use bring me no joy, whereas the ones I do use bring me joy in ways that is not at always proportional to their cost, if that makes sense.
     
  33. Watcher of the Woods

    Watcher of the Woods Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I just got a great deal on the Gransfors from LL Bean.

    I have a Hults Bruk Hunters axe that is 19" and it works great when I want something larger. Similar to the SFA, but a heavier head so it cuts deeper.

    I don't normally have use for an axe larger than that.
     
  34. junglas

    junglas Scout

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    I love beating my fiskars x7, not sure I would want to beat on a GB
     
  35. Watcher of the Woods

    Watcher of the Woods Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Exactly. I ONLY own things that I use. All other knifes get sold. Tarps sent away, etc etc. I own one fixed knife... Blasphemy I know, but it does what I need... I will probably throw the X7 in the trunk of the outback. This one will accompany me everywhere.
     
  36. fishiker

    fishiker Scout

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    If you can afford the GB, buy it. I have several and they are excellent quality. I'm confident my sons will be using them when I'm long gone. If you're happy with the Fiskars keep on using it. I've got a couple and they are super tough tools. Another option could be Husqvarna. I picked up a hatchet earlier this year and for the price it's quite a bargain. I did a little work on the edge and the handle to make it what I wanted. A Swedish made hatchet for less than $40 is hard to beat.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
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  37. Outdoor Dauber

    Outdoor Dauber Scout

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    Fiskars is ok; Gransfors is very expensive. Lots of options between the two.
     
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  38. Sandcut

    Sandcut Sed ego sum homo indomitus Vendor

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    Let's be honest here. There is not one task that the Gransfors can do that the Fiskars can't. It's just a hatchet. It's a sharpened wedge on a lever.

    If you want to buy the Gransfors because it's a Gransfors, then be honest and admit that that is the reason. (Great characterization of "social plumage" @Doc! ). The GB is a beautiful tool. If owning and using one makes you enjoy your time in the woods more, that is completely fine. But to say that the X7 is good for car camping while the GB is just better at everything is just ordure. I've carved spoons and kuksas with my (Gerber version of an) X7, I've split deer rib cages with it, and I've batoned it through logs with another log like a splitting wedge (which most folks wouldn't do with a GB for fear of warping the eye). It is capable of brute force or detail and finesse.

    It's OK to admit that you just don't like plastic handles. Really. It is. But that doesn't mean that you have to try to justify that decision by trying to denigrate the X7 to try to make it something less than it really is as justification of that bias. The X7 is a completely decent, reliable tool, especially when considering the price difference. Sure the plastic handle may break. So might the wooden handle on the GB. Both can be replaced.

    I spent $150+ on my Council Velvicut Hudson Bay axe. I also spent $13 on my Truper boy's axe. I love my Velvicut for a lot of reasons (mostly aesthetic). But there is nothing th at it can do that the Truper can't. And I'm OK with that.
     
  39. batmanacw

    batmanacw Guide

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    I own over 100 axes because they make me happy.

    I have lots of hatchets I bought for next to nothing that I hafted, tuned up, and sharpened that will absolutely destroy a stock Gransfors Bruks in every single category. They lack absolutely nothing.......

    But there really is something about the GB. They are beautiful, and with a bit of a tune up to the edge profile, wonderfully performing axes. My heart skips a beat when I hold my Wildlife hatchet or SFA. I can't wait to buy a Scandinavian Forest axe. It is the only other GB I really want. Maybe an Outdoors hatchet someday.

    This life is short and difficult. Why not love the axe you swing? I do love all of mine but the GB is special.
     
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  40. CSM1970

    CSM1970 Guide

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    Think outside the box. I own 2 Fiskars, 2 Plumb , one True temper, one Husky, a GB SFA, three tomahawks, Council Tool Boys axe, CT felling axe, CT Hudson Bay hatchet, Sears double bit axe, and a partridge in a pear tree. You can do a lot more damage with a little extra handle.
     
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  41. Outdoor Dauber

    Outdoor Dauber Scout

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    I bought this vintage Plumb hatchet at an auction for less than $1.00. That's right, for the cost of a can of pop, I bought a 1940s vintage US made hatchet that will rival the steel in a GB head. And no plastic handle...you just have to look around. IMG_20181014_194630740.jpg
     
  42. cbrianroll

    cbrianroll Professional Tinkerer Supporter

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    Batmanacw...All your axes I've seen make me happy too lol....I just dig vintage steel....all kinds.
     
  43. nograveconcern

    nograveconcern Guide Bushclass I

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    You really should buy a gransfors. Maybe 2. I mean, who can choose right?

    Get a wetterling too just to be sure you aren't missing any nuance. These things have personality man. You have to experience both flavors.

    :dblthumb:
     
  44. cbrianroll

    cbrianroll Professional Tinkerer Supporter

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    I think op has his mind made up.... just needs us as back up lol....
     
  45. americanstrat98

    americanstrat98 Wanderer Bushcraft Friend

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    Congrats to you @Watcher of the Woods. That size hatchet is so useful for bushcraft and camping. You will love the comfort of the handle during extended use. Something that is very clear about my X7 is that my forearms don't like it nearly as much as my Wetterlings when i'm using it as a carving tool.
     
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  46. mtngunr

    mtngunr Scout

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    Yep, think the OP was done with this thread and headed to the trade blanket, likely gunning for the dream Fiskars of a lifetime...
     
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  47. stillscout

    stillscout Supporter Supporter

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    This is the correct answer. Read no further.
     
  48. batmanacw

    batmanacw Guide

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    I have as many boy's axes as you have axes. They make horrible hatchets. A boy's axe in a hatchet thread is the same as a splitting maul in a boy's axe thread. Different tools.
     
  49. Sandcut

    Sandcut Sed ego sum homo indomitus Vendor

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    That right there is just funny!!
     
  50. Paulyseggs

    Paulyseggs Supporter Supporter

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    I bought my GB Hunters Axe in the late 90s.

    One of the few tools I love.

    But its becoming irreplaceable so I've been stingy with its outings. I dont like that . I worry about theft when I leave it unattended .

    So I can definitely see a purpose in both .

    Fiskars has your trust and faith. Make a great trunk tool .

    GB for memory making .
     
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