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Expert Review: Gransfors Bruk Axe File

Aaron Harding
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September 21, 2021
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Last Updated: September 21, 2021

Sooner or later, all axes require filing in order to re-establish or correct the blade edge and geometry. The Gransfors Axe File (as opposed to the Gransfors Diamond Axe File), is a standard single cut file, which is fairly aggressive and will remove quite a bit of metal - useful you need to re-profile the cutting edge angle, if you have a very dull cutting edge, or if there are chips or dings in the blade which would take too much time to remove with a diamond or ceramic stone.

The Axe File features a wood handle with a flared section at the top which acts as a guard to protect your hand when filling toward the edge.  If you file from the back of the axe head or "poll" toward the edge, the flared handle can act as a guide to keep the factory grind angle.  Just rest the file and handle so both are touching the cheek of the axe and push it forward until the side of the file comes in contact with the edge, and you now have a reference as to when to stop the file from pushing too far and rounding off the factory cutting edge angle.

As the file length is 7.5 cm and 2 cm wide it takes a bit longer to completely re-profile a damaged edge than a full length file would, but it also weighs a heck of a lot less, and has a much smaller footprint, so bringing it into the bush isn't a problem, and the handle’s flared design ensures you won't risk cutting your fingers. The Gransfors Axe File can take a dull or damaged axe to tree chopping and paper cutting sharpness, but you will need a finer grit sharpener to remove the burr and micro serrations left from the file to achieve the factory shaving sharpness (the Gransfors Diamond File is a good choice as it has a medium and fine side for the middle to final steps of the sharpening process).

Compact, comfortable, and eminently packable, the Gransfors Axe File is a staple in my sharpening kit.

Aaron Harding

Aaron Harding has been spending time in the woods and camping from a very early age - starting with car camping and hiking the Bruce Trail, and then later back country canoe camping and hiking in Algonquin Park. Nature photography, tree and wild edible plant identification, and bushcraft are also some of his favourite activities while in the woods - something he’s keen to share with his 2 year old daughter. When not in the bush, you can find Aaron hanging out in Toronto’s High Park or riding his motorcycle.
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