Expert Review: Wetterlings Les Stroud Bushman Axe
Early this spring, fellow employee Aaron and myself decided to venture off into the bush and try out some new products. Despite snow on the ground, and the fact that it would qualify as a winter camping trip, we couldn't wait. We were both excited to use the new Gen2 ATUK tent, as well as the new Wetterlings Les Stroud Bushman axe. We also took our new Lynx saws by Thomas Flinn & Co to buck up some wood as well - but that’s for another blog.
As we walked into the bush we realized we forgot snowshoes, with at least 2 feet of snow on the ground it was a hard walk, but nevertheless we made it. Once the tent was up, it was time to get the stove going for food and warmth. We managed to find some wood, but as luck would have it, it was all wet - but that didn't stop us. We did manage to find some dryer wood a little further in the bush.
While Aaron continued to buck up the wood, it was time for me to start splitting with the Wetterlings Bushman Axe. Weighing around 2 lbs, and just over 21’’ long, it’s an ideal size to bring in the backcountry - as it sits between the Gransfors Bruks Scandinavian Forest axe and the Small Forest axe. If your looking for an axe that can split larger diameter wood than the Small Forest, but can still limb and fell, then the Les Stroud Bushman axe is for you.
I was very impressed by this axe’s performance. This multi function design can be used to split, fell or limb a tree, although the axe doesn’t bite into the wood as deep as some of the other Gransfors axes. It does come in handy when splitting wood due to its slightly broader and wedge-shaped head. The axe is so well balanced you'd think you were holding a Gransfors Bruk. The two companies are very similar and both Gransfors Bruk and Wetterlings axes come with a 20 year guarantee.
Design and Handling
Les Stroud sure knew what we was doing when designing this axe, and with the help of Wetterlings they have created a great tool. The head is shaped in a way that you can choke up on it, to do some fine carving. The handle of the axe provides a comfortable grip when holding, and the poll of the head is designed to be used as a hammer for hitting tent pegs or spikes - but do remember that hitting steel on steel can result in steel chipping, so do be careful and wear safety glasses when possible.
Rating: A Trusty Tool for Many Camping Trips
Establishing themselves in 1880, Wetterlings is one of the oldest axe forging companies in Sweden. The hand forged Bushman axe, when amortized over the lifetime of the product is is quite affordable, the craftsmanship is outstanding, and this is a tool you’ll be handing down to your kids.
Aaron and I had a pile of wood in no time, it was now time to sit back relax and let our muscles take a break. The weather that weekend had been damp and rainy, and once we finished using the axes we then proceeded to dry and oil the axe to prevent any corrosion, also keeping in mind that oiling the hickory handle once we got back home will help to prolong the life of the axe handle.
I think Aaron and myself can both agree that the Wetterlings Bushman axe will be a trusty tool for many more camping trips - using axes is a lot of fun, but always remember to use them safely.