Hults Bruk

This Swedish axe producer was founded in 1697, the year the company began forging steel for shipbuilding. By the 1870s, production had shifted to crafting axes for a booming forest industry. Today, as Sweden’s largest axe producer and one of the world’s oldest continually operating foundries, Hults Bruk is dedicated to maintaining a tradition of quality. Several stages of hand grinding, honing, and stropping are performed to produce a shaving-sharp edge. American hickory handles are oiled with several coats of linseed to condition and protect the wood. All Hults Bruk Premium axes come with a burly, full-size leather edge protector that secures to the axe with an adjustable leather lace.

The Almike is a small, all–purpose, easy-to-carry axe that packs enough punch to split small firewood or fell a small tree. A hand-forged, 11-pound Swedish steel head is paired with a 16-inch hickory handle to balance weight with effectiveness. It's light enough for one-handed chopping or carving tasks, but large enough for two-handed use when needed. SRP: $149. (

Photo by Justin Appenzeller