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★ ★ ★ ★ ★Delight in the hand
This is the third axe I've bought from Maurice at Woodsmith and, again, his authoritative advice has paid dividends. Hans Karlsson is yet another Swedish craftsman who forges beautiful and functional edged tools, this lovely Sloyd axe is no exception. Not the ideal tool for removing lots of excess quickly, its 700g weight and deceptively large 4", razor-sharp edge, will do it but, it's ideally suited to somewhat lighter tasks, such as accurate carving of spoon and smaller bowl blanks. It's a delight in the hand and the good balance and weight will allow you to use it, with good control, for extended periods. For a small axe, the dark elm handle is surprisingly ergonomic in my moderately large hands - it's designed by Wille Sundqvist, so perhaps I shouldn't be too surprised! My only minor criticism is not of the axe, but of the leather sheath - the bottom edge-point of my axe always protrudes from it - if the bottom rivet was slightly 'inboard', it should cure this minor issue. If you only intend working on smaller pieces, or cannot work with the heavier axes, this lovely tool would be a good all-round choice and, very thoughtfully by Hans Karlsson, it's available in asymmetric grinds.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★Hans Karlsson's Sloyd Axe
I think after you read this review it will be no secret that I am quite impressed by Hans Karlsson’s Sloyd axe. For those contemplating purchase, it well suited to smaller jobs and detail. Its functionality is superb. I am grateful for, and appreciated Woodsmith going the extra mile to provide a custom sheath. That is a class act in my opinion. The dark elm handle is beautifully finished and very ergonomic in the hand. The perfection of this axe’s fit is absolute. I may have said that about an axe in the past, but now I know that I had never actually seen seamless until this axe. Even the eye of the axe is finished like a fine piece of furniture. The only criticism I can find for this axe is that it is such a perfect piece of art itself that you may find yourself being hesitant to use it.