Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Tool-roll: Svante Djarv Small Viking Axe

Yesterday I received my Svante Djarv Small Viking Axe from the Woodsmith Store. I haven't had a chance to try it out yet, but wanted to give my first impressions of it.

Here's the description from the Woodsmith Store:
The Svante Djarv Little Viking Axe is a very useable everyday axe for green wood working made by respected Swedish tool maker Svante Djarv.
These axes are made in very small quantities.
The bit has two equal bevels ground to 30 degrees with distinct shoulders, a long curved bit which extends above the heads eye and the position of the cutting edge in relation to the handle make this a very efficient axe producing a very natural slicing action.
The medium weight head at 800gms has a cutting edge of 140mm, (5 1/2").
The curved ribbed handle in Swedish elm is 340mm (13 1/2") long and very comfortable in the hand with a good grip. As was traditional only a well seasoned wooden wedge is used to fix the head to the handle.
Up until now I've been using the Gransfors Bruks Wildlife hatchet and wanted to get something that a) had a bit more weight behind it to help make bowl carving a little easier and b) was more specifically designed for carving - notably an axe with an upswept bit. With regards to a) the 800g head on the SD Little Viking axe does not feel heavier that the 600g Wildlife hatchet. This might be because the American hickory handle on the Wildlife hatchet is heavier than the Swedish elm of the Little Viking. I'm not 100% sure that this is the case, but the balance of the two axes makes me think that's the case.

SD Little Viking Axe and GB Wildlife Hatchet
I was also surprised by how thin the axe bit is. Hopefully this will mean it will do well slicing. I'm also very happy with the flat grind, which should make it easier to sharpen than the convex grind on the Wildlife hatchet.

I've got a rather large piece of hornbeam sitting in my woodpile that has been waiting for this axe to arrive. I'll dig it out and report back on how the Little Viking axe holds up against 'ironwood' hornbeam.

Big lump of hornbeam at the bottom


  1. Hi, would be interested to hear how you are getting on with the SDLVA. I have the GB SCA but as an infrequent spoon carver struggle with the weight to use it for any more than a couple of minutes. Also have the GB Small Carving hatchet but the slicing edge on this is short. I am thinking of getting the SDLVA as it looks like its got a long slicing edge combined with a lighter weight and would be grateful for you thoughts.


    1. Not only that but the GB has a beard that is so close to the handle that when you really choke up close your fingers smash against it rendering the whole purpose of it useless. I love GB so dont take this as a stab at them. I love most of there products but the SCA is under par at best in my opinion.