As a bowl carver, I am frequently asked about recommendations for beginner sets of tools. Though the Robin Wood Axe is always on that list, it’s not just a beginner’s axe.
Weighing in at 1 pound, 9 ounces, it is a midweight carving axe, and considerably lighter than the Gransfors Bruks (GB) Swedish Carving Axe (just more than 2 pounds), making it much more manageable for long-term use and controlled cuts. Though its lighter weight might imply that it’s not suited for heavy stock removal, it can be used for roughing work or even felling and sectioning small trees.
Having used the heavier GB carving axe quite a bit, I do notice a difference when roughing out bowls. The weight of the GB helps with removal of large amounts of waste wood when bowl carving, but for a beginner or for a spoon carver, this is a moot point.
The double bevel allows for right or left handed use.
Where I find the Robin Wood axe most useful is when I have rough-carved a bowl to shape and need to remove small amounts of material with controlled cuts to reduce the thickness of the work’s walls. With the GB, these types of controlled cuts are possible, but unnecessarily wear me out. I’ve discovered that using my GB for roughing work then following up with the Robin Wood axe is the perfect balance.
For beginner or seasoned carvers, this would surely be a very welcome addition to any tool kit. The price (about $50 with the current exchange rate)absolutely can’t be beat for the quality of the tool, and though it ships from England, it got to my house in Maine in three days. PWM
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