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Review Arvika five star axe, by Hults Bruks

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by der_vincent, Aug 3, 2018.

  1. der_vincent


    Dec 9, 2011
    Hello Axe Enthusiasts,

    some months ago, i was lucky to find an old Hults Bruks Arvika Axe online...
    well, purchasing an axe that you have not Held in Hand is always somewhat risky, but juding the Pictures of the seller, the axe head seemed quite fine.
    And i was not dissapointed ... a Little bit of rust patina was only on the surface ot the axe head, but otherwise the condition was really fine!

    Here is my full Review:

    I used 240 and 320 grit to clean the head ... right now i am wondering if i should move on to something even more fine ...(??) because the head looks good, yes, but it is not totally perfect.

    The old original handle i left untouched so far ...

    Cheers, Erik
  2. phantomknives


    Mar 31, 2016
    id I leave it there, the finder the grit, the more microabrasions, the more surface area so it would rust faster, u less you go ridiculously fine, like 1000 grit.

    I wouldn't recommend doing this to a clean head but removing rust with a wire wheel leaves an incredibly durable and rust resistant petina, this will darken over time due to the nature of it. There is 2 types of rust, red rust (surface) and black rust, which is under the red.

    The petina I mentioned is a thin layer of black rust. If you plan to work the handle, it should be just thick enough to where your middle finger tip barely clears the meat of your thumb.

    Edit: sorry if you already know this
  3. der_vincent


    Dec 9, 2011
    Hi Phantomknives, thank you Buddy - i highly appreciate your advice, since i am new to "polishing metal" and rust removal with a machine .. so far, i have only used sand paper formetal by Hand.
    Probably I will follow your recommendation and use no finer grit.
    In fact, whe i received the axe and had a closer look, especially on the RIGHT side of the axe head, i was quite fascinated how the Surface with the Patina looked like .. in a way, quite beautiful, because the Surface felt smooth and flawless (beneth the stained layer, I mean). So, the 320 grit did NOT make the right sight smoother - just more shiny. (i hope I can describe what I mean to say...).
    Yankee Josh and phantomknives like this.
  4. Lieblad


    Jul 24, 2015
    Thats a great find. Glad you are having fun with it.
    Were it mine and keeping it for display, Polishing finer would be nice, but if for using it, I think its shiny enough.
    Yankee Josh and der_vincent like this.
  5. FLINT77


    Apr 8, 2013
    Very, very, very cool axe. I enjoyed your video also.
    What are the dimensions of the axe head?
    Oh, and what is the total length (head plus handle)
    Yankee Josh and der_vincent like this.
  6. Webscrounger

    Webscrounger Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 13, 2005
    Hi. I have a few of those, very old ones and a couple new. If you search this forum for 'Arvika 5-star axe' you'll get a few hits, some on other forums (even Reddit) with interesting info. Also, here on Bladeforums searching 'Cliff Stamp 5-star Arvika' you'll find a review with some interesting info on sharpening, edge profile and usage.
    Here's a couple Bladeforums threads:

    Also query the net for Oldjimbo posts on his own blogs. Search online for 'Index of outdoor-magazine oldjimbo' scroll down the index to ' axes-and-hatchets' pdf.
    Lots of Arvika info out there if you look for it. For racing axe type sharpening info you can also look at the Tuatahi site. You could apply some of their techniques.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018
  7. der_vincent


    Dec 9, 2011
    Hi Lieblad, thanks for your thougt about that ... i am very eager to sharpen the axe and actually use it. - Well, not use it for Routine, but just for the fun :) ...
  8. der_vincent


    Dec 9, 2011
    Hi Flint77 ... thank you, Buddy :)
    I have just taken my measurement tool (which has a european centimeter scale):
    - cutting edge is 14 cm (approx. 5,6 inches)
    - the poll is 9 cm high (approx.3,6 inches)
    - the widest part of the blade (measured from cutting edge to the poll) is 18,6 cm (approx. 7,4 inches)
    - the Overall length is 81 cm (so approx. 32 inches).

    I think the handle itself is exactly 80 cm, but it does NOT stick out of the head, and no wedge can be seen, due to the epoxy.

    When I got the axe, i first was very tempted to attach the 90 cm handle (36 inches) like it is on the Gränsfors FELLING axe, because this axe handles superb ... but then i decided to rather keep it originally... with the epoxy stuff.
    (Personally, i like the traditional wedging more than epoxy, but well ...)
    FLINT77 likes this.
  9. der_vincent


    Dec 9, 2011
    Hi gunscrounger, wow, you must feel lucky then about your old & new Arvika... must be cool to have the direct comparison "vintage vs new one" :-0

    And also lots of thanks for your hint on Cliff Stamp, Oldjimbo, reddit and Tuatahi .. this is very valuable info, perfect :) thank you!
    Indeed i have taken a look on Tuatahis's recommendations for several types of grinding. - This "Banana grind" looks somewhat weird to me, although i consider that it might serve a good purpose in certain Wood types, maybe in austraian hardwoods. - or maybe it is common in timber sports. - here in europe and especially in Germany, we often sharpen our axes in the style that we sharpen lso huge curved knives... maybe with an angle of 25 to 30 degrees ...

    (and also, a word on Gransfors Bruks: their axes deserve their high Reputation. I have several, and they come razor sharp directly from the factory). ... Cheers, Erik
  10. Webscrounger

    Webscrounger Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 13, 2005
    You did a beautiful job on yours! They’re a bit bigger and heavier than most people need or want but if you like them big you won’t find a better axe. Excellent steel. Pretty much indestructible.
  11. FLINT77


    Apr 8, 2013
    cool, thanks. I have a 4.5 lb plumb jersey with those same dimensions.

    also, I definitely prefer a 32" to 36" handle. I'd keep it the way it is.
  12. phantomknives


    Mar 31, 2016
    well bananas or double bananas only come from the shape of the head. most swedish heads or whatnot have flat cheeks so having a grind like that isnt necessarily necessary.

    it's just a grind where the edge is the same angle, if the cheeks are round like on most american heads the center is thicker so it creates that round effect.
    Agent_H likes this.
  13. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010
    I noticed that Hults Bruk announced earlier this year that it's now distributing those Arvika 5-star axes in North America, with a MSRP of $189.

    Reminds me that Plumb (Cooper) was selling an axe with what looked to be the same head (made by HB) in Australia, and it was advertised as recently as 2011.
    Square_peg and Agent_H like this.
  14. phantomknives


    Mar 31, 2016
    Weird, in Canada i'v heard they're only 80-90.
  15. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010
    Here's the press release from earlier this year:

    Hults Bruk Introduces Historic Arvika 5-Star Racing Axe
    Legendary racing style axe now available in North America

    ÅBY, SWEDEN – JANUARY 3, 2018


    Hults Bruk, Sweden’s largest and oldest axe manufacturer, is proud to introduce the legendary Arvika 5-Star axe. The massive racing style axe made popular by timber sport competitors and arborists is now available at specialty retailers throughout North America.

    One of the most robust chopping axes available, the Arvika 5-Star boasts a 4.5-pound, hand-forged Swedish steel axe head. Designed for use on Australian hardwood, the wide 5.5-inch blade profile makes large V-shaped cuts in hard, knotty or frozen wood. The axe head is secured to a solid 32-inch American hickory handle with both a steel and wooden wedge. The polished finish reduces cutting friction, while the heavier axe head paired with a shorter handle delivers the fast swings and powerful cuts needed in competition. While sharp out of the box, the Arvika can be profiled and customized by the end-user, a common practice in lumberjack competition sports that is only recommended for those with experience.

    Originally its own forge in Sweden, Arvika created the 5-Star racing axe to address a growing demand in lumberjack sports. In the early 1960s, Arvika ceased production and Hults Bruk purchased the brand and 5-Star pattern. For the next 50-years, Hults Bruk continued selling the Arvika 5-Star in select markets, making it a sought after axe in the United States, where it was previously unavailable.

    The introduction of the Arvika 5-Star racing axe reinforces Hults Bruk’s dedication to expand its line of professional grade axes in North America. “People familiar with Hults Bruk ask for the Arvika 5-Star by name,” says Matt Huff with Sport Hansa, the brand’s U.S. importer and distributor. “We’re proud to add this legendary Swedish axe to the line-up for those who value well-made tools for felling, splitting and competition.”

    Arvika 5-Star Racing Axe Product Specifications:

    • Hand forged at the historic Hults Bruk

    • High quality Swedish steel

    • Axe head weight: 4.5-pounds

    • Blade length: 5.5-inches

    • Handle: solid American hickory

    • Length of handle: 32-inches

    • MSRP $189

    The Arvika 5-Star axe will be available at select outdoor specialty retailers and online where Hults Bruk axes are sold. For more information or to locate a dealer near you, please visit...

    About Hults Bruk

    Hults Bruk has been in operation since 1697 when the company began forging steel for shipbuilding. By the 1870’s production shifted to crafting axes for a booming forest industry. Today Sweden’s largest axe producer and one of the world’s oldest continually operating forges, Hults Bruk is dedicated to maintain a tradition of quality. For over 300-years, Master Blacksmiths at Hults Bruk strive to achieve near perfection, making the brand famous throughout the world. During the forging process, high quality Swedish steel is struck multiple times, increasing density and durability. For more details please visit...

  16. Webscrounger

    Webscrounger Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 13, 2005
    Up until this year you could have Ordered a 5-Star from Canada for $120.00 shipped. Not sure why they bumped the price to USA this year. I noticed my newer H-B 5-Star heads are slightly different ( I think since the 80’s?) and weigh in at about 4-lbs 3-oz not 4-lbs 8-oz.
    My older Arvika heads (60’s -70’s) look to weigh in at 4-1/2+ and are measureably larger by a reasonable margin. Different forges maybe.
    Square_peg and garry3 like this.
  17. der_vincent


    Dec 9, 2011
    Hi Steve,

    wow, great .. thanks a lot for your hint on the recent press release ... this is interesting! :)
    Cheers, Erik

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