The Hults Bruk is located just north of the Swedish city of Norrkoping. The location was selected in the late 17th because of its advantageous spot at the end of a valley and at the edge of a forest while being next to an active stream. That stream provided power through a water wheel.
It all started in 1697 with forging by hand using water driven hammers. Products being fabricated in the beginning included nails and iron bars which were then followed by hand tools such as axes and spades. From its founding until the 1820s the facility was owned by absentee wealthy nobles. Around 1820 the family Ekelund took over the complex. Three generations of Ekelunds ran the Hults Bruk works for over 100 years. In the late 1870s the owner and ironmonger Gunnar Ekelund took the initiative to make axes according state-of-the-art American production methods. In 1887, he traveled to America to study those industrial methods and to buy modern machinery. An additional purpose of his trip was to open up a new market for Hults Bruk axes in the United States where the first axes were sold in the late 1880s. Gunner Ekelund died in 1928 at the age of 78 after running the company for 42 years, but not before setting the Hults Bruk works on a course of modernization.
The next development milestone occurred in the 1930s when there was a great deal of development effort put into finding more effective ways to forge a blade edge that would maintain sharpness over time and use. The production and materials breakthroughs that occurred in that pre-war era have endured and are evident in today’s axe product line. Currently there are over 20 people working at Hults Bruk where over 100,000 axes heads are hand forged each year.
Hults Bruk axes are carefully handcrafted with a skill that is taught only through experience and time. Experienced blacksmiths work in pairs shaping the raw steel in a deft merging of force, timing, and perfect cooperation. As part of the hand shaping process, the steel axe head is struck multiple times, thereby increasing its density and resulting in greater durability. The head is constructed with a tempered zone designed to hold a very sharp edge even after repeated sharpenings.
The same traditional care goes into milling the solid American hickory handles into specific shapes, each adapted perfectly for a specific use. Finished axe heads are hand-fitted, meticulously inspected, and finally fitted with one of our custom leather sheaths to protect the superb cutting edge. Regardless of your lumberjack skills, these tools are a cut above.