Vintage Axe Maker’s Marks
Telling the age of a Hults Bruk axe can be challenging due to the number of axes produced over the company’s 300-year-old history. To verify an authentic hand-forged Hults Bruk Swedish axe or hatchet look for the official maker’s mark on the axe head. After forging each axe the blacksmith stamps the Hults Bruk logo on the steel, signifying the axe has been made to the highest standards.
1988 – Present: Hot Stamp HB Maker’s Mark with “Made in Sweden”
These maker’s marks are put on the axe head during the final hits in the forging process. Thicker, deeper lines identify the hot stamp and sometimes you can notice the edges of the stamp around the bottom of the text. Hot stamped axe heads have the HB logo and weight information stamped on the same side. Hults Bruk axes with HB hot stamps have been produced between 1988 and the present day.
1900 – 1988: Cold Stamp HB Maker’s Mark with “Made in Sweden”
These maker’s marks are stamped when the axe is cold, after grinding and before sharpening. Cold stamps have thin lines and the stamp is not very deep. Because the stamps are not deep they have a tendency to get ground off during refurbishing. Cold stamped axe heads also have stamps on both sides. One side will feature the logo and the opposite side will have the axe head weight. Hults Bruk axes with cold stamps were produced until 1988.
1900 – 1910: Circle H Maker’s Mark Poll Stamp
Post 1900’s: Circle H Maker’s Mark Cheek Stamp
HB Logo with Triple Crowns – Swedish Army Issue
1884 – 1930 HB Maker’s Mark with ‘Hults Bruk ABY”
1884-1900 HM maker’s mark wth “Hults Bruk ABY”
Below are additional manufacturing information and significant production methods that can help put a date range on a vintage Hults Bruk axe.
Single Steel vs. Steel Bit
Prior to 1950 Hults Bruk axes were made of two separate steels. The main part of the head was made of iron and high quality edge steel was baked into the axe bit. It can be very difficult to tell if an axe was produced in this way. From 1950 to today the axe head is forged from a single piece of high-quality steel.
Over the years Hults Bruk has painted the axe heads black, blue, red and green. The blue painted Agdor axe is perhaps the best-known throughout the world. During the 1970s a huge number of blue Agdor axes were sold in North America. Historically the black and red colors are for specific markets, while green was for specific customers. Today Hults Bruk still produces axes with black or blue painted axe heads.
Vintage Hults Bruk Catalogs
See our collection of Hults Bruk catalogs dating back to the 1800s for more information on maker’s marks and vintage patterns of axes.