Fiskars Norden N10 | Expert Review by Siegurd van Leusen
The Fiskars Norden axes were one of the most impressive releases of 2019. But are these axes really that good? Bushcraft expert Siegurd van Leusen found out and wrote this expert review. For this review he used the Fiskars Norden N10 felling axe.
Fiskars is mostly known for its characteristic, orange-black, with glass-fibre reinforced plastic FiberComp handle. For the Norden N10, however, Fiskars opted for a wooden look and feel. Great, because I don't think any axe enthusiast will love the plastic look. You read it well: love. It is not the most important aspect, of course, but the eye wants something too. The axe looks chic, which is mostly the result of the wooden handle in combination with the carbon steel axe head and the steel ring in between the head and the handle.
When it comes to strength and durability, you need a Fiskars axe. During the chopping courses we teach, we always explain that if you are looking for an axe that requires little to no maintenance, it is best to purchase a Fiskars axe. Unbreakable, indestructible and easy. Nothing can beat a Fiskars.
But with the launch of the Norden collection, Fiskars introduces a handle that is partly made from hickory wood. When I held the axe for the first time I was immediately enthusiastic. I did, however, also immediately wonder: how's the handle holding up if I use it? I love wooden handles - that is an understatement - but I also care about sustainability.
Wood is stunning, but let's be frank: how many handles did I have to replace in the past? Every year I organize dozens of lumber clinics for people who have no experience when it comes to chopping wood, so axes regularly break due to misuse.
In short: wood is beautiful, but also vulnerable. Especially if you don't know how to handle it. The Norden collection, however, is unique. The handle namely consists of one part hickory wood and one part FiberComp. We will test it to find out how this works.
Thanks to the FiberComp construction the axe head is integrated in the handle and will therefore not let go. A FiberComp handle absorbs vibrations and increases the grip and the comfort as you use the axe. The glass-fibre reinforced plastic FiberComp handle of a Fiskars axe is stronger than a handle that is merely made from wood. A wooden handle will break, with a FiberComp handle you can keep going.
Fiskars Norden N10 vs. Fiskars X10
The Fiskars Norden N10 reminds me of the Fiskars X10. The carbon steel axe head is almost identical. I noticed that the handle of the Norden N10 is not as straight as the old X10. The Norden N10 contains a slight curve which is a real plus for me.
Fiskars Norden N10 in use
The past few months, during the wood chopping courses, we put the Norden to the test. We, but also the participants, used and abused the axe. When felling trees and splitting and carving wood. We also sharpened the axe.
We could only conclude that this axe is a perfect replacement for the Fiskars X7 and X10. The whole feels better in hand because of the slight curve. The axe is heavier, but in this case this isn't a disadvantage. You have a little more body as you use the axe.
There was, however, one thing we thought of: what about the connection between the wood and the plastic? Is it strong enough? So far we didn't experience any vulnerability and the axe can handle anything, even when you 'abuse it'. But what would happen if the axe was longer, like the X27, and the connection would have to handle a lot more?
The Fiskars Norden N10 is a great axe with an amazing price/quality ratio. Perfect for all axe enthusiasts and especially those who do not want to spend too much time maintaining their axe. For beginners, people who work with groups and mostly everyone who doesn't want to spend too much money on an axe, but is looking for a top-quality product.
Siegurd van Leusen is the founder of SIEGURD.nl and outdoor athlete. He grew up in the countryside of Umbria (Italy) and moved to the Netherlands when he was 19 years old. Shortly after he moved again to live among the French vineyards for three years. Today he lives in the Netherlands. Siegurd has been working at Outline Travel as head outdoor instructor for fifteen years, where he runs the entire Bushcraft section under his own label.
Thank you Siegurd for putting the Fiskars Norden N10 to the test.