Skip to comments.Brand new type of axe shows us an easier and smarter way to chop wood (Pretty cool)
Posted on 04/26/2014 3:45:42 PM PDT by Straight Vermonter
Axing technology is as old as time, but thanks to physics and people with good ideas, it has just been vastly improved upon.
Finnish inventor Heikki Kärnä created an ax that works more as a splitter, lever and wedge all at once, The Blaze writes.
Though it looks a little funny, it splits wood in record time.
Its essentially acting as a lever instead of a wedge (Vipukirves translates as Leveraxe). A regular axe needs to be driven downward with enough force to separate wood along the grain. Thats a lot of force, and if a log is hit off center, the axe blade can deflect at unexpected angles. Thats not good your squishy flesh is much easier to split than a log.
So what makes a lever different than a wedge in this scenario? The Vipukirves still has a sharpened blade at the end, but it has a projection coming off the side that shifts the center of gravity away from the middle. At the point of impact, the edge is driven into the wood and slows down, but the kinetic energy contained in the 1.9 kilogram axe head continues down and to the side (because of the odd center of gravity). The rotational energy actually pushes the wood apart like a lever. A single strike can open an 8 cm gap in a log, which is more than enough to separate it.
Watch it in action:
Oops forgot the source: http://www.caintv.com/brand-new-type-of-axe-shows-us
Watch it in action:
It does seem to be a very effect axe.
I’ve preferred to use a heavy splitting maul instead of an axe. But I’m getting older, and that tool of low tech wonder looks pretty good. Thanks.
I think that’s a good product, but I better AXE it again!
I’ve chopped some wood in my day, and I’ve never seen any wood chop quite that easily. It makes me wonder if that wood is a special wood that has had the moisture baked out of it.
Combined that might make for some easily chopped wood. Most wood outside is not completely dry, and does not chip anywhere near that easily.
If it truly is the new axe, I’m all for it. That would be a great improvement to say the least.
Yes, if it is that effective on face value in practical circumstances, it’s a very good axe. It’s design is interesting.
Oops. The price is a little high. I might build a hydraulic splitter instead.
The video looks impressive, and it seems like a winning design. However, I never had much trouble using an ordinary splitting maul on straight-grained, cured wood (as in the video). I have had 2 ft. long pieces that twisted nearly full-circle. The only way I could split them, was to wait until it dropped to 30 below, or colder. At that temperature, the wood becomes brittle, and splits easily. It would be interesting to see this lever splitter attacking some more challenging wood.
I can’t believe I just watched a seven and a half minute video showing some dude chopping wood.
(All the while wishing I had a wood burning stove or fireplace)
I’d like to try one. However, my problem is not with wood like that that will split easy but with wood full of knots.
I think its white maple that has a ripple grain that makes it exceptionally hard to split. I have a couple of planks laying on the ground to cross a small creek in my yard. They’ve been laying on the ground for around 15 years and are still rock hard.
When I worked at the saw mill we build all our catwalks out of white maple. We had to use a nail gun to get the nail started then pound them in with a hammer.
This was on “The Blaze” last week and I looked into it ...
1st , it isn’t new , this design dates to 2009 ,, and a similar design with the offset blade but without the “kick” preceeded it...
2nd , it isn’t useful for felling trees ,, WITH THE GRAIN ONLY ... it is useful for splitting cut lengths only.
3rd , it’s expensive ,, $250+ ,, and it’s out of stock
4th , in all the video’s you’ll see it’s being used on straight grain fast growing varieties of european softwood.
5th , also in all the video’s it’s COLD outside ,, and we all know that wood splits easier when cold/frozen
6th , Since the manufacturer hasn’t found a worldwide distributor for it in 5 years I’d say it’s usefulness is rather limited OR any company he approached is afraid of the wrist breaking twist action.
There is nothing more fun than a knotty 2’ wide log that you sink a splitting maul deep into then pound it further in with a sledge then proceed to pound a wedge or two half way down to get it to split.
I have split a fair amount of wood. The example of wood given seems frozen (easy splitting), straight grained (easy splitting), short (easy splitting) and sized to be contained in the tire (allows for multiple fast strokes).
I can see how the physics might work, but you cannot drive stakes or spikes with it (no flat back end), it takes up more space, and is more expensive. It is a replacement for a splitting maul, not an axe.
Give me a woodpile and a couple of hours with it, and I would let you know.
Hydraulic ram splitters are pretty nice, too, and only cost a few hundred. My father made one up before the were commercially common.
I have wood that will not split like that. I never saw wood like that before. I have knots in mine. The wood is frozen and quite brittle.
Hoooweee! That’s slicker ‘n snot!
Or fire up the Chainsaw and save yourself a lot of unneeded grief ;)
In 1940`s I watched my grandfather blow trees apart with dynamite for kindling and wood for the iron stove in the kitchen—
Who need Chopin?
...iä! Iä! Cthulhu woodchoppin!
I’d like to take it down to city hall here in NYC and test it on a piece of really thick wood, namely DeBlasio’s cranium! Then sit back and smoke a stogie in front of my “real” fireplace.
LOL, good one. I hear ya.
Well, if that’s so, this is a gem of an axe. He should sell many units. 15 years. Very good...
I will agree that spending some time with it would be nice.
I’d probably get worn out in about one minute after not doing that sort of activity in decades.
It did seem a bit overly easy. It may be a good product. As someone else said to me, it would be good to try it out.
Seems to be doesn’t it.
Doesn’t look like oak but a softwood. I’ll stick with my double bladed axe.
I understand how the blade end works but I don’t get the purpose of the curved part on the head of it.
Here is a link to another article on this where the inventor entered a comment. Link and copied comment follow:
My name is Heikki Kärnä. I am the inventor of the Vipukirves/Leveraxe.
I red the comments and I noticed, that for some people it seems to be very difficult to understand the splitting technique with the Vipukirves/Leveraxe.
There is practically nothing to do with cutting and wedging when splitting with the Vipukirves.
Leverage is the way how to do it.
There is no friction as with the conventional axes and mauls, because on an optimum strike the blade penetrates into the block only about 5 millimetres, less than a quarter of an inch. At the very moment, when the edge of the blade touches the surface of the block, the blade starts to lean to the right. Here comes the leverage that multiplies the splitting force up to 35 times bigger. The edge of the blade grabs to the side of the part of wood. All the kinetic energy turns to the left and pushes the piece away. Initial spitting force can be even 15 tons.
Splitting is now much easier, because you do not have to use so much power. By holding the handle as gently as possible you allow the rotation in your hands. You will not get such chocks to your hands and body as with the conventional axes and mauls.
It is very important to hold the handle so, that you do not resist the rotation.
This way also the safety elements, which are build in to the design of the blade, function as they have planned to do. The blade will stop on the top of the block, or slows down the speed so, that it is fully under the control of the user.
Vipukirves has been on the market over 8 years. There has happened NO ACCIDENT.
It is advisable to split the wood as green as possible, because this way it splits easiest, the insects cannot multiply in it and it dries best.
Vipukirves has spread all around the world. The feed back is excellent.
There is a lot information in my websites, Google etc. Youtube. Search by words Vipukirves and Leveraxe.
I wish you to make yourselves acquainted with this new kind of tool which is in commercial production first time in the history. I would also like you to understand that among the other advantages the safety elements make the splitting really enjoyable because you do not have to be afraid all the time about the blade.
Based to the feed back, so called hard wood is not any more a problem when using the Vipukirves.
Of course it requires some knowledge about the structure of the tree to optimize the splitting.
In the videos you can see myself splitting. I am around 70 years. Now I am 74 and my total experience is splitting firewood consists of 67 years time.
Thanks for the post; link.
Nice. All these years of metal being forged into tools and someone finally builds a better mousetrap.
Music to read this thread by...
I think that answers my question about the curved part on the head. It throws the weight to the right twisting the blade in the crack it has just made. I saw it bouncing to the right in the video but thought that was operator carelessness.
Why , the Demonuts will soon ban burning of wood
Pretty cool alright. Good catch by Straight Vermonter.
Those chucks of wood sure were even all the way around. Flat too.
In all my years as a teenager splitting wood for the winter I sure didn’t see a lot of wood that looked like that.
Save yourself 193 euros. I have been splitting wood for heating purposes for over 50 years. Chopping is much easier if the chopper (that’s the axe, not you) is tilted about 5 degrees as it strikes the block. You get both splitting action and the angled head tends to kick both parts of the block away from each other.
Much the same principle as described in the article on the axe. All with a $5.00 yard sale axe, properly sharpened.
Looks like maybe alder.
Good points all.
Bet it wouldn’t do that to oak or hickory.
Been cutting & splitting my own firewood & heating with wood for over 40 years (finally got logsplitter 5 years ago) and I don’t believe this thing will work for on our hardwoods.
First of all, my logs are 24” - 30” long. Almost any wood is easy to split into 12” - 14” sections like in the video.
One trick I did like though was using a tire to hold the log while splitting - though again, not sure how it would work on a 24” log.....
I wonder how it does against seasoned Texas mesquite. I cut a lot of wood for BBQ’s. My shoulder joints are feeling their age.
Careful with that Axe, Eugene.