Created over 1.5 million years ago, the axe is one of the world’s oldest tools and is still very popular and widely used. However, it seems that Heikki Kärnä from Finland was not completely satisfied with the performance of this tool, which triggered enough concern for him to completely innovate it.
Kärnä’s idea was to make woodcutting easier and more efficient, requiring an external source of much lower energy. And after much study, he invented the “Vipukirves Leveraxe”. The tool, which in short is a reinvention of the axe, is based on leverage. The axe head is attached to the side of the handle and not through the center, as in traditional axes. This results in a displacement of the center of gravity of the axe head to the side of the tool. Thus, the Leveraxe relies on a rotational energy that actually pushes the wood apart like a lever.
“Everybody who has tried splitting wood with a traditional axe knows that it takes a lot of power to penetrate and split the wood,” says Kärnä. With his new invention, all this strength is no longer necessary. “You can easily and safely start splitting suitably sized logs from the sides by striking closer to edges. No more needing the futile first heavy strikes just to get the log split in two.” That’s because the Leveraxe design does not require much force, and each axe swing splits a piece of wood, so that the tool doesn’t get stuck in the log.
According to the official website, another very striking feature of Leveraxe is the safety it provides to the user. It offers more control, something that doesn’t happen with a traditional axe. The reason is that the Finnish invention changes the kinetic energy of rotational movement, making it easier to control the object.
Leveraxe went viral last year when it first hit the market but it would cost you quite a small fortune to have it built and imported from Finland. Now a new version of the Leveraxe is looking to go mainstream in the US and you can secure your own on their Kickstarter campaign for US$99. The Kickstarter axe will be similar to the one available now but with a new composite handle instead of wood which makes it lighter .