As the name suggests, the Finnish-designed LeverAxe from Vipukirves is designed to enhance the chopping power of a traditional axe by shaping the axe-head in a way that turns it into a pry-bar moments after impact (that’s a “crowbar”, for our South’n friends).
As you can see in the super-slow-motion video, below, the LeverAxe is swung just like a regular axe. It’s at the point of impact, however, that the LeverAxe really comes into its own. As soon as the momentum of the axe-head splits the wood, the unique shape of the LeverAxe redirects that momentum sideways, rather than down-ways, causing the log to “tear” along the grain. In practice, it’s even more brilliant than it sounds, with reports of small men splitting 100 logs in under 2 minutes all over the YouTube comments. Take that for whatever you think it’s worth.
Here is a brief description of the process, in the words of the LeverAxe’s creators.
Upon hitting the top of the log and penetrating it slightly, the leading edge of the axe head begins to slow down. Where the axe blade widens sharply it stops the axe’s penetration. However, the mass of the axe head still has kinetic energy and the off line center of gravity forces it to rotate eccentrically down towards the wood. This rotational movement causes the leading edge, or sharp edge of the blade to turn in a lever action, forcing a split with all the force of the kinetic energy of the axe multiplied by the leverage of the axehead. The widening blade edge also has a benefit in that it helps to prevent the axe from penetrating into the wood and getting stuck there as is often the case with traditional axes.
Pretty cool, ain’t it?
Obviously, the key to the LeverAxe is efficiency of motion. You move less, you spend less energy, you need fewer calories to get more work done. As any fans of Les Stroud will tell you, it’s essential to keep extraneous movement to a minimum in survival situations, and those could range from something exciting like, splitting zombie skulls, or boring, like splitting logs to keep a fire going in winter. In either case, you want the most bang for your caloric buck.
You can pick up your own Vipukirves LeverAxe over at the company’s online store, for around 250 USD, depending on the Euro exchange rates on any given day.
Source | Photos: Vipukirves, via Dude I Want That.