When you go on away on a luxury camping holiday chopping wood is not something most people will want to be partaking in. However, some people would be more than happy to let their outdoor persona take the reins in order to swing the axe.
Who wouldn’t you want this revolutionary new axe with you while you’re on glamping South Devon to alleviate the normally laborious task of log splitting with this impressive adapted tool? The Finnish inventor Heikki Kärnä invented this new kind of axe to make it much easier and safer, given the amount of effort needed to chop with a standard axe.
The Vipukirves does just what the name implies, assuming you are familiar with the Finnish language. Basically, the Vipukirves acts as a lever instead of a wedge (Vipukirves translates as Lever-axe). As most people know, a regular axe has to be driven downward with a suitable amount of force that will separate the wood along the grain. And anyone who knows- that’s a lot of force, and if a log is struck off centre, the axe blade can deflect at unpredicted angles- never good with human limbs around!
Just to clarify, this is what makes a lever different than a wedge in this kind of situation. The Vipukirves still possesses a sharpened blade at the end, but it has a projection coming off the side that alters the centre of gravity away from the middle. Now to get technical- On the point of impact, the edge is driven into the wood and slows down, but the kinetic energy contained in the 1.9kg axe head of the Vipukirves carries on down and to the side due to the odd centre of gravity. The rotational energy actually pushes the wood apart acting like a levering motion. A single strike has the potential to open an 8 cm gap in a log, which is a plentiful gap in order to separate it.
The inventor also points out the level of safety this tool holds because the downward energy that has the potential to cause harm is dissipated gradually as rotational energy. This means there is no abrupt shock, and no deflection. Additionally the Vipukirves naturally comes to rest on its side, which allows the log to stabilise and keeps the sharp edge pointed away from the person chopping. A very cool adaptation of a useful tool that we’re very keen to have a go at using.