I can’t imagine certain tools getting any better than they already are. For example, a fork is never going to get better than the stainless steel three-pronged utensil we all know and love (although I can imagine Google or Apple sticking wifi into the fork so you can track what you eat and adding a camera to take selfies inside your mouth).
So when Slate Magazine put one of their usual sexy headlines claiming a brilliant redesign of the ax, I was highly skeptical.
Meet the Vipukirves (which translates to Leverax).
According to Slate, the ax uses a lever action that makes this one much stronger than the traditional ax and features red and yellow coloring to make it easier to spot.
The Finnish inventor of this new ax has always tried to improve upon everyday tools to make them more effective and efficient. He found inspiration for this new ax when thinking about the crowbar.
I’ll let Geek.com explain the physics of the ax:
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.
The inventor also claims it’s safer and easier to use than other axes.
To clear a few things up, the ax itself is more of a splitting maul (which is a type of ax used mainly to split wood), so this wouldn’t be able to chop down a tree or anything like that. It’s also not too clear how this will handle splitting harder woods like elm or beech. Finally, it’ll cost you a pretty penny at $281.
The design looks like a great improvement to the splitting maul and if you need something solely for splitting wood, this could be a fantastic buy… in a few years. Right now, it costs a lot of money, but in a few years, I can imagine the price coming down to a more affordable and reasonable range. For now, it’s probably best to stick with some of the current axes.
Still, I commend this inventor for trying to make our lives easier.