Asymmetrical Object Of Desire: Vipukirves Leveraxe

Image courtesy Vipukirves.fiOur man Clay might finally be getting his hands on a coveted Hultafors axe, but there’s no way it can be as avant-nordic cool as this bizarre splitting axe.I noticed it on Dude I Want That, and even though I don’t have a fireplace…well…dude, I want that!

The handle shaft is deliberately off the center axis, which allows the splitting head to rotate on impact and translate its downward momentum into sideways splitting force.

Maybe the Finns do a really good job of seasoning their firewood, but this thing looks like it splits better than a Radio City Music Hall Rockette. And I love how they just set up their axe demo in the middle of some old city square; I don’t think you could do that in Central Park.

Unfortunately, the Leveraxe costs almost 200 Euros. At that price, splitting wood with a Leveraxe is a meditative exertion I’ll have to enjoy vicariously. If you own one or if you’ve used one, drop me a note and tell me how it works.


  1. Matt in FL says:

    Does the cameraman have eyes? Seemed like he was pointing the camera by the force.

    Cool axe, though. Not much call for it in Florida.

  2. Mark Davis says:

    I’ve split a lot of fire wood, and this axe looks horrible. Sure, it may work if you have really straight-grained pieces, but lets see how it does with logs with knots and complex grain. No thanks.

  3. Chris Dumm says:

    Mark, you might have a point there. Some hardwoods split with incredible ease once they’re dry, and some softwoods like cedar just split like crazy whether they’re fresh or seasoned. I really wonder how well this splitting method works on not-quite-seasoned Ponderosa pine. It’s a sappy wood with an uneven, gnarly grain that can swallow steel splitting wedges whole and not spit them out for a whole season.

  4. Paul W says:

    YUCK. Asymmetrical load like that when I’m splitting a chord? No thanks.

  5. jwm says:

    What were they splitting, cured balsa wood? I’ve never seen wood split that easily. Is that the stuff they make model airplanes out of?

    1. The splitting with the Leveraxe is easy, because it is easy. There is no friction any more, not any way that much as with the conventional axes. This is because of the way how the splitting happens. The blade penetrates into the wood only a quarter of an inch (5 millimetres) on an optimum strike, because the blade starts to lean to the right at the very moment, when the edge of the blade touches the surface of the block. All the kinetic energy turns to the left. At the beginning when the blade starts to lean there happens leverage that multiplies the splitting force briefly up to 35 times stronger. In the Leveraxe videos are mainly fresh BIRCH, FIR and PINE. In some of the videos can be seen ELM. You will not get such chocks to your hands as with the conventional axes. The reason is very simple, hold the handle as gently as possible in your hands to allow the rotation. The blade will stop on top of the block or it will slow down the speed so, that it is fully under your control. Based to the feed back there are no more any problem trees. This may help you to understand, why the splitting is so easy with the Leveraxe.

  6. Looks like the Vipukirves/Leveraxe technique is difficult to understand for some people. In fact, it is very simple tool, it only requires different way of thinking.
    It is understandable that because we are talking about the subject, fire woof splitting, which has been done the same way since the stone age, the new method looks unbelievable. Firs time in the human history the axe-like tool uses LEVERAGE.
    This means, that the FRICTION is nearly non existent. The edge of the blade penetrates into the wood only less than a quarter of an inch (5 millimetres) on an optimum strike.
    The LEVERAGE multiplies the splitting force many times bigger. Because of the safety elements (first time in the history) the axe blade stops on the top of the block. Here are many videos to help you to understand this new, very effective way to split the firewood.

  7. I am laughing right now. I missed this the first time around. A friend tipped me to this on facebook last night and I was going to do something tonight.

    I get the concept. Another woodsman type friend pointed out that the wood was all birch or fir, which is relatively easy to split.

    I am far from ruling it out. The concept is interesting. My biggest worry, in light of my “Axe-ident” is the consideration that it is designed to spin. If my axe had spun, it would have cleaved my skull in two.

  8. derfel cadarn says:

    I have tried an friend’s it is effective, but no more effective than a standard maul in experienced hands and is over priced by $200.00. Go to Harbor Freight and purchase the fiber glassed handled 6 lb splitting maul then purchase a right angle grinder and a number of discs for around $40.00, for tuning shape of mauls head and split away. Spend the saved $200.00 dollars on beer. Buy decent beer you deserve it. Also you still have the grinder and discs for additional projects.

  9. Senna Marpat says:

    I would think having an asymmetrical head would be tiring after awhile. I never found the twist technique with a regular axe to be difficult to use or teach. I guess it falls under the “second kind of cool” category. I’d never buy one, but I can’t knock innovation.

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Asymmetrical Object Of Desire: Vipukirves Leveraxe

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