A Cleverly Curved Axe Head Turns Anyone Into Paul Bunyan

They say if you build a better mouse trap the world will beat a path to your door. But if you live in the woods, and come up with an ingenious way to improve something as simple as an axe head, the world will be able to clear cut a path to your door. Because cutting down trees and turning them into cords of firewood just got infinitely easier with the Vipukirves axe.

The axe head's unique curved design harnesses the downward force of a swing to both split and break off chunks of wood from a larger log. As it cuts into the wood, the curves force the head to the side, acting like a kind of crowbar to break pieces off in a single swing.

Given how it works, the Vipukirves seems specifically designed for turning downed trees into firewood, not actually cutting down a forest -- that's why chainsaws were invented. And at $255 it's probably a bit expensive for occasional campers, but if you rely on a wood stove for cheap winter heating, this could make the autumn a heck of a lot easier on you.

[Vipukirves via Notcot]


    Impressive, although technically a log splitter, not an axe. There is no way you could use this to cut down a tree, or anything where you need to cut against the grain of the wood.

    Still, as a replacement log splitter, it's the biz.

      +1 Beat me to it...... :)

      Last edited 11/06/13 5:31 pm

      Given how it works, the Vipukirves seems specifically designed for turning downed trees into firewood, not actually cutting down a forest — that’s why chainsaws were invented.

      Yeah that's pretty much what the article said, if you'd bothered to read it.

      I wonder how it would go with hardwood instead of softwood

    The video on the linked page is even more impressive. I'm curious about how it feels to use though, the twist it must generate in your hands at the last second makes my wrists nervous.

    But can it split a 20-inch diameter log into two? I don't want tiny bits of wood like that shown in the video.

    It doesn't look like it has enough heft to do a good job. Give me a proper block splitter any day.

      Thats the idea.. The correct application of force, rather than just throwing as much weight at it as possible.

      Classic example of people being resistant to change though.

        Clearly you have never actually split timber. The result is far less satisfying than the process and part of that process is the heft of the splitter. After all, splitting timber with a chainsaw would be even easier and would save you from having to buy separate tools for felling and splitting.

    Looks like it sends a fair amount of shock up your arm as it twists, watch from about 0:05 - 0:08

    ... The real innovation for me out of the video? Using a TYRE TO HOLD THE WOOD. Omg. This man is a genius. Shut up and take my money.

      This. Holy moley that's genius.


      I wonder if this is more jarring on the wrists due to the sudden forced twist of the axe head when it strikes.

      I actually can't believe that I haven't thought of this before.

      Another alternative is a bungee strap. It holds everything closer together and enables you to take a make a second cut at right angles to a previous cut if the piece is too big.

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