The Vipukirves: Axe Exploits Physics To Speed Woodcutting

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Axes have, for all intents and purposes, remained relatively unchanged for many centuries now. However, the Vipukirves throws out traditional design in a bid to make woodcutting safer and easier.

Designed by Finnish inventor Heikki Kärnä, this new axe incorporates a lever design to make the cutting of wood easier on the woodsman. Dubbed the Vipukirves (which translates from Finnish to mean Leveraxe), the axe offsets its center of gravity to actually pry the wood apart instead of simply splitting it apart.

physics axe The Vipukirves: Axe Exploits Physics To Speed Woodcutting


While a traditional axe is driven downward to separate the wood apart from itself, there is the possibility that it may deflect if struck down at an unwieldy angle. And, unless you’re in the business of harvesting your own legs, it’s probably not the greatest of side effects.

The Vipukirves instead features a weighted projection coming off the side of the blade that shifts the center of gravity away from the middle of the axe. When the blade is driven into the wood, the weighted projection actually causes the blade to then twist, which pries the wood apart, much like a lever would. This also allows the downward energy to dissipate gradually as the axe rotates. This means that there is no abrupt shock, and no chance at an unwanted, and possibly harmful, deflection. It’s simple physics put to work.

If you or a budding lumberjack want this physics-exploiting axe, it’s unfortunately not going to be easy on your wallet. For those of you in European countries, you can expect to pay €193.12, which includes VAT. For anyone ordering from the US or Canada, you’ll have to pay roughly $215, plus an additional $65 to ship it to you. For a safer and easier to use axe, that may just be worth the price of purchase though.

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