The heavier the ax head, the easier the wood chopping will be. Right?

Not necessarily. This ax seems to defy the laws of physics, but the metal is actually manipulated perfectly to create a better chopping surface.

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The Finnish design balances the ax head with a piece of metal that forces it to the right after impact, assisting with the wood-splitting action. (Image source: Vipukirves)

“Yes, axes have existed since time immemorial, but apparently there’s still room for improvement,” Geek reported.

We agree. Splitting a log requires a more force than you might imagine, and Finnish inventor Heikki Kärnä created an ax that works more as a splitter, lever and wedge all at once.

“The Vipukirves does what the name implies, assuming you speak Finnish. It’s essentially acting as a lever instead of a wedge (Vipukirves translates as Leveraxe),” Geek reported. “A regular ax needs to be driven downward with enough force to separate wood along the grain … if a log is hit off center, the ax blade can deflect at unexpected angles.”

That much force behind a metal blade accidentally misdirected at a foot, knee or any other fleshy body part isn’t good.

But what makes this ax so different?

“It 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.”

Maybe Tim Tebow and Jase Roberston should have used this ax while chopping wood on Easter.

Hmm, on second thought, it looks like they were out for a bicep burn, and the Vipukirves would make it less of a workout for them.

Check it out for yourself below. You can get this physics-exploiting ax here, but be prepared, it is a little pricey.

(H/T: Geek)

Follow Elizabeth Kreft (@elizabethakreft) on Twitter.

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