By harnessing leverage when its cutting edge strikes wood, the Leveraxe reportedly chops wood more easily and safely (Credit: Leveraxe)
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The axe is one of the oldest tools known to mankind, and its basic design typically changes very little. The Leveraxe, however, strays from that blueprint. As a result, it's said to be more effective than a traditional axe, require less power, be safer and not get stuck in the wood.
Designed by Heikki Kärnä, the Leveraxe is aimed at solving a number of problems that conventional axes present. The Finn found that axes could be both dangerous and hard to work with. By harnessing leverage when the cutting edge struck wood, Kärnä realized he could address both of these issues and more.
Traditional axe heads are symmetrical wedges that are centered on the handle. These must carry enough momentum to penetrate and split any wood being chopped. By offsetting the head of the axe and making the cutting edge asymmetrical, the Leveraxe naturally rotates when making contact with wood, splitting the wood more easily and stopping the axe from getting stuck.
As the design of the Leveraxe makes it naturally more effective than a conventional axe, less power is needed to penetrate and split wood. Users therefore need not be quite so strong, and the Leveraxe can be used with more accuracy and safety.
As well as requiring less force for use, the Leveraxe is reportedly safer to use than a conventional axe due to its predilection for rotating on impact. By naturally turning and deflecting the downward force of the axe when the chopping edge hits the wood, it eliminates the possibility of the axe bouncing back at the user.
After a swing, a hook at the rear of the axe head bites into the wood to reduce the chance of it following through and hitting the user in the legs. In addition, the handle has been made longer than those of conventional axes so that less force still is required, and so that the Leveraxe will hit the floor rather than the user's legs if it misses the wood being chopped
There are two existing Leveraxe models, but a new one has been developed. It features an iron alloy head and a hollow compound handle that makes it lighter and easier to use. Each Leveraxe head has 10-year warranty.
A Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign is underway for the Leveraxe. At the time of writing, individuals who pledge from US$99 can receive a Leveraxe, assuming all goes to plan with the campaign and roll-out. Shipping is expected from November of this year.