An axe is an axe, right? Wrong. Heikki Kärnä, a retired Finnish air traffic controller, has reinvented a tool whose design the rest of us have been taking for granted for…well, forever.
Years back, Kärnä need to clear some trees off his land, but couldn’t bring in a power chopper due to unstable ground. As he chopped away at the trees with an axe with the classic wedge-shaped head, he wondered if there wasn’t a better design. On traditional axes the head pushes the wood apart with equal force on each side, but this means that the head often gets stuck.
Kärnä designed his LeverAxe to direct the lateral force of the blade to one side, letting the head lever sideways as it enters the wood. The result is an axe that breaks pieces away from the log as it’s chopped.
“Compared to a traditional axe, it requires far less raw force to split wood,” Wired magazine wrote of the LeverAxe. “And of course, fewer bone-shaking, sweat-soaked hours spent prepping your fire fuel.”
LeverAxe now offers two versions of this hightech axe: the LeverAxe and the lighter-weight LeverAxe 2. They aren’t cheap, especially given the costs of importing them from Finland to the United States. The original LeverAxes runs $259 and the LeverAxe 2 costs $249.