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VIPUKIRVES™ – The Finnish Reinvention of the Axe

Faster, safer, easier – A new axe from Finland revolutionizes the way of chopping firewood.

The axe is one of the oldest tools known to humanity. For thousands of years men handled wood with a simple construction of a wooden shaft and a metal wedge. That is, until a Finnish lumberjack realised that chopping firewood with this kind of axe is too dangerous, exhausting and inefficient and there has to be a better way. The solution took Heikki Kärnä 15 years of experimenting before it struck him like a hit with an axe: Watching a crowbar work he suddenly knew what his new axe would have to look like.

A thrust with a standard axe costs much power and often more than one hit is needed to split a log because the wedge gets stuck. The VIPUKIRVES™ axe uses less power and more lever action (Vipukirves means lever axe). Immediately after it hits the wood it turns to the right and separates the chopped portions apart. The blade doesn’t get lodged in the wood, which saves time and effort. Also, you can work more precisely when you don’t have to put that much force into one thrust. When chopping up a large log for firewood the most efficient way, according to Kärnä, is to use an old tire for stabilisation.

Working with the VIPUKIRVES™ is also safer than with a normal axe. There is always the possibility of going through the wood too easily when striking with full force and hitting oneself. The VIPUKIRVES™ has an extra long handle and a knob on the side which makes it stop when going too deep.

The VIPUKIRVES™ is fully made in Finland. The birch handle is made in a workshop specialized in turning. The blade is a precision-cast product made in Riihimäki by Sacotec Components Oy.

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