On those increasingly rare occasions I overnight in the country I'm always happy to find a big pile of unchopped wood in need of the axeman's special lovin'. I'm not a great axeman, m'self, but I am enthusiastic, especially after a few brewskis.
Shut up, safety nerds. I got this.
There's something hugely satisfying about splitting wood with edged metal and violence. I think that's why I love this Business Insider story about a weird super powered Finnish axe so much. It makes splinters of old growth forest at an insane rate.
As a matter of physics and engineering, splitting wood with an axe requires a huge amount of power to drive the wedge into the wood and split it without getting the ax stuck. Traditional axes can also be dangerous since they can hit your leg if you miss the target. This is why using an ax is such a macho test of strength, and not a simple household task you can assign to a child.
One day, some guy thought to himself, "Eureka! I need to work on this!" (According to the history of Vipukirves). After testing out a few different methods, the company realized that leverage was the answer to the problem. A regular ax uses virtually no leverage — it simply strikes the wood at a 90 degree angle like a sharp hammer. Leverage — in which a shallow angle is used to maximize the force of the weight on the other end of the lever creating the angle — is a more efficient way of transferring force.
And so the Leveraxe was born.
Check out this bad boy making short work of a stump I'd probably spend half an hour reducing to something usable. You only have to watch the first thirty seconds or so.