Per the informative descriptions of this axe on at the manufacturer's website, this product is supposed to be able to almost effortlessly crack a log apart.
|Leveraxe Models 2 & 1 (left to right)|
Right out of the box, this axe stands apart from any other I've ever held. First thing I noticed was how incredibly light it is! Weighing in at a meek 4.8 lbs, this birch handled splitter doesn't "feel" like something that could do all that much to the maple and locust we had standing by.
Then there's the design of the axe head itself: claw-shaped hard stainless steel, with a slightly blunted edge. Again, leaving a little doubt in my assumption as to whether or not it would hold up against what I was about to put it through. Though the manufacturer states that the "Leveraxe is based on a lever mechanism and rotation action. The operational principle of the Leveraxe is totally different from the traditional axe. The axe head is attached to the handle from the side and not through the center. This results in the centre of the gravity of the axe head being to one side of the center line of strike."
The principle method of the axe is in the rotation of its head as it bears down onto the log, thus diverting the downward force into a sideways one. The user is instructed to "loosen" their grip on the handle at the moment of impact, so as to allow the head to do its thing (instead of trying to drive the head into the wood). The user should also aim slightly off center of the log, again to allow the sideward rotation to "kick" the split piece out.
Even in the enclosed instructions, the use of a tire (or other harnessing barrier such as a chain or bungie chords) is recommended to keep the pieces in place while the user continues the desired splitting. For our demonstration however, I opted to forego the barrier - as to allow the pieces to fly where they may and see just how far they may fly. ;)
*** No Work'n Man's Wife was harmed in the demonstration of this product! ***
As you can see in our video demonstration, we tested this axe (on film) on a variety of sizes and pieces of both seasoned & wet maple and locust logs. We selected these for their density, and popularity around these parts as typical firewood.
At first swing, it was difficult to not regard this axe like the 8lb chopping maul that I'm use to swinging over my head! Its unbelievably light weight just makes it "seem" incapable of the task at hand. .... That being said; I am IMPRESSED at how effortlessly it tore these logs apart!
There were a few chops in which I ended up embedding the axehead into the wood. All of these were only on wet wood, and (as my brother pointed out) I was having a difficult time letting myself "loosen the grip" on the birch handle as the axe came down. It's certainly counterintuitive when you're use to holding a firm grip on those weighted mauls - to now telling yourself to 'take it easy.' But sure enough, loosening the grip makes for an instant split each time.
Later Follow-up with seasoned ash:
For more information about the Leveraxe product, you can visit the manufacturer's website: http://www.leveraxe.com
Disclosure: Work'n Man's Life received a sample LeverAxe 2 from Vipukirves for this review. The opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and have in no way been influenced by or reflect those of Vipukirves.