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Lever Axe Review Paper

Post in 'The Gear' started by Corie, May 22, 2007.

  1. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    Well I wrote up a review with photos on the Lever Axe. Feel free to read it over and see what you think. Whoever wants it next, just let me know. You'll have to click the URL to download.

    http://www.mediafire.com/?d5gtbbtxbp3

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Really loved it, eh? I got the feeling that it was optimized for relatively soft, straight grained woods like birch, alder and aspen.
  3. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    I wanted to like it really badly. I kept splitting and splitting, waiting for it to shine. It just never happened. It wasn't even on the same level as the 8 pound regular maul.
  4. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Corie, can I post this in the wiki so it will be preserved for posterity?
  5. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    BTW, a lot of stoves can use those small splits. For instance, wood burning cookstoves use small splits for fast heating and control. Also, designs like the Jotul Black Bear and Morso 2B0 can use 'em.

    It's probably true the a lot of European wood is straighter grained - forest there tend to be new and the trees are not big and knarly.

    It might be nice to send it to Begreen for a run at softwood and other west coast stuff.
  6. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Interesting read, though I dislike your media server even more than you failed to like the lever axe...

    CHEEZY... Heavy cookie storms, use of ultra scam "punch the monkey" type ads, doesn't work if cookies refused, etc, complained about my default security settings (Why if it didn't try to do something illegitimate?). If I'd been running a Windows box I would have been searching for malware installed by it - as is I feel a desire to wipe the slime off my ethernet cable...

    However I did eventuall download the file, and found it an interesting read, though I suspect from your conclusions that I'm glad I didn't try to get one. Did you ever try it on a hunk of elm? It would seem appropriate given the advice we gave the creator back when he first started spamming us about it...

    As a thought, if you brought it with you to the party we are throwing this Summer (see thread in Hearth Room) it might be a chance to pass it on to someone else, and demo it for those attending...

    Gooserider
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Pass. No alder this year. I'll stick to my 8lb maul and power splittin'.
  8. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    Absolutely Craig.

    Sorry Goose, I just picked a random one because I don't generally upload files anywhere. Normally I use my Villanova site for hosting files like this, but I'm not sure how much longer my school site willl still be mine!


    Yeah I got to elm and nothing happened. Penetrated the surface approx. 1/2" and nothing more. That rotation of the head doesn't work unless you get an inch of penetration into the wood. Even if I could have gotten the axe that far into the elm, there would be no energy left in the head to rotate.

    Yes, this is true. This would be the perfect sized axe for splitting cookstove wood, ASSUMING it had already been split into quarters or was 6" or less diameter rounds.
  9. computeruser

    computeruser Feeling the Heat

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    Great write-up!

    I currently have a demo Leveraxe sitting in my office at home. I, too, gave it an honest test and really wanted to like it. I read the manual, followed the instructions, and remained unimpressed. I even cut some straight-grained ash to 10" (firepit length) and did some comparison work between the Leveraxe and my Fiskars mini-maul (hatchet-sized). I had better luck with the hatchet.

    I posted the following over at AS:

    I received the ax a while back and finally had the chance to give a it a good testing this past weekend. I tested it myself, and it was also handled and tested by three other folks who are experienced in splitting wood by hand.

    In short: though its build quality is superb, I was not impressed with its performance.

    In fact, I was so unimpressed its performance that I didn't even bother making videos of it splitting stuff because we couldn't get it to split a damned thing except ailanthus, which splits all on its own when you fell it half the time anyway.

    We tried it in green ailanthus and silver maple, as well as some pine, white oak, ash, and mulberry that was cut last fall or this past winter. Even when perfectly aimed to 1.5" from the edge of the round, the ax was more likely to stick than to penetrate and split off a plank of firewood. The performance of the leveraxe was about on a par with that of an old single bit ax that I use for limbing and tapping wedges. It was wholly incapable of cleaving off pieces from the hardwood species, and did a mediocre job in the pine unless it was absolutely clear and the round being split was less than 10" in length.

    I offer this report not to disparage the design of the leveraxe or its abilities when used on the wood in the environment where it was designed. I've seen the videos on the website and it clearly works on the wood that is found over there. But it is not an appropriate tool for the stuff we burn here in the midwest. It might be able to perform better here if its head weighed eight or ten pounds, though.

    ...What I would really like to see, though, is how it handles the northwest and alaskan softwoods - I think that these might be a better match for this tool's intent and design. All in all, I am very glad to have had the chance to try out the Leveraxe myself in the sort of wood that we deal with around here.
  10. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    Thanks computerusa!

    It seems you've found almost exactly the same things I've found. I agree 150% that if the head weighed 8 or more pounds, it MIGHT be more useful. Otherwise though, I think I'll hang it on the wall someday, because it isn't good for much else.
  11. bigNATE®

    bigNATE® New Member

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    lol Brandon I see that you are on here aswell, hopefully Fedex gets it to me tomorrow so I can test it out this weekend
    ~Nate (Mr. Firewood on arboristsite.com)
  12. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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  13. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    when every one is done, i would give it a try, i bet my strait grain pine would like it.
  14. snowleopard

    snowleopard Minister of Fire

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    Posterity here.

    Is this Leveraxe still available for a trial run, or has it made its way home to Finland?

    I have the kind of wood that it is described as being optimized for: Alaskan birch, aspen, straight grained, not too many knots or branches. I've seen several posters speculate that it might work well on wood like this, but no one that's reported giving it a try. I have 9 cords of straight-grained birch coming this week, and I'd be happy to give it a try on this wood.

    I'm actually considering a purchase if it can do what I need it to do. I'm not constructed for swinging an 8-pound maul all day, so part of the appeal is that it's supposedly easier to use for a smaller person. I know I can rent a splitter, but if this will do the job of a splitter for me, then I'd be willing to make a purchase--just would rather know before I bought.

    The question I've never seen answered is how it does on longer, larger splits than the ones in the videos. I don't need just kindling; I need to split 18-20" logs, up to a foot or more in diameter, into halves and quarters. When the inventor has been questioned about this, he has responded by explaining how safe the tool is. I want to know not just that it's safe, but that it's also effective for what I need it to do.

    So, anyone know what's become of that loaner Leveraxe? I'm willing to pay postage, put down a deposit, whatever's fair/required.
  15. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Seems that nobody really knows for certain what happened to the loaner... It seems to have vanished somewhere in it's travels, as seems to show in the messages earlier in the thread... I don't know if it got lost somewhere in transit, or if one of the recipients failed to pass it on, but it seems to have dropped out of sight.

    Ex-Gooserider
  16. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Heck, what happened to Corie?

    I thought it was supposed to have been returned to the retailer after making the rounds. Is there a way to figure out if it was returned?

    Matt
  17. snowleopard

    snowleopard Minister of Fire

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    I see in Corie's profile records of recent visits and posts. Anyone mind shakin' the tree on this? Corie doesn't know me from Santa Claus, so I feel a little awkward being the one to approach this.
  18. richg

    richg Minister of Fire

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    Too bad, but I had a feeling that it would underperform on hardwoods. Frozen/straight-grained birch, no problem. Twisted oak, no way.
  19. snowleopard

    snowleopard Minister of Fire

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    Most of his demo videos show him working with shorter lengths of wood. He has a few videos where he's working with bigger pieces, and the axe bounces off to the side--so I don't know about the `frozen, straight-grained birch, no problem' thing. But I'm willing to put it to the test if that's still available as a loaner.

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