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Mikes53- Vipukirves Lever axe.

Post in 'The Gear' started by MikeS53, Feb 3, 2009.

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  1. MikeS53

    MikeS53 New Member

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    Just purchased a Vipukirves lever Axe, for splitting firewood the old fashion way, by hand. Mostly I'm just to cheap to buy a powered splitter. I also enjoy a little quiet, after listening to the chain saw, even tho I do wear ear plugs.
    I've read some of the post on this axe, some negative and others just not so sure about how well this axe works.
    First, let's be honest, if your splitting by hand, it's work !! Nothing is going to change that fact, but sometimes someone comes up with an idea that makes it just a little bit more pleasant.With two screwed up shoulders this axe's lighter weight and design makes wood splitting easier for me, and it will not stick or pass through to the ground as much as other splitting mauls , if you follow the included directions and watch the videos on their web site. (www.vipukirves.fi/english/index.htm) . I recently put it to the test with some very green(just cut ) white oak and hard maple, very old trees with lots of nobs and twisted all to hell, I cut, 18" long and the butts were 24"to 36" around. I tried earlier to split these butts with my German made splitting maul, witch is a good maul, and it just bounced back and fourth like a yo yo, not making even a dent. With a little practice I managed to split those butts with the Vipukirves lever axe, it was work, but it did not bounce back at me, nor did it stick. More importantly for me, when done, my shoulders were not screaming bloody murder.
    This axe may not be for every one, but I like it , and would recommend it to any one foolish enough, like me , that splits wood by hand.

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  2. Jamess67

    Jamess67 Feeling the Heat

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    That is cool!!! I really like the tire idea. So simple.
  3. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    Looks like a sweet axe if you want to chop all your wood into matchsticks.
  4. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Corie did a writeup on it a while ago. IIRC he did not find it worked as well with some of our hardwoods compared to softwoods.

    Maybe he can chime in and repost the paper he wrote on it?

    Matt
  5. Shipper50

    Shipper50 Minister of Fire

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    If you don't mind me asking, how much did you pay for it? There was a big post on this at arbor-site. My buddy didn't think much of it after he got to try one out that was being passed around for postage.

    Shipper
  6. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    There is a writeup on this axe in the HearthWiki - Lever_Axe_Reviews

    Most of the reviewers both here and on arboristsite seemed unimpressed, but it may have been either "operator failure" or the difference between the wood it was developed on and what it was tested on...

    If it works for you, great, but I'd be hesitant to reccomend it based on the other reviews I've seen, especially since it seems like a VERY expensive thing to experiment with...

    Gooserider
  7. computeruser

    computeruser Feeling the Heat

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    Yeah, it's a cool product and if it works for the wood you're working with, then you're set. I didn't find that it was terribly useful for the stuff I usually work with, but others were quite pleased with it. Regardless of whether it works for a particular individual, one cannot dispute that it is a nicely crafted piece of equipment.
  8. MikeS53

    MikeS53 New Member

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    Seems to be a little bit of doubt about the Vipukives axe. In regards to some of the reply posts, here's some ideas on that. 1. It's not necessary to chop your wood into matchsticks, you simply stop when the piece of wood your working on is the size you want. I heat my home with an out door furnace, so anything that's less than the width of my out stretched hand (9") I do not bother splitting, it goes on the wood pile.2. As far as not working on hard woods, that's all I have mostly. Oak, both red and white, hard maple, soft maple, ash, popular, cherry, and so on. All of this wood is old growth, so it's big, twisted,and a real pain to split. I've split it all with this axe and found it to work well if you use it as directed.3.Cost? $200 and some change, delivered to my post box in about one week. Compare this to the cost of a powered splitter. A good one is going to set you back at least $1000 , plus you have to figure in the cost of gas, oil for the motor, hydraulic oil and sometime down the road, repairs and so on.
    My axe needs none of these things and the only repair, might be a new handle way down the road.The best part no noise!!! To each his own, and I'm happy with this axe.
  9. FINLAND

    FINLAND Member

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    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
    Here are some new ideas how to make it even easier. Look at the videos. Number 16 will give you many answers. There you can see the longest chopper block of the world, as well as the first rotating chopper block in the world. ALSO check how I split the ELM.

    www.vipukirves.fi/english/vipukirves_videos.htm
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZY9jjn7zBus&feature=related

    All the best from Finland

    Regards
    Heikki, the inventor
  10. Shipper50

    Shipper50 Minister of Fire

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    I just looked at your video of you splitting the Elm and all I heard was WOW. I guess us Americans have some tough wood over here? I don't think I would want to spend that much for something that took so much work, when I can use a gas splitter and be done in no time. Just my opinion...........

    Shipper
  11. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I have no dog in this fight....but I wish now that I hadn't split up the last batch of elm I had. I would have paid the freight to get a chunk to you if you would promise to video tape and post it.

    Your elm is different than my elm...thats all I'm gonna say.
  12. FINLAND

    FINLAND Member

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    First of all, I do not consider this conversation as any fight. I only try to get people to know about this easy and safe way to make their firewood.

    Of course I admit that you can have some special kind of trees there in US.

    We have some water between our countries, but I doubt that it could be the reason for the hardness of your trees. We have trees here on the other side, as well. In

    FInland does not grow any kind of tree which I could not split with my LEVERAXE.

    Some of them are anyway so difficult, that I would not bother to split them with any conventional axe. It would be too much work and risk.

    I have had an opportunity to split some hardwood as well. Based to the 60 years experience what I have in using all kind of axes I can very honestly say that the

    LEVERAXE beats them all clearly.

    Safety is very important aspect in my life. There has happened too many near misses during my life with the conventional axes. After developing

    the LEVERAXE my life has been much more convenient because there is NO FEAR for hurting oneself. This of course requires right way to use the AXE.

    I hope that the ELM you splitted is not the last and only one in you neighbourhood. Maybe you will find some nasty piece of ELM somewhere, so you can send it to

    me, as you promised. I will then split it and make the video about it. I really appreciate your kind offer and I promise to do my par of it. If you do not find any ELM

    any more, I will accept something equivalent to it.

    Once in my previous life when I was still working as an air traffic controller I was in Saudi Arabia / RIYADH. There I visited an area with a lot of trees. They were all

    very hard . They were petrified. In case you will find something similar in your country,please do not send it here, because it is most probably harder than the one on

    this side of the water. Many people think in their mind during their struggle with their firewood, "why I haven't yet purchased the LEVERAXE"? You have all the right to

    join them.

    Looking forward to get the promised block.

    Waiting for very cold winter.

    Best regards

    Heikki, the inventor
  13. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    It is a mistake to equate the hardness of wood with the difficulty in splitting it. Elm is not particularly hard but rather it is the twisted grain that can make it difficult to split.

    As for safety, with conventional axes it the propensity for an axe to cant over and glance that makes it unsafe. Mauls with long straight handles put the centre of rotation too high above the cutting edge. Conventional axes with curved handles put the centre of rotation much closer to the cutting edge so that the mass of the head trails lowering the propensity for it to want to pass the edge.

    That said, the Vipukirves is designed to deliberately cant over and lever apart the wood. There is a hooked section to catch the head and limit the propensity for it to glance. The mass of the head and handle also builds momentum in the opposite direction to counter the canting (glancing) force. It is an interesting design but I do have concerns that the balance of opposing forces could possibly upset. Also, it appears that there could be harsh vibrations coming up the handle from the abrupt change in force and quick stop. The high price will keep me from ever buying one to test out my theories.
  14. raven

    raven New Member

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    :-/ .....Hmm..... Anyone else hear that ....... lol.... this is to good to be true, i mean hell this here is what makes a mans blood flow(other than nice cheeks and such).....theres been a challenge! its this here high teck splitten tool in the hands of its maker....Heikki.... agin a chunk of our dear dear native north american hard wood. ..now dont you soft wood boys out there get upset ...this here is one time that calls fer Hard Wood.
    .......i say we all chip in and get some hard wood over the pond to meet the challenge. and if i may i think we need someone to handle the finer points of the challenge.....i nominate POOK ;-P
  15. Nonprophet

    Nonprophet Minister of Fire

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    At $352 a pop ($282 for tool, $71 for shipping), the Leveraxe will certainly never be added to my tool collection......at least not at that price!!

    I think it's a neat design, but it's WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY overpriced.

    Reviews from those who have used it are very mixed with most saying it just won't handle hardwoods very well at all. And it seems that more than a few testing it broke the wooden handle--for $282 it would seem that a more durable fiberglass or plastic handle would be more suitable......

    Like the Leveraxe, my Fiskars Super Splitter is made in Finland from high quality Finnish steel. And yet, my Fiskars SS has a lifetime warranty (Leveraxe only 5 years I believe) and the Fiskars only cost $45. At seven times the cost I definitely don't see anything close to seven times the benefit. Maybe eventually the owner will get a bit more realistic with his pricing........If they were $50 ea. I'd give one a try, but again, the reviews are very mixed.

    Even the top-quality Gransfors and Helko Varios come in at less than $100 a pop and I don't think their performance is any better than the Fiskars SS--but at least they're reasonably priced......


    NP
  16. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    I'm curious about how the handle should be held since it does almost a quarter turn on every blow. What I mean is should you hold it tight to resist it turning (slipping) in your grip or do you twist your wrist to move with the handle? Then there is the point where "should" meets "would" or "wouldn't" in actual use since recommendations are not always followed. You often see where people will use a tool differently than the inventor intended it to be used.

    Either way, relaxing one's grip to either let it slip or to grip tight and let one's wrists follow without resistance, or to actively add a twisting force all seem like unnatural actions that may need to be "learned', the ergonomics of which I'm unsure.
  17. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    I'm not sure you will get any takers willing to ship some dreaded Elm to Finland. Do you ever get over to this side of the pond to attend trade shows? Maybe someone could bring some of this infamous Elm to a trade show for a bit of Show-and-Tell.
  18. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Sorry Raven, but Pook is no longer with us... After a lot of debate and discussion, the mods have all agreed to wish him a nice day - SOMEWHERE ELSE! (And so ends the carreer of one of the Hearth's more "colorful" posters - finally...) :coolgrin:

    Gooserider
  19. FINLAND

    FINLAND Member

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    Based to to the exchange rate today, the price is 300.44 USD. This includes the shipping.

    The value of USD is on lowest level for years, I am sorry for that.

    As far as I know the handle has broken only one time. Then I sent two spare handels.

    Read more carefully. The warranty of your mentioned tool covers the joint of the axe blade and the handle for ten years time. That is the way it is in Finland.

    The LEVERAXE warranty covers the axe blade for 10 years.

    There are several sizes of your mentioned axes so the prices varies from 45 to 110 USD. This includes the VAT 22%.

    If you do not believe to this product you do not have to buy it, just forget the whole thing. I am only offering you an option.

    Be cool.

    Heikki
  20. ken999

    ken999 New Member

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    Add me to the list of guys that would like to try it but will not due to the exceedingly high price.

    I thought my Gransfors maul was alot of money, and I got it when they were 'only' $80.

    With some practice, any maul can be swung to strike at an angle, causing the 'lever' action like the Vipukirves...I'd not be surprised if the Vipukirves 'lever' action is easier to do than trying to twist a regular maul though.

    Seems to me that with our local wood, if it'll split easy enough to be deemed hand splittable, my Gransfors works as good or better than anything else I've tried. If the round is THAT tough to withstand the Gransfors, it's wedge and sledge time, or it needs a chainsaw to be ripped.

    I'd like to try the Fiskars Super maul though...I keep egging some of my friends to buy one, then I can try theirs...lol...

    FWIW...IF I were to be asked to design the perfect maul for me, it would simply be a heavier, longer handled version of my Gransfors.
  21. Nonprophet

    Nonprophet Minister of Fire

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    Not sure where you're getting your information..........

    Today's exchange rate EU:US$ is 1.48 according to the 5 websites I checked.

    Your own website lists the price of the Leveraxe as $190 EU=$281.34 US
    Your own website lists the shipping cost for the Leveraxe to the US as $47.26 EU=$69.97 US

    Total price (not including import duty): $351.31
    Again, this price does NOT include paying any import duty.



    That may be the way it is in Finland, but that's NOT the way it is in the US. I emailed Fiskars directly, and this is what they said: "Yes, all of our axes come with a lifetime warranty which covers any manufacturing defects for the life of the product. It does not cover normal wear and tear." No warranty that I'm aware of covers normal wear and tear, companies would go broke if they did.........



    Does that include normal wear and tear? If I split a round on concrete and crack the Leveraxe blade, will you replace it under your warranty? If you will, then at least that goes a long way towards explaining the very high price for your splitting axe........



    Read more carefully! There are nine Fiskars axes currently available in the US (according to the Fiskars website). Amazon sells all of the 9 Fiskars models available in the US. Prices range from $22.36 for the 14" Sport Hatchet to $47.95 for the Fiskars Super Splitting Axe. You can see the full lineup with prices here Not one of their models sells for $110 US.........

    NP
  22. FINLAND

    FINLAND Member

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    Based to to the exchange rate today, the price is 300.44 USD. This includes the shipping.[/quote]


    Not sure where you're getting your information..........


    www.easyconverter.net


    Today's exchange rate EU:US$ is 1.48 according to the 5 websites I checked.

    Your own website lists the price of the Leveraxe as $190 EU=$281.34 US
    Your own website lists the shipping cost for the Leveraxe to the US as $47.26 EU=$69.97 US

    Total price (not including import duty): $351.31
    Again, this price does NOT include paying any import duty.


    The LEVERAXE will be sold to US VAT free. It is outside EU. That is why the price is lower to you. www.vipukirves.fi/kauppa/catalog/shopping_cart.php




    That may be the way it is in Finland, but that's NOT the way it is in the US. I emailed Fiskars directly, and this is what they said: "Yes, all of our axes come with a lifetime warranty which covers any manufacturing defects for the life of the product. It does not cover normal wear and tear." No warranty that I'm aware of covers normal wear and tear, companies would go broke if they did.........


    No comment, except lucky you.



    Does that include normal wear and tear? If I split a round on concrete and crack the Leveraxe blade, will you replace it under your warranty? If you will, then at least that goes a long way towards explaining the very high price for your splitting axe........


    Tricky question. If you buy a washing machine that has one year warranty. Then you damage it with your sledgehammer. I doupt that you will get any compensation from the manufacturer. If you split the wood with the LEVERAXE on concrete and succeed to crack the blade there is only one reason for that. You missed the target.
    If you hit the block, the axe blade will stop on the block. I think it is not the fault of the AXE if you cannot hit to the block.
    www.vipukirves.fi/english/users_guide.htm



    Read more carefully! There are nine Fiskars axes currently available in the US (according to the Fiskars website). Amazon sells all of the 9 Fiskars models available in the US. Prices range from $22.36 for the 14" Sport Hatchet to $47.95 for the Fiskars Super Splitting Axe. You can see the full lineup with prices here Not one of their models sells for $110 US.........


    NP[/quote] Observe NO VAT 22%


    I have no possibility to compete with the prices. The LEVERAXE is all hand made. I haven't any big factory with automatic robot etc lines. not yet anyway. This is the very first this kind of a tool. It functions well, it is effective and safe. This is an option. You do not have to buy it, but you can, if you like. The choice is yours.

    Best regards
    Heikki
  23. Gazdik

    Gazdik Member

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    Finland,as I split most of my wood by hand, I for one would love to try it...I use a 4lb splitting axe like the Fiskars super...But the Leveraxe looks very cool and I hope you get to the point of mass producing so you my offer it at a lower price. That is of course is whats stopping me from buying one...not that it is not worth the asking price being hand made and all...just don't have that sort of money for that right now...Again, best regards and good luck with the future of your axe!

    Gazdik
  24. FINLAND

    FINLAND Member

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  25. Nonprophet

    Nonprophet Minister of Fire

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    If you're implying that I'm lying about the warranty, I don't appreciate your personal attack--especially since you're wrong!!!

    You're link is to the Fiskars site in Finland. Accordingly, that is their warranty in Finland, NOT the US!!!! Many companies who sell products internationally have different warranties in different countries. I contacted Fiskars via their website in Finland. He put me through to their office in the U.S. The email that I received directly from the Fiskars Warranty Department in the US:

    Fiskars Customer Service/Warranty
    2537 Daniels Street
    Madison, WI 53718
    Toll Free: 866-348-5661
    www.fiskars.com

    The email stated:

    "Yes, all of our axes come with a lifetime warranty which covers any manufacturing defects for the life of the product. It does not cover normal wear and tear (i.e. blades dulling). If you have warranty issues, you can work through us directly, or, through the merchant where you purchased your Fiskars axe."

    Our local home improvement store sells many, but not all of the Fiskars axes. When I bought my 14" Sport Axe, I asked the salesperson about the warranty, especially the handle as A) that's the most vulnerable part of the axe, and B) their packaging shows a truck backing over the axe handle which Fiskars calls "unbreakable." He said that in 4 years of working there he was only aware of 3 people who had come in with broken axes. They just replaced them, for free, on the spot because in his words, "Fiskars has excellent customer service and they stand behind their products."

    I realize that you're somewhat desperate to justify the ridiculously high price of over $300 for your splitting axe, but pointing fingers at everyone else does not remedy the fact that you are charging at least 3-4 times what your axe is worth...........................


    NP
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