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.