Leveraxe inventor Heikki Kärnä

Inventor Heikki Kärnä, former air controller, developed Vipukirves Leveraxe in his pension days when he was bulldozing woods and stones from his plot in Sipoo, Finland.


Twenty years ago a man moved to the gloomy forest of Sipoo – a man who wanted to appreciate beautiful, individual trees. He bravely started his difficult task of clearing the rocky site in order to build a house. He used manual tools he bought from the hardware store. Rough terrain and large spruces standing close to each other, fighting for the little light that got through their huge branches, made work even harder.

But the diligent man grabbed a saw and the trees came crashing down. The man cut, lopped, split and chopped. The old frame saw was smoking and the axe was swinging.

Throughout his arduous work the axe often swung close to the hard working man’s calves. The axe struck him more than once, but luckily the man was wearing protective overalls with his hems stiff into his rubber boots. After receiving a few mighty blows from the axe, he was forced to toss his boots into the trash. When the hard day’s work was over, the man collected all the resinous branches into one pile and the trunks cut with a power saw in the other. They would wait to be cut into firewood.

"Darn it! the man said in despair."Making firewood is so much work, and it's dangerous too!"

He sat down on a stump, threw his gloves in the moss, wiped the sweat from his forehead and started cogitating. He grabbed the axe that the hardware salesman proclaimed to be the best on the market and began to examine the blade and the handle, turning the piece of metal in his sap-covered hands. Then it came to him.

"Eureka! I need to work on this!"

Numerous ideas about different axe blades began to swarm in his head. They didn't leave him alone even at night, and at the wee hours of the morning he arose to sketch out his new axe at the kitchen table. He realized his plans by manufacturing numerous prototypes of his axe at a local steel workshop. Once in a while he found new axes at the hardware store. They were proclaimed to give greater striking power and strength through added weight and a variety of shenanigans to the sides of the blade.

At times the man was discouraged, but his persistent Finnish nature didn't allow him to give up. The man continued developing a safer and more efficient axe; one that would allow him to conquer the roughest terrain; one that would be completely manual to overcome the lack of electricity in the middle of the thick forest; one that could be used where even a tractor could not get though, where the mossy forests are too precious to be destroyed by the digging machines.

Years went by and one day the man was levering yard stones with a crowbar. And then, out of the blue, it struck him. He could barely restrain himself - he finally knew the answer to the problem. He was sure that crowbar's prying power over big rocks and stumps could also be applied to an axe. He threw the crowbar in the bushes, ran to the kitchen table and sketched his new, lever-based axe.

And thus LEVERAXE was born.


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