Ease of Use
The easiest, safest way to chop kindling
Summary : The Northern Tool Kindling Cracker is well built and will get used regularly by anyone who makes fires often.
The most dangerous part of the campfire isn’t the fire.
Once it gets going, a campfire is pretty safe. I’d argue that cutting kindling is the most dangerous part. The quickest way to get a fire going is to have a nice pile of kindling that is about the size of your pinky finger, but that can get tricky as the wood gets thinner and thinner. The other thing about cutting kindling is that it’s left to the adults because it can be dangerous; this can make kids feel left out. Could there be another way? A girl from New Zealand figured out that there was.
Ayla Hutchinson turned kindling chopping upside down – literally.
The Northern Tool Kindling Cracker was invented by 14-year-old Ayla Hutchinson in New Zealand after her Mom cut her finger with a hatchet. Ayla decided that there had to be an easier way, so she figured out a way to do it without swinging a hatchet.
The Kindling Cracker is one of those “why didn’t I think of that” inventions. There isn’t much to it, but if you don’t weld you probably couldn’t make one either. It’s just a large ax head (not too sharp, so it’s safe) that has a metal ring mounted above it. You simply insert a small piece of wood and tap it with a tiny maul or another piece of wood. It’s foolproof, and you can create a pile of perfectly sized kindling in about a minute. It can be screwed to the top of a log or used on its own. Both work equally well.
I’ve been using one for a few months now and my hatchet is gathering dust. My niece and nephew (10 and 12) have both used it as well, and think that it’s a lot of fun. At $99, it’s going to run you more than a hatchet, but it’s cast steel and will easily last several generations with proper care.