Ayla Hutchinson

Kindling cracker

Kindling cracker - Ayla Hutchinson

Ayla came up with the idea for the wood chopper after seeing her mother clip the end of her finger with the hatchet while chopping wood. She took her design to her father who welded the head of an axe into a small enclosure. The wood is then put on top of the axe blade and can be hammered down, splitting the wood as it goes.

A simple idea, literally turning the conventional way of chopping wood on its head. It means the blade itself never moves, so you'd have to be pretty unco to cut yourself. While the invention itself is clever, so was the way she and her family then went about capitalising on it - she entered (and won) an innovation award at the 2013 Fieldays event, another at the NZ Innovators Awards and a handful of others to boot.

The publicity from these helped created demand, and with a provisional patent safely filed, the family is now busy commercialising and selling the 'Kindling Crackers' to a NZ and even to a global market.