Young inventor makes risky winter task safer

Simple ideas are often the best ones and Ayla Hutchinson’s Kindling Cracker is no exception.

The 14-year-old inventor launched her kindling chopping invention at Fieldays and has already stacked up some accolades, including James and Wells’ Intellectual Property Award at the Fieldays 2013 Innovation Centre, which means $3,000 worth of IP strategy advice, as well as the Young Inventor of the Year award. 

Inspiration for the invention was a little grisly; Hutchinson’s mother nicked the end of her finger chopping kindling and, “bled everywhere.”

The result is a much safer, easier and yet enticingly simple device; an axe blade is enclosed in a frame, allowing for wood to be placed on the blade and chopped with a mallet.

“I designed it and Dad helped me weld it up. Now I want to sell it to everyone in New Zealand and overseas,” says the year nine student of Inglewood High School.

James and Wells associate Peter Brown says that IP problems could arise due to its simplicity, especially from copycats.

"We want to guide Ayla through the process and help her make the most of her fantastic invention," he says.