At first glance, the Automatic Ice Punch superficially
resembles an ordinary ice chopper. The blade is
perhaps a bit thicker and less wide, and the bottom
foot or two of the handle is thicker too, but that seems
to be it.
But, hidden inside, is the same type of mechanism that's
an automatic center punch, significantly scaled
When you place the blade against some ice which has
frozen on the ground and push down on the handle, an
internal spring compresses. When it's compressed more
than a certain amount, the internal hammer is propelled
downward by that spring, and smacks the top of the rod
to which the blade is attached.
The impact of the hammer is transmitted through the
rod, through the blade, into the ice, causing the ice to
Lifting the handle up causes the mechanism to be reset.
With a regular ice chopper, the most common way to
use it is to aim at the edges of the ice, and move the
tool as quickly as possible to strike the ice with the
blade. If you miss, you could damage the pavement or
the tool, or injure yourself.
With the automatic ice punch, the blade starts in
contact with the ice, there's no need to "aim", there's
no (external) high speed movement. Just push
until you hear a bang, and observe that the ice below
the blade has magically broken.
I won't pretend that it would be effortless, but I think it
would involve slightly less exertion, and perhaps more
importantly, it should be much safer.