Hydraulic Press Channel
(16 September 2019)
|Total views||378.1 million|
(8 October 2019)
|Updated 10 June 2018|
The Hydraulic Press Channel (HPC) is a YouTube channel operated by Finnish factory owner Lauri Vuohensilta and his wife Anni. Launched in October 2015, the channel publishes videos of various objects being crushed in a 150-ton hydraulic press. On 31 October 2015, the channel published a video of Vuohensilta unsuccessfully attempting to fold a piece of paper more than seven times with the hydraulic press. The video was subsequently posted to the social news website Reddit in March 2016, causing it to receive more than two million views within a day.
The channel's unexpected success caused Vuohensilta to continue producing videos for the Hydraulic Press Channel. In June 2016, the channel became eligible for both the silver and the gold YouTube Play Buttons, which they proceeded to crush with their press. Analysis of the channel's success often cites Vuohensilta's sense of humor, the excitement of the unexpected results, and Vuohensilta's distinctive Finnish accent.
Each video begins with black-and-white shots of the hydraulic press with Thor's Hammer by Ethan Meixsell in the background, after which Vuohensilta announces, "Welcome to the Hydraulic Press Channel". He then uses his hydraulic press to crush one or more objects; such materials have included a golf ball, a book, a rubber duck, a bearing ball, a bowling ball and pin, a hockey puck, Lego toys, a Nokia 3310, a Barbie doll, a diamond, and multiple smaller hydraulic presses. Videos may also feature the press crushing an assortment of items, such as explosive materials, objects that have been placed in liquid nitrogen, fruits, and Australian memorabilia. The most-viewed upload on the channel, with 23 million views, was produced in partnership with 20th Century Fox to promote the then-upcoming film Logan, in which Vuohensilta tries to crush an "adamantium" bearing ball and then Wolverine's claws, both resulting in damage or destruction of the pressing tool. At the end of each video, after the outro, a clay figure made by Anni Vuohensilta often described as "very dangerous" is "dealt with" by the press as "extra content" of the day.
The channel officially launched on 6 October 2015. Living in Tampere, Finland, Vuohensilta was inspired to create the Hydraulic Press Channel after discovering other YouTube channels committed to destroying objects, especially a channel called carsandwater, popular for videos of a man using a red-hot ball of nickel to melt various objects. Although Vuohensilta originally promised a new video every week, the channel became dormant after uploading a video on 31 October 2015 of Vuohensilta attempting unsuccessfully to fold a piece of paper more than seven times with the hydraulic press. The paper explosively collapsed into a brittle, stone-like material at the seventh fold. Thomas Amidon, a paper engineering professor at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, speculated in an interview with Popular Science that the cause of the explosion might have been the collapse of calcium carbonate within the paper, which had provided it with stiffness and opacity.
Despite its dormancy, the channel received widespread attention in March 2016 after the paper video was submitted to the social news website Reddit and subsequently received more than two million views within 24 hours. Following its unexpected popularity, the channel began publishing videos again, with new videos typically receiving over a million views within days of their release. The channel's success allowed Vuohensilta to enter a deal with a 3D printing company and receive a 3D printer. Vuohensilta planned to first use the printer to make more sophisticated safety equipment, and then to allow people to send him "... earmarks of stuff that they want to be crushed, and then I can just print them out here and crush them and make the video."
In June 2016, the channel was awarded with the silver YouTube Play Button, in commemoration for the channel reaching 100,000 subscribers. On June 20, 2016, the channel uploaded a video in which Vuohensilta attempts to crush the trophy using the press. The channel, which currently has over 2 million subscribers, is eligible for the gold Play Button, and Vuohensilta is considering acquiring a more powerful press to accommodate the achievement.
Brad Reed, in an article published in Boy Genius Report, wrote that the "couple’s reactions are part of what make the videos so funny", highlighting Vuohensilta's wife Anni's laugh, which can frequently be heard in the background of the Hydraulic Press Channel's videos, as well as Vuohensilta's tendency to "state the obvious in a fairly deadpan manner". Vuohensilta has a distinctive Finnish accent, which he believes influenced the Hydraulic Press Channel's success. Jesse Singal, in an article published on New York magazine's website, wrote that the channel attracts viewers by combining the "tension" created by the hydraulic press's destructive power with Vuohensilta's "goofy nerdiness". Vuohensilta also attributes the channel's attractiveness to the excitement of the explosions and the unexpected results, as well as "the humor value of everything, my accent and stupid jokes". In 2017 the channel received a Shorty Award in the "weird" category, which Vuohensilta promptly crushed.