Magazine article Newsweek

Gadget Lust: The Sharpest Knife in the Drawer

Magazine article Newsweek

Gadget Lust: The Sharpest Knife in the Drawer

Article excerpt

Byline: Marissa Rothkopf Bates

The second thing I learned in cooking school, after how to hold a knife, was how to sharpen one. My chef-instructor told us with a glint of malicious glee in his eye that a sharp knife leaves a less-painful cut. He was right. The sharp blade makes a smoother incision; a dull blade leaves a jagged slash that is far more painful.

But now I'm a lazy home cook and don't keep my knives as honed as I should, which is why my ears (and fingers) perked up when I heard about the VMatter knife. The latest entrant into the high-end cutlery market, the VMatter promises to hold its edge for years without sharpening.

This is not some Amazing Ginsu-style knife that promises to be forever sharp thanks to minute serrations. Instead, according to the literature that comes with it, the VMatter uses a "revolutionary" amorphous metal alloy that has the best attributes of metal (strength!) and glass (smoothness!). The alloy, discovered at Caltech in Pasadena, Calif., is also used by Ford in its high-end engines and may someday be used in hip-replacement joints. Did I mention it's also bacteriostatic? It's not every day you spend your morning playing with a new class of matter.

But how does all this fancy science translate into a sliced tomato?

There is no better time to put a knife through its paces than Thanksgiving. I tested my eight-inch slicing knife on a cornucopia of produce the Pilgrims could have only dreamed of. As in cooking school, my first test was reducing an onion to fine dice. …

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