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Points for creativity

Tim Nelson
Updated: July 19, 2018

When preparing Japanese cuisine, access to a good knife is paramount. Just watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi or an episode of Iron Chef, and you start to get the picture. While any sushi or sashimi knife used by a professional is probably forged from a high-carbon steel, one innovative YouTuber has proven that you can fashion a worthy blade out of a material that’s, well, meant to be quite a bit softer.

What you’re seeing here is a pair of boxer briefs being turned into a functional kitchen knife over the course of twelve minutes and 23 seconds. Through a process of trial and error (including one minor kitchen fire), Kiwami Japan applies a cast-iron skillet heated to 300 degrees celcius to several layers of underwear, which are then shaped into a blade that’s filed and sharpened to the point of unlikely functionality. Normally it’s a serious issue if your underwear can cut through raw chicken, paper, and vegetables, but in this case it’s the sign of some crazy craftsmanship.

Though I wanted so badly to believe this whole experiment was a bizarre way to prove a point about the possible role of cotton underwear in the culinary process, the video is part of an ongoing series where Kiwami Japan tries his darndest to smith some blades out of truly bizarre materials. Over the past year, he’s racked up nearly a million YouTube subscribers on his channel, dedicated to forging functional knives out of everything from plastic wrap to pasta (yes, really). Truly, he is a master of the blade.


The underwear knife isn’t something you’ll find in any professional kitchen, but it sure goes to show that DIY cutlery is possible no matter what you have to work with. Just make sure you do your laundry before trying this at home. 

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