Scientists made a wooden knife that’s three times sharper than steel blades

You’ve got by no means used a wood knife like this.

Bo Chen

I have been to sufficient gala’s and foodie festivals to know the wood knife and fork you get along with your semi-hot duck fries are dismal excuses for cutlery. They’re good at shifting meals round a plate, however that is actually it. The plastic typically works a little bit higher, however that is not nice for the planet. After which there’s the knives made from frozen human feces? Do not get me began on how poorly these minimize by means of meat.

The gold customary for knives is often metal or ceramics, however in a brand new research, appearing in the journal Matter on Oct. 20, materials scientists describe their newest creation: A “hardened wooden knife” round 3 times sharper than a stainless-steel dinner knife. It may “simply” minimize by means of a medium-well completed steak, in line with Teng Li, a supplies scientist on the College of Maryland and first writer on the paper, and can be utilized and reused many instances. 

“In our kitchen, we’ve many wooden items that we use for a really very long time, like a chopping board, chopsticks, or a rolling pin,” Li mentioned in a press release. “These knives, too, can be utilized many instances in the event you resurface them, sharpen them, and carry out the identical common maintenance.”  

Utilizing wooden for cutlery is not a brand new thought — the foodie festivals will inform you that a lot — however Li’s crew developed a two-step methodology for hardening the wooden of their knives that elevated the blade’s hardness 23-fold. This was achieved by guaranteeing the wooden retained the next degree of cellulose. 

Usually, wooden comprises solely about 50% cellulose, which offers some structural integrity, and weaker molecules make up the remainder. Li’s two-step course of was in a position to take away these weaker elements however retain the cellulose. Coating the wooden in mineral oil helps shield its sharpness throughout use and washing.

Utilizing a high-resolution microscope, Li’s crew examined the wood knife to find out why it was retaining a lot energy. They found the two-step course of the used prevented defects from creeping in. “The energy of a bit of fabric may be very delicate to the scale and density of defects, like voids, channels, or pits,” he mentioned in a press release. 

The crew did not cease at hardened wood knives, both. Additionally they developed wood nails, displaying they have been as sharp as standard metal nails.

The knife’s perform is spectacular, however its manufacturing course of is also necessary. The crew writes that it might be a “renewable and low-cost different” with “the potential to interchange plastic desk utensils.” | Scientists made a wood knife that is 3 times sharper than metal blades


Hung is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Hung joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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