Anthony Bourdain and a master bladesmith forged a katana-style chef’s knife out of meteorite steel

Anthony Bourdain partnered with whisky distillery Balvenie for his newest show exploring the world’s best craftsmen and artisans. Episode four of the Raw Craft series saw Bourdain at the metal workshop of master bladesmith Bob Kramer. With the camera rolling, Kramer set to work crafting one of his signature sharp creations: a world-class chef’s knife made from meteorite steel.

Kramer is one of only 122 master bladesmiths certified by the American Bladesmith Society, so it’s clear he’s one of the best. Kramer knives fetch exorbitant prices at auction as both world-renowned chefs and knife collectors hunt down his creations, which are handcrafted, beautiful, durable, and of course, insanely sharp. On the Raw Craft episode, Kramer incorporates a chunk of meteorite into the many layers of steel that will compose a finished chef’s knife.

The traditional stacking method Kramer champions was made famous centuries ago in Japanese samurai katanas. The process to go from slabs of metal to world-class knife is extremely dangerous and requires an incredible level of precision. First, Kramer incorporates the meteorite, or the “star stone” as he calls it, into the steel that is arranged into stacked layers. Through intermittent blasts of ridiculously high temperatures, Kramer hammers the layers flat, then cuts and refolds another set of layers, and hammers them flat again.

Steel is made of iron and one percent carbon, and that carbon element dissolves when Kramer tempers the blade in molten salt at 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit. The result is a sort of shadow moving through the steel — a transformation the samurai required in their heyday. After grinding down the details of the knife, shaping its edge, and attaching a handcrafted handle, Kramer’s knife is finally complete.

Bourdain and Kramer agree that the process from start to finish is “just like cooking”: it takes the perfect combination of time, temperature, and technique. And just as you can ruin a perfect cut of meat by overcooking it, the wrong temperature or the wrong technique can ruin a perfect blade. Because it’s Bourdain, the pair then proceed to use the meteorite knife to chop up lunch, which happens to be meteorite-smoked salmon. And regardless of who ends up owning the blade, watching a just-forged chef’s knife slice through a piece of paper as smoothly as if it were a stick of butter is damn impressive.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: 1-handed drone control, a pot that stirs itself

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Stronger than steel, thinner than paper, graphene could be the future of tech

Since its discovery, graphene has set the research world on fire. What exactly is it, though, and what could it mean for the future of tech? Here's everything you need to know about what could be the next supermaterial to take center stage.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in November, from 'The Witch’ to ‘Dracula’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Home Theater

Bask in the glory of your home theater with these 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays

What good is a 4K TV if you don't have the means of pushing it to its limits? Here are our favorite 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays, all of which are nothing short of stunning. It'll make you wonder why you haven't always watched movies this way.
Emerging Tech

These Alexa-stuffed retro phones don’t listen until you take them off the hook

Looking for an Amazon Echo with a cool vintage touch? Los Angeles-based Grain Design is taking old, non-working antique phones and transforming them into amazing Alexa smart speakers.
Smart Home

This alarm clock uses targeted light and sound to wake you, but not your partner

The Wake v2 isn't like your typical bedside alarm. Instead, it wakes you by shining a soft light directly into your face, thereby not disturbing the person sharing a bed with you. Pretty smart, huh?
Emerging Tech

Believe it or not, this fire-proof exoskeleton isn’t designed for space marines

A company called Levitate Technologies has developed a fire-resistant upper body exoskeleton that’s capable of lowering exertion levels by up to 80 percent when you carry out manual work.
Emerging Tech

Intel’s new ‘neural network on a stick’ aims to unchain A.I. from the internet

To kick off its first developer conference in Beijing, Intel unveiled the second generation of its Neural Compute Stick -- a device that promises to democratize the development of computer vision A.I. applications.
Emerging Tech

Frogs regrow ‘paddle-like’ limbs when placed in a bioreactor

Frogs have partially regrown amputated limbs thanks to a bioreactor at Tufts University. By jump-starting tissue repair, the bioreactor helped the amphibians regenerate a bigger, more complete appendages than they usually do.
Emerging Tech

Prepare for liftoff: Here are all the important upcoming SpaceX rocket launches

From ISS resupply missions to a host of communication and scientific satellite launches, SpaceX has a busy year ahead. Here's a rundown of some of the company's most important missions slated for the next year.
Emerging Tech

China says it has developed a quantum radar that can see stealth aircraft

Chinese defense giant China Electronics Technology Group Corporation claims that it has developed a quantum radar that's able to detect even the stealthiest of stealth aircraft. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

Glass orb packs all the constellations in the night sky into fancy desk ornament

Ever wanted to know more about the star constellations? A stunning new Kickstarter campaign, taking the form of a fancy desk ornament that re-creates the night sky in a glass orb, aims to help.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX makes rocketry look easy, sticks yet another Falcon 9 landing

SpaceX is due to perform its latest Falcon 9 rocket launch and landing on November 15 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Here's how you can watch the proceedings live.