From the Deepest Depths of Uselessness: “Self-heating” butter knife


Now just imagine this as one giant middle finger to the consumer, and then you will have the idea.

I don’t know about you, but if I had $30 (19.99GBP) completely unspoken for, there are a lot of things I would buy before this “handy” item. You see, it doesn’t actually warm up beyond what heat is conducted from your hand.


The packet declares this “the Most Advanced Butter Knife in the World”, which is pretty much winning a race no one else was running. But they say that’s the definition of genius, don’t they? Maybe. The packaging boasts other terrific slogans. My favourites are “Spread That!” (like a policeman pushing you up against a wall) and “Spaghetti Effect!” – the battle cry of the most rubbish superhero imaginable.

But cool your jets. This gadget isn’t self-heating in the way you’re thinking, like a towel rail or a pocket warmer. There’s no exothermic reaction, or nano-mechanism hidden in the shaft. Its secret is thermal conduction, transmitting heat from your hand to the blade. Put bluntly, it’s made of metal and doesn’t have a handle. As such, it’s slightly oversold; having a satnav in your car doesn’t make you Knight Rider.

But does it do the job? I try it with various types of butter, none of which provide the “spaghetti effect”, an optimistic description of thin noodles of cold butter rasped off a serrated edge. Instead, I get a “scroll effect”, a pleated roll of cream turning over itself, which is better – and strangely addictive, like whittling. I smear-test it on various kinds of bread, including chewy sourdough and a soft, Nigerian-style agege loaf, because I am a multicultural dream. Impressively, it doesn’t tear the latter’s fluffy crumb (though does compress it, like memory foam). It’s lovely in the hand – broad, dense and smoothly granular. In use it’s luxurious, spreading dairy fat like the metabolism of a man over 40.

I think the “Spaghetti-effect” is probably the actual trick. And this knife doesn’t even look like it does as good of a job as this “unheatead” one. 

On a recent visit to Cleveland, I had a chance to use the IPKA  Standing Knife that I gave her a couple of years back. I actually think the problem of where to set a peanut butter covered knife is much greater than my inability to spread butter. I am tempted to pick up one for myself.

Or go the tactical route with this one.



Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

From the Deepest Depths of Uselessness: “Self-heating” butter knife

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email