Introduction: Hot-Wire Foam Cutting Nunchucks

About: I am constantly tinkering with electronics, and chemicals in my basement. I'd set more things on fire, but I live right next door to the volunteer fire chief. I live far up in the pacific northwest with sasq…
If you've ever tried cutting foam with knives, it can be a frustrating ordeal. With a material that absorbs a lot of shock, you can't apply sufficient pressure to cut through it. The solution? BURN through it, with your very own hot-wire foam cutter/ nunchucks!

With all the parts parasitized from old, and unused everyday items, you can build this foam cutting contraption for less than five dollars! We did it for $3.50, INCREDIBLE! So let us begin our amazing journey to the world of ninja foam cutting....

This project uses high current and hot wires, so don't burn/ electrocute yourself. Also, beware of toxic fumes, and work in a well ventilated area.

Step 1: Materials Needed...


1. (1) Old hairdryer
2. (1) AC power adaptor, at least 1 amp
3. (2) Pieces of 1/2" PVC, about 8" long
4. Electrical tape
5. Silver bearing solder


1. Soldering iron
2. Means of cutting PVC pipe
3. Ninja
4. Pliers

Step 2: Take Apart the Hairdryer

Disassemble the hair dyer and take out the heating element. On the heating element, there should be coils of thin wire. This is nichrome wire. When current is passed through it, it heats up because it has very high resistance. This property makes it perfect for cutting foam. However, be aware that if the wire you use has too little resistance, you can destroy your adaptor, which is never fun.

Un-wrap the wire coils from the heating element's frame, and snip off a small piece that will straighten out to about 8". Proceed to straighten out the wire with a pair of pliers.

Step 3: Attach Power Adapter

Strip off about a 1/2" piece of insulation from the ends of each of the two wires on the power adaptor.
Then, take the straightened 8" piece of nichrome wire and solder both leads form the adaptor to opposite ends of the wire. Be aware that nichrome doesn't solder very well, and it may take a few tries. Add a switch if desired.

Step 4: Finishing Construction

Tape the wires from the adapter to the pieces of PVC pipe as to make two handles (use different colors of tape for class). Notice the nunchuck resemblance? This will make it so you don't burn yourself, and can cut the foam with ease.

Step 5: Cut Your Heart to Contentment?

When you are ready, plug in the adapter and observe that the wire heats up very quickly. Now that the wire is hot, you can cut through many things, including most types of foam, cardboard, paper, and your own hand (though not advised). Enjoy cutting foam with ease and precision, AND enjoy laughing at your friends while they struggle with their knives and razor blades.