Biscuit Packet Opener: an Assisstive Technology Prototype

About: Hello. I am #1 Son. Yes, my Dad is Kiteman.

Some people are a bit clumsy, or can't grip with their fingertips very well.

This make the little pulls-tabs for opening biscuits a waste of time.

A knife could be used, or scissors, but the things that make the pull-tab useless would make stabbing with blades dangerous as well.

This is my idea for a safe tool that will open a packet of biscuits, and catch any loose ones that fall out of the end.

It's a prototype, but I think it has promise.

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Step 1: What You Need.


Thin wire.

A plant pot wider than your biscuits.  Make sure you wash it first!

A nut.

Sticky tape.


Something to cut the wire.

Small drill.

Step 2: Drill

You need to make a chord with the wire, across the pot, and still leave space for the packet of biscuits to fit past.

To fit the wire through, I drilled two small holes against the rim of the plant pot, about 10cm apart.

Step 3: The "blade"

The cutting "blade" is wire, and wire needs to be tight to cut.

I threaded the wire through the holes, and then tied the ends as best I could to a small nut I found.

I twisted the nut to make the wire as tight as I could, and then taped the nut down to stop it spinning back.

Step 4: Using the Cutter

Using the cutter is quite easy - you put the packet in the pot, and then twiddle the wire around the packet, pressing until it cuts through, then twiddle some more to cut as far around the packet as you want.

Any biscuits that spill out of the packet land in the bottom of the pot instead of on the floor.

Step 5: Improvements.

This was only a prototype to prove my idea worked.

It did, but there were problems.

Problem: the wire kept snapping.
Solution: don't use hair-thin copper wire!  Use something like cheese wire.  Maybe you can get wire that is a bit rough and spiky, like a wire saw, but thinner?

Problem: the pot was flexible, so the wire went slack if you squeezed the pot the wrong way.
Solution: use something more rigid.  It could be wooden, metal, or even ceramic.

Idea: something like this could be built into the lid of a biscuit barrel

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    17 Discussions


    Are these biscuit tubes exclusive to Europe? In America we have tubes that you bang on the counter and the cardboard splits along the spiral.

    4 replies

    You see my dear fellow we Brits eat biscuits that you know as cookies
    'cookies' are the American way of saying biscuit and was i dunno adapted from something else?
    Meh We have biscuits you have cookies end of story


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Fantastic idea, so simple, I love it, I hope you have more ideas of such simple and useful philosophy :)


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome little project! Simple, easy to build, and nicely explained (and how come the British have better vocabulary than Americans, eh?). Lemonie's suggestion of guitar string, or piano wire, would be excellent as a pseudo-serrated cutter.

    1 reply
    Lithium RainKiteman

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Man, I want a package of Digestives now, just to empty and put on my desk next to the shark-in-a-jar and preserved alligator head.

    No, really.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    He was raiding my stocks because it was a sudden inspiration for the Humana contest.

    I'll try and acquire an old guitar string from our music teacher...