In the 1990s, investor brothers James and John Kang heard about a new metal being developed by Caltech and NASA: It was harder than steel, smooth as glass, and injection moldable. They signed an exclusive licensing agreement and inked deals with the likes of Apple and Swatch. But two decades later, one of their prototype engineers revealed an unlikely experiment: He’d made a knife out of the material five years prior–and the thing still cut like new.
The market potential was clear. The alloy’s glass- like finish maintains sharpness and resists bacteria and rust. And because it can be injection molded rather than cast and polished, it can be manufactured with less waste. The brothers spun off a new company called VMatter, which so far just sells the knives, and it has already attracted high-profile fans that include Food Network’s The Kitchen cohost Geoffrey Zakarian.
“Other guys argue ‘our steel is better,’ or ‘we’ve been doing it since 1731,'” says VMatter cofounder Blair Dahl. “We’ve been doing it since 2013, but our material is superior.”
$150 to $400, vmatter.com