Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Knirk (relative of spork)

Fork-Knife combination
  (+4, -2)
(+4, -2)
  [vote for,
against]

First off, I believe this invention has special meaning to me because I invented the grapefruit fork. My grandmother gave me my first grapefruit (I was 7) and a spoon, and I said, "I could dig into the meat better if this spoon had teeth." She handed me a grapefruit fork, and the rejection turned me away from inventing and grapefruit for a long time. I'm returning to the world of utensils with the KNIRK. As you cut your meat, you must work the knife in front of it to cut off a piece, using the fork to stabilize the vittle. What about a sharp blade place at the midsection of the fork? It'd be like a little guillotine. Just stab the meat, hit a button, the blade drops, and ~viola~, your meat is cut. It could even to adjusted to work only when in an upright position, to disallow the cutting off of one's own lips.
crackriot, Jan 09 2002

(?) prototype http://www.cutoffmyfeet.com
[prometheus, Jan 09 2002]

Baked, sliced, and forked http://www.westons.com/hh98_18_4.htm
Would you call this a Full Nelson? [Canuck, Jan 11 2002]

[link]






       //As you cut you're meat//
<sigh> I think you missed out a comma there:
"As you cut, you're meat"; although it remains a pointless observation because you could say that ou're bodies are meat at all other times too.
lewisgirl, Jan 09 2002
  

       For [bristolz]
"...and viola..."
phoenix, Jan 09 2002
  

       Can't you eat with a knife and fork in the same hand? Or one in each hand? This looks very complicated and dangerous (you'd need the blade to come down with some force to cut the meat, and any fingers in the way would be soon in two pieces.)
pottedstu, Jan 09 2002
  

       Spork? Knirk? Why do I keep hearing the words "to boldly go"?
Guy Fox, Jan 09 2002
  

       <dodgy accent pedantry> _cannae_ take it any faster, UB </dodgy accent pedantry>   

       Maybe I was thinking "... where many puns have gone before."
Guy Fox, Jan 09 2002
  

       I'm vetoing UnaBubba's marked-for-deletion. While this thing does come with a cute name, the invention is the thing, not the name.
jutta, Jan 10 2002
  

       The sliding guillotine might be a good use for ceramic knives - they're really really sharp, but can't take torque. (Mostly, of course, anything with a ceramic knife is more cool and modern.)   

       Still don't see how to keep from cutting lips with it, although the body of the fork could perhaps be unusually long, so the part with the retracted blade never made it all the way into the mouth.
hello_c, Jan 10 2002
  

       I can't believe cutoffmyfeet.com got a mention here.
mighty_cheese, Jan 10 2002
  

       We all know how to use a fork to "cut" (really it is to tear or mash) food - we use the side of the fork tine set. It would kinda be handy if that edge were sharpened, so you could cut a steak and not just a cake. But then you run a big risk of cutting your lip or tongue (or one of the worst places for a cut - the corner of the mouth, which takes forever to heal).

crackriot is onto something here, but the guillotine thing is too dangerous. And, as others have mentioned, all of these eating utensils idea seem to never consider the cleaning angle. Do you really want to wash 20 Knirks with all of their buttons and levers and springs and whatnots after a lovely dinner?

So how about this: the knirk is a standard fork, but with one difference. The inside edges of the tines are sharpened. The outside edges of the tines are "normal" blunt edges, but the inner areas are sharp. That way, you could cut your steak by stabbing down and doing a bit of side-to-side action. Sure it wouldn't cut anything beyond the outer tines, but it would cut everything between the tines.

I personally don't have a problem with the tried-and-true knife and fork in separate hands routine. But if I only had one hand, then I would like to have a knirk-like implement. And if you believe the modern useability design schools, improved accessibility for the handicapped results in improved usuability for everyone.
quarterbaker, Jan 10 2002
  

       I always called this a Fife.
[ sctld ], Jan 10 2002
  

       You would, ya Scottish nutter!
snarfyguy, Jan 10 2002
  

       Didn't some sort of the arsenal of forks seen at dinner parties <where everyone starves to death because they're so terrified of using the wrong utensil...> once have a sharpened edge on a tine for this?
StarChaser, Jan 11 2002
  

       Yeah, dessert forks have two thin bitties and one really thick sharp bitty, so that you can cut a Vienetta.
[ sctld ], Jan 11 2002
  

       To quote PeterSealy: "BAKED BAKED BAKED". It is called a Nelson Knife (see link)   

       Canuck has a couple of small cheese knives where the blade has a curved end with a v-notch on the tip that he has used kind of like a fork. Not one cut lip or forked tongue so far.
Canuck, Jan 11 2002
  

       Cheese knives with prongs on the end are designed to spear food for moving it from cheeseboard to plate, not to go in the mouth, and they're not much use for scraping up food; this proves that the difficulty is you want forks and knives to be different shapes (forks curved for scooping, knives straight for cutting).   

       If you have blades on the inside of the tines, you'll only be able to cut things narrower than the fork, or cut food a little bit at the time. Light-sabre chopsticks solve all these problems: press a button and a short cutting beam comes out the bottom, then disable and use as regular chopsticks.   

       And please stop doing that 3rd person thing Canuck, I keep thinking you have a twin.
pottedstu, Jan 11 2002
  

       For all you know, he does.
angel, Jan 11 2002
  

       'stu, with your laser chopsticks, you'd cauterize your steak in the process of cutting it.   

       There's a plan. Utensils that cook your food as you eat.
waugsqueke, Jan 11 2002
  

       So what do you do with your free hand?
DrBob, Jan 11 2002
  

       Read a book. Or more reasonably, drink.
pottedstu, Jan 12 2002
  
      
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