GIVEAWAY ALERT! We are giving away Kinkajou Bottle Cutters to 5 lucky Dude readers! And unlike going to the airport, entry is quick and hassle-free. Sign up by May 7, 2013 using the form below.
Kinkajou. The word sounds like it applies to a precocious, yet cuddly, mammalian sidekick that sits on your shoulder and surreptitiously swipes peoples' two-bite brownies and tubes of lip gloss during walks through the park. However, like Pomeranians, kinkajous are actually vicious, bear-like beasts with razor-sharp teeth capable of slicing perfect perforations through thick layers glass. "Kinkajou", therefore, is a balls-on accurate name for Patrick Lehoux's Kickstarter project, a compact, easily-applied glass bottle cutter.
Beer bottles, liquor bottles, wine bottles, fancy Perrier and Voss water bottles, any glass vessel whose contents have been sucked dry are contenders for Kinkajou bifurcation. And although the Kinkajou concept is not original--the market currently supports several different bottle cutters--Lehoux contends that its size, manageability, and aesthetics set it apart from other bulky, less intuitive devices.
Still, cleaving glass is a project. Even the Kinkajou can't turn a handle of Captain Morgan from rum bottle to beer stein in one fell swoop. Though called a bottle cutter, what the Kinkajou actually does is score its glass. Once the wheel is affixed and tightened, a single slow turn of the bottle creates horizontal hash marks that smoothly separate the two halves when the bottle is doused in alternating boiling and cold water. Following the split, it is also necessary to sand the sharp edge of the portion to be retained with varying grit levels of sandpaper (corresponding to one's desired finish.) My guess is that the entire process takes anywhere from an hour to 3 months depending on your level of proficiency and attention span.
A $50 pledge on Kickstarter returns a Standard Kinkajou Kit for slicing and dicing keepsake glasses from wedding wine bottles, creating vases or decorative pieces from favorite vodkas, or a fashioning a My First Hangover tumbler set from the circus show of liquors that had me heaving up stomach lining in a mulberry bush at the tender age of 15. Kinkajou color choices are currently Bright White or Deep Black, and Standard Kits also come with 3 pieces of 80-grit silicon carbide sandpaper. Higher level pledges include more Kinkajous, additional pieces and grits of sandpaper, starter stencils, and a bottle of glass etching cream.
UPDATE: The Kinkajou Bottle Cutter project ran on Kickstarter through July 8, 2012. Its funding was successful, and Kinkajous have gone into full production, and are now available for standard consumer purchase.