HomeTechnologyGadgetsHacksmith Builds Functional Retractable Plasma-Based Lightsaber

Hacksmith Builds Functional Retractable Plasma-Based Lightsaber

Did you ever want to see a working lightsaber in real life? James Hobson, also known as the famous Youtuber called the Hacksmith, is known for his extreme creations inspired by superhero movies. He has taken inspiration from famous movies, comic books, and video games to create real-life versions of fictional weapons over the years. This includes items like Thor’s Hammer, Kingsman’s Umbrella, Captain America’s Shield, the Han Solo Blaster, and so much more.

However, the most recent creation by the Hacksmith is probably the most extreme device that he has built. Namely, a plasma-based lightsaber or what everyone would know as a Jedi Knight’s (or the Sith Lord’s) weapon in the Star Wars movies. As the name suggests, the lightsaber’s blade consists of plasma, and it burns at 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

The world’s first retractable plasma-based lightsaber

In the past four years, Hacksmith and his team have been working on building a lightsaber that will perform the same actions in the Star Wars movies. The team had a couple of versions of the lightsaber, and each new version was better than the previous one. From one lightsaber using nitinol wire to another using a tungsten titanium blade, they had a couple of extremely unsafe products.

Finally, after many years of working on the lightsaber, Hacksmith built the final product to mimic a proto-saber. According to him, this is one of the closest representations of lightsabers. The retractable plasma-based lightsaber uses real-life technologies and burns at 4,000 degrees.

Hobson explains that the lightsaber’s power source is a tank of propane mixed with oxygen. The team came up with an alternate solution to control the flow of plasma, which allows them to make a retractable blade. This blade burns at a huge temperature and can even change its color. Hobson also uses different salts to turn the blade into blue, green, amber, red, and yellow.


How it works

The main challenge in building a Jedi weapon like this is controlling the plasma beam to create a blade. The key is the laminar flow to control the plasma, where flowing liquids maintain a constant shape even if they’re not placed into a pipe. For that reason, the team needed to move away from the LiPo batteries and try something else. That’s why they decided to use a normal, household propane. Adding the oxygen to the propane from another tank, they were able to complete the lightsaber which burned at around 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s when Hobson also decided to add different salts to change the lightsaber’s color.

The final step in building the lightsaber was adding a circuit to the hilt so that the user could turn the blade on and off. The Hacksmith team made a product that controlled how much gas goes into the lightsaber and therefore makes it extend and retract. With this, the team was able to create the world’s first real retractable plasma-based lightsaber.

The Hacksmith team tested the weapon on basically everything, from walls, steel doors, windows, concrete, a quarter-inch steel plate, and even a car. After successfully cutting everything, we can say that the final lightsaber that Hacksmith has built is amazing. It’s definitely the closest lightsaber to the one that we’ve seen in the Star Wars movies. Watch the video below to see how they built and tested this lightsaber.


Photo credit: The feature image is a still frame from this video and is owned by the Hacksmith.

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Simona Boskova
Tech Journalist