Review: The sonic blade

If there is one thing that really gets my goat about marketing, it has to be the use of ridiculous catchphrases in an attempt to make something pretty mundane seem like it’s on the futuristic forefront of product technology. In fact, I’m so put off by terms like “cutting edge,” “space-aged,” and “revolutionary” that the mere mention of them in relation to something I’m interested in buying can be a deal-breaker.

The Sonic Blade? Well, the sonic blade took it to a whole other level.

Not only is the Sonic Blade “revolutionary” with the ability to “change the way you cook FOREVER,” but it also employs the trademarked “non-compression sonic separation technology.” That’s right. The regular buzz words weren’t good enough for the Sonic Blade, so they invented their own! Non-compression sonic separation technology! Essentially, it cuts foods without pressure – also known to the rest of the world as an electric knife.

Which is exactly what a Sonic Blade is, and only a mediocre one at that.

I’m not trying to sound too harsh here. I understand and appreciate the idea behind taking something boring and kind of old fashioned, like a big, bulky plug-in knife and trying to bring it into the 21st century with a modern look free of electric cord bondage. It’s part of the evolution of household gadgetry – everything eventually becomes smaller, more streamlined, and operates on batteries. Come to think of it, that seems to be the evolution of quite a few things, eh?

Now get your mind out of the gutter and let’s talk about this knife, shall we?

When I ordered the Sonic Blade a few months ago, I was quite naive at everything culinary and I had never owned an electric knife before. Still, even to my untrained eye, the Sonic Blade struck me as being cheap right off the bat. The battery charging unit, which also stores the knife and blades, was made out of a dull plastic and was shaped too much like a Dust Buster to even consider leaving out on my counter.  I think I’ve seen prizes in a claw machine made out of higher quality stuff.

I had more issues with the design as the weeks went on. The safety lock worked a little too well, and it was difficult to lock and unlock it, especially in the midst of cooking. I’m not a coordinated person, so when things are made more difficult than they have to be, I tend to get a little cranky. The motor lost steam when it took on anything dense – no frozen foods or fruit pits, despite what the commercial would have me think. The battery stopped holding a long charge after just a month, and you have to shell out ten beans to buy another one.

The blades bent slightly and stopped fitting correctly into the hand unit, causing them to fluctuate between being so loose that I sliced and diced in fear of julienning a couple of my fingers and being jammed in so tightly that I found myself wrestling to remove them. If I wanted to waste my time precariously handling sharp objects, I’d get a job as a sword swallower in a freak show. At least they get to travel.

While the Sonic Blade looked nothing like the bulky Remington knives that carved the turkeys of my youth, I was happy to be able to cut slices of soft mozzarella and tomatoes for caprese salad without turning my ingredients into mush. The Sonic Blade did a nice job cutting crunchy breads, too. Yes, say it with me: no more SQUISH, SQUASH, SMOOSH! God, I need to get a job writing commercials.

Honestly though, who cuts things like that? Who manhandles a tomato until it’s almost spaghetti sauce? Who builds an eighteen layer sandwich and then tries to cut it in half with a dull butcher knife?

Not this guy.

A couple of weeks into my Sonic Blade experience, my sweet mother-in-law picked me up an old school GE electric knife, still in the box, from a yard sale. I don’t know how much she paid for it, but knowing how crafty she is at the art of the bargain, I’d bet the farm that it was under five bucks. No, it’s not stylish or modern and it doesn’t live in the make-believe land of sonic food separation, but it’s studier, quicker, and stronger than it’s 21st century counterpart. Some things just don’t need to be improved, redesigned, repackaged, or remarketed – especially when quality is compromised.

Yes, the Sonic Blade is to the electric knife what Joanie Loves Chachi was to Happy Days, what Coke 2 was to Coca-Cola Classic, what Neverending Story Parts II and III were to the original Neverending Story. It’s an attempt to make you think that you need to spend a ridiculous amount of money for a cheaply produced product that you probably already have at home to begin with.

As a side note, does anyone else think that Sonic Blade would made an awesome name for an 80’s fighting robot cartoon? I swear, I can hear the theme song in my head already – cheesy electric guitar riff, electric drum beat, maybe even a couple of sweet chords from a keytar and then a falsetto voice singing “Sonic, sonic, sonic BLLLAAAAAAADE!”

No? Just me?


Where to Buy: Can’t find one, but you can buy the Sonic Blade here.

Price: We’ve seen it anywhere from $39.99 to $99.99 for two units. Buyer beware!

Sonic, sonic, sonic BLLLAAAAAAADE?: Well, I thought it was catchy.

(Photo sources: http://www.banana-slug.blogspot.com