Metal Vapor Torch (Image: EMPI-Inc.com)
If a Star Wars lightsaber has always been on your holiday wish list and the plastic flip-out replica of the laser sword doesn't quite cut it, check out this Metal Vapor Torch.
The flashlight-size tactical tool by Energetic Materials & Products, Inc., reaches temperatures of up to 5000 degrees F with a flame speed of more than one mile per second, according to Popular Mechanics. The MVT can cut through metal pipes, locks and chains.
Here's more about how it works:
At the heart of the MVT is a reaction between copper oxide and precisely graded particles of magnesium and aluminum; consistent particle size is crucial to ensure that the torch burns at the desired temperature. [...] A rectangular carbon fiber nozzle shapes the jet into a flat blade for cutting. The jet has higher energy density than a gas flame; the cutting action is produced by a combination of heat and abrasion by particles of metal oxide.
Watch the demo video:
Although intended for use by law enforcement and others who might need to slice through such metal objects quickly, the EMPI website states that no specialized equipment or training is necessary, so technically anyone could use it (with the proper safety precautions). The company also states it can be used as an underwater diver's tool.
Not everyone will get their hands on the device though. According to Popular Mechanics, since it could be used in criminal activity, the torch will be sold to only approved customers.
The cost of the torch is $135 with disposable cartridges costing about $35 each.