Enrichment Arts & Culture

YouTuber shows off world’s first retractable lightsaber

Story at a glance

  • Russian YouTuber Alex Burkan earned the Guinness Book of World Record’s first retractable lightsaber title.
  • Burkan spent years developing his lightsaber, adapting an electrolyser to the shape and length needed for a lightsaber.
  • Currently, the lightsaber can cut through steel and operates up to 30 seconds at full power.

The Guinness Book of World Records awarded the title of the world’s first retractable lightsaber to a YouTuber in Russia who spent years developing the novel instrument. 

Alex Burkan is the man behind the world’s first retractable lightsaber, who also has his own YouTube channel called Alex Lab, where he has more than 800,000 subscribers. Burkan told Guinness that he was a great “Star Wars” fan, and that the movie’s lightsaber was his “most-wanted gadget.” 

The lightsaber produces a plasma blade measuring more than 3.28 ft in length and reaches temperatures surpassing 5,072 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Guinness. The lightsaber’s blade can cut through steel. 

Burkan said that since 2013 he had been studying hydrogen generation equipment and decided to build something of his own. He spent years collecting ideas along with spare parts from the internet and scrap yards.


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The key to Burkan’s lightsaber is an electrolyser, which splits water into hydrogen and oxygen gases, a prcoess he was able to adapt after many rounds of testing to form the shape and length required for his lightsaber. 

“Finally, the most challenging job was to squeeze the whole gas distribution system in a lightsaber handle,” said Burkan to Guinness. 

Once Burkan was able to do that, he had a functional lightsaber. Currently, it works for only 30 seconds at full power, but Burkan hopes to continue to fine tune by upgrading the nozzle and replacing the fuel tank with a carbon tank system. 

“I think the science will help us and finally we can get the lightsaber close to the movie version,” said Burkan. 

Along with his record-breaking lightsaber, Burkan is also working on developing an Iron Man suit and other equipment that can work on hydrogen. 


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