How to Do the Vanishing Silverware Magic Trick

Learn how to do the vanishing silverware trick from professional illusionist Ben Nemzer in this Howcast magic tricks video.

My name is Ben Nemzer and I’m a magician. One of my specialties is close-up magic which is magic with ordinary objects, decks of cards, ropes, rubber bands and I do that all over New York City. I’m going to teach you some of the basics of magic that you guys can start performing right away.

I’m going to show you how to eat a knife. [Swallowing sound] Delicious. Here’s the secret. Let me show you. This is really cool because what you’re actually doing is dropping the knife in your lap. Now it’s a really simple concept but it’s actually very difficult to do well so I’m going to give you some pointers.

For starters it’s nice to have the knife slightly away from you. That way you have a reason to reach forward for it. And when you reach forward you want to use two hands and completely cover the knife. That way, when you’re not holding the knife, you hands should look exactly the same.

Now what you do is you reach for it and you bring the knife in a gesture moving it towards you and then up. But what happens is as soon as you reach the edge of the table, you drop the knife in your lap. Now there’s two things that sell this effect. Number one is you don’t ever actually bring your hands below the table. A very common mistake when learning this trick is people will take their hands and go like this. That immediately telegraphs that you’re doing something fishy. So you want to keep one fluid smooth movement, almost in a crescent shape.

The other great thing is because your hands are only near the edge of the table for a moment and you make it disappear or you swallow it over the table, it almost looks like the knife has been above the table the entire time. So in motion you go to reach for it and it drops at the moment when it’s over here. Now you can eat it or you can just make it disappear, and the movement of bringing it over here you can, it’s already gone, [swallowing sound] pretend to eat a knife. So that’s how you make a knife or a piece of silverware disappear in your lap.