Adam Savage and Vsauce's Michael Stevens Build a Kendama!

  • Published on Aug 11, 2017
  • See Adam and Michael this fall on their Brain Candy tour! For tickets and info, visit
    Adam is joined by Vsauce's Michael Stevens for a special One Day Build in the cave. Michael has recently taken up playing the Kendama, a Japanese cup and ball toy, and Adam helps make one from scratch that helps optimize his play. This build engrosses both into topics of machining, knot tying, and geometric conundrums.
    Shot by Gunther Kirsch and Will Nail
    Edited by Gunther Kirsch
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    Tested is:
    Adam Savage
    Norman Chan
    Simone Giertz
    Joey Fameli
    Kishore Hari
    Frank Ippolito
    Sean Charlesworth
    Jeremy Williams
    Gunther Kirsch
    Ryan Kiser
    Thanks for watching!
  • Science & TechnologyScience & Technology

Comments • 5 878

  • Joboken
    Joboken 19 hours ago

    2 nerds jerking off their intelligence . I love it

  • Robin Figg
    Robin Figg Day ago

    Probably the smartest thing i've seen in years

  • Charnel
    Charnel Day ago

    It's nice of Adam to let an autist in his workshop.

  • Jack Fletcher
    Jack Fletcher 2 days ago

    The ball is a tama, not a dama. Dama is a slang term for the whole of a kendama. Kendama is a term on its own, not a combination of ken and tama. Also, check out some pre-existing discussion on kendamas. The physics of them have already been toyed with by companies like KROM, PNW Kendama, CWCS, etc, and they've found that changing the balance limits the pool of more advanced tricks. It's like making a yo-yo that physically can't do more than go up and down.

  • Árpád Goretity
    Árpád Goretity 2 days ago

    9:44 that would be inch-resting…

  • Jacob Flowers
    Jacob Flowers 3 days ago

    I have a question, couldn't they have just left the pole on the dama because they were going to cut a hole in it anyway?

  • Mind Synthetic
    Mind Synthetic 4 days ago

    there is nothing wrong with this toy, it works just fine. there are kendama tournaments and kids and adults have no problem catching it

  • Hellhound
    Hellhound 4 days ago

    you should drop Patrick Adair Designs some of this material
    i would LOVE to see him build a ring out of it.

  • psychoprosthetic
    psychoprosthetic 5 days ago

    Lovely video, and a lot to learn about workshop techniques. But there really ought to be a "don't try this at home folks" warning because all the guards that ought to be on these machines to comply with modern safety regs are not there. A moment's inattention could lead to serious injury.

  • Chris Gibbons
    Chris Gibbons 5 days ago

    I wonder how many people bought kendamas after this.

  • NotNick
    NotNick 6 days ago +2

    top ten best anime crossovers

  • Justin Drentlaw
    Justin Drentlaw 7 days ago

    I love your videos Adam! And Michael Stevens is an awesome guest for the one day builds. If I could make a suggestion though; make the voice audio louder because the background music is a lot louder. I have to turn the volume way up to hear your voices and then once the music comes in it's way too loud. I don't know if anyone else has that problem. It's just a suggestion though. Love your vids! Stay creative, and I will zee you next time!

  • IndustrialJones
    IndustrialJones 8 days ago

    This reminds me of when I was a kid working in my dad's workshop. He had a lathe that he used for carpentry type projects. He also worked on vehicles and repaired pretty much everything around the house. I feel like I took those years for granted.

  • Argentinian Shitposter

    I love the fact that they can simply use a 3D printer and make that thing in like 1 hour

  • The Mech Treehouse, Fluffy the Great and Powerful

    It's like CAD, but really hard.

  • Chris Daignault
    Chris Daignault 12 days ago

    But... what is a string, really? And what does string weigh?

  • Justin Addington
    Justin Addington 12 days ago

    @43:36 was that violins i was hearing or is that the machine?

  • Jens Pors Andersen
    Jens Pors Andersen 12 days ago

    Did anyone notice the perfectly round ball, with a hole in it on Adams machine?! I know there is a number on it and it’s a billardball, but still. I would have jump the fence, Where it Was lowest and grabed that Ball!

  • FilterYT
    FilterYT 13 days ago

    Maybe someone else suggested this same solution, but here is what I would try: carve a narrowish V into the top that the point of the V is at the centre of the mass of the ball, that way a sharp pull on the string wont impart a tilt to the ball.

  • Stephen Ball
    Stephen Ball 13 days ago

    I like how they both mixed their English and Metric measurements (07:49). 0.o

  • Trebor Ironwolfe
    Trebor Ironwolfe 13 days ago

    Sadly, during my childhood I was rarely exposed to any environments involving tools or machinery.. so I could never understand why so many guys (some gals) enjoyed camping out in their garage, shed, shop, etc. A few decades later, I can now reflect back and understand perfectly.. they are sanctuaries from endlessly nagging spouses, they can serve as stress relief outlets through constructive destruction (aka "projects"), and even cooler.. as Adam does at timestamp 14:30 .. create unnecessary and gratuitous messes without anyone caring.

  • CapnTates
    CapnTates 13 days ago

    Work hardening is not because of heat, it's purely mechanical. Just sayin'.

  • Landon Hilde
    Landon Hilde 13 days ago

    This guy chucks

  • ToeMosS _Vlogs
    ToeMosS _Vlogs 14 days ago

    The spin is completely unnecessary and I think is actually cheating.

  • Benjamin Rivera
    Benjamin Rivera 14 days ago

    Should have just milled a space for a bearing into the original and rubbed wax on the surface of the stick and inside of the ball.

  • D. M.
    D. M. 15 days ago

    Thank you Adam and Michael for being who you are. People like you give me hope for humanity.

  • Ryan Springer
    Ryan Springer 15 days ago

    I've watched this so many times. Each time I'm still completely enthralled.

  • Alfonso Alonzo
    Alfonso Alonzo 15 days ago

    I remember in middle school all the diamond wearing jabronies would play with there kendamas amd would pay ridicoulous amount of money for them but not one of those spoiled a holes ever got a custom one like this lol

  • ZesPak
    ZesPak 15 days ago

    7:30 "so we have two, spheres, one 10cm the other one 1m"
    "we want 1 INCH high napkin rings"
    I like you Michael, but the man is talking science and you're using feetsies and elbows to measure stuff.

  • ZesPak
    ZesPak 15 days ago

    Is Adam wearing an SKX009? Lovely watch! Great choice.

    BNJMN 16 days ago

    i like how adam thinks everyone will like the metric/imperial caliper. its true, everyone likes it.

  • TrueVelocity
    TrueVelocity 16 days ago

    R.I.P Harambe

  • Devin Coleman
    Devin Coleman 16 days ago

    I had to pause the video and think about the napkin ring paradox for a second. I get it, but it’s wild!! How think the Earth one would have to be is incredible but it’s amazing. I love math... and physics... all of it!

  • Miguel Flores
    Miguel Flores 16 days ago

    44:24 whoa there michael, getting a bit too excited over this...

  • 63142
    63142 17 days ago

    I can remember when I was 10 years old and my dad made my brother and I each a pair of nun chucks. I will never forget watching my brother wrack himself multiple times. Back then it brought tears to both our eyes. It still brings a smile to my face. I was smarter I tried very hard to actually catch the chuck in my hand. My brother had knots on his head, face, elbows, knees and other places. Oh the things you can make out of broom handles... Thanks Dad for the very precious memories. I would love to see him make a pair of clackers. Those things were super dangerous and funny if you were watching someone else. I whacked my self in the eye with them once. I had a nice shiner for about two weeks.

  • mia godson
    mia godson 17 days ago

    as a metal polisher who uses an lathe for both linishing and polishing by hand with out a chuck I am In live with Adams work and would love to work with him

  • p0gr
    p0gr 18 days ago

    shouldnt the rotation axis be more stable if the knot is higher, almost at the periphery, instead of in the middle? because then the center of gravity is below the knot to keep the axis straight.

  • MochaTater
    MochaTater 18 days ago

    That was cool

  • Marshall Covert
    Marshall Covert 19 days ago

    I'd like to see a redux version of this episode where they have a kendama professional/expert come on and critique the choices they make to the modifications. I see why they did what they did, and it's fascinating. But any experienced kendama player is likely cringing at some of their choices when there is clearly no insider know-how behind them.

  • Zack Sinel
    Zack Sinel 19 days ago

    hox cool is that to see so much greetnes,knowledge and experience fitted to a not so simple toy ^^ awsome!

  • Mat Livermore
    Mat Livermore 19 days ago

    my favorite part of these adam vids is where he starts doing inventory in his head and thinking about all the stuff he has in his beautiful warehouse of fun 2:20

    • Mat Livermore
      Mat Livermore 19 days ago

      that and how im just as curious as michael with his questions about density and grippiness every couple minutes, it either that or some awesome fact. if hes not blowing your mind with a fact he doin it with a question

  • Luke Hamilton
    Luke Hamilton 19 days ago

    anyone else feel like Adam gets annoyed with Michael? or is that just me?

  • SpydersByte
    SpydersByte 20 days ago

    54:15 wow that was actually pretty impressive

  • SpydersByte
    SpydersByte 20 days ago

    20:52 holy fuck, that cut was scary as hell! Michael's hand was right next to the chuck and they cut to the damn thing running, the sound almost made me jump!

  • Miss Informed
    Miss Informed 20 days ago

    Well, I actually have a tool for that...

  • William Kreh
    William Kreh 20 days ago

    How incredible would it be to simply sit in this shop and have Adam "think aloud" as he worked? I would learn so much my head would explode.

  • netbeans
    netbeans 20 days ago

    At the end when everything is in fast motion the second hand on the clock on the right goes backwards.

  • Carson Stern
    Carson Stern 20 days ago

    Someone please tell me what watch Michael is wearing - Adam is of course wearing an SKX009, and he's making me want it. But what is Michael wearing ?

  • hytlerson
    hytlerson 21 day ago +1

    I'm high but I understood that wet towel law on his first explanation, maybe it helped.

  • Mr Cortez
    Mr Cortez 21 day ago

    He wasn't pleased with the length of the string.

  • Robert Briggs
    Robert Briggs 22 days ago

    Vertical lathes are used to mount large awkward pieces that can't be safely supported by a horizontal lathe. The most common Vertical lathe is called a Vertical Turret Lathe.

  • Andrej Telisman
    Andrej Telisman 22 days ago

    How simplest things are complicated to make.

  • wabash
    wabash 22 days ago

    I watched this shaking my head up and down pretending to understand anything they were talking about.

  • Thesnakerox
    Thesnakerox 23 days ago

    Now we need to figure out how to mass produce and sell this physically perfect kendama.
    I'd definitely sink a fair number of bucks into getting one.

  • Tal Moore
    Tal Moore 24 days ago +1


  • 909sickle
    909sickle 24 days ago

    I like vsauce's endless curiosity and asking questions about everything.

  • Andrew Wood
    Andrew Wood 25 days ago

    6:57 nice voice crack

  • Michael Bova
    Michael Bova 26 days ago

    43:39 - 43:46 there is an interesting thing to say about the notes that the machine is hitting during these times in the video. Why do all the factors equal those notes being played? The material, the thickness! So cool...
    Listen back, it makes this "chromatic" sounding tune. Mind blown

  • fataxel
    fataxel 27 days ago

    oh no..i mistakenly read Adam Savage and Vsauce's Michael Stevens Build a Mandala! Now i want them to build a sand mandala..

  • Nana Euforia
    Nana Euforia 27 days ago

    Howtobasic face.

  • Natsu Dragneel
    Natsu Dragneel 27 days ago

    52:33 sadly I don’t think we have enough string for that

  • jxa66
    jxa66 28 days ago

    Adam does all the dangerous shit you are never supposed to do while machining

  • Emetris
    Emetris 28 days ago

    34:46 '.... I mean..'
    what did you mean?!

  • Ben R4m-Z
    Ben R4m-Z 28 days ago

    Does anyone know if they are going to do the napkin ring paradox?
    I would love to see that proved through real life testing.

  • EXOwO
    EXOwO 28 days ago

    I love watching them 💌

  • Pandarah
    Pandarah 29 days ago

    I love how they are constantly learning from each other throughout this video :D

  • zlozlozlo
    zlozlozlo 29 days ago

    I love how he called it a "home-made" kendama.

  • Adam Crispell
    Adam Crispell 29 days ago

    kinda huge for kendama. very cool

  • kevin cullen
    kevin cullen Month ago

    I think Adam Savage is everyone's dream DIY dad

  • DMitsuki
    DMitsuki Month ago

    Oi m8 I dun wanna be that guy but you keep calling the ball the "dama." It's not the "dama," it's the "tama"

  • NZ WilCo
    NZ WilCo Month ago

    'i made them chiral' Adam i love your vocabulary.

  • ary grijze eekhoorn

    I started the video not knowing it was an hour!
    But it was fun😃

  • Jody Knight
    Jody Knight Month ago

    I loved every second of this video, even though I'm a girl, I can still totally appreciate the skill and knowledge of using the materials and tools to make the finished product. I was enthralled watching the whole process, so thank you so much for doing it and filming it so well. That is what I call quality content.

  • Jacob N
    Jacob N Month ago

    I’d love to see a video of Adam making a pocketknife or a wallet

  • Jacob N
    Jacob N Month ago

    I’d love to see a video of Adam making a pocketknife or a wallet

  • Jacob Sanchez
    Jacob Sanchez Month ago

    spinners are for beginners.

  • Alex Tobert
    Alex Tobert Month ago

    I love how both of them know so much but still can learn so many new things from each other. They really personify theory and practice

  • clay collins
    clay collins Month ago

    Probably the lamest pass time toy on the planet. Buuut I could watch these guys cook hot dogs and ramen noodles in a coffee pot for two hours and be content

  • likhith km
    likhith km Month ago

    I jus love it love it and love it!!!!!!His workshop!!!!!❤️🤩👌🏽I’d love to work in one!!!!❤️❤️❤️

  • Arthur JL-S
    Arthur JL-S Month ago

    It's not called the damma is called the tamma.

  • wrenkler
    wrenkler Month ago

    You probably made the worst Kendama for any other trick then a simple Spike. 🤣 1 out of 10 lunar balance

  • Vincent Gallagher
    Vincent Gallagher Month ago

    39:34 “it definitely complicates things significantly”
    Great Job capturing editing and staying out of the way!

  • Detective Rick Burwitz

    These two interacting is amazing, Adam showing off all his toys like a proud dad. I love it

  • odeerg
    odeerg Month ago

    This is why I am glad I run cnc lathes and mills now. For the first five years of my machining career I used manual lathes and it takes forever, but now on a cnc I could have this all done in half an hour easy.

  • 文恵
    文恵 Month ago

    Adam's creativity is so sexy. I can watch his videos hours and hours :D

  • TheFrazerboy
    TheFrazerboy Month ago

    I wish Adam taught my engineering class. He's got a real passion that not enough engineering teachers have.

  • Max Gs
    Max Gs Month ago

    4:31 I bet you're not the only one asking that question.

  • Fabian Rios
    Fabian Rios Month ago

    Its 3am Right now i have school tomorrow

    Wish me luck☘

  • Krimson Grant
    Krimson Grant Month ago

    Two men desperately trying to prove their intellect to each other, would recommend

  • AN TY
    AN TY Month ago

    As an avid kendama player and collector... I think they lost sight of the purpose of playing a kendama. It's a hand/eye coordination toy, that's meant to be difficult to master. Spinning the tama (ball) is one solution to one facet of playing the kendama. So designing a kendama to accommodate that one trick, seems silly. Granted, I love these videos and I'm just being a stickler. I learned a lot and will value the information, regardless. Stay classy!
    Side Note: Although variations of this game exist all around the world, the Kendama was created in Japan during the 19th century. It's origins stem from the French game Bilboquet that was played as early as the 16th century.

  • Andrew Austin
    Andrew Austin Month ago

    vsauce is so weird in this video. talking like a robot is not gonna hide your lameness buddy.

  • VST
    VST Month ago

    Have 50' of string and please leave. Thanks.

  • Tweed
    Tweed Month ago

    adam savage is the actuality of what a concept tries to be

  • Tweed
    Tweed Month ago

    i can watch these 2 do nothing

  • Han Solo
    Han Solo Month ago

    that was 1 hour wow felt like 10min

  • OjaioFansub
    OjaioFansub Month ago

    I want a friend like Adam, ir I be the friend like Adam

  • Sergio C.
    Sergio C. Month ago

    I grew up playing with that same toy! In Latin America they're traditional. In Colombia we call that "Balero". It doesn't have the side cups, tho.

  • HardDiskLover
    HardDiskLover Month ago

    This is the best video! There is no better collab than these two

  • AJRprods
    AJRprods Month ago

    I'd imagine you'd want to extend the 'ken' to the length that ideally leaves the balance point where you rest your fingers on the handle. That way the 'dama' can be pulled straight up regardless of the micro-inefficiencies your arm might make on the pull up... the handle will stay balanced and level with the ground

  • Matthew  Peters
    Matthew Peters Month ago

    Have you ever accidentally touched a spinning chuck?