Wolverine is, as comics fans know, the best there is at what he does. And, despite the dreams of many comic book nerd, we’re unlikely to invent a mutant healing factor or a way to bond our entire skeletons with metal any time soon. But we are able to get fully automatic claws that pop out, albeit not hidden under the skin because, again, no healing factor.

wolverine claws 2

Slightly More Cumbersome

The essential problem here is building the automatic claws. In the comics and movies, Wolverine’s claws pop out reflexively, at a moment’s notice. That’s pretty hard to engineer even for something that isn’t basically a foot-long blade.

Hence, the first problem solved was creating an arm rig that sits on top of the forearm. The claws are attached to linear bearings and a simple jig that allows all three blades to pop out at once. Sorry, fans, you won’t be reenacting the Wolverine middle-claw gag from the first movie.


The automatic action, though, is done using compressed air. Trigger the switch and the air shoves out the claws. Hit it again and the air compression sucks the claws back in.

Of course, this does require that he put an air compressor on his back, and connect it to the arm rigs with hoses. So it’s not really that much of a “Wolverine” look, although he would make a credible Omega Red.

wolverine claws

The Best There Is At What They Do

That said, this is probably the most credible Wolverine gig we’ve seen, at least in terms of effect. And hey, it’s actually not dissimilar from what Wolverine’s sporting in the comics these days, before Marvel is planning to bump him off. So if nothing else, his rig will be useful for cosplayers. That said, maybe reconsider making the dangerous automatic knives a part of your costume. We’re just saying, police tend to frown on that stuff.

Dan Seitz

Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.