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Today, we're bringing the ugliness inside you out into the open.
— John explains the rules to Cecil[src]

The Knife Chair is a trap from the Saw franchise, appearing in Saw IV.

Design and Function

The Knife Chair was a rather primitive trap, consisting of a wooden chair connected to two metallic contraptions. Attached to the armrests of the chair were blades which would cut the victim's wrists. To prevent the test subject from standing up, both arms and legs were fixated by metal shackles. These shackles were connected by several metal bars. The central bar was in a vertical position and had a small pressure plate attached to its upper end. This plate was positioned in front of the victim's face. In order to get free from the shackles, the test subject had to press his face against the plate. However, there was another device which made this task rather difficult. This device consisted of eight knives, four on each side, which were horizontally positioned in front of the victim's face. Therefore, the victim had to press his face through the knives in order to press the plate connected to the shackles. (Saw IV)


Cecil Adams' Test

I want to play a game. Your life is a lie. Now comes your moment of truth. As a drug user and a hustler, you played roulette with other peoples' lives. Today, you play with your own.
— Cecil Adams' unused tape[src]

The victim of this trap was Cecil Adams, a drug addict who had robbed the Homeward Bound Clinic and thereby accidentally injured his doctor, Jill Tuck, causing her to suffer a miscarriage and losing her unborn son, Gideon. Therefore, Cecil was targeted by John Kramer, Jill's husband and Gideon's father, who eventually subdued and abducted him during a Chinese street festival and then brought him to his workshop, where he shackled him to the chair.

Cecil awakes in Jigsaw's lair

When Cecil woke up, he initially panicked. When he recognized John, he begged him to let him go and apologized for what happened to Gideon, begging him to let him explain his situation. John merely claimed to have forgiven Cecil and had just put him in the trap to help him change his life. After a brief discussion, John showed Cecil a vicious contraption consisting of various knives. When his frightened hostage asked him what it was, John responded that this was the tool which would save his life. Afterwards, he adjusted the device to Cecil's chair so that the eight horizontally arranged knives were positioned right in front of his face. While doing so, he reminded Cecil of his crimes and failures and told him that he'd have to press his face into the knives in order to free himself from his restraints as otherwise, he would bleed to death.

Cecil tries to escape the trap

Cecil angrily insulted him and yelled for help. However, eventually he pressed his face into the knives. As he did so, the immense pain caused him to scream and struggle until after a few moments, the chair unexpectedly collapsed and thereby released him. However, instead of being grateful, Cecil approached John and tried to kill him. John however evaded the attack easily, causing Cecil to fall into a cage filled with razor wire, where he ultimately died in front of John's eyes. After his death, John cut a jigsaw piece from Cecil's skin as a symbol of his lack of will to survive and also took a stolen terracotta figure from his corpse, which he kept as a memento from then on. Finally, he disposed of Cecil's corpse. (Saw IV)

Use in other Media

Saw II: Flesh & Blood

Cecil's death was mentioned by Detective David Tapp in various audio tapes and case files in the video game Saw II: Flesh & Blood. According to him, he and his colleagues initially speculated that Cecil's death might be a result of gang criminality, even though none of them knew a gang with this specific modus operandi.


  • The knife chair is the first trap John Kramer ever made.
  • The knife chair might be a reference to the iron chair torture method