If you are craving for the savory stuff and need chips, you’re better off with a healthier alternative— nuts. And by nuts, we mean the unshelled kind, not the sodium-heavy ones in packs that you can buy from the nearest grocery store. Nuts are versatile and they can be added in just about any type of dish from sweet ones to savory, rich dishes. They add texture and much flavor. They are also great in trail mixes too, which are go-to snacks for fitness and health enthusiasts. So, it’s time to get crackin’ and go nuts for, well, nuts! But first, we need to hand you a trusty nutcracker first. Here are our top picks.
- What are the different types of nutcrackers?
Answer: There are 4 common kinds of nutcrackers—the single lever, lever-action, plier and turn-screw nutcracker. The single lever is best for cracking plenty of nuts and it’s adjustable too. The lever-action type is used by pressing its lever down to get a proper amount of pressure to crack and open nuts. It’s good for all size nuts. The plier nutcracker has two handles and a durable jaw with sharp teeth that cracks nuts open—this one is good for hard-shelled nuts. The turn-screw meanwhile is for people who cannot use plenty of pressure to use devices or people with arthritis and other similar conditions. There’s no need to put plenty of pressure on turn-screw nutcrackers since all it takes is a few screw turns and the nuts will be cracked open.
- How do you use a handheld nutcracker?
Answer: When purchasing nutcrackers, always look for the instructions on how to use the device. For handheld types, you must position the nut in the space of the device. This can be hollow or have a bowl-like form with grips on it. Press the handles of the device, put some pressure on it till the nut gets cracked open.
- What factors should I consider when choosing nutcrackers?
Answer: First, you need to check the type of material that the nutcracker is made with. Nutcrackers are either crafted from steel, zinc or die-cast aluminum material. There are also ones made with plastic handles however they can get slippery if you use them with damp hands and plastic is not that durable too, unlike metal. There are also nutcrackers made from wooden material however like plastic, it can succumb to cracking and deterioration with frequent use. Next, you have to consider if the item is easy and comfortable to use and handle. Look for nutcrackers with non-slip, contoured handles that are simple to grip. If you have weak wrists or have arthritis conditions, opt for lever-action nutcrackers instead. Most nutcrackers come in a size that makes them easy to store in drawers and cabinets but tabletop models might take some room or additional cupboard space.
Our Top Picks
Hiware Pecan Nut Cracker
- Made with enameled die-cast aluminum
- Practical, effective design
- Has different crackers
- Easy to grip and use
The Hiware Pecan Nut Cracker features an enameled die-cast aluminum built which guarantees its durability and long-lasting reliability. The ‘cracker features a unique cracking design—it features a hole that has a basket-like shape where you crack open pecan nuts without the dusty mess. It’s not only for pecans too—you can actually use it on any size nuts since it has several crackers meant to accommodate varying sizes. It’s portable too so you can carry it practically anywhere. The device has great ergonomics thus it’s a breeze to handle.
Fani Nut Crackers
- Made from durable zinc alloy
- Firm sawtooth design
- Has non-slip handle
- Easy to use and clean
Fani Nut Crackers are one of the easiest handheld nutcrackers that you can employ for breaking nuts. The device is made from durable, sturdy zinc alloy with an effective sawtooth design. The sawtooth design grips the nut securely so it will not fall off during the cracking process. Handling the device is not that much of a problem too since it has excellent ergonomics and feature non-slip handles to boot. It has smooth edges, it’s flexible and it features two types of sawtooth for accommodating different-size nuts.
Tablecraft Nutcracker and Pick Set
- Easy to use nutcracker
- Comes with 4 picks
- Dishwasher-safe model
- Eye-catching design
The Tablecraft Nutcracker and Pick Set will not make enjoying your bounty of seasonal nuts a complicated process. All you need to do is use this option to crack those nuts open, fast and convenient. The design allows the snapping of shells the quick, cleaner way. It really opens shells all the way. The package comes with the device plus 4 picks. This option is very straightforward to use being a handheld model and it’s easy to clean since it’s dishwasher-safe.
OXO Good Grips Slim Nut and Seafood Cracker
- Durable, solid zinc built
- Includes soft grips
- Easy to use
- Dishwasher-safe nutcracker
The OXO Good Grips Slim Nut and Seafood Cracker can take on a good deal of nut types—while it’s pretty much designed to tackle bigger nuts like pecans and Brazilian nuts, it is also good to use on walnuts and pistachios. It’s also nice for tackling crab legs, lobsters and other seafoods. The device has a sleek, refined design care of its solid zinc construction. It is very easy to use due to the structure of the unit. It comes with soft rubber grips too—these parts take in pressure during the squeezing part of the nutcracking process.
- With double-action lever
- Comes with container
- Less pressure needed
- Removable set-up
The genius of the Drosselmeyer Nutcracker is that this is the first nutcracker with a design that not only includes a double lever, it also comes with a container for gathering torn down shells. It’s powerful and can take on hard-shelled nuts but the process will only take minimal pressure to accomplish. Another unique thing about this piece is that the whole set-up is not conjoined by screws or pins thus it makes for faster, easier cleanups. Just disassemble the unit and remove shell remains that got stuck in the device. It also comes in several colors so you can match it with your existing home décor.
Anwenk Heavy-Duty Nutcracker
- Durable spring-loaded model
- High-quality wooden handles
- Enameled die-cast aluminum
- Easy to use
The Anwenk Heavy-Duty Nutcracker may not work on hard-shelled nuts but this is a handy tool for people who love almonds, walnuts, Brazilian nuts, pecans and the like. It is very easy to use and allows faster breaking of nut shells. The device comes with anti-slip grip for better handling and it has excellent ergonomics too so it’s easy to use. It’s crafted from durable enameled die-cast aluminum as well so you can get loads of uses from it. Can also serve as a convenient bottle opener.
Never use those hammers in cracking your favorite nuts open again. Make sure to have a working nutcracker on hand. The best ones can handle all that pressure and hardness—they will last for many uses too. Check out our list for the latest and greatest in nutcrackers.