Don't Waste Your Money is supported by our readers. When you purchase an item through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Best Crab Cracker

Last updated on October 11, 2023

Our Review Process

Don't Waste Your Money is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our Picks For The Top Crab Crackers

View All Recommendations
Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

HIWARE Stainless Steel Crab Crackers & Picks Set, 10 Piece

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval


Stainless Steel Crab Crackers & Picks Set, 10 Piece

This set includes 8 picks and 2 double-jawed crackers. The zinc alloy construction makes the crackers resilient with tough crab shells. The metal picks allow for easy scooping and picking. They're all safe for the dishwasher.

Overall Take

Made to LastIf you want durable tools that can handle very hard crabs, consider this set.

 Runner Up

Anwenk Crab & Lobster Cracker Tools Set, 8 Piece


Crab & Lobster Cracker Tools Set, 8 Piece

Including 3 types of dishwasher-safe tools, this set has essentials for cracking the crab and scooping out meat. The picks and double-jawed crackers are made of durable metal, while the shellers are plastic. You get a carrying bag too.

Overall Take

Good Starter ChoiceThe variety of tools included with this set make it ideal for getting started with cracking crabs.

 We Also Like

fani Heavy Duty Non-Slip Handle Crab Cracker


Heavy Duty Non-Slip Handle Crab Cracker

Available in a trio of color options, this set features a cracker and a pair of picks all made of metal. The cracker has a double jaw for versatility. The handles feature rubber grips for comfortable handling too.

Overall Take

Ergonomic DesignYou'll find this cracker more comfortable to use thanks to the easy-to-grip handles.

 Strong Contender

BERNIE ANSEL Crab Claw Crackers & Tools Set, 7 Piece


Crab Claw Crackers & Tools Set, 7 Piece

With this set, you get 2 double-jawed crab crackers made of stainless steel. It also comes with 2 metal picks and 2 plastic shellers. The included drawstring bag makes storage easy.

Overall Take

Versatile and ConvenientYou get a variety of plastic and metal tools with this versatile and convenient seafood tool set.

Buying Guide

Before you can enjoy tasty crab meat, you have to complete the task of cracking the crab. While you can try to do it by hand or use other tools from your kitchen, using a specialized crab cracker can make the process quicker and reduce the strain on your hands. It can also make the experience less messy and reduce the chance that you get pieces of shell stuck in the meat.

When you look at a typical crab cracker, you’ll notice a close resemblance to a nutcracker, and the tool can often double as one. Crab crackers will feature handles, a hinge and a single or double jaw where you can put the part of the crab you want to crack. While a single-jawed cracker offers simplicity, a double jaw will give you more versatility for different-sized crab legs and claws.

It’s important to choose a crab cracker that is strong enough to handle the job and last you a long time. Most options are made of either zinc alloy or stainless steel since these materials are strong enough to handle cracking hard shells and resist rusting. Some plastic crab crackers exist that often cost less, but these mainly suit softer parts since they allow for less force than metal options.

You should also consider your comfort when choosing a particular crab cracker design. You’ll want something that has a strong hinge and won’t require you to use too much force. In addition, get something that is sturdy but not so large or heavy that you find it uncomfortable to hold. And since your hands could slip during use, looking for a crab cracker with rubber grips on the handles is often a good idea.

Although you can find crab crackers sold individually, they often come in sets with other helpful tools. These often include plastic shellers that can help with opening parts as well as metal picks that feature a spoon on one end and a fork on the other. Your set might also include seafood scissors to help you cut the shell.

What to Look For

  • Make sure you boil or steam the crab to the right temperature so that you can safely eat it. The typical safe internal temperature is 145 degrees Fahrenheit for shellfish. To avoid burns, let the crab cool down before you handle it.
  • Be aware of safety concerns before you start using a crab cracker. The tool could pinch your fingers if they accidentally get in the way, or you could strain your hands if you apply too much pressure to try to crack the crab. Make sure that you keep a tight grip so that the crab doesn’t slip during the cracking process and potentially cause an injury. You also shouldn’t let children handle this tool.
  • You’ll want to protect your surface for an easier cleanup since the crab cracking process gets messy.
  • When using your crab cracker, be careful that you don’t harm the crab meat or get pieces of shell stuck in it. Otherwise, you’ll need to take extra time to dig the shell pieces out before you can enjoy your food. Just apply the minimum force needed and go from there.
  • Try to crack the crab’s shell at its weak points so you don’t have to use as much force.
  • Expect to need to wash your crab cracker and other seafood tools after each use. To make for easier cleaning, you’ll probably want to buy tools marked as safe for the dishwasher. But if you buy a crab cracker that you must wash by hand, you can simply use a small container with soap and water to do so. Just make sure to dry your crab tools before you put them away.
  • Store your crab cracker and other seafood tools in a safe place so you don’t lose them. If you buy a kit, it will often include a carrying bag for this.
  • Your crab cracker will come in handy for other types of seafood with shells as well.
  • If you end up with leftovers, you can typically keep cooked crab meat in the fridge for up to 5 days safely or in the freezer for up to 3 months for the best quality. When you want to use the stored crab, toss it out if you notice strange smells, odd discoloration or growth like mold on it.

More to Explore

While having a good crab cracker makes the task easier, you’ll still need to know how to approach cracking the crab. If you didn’t buy a frozen crab that came already separated partly, use your hands, seafood scissors or a knife to open the crab’s body first. You’ll want to toss out the parts inside that you don’t want to eat.

Working at the joints, you can use your hands or the crab cracker to snap off the claws and legs. Being careful to protect the meat inside, proceed with using the crab cracker to crack the legs and claws open.

Note that you can do these steps in a different order if you prefer. You can also either remove the meat from the legs, claws and body as you work or wait until the end to do so.

From our partners