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 Nutcracker

Last updated on June 9, 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 Nutcrackers

View All Recommendations
Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

Anwenk Heavy Duty Enameled Plier Opener Nutcracker

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval


Heavy Duty Enameled Plier Opener Nutcracker

Tackle all your nut-cracking needs, from pecans to Brazil nuts. This nutcracker might not work well for harder-shelled nuts, such as black walnuts and macadamia. The high-quality wood handles make it easy to grip while also providing years of use.

Overall Take

Extra DurableWith heavy-duty springs and high-quality wood handles, this nutcracker is designed to last.

 Runner Up

Hiware Non-Slip Handle Plier Opener Nutcracker With Picks


Non-Slip Handle Plier Opener Nutcracker With Picks

Made from enameled die-cast aluminum, the handles on this nutcracker are designed to handle even the toughest shells without breaking. The cracker has grooved patterns to blast through nuts without extreme effort. The handle also has anti-slip lines to stabilize your hand while you’re working.

Overall Take

Heavy Duty OptionTackle hard-shelled nuts like macadamia and walnuts with this nutcracker, which is built with heavy-duty springs.

 We Also Like

Drosselmeyer Double Lever Action Minimal Exertion Nutcracker


Double Lever Action Minimal Exertion Nutcracker

Available in three different colors, this nutcracker is both attractive and easy to use. The double-lever hander makes cracking a breeze, and an attached container collects the shells for convenient disposal later. The nutcracker can be easily disassembled and reassembled for easy cleanup.

Overall Take

Easy to UseA double lever and shell collector makes this nutcracker easy to use.

 Strong Contender

Fani Heavy Duty Non-Slip Handle Sawtooth Nutcracker


Heavy Duty Non-Slip Handle Sawtooth Nutcracker

High-hardness zinc alloy makes this a strong, durable nut-cracking option. The sawtooth design grips the shell to reduce the risk of slipping, and the handle gives you a solid grip while also keeping your hand comfortable. The sawtooth features two separate designs to help you adjust between large and small nuts.

Overall Take

Versatile Option The design of this nutcracker makes it versatile enough to tackle both large and small nuts.

Buying Guide

Looking for a little pick-me-up for that midafternoon slump? Nuts can help. When combined with a well-rounded diet, nuts bring that unsaturated fat that can be good for your heart.

But some of the best nuts come in shells. For that, you’ll need a nutcracker. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that not all shells are equal. You’ll find that hard-shelled nuts are tougher to crack than those with softer shells. Macadamia nuts are among the toughest, as are pistachios. If those are your nuts of choice, you may need a different kind of nutcracker than if you prefer almonds or pecans.

When adding a nutcracker to your kitchen tools, also keep storage in mind. You may want a handheld option that squeezes comfortably into your silverware drawer or cooking utensil holder. If you want a larger nutcracker that you store on your countertop, pay attention to the appearance of any nutcracker you’re choosing. You’ll likely want to make sure it matches your décor.

In a pinch, you can crack nuts without an official tool. Pliers can be used with some nuts, but you’ll need something like a hammer to open Brazil nuts. If you happen to have Channellock pliers on hand, you’ll likely find those can tackle a wide variety of nut types. Moderately soft nuts can be cracked by hand, as long as you’re persistent.

Durability is an important feature of any nutcracker. You’ll want one with springs strong enough to hold up even as you’re cracking the most durable shells. But it’s important that your nutcracker have a nonslip surface, both surrounding the shells and in the area where you clasp it. Stability is important in any nutcracker.

The build of the springs also plays a role. You’ll want springs tough enough to take on even the toughest shells without breaking. High-quality materials can make all the difference, but also make sure you find a nutcracker with handles that will hold up.

What to Look For

  • You can make tougher nuts easier to crack by either freezing them or soaking them in water for a few hours before trying to crack them. If you opt for this method, you’ll need to give the nuts a few hours to dry or come back to room temperature before eating them.
  • Nutcrackers come in a variety of designs, from the decorative ones sold at Christmastime to the small, wrench-like handheld ones found in households everywhere. Some are designed for the entire nut to fit inside a cup, while others have a vice-like grip that squeezes when a handle is pressed.
  • Take a close look at the handles before you buy a nutcracker. You’ll want a nutcracker with handles that are comfortable to grip while also being strong. You can find some with padding over the metal and an ergonomic build. If you plan to tackle multiple nuts at a time, the more comfortable the handle, the better.
  • You’ll want to make sure your nutcracker is durable enough to handle exposure to moisture. Typically, they’ll need to be hand washed and immediately set out to dry to avoid corrosion. Avoid soaking them for more than a few minutes at a time. Some nutcrackers can be disassembled for easy cleanup. If you go for this option, make sure disassembly and reassembly aren’t too complicated.
  • Grooved patterns on the surface of a nutcracker help it grip the shell of the nut, ensuring stable operation each time. Look for this feature as you’re comparing nutcrackers.
  • One of the biggest inconveniences of cracking nutshells is that it creates a mess. Some nutcrackers come with a built-in collection cup that holds all the shells so you can dispose of them at once.
  • If you consume a variety of nut types, you’ll want a nutcracker that can handle nuts of all sizes. You can find some that adjust between extreme sizes, as well as capably handling everything in between.

More to Explore

Although the human diet has changed dramatically over the years, there are some foods that have long been staples. One of those foods is the nut, which provides both protein and unsaturated fats and works well as a snack or a meal accompaniment.

Early civilizations are believed to have used stones to crack nutshells when a shell was too tough to split using teeth. Pitted stones have been discovered that likely date back at least 4,000 years ago.

The first known metal nutcracker is now on display at a museum in Italy. This nutcracker has been dated as far back as the third or fourth century B.C. Another nutcracker in a museum in Leavenworth is dated between 200 B.C. and 200 A.D.

From our partners