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Nut and Shell Crackers

Nut crackers allow you to extract the nut meat from the tough hulls of a nut. For example, the black walnut cracker makes it easy to crack the nut open while keeping your fingers safe and clean. There are many types of nut crackers that you can use to crack nuts, including small, handheld ones or bigger ones like tabletop crackers.

What material is a nut cracker made from?

  • Steel - Hulling tree nuts, like pecans, requires a lot of force, and steel has the tensile strength required to do the hulling. With these, the adjustable springs are made of aluminum for enhanced flexibility.
  • Cast iron - When you need a lot of pecans, chestnuts, or other nuts hulled, a cast iron nut cracker makes quick work of the process. The cast iron may be painted to reduce rust or corrosion from the chemicals in the nut hulls.
  • Hardwood - Hard woods, such as hickory, are used in decorative crackers. This kind of wood is also used as the mounting platform for tabletop black walnut crackers.

What types of nut crackers are available?

  • Mounted - A mounted nut cracker for walnuts, pecans, and other nuts with hard hulls fits onto a flat surface of a counter top or table with the use of heavy-duty metal clamps. The mounted crackers are often used for hulling dozens or even hundreds of pecans or walnuts in a single sitting. The cracker's platform is typically made of a hardwood material, and the cracker is made of metal such as cast iron.
  • Handheld ratchet - The handheld ratchet style of cracker looks like a pair of pliers. This type of a cracker is constructed from metal, usually stainless steel, because of the chemical compounds that are in the hulls of walnuts and pecans. The handheld ratchet nut cracker has a pivot point at the end of the nut.
  • Handheld lever - A handheld lever nut cracker is also referred to as a pair of nut crackers. It makes use of a screw and a lever to crack the shells of pecans and walnuts. These crackers may be made from cast iron, bronze, or silver.

How do you use a nut cracker?

When you want to eat black walnuts or other types of nuts with a hard shell, it is necessary to remove the entire hull and shell. Doing this takes a considerable amount of effort without a nut cracker. The black walnut cracker makes it easier to remove the hulls. The hulls will be left in small enough pieces to add to your compost or mulch. It is a good idea to wear gloves because the hulls will stain your skin.

To remove the hulls from black walnuts, for example, insert the black walnuts into the nut cracker. Push the clamps or vices into position around the black walnuts. Push down on the lever to crack open the black walnuts. Return the lever to the upright position; Slide the clamps away from the black walnuts, and remove the nuts and hulls.

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