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Obliterating Nuts with an Explosive Nutcracker

Obliterating Nuts with an Explosive Nutcracker


Today you can buy shelled nuts at your local grocery store, so you never have to expend any effort while snacking. But in ye olden days, unfortunate peasants had to crack nuts themselves. To assist their efforts, they utilized the mechanical advantage of levers.

For reasons that seem unclear, 17th century Germans built nutcrackers that looked like soldiers and those eventually became associated with the Christmas holiday. Nutcrackers are often decorative today and can't even handle a stubborn pistachio, but Shane Wighton's explosive nutcracker can obliterate anything in its jaws.

Wighton, of the Stuff Made Here YouTube channel, built an explosive baseball bat last year to set a distance record. That bat operated using the energy from small explosive charges that are typically used to drive nails into concrete.

They come in the form of cartridges similar to a .22lr rifle round. While their power is low when compared to something like a .30-06 round, we are still talking about a huge amount of pressure. Wighton engineered his nutcracker to handle that pressure safely and took precautions during testing, but you should not attempt something like this yourself.

This may look like a typical Christmas nutcracker, but it is more like a pistol on a mechanical level. It's a breach-loading design capable of handling up to four shells at a time. Racking the slide cocks the mechanism and pulling the handle down fires it. Multiple safeties ensure that it will only fire when intended.

When the shells fire, the expanding gas pushes a piston that closes the nutcracker's jaws. The gas then escapes though a muffler and ultimately an exhaust port located in the most appropriate place. This nutcracker is so powerful that it can even crush nut fasteners — the steel kind that you thread onto bolts.

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