Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Intelligent nutcrackers

  [vote for,

The problem with nutcrackers is that, in general, they are rubbish. They are typically just glorified pliers which, having cracked the shell, continue to close on the nut, thereby pulverising it.

Of course you can get more sophisticated devices that work more like a vise, but these are tedious to use. One very clever baker here suggested using Molegrips, which is an excellent idea, except that they would require adjustment on a nut-by-nut basis.


Proposed herewith is a more intelligent nutcracker. Bear with me, because this will be tricky without an illustration.

The Intelligent Nutcracker resembles, at first sight, the aforementioned glorified pair of pliers, with wide- opening jaws to accommodate the nut.

However, one of the two jaws has a ridged plate lining its inner face; the ridged plate is held away from the jaw by a small, strong spring.

So, when the pliers are closed around the nut, the first thing that happens is that this ridged plate is pushed back against the jaw.

Now, the ridged plate has an arm extending back towards the pivot-point of the jaws, and a pawl that can engage a toothed rack. As the jaws are closed, and the sprung plate is squeezed against the jaw, the pawl engages the rack. Gadulka! The jaws can now only close as far as it takes to bring the next tooth up against the pawl, and the nut is cracked but not crushed.

MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 18 2015

ChannelLock plier https://www.channel...20-straight-jaw.png
As mentioned in an annotation. [Vernon, Dec 19 2015]

Fly-press https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screw_press
Proven technology [8th of 7, Dec 22 2015]


       It would be more intelligent if the jaw opening was electro-mechanically set by stepper motors controlled by a CAD software analysing a micro-CT scan of the nut interior.
pocmloc, Dec 19 2015

       The false teeth version would be popular.
xenzag, Dec 19 2015

       There is a brand-name of an existing type of wrench/pliers, "ChannelLock" that features modest jaw-closure, coupled with adjustable initial jaw-separation. A variation on that theme, featuring even-more-modest jaw closure, could be rather simpler than this Idea.   

       Generically (adding this note because didn't think of the name earlier), they are known as "arc joint pliers".
Vernon, Dec 19 2015

       But [Vernon], that wouldn't auto-detect the nut size.   

       This is more similar to automatic wire strippers, which detect the wire gauge, although through a different mechanism.
mitxela, Dec 19 2015

       //an existing type of wrench/pliers, "ChannelLock"//   

       Yes, and over here we have Molegrips, which do the same - but (as [mitxela] pointed out) would not be auto-adjusting.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 19 2015

       Or just buy pre-cracked nuts.
Toto Anders, Dec 19 2015

       Wot, no explosives ?
8th of 7, Dec 20 2015

       Perhaps a little nitrogen triiodide ?
normzone, Dec 20 2015

       Or quite a lot of copper acetylide ?
8th of 7, Dec 20 2015

       Max, have you seen the Kobalt Magnum Grip Self-Adjusting Locking Pliers. Reading the reviews, it sounds like they totally fail at their intended purpose, but they might work for this.
scad mientist, Dec 21 2015

       Do the ridges of the ridged plate face towards the jaw, or towards the nut? And is the toothed rack attached to the side of the jaw or, if not, then what?
pertinax, Dec 21 2015

       The ridged plate is ridged on the nutty side, to grip said nut. The toothed rack is indeed on the side of the jaw, but near the hinge-point.   

       //Kobalt Magnum Grip Self-Adjusting Locking Pliers// Seems like they might work, if they worked.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 21 2015

       Pressure isn't necessarily the issue. The object is to crack the outer casing without also crushing the nut inside.   

       Depending on the variety of nut, and particularly its orientation, different amounts of force and travel will be needed, and there will be margins of performance depending on the age, size and moisture content of the shell.   

       Something like a fly-press <link> with adjustable force and travel would be a possible approach.
8th of 7, Dec 22 2015


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