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The problem with nutcrackers is that, in general, they
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
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
The Intelligent Nutcracker resembles, at first sight, the
aforementioned glorified pair of pliers, with wide-
jaws to accommodate the nut.
However, one of the two jaws has a ridged plate lining
inner face; the ridged plate is held away from the jaw by
small, strong spring.
So, when the pliers are closed around the nut, the first
thing that happens is that this ridged plate is pushed
against the jaw.
Now, the ridged plate has an arm extending back
the pivot-point of the jaws, and a pawl that can engage
toothed rack. As the jaws are closed, and the sprung
is squeezed against the jaw, the pawl engages the rack.
Gadulka! The jaws can now only close as far as it takes
bring the next tooth up against the pawl, and the nut is
cracked but not crushed.
As mentioned in an annotation. [Vernon, Dec 19 2015]
Proven technology [8th of 7, Dec 22 2015]
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||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.
||The false teeth version would be popular.
||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".
||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.
||//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
||Or just buy pre-cracked nuts.
||Perhaps a little nitrogen triiodide ?
||Or quite a lot of copper acetylide ?
||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
||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?
||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.
||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.