Best Nutcracker for Shagbark Hickory

Hello I have been reading up on different nut crackers on here and it seems the Mr. Hickory cracker and possibly the Kenkel Hardshell nutcracker might be good options for wild shagbark hickories. My wife seems to think this is not worth is, but it seems a lot better than the hammer method. The only members I have noted with recommendations would be @lucky_p and @barkslip but if anyone else has recommendations, please let me know.

As of right now I would only be cracking wild shagbarks which I have two on my property but I have been taking note of other trees to test out their nuts. I really have only become aware of these this year, but they seem to be having a bumper crop this year! I have seen branches breaking under the weight of the nuts! So I am starting to get excited. Hopefully I like the nuts haha.


I have both a Mr. Hickory and a Kenkel… and use them both. The MH gets more use, but there are some nuts that I have that crack out better with the kenkel.
You just kinda have experiment some… some nuts crack better end-to-end, others side-to-side, etc.


Fred Blankenship stopped building Mr. Hickory a few years ago.

I haven’t used a Kenkel I don’t believe. I know however that for most nut contests they use: C.E. Potter. I’ve used that one a lot and it’s powerful.

I think if I was in the position of buying a cracker literally today, I’d buy ‘The Master Nutcracker’. Any thoughts Lucky?


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I have the Get Crackin’ nutcracker, and it does pretty good on shagbark and black walnut. I won’t break any speed records with it but it’s strong. My kids use it too. It worked well enough that I never took some other cracker (can’t recall brand) I meant to try out of its box…and my family “stored” it for me somewhere.

I love the leverage from the long, long arm on Kenkel.

The Get Crackin’ is similar in design and function to Fred Blankenship’s ‘Mr. Hickory’.

Gerald Gardner. who designed and marketed the Master Cracker, is a long-time black walnut grower, so I’m sure it works well on hardshell nuts. Not sure if I’ve ever used one… may have seen one at one of the KNGA meetings in the past.

I ended up buying the get crackin. My wife was not amused when I told her I wanted to buy a $120 but cracker. I found this one for $12 on eBay plus $10 shipping. Super excited. The only issue I see is that my one tree (on the right ) produces smaller nuts and it is a little too small if I need to crack a piece a second time. I need to hunt down some trees with bigger nuts!


Maybe make a shim of very hard wood .,
( hickory would be appropriate :grinning: )
To take up some space on the bottom
For that second crack of smaller pieces ?

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Great idea! Thanks! I have some hickory firewood I could slice up.

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I bought 4 Master nut crackers from Gerald Gardner and gave two to friends and kept two for myself. It is a good cracker for most hard shell nuts. I’ve used a Mr. Hickory and a Hunt. All three do an acceptable job. I would use the Hunt for some walnuts such as Thomas. The key with the Hunt is to mount it on a workbench so you can get the most use out of the leverage. I use the Master to crack walnuts, hickories, and pecans.

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