There’s nothing like the holiday season to make you feel like really smashing the stuffing out of something. But while watching elephants smash literal pumpkins can be satisfying, a new gas-powered nutcracker from engineer and YouTuber Stuff Made Here is next-level cathartic destruction. In fact, he claims his nutcracker is the “strongest” in the world.
Gizmodo picked up on the above video, which the North Carolina-based engineer recently posted to his YouTube channel. Stuff Made Here, a.k.a. Shane, is an engineer-slash-‘Tuber in the same vein as Mark Rober. Previously, for example, Shane has made an auto-aiming bow that never misses its target.
In his build video, Shane shows how he conceptualized and constructed his explosive nutcracker. Like a regular, festive nutcracker doll Shane’s uses its mouth to crush nuts. Unlike regular nutcrackers, however, Shane’s doesn’t rely on a user pressing down on a lever to squeeze a nut between two hard surfaces.
As the engineer notes, when somebody presses his nutcracker’s lever it lets loose a hammer that slams into between one and four miniature blanks; those blanks, in turn, release high-pressure gas that punches a steel piston with a two-inch diameter into whatever object is above it.
Shane provides a fairly in-depth look at how he built his nutcracker; showing along the way how engineers like him can estimate what will or won’t work based on calculations. He shows, for example, how he used differential equations to figure out how thick the steel tube holding the piston should be. Likewise, he shows how iteration is necessary for an engineering project. Re-machining several parts many times over.
As for the final product? It looks like something Robot Santa Claus from Futurama would have waiting for people on his naughty list. The design is ingenious—with the gas-powered piston having a spring on its non-smashing end to cushion its impact, and a little hole in the back of the nutcracker for releasing the loud gas—and it works flawlessly. Demonstrations of the “world’s strongest” nutcracker begin around 15 minutes in, and they are violent. And entertaining enough that we’d like to see how Shane would beef up chestnuts roasting an open fire.
Feature image: Stuff Made Here