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Manual Nut Choppers

Could a simple manual nut chopper work faster and better than a chef's knife or food processor?

Published Aug. 1, 2011. Appears in America's Test Kitchen TV Season 12: Chocolate Torte

UpdateMay 2014
Our favorite manual nut chopper by Progressive International has been updated, with a wider base that is more stable, and a slightly larger capacity (1 1/2 cups vs. the older version's 1 1/3), slightly longer, wider blades, and a narrower, oval-shaped upper chamber that is more comfortable to hold while cranking than the older chopper's round chamber. The new version, called the Prepworks from Progressive Nut Chopper with Non-Skid Base, model GFNC-2, chops as well as the older version, and we recommend it as our new favorite.
See Everything We Tested

What You Need To Know

Could a simple manual nut chopper work faster and better than a chef's knife or food processor? We pitted five chopper, from $7 crank-style jars to almost $30 mills, against our favorite food processor (the KitchenAid 750) and timed ourselves chopping pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, and walnuts. The highest-priced-chopper fared the worst, procesing nuts into gritty, mushy bits, but only one did much better. Its sharp stainless-steel tines pushed the nuts through slats that gave us a coarse texture as we turned the handle in one direction, a slightly finer texture in the other. It is the only manual nut chopper worth buying. Not only that, but chopping with our chef's knife actually took twice as long for worse results, plus we had to corral scooting nuts. Nor did we love the food processor. In thirty 1-second pulses, it pulverized some nuts, left others whole, and coated all in a fine, sticky nut dust.

Everything We Tested

Good : 3 stars out of 3.Fair : 2 stars out of 3.Poor : 1 stars out of 3.
*All products reviewed by America’s Test Kitchen are independently chosen, researched, and reviewed by our editors. We buy products for testing at retail locations and do not accept unsolicited samples for testing. We list suggested sources for recommended products as a convenience to our readers but do not endorse specific retailers. When you choose to purchase our editorial recommendations from the links we provide, we may earn an affiliate commission. Prices are subject to change.
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