Nuts are nutrient-rich and full of antioxidants, adding fiber, protein, and a number of other micronutrients to your diet. Studies suggest that they even reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Chopping up nuts, however, can be both difficult and messy. That’s when a nut chopper can be a handy tool for the utensil drawer. Food choppers—of which nut choppers are a part—work like food processors, with sharp stainless steel blades that quickly spin to finely dice or mince fruits, vegetables, eggs, bread, and nuts.
While choosing the best nut chopper for your kitchen might seem like a simple decision, there are actually a number of considerations to weigh. This guide will explore several important features to look for as you shop and then offer choices by category for some of the top products on the market.
- BEST OVERALL: BLACK+DECKER 3-Cup Electric Food Chopper
- BEST BUDGET: Prepworks by Progressive Nut Chopper
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Hamilton Beach Mini 3-Cup Food Processor
- UPGRADE PICK: KitchenAid 3.5-Cup Food Chopper
- BEST MANUAL: Mueller Ultra Heavy Duty Chopper/Cutter
- BEST GRINDER: Cuisinart SG-10 Electric Spice-and-Nut Grinder
- ALSO CONSIDER: Kuhn Rikon Pull Chop Chopper/Manual Food Processor
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Nut Chopper
While it’s easy to assume that all nut choppers offer similar performance, a number of factors affect their functionality, including capacity, power options, blade size, ease of use, and more. Keep reading to learn about several of the most important features to consider when choosing the best nut chopper for your kitchen.
Size and Capacity
First, think about the number of people in your household as well as the types of dishes you most frequently prepare. Some smaller nut choppers may only be able to break down a limited quantity of nuts, while larger choppers are more versatile and can often be useful for processing a wide variety of nuts, plus other food items.
While the size of the appliance itself is a consideration for both use and storage, the bowl capacity is especially relevant because it will dictate how much food you can chop at once. Nut choppers generally have a capacity of between 1 and 6 cups.
Manual vs. Electric
Nut choppers can be either manual or electric, both with their own pros and cons.
- Manual nut choppers are similar to salad spinners in terms of how they function. The user rotates the blades by either turning a crank or pulling a cord. They don’t require an electrical outlet and can provide more precise results because the user has more control over the final consistency. Generally speaking, manual nut choppers are smaller and more affordable than electric nut choppers.
- Electric nut choppers may also be referred to as mini food processors. They’re more powerful and easier to use, but they tend to be noisy and take up more space in the kitchen. While most models need to be plugged into an electrical outlet, other choppers are cordless and can be charged to use on the go.
Nut choppers can usually process any type of shelled nut in addition to legumes (like peanuts).
- Pistachios have a sweet flavor that makes them popular for baking.
- Hazelnuts have a thin skin that should be removed prior to baking.
- Cashews are popular for snacking but are also used in many vegan and vegetarian dishes.
- Almonds are well suited for both cooking and baking because they’re affordable and have a neutral flavor.
- Pecans are high in healthy fats and are often a preferred salad topping.
- Walnuts are mild in flavor and work especially well for making nut breads.
- Peanuts are technically a legume but are largely categorized alongside other nuts.
- Pine nuts are actually seeds derived from pine trees and are popular for topping salads.
Nut choppers are dependent on their sharp blades to be effective, so it’s important they’re constructed with sturdy, high-quality materials that won’t degrade with frequent use. Stainless steel is the favorite choice because it’s easy to clean while being resistant to rust and corrosion. Stainless steel fares well if it comes in contact with moisture, which is why this metal is common for kitchen appliances that have to stand up to frequent washing.
Avoid nut choppers that use plastic blades because they likely won’t last as long as their stainless steel counterparts.
Nut choppers are extremely easy to use, requiring the user to simply press a button or press down on the lid to operate them. However, a good grip is especially important for manual nut choppers. High-quality manual choppers are ergonomically designed with ease of use in mind.
Some nut choppers have a crank on the side, while other choppers have it positioned on the lid. The most comfortable option varies from person to person. A larger crank is generally easier to operate, and a crank made of nonslip plastic or silicone is more comfortable to use.
Some nut choppers are equipped with additional features to increase ease of use, safety, or versatility.
- A nonslip base ensures the chopper stays in place while in use.
- Dishwasher-safe parts permit easier cleaning.
- Multiple speeds or a pulse function allow for increased chopping precision.
- A blade-locking mechanism stops the blades from spinning and makes it more convenient to remove the contents from the bowl.
- An easy-pour spout reduces mess when pouring chopped nuts and other ingredients from the chopper.
Our Top Picks
The following recommendations take into account the abovementioned features to consider when shopping for the best nut chopper, in addition to overall quality and value. Read on to discover some of the top options on the market in a variety of categories.
With a 3-cup capacity and a compact design, BLACK & DECKER’s electric food chopper is a great pick for most kitchens. The stainless steel blades are designed to remain sharp over time, and they operate via a simple one-touch interface that’s incredibly easy to use. The chopper also boasts a 175-watt motor, making it powerful enough to process nuts as well as herbs, vegetables, and bread crumbs. The lid features small holes for drizzling in oil while making a sauce or dressing.
This chopper is designed with efficiency in mind, with compact dimensions of 6.5 inches by 5 inches by 7 inches. All components, aside from the base, are dishwasher safe.
The Prepworks manual nut chopper from Progressive International is small and affordable but doesn’t skimp on functionality. While many food choppers are designed to process vegetables, herbs, and bread, this model is specifically crafted for processing nuts and seeds. According to the manufacturer, it works well for almonds, peanuts, pecans, walnuts, and more. Users can customize the coarseness of the chopping function based on which way they turn the crank.
The clear base features measurement markers up to 1.5 cups, which are convenient if precise quantities are required for a recipe. When the base is removed, nuts can be chopped directly on top of salads, sundaes, or other dishes. The nonslip base provides stability, and the handle is designed for ease of use. The total dimensions of this nut chopper are 8.54 inches by 6.77 inches by 4.02 inches.
With a powerful 350-watt motor and a 3-cup capacity, this food processor by Hamilton Beach offers powerful performance in a small package. The appliance’s design is optimized for ease of use, only requiring the user to simply press down on the top to operate it. Assembly and disassembly are a breeze since the pieces stack on top of each other and don’t require any complicated twisting or locking.
The stainless steel blades are sharp and durable, with the ability to chop nuts and vegetables and blend ingredients for hummus, nut butters, and baby food. All of the removable parts are dishwasher safe. The processor measures a compact 5.9 inches by 5.2 inches by 8.54 inches.
This KitchenAid food chopper features two speeds as well as a pulse function, providing increased precision that allows nuts to be coarsely chopped or more finely ground. Like many other KitchenAid appliances, it is available in a rainbow of unique colors, so shoppers can choose a shade that complements their kitchen decor.
The blade-locking mechanism ensures the stainless steel blades remain in place when the user is scraping out the contents. The easy-pour spout of the BPA-free plastic bowl helps to keep the work space tidy. This chopper measures 5.6 inches by 7 inches by 8.7 inches and includes a lengthy 36-inch cord for increased portability. The 3.5-cup-capacity bowl, lid, and blades are all dishwasher safe.
Mueller’s 5-cup capacity chopper can chop nuts, mince herbs and vegetables, make purees and sauces, and more. The chopper is ergonomically designed with an oversize top crank and an anti-skid base for stability. This manual functionality offers the user more control over the final consistency of the food item.
The blades are constructed from sharp stainless steel, while the other components are made from food-safe plastic. As an added bonus, the chopper includes an egg white separator located on the lid. The parts are easy to disassemble but should be hand-washed and air-dried for best results. The chopper measures 8.03 inches by 7.99 inches by 7.68 inches.
Cuisinart’s electric grinder is specifically designed for processing nuts and spices, making it a great choice for creating finely ground nuts for cooking or baking. The 200-watt motor is powerful enough to pulverize even the toughest nuts. This grinder provides easy on-off operation via the press-down lid. The built-in safety lock prevents the blades from spinning unless the lid is securely in place, while the nonslip rubber feet offer increased stability.
The bowl has a 3.17-ounce capacity—suitable for smaller quantities of nuts and spices. The BPA-free plastic lid features extra storage space and is dishwasher safe, as is the stainless steel bowl. The grinder’s compact measurements are 5 inches by 6 inches by 9 inches.
This manual chopper/food processor from Kuhn Rikon can make quick work of nuts, fruits, vegetables, garlic, herbs, bread crumbs, boiled eggs, and more. The appliance features a 2-cup-capacity bowl and a nonslip base as well as sharp, stainless steel blades paired with a blade protector. The chopper provides simple operation by pulling the cord in the lid. Five pulls will produce coarsely ground nuts; 10 pulls will create finely minced vegetables, and 15 pulls are optimal for pureeing sauces and dips.
Users can chop or process a food item and then store it in the lid. The bowl is safe to use in both the microwave and dishwasher, while the lid should be hand-washed. The chopper measures 5.5 inches by 5.25 inches by 4.25 inches.
FAQs About Nut Choppers
Are you ready to chop but still have more questions? Check out the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about nut choppers.
Q. Can I use a food processor to chop almonds?
Yes, food processors and choppers both work well for almonds.
Q. What is the best food processor for nuts?
Some of the best food processors for nuts are the BLACK+DECKER 3-Cup Electric Food Chopper and the Mueller Ultra Heavy Duty Chopper/Cutter.
Q. How do I clean a nut chopper?
Cleaning instructions vary depending on the product. Generally speaking, all removable parts should be disassembled and washed by hand or in the dishwasher. For an electric nut chopper, it’s safe to wipe down the base with a damp cloth, but remember to never submerge it in water.
Q. How long will a nut chopper last?
The lifespan of a nut chopper primarily depends on the model and how frequently it’s used. A high-quality nut chopper may last for more than 10 years.