Nutcrackers Buying Guide

Immortalized by the famous ballet The Nutcracker, nutcrackers have a much longer history as holiday decorations. Because of the ballet's popularity, nutcrackers continue to be a unique addition to a variety of spots in the home. Some can be quite valuable, while others are appreciated for their unique style.

Types of Nutcrackers

Types of Nutcrackers

As with virtually every holiday decorating element, nutcrackers are available in a range of types. Some are functional, like the nutcrackers created for households centuries ago, while others are purely decorative. The types of figures depicted by the nutcracker have also changed over the years, as have the materials used to create them and artistic style. Whatever your preferences, there is a nutcracker to complement your holiday decor.


Many nutcrackers are carved out of wood, and some of the most prized are still created in Germany by a small number of artisans. Still others are made from metal, while some decorative versions are crafted from porcelain, glass, or other materials.


Styles of nutcrackers vary from folk art-inspired to highly detailed and intricate. Some nutcrackers are elaborately painted and have fabric accents, while others are unpainted.

Figure Type

Centuries ago, most nutcrackers were created as soldiers, kings, and knights. Today's nutcrackers represent a much broader spectrum of personalities, including Santa Claus and historical figures.

Decorative vs. Functional

Many nutcrackers are designed as simple holiday decorating accents, while some serve their original intent: cracking nuts.

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

Nutcrackers vary widely in creation, and their origins certainly affect price. Before you purchase a nutcracker, investigate any care requirements, including its sensitivity to light and heat. You should also consider size in relation to its placement in your home, as well as any storage needs the nutcracker may have. All those purchase considerations will affect your enjoyment of the nutcracker.


Many wooden nutcrackers are fairly easy to clean with a dust cloth; others may have finish elements, such as hand painting, that require special care.


From petite to nearly life-size, nutcrackers can be found in all sizes. Before making a purchase, consider where you will place your nutcracker.


Many nutcrackers of small to medium size can be safely stored in protective wrapping and containers. Larger or more delicate nutcrackers may require additional shelf space and preservative boxes.

Holiday on sale

Kurt Adler
$26.71 $25.95

Get in the mood for Thanksgiving with the Kurt Adler 15 in. Wooden Harvest Turkey Nutcracker gobbling away in your home. This char...ming turkey nutcracker is comes in Pilgrim garb to complete the theme. It's made strong from wood and stands over one foot... read more

$138.25 $103.69

#ONLYATNM Only Here. Only Ours. Exclusively for You. Wood nutcracker. 11.5W x 8.5D x 48T. Imported. Boxed weight, approximately 15... lbs. read more

Kurt Adler
$799.99 $578.49

From the Steinbach Nutcracker Collection Steinbach Nutcrackers are the most cherished nutcrackers in the world and are handed down... generation after generation. The Steinbach family started making nutcrackers in 1832 by purchasing a timber yard and... read more

$104.94 $99.99

Kurt Adler 16" Wizard of Oz Hollywood Nutcracker: Part of Kurt Adler's Hollywood Nutcrackers collection Designed by Holly Adler Me...asures 16" tall Wizard of Oz design Perfect for any holiday decor or nutcracker collection read more

Kurt Adler
$113.99 $84.49

Officially licensed merchandise This nutcracker is adorned with faux fur hair and beard and wears a red and white uniform, to his ...side stands a small penguin holding a bottle of coca-cola and on his hat an adorable polar bear cub sits in a bucket... read more

Alexander Taron
$107.00 $78.00

The historical Christian Ulbricht Colonial Drummer Nutcracker represents a colonial soldier drummer. This nutcracker is an origina...l Ulbricht design that was handcrafted, hand-painted, and hand-adorned in Germany. About Alexander Taron, Inc. For more... read more

Christian Ulbricht
$345.00 $271.59

The beautifully dressed Christian Ulbricht Toy Salesman Nutcracker wears a velvety beret, candy cane striped scarf, and comes with... a toy-filled satchel. This toy salesmen nutcracker is an original Ulbricht design that was handcrafted in Germany by... read more

Alexander Taron
$165.00 $161.98

For the golf enthusiast in your life, the Christian Ulbricht Golfer Glazed Nutcracker is the perfect gift. This charming nutcracke...r is ready to hit the links with his clubs in tow. It's skillfully crafted and painted by hand in Germany. Alexander Taron... read more

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