Recently, while cleaning out my mother's kitchen, we came across this tool:

enter image description here

When closed, it is about 8 inches long (the box at the end is maybe 2 inches by 2 inches by an inch or so). The two sides come apart very easily. The tool is quite light-weight, and seems to be made of aluminum. Other than that, I have idea what it could be, and there seemed to be no identifying marks or branding.

Honestly, I would not be surprised to learn that it is not even a kitchen tool (my money is on Medieval torture device), but it came from one of the kitchen cabinets, so maybe it belongs there?

  • What’s the size of the compartment? And are there holes in it? (I don’t know what it is, but it might work as a citrus juicer)
    – Joe
    Oct 26, 2020 at 3:19
  • Yeah, I'd say juicer if it has holes, nutcracker if it doesn't.
    – FuzzyChef
    Oct 26, 2020 at 5:07
  • Incidentally, the idea of medieval torture devices was largely propaganda by people in the Victorian era as a way of making themselves look good. IIRC most of them were actually from the Early Modern period, if they existed at all.
    – nick012000
    Oct 28, 2020 at 4:54
  • @nick012000 Oh, indeed. But "Medieval" torture device sounds much better in a sentence than "Early modern" or "Bush era" torture device. And when making a joke, how it sounds in the ear matters, I think. Oct 28, 2020 at 12:11

1 Answer 1


This is an ice crusher.

Ice crusher

You put some cubes (or use your ice pick to cut a hunk off from a large block), put it in the compartment, and squeeze it closed. Those gnarly bumps and teeth will crush the ice.

I would personally consider it more "home bar equipment" for crushing ice for cocktails, though that's certainly not the only use. As mentioned in the comments, it probably doubles as a decent nutcracker, though that's not it's intended purpose.

  • 1
    Yup. I grew up with this exact model. Oct 26, 2020 at 12:28

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