Nutcracker Buying Guide

The decorative nutcracker has been a popular German novelty piece for over 200 years now. According to the late great Herr Steinbach of Steinbach GmbH, “A nutcracker is a symbolic figure, one that gives happiness and protects your family.” Oktoberfesthaus firmly believes this to be true and we think every family should have at least one nutcracker to bring your household joy.  That’s why we’ve stocked up ouronline nutcracker store with over 170 nutcrackers, including the entire 2013 Steinbach nutcracker collection. This is a very unique collection, featuring special limited edition nutcrackers hand-designed by Karla Steinbach.

 But when it comes to purchasing a nutcracker worth holding onto, it’s not as simple as you would expect. There are a few variables you need to be aware of. Oktoberfesthaus would like to help you with the nutcracker buying process by spreading our knowledge on how to purchase a quality nutcracker worth the investment.

What’s the Best Brand of Collectible Nutcracker?

The easy answer to that question is Steinbach. For about 200 years, the Steinbach Family of Artisans has been the industry standard for the finest nutcrackers. This is a family-owned company and every president has been a Steinbach since the organization’s birth.  The company has two locations in Germany: Lower Saxony and in the Erzgebirge (Ore) Mountains (where the Steinbach nutcrackers originated due to the easy access to high-quality timber). Oktoberfesthaus is a proud supporter of Steinbach nutcrackers, as we have an entire shop specifically for Steinbach nutcrackers with over 120 different models to choose from! What Theme Will Your Collection Have? If you’re starting a nutcracker collection, you should first figure out the theme that binds your nutcrackers together. Do you want your nutcrackers to be of a certain age? Wearing specific décor? To be from a certain country or manufacturer? Do you just want them to look cool? Whatever you find most valuable in the nutcracker, decide upon it beforehand and then start doing research based on that common strand. If you need some ideas, the Oktoberfesthaus nutcracker store has several differently decorated nutcrackers that are sure to fit any theme you decide on.

Image Courtesy of Nosha on Flickr

Why Are Collectible Nutcrackers More Expensive?

Just like any collectible item, the nutcracker’s value is decided by its brand, material, rarity, and craftsmanship. Additionally, the making of a quality nutcracker is not something that can be done overnight. According to Herr Steinbach, making one nutcracker can involve up to 130 different procedures and take up to 4 years to complete. This is because each nutcracker from a company like Steinbach goes through rigorous cutting, shaping, hand turning, lathing, polishing, drilling, spraying, priming, carving, painting, and decorating amongst other processes. It’s a surprisingly long operation to make a great nutcracker.

Why Are You Purchasing Your Nutcracker?

Although their primary function is to crack nuts, you may not want to give an antique nutcracker that much action. Now, a wooden nutcracker is definitely built tough. However, if you’re looking to preserve the design and current presentation of the nutcracker, you may want to keep them in a safe display area and delegate all nut-cracking responsibilities to a modern handheld tool.

Does the Value of Nutcrackers Increase with Age?

To put it simply: Yes. If you own a nutcracker from a premiere manufacturer like Steinbach, then there were only so many versions of that particular nutcracker created in the first place. As time goes on, more yearly collections will be produced and the nutcracker you have will become more rare and more difficult to obtain.

 The German decorative nutcracker has become an iconic staple for the holiday season as well as the German culture. Oktoberfesthaus previously published an interesting article covering the history of nutcrackers and their 2,000-year journey evolving into today’s soldier form. So now that you’re in the “know” of nutcracker collecting, take a browse through our online store and find the nutcracker that’s just right for you!

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November 24, 2015

Do you sell your nutcrackers in the Washington, DC area in the United States?


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Why should I measure my head?

Simply because your head size changes: losing a couple of pounds, getting a hair cut can change the size of your head. 

Our hats fit head measurements from 21 1/8 inches to 23 7/8 inches. With standard head measurements for men's hats being 22 5/8 inches, and the standard head measurement for women's hats being 21 1/2 inches, we try to cover every head, from small to extra-large.

To get an accurate measurement use a non-stretch cloth measuring tape instead of a plastic one. 

Go for a comfortably snug fit, not too tight and certainly not too loose. The use of a hat may also determine its best fit: a tighter hat stays on better when its windy outside.

Take your time

Place the measuring tape around the widest part of your head, resting it where you like your hat to sit.

Fit is very subjective

Some people wear their hats low, some at an angle and some quite high. Some prefer their fedoras to be angled.

When you've got the tape positioned, join the leading edge to the tape at any comfortable spot on your forehead and note the number of inches, including fractions of an inch. 

Then simply compare the number of inches to the chart below to find your hat measurement.

A word of advice

Remember, if your measurement falls somewhere in the middle of a size range, it's advisable to choose the next largest size. Same with when you're trying to decided between "S/M" or "L/XL".

You will notice that some of our hats are "one size fits most". These hats generally have an elastic sweatband to accommodate a wide range of sizes.

We have a Hat Sizing Table along with the images of the item. Please refer to it before making your purchase. Thank you.


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