Sugar nips

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Sugar nips for cutting a sugarloaf into smaller pieces
Swedish sugarloaf box for cutting sugar and collecting residues

Sugar nips are a large pair of pincers with sharp blades, designed to cut sugar from a block.[1] Before the introduction of granulated and cube sugars in the second half of the 19th century,[2] the domestic consumer purchased sugar in the form of a sugarloaf,[3] or at least a part of one, and pieces were cut from it by hand using sugar nips.[4] Greater leverage and improved safety was provided by heavier sugar nips set in a wooden base for counter- and table-top use.[5]

There was also an all-in-one version; a box that could serve as container for the sugarloaf with built-in pliers and collector drawer for fine-grained residues from the sugar cutting.

In popular culture[edit]

A pair of sugar nips are the murder weapon in Mrs McGinty's Dead, a Hercule Poirot mystery by Agatha Christie.[6][circular reference]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ David, Elizabeth. "English Bread and Yeast Cookery", Penguin:Middlesex 1977 (p. 139)
  2. ^ "Sugar: a Handbook for Planters and Refiners", Lock & Newlands Bros, pub. Spon, London, 1888
  3. ^ "History". Archived from the original on October 13, 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-09.
  4. ^ [1] Archived October 7, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "The Victorian Servant - Sugar Cutter". Retrieved 2012-11-09.
  6. ^ "Mrs McGinty's Dead". Wikipedia.