What is a nos cracker?

A nos cracker is a small cylindrical usually metal device used to dispense gas chargers such as nitrous oxide (nos / N20) into balloons.

Is a nos cracker safe?

A nos cracker is very safe if used correctly.  The main dangers that can arise from using a nos cracker are due to the very cold temperature creates by the rapid release of gas. To avoid harming yourself, ensure you always use a balloon, never Inhale gas directly from the cracker/ dispenser as when released it is very cold and can cause frostbite to the lips, tongue and throat. The cracker itself also gets very cold when gas is dispensed, either use a glove/towl for insulation, or purchase an insulated Rubber Grip Nos Cracker.

Are nos crackers illegal?

Under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 it is illegal to sell ‘legal highs’ such as nitrous oxide aka ‘laughing gas’ with the knowledge that it will be misused for recreational purposes.  However nitrous oxide has many uses in the catering industry and hence can still be purchased legally from many places including sites such as eBay and Amazon. A nos cracker does not fall under the definition of a legal high/psychoactive substance so is therefore legal to purchase and own.

How do you use a nos cracker?

A guide on how to correctly use a nos cracker can be found here.

What does a nos cracker look like?

There are two main types of nos crackers. You can get small, portable nos crackers as shown below:


These are usually small, cylindrical and made of metal. They very portable and easy to conceal.

You can also get larger nos crackers as shown below. These larger nos crackers are intended for making whipped cream but can also be used to dispense nitrous oxide as well other gasses into balloons. They tend to be more expensive but can hold multiple gas chargers at once.