Since this came up in another discusson, I thought I'd repost it here. Maybe put it on the FAQ board, if it meets approval. OK, here you go- several paragraphs and some extra commentary about a simple technique that can be performed in far less time than it will take you to read this post: The LordM "No Tools" Slab-Cracking Technique Essentially my technique consists of inserting the top portion of the slab (the part where the label is) between two fixed, immovable, and sturdy surfaces like a gap between the boards on a porch or deck, and then pushing the slab with one's foot to "bend" it, exerting pressure in one direction. The placement of the slab between the boards means that while you're exerting pressure on it, you're "bending" it until it snaps in two, breaking off that top portion where the label is. The gap between the boards becomes your fulcrum. Once you've done that, and the top portion (label part) of the slab is snapped off, the remaining plastic can usually be pried apart without too much difficulty, though one does need to be wary of jagged plastic shards if you didn't get a clean break. This is why I recommend pushing on it with a shoed foot. That keeps your eyes and other body parts well above the breaking plastic. A flathead screwdriver and/or some pliers can be helpful for the final plastic separation and removal, and I do recommend gloves for that, but this is mostly a "no tools" method. Obviously if you have a workbench and a vise and tools and all that, it is better, but this method occurred to me while I was at a show and needed to do a quick crackout with no tools on hand. It is crude and looks brutally primitive, but it is quick, easy, and effective, and actually less risky for the coin than if the slab were subjected to hammering (and hammering can create flying shrapnel, which is never good). Since the coin remains sandwiched between the two halves of the lower part of the slab, it stays protected. It takes only a second or two. *snap!* I've even done it between a door and the door frame before, though that only works with a reasonably heavy metal door. Anywhere there is a gap between two solid, immovable surfaces that is wide enough and deep enough to insert the slab, but narrow enough to create a fulcrum (a half-inch gap between the boards in a deck is ideal), you can snap a slab in seconds, pry apart the remnants, carefully extract the coin, pick up the plastic pieces, and be on your way. My World Coin buddies from the 2006 FUN show cracked many jokes about my method (get it? cracked? haha), but it works, and I've used it ever since. @Aethelred witnessed the first time I did it. It is so simple, you might find yourself saying, "Aw, man, I was overthinking this all along." Oh- and the slabbed coin I pioneered this technique on? A 1904 USA $20 Liberty, PCI MS62. Cracked it, submitted it to PCGS raw at the show, and it came back MS64, bringing me nearly a $1,000 profit when I later resold it. That remains my best cherrypick thus far. Disclaimer: this method has always proven safe for me, but exercise common sense and caution. I did once puncture my finger when hastily prying apart two broken slab halves with my bare hands, after the cracking. A flathead screwdriver or even a butter knife can come in handy for that step.