There is no question that a can opener is a must for every home cook. There are times when it’s helpful to use for canned items, whether it’s tomatoes for traditional spaghetti sauce, chickpeas for hummus, or tuna for creating a sandwich in a pinch. This is true even if you generally buy fresh meat and veggies. Because they are simple to operate and take up less space, manual can openers are the most common choice.
A high-quality can opener is one that effortlessly, quickly, and safely completes the task at hand. In contrast, an ineffective can opener can be annoying at best and dangerous at worst. A dependable can opener will come in handy because so many essential components, including tuna and black beans, come in cans.
What is Can Opener Exactly?
A mechanical tool used to open tin cans is a can opener or tin opener (metal cans). The first can openers were not patented until 1855 in England and 1858 in the United States, even though food preservation using tin cans had been used since at least 1772 in the Netherlands.
These early openers were just knife modifications; however, the 1855 design is still made today. The first can opener was created in 1870, but it was considered challenging for the average consumer to use. It consisted of the now-familiar sharp revolving cutting wheel that runs around the can’s rim to cut open the top.
Types of Can Openers
Here are different types of can openers:
The traditional manual can opener is the most popular kind. These variants include a clasp that attaches to the outside of a tin can, and by turning a knob, you can cut through the lid’s perimeter. Some types feature plastic handles, which are a little less sturdy, while others have metal handles. Many models also come with a bottle opener for added convenience.
An electric type is the most effective option to prevent any twisting. It is undoubtedly a considerable convenience to not have to fiddle with a manual can opener, even though an electric one is slightly larger than a manual one (it won’t fit in a cutlery drawer, so plan to keep it in a cupboard or on your counter). Although an electric opener will cost more than a manual one, the difference won’t be enough to make the purchase reckless. It can open any size can, just like a manual opener.
Additionally, most electric models have a safety function that requires pressure to remove the lid, ensuring that the lid’s edges are sharp. It’s also important to keep in mind that you will need an outlet for it, and cleaning it is a little more work because you have to be careful around the plug and motor.
If you’re particularly short on space, you may always use a wall-mounted opener to free up space within your utensil drawer or cupboards. Most wall-mounted models have the necessary equipment to quickly attach the opener to your kitchen wall. The cutter is operated by a big crank, giving you enough leverage to open cans of all sizes. Although it isn’t the most fashionable kitchen item, it is unquestionably helpful. If your kitchen’s general beauty and appearance isn’t something you place a lot of importance on, this is a fantastic, handy option.
Safety Can Opener
Models in this category can be either electric or manual. An opener qualifies as a “safety” can opener if it has features that guarantee the lid’s smooth edges (to prevent unintentional cuts) and if it applies pressure to snap the top off securely. The metal wheel of the can opener slides under the lid’s outer edge rather than cutting through it, allowing the entire top of the can to lift and off safely.
Best Can Opener
Here are some of the best can openers:
Swing-A-Way Wall Mount Can Opener with Magnet
- This can opener can easily mount to walls, saving valuable drawer space and being easy to access while cooking. The bracket and screws are included with the purchase.
- You can rely on this can opener to get through tough can tops effortlessly. The body is constructed out of highly durable steel.
- This can opener can lock in 3 different positions when not being used.
- The high carbon cutting wheel glides effortlessly across the tops of cans. The cutting is smooth and skip-proof, making usage easy. A built-in bottle opener is included.
- An integrated magnet helps lift lids off for safe and easy disposal. Eliminate the risk of cutting your hands.
- Eliminates sharp lid edges: This electric can opener cuts cans along the side for smooth, touchable lids
- Opens pop-top and regular cans: No need to struggle with or handle sharp pop-top lids any longer; You get smooth covers when opening pop-top and standard cans
- Easy touch opening lever: This automatic can opener easily opens cans with just a light touch
- Includes convenient scissors: Handy scissors for opening boxes and bags stored neatly in the back of the Hamilton Beach can opener
- Sleek chrome and black design; Stylish design looks great on the countertop and complements any décor
Kitchen Mama Electric Can Opener
- The Kitchen Mama automatic can opener is the best hands-free solution! 4 AA batteries make it work like a charm! **Batteries not included**
- Two taps to open any cans with our electric can opener. Push the button to turn it on. It cuts cans 360° along the lid. Push the button again to stop — EASY!
- The blade cuts along the side of the lid without touching the food inside. Leave no sharp cuts. — SUPER SAFE!
- User-friendly, ergonomic design great help for people with challenges gripping, best friend for the elderly suffering from arthritis problems.
- Your hands deserve to be treated like royalty! No effort. No injury. Save your energy. Save time. YES, YOU CAN.
Kuhn Rikon Auto Safety Master Opener for Cans
- Five separate opener functions within a single gadget – open standard and ring-pull cans/tins, crown-cap (beer-style) bottles, screw-top (PET) bottles, and jars with ease
- Automatically attaches via ‘lock-on’ technology that grips the lid (no need to clamp it on), and a long handle provides extra grip/leverage
- Designed to be safe (opens cans/tins without cutting the metal, which leaves no sharp edges on the rim or lid) and to prevent cross-contamination/maximize hygiene (opener doesn’t make contact with the contents of the can/tin)
- Lids are removed via mini-pliers/pincers once opened (no need to handle them) – watch the video to see the Auto Safety Master Opener in action
- Easy to clean (wipe with a damp cloth; don’t put it in the dishwasher). Dimensions: 9 (L) x 2.75 (W) x 2. 75 (H) inches
- Brix J-Popper quickly and easily opens ring-pull cans while reducing hand strain with less mess
- Made in Denmark from ABS plastic; sturdy, durable, and compact for easy storage
- Simple and easy for anyone to use, including kids and people with arthritis; no sharp edges or moving parts
- Easily open all ring-pull cans with a gentle lift of the handle; no more broken nails, sore fingers, or splashed food messes
- Handy for the kitchen, garage, boat, camper, and anywhere a ring-pull can need to be opened; dishwasher safe.
What to Look for When Buying a Can Opener?
Here are some factors to consider while buying a can opener:
Most manual can openers are compact enough to fit in a straightforward utensil drawer, making them an easy addition to any kitchen in a house. Make sure you have enough cupboard or counter space to accommodate the appliance because electric can openers are substantially larger—roughly the size of a box grater. The beautiful thing about manual and electric models is that no matter how great the tool is, it is still relatively simple to open a can of any size.
You can always consider a little cutter if you want a portable, lightweight tool for fishing or camping. Although these can openers lack the manual can openers’ twisting feature, they nevertheless have a sharp edge that can readily puncture a can and a moderate rocking motion that will cut through the remainder of the lid.
Ease of Use
A can opener’s use mainly depends on whether it is manual or electric. The lid must be released by twisting around the can’s edge if it’s manual. You must close your can to the blade and marvel at the miracle if it’s electric. Before buying a can opener, remember that most manual openers are for right-handed users. Consider getting a left-handed-friendly model if you are left-handed.
Before purchasing a new can opener, it’s crucial to know what you want from it because it can cost anywhere from $10 to $40. To begin with, manual can openers are usually far less expensive than electric ones. A simple manual can opener costs around $10 and can last for years. Paying a little bit more for these extra features can be worthwhile if you want an electric one that eliminates the inconvenience of twisting and exposes you to sharp tin blades. Most models of this kitchen appliance are sold without warranties because it is such a cheap item, but you shouldn’t need one.
Where should you Store your Can Opener?
Where you store a can opener depends on its design. If you don’t use your freestanding electric can opener often, you’ll need counter space or a cupboard. Some manual can openers may fit on a countertop utensil holder or, if they have a stainless steel body, on a magnetic knife strip. Manual can openers are frequently included in a cutlery drawer. Store a can opener away from food and moisture in a location that safeguards the cutting blade to keep it clean and sharp.
How do you Sharpen a Can Opener?
Ensure you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations before trying to sharpen your can opener. Some manufacturers advise against self-sharpening openers, while others feature changeable cutting blades and don’t require oiling. Cleaning the opener before sharpening involves rinsing the gears in vinegar, removing any rust, and then wiping it down with mineral oil. That might be sufficient to get the can opener operating correctly.
If it’s still dull, you might be able to use a diamond file, some sandpaper, or even a long strip of aluminum foil to sharpen the cutting blade. Run the foil or sandpaper through the gears for several complete rotations until it is roughly the same thickness as a can lid. Once the can opener penetrates a can lid, test it on another can and repeat the process as necessary.
Although it’s simple to think of a decent can opener as one that works, not all of them are created equally. When some genuinely excellent solutions are available at very affordable costs, there is no reason to suffer with a can opener that performs poorly and jumps, slips, or creates a jagged edge on your can.
Although they may not be the most stylish item in your kitchen, can openers are perhaps the most practical. How would you open a can of chickpeas without the necessary can opener? or chili in a pinch? Or your tuna melt’s most crucial component? The can opener is the hidden hero of the drawer when it comes to quick meals and snacks.