Last updated: 16/10/2022

Welcome to our big can opener test 2022. Here we present all the can openers we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best can opener for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos.

Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a can opener.




Summary

  • Depending on whether you choose a manual, electric or industrial can opener, there are different advantages and disadvantages in its use.
  • You can buy manual can openers in different versions, can openers with lever action reduce the risk of injury considerably.
  • The operation, the dimensions and the safety factor are the most important criteria for comparing can openers with each other.

The Best Can Opener: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a can opener

Before you decide on a can opener, I would like to show you in the following part why it is necessary to have an opener in the household. There are a few things to consider and some useful information that everyone should ask themselves before buying a can opener.

What does a can opener cost?

There are utensils for opening cans in all price ranges – from the inexpensive opener for the home, which only costs a few euros, to the industrial professional article, for which you have to dig a little deeper into your pocket.

All in all, we think that these prices are well justifiable, the price differences can be explained mainly by function, the quality of the handling of the can openers.

Type Price
Manual can opener approx. 8-30 euros
Electric can opener approx. 15-60 euros
Industrial can opener approx. 60-380 euros

This means that cheap, manual can openers start at 8 euros. However, these kitchen gadgets tend to be of inferior quality and are not always easy to use. More stable and electric products are somewhat more expensive, but this justifies the simple handling and the guidance to the result. You will find more reliable and durable openers in the range between 15 and 30 euros, whether hand-operated or electric. For industrial can openers, which are designed to open several cans per minute, you are looking at c.a 60 euros to the three-digit range.

How does a can opener work?

The function of a can opener cannot be described in the same way for all types. Each model has different features in terms of how it works and how it is used. In the following, we distinguish between 3 types of function:

Variant Mode of operation
Simple models Sharp blade is pushed into the can and guided along the edge of the lid.
Lever-operated Opening the can by hand is assisted by a special lever handle or pincer grip.
Electric openers Can is opened by an automatic drive mechanism.

How the simple models work

In the simple models, the blade on the can opener has a sharp point, which is used to poke a hole in the lid of the can. In the next step, the blade of the opener is guided along the edge of the lid with the application of force, thus cutting open the metal sheet. This variant requires an enormous amount of force and the risk of injury is very high.

Tearing open the can creates sharp edges on the lid that are very easy to cut yourself on. With a classic can opener, a lot of force is needed. In addition, sharp edges are created on the can rims when opening.

Did you know that the can opener was only invented in 1855, although the tin can was patented 45 years earlier? Even though the tin can was patented in 1810, until the invention of the can opener, they were broken open with a hatchet, hammer, chisel or knife.

How lever-operated instruments work

The hand-operated models with a special lever handle or pincer grip are, as stupid as it sounds, a little easier to use than the simple models. Usually equipped with a serrated transport wheel, you hardly need any force to guide the can opener along the lid of the can. This variant creates a clean cut in the lid of the can and makes separation easier.

However, there is still potential for injury even with these openers. With relatively small cans, some standard can openers cannot grip properly and slipping can result.

How electric items work

The use and functioning of electric can openers is probably the most convenient and easiest way to open cans. The kitchen gadget only has to be placed on the lid of the can and at the push of a button it starts to open the can.

In the process, the opener is guided completely along the blade by an automatic drive mechanism. Modern, electric openers cut through the seam on the can and not the metal of the lid itself. In this way, there are no sharp edges in the sheet metal. The product thus belongs to the group of safety can openers where the risk of injury is reduced considerably compared to other articles.

However, due to their technology, manually operated openers can also be counted among the safety can openers.

Decision: What types of can openers are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, you can distinguish between 2 types of can openers:

  • Manual can openers
  • Electric can openers

Each of these types has its own advantages and disadvantages due to the different handling. In the following section, we would like to help you find out which of the different can openers is best suited for opening cans. For this purpose, we will present the types and methods of can openers below and give you an overview of the respective advantages and disadvantages.

No household should be without a can opener. A suitable tool is always needed to open cans of food, such as goulash, fruit or ready meals, as well as pet food, such as pet food, easily and practically.

Manual can openers

First and foremost, when choosing a can opener, you will have to decide between two different product variants. With the manually operated can openers, you have to apply force yourself when opening cans.

Did you know that a classic manual can opener is difficult to use for left-handers? It is possible to make models that are suitable for both hands. An electric can opener is easier to use for left-handers.

However, you do not need batteries, mains plugs or any other form of energy to open the cans. However, the manual can opener requires a little skill and proper use to remove the lid of a can. Nevertheless, with the right technique, it is often very easy to open the cans.

Advantages
  • Commercially available
  • Independent of the mains
  • Easy to use
Disadvantages
  • Requires strength
  • Practice and patience needed
  • Requires skill

Electric can openers

The use of electric can openers is probably the easier and more convenient way to open canned food. The utensils can usually be operated with just one hand and can also be used easily by physically impaired people. However, a power supply is always necessary for the use of the electric version in order to be able to operate the opener.

Advantages
  • No effort required
  • Easy handling
  • Convenient
  • Barrier-free
Disadvantages
  • Depends on electricity or batteries

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and rate can openers

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate can openers. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a certain product is suitable for you or not. In summary, these are:

  • Operating method
  • Dimensions
  • Features
  • Safety factor

In the following paragraphs you can read about the individual purchase criteria and how you can classify them.

Mode of operation

As already explained and described in the previous paragraphs, can openers are divided into 2 different types. The can opener models are divided into manually and automatically operated openers. Here you need to think about whether it is more convenient for you to use your own hands and power or whether you prefer to leave this to the product.

While the manually operated can opener is ready for use at any time and anywhere, the electrically operated can opener is dependent on either electricity or batteries, which can be a significant limitation for you.

Based on price, you can distinguish between electric and manual can openers.

Dimensions / Design

The size of can openers varies only slightly between c.a. 12cm and 28cm in length. This means that almost every can opener fits comfortably in a drawer and you don’t need a lot of storage space. Whether one opener is larger or smaller than the other does not play a significant role in the quality.

What should be important for you is that the can opener fits comfortably in your hand. The appearance of most electric can openers is often reminiscent of a computer mouse, which gives them the handy factor. In most cases, however, only one button needs to be pressed to trigger the cutting process. Whether on a camping holiday or a short trip to the family – due to their size, they can all be taken along.

Features

A can opener often comes into contact with liquids during opening and must therefore also be cleaned. This also creates the risk of rust. Many can openers are made of stainless steel, which should not be an unimportant purchase criterion for you.

If the opener is marked as stainless, this property increases the life of the product. Furthermore, there are a few articles that are even dishwasher-safe, but this is not recommended because of the plastic housing.

Safety factor

When opening cans, cheap openers often leave sharp edges on the can and the lid. In the worst case, small metal shavings can also get into the food. This poses a very high risk of injury, which can be avoided with a suitable opener.

High-quality can openers separate the lid from a can without creating sharp edges or chips. In this context, these products are often referred to as safety can open ers. You should always pay attention to this when buying a can opener.

Especially with manually operated can openers, the risk of injury is very high because the resistance is extremely high. If you are clumsy or simply unsure, you should definitely buy an electric safety can opener.

Facts worth knowing about can openers

Can I open a can without a can opener?

If you don’t have a can opener in your household, forgot it on a camping trip, or the can itself doesn’t have a tear-off lid, the question often arises as to whether you can open cans without an opener.

In this section we explain how you can open a can without an opener if necessary and which methods can help to solve the problem for a short time.

Opening the can on the street

If you don’t have a can opener at hand, we will show you a solution that is only recommended for cans without liquid contents. To do this, rub the can with the lid downwards on a rough surface, such as a paving stone, until the edge of the can is worn away and the lid can be opened.

This usually takes a few minutes and the second problem with this is that the abrasion may cause tin particles to get into the contents of the can, which is not safe to eat. If necessary, you can consider this technique, but we recommend you take the unavoidable route of buying a can opener.

Opening the can with a knife

Alternatively, you can open the can with a knife. However, you will need a large, heavy kitchen knife, as an ordinary cutlery knife will not work. With this method, you should be especially careful not to cut yourself. First you have to put the can on a stable surface and place the back tip (on the handle) of the kitchen knife on the can.

The back tip of the knife is the most stable point of a chef’s knife. Now you can pierce the can hole by hole, using a lot of force, and then open the can. But be extremely careful with this method so that no injuries occur. Furthermore, the blade of the knife will be damaged and may become blunt.

Conclusion

You should only use these two methods if it is an emergency and you absolutely have to open the can. Both methods are, as described, very dangerous and should therefore be avoided by using a can opener that is easy to open!

Image source: Bethan Abra / unsplash.com

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