Is it possible to get excited about a can opener? Well, if you’ve had the same basic dollar store model that hardly cuts cans (and leaves dangerous, jagged edges behind) we think not. Methodically hand-cranking an old, gunked-up can opener that practically gives you carpel tunnel syndrome does exactly nothing to make dinner prep easier.
But thankfully, there are a range of new, improved can openers out that not only are drastically better at, you know, actually opening cans, but also prevent you from ever having to reach into a can to get the lid out, can help with pull-tab cans and even help with opening jars. They’ll change how you feel about chili night forever.
And let’s face it, with so many of us relying on the convenience and cost-effectiveness of canned goods like beans, broth and diced tomatoes to pull together quick, healthy meals, having an easy way to open all of those cans and get at the good stuff inside is more important than ever. So if you’re still making do with an ancient, ineffective can opener, we invite you to make a simple upgrade and treat yourself to one of these recommended models, below.
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1. ZYLISS Lock N’ Lift Can Opener with Lid Lifter Magnet
This opener locks onto the can, keeping you from having to continually squeeze as you turn. And once it does that, it only takes a few easy turns to get the can opened. The locking mechanism is designed to fit all cans, even smaller ones. A magnet on the front lifts the lid for mess-free disposal. A lever on the front allows you to pop it into the trash without having to ever touch it. And the cool design? Well, that’s just a bonus.
2. OXO Good Grips Smooth Edge Can Opener
With soft handles and an oversized knob for effortless turning, this is a good manual can opener for anyone with limited mobility. The can opener also locks to eliminate the need for squeezing as you turn. A lid-lifter allows for no-hands lid removal. The can also leaves behind no jagged edges, making the lid and can safe for fingers.
3. Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch Electric Automatic Can Opener
For those with limited mobility, electric can openers can make kitchen tasks easy again. Simply place the can below the opener and press down on the lever to lock it into place. Once it’s rotated all the way around, unlock it to remove. It slices beneath the metal lip on the side of the can, which makes the entire lid easy to lift off as well. Because it goes below the lid, this will also open pop-top cans the same way. The only downside? It takes up way more space than a hand-held model.
4. Cuisinart Deluxe Electric Can Opener
With a similar one-push operation as the Hamilton Beach model, this Cuisinart can opener has a slightly smaller footprint. But while the Hamilton Beach model results in a smooth edge on both the can and the lid, Cuisinart’s model cuts from the top, resulting in a rougher edge. However, a magnet on the opener removes the lid for you, which those with limited dexterity might prefer.
5. Kuhn Rikon Master Smooth Touch Can Opener
The Kuhn Rikon can opener is already a great small space can opener: the opener attaches itself and opens from the top of the can leaving no jagged edges behind. Tiny pliers lift the lid from mess-free removal. But the opposite end hides even more tricks: the hook can pull tabs for pop-top cans as well as soda cans. A lifter helps loosen jars, and a church key opens bottles as well as loosens screw-top plastic bottles. In other words: All the annoying kitchen tasks you might want some help with.