Kitchen Basics: A Can Opener You’ll Love

Bring on the canned garbanzo beans and hearts of palm!

byEdmund Torr| PUBLISHED May 22, 2020 3:02 PM
Kitchen Basics: A Can Opener You’ll Love
Don’t waste time dealing with a dull blade that struggles to puncture cans. KitchenAid

Without a sturdy opener, cans can be a pain to open, especially if you’re in the middle of cooking. Find one that fits well in your palm and has a blade that locks onto the edge of the can so you can get a good grip. (It doesn’t hurt if it comes in a happy color, too!)

Durable Choice
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A sharp stainless steel blade and a large, easy-to-grip turner make this a solid choice.

The archetypal can opener shape was invented all the way back in the 1920s. It consists of a clamp plus two wheels: one serrated, to grip the can, and one sharp, to slice around the rim of the can. This design, created by the Star Can Opener Company of San Francisco, is one of those brilliant ideas that does its job so well that there isn’t a massive need to change it, even a century later.

Innovative Design
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This device features a clever creation: a magnet that lifts the (very sharp!) lid off safely and carefully.

When looking for a can opener, most of the designs are fairly similar, so you generally have to rely on brand loyalty and customer reviews. But there are some differences between them. Some can openers have a more ergonomic grip, and can lock into place, which can be especially helpful for those who have reduced grip strength. Some feature a built-in magnet to dispose of sharp lids, which is beneficial for those who are a little clumsy in the kitchen, or for parents who want to get their kids involved in cooking.

Practically Hands-Free
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This model is great for those in a rush, or with less dexterity in their hands.

Electric can openers, with their nostalgic whirring noise, feel like a gadget of the past. But there’s no particular reason for that, and canned goods have only gotten better with time: these days, you can find high-end produce and seafood in cans. Electric can openers can be a lifesaver for those who have trouble operating a traditional can opener: they can be operated with one hand, require no force, and often give the lid a smooth, non-dangerous edge.