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By Edgar J. Nieves
March 31, 2021
Best Overall
OXO

Good Grips Smooth Edge Can Opener

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As of 04/23/2021

Bottom Line

With lateral cutting and a large turning knob coated in non-stick rubber, this OXO opener is easy for anyone to use and offers a safer and cleaner cut.

Pros

Smooth edge cut helps prevent injuries.

Cons

Side-cut can make it difficult to drain contents inside the can.

Editor's Pick
Zyliss

Lock N’ Lift Can Opener

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As of 04/23/2021

Bottom Line

The ergonomic Zyliss features wide, cushioned handles and a lock mechanism that eliminates the need to squeeze the handles when cutting.

Pros

Comfortable and easy to use, features built-in magnet to lift lid after cutting.

Cons

Mainly made of plastic, may be less durable.

Best for Low Prices
EZ-DUZ-IT

Deluxe Can Opener

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As of 04/23/2021

Bottom Line

The EZ-DUZ-IT is simple, well-built, easy to use and reliable. It's everything you need in a basic can opener for a very low price ($8 to $12).

Pros

Classic design, made of steel and very durable.

Cons

Leaves sharp edges on the lid, which could lead to injury.

Best Electric Can Opener
Cuisinart

SCO-60 Deluxe Stainless Steel Can Opener

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As of 04/23/2021

Bottom Line

Cuisinart’s electric can opener requires minimal effort and offers an elegant stainless steel finish that matches other kitchen appliances.

Pros

Weighted base helps prevent slipping, detachable lever for easy cleanup.

Cons

Fairly expensive for a can opener (around $50).

Best for Arthritis
Kitchen Mama

Electric Can Opener

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As of 04/23/2021

Bottom Line

The battery-operated Kitchen Mama makes opening cans easy for anyone with arthritis or mobility impairments: Just press one button and the device does all the work.

Pros

One-touch functionality, cuts cans along the lid for safety.

Cons

Uses 4 AA batteries, which are not included and will need to be replaced.

Bottom Line

With lateral cutting and a large turning knob coated in non-stick rubber, this OXO opener is easy for anyone to use and offers a safer and cleaner cut.

The ergonomic Zyliss features wide, cushioned handles and a lock mechanism that eliminates the need to squeeze the handles when cutting.

The EZ-DUZ-IT is simple, well-built, easy to use and reliable. It's everything you need in a basic can opener for a very low price ($8 to $12).

Cuisinart’s electric can opener requires minimal effort and offers an elegant stainless steel finish that matches other kitchen appliances.

The battery-operated Kitchen Mama makes opening cans easy for anyone with arthritis or mobility impairments: Just press one button and the device does all the work.

Pros

Smooth edge cut helps prevent injuries.

Comfortable and easy to use, features built-in magnet to lift lid after cutting.

Classic design, made of steel and very durable.

Weighted base helps prevent slipping, detachable lever for easy cleanup.

One-touch functionality, cuts cans along the lid for safety.

Cons

Side-cut can make it difficult to drain contents inside the can.

Mainly made of plastic, may be less durable.

Leaves sharp edges on the lid, which could lead to injury.

Fairly expensive for a can opener (around $50).

Uses 4 AA batteries, which are not included and will need to be replaced.

No kitchen is fully equipped without a can opener. But cheaply made can openers can prove frustrating to use or even be a safety hazard if they leave rough, jagged edges.

This is why buying a good can opener is so important. Good can openers will not only last years, but always let you open cans easily, smoothly and safely.

There are two main types of can openers. Manual (or traditional) can openers typically work by squeezing two handles and twisting a knob, and are easily storable since they fit into drawers and countertop organizers. Electric can openers, on the other hand, require little effort on your part, but do occupy more space and sometimes have a shorter lifespan than manual openers.

Can openers usually cost somewhere between $10 to $50, depending on what they’re made of and whether they’re manual or electric. Cheaply manual models can even cost under $10, but they’re often less durable and more likely to rust, break, or malfunction faster. Quality manual models cost around $10 to $20, with some exceptions, while electric can openers can go all the way up to $50.

Can opener buying guide

Because all can openers do the same job, you might think any model will be fine. However, if you want to buy a quality can opener — the kind that will offer optimal performance for years — these are some factors to consider:

• Material. Make sure the can opener — especially the cutting wheel — is made of stainless steel, which is durable and resistant to rust and stains.

Handles are also sometimes made of stainless steel, but they’re often coated with rubber. This is ideal because it offers a solid grip and makes squeezing more comfortable.

• Safety. Traditional can openers have a mechanism that cuts directly into the top of the lid. This type of cut produces sharp, dented edges that can slice through skin and may cause serious injury if you’re not careful.

Smooth cut or safety can openers, on the other hand, open the tops of cans without leaving any sharp edges. Instead of cutting into the top, the blades cut through the sides, under the seams of the lid, until the entire lid pops off. This makes injuries less likely, and you might even use the lid to cover the can and store any leftovers for a limited time. However, can openers with this type of cut tend to become dull over time, usually faster than those with a traditional cut.

Some can openers feature built-in magnets or pliers as an additional safety measure, since these can help you lift and dispose of the lid without having to touch it.

• Features. Some can openers offer extra features. For example, they sometimes have a lock mechanism that keeps handles tightly clamped, eliminating the need to squeeze as you twist the knob and open the can.

Others have built-in bottle openers and ring-pull cans tabs, or the ability to open jars, as well.

More importantly, some models have ergonomic designs such as larger handles and knobs, soft grips and non-slip rubber, which can be particularly helpful for people with arthritis, carpal tunnel or limited hand strength.

Best can openers

1. Best overall: OXO Good Grips Smooth Edge Can Opener

Courtesy of Amazon

The OXO Good Grips is among the best can openers for pretty much everyone, including kids who like to help around in the kitchen.

The OXO’s lateral blade mechanism cuts through cans from the side and doesn’t leave sharp edges on the can or lid. This type of cut is safer and reduces accidental finger injuries. The blades are made of stainless steel, and the handles are coated with non-slip rubber. Additionally, the oversized knob doesn’t require much effort to twist. A pair of integrated small pliers, meanwhile, lets you remove the lid without having to touch it.

Do note, however, that some reviewers find it a bit difficult to attach the cutting mechanism to the can at first. So it might be helpful to watch some videos online to (literally) get a better hold of it.

Other very good, slightly less expensive OXO models include the OXO Steel, which has a traditional cut but is completely made of sleek stainless steel, and the OXO Snap Lock, which features a lock system.

2. Editor’s pick: Zyliss Lock N’ Lift Can Opener

Courtesy of Amazon

The Zyliss Lock N’ Lift stands out for its ergonomic design with cushioned, non-slip handles. It also has a lock system that clamps the cutting mechanism tightly into place so you don’t have to worry about squeezing the grips while turning the knob. This makes it easier to use for most people, including those with limited grip strength.

A built-in magnet makes it easier to prevent injuries. Just place the magnet on top of the lid to pick it up and take it to the trash, and then press a lever at the bottom to release the lid from the magnet.

The Zyliss has two potential drawbacks. First, even though it is made of sturdy plastic, it may break faster than can openers built with metal. Additionally, according to some reviewers, it takes a bit of practice to fully grasp how the locking mechanism works.

3. Best for low prices: EZ-DUZ-IT Deluxe Can Opener

Courtesy of Amazon

Aside from its low price (often $8 to $12), there are two other main reasons why the EZ-DUZ-IT is the best inexpensive can opener for most people: it’s well-built and cuts with ease.

This American-made traditional can opener is built with stainless steel and features a large knob that makes it easy to turn and use. Its metal handles are coated in rubber, providing a better grip to hold and squeeze. Finally, on the sides, it has a built-in hook that’s useful for opening bottles and jar lids.

Another great low-priced option is the KitchenAid Classic Multifunction. It also comes with an integrated bottle opener and typically costs around $14.

4. Best electric can opener: Cuisinart SCO-60 Deluxe Stainless Steel Can Opener

Courtesy of Amazon

If manual openers are always a bit of a struggle, and you would rather get a can opener that requires next to no effort, the Cuisinart Deluxe is a great choice.

This electric opener can handle all standard size cans found in supermarket aisles, and its operation is simple and hands-free. Once the can is placed in the right spot, you only need to click the lever down and wait until it makes a full rotation. Meanwhile, its magnet holds cans of up to 32 ounces tightly in place throughout the process.

The lever can be removed, making it easy to clean the blades without having to move the whole unit, and it can be adjusted to cut open from the top or the sides.

We also like Cuisinart’s sleek design. The stainless steel finish matches other kitchen appliances, while its weighted base and magnet help prevent cans from tipping over.

One drawback, though, is the can opener lever. According to some customers’ reviews, it breaks over time. However, a replacement can be purchased on the brand’s website. Also, the can opener has a limited three-year warranty.

Another great contender is the Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch. Unlike the Cuisinart Deluxe, you do have to hold the lever down until it makes the full rotation. However, it offers a side-cut that is smoother and safer than Cuisinart’s sharp cut, and it costs about $20 less.

5. Best multi-purpose can opener: Black + Decker SpaceMaker Can Opener

Courtesy of Black + Decker

If you want a versatile electric can opener that does more than its usual job, take a look at the Black + Decker Spacemaker.

This model is full of useful gadgets. It features a knife sharpener and a bottle opener to remove crown bottle lids. What’s best is that you don’t have to worry about storage, since it is designed to be mounted under flat bottom cabinets, helping you save some counter space.

The main drawback is that installation is required. You’ll need proper tools, including a drill and perhaps an additional pair of hands. If that’s not a deal-breaker for you, then the B&D SpaceMaker is a great multi-tool addition for your kitchen.

Note: Unfortunately, we’ve noticed that the SpaceMaker is often sold out at most stores, or only available for sale online from third-party sellers with very high markups, sometimes featuring older models. So you may have to wait to find this one on sale for a reasonable price.

6. Best for lefties: Kuhn Rikon Auto Safety Master Opener

Courtesy of Amazon

The Kuhn Rikon is a great all-around can opener for most users, including left-handed people.

Like other safe models, the Kuhn Rikon opens can lids from the side, leaving no sharp edges. The main differences, however, are that its knob is situated on top of the opener rather than on the side (good for lefties and righties alike), and that it only has one long handle, meaning you don’t have to squeeze while twisting the knob.

The Kuhn Rikon is also a multitasker. It can be used to ring-pull tabs in draw cans — for instance, tuna, sardines, or luncheon meat cans — remove bottle crown caps, unscrew tops from water bottles and open jar lids. Additionally, it features a pair of small pliers to grab the lid once opened.

7. Best can opener for arthritis: Kitchen Mama Electric Can Opener

Courtesy of Amazon

If you or a family member suffer from arthritis or mobility impairments, the Kitchen Mama automatic can opener is one of the best options out there.

This battery-operated can opener is user-friendly and requires little effort. You just need to place the Kitchen Mama on the can’s lid, press the button to start opening, and then press it once more when it’s done. It’s also great that the Kitchen Mama’s blades cut along the sides of the lid, leaving smooth edges that are safe to touch.

Do note this unit requires 4 AA batteries, which must be purchased separately. If that’s a drawback for you, consider a traditional electric model like the Cuisinart Deluxe or the Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch (mentioned above), which both feature a power cord.

8. Best stainless steel can opener: Rosle Stainless Steel Can Opener with Pliers Grip

Courtesy of Amazon

We like the Rosle can opener for its sturdy design. It’s entirely made of stainless steel, including the knob and its large handles. It cuts lids from the side, so it leaves no sharp edges, and its blades don’t come in contact with the food. The Rosle also features an integrated pair of gripper pliers, which help lift the lid, and a loop at the bottom that can be used to hang it on any hooks you have in your kitchen.

The Rosle’s main drawback is its price. At around $40, it’s one of the most expensive manual can openers in the market; however, if you don’t mind paying a bit more, the Rosle’s user-friendly design and 20-year warranty are well worth the money.

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