Canning was a method of food storage for decades before the first can opener was invented. We can only imagine how many wounds were sustained while the world waited for an easy way to open a can but surely everybody was happier when the wheel-shaped cutter arrived in 1870. And, housewives must have been dancing in the streets when a serrated wheel was added to create the modern can opener that was patented in 1925. More recent designs have given us side-cutting openers and ‘un-crimpers’, but one thing remains the same: the can opener is a basic essential in every kitchen and it’s worth doing a little research to find one that fits your grip and your pocket.

A can opener should strong enough to withstand heavy use but light enough, with well-designed handles, to grasp comfortably. It should be equipped with a sharp cutter-blade and a tight-fitting serrated wheel to work efficiently, and it should look good and be fairly priced.Sicai Can Opener

Sicai Can Opener

Sicai Manual can openerThe Sicai has a very sharp, stainless steel cutting blade that acts sideways rather than downwards, thus avoiding contact with the contents of the can. A tooth on the blade’s edge grips the can while the alignment loop rests on the rim to keep the opener level. The single handle has a thermoplastic polymer cover for a solid grip and the opener has a large turning key to apply good cutting force. This is a great piece of kit at a low price.

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PrimAcc Can Opener

PrimAcc tin openerThis is a traditional, two-handled can opener that also includes a bottle-opener and a lid-lever. The sharp blade and large turning key make for easy, clean cuts, and rubberised handle covers allow the user to maintain a solid grip. The metal parts of the opener are stainless steel. The PrimAcc is a solid, durable can opener that earns its best-seller status by offering a good quality tool at an everyday price.

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Brabantia Can Opener

Brabantia can openerThe Brabantia is a neat traditional-style can opener, offered with red or white plastic handles. The wheels and frame are stainless steel and reviewers comment on the blade’s sharpness and the opener’s ease-of-use. The end of one arm is shaped to create a crown-cap bottle-opener and a lid-lifter. Brabantia is a well-regarded housewares brand and this is a quality piece at an excellent price.

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OXO Good Grips Soft Handled Can Opener

OXO good grips soft handle tin openerThis OXO Good Grips opener is ideal for a user with arthritic hands, or indeed anyone who needs an easier grip. It features big, cushioned handles and an oversized knob that turns easily. One handle includes a ‘tooth’ for use as a crown-cap opener. We like the thumb-released, snap-button lock which holds the opener in place on the can and many reviewers highlight its comfortable and efficient operation. The manufacturer recommends hand-wash only.

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Zyliss Can Opener with Lock

Zyliss tin openerThe Zyliss is a Swiss-brand can opener that combines good-looking design with practicality. It features large, wide-spaced handles with non-slip, rubber facings for a tight grip. The large turning key also has a rubberised covering. The opener locks on to the can and a magnet is fitted into the bottom-end of the lower handle to hold and lift the can’s lid after cutting. While a little more expensive than some other picks, it gains excellent reviews for its sturdiness and ergonomic design.

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OXO Good Grips Magnetic Can Opener

OXO good grips magnetic can openerThis OXO opener features non-slip handles and a large, soft turning key. Closing the opener on the edge of a can engages a lock that holds the opener in place during cutting; after use, the lock is released by sliding back a button on the top surface of the opener. The hardened stainless steel wheel cuts smoothly and stays sharp. The can opener incorporates a magnet that holds a can-lid after cutting, enabling easy disposal of the lid when the magnet-arm is pressed. This opener has positive reviews from a wide audience for ease-of-use and durability but users who have difficulties with their hands or grip will particularly appreciate this device’ thoughtful design.

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Kuhn-Rikon Opener

Kuhn Rikon 5 in 1 can openerSomething different in can openers; a versatile and practical device at an inexpensive price. A can is opened by reversing the manufacturing/closing process by ‘un-crimping’ and unrolling the lid’s rim. No metal is cut and nothing penetrates beneath the lid, removing the risk of metal particles or dirt from the lid entering the contents. The opener automatically locks on to the edge of a can and turning a round knob on top of the device begins the opening process. Once the lid is removed, it can be grasped in the opener’s pincers and lifted clear. The Kuhn-Rikon opener also includes fittings to lift crown caps; open screw-tops; lever lids, and pull ring-pulls. Kuhn-Rikon is a Swiss housewares brand with a good reputation and this multi-purpose gadget is too useful to ignore!

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