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Whether it’s on the counter or tucked away in a utensil drawer, you’re sure to find a can opener in every household. Even if you buy mostly fresh and frozen groceries, you’d be surprised how often you reach for the can opener. Think of all the tins of canned fruits, vegetables, soups, beans, and other canned goods you go through in a week. Therefore, a sturdy and reliable can opener is a must.
While finding the best can opener doesn’t sound like a daunting task—won’t any can opener do the trick?—there are a lot of different features and preferences to account for. A manual can opener is more common and stores easily, but an electric model requires less effort. Some leave sharp edges as they cut along the top, while others cut along the sides.
Here is everything to consider when selecting the best can opener for your kitchen.
Best Overall, Manual: Zyliss Lock N’ Lift Manual Can Opener
Anyone who has used a manual can opener before knows how tired the hand can get. Like a long day of writing, hand cramps are common with handheld can openers. The Zyliss Lock N’ Lift Manual Can Opener is a relief for anyone prone to hand fatigue. With its locking mechanism that securely locks the cutting wheel in place, this model ensures a consistent cut and reduces strain on the hand. It also features a smooth-touch design for comfort.
Seasoned can opener users are also familiar with the mess of disposing the lid of a can once opened. The Zyliss model seeks to eliminate that, too, with its built-in magnet that allows for hands-free lid disposal.
If you’re looking to upgrade your clunky manual can opener, this one has a modern design along with its modern features. It’s easy to use, made with high-quality stainless steel, and more comfortable to twist than traditional models.
Best Overall, Electric: Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch Electric Automatic Can Opener with Easy Push Down Lever
Though electric can openers require more cabinet or countertop space, it is worth it for those who seek the ultimate smooth can-opening experience. An electric can opener eliminates the need to manually twist open canned goods, making them ideal for people with arthritis or hand pain. With its easy-touch lever, the Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch Electric Can Opener is the model to go for if you’re looking for a way to easily open cans with just one hand.
This model measures 4.7 x 5 x 10.2 inches and looks nice on countertops with its chrome and black design. It has an extra-tall design for a variety of can sizes, including standard-size cans and pop-top cans.
Highly rated by consumers, reviewers seem to enjoy the smooth touch feature of this can opener that eliminates sharp lid edges. This safety feature reduces the risk of cutting your fingers since the opener cuts along the sides of the can instead of the top.
Best Ergonomic: OXO Good Grips Smooth Edge Can Opener
With its soft-grip knob and non-slip handles, the OXO Good Grips Smooth Edge Can Opener is the model to consider for a comfortable hold. Though it is a manual can opener, the easy-turn design makes opening canned goods a breeze. This model is made with a patented oversized side-wind mechanism that cuts easily and smoothly, so you don’t experience any struggle or strain when twisting.
Safety features include built-in pliers that attach to the lid, allowing for touch-free lid removal. This can opener also leaves no sharp edges on the can or lid for added safety. The placement of the sharp stainless steel cutting wheel ensures that the can opener does not come in contact with the contents of the can, reducing the risk of cross-contamination for people with allergies.
Measuring 7.5 x 4.5 x 2.25, some reviewers note this model is slightly bulkier than other options. However, the comfortable design and safety features make it the right choice for many households.
Related: The Best Electric Can Openers
Best for Lefties: Bartelli Soft Edge 3-in-1 Ambidextrous Safety Can Opener
Left-handed people can confirm—many kitchen appliances are designed for those who are right-handed. Lefties will rejoice with this ambidextrous can opener suitable for everyone, regardless of your dominant hand. The single handle design of the Bartelli can opener ensures that lefties can get a comfortable grip.
For those with an affinity for multifunctional kitchen tools, the Bartelli can opener also serves as a bottle opener and jar opener. Since no strenuous gripping or twisting is required to open cans, jars, and bottles, this opener is also suitable for people with arthritis or hand pain.
If safety is a concern, this is an opener to keep on hand. The cutting mechanism automatically locks onto the can and cuts around the side, leaving behind no sharp edges or lids. Cutting around the side also creates a lid with a smooth edge that can be used to temporarily re-seal the can.
Best Safety: Kuhn Rikon Auto Safety Master Can Opener
When choosing any kitchen tool, safety is an important factor, especially if you have children in your household. The model by Kuhn Rikon is one of the leading safe can openers.
With mini pliers to remove the lid without handling with your hands and auto lock-on technology that grips the lid, this can opener is safer than traditional openers. While traditional can openers cut into metal cans and leave behind sharp, rigid edges, this model does not cut into the metal, leaving a smooth edge around the rim of the lid.
Designed for maximum hygiene, this opener also prevents cross-contamination. The opener never touches the food, and the lid never falls into the can. Measuring just 7.25 x 2 x 3.5 inches, this is a compact option for those with limited storage.
Best Battery-Operated: Kitchen Mama Electric Can Opener
Ever wished you could open a stubborn can with the push of a button? Electric can openers make that a reality. This model by Kitchen Mama is a popular choice for those looking for a battery-operated can opener. With its ergonomic design, this is also a suitable option for people with arthritis or hand pain.
This handheld device works in three simple steps: place the opener on the top of the can, press the button to start, and press the button to stop. The cutter leaves a smooth rim so you can remove lids without handling rough edges.
While electric can openers are long-lasting, replacing the batteries every so often may be an inconvenience to some. Since batteries are not included, you’ll have to provide your own.
For smooth turning that helps reduce hand fatigue, the Zyliss Lock N’ Lift Manual Can Opener (view at Amazon) is the best handheld choice. It allows for hands-free disposal of the can lid and tucks away nicely in drawers. If you prefer an electric can opener, the model by Hamilton Beach (view at Amazon) eliminates sharp edges when opening standard-size and pop-top cans.
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Lacey Muinos is a health and wellness writer with a specialty in food-related topics and a passion for kitchen gadgets. She has an impressive collection of small kitchen appliances and tools. Since she goes through a decent amount of canned beans and vegetables, she relies heavily on her manual can opener.
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