What makes a can opener accessible? Let's take a look at five models

Quick links to can opener reviews on our website:

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    A can opener is not necessarily one of those kitchen gadgets that most people use every day; but when we do need it, we also need it to work.

    And no, we don’t want to spend an hour getting the thing to latch properly or twisting a painful metal knob. No, we don’t want to pry the mangled lid loose with a knife or get scars on our fingers. And no, even the new tabs on many cans are not accessible for everyone.

    Lisa was determined to find the can opener that worked best for her, and below you will find her pros and cons for four different models, with a focus on accessibility and safety. The fifth review, by Liam, is a bonus. Lisa and Liam's insights might be particularly relevant for individuals who consider hand strength, fine motor skills, coordination, or low vision when buying household products. 

    A quick note from Lisa:

    “Numbers one and two are manual and three and four are battery operated, so depending on whether or not you want to spend money on batteries or depending on whether or not your hand strength and coordination are an issue, manual vs. batteries can be a pro or a con! Out of the four can openers, numbers one and four are in my drawer. Often visitors use the number one. I always use number four."

    A metal, very traditional can opener sitting on a table next to a black electric can opener with a red button.
    Image: A manual, metal can opener sitting on a wood table beside a black and red electric can opener by Bestday (both are reviewed below).

     

    Let's compare:

    1. Chef Craft Store Metal Can Opener (Amazon)

    Metal, manual can opener with a bottle opener in it.

    Reviewer: Lisa

    Cost: Around $5*

    How it operates: Manual steel can opener that maybe your grandmother used; no coating or grip around metal turning piece

    Pros: 

    • Very simple product to use. 
    • It will last forever. 
    • Bottle opener is built in.

    Cons:

    • You have to have good hand strength to use this overall.
    • Often difficult to get started and to keep turning the can opener to go around the whole can.
    • Can be painful on the thumb and forefinger as you turn.
    • Biggest con - The lid that you remove from the can has very sharp edges.


    2. OXO Good Grips Smooth Edge Can Opener (Amazon) (Lisa's Full Review) (Video Demo)

    A woman is holding the two handles of a black OXO Good Grips Can Opener with a large black knob on the side.

    Reviewer: Lisa

    Cost: Around $26*

    How it operates: Manual, ergonomic can opener with a comfortable large turning knob

    Pros: 

    • Nice, ergonomic design. 
    • Once I was able to position the can opener properly, it was easy to turn.
    • No sharp edges.

    Cons:

    • Between poor hand strength and coordination, I found it difficult to line the can opener up the way it was supposed to go and then lock the two handles together before I could start turning the can opener.  
    • I gave up on it pretty quickly.
    • I could not figure out the movements needed to use the “pliers” (intended to help pull off the lid).


    3. CJBIN Electric Can Opener (Amazon)

    (Sorry, no photo here!)

    Reviewer: Lisa

    Cost: Around $21*

    How it operates: Battery operated; one touch button to start and stop device

    Pros:

    • Nice ergonomic design.
    • Just one big button to push and the can opener did the rest on its own.
    • No sharp edges.

    Cons: 

    • It was very difficult to place in the correct position.
    • I gave up on it pretty quickly.


    4. Bestday Electric Can Opener* (Amazon) (Lisa's Full Review) (Video Demo)

    *Lisa’s choice of can opener (when comparing all four can openers)

    Black Bestday electric can opener on top of a can, in action.

    Reviewer: Lisa 

    Cost: Around $19*

    How it operates: Battery operated; one touch button to start and stop device – and the one that I love

    Pros: 

    • Nice, ergonomic design. 
    • Just one big button to push and the can opener did the rest on its own. 
    • No sharp edges.
    • Can use the magnet on it to lift off the lid after cutting*
    • Pretty much the same as #3, but this one seems to get itself into the proper position by itself.
    • And even better... once you have pushed the button to stop the opener, and it is resting back on the can (it lifts up at a bit of an angle while it is cutting the can), you can pull the lid away from the can with the magnet! Before, I was struggling a little bit to get the lid off of the can. 

    Cons:

    • It does seem to be a bit slow, but it’s probably me just being impatient :) 
    • Mine currently cuts a 28 oz. can in 33 seconds or a 10 oz. can in 20 seconds.


    5. Kitchen Mama 2.0 Electric Can Opener* (Amazon) (Liam's Full Review) (Video Demo)

    *Liam’s choice of can opener (with no comparison to the others)

    Red and white Kitchen Mama 2.0 Electric Can Opener, with one large red button toward the front of it and a small Kitchen Mama logo

    Reviewer: Liam 

    Cost: Around $36*

    How it operates: Battery operated; one touch button to start and stop device

    Pros:

    • It is lightweight and easy to store.
    • It is simple to use (one big button to push for ON/OFF)
    • The lid that comes off does not have sharp edges.

    Cons:

    • The button can be difficult to press fully when it is moving on top of the can.
    • It can be difficult to get the device to sit correctly on the can.
    • The device uses batteries.
    • Occasionally the lid does not come off when the device is removed (with the magnet), and it must be manually taken off.

    *All prices rounded up to the nearest dollar and as listed on Amazon on May 22, 2023.

    *Lisa and Liam are both reviewers for Day Undefined.

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