How to Use the Can Opener – The Best Options Available Today

Use the Can Opener

Storing food into small tin containers is a great way to keep food fresh for an extremely long time, making the need for can openers just as essential. But the modern convenience, definitely leaves people (including me) trying to figure out how to use the can opener more often than not.

Throughout the years, the canning idea has has taken a strong hold over the food industry; and plenty of food items now come sealed in tin can containers.

In this article, we will discuss all the different types of can opener options available. We will also demonstrate how you can use each one of them effectively and efficiently.

Can Opener (A Little Bit of History)

Can Opener (A Little Bit of History)

Can openers are pretty simple to use these days? However, that wasn’t always the case. Before easy-to-open flip-top tabs or electric cans, openers were invented, there were handle or “door key” can openers. These were the only way to open cans many years ago but are still seen today, primarily by campers.

A Lever Can Opener

A handle can opener is often called a claw can opener due to the shape of the very sharp blade that used to puncture the can. One side is the tool used for cutting; the other side provides a “stopper,” keeping the “claw” from puncturing too deep.

While this is a great choice for opening metal cans, it can also be quite dangerous due to the sharp blade and jagged edges left behind on the can.

A Church Key Opener

The church key opener dates to the late 1800s and is just as basic and easy to use as the handle opener. 

The church key opener is a straight flattened piece of material. It contains a sharp tool at one end to puncture cans, while the other side is a bottle opener. 

To use this can opener, you simply latch the guard to the edge of the can, then firmly push the sharp pointed end into the top of the lid. It will create a big enough hole to access the contents.

A Key Can Opener

Like the church-key can opener, this utensil utilizes a small triangle-shaped end that will easily puncture the side or top of a thin-walled can. 

This can opener is also a small, thin piece of material that is easy to store and often seen in camping gear.

Well, these may be oldies; they are still goodies and can still be seen today in many utensil drawers around the world.

How to Use a Can Opener

How to Use a Can Opener

Now that we discussed old fashion options for opening your canned goods; however, let’s get into the more popular can opener option, which is the handheld device. Although there come in different forms, they work pretty much the same and are in most kitchens.

These hand-held can opener tools utilize a cutting wheel that slices through the material on the top of the can, cutting the lid away from the sides. It is accomplished when you turn the lever on the side of the device.

To use a can opener, follow these steps:

  • Put the can you are ready to open on a flat surface such as a countertop or table
  • Open the two arms of the can opener and place it up against the edge of the can, then close them tightly, allowing the cutting wheel to pierce the material.
  • Keeping the arms of the can opener locked down tight, spin the dial on the side of the device in a clockwise motion until it has moved completely around the can.
  • Once you get back to where you began, remove the lid carefully as the material will be sharp and can easily cut you.

Electric Can Opener

Another option for opening your can is with an electric can opener. These devices are hit or miss, depending on the products you purchase and how well they work. If you get a quality can opener that can grasp the food container tightly and hold it firmly while spinning, you are in luck.

Unfortunately, many people struggle using electric can openers because they tend to slip or miss sections of the lid. 

To use an electric can opener, follow these steps:

  • Plugin your device
  • Put your can directly underneath the wheel, along with the guiding slots
  • Push down the handle with one hand while tightly gripping the can with the other
  • As the machine starts to spin the can, keep a loose grip but still allow it to move
  • Once the can opener is finished, firmly grasp the can and lift the handles, and the can will be released.
  • Most electric can openers will have a magnet attached to the bottom of the dial, holding onto the lid as the can dropdown.

How to Open a Can Without a Can Opener

How to Open a Can Without a Can Opener

If you ever find yourself in a sticky situation and have no can opener to get to the food inside, there is no need to panic. You can open a can in a few different ways without the use of an actual can-opening device.

Use a Knife

While this may not be the safest way to get the job done, it will get the job done! You can use it in two different ways to open a tin can. 

You can use the end of a butcher’s knife blade to puncture holes into the can like the level can opener. You can also use a durable, heavy-duty blade and stab small holes, close together, around the top of the lid, giving you the ability to push up on the cover at the end removing it from the can.

Use A Spoon

This option will take you a little bit of time but will work when you have no other options left. 

Take the “bowl” end of the spoon and rub it back and forth quickly around the lip of the can. Doing this will wear away at the edge of the material, separating the lid from the can.

Use a Concrete Slab (Yes, Really!)

If you place your can on an even concrete surface and rub it back and forth continuously, eventually, the material will grind away, opening the can. Remember to remove the access scrapings before taking the lid off.

Top Can Openers on the Market Today

Top Can Openers on the Market Today

Best overall-OXO Good Grips Soft-Handled Can Opener

Best Budget-Friendly- Farberware Pro 2 Can Opener

Best Runner Up- Hamilton Beach Electric Automatic Can Opener with Auto Shutoff,

Best Under $10- 3-in-1 Professional Can Opener Kitchen Durable Stainless Steel Heavy Duty 

Can Opener FAQ’s

What is the Best Option for Can Openers?

The best option for can openers is a personal preference. However, most people like the ease and convenience of the handheld options.

Should You Purchase Electric Can Openers?

Some electric can openers are fantastic and take all the work away from the user. However, you have to make sure you buy a quality brand with great reviews.

Do People Still Use Can Openers with Handles and Key Can Openers Today?

Although these are found in camping gear, you will still find them in many kitchen drawers today.

Summing Things Up

There are many ways to open cans these days, whether you are looking to go primitive and grind it against a rock or high-tech with an electrical can opener that will do all the work for you. 

Knowing how to use a can opener is essential for keeping metal out of food and keeping your fingers intact.

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