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Small Kitchen Appliances

Best Can Opener

Manual can openers are the most basic tools to open up a tin can. Virtually any metal tipped tool will work, from a screwdriver to a hacksaw to a dull thick knife, but those would only be acceptable when absolutely nothing else was available or you were in a survival situation. All manual can openers have to incorporate some type of blade to pierce the metal of the can. Once that is done, it has to be capable of following the edge until the top, or the lid has been removed. This is the action that makes a can opener successful.

Every can opener we've chosen for this this list will be manufactured solid and sturdy enough to open the tops of multiple cans over the course of weeks, months and years. That might sound strange, but lesser can openers may only work one or two times before they dull or break, making them useless. These picks will also be easy to use so that you can snap or place them onto a can and open it up forthwith, with no guesswork and no hassle. Plus, each of them will be ergonomically designed for maximum leverage to open up a can as quickly and easy as possible.

Made in USA Can Opener

If you want the best home can opener made, you look to the Made in USA Can Opener. These can openers have been in production since 1954 and they're so durable that some are still working after all that time. This may be the perfect rotary can opener with the classic split-handle type where the teeth go on the bottom of the can lip and the cutting edge pierces the top. Simply crank the handle and the top cuts neatly around the edge. Buyer beware, if it's not an original Made in USA Can Opener, you'll be getting nothing more than a piece of junk.

Bartelli Soft Edge Manual Safety Can Opener

For the best side opening can opener, the Bartelli Soft Edge Manual Safety Can Opener 2 in 1 Bottle Opener design has got you uncovered. This versatile little can opener acts as both a side-style opener and a bottle opener too. Unlike top opening openers, once the upper side of the can is cut off it can actually be used as a temporary cover. You can leave the cover on and place the can off to the side until you're ready to use it. Side style can openers leave no sharp edges and they are generally easier to turn then top openers. That makes them a better choice for adults with hand or grip problems and of course safer for kids to use. So, if you like the side opening concept, there are none better than the Bartelli Soft Edge Manual Safety Can Opener. It comes with a 100 percent money back guarantee if it doesn't work to your satisfaction.

OXO Steel Can Opener

If you want the most ergonomically designed can opener, choose the OXO SteeL Can Opener. The big over sized cushioned handles make it easy to squeeze yet be comfortable at the same time while the padded turning knob makes this one of the easiest units to use. The stainless steel blades will never rust but the handles aren't stainless so if regularly immersed in water they will corrode so proper care is essential. This is a top lid cutting can opener and one of the easiest to snap into place around the can lid. This is also a satisfaction guaranteed can opener with a money back policy but they're so sturdy that with regular use they'll last for years without needing to be replaced.

Kitchen Fanatic Manual Can Opener

If you are looking for the best value in a lid cutting can opener, choose the Kitchen Fanatic Manual Can Opener. It not only comes with a rotary lid cutter but it also comes with a bottle opener too. The Kitchen Fanatic has an ultra sharp cutting blade and toothed wheel grips the underside of the can lip so it'll never let go. The split handle design allows you to put as much pressure as needed to cut cleanly through the lid while the padded turning knob makes it easy on your fingers.
This can opener comes with a life time warranty and satisfaction guaranteed or you'll get your money back if your don't like it. It's dishwasher safe and qualifies as the best bang for the buck unit on this list.

P-38 Can Opener and P-51 Can Opener

Perhaps the best loved can openers of all time is the P-38 Can Opener and P-51 Can Opener. These are military issue can openers that are simple to use in any circumstance and they will positively open any can will ever need to be opened. Invented in World War 2, these can openers are military grade with a lifetime warranty and they just won't break, period. Simply push the hardened steel tooth through the can lid, line up the notch onto the can rim, and pump it in an up and down motion. It's so easy and effortless that virtually anyone can use it with ease. This is technically the best can opener ever made but its crude and simple design may put it out of place in a modern kitchen environment. However, it's perfect for use while camping, fishing, emergencies, or anywhere else when you need a can opener in an emergency.

Edlund U-12 Manual Can Opener

For home or commercial settings, and you want the best standard mounted can opener on this list, choose the Edlund U-12 S #1 Manual Can Opener. This isn’t an inexpensive table mounted can opener, but none work smoother, easier, or more versatile than this one. The Edlund comes with a 16 inch adjustable bar that will fit virtually any size can. Regardless of the can size, the hand crank will make opening cans, about as effortless as possible. Unless this unit is horribly abused, it will last well into the next century and then some. While the cost of this unit might be prohibitive, there’s no finer made or designed can opener than the Edlund U-12 S #1 Manual Can Opener if you never want to struggle with opening cans again.

Amco Swing-A-Way 609WH Magnetic Wall Can Opener

The best wall mount can opener is the Amco Houseworks Swing-A-Way Wall Can Opener, a design in use since the 1930's, which demonstrates how well made and durable this unit is. This is a basic can opener for any type of household can, and they are very common. The Swing-A-Way opener can be mounted in a variety of places with the most common being inside the kitchen sink cabinet door. The mounting piece goes on first, and then the unit is slipped into a hinge so it can swing away from the side of the door/wall for easy access or easily hidden from view if desired. Their long service life and performance is why the Swing-A-Way can openers have been in production for more than 80 years.

Thunder 14" Table Mount Can Opener

Thunder 14" Table Mount Can Opener

If you love the ease and smooth operation of a table mounted can opener, but don't want to pay an exorbitant price, check out the Thunder 14 Inch Table Mount Can Opener. Although not as versatile as the top rated Edlund, the 14 inch bar will still allow you to open nearly any sized can in your cupboard or pantry. Like any table mounted unit, the crank handle is oversized which lets you open any can with comparative ease. It will take up a lot of space on any horizontal surface it’s mounted to, but the convenience and ease of use will make up for any space lost. For table mounted can opening ease, the Thunder 14" Table Mount Can Opener is a solid choice for inclusion in any food prep space.

Edlund 700SS Manual Crown Punch Opener

From a technical standpoint, this specialty can opener is actually the best option on our list but the cost is prohibitive unless there is a definite need. But if cost is no object, than the Edlund 700SS Heavy-Duty Manual Crown Punch Can Opener will open cans faster than you can say “open-says-a-me!” This can opener works like a paper punch. You just put the can beneath the blade, pull down on the lever, and it will almost instantly open the can.

The blades are set-up to open #10 coffee cans, but the Edlund Company will install blades so that you can open standard soup cans, which are #1, baked bean cans and sauce cans, #300, or fruit and vegetable cans, which are #303 types. This is the can opener to get whether you need it for a commercial setting where multiple cans need to be opened quickly or if you simply just want bragging rights for the baddest can opener on the planet. For handicapped people who cannot use their arms, hands, or wrists effectively, this pull lever would be a perfect solution given you have the budget for it.

Excellante Heavy Duty Table Mounted Can Opener

If you’re looking for the least expensive horizontal table mount on this list, it's the Excellante Table Mounted Can Opener, Heavy Duty, 14". Don't let the description fool you, it will only take on a 10 inch tall can and open it. Made of heavy duty cast iron, it will rust if constantly exposed to moisture so appropriate care is required if you want it to last; you'll need to lube up the moving pieces three to four times per year to keep this pick cranking smoothly and on track. If you keep on track with the upkeep, this can opener will potentially last a lifetime. This has the potential to be the best bang for the buck table mount can opener here, as long as you’re willing to put the time into keeping the axle and gearing lubed. If you're up to the challenge however, the Excellante Table Mounted Can Opener, Heavy Duty, 14", will be there for you in the long run.

Hamilton Beach Clean Cut Extra-Tall Can Opener 76375

.If you want a solid, durable and one of the easiest to clean can openers on this list, look no further than the Hamilton Beach 76375 CleanCut Extra-Tall Can Opener. It is one of the least expensive units here, yet gives you everything you want in an electric. This can opener is designed so the entire cutting head, with teeth, is removable and can be placed in your dishwasher. It is a versatile unit as well, with a bottle opener and a manual knife sharpener in addition to being one of the quietest operating units available. You can pay more for an electric can opener, but none will be easier to use and clean than our top pick.

Hamilton Beach 76606 Pop-Top Electric Can Opener

Hamilton Beach scores a double on this list, and if you prefer a side opening can opener, the Hamilton Beach 76606Z Smooth Touch Can Opener has got to be your first choice. This unit cuts the top off along the side so it never leaves a sharp edge and you can even open pop-top cans so you'll never have to worry about pulling a top off again. It is simple to use as you just place the can between the teeth, press down on the rear handle and the opener does all of the work. Simply release the handle after one complete turn, and you're all done. If you want an innovative can opener, have difficulty gripping with your hands and fingers, or just want to be safe around the kids, this pick delivers on all points.

Black & Decker CO100B Spacemaker? Can Opener in Black

There is a reason why B&D have been making this under-the-cabinet style of can opener since the 1950's as it's a can-opening legend in your kitchen, . The B&D unit is made to mount inside a cabinet, under your sink, or anywhere else that you don't want the can opener to be seen. The actual cutting unit hides behind a door that swings away, and the can opener is one of the most effective there is. It is also versatile too, featuring a bag cutter, knife sharpener, and bottle opener.

Bartelli Soft Edge Automatic Electric Can Opener

If you are looking for a totally automatic battery powered side cutter, the Bartelli Soft Edge Automatic Electric Can Opener might be just the ticket.
The unique design of the Bartelli Soft Edge opener allows you to snap it onto the top of the can, turn it on, and when the top is cut off, it automatically stops. The side cutting action leaves a smooth clean edge, and you can even use the can top as a temporary cover if needed. It runs on two AA batteries which should be good from anywhere between 10 and 20 cans worth depending on the battery brand or make a smart investment by purchasing a four pack of rechargeable batteries. If you don't want to hassle with cords, want a decent automatic side cutter, or have the perfect can opener for camping, the Bartelli Soft Edge Automatic Electric Can Opener will do you right.

Westbend 77203 Electric Can Opener

For a dependable and solid electric can opener take a look at the West Bend 77203 Electric Can Opener. Although this is the most expensive unit on the list, it's the fastest opener here too. Although it isn't particularly quiet, it's a very capable can opener. It's also versatile as well, with built-in cord storage, a knife sharpener, a bottle opener. The cutting head even comes off for easy cleaning, either manually or toss in your dishwasher. This top cutter auto shuts off and will accommodate the tallest cans with no problem, allowing the West Bend 77203 to come very close to being a commercial can opener in it's own right.

Dale Y
Dale Y has been writing about home improvement and Do-It-Yourself projects for more than a decade, using his own hands-on maintenance, construction and facilities management experience as a guide. He has covered the gamut by writing about news and views, home and garden ideas, home and business maintenance, and property management. As an offshoot, he had his own sewing machine and small appliance repair business, and can tell an embroidery stitch from a stretch stitch, all the while cooking the best salmon fillet ever on a countertop grill, while making a smoothie in the latest bullet blender. In this capacity, he has used a wide variety of tools and equipment for every need, worked with products ranging from adhesives to solvents, sewed shirt sleeves with a #14 needle and finished leather appliqué with a #18 needle.
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