Pop Your Top for the Best Can Opener

You might be cooking from fresh farmers’ market ingredients most of the time, but it is hard to deny that some meals are easier with canned corn, tomato paste, tuna or beans. Thus, in those cases, you need a can opener. Can openers come in two different kinds: a manual and an electric one. A manual opener is the number one choice among most customers – it is fairly small and can be stored in a kitchen drawer. Meanwhile, electric openers have the inconvenience of storage, yet are easier to use without any significant physical action, but pressing a button, from your side. 

For this guide, we will focus mainly on manual openers, it makes sense to mention that they are divided into two different types: an opener that cuts can’s lid inside the rim, so you can press on food and drain the liquid, and an opener that unseals the outside edge of the can. In the case of the latter, you can use the lid on the can for temporary storage. Another reason why you might prefer one over the other is that the second type is safer if you have a kid in the kitchen helping you or a curious pet who might try to lick food residue inside of a can. In that case, the chances to cut a finger or a tongue are much smaller.   

We kept in mind those differences and selected the best can openers in Canada that would suit the preferences of most cooks, from those who use can opener once a day (because canned food is convenient) to those who use them once a month. Based on can opener reviews, and suggestions of other kitchen buying guides, we created this list so shopping for another kitchen essential would not be overwhelming. In this guide, you will find the top-rated can openers, both manual and electric, with easy grip, for left-handed people, made from stainless steel or plastic and other types.   

Our top picks

How to pick the right can opener

  • Manual or electric – Manual can openers are used and preferred more often than electric ones because, unless you need to open cans every single day, it does not make sense to clutter your cabinets or countertop with another appliance. However, even though manual openers are much smaller and easier to store, they are less convenient than their electric counterparts. Based on our research, customers’ reviews, many people who struggle with arthritis switched from the smoothest manual opener to an electric can opener. Thus, when you choose the right opener for your lifestyle, consider how much space you have to store another item and/or any medical conditions that an electric opener might make a little easier.  
  • Safety – The cleaner and smoother the edge of an open can, the safer your hands are when you handle it. As we found out not every single can opener is capable of leaving an evenly open edge, and not every single one can lift up the lid without you touching it. That is why, if you have small children or pets around consider the safest option that will do both jobs: opening a can without leaving sharp borders, and that has a built-in magnet that will lift up the lid right after opening.  

Best manual can opener

ZYLISS Lock N’ Lift can opener with lid magnet

The ZYLISS Lock N’ Lift can opener was remarkably smooth and effortlessly opened a relatively large can of maple syrup, it worked so nice he was looking for more cans to open, as one satisfied customer noted.  

The opener is one of the easiest ones to operate: aergonomically designed handle, non-slip grip helps to reduce hand fatigue, that is especially useful if you have a row of cans to open or struggle with arthritis. The reason we find ZYLISS the best manual can opener is for a few features that make the process of opening a can much smoother and easier. At first, when you puncture the top of the can you can lock in the opener. It has a button that locks and releases the opener from the can. Secondly, it has a built-in magnet that lifts the lid without you having to touch it. Such a simple, yet convenient feature prevents accidental cuts and keeps your hands clean.   

Pros
  • Affordable. 
  • Magnet lid lifter.
  • Non-slip ergonomic handle.
  • Lock in system.
Cons
  • Some customers noted that the magnet was not strong enough.

Best cheap can opener

Starfrit Mightican manual can opener

If you can’t justify dropping a pretty penny on a new appliance you only plan to use once in a while, this under $10 option is for you. Despite its low price, the performance of the Starfrit manual can opener exceeds expectations. It doesn’t leave sharp edges on the lid while preventing it from falling into and contaminating the food. While most manual can openers tend to cut from the inside of the top ring, the Starfrit Mightican cuts the can from the top. This allows the top of the can to be removed safely and without a mess.

The opener also has an ambidextrous design.

Pros
  • Affordable.
  • Safe and hygienic opening.
  • Works for both right- and left-handed users.
Cons
  • Not the most durable material, as some customers observed you get what you pay for.

Best heavy-duty can opener

Rosle stainless steel can opener with plier grip

Rosle is the brand that offers German design and quality kitchen items since 1888. They have been preferred by professional chefs and home cooks for optimum performance and a slick sophisticated appearance.  

Made from stainless steel that won’t rust and tarnish this Rosle can opener is worth the high price. More than a durable material, it has an elegant appearance and a hanging hole on the handle that can be used to hang it along with ladles as a part of kitchen décor.   

The lateral cutting prevents sharp edges that can damage fingers. Just like one customer observed, it is a fantastic tool, even his six-year-old can use it effectively. Also, another feature worth mentioning is the sealed cutting mechanism. That means that while opening a can it won’t come in contact with food, thus the opener does not require constant cleaning.   

Pros
  • Durable stainless steel material. 
  • Sealed cutting mechanism. 
  • Hanging ring for easy storage.  
Cons
  • High price.

Best left-handed can opener

Kuhn Rikon can opener

This lid opener is not only safe to use, but it is an ideal option for left-handed users. The opener has a top handle placed in the middle, so it does not matter which hand you use to twist it. It opens cans from the side of the lid and leaves no sharp edges. As one customer remarked, after too many accidents with regular dollar store can openers (including one that took a chunk out of an index finger while operating), she decided to get this one and it did not disappoint. She does not know how it does its magic, but it worksno sharp edges in sight. When you use this opener there is no need to squeeze the handle; the opener automatically grips to the can so you can easily twist the top knob. After the can is open, simply press a button on the side to release the grip.   

Also, the opener includes a bottle opener and a pull tab, which means you can safely store and own one item instead of three.   

Pros
  • Ergonomic can and bottle opener.  
  • Touchless lid removal.  
  • Safe and easy opening.
Cons
  • Not ideal for weak hands/arthritis as it does not turn as smooth. 

Best smooth edge can opener

OXO Good Grips can oener

The OXO can opener has an oversized side-wind mechanism that moves easily and leaves smooth edges while opening. According to one customer, he has moderate arthritis in his fingers and this can opener is reasonably easy to use. Thus, we also find it the best can opener for seniors. Another one noted that it offers a clean-cut where stainless steel wheel does not touch can contentand you do not have to worry about metallic or paper bits falling into the food. Truly, this can opener does not only leave smooth edges but also features many other beneficial sides.  

The OXO can opener offers a comfortable hold with non-slip handles and a soft-grip knob. Besides that, it has built-in pliers that lift the lid after opening, so your fingers stay clean and safe.   

Pros
  • Smooth opening.  
  • Non-slip handles and soft grip knob.  
  • Contact-free lid remover.
Cons
  • Not ideal for left-handers.  

Best electric can opener

Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch Can Opener

With five stars on Amazon and almost 34 thousand reviews, this electric one-touch can opener is the greatest can opener according to a satisfied customer: it is very easy to use, opens any can without leaving sharp edges, either on the can itself or around the lid. Another person noted that she is having great difficulty with her wrists and hands, so this electric can opener helped a lot.  

Hamilton Beach electric can opener provides a smooth and quiet opening for regular cans and pop-tops. It also features slick chrome and black design that can fit into any kitchen décor. It measures five by four by nine inches, so you can either keep it on the counter or store it away.   

All you need to operate this opener is a light touch on the lever. It is designed to open a can along the side instead of on the top which minimizes contact with food and prevents splashing: the can stays closed until you lift the lid. 

Pros
  • Effortless can opening.  
  • Opens pop-tops and regular cans.  
  • Operates through large ergonomic lever.  
  • Attractive design and compact size.
Cons
  • Per some customers: if you go around the can twice there will be tiny slivers of metal that grind off.

Cuisinart Deluxe Electric Can Opener

This is another electric can opener on our list, but unlike Hamilton Beach, this one cuts the lid on the top of the can. This Cuisinart can opener also features effortless opening with press-and-release lever and can open any regular size cans leaving smooth edges. As one customer remarked, the can opener does what you ask. It takes up little room on the counter, however, it is a wellmade item. He noted that cans in his house are thankful, no more maimed cans from trying to do it by hand. Some other person added that when they bought this can opener it simplified the dinner-making process, and you do not need to look to get it working properly: for anyone with visual or dexterity restrictions, they highly recommend this tool.  

Besides that, Cuisinart’s cutting blades and magnetic lid holder can be easily removed for cleaning, while an elegant appearance fits easily with other modern countertop appliances.  

Pros
  • Stylish slick appearance.  
  • Effortless one press operation.  
  • Magnetic lid holder.  
Cons
  • Materials are more fragile than the Hamilton Beach electric opener.  

Draft Top can opener

Draft Top beer can opener

This Draft Top can opener is more of a fun addition to your kitchen or a thoughtful gift for a friend who likes to serve cocktails. This opener is crafted to open soda, beer, wine by removing tops completely. With smooth edges left after opening you can create and serve cocktails right in the can.   

The opener is fairly easy to operate. All you have to do is position the tool on the can, hold the can steady and start rotating the can until the lid is released. As one customer noted, it takes practice, but the result is great, even if it takes a bit more time initially. Another one added, that it is so much better drinking out of an open-top can! 

Pros
  • Ideal for parties.  
  • Leaves a smooth edge.   
  • Compact and portable.  
  • Durable aluminum material.   
Cons
  • Might take some time to learn how to use it properly.

Our methodology

Firstly, we considered a variety of needs and included can openers for left-handed users, seniors, and even those that are safe for children to use. Secondly, all selected can openers earned at least four Amazon stars and were approved by customers, kitchen professionals and other buying guides. And, thirdly, we selected only those can openers that are available to Canadian consumers at this moment.

Frequently asked questions

Is a can opener worth it?  

Once in a while, you need to open a can, be it for a quick convenient soup for dinner or corn and tomato paste for cooking. Unless you welcome extra challenges into your life and want to try opening a can with a knife, yes, a can opener is worth it. The price might be a different question. In this buying guide, we have both, a plastic can opener for $10 and one stainless steel for almost $70. However, unless you use a can opener frequently, you might not need to spend that much and a simple affordable opener will do the job just fine.    

What are the types of can openers?  

Despite the variety of materials and designs, there are two types of can openers: manual and electric. Both of those types have sharp blades that pierce through the can lid, and gear that rotates around the lid opening it. The only difference is that with a manual opener you have to control the process by holding the handle and turning the gear. Meanwhile, an electric opener will do the job for you.   

How to use a can opener?   

Depends on the type of opener you are using the process of opening might differ. If you are using an electric opener all you have to do is place a can in the designated spot, push the button and wait. When you use a manual can opener simply pierce through the lid with blades and start turning the gear until the can is completely open.  

Can I open a can without a can opener?  

There are two main ways to open a can without an opener. The first one is by using a knife where you can puncture a few prolonged holes around the lid circle, and then you can loosen the lid using the same knife. The second one is by using a spoon. All you have to do is rub the tip of the spoon back and forth on the edge of the lid until you make a hole. Then continue rubbing around the circle until the lid loosens.   

How to clean a can opener?   

You can always rinse and dry a can opener after every use. However, for a thorough cleaning, place a can opener into a jar with white distilled vinegar and let it sit for a few minutes. After that, you can use a brush (or an old toothbrush) to scrub away the remaining dirt. Then, using a sponge, soap and warm water, rinse the can opener and dry it well.   

When was the can opener invented?  

The can opener was invented on January 5, 1858, by Ezra J. Warner. He designed a pointed blade that could press into a can lid and was also prevented from going too deep by a guard.   

Where to buy a can opener?  

You can buy a can opener at any retailer that offers kitchen utensils like Canadian Tire, Dollarama, Walmart, Costco, as well as Amazon.   

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Updated date

May 6th, 2022

About the author

Maria Kossman

Maria Kossman is an essayist, and content specialist at Rant-it.ca. Her writing appeared in a variety of fashion magazines. When she is not focused on reviewing and writing, she spends time exploring coffee shops, English literature and antique malls.
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