Talk to me about can openers.

N8N

Joined
Mar 17, 2007
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184
Subject says all. Yet another cheap plastic can opener went in the trash the other day and I remember commenting to a friend "you know, I swear my mom used the same can opener for something like 30 years. Why can't I find one that will last two?" I'm pretty sure hers was the typical all stainless (or chrome plated?) manual Swing-A-Way that pretty much everyone had back in the 60s or 70s.

Where can I get one like that?

Amazon reviews seem to indicate that Ez-Duz-It is basically the final iteration of the Swing-A-Way before SAW offshored. True?

Is there anything else out there that's worth a crap and not made from poop and fail?

I couldn't think of a better forum to post this on, since BF is all about cutting and stuff...

It is truly sad that we've gotten to the point where it is so hard to find a simple consumer product like a manual can opener that can actually be relied upon to repeatably perform its intended function (at least not without researching online and mail-ordering... useta be that you could just walk into Kroger, pick up a Swing-A-Way can opener off the display, pay $5, good for another couple decades.)

thanks!
 
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May 3, 2006
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I'm using the can opener tool on a Swiss Army Knife (Rucksack) in the kitchen. Must have opened a few hundreds cans with it and it still looks like new.
 

N8N

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Mar 17, 2007
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hah, I've done that before... actually the more I think about it I haven't had a SAK in something like 10 years, and was thinking of swinging back by REI and picking one up.

Would be nice to have something a little quicker tho.
 

N8N

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Mar 17, 2007
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184
hah... evil man. ended up at that three-letter outdoorsy themed store yesterday and they had SAKs for 30% off, thought about this thread, one came home with me. what the heck, it cost me less than dinner for two at a fair to middling restaurant, I can eat spaghetti for a couple days.

I'd forgotten how legitimately good they are. Yeah, I'm definitely a "modern folder" guy but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate a quality knife that doesn't match my preferences. I do remember the steel not being the greatest but other than that they really do feel like a quality made product, something that is sadly rare in today's market. It's sitting in my left pocket right now next to my phone, and I hopefully won't lose it like I did the last one. The saw blade, which I didn't have on my old one (popped for the four layer one this time) is actually kind of scary, which is good, means that I might have a shot at cutting something with it if I had to. And it has a bottle opener, so no beer is safe (or bottle of wine for that matter.)

I cannot make the same comments about the compass that I picked up at the same time. (expletive deleted) it, I'm returning it and getting a Cammenga. Life is too short to carry (expletive deleted) tools, even if they're only occasionally used and/or are only had for emergencies. Plus it pisses me off to spend money on bottom of the barrel stuff when "the good stuff" has almost disappeared in some cases.

Which was kind of why I posted to begin with... anyone recommend a can opener that isn't bottom of the barrel made in China stuff that's going to disappoint in a few years (or weeks?)

yeah, I'm kind of getting in touch with my inner Robert Pirsig I guess. Worse faults to have, I suppose.
 
Joined
Mar 6, 2006
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244
A SAK will do the job, and so will the P-38 style openers, but both leave jagged rims.

Swing-A-Way (US made) is still the gold standard as far as I'm concerned. The last time I bought a can opener (for someone else - my Swing-A-Way will never die), about three years ago, the store had both the Chinese-made Swing-A-Way and the American-made one for a couple of dollars more. The Chinese one was slightly smaller and noticeably poorer quality. The American ones may have been old stock.

The one I really like now is the Nogent Super Kim. It clamps itself onto the rim automatically and hangs on until it's finished. So far it's doing just as good a job as the Swing-A-Way. I like the compactness of it, and it has never failed to open any shape of can. http://www.amazon.com/Nogent-Super-Kim-Can-Opener/dp/B0091GH8NQ

This site http://blog.consumerpla.net/2010/06/best-traditional-hand-can-openers.html confirms what you already know - most openers are crap. However they give top marks to the OXO steel can opener (but not other OXO models).
 

polish avenger

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May 28, 2002
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I am ashamed to admit that I had been putting up with my POS can opener for quite some time. It was just that I would never think about it until I was cursing up a storm while opening a can. Anyhoo, I went into a local thrift store this week and found both a US made Swing-a-way AND a Pampered chef sideways opener (made in China)....both in basically new condition for $.25 each! Got home and BOTH are smooth as silk and I'm a happy boy. Gotta love the junk stores!
-Mark
 

T. Erdelyi

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Feb 3, 2001
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32,128
That's a shame about Swing-Away, I've had mine for 25 years and its just starting to slip.

I'll be watching this thread with interest and scouring the flea markets and yard sales for good used ones to hoard... ;)
 

liamstrain

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We've had the same Oxo opener for about 10 years now, for what its worth.
 

gmoneyluv

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Another vote for the Nogent. They're made in a first world country (France) and work incredibly well.
 
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You could use a Sebenza--it works pretty well for canned pumpkin.

In all seriousness though, my parents have had one can opener as long as I can remember. When I'm next at their house I'll see what it is.
 

N8N

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Mar 17, 2007
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184
The one I really like now is the Nogent Super Kim. It clamps itself onto the rim automatically and hangs on until it's finished. So far it's doing just as good a job as the Swing-A-Way. I like the compactness of it, and it has never failed to open any shape of can. http://www.amazon.com/Nogent-Super-Kim-Can-Opener/dp/B0091GH8NQ

Nice. Only a few amazon reviews, but they're all 5 star. Looks like it may be stainless steel? that makes me happy. It's now sitting in my cart, just got to get enough $$ together to order the rear springs for my Jeep (amazingly, Amazon has the best prices on those, and free shipping? I really don't want to pay shipping on leaf springs if I don't have to!)
 
Joined
Mar 6, 2006
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Looks like it may be stainless steel? That makes me happy.

Hey, this is Bladeforums. Don't we all love that carbon steel patina? :D

I don't think it's stainless, except possibly for some of the small moving parts. The main body looks plated, but so are lots of other kitchen gadgets that I have had for years with no signs of rust. There is a little spring, crucial to the operation, that I hope is stainless, since it's impossible to properly dry it out after rinsing. Watch for my long-term review in 2023. ;)
 
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
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Looks like it may be stainless steel? that makes me happy.
From the description on Amazon:
"tempered carbon-steel blade"
"Rust-resistant. Steel and chrome-plated nickel."
Don't see stainless mentioned although it looks nice. Kinda expensive for what it is. Good luck and let us know how it does.
 

grybsh7

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Mar 5, 2007
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My step daughter got one of these for my wife recently. The cutting edge never
contacts the cans contents, which means no mess or need to wash can opener.
They sell in the $20 range on the auction sites. Best can opener I've ever used.

[video=youtube;iPV0AZJmSKc]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPV0AZJmSKc[/video]
 
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May 19, 2007
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I happen to have one of those Nogents as well. It takes a couple tried to get the technique, and there are some cans that it just doesn't like. But its the best one I've ever used.
I don't know where everyone is getting P-38s from, the last bunch I got looked good, but only could handle a couple cans each.
 
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Aug 10, 2013
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You'll never again throw your can opener away.
P38.JPG
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I don't know where everyone is getting P-38s from, the last bunch I got looked good, but only could handle a couple cans each.

Every gun show around these parts has new U.S./Shelby Co. P38s for 2 to 4 bits apiece.
 
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