What's the Best Can Opener?

Joined
Aug 4, 2002
Messages
363
I'm looking for a can opener for my kitchen. My old GE electric cracked and jammed, and I'm finding the old manual turn the handle type can opener works extremely poorly with certain types of cans. I suspect that in recent years, cans are no longer made to a standard regulation. I never had trouble opening cans before, but now the can opener won't cut all the way thru, it will lose its "grip" on the can and not rotate it, etc.

I bought a manual can opener that cuts through the sides of cans. It works well on some cans, but not others. It was a cheapie 99 cent store buy, which means its quality could be a lot better even though the idea is sound.

Honestly, the only can opener I have that is 100% effective on all the cans I've tried it on is the can opener on my Swiss Army Knife! But, it takes a lot of manual rocking of the cutting blade to open a can. Not fast, and if you are older and have arthritis, forget about it.

Does anyone have a kick butt can opener in their kitchen? I don't care if it's electric or manual, as long as it opens all sorts of cans reliably and with a minimum amount of effort.

Bruise
 
Joined
Jun 10, 2003
Messages
15,288
I use a P38 which is the old army can opener. With the army eating MREs I wonder if they use the P38 anymore !! I have wind-up type too but I have found that cans can vary considerably and of course more cans are using the pop-up type top.
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2003
Messages
1,690
I've got a great can opener. Bought it at the ideal home show here in the UK about a year ago. Unfortunately can't find the brand.

It's so smooth and the cutter so sharp that you don't feel the extra pressure while your turning it. It can also open dented cans and weird shaped cans. I've had no problems opening corned beef cans.

Wish i could give you the brand but there's only an M.H near the handle.
 
Joined
Aug 4, 2002
Messages
363
I actually have two Swing-A-Ways and agree they are extremely durable generally excellent can openers. However, this very evening I was trying to open a can of spaghetti sauce with it. When I pressed the Swing-A-Way's handles together in a scissor like motion, the cutting wheel punctured the top of the can exactly as it was supposed to. But, the gear wheel failed to engage the lip of the can, making it impossible to rotate the can with the Swing-A-Way's key-handle.

I tried my side cutting can opener on it, too. Exactly the same thing happened. It punctured the can, but failed to have enough traction to rotate the can.

I ended up using my Swiss Army knife on it.

I'm surprised no one else seems to be experiencing this problem with their Swing-A-Ways.

Bruise
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2000
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My wife just bought a Swing-A-Way from Vermont Country Store. If you do a search you can find their website.
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2002
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299
The wall mount swing-a-way is the only way to go. Used them for decades, and we are only on the 3rd one.
 
Joined
Sep 30, 1999
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135
My swing-away does not cut the tops all the way off. Leaves about 1/16 of an inch connecting the lid to the can with the dang lid puckered in towards the can. Gotta pry the lid out and flex the lid back and forth for it to break.

This happen to anyone else or do I just have a worn/bum model?
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2002
Messages
2,473
I have never had any problems with my Swing Away, I do have to go a bit past full turn and then back off and a few times back and forth to fully cut the lid, but I like that since I can leave the cover on if I want. It leaves a clean cut, not ragged as with other can openers.
 
Joined
Jul 12, 1999
Messages
4,591
A few months ago I saw something like this guy in a drug store.
Bought it on a whim. The one I got isn't exactly the same, but it does what it says--cuts without leaving any sharp edges. It takes some getting used to, because the top doesn't come off at first and you may think that it hasn't cut! But it has--you just need to pull on the side of the lid.
 
Joined
May 12, 2001
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2,940
We have a manual one by Kitchen Aid that was less than $20, IIRC, and has operated flawlessly. Heavy duty build with great ergonomics.
 
Joined
May 23, 2003
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Swing Away is supposed to do that. It forces one of the ends down so you can "lift it" (Yea, right, I'm gonna run my fingers on a potentially sharp edge)
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2002
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299
wallcan.jpg

The wall mount (actually mounted on the side of the cabinet to the left of the sink about shoulder high) Swingaway has a magnet (that white thingy) suspended out over the lid on a little arm that makes contact and then holds the lid up (almost always), greatly reducing the need to be grabbing at sharp edges in tiny spaces. I have found this superior to all non-wall mounted manual openers I have ever had the misfortune to need to use. I have seen many electric models with the same basic arrangement with varying degrees of success in execution.
 
Joined
Aug 4, 2002
Messages
363
I actually saw the Zyliss at a store last night and bought it. Let me tell you, this is one brilliantly executed can opener! First of all, it opened all the cans I tried it on flawlessly!

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Just like the literature says, unlike the Swing-Away when you open a can, it doesn't leave you with any sharp edges on either the can or the lid. Also, the blade never touches the food, which is a huge plus. Much more sanitary, and one less thing to clean. It even has two small metal tweezer/plier things to lift the can lid off the can - works great!

I got mine for $14.99 - worth every penny. 5 year guarantee.

Only bad part is if you are old and/or have less than average hand strength, this opener probably isn't for you. I think my mom, who can't even fire my Makarov double action, would have trouble using this.

Oh, even though the Zyliss is advertised as Swiss, if you read the fine print it's actually made in China. I have to say, mine appears very well made and should provide me with many years of service.

I have to say I love my Swing-Aways, but the Zyliss seems to have them beat.

Bruise
 
Joined
Feb 24, 2002
Messages
3,069
Swingaway for manual.
After a few hours of research I bought a Hamilton Beach electric countertop model and it cuts fast and clean. Mine is a model 76381 , kinda modern looking, but they have a variety of models that are basically the same.
 

MelancholyMutt

Doggy Style
Joined
Apr 13, 2002
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3,906
I like the one on the Victorinox SAK first, and second, I like the P-38... simple, sharpenable, and best of all, pretty much disposable.
 

Gollnick

Musical Director
Joined
Mar 22, 1999
Messages
29,258
Unless you have arthritis or some other medical issue in your hands or unless you open a whole lot of cans, an electric can opener is just hard to justify.

My old manual broke about a year ago and so I went to Target to get a new one. I found that they offered about eight different brands all of which were exactly the same except for the plastic detail bits and all of which were made in China. Then, down on the bottom shelf, I found it: A Swing-Away. Made in American and visibly better quality and a better design. So far in a year now, my new Swing-Away has opened every can I've tried it on with ease.

Buy American, get a Swing-Away.
 
Joined
Oct 14, 1998
Messages
4,353
Bruise Lee said:
Does anyone have a kick butt can opener in their kitchen? I don't care if it's electric or manual, as long as it opens all sorts of cans reliably and with a minimum amount of effort.

Bruise

I've two OXO brand can openers that are working very well for me. The side cut model does exactly what it claims and is fast becoming a favorite of mine. I also have an OXO traditional model that cuts into the top the can which I have taken to work. That things is effortless (even less effort then the side cut model) and the best of its type I have ever used and only costs about $5 at most stores. The side cut at $20 retail is a little pricey but, the lack of any mess is worth it to me in my home kitchen.
 
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