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How to Properly Use a Can Opener?

How to Properly Use a Can Opener?

Canned goods are used almost in every family. But not every person knows how to open them properly. Do to this, one usually has to use a can opener, which can both simplify the process and create additional difficulties. To make usage of a can opener convenient to the maximum level, you have to choose the device correctly, and also study all peculiarities.


Advances in technology touched all spheres, including culinary utensils. Nowadays you can find a huge number of different can opener models. Some people prefer old-fashioned relatable ones, others – novelties that allow to simplify the process of food preparation. But every such device has its advantages and disadvantages.

Ordinary Can Opener

All openers, the usage of which requires your effort, can be subsumed under the first group. The following variants can be used as an example.

Classic can opener that consists of a body and a handle. Body contains a stop pin in form of a knot and two wedges: big one – for opening tins, smaller one – for glassware lids. Handle can be plastic, wooden or metallic. It’s one of the first, time-proven models. Its advantages are simplicity and reliability. But it’s not always easy to work with.

To make the first hole, you have to make an effort, and not everyone can carefully open the tin to the end. It requires skills and physical strength.

Mechanical can openers with a wheel, handle for rotation and handles for fixation. In this case, opening requires less efforts but success depends on the correct maintaining of a certain plan of action. Cutoff flatness also depends on it. There are a lot of models of such openers, but it’s better to choose all-metal, as plastic handles are less durable.

Semi-automatic. Here, body is enclosed in a plastic case. It’s much easier to use them than the previous ones. Can is easily fixed, you don’t have to control the work of a shear mechanism. But movement with handle rotation happens manually. So their working mode is practically the same as of the previous types with a spinner. Their price doesn’t differ much from more common mechanical variants.

Electric Can Opener

Advanced electric can openers can be opposed to more simple types of can openers. Such devices can work both from batteries and from mains. In the first case, model will be more compact and portable (can be used in any conditions, even when going camping). In the second case it’s a full-fledged electric device that can open a big number of canned goods in a few minutes by itself. You just have to put the tin in the right place and push the button.

But using a can opener with a cable is possible only when there is a socket nearby.

Apart from simple usage, their advantage is safety. All sharp parts are hidden inside the body, and the user doesn’t take part in the process, so the possibility of getting injured almost equals to zero. Such devices also fit tins of any size and have nice modern design. The only issue is price, but if the person has to often deal with opening canned goods, the device with all its advantages is worth it.

How to Open Can Tins?

At first glance it may seem that opening can tins is easy. But if you have limited or no experience, the result can be quite bad: you may open the tin only partially, get injured or mess the contents. To avoid this, you have to know how to use particular can openers.

If you have the most ordinary can opener, you should use it step-by-step.

In any place along the edge of the tin’s lid, it is necessary to make a hole with a sharp part and widen it so that a wedge can enter it. For making a hole in the lid, a simple pressure will most likely not be enough, so you can carefully hit the top of the handle.

Resting against the rim with a middle part, it is necessary to make up-and-down movements with an equable pressure until a slot of the required length is obtained (around the entire circumference to remove the lid completely, or to the half to bend it off).

In case of mechanical can opener, everything is easier.

Place the cutting part near the inner edge of the rim, the handles should be apart (after fixing, they must be connected).

The device moves in a circle due to the rotation of the handle. Continue rotating until necessary.

Electric can opener models usually have a detailed operation manual. Model on batteries can be installed right on the tin and turned on by pressing a button. In case of electric openers that work from the mains, tins should be hold steady.

After the device stopped cutting around the circle, lid will be help with the help of a magnet holder.

Precautionary Measures

When opening tins, some not very pleasant situations may occur. The most insignificant one is the damage of a tin and its contents. Apart from damaged appearance, germs and even metallic dust can get inside the contents. User can also get traumatized both in the process of opening, and after (don’t forget about sharp cut-offs). To avoid this, you have to stick to a certain plan of actions.

Put tin on a flat, non-slippery surface (you can put kitchen towel under it). It will help avoid sliding and tipping over. Never open tins in midair or on laps – the instrument may slip off and wound person sitting nearby.

About-to-be-opened tin should be firmly fixated with a free hand.

All instruments, even modern ones, should be used with extreme caution. Don’t put your fingers near sharp parts of a wedge, wheel or other cutting element. If you doubt your skills or don’t have any similar experience, it’s better to ask for help.

To avoid getting germs, all instruments should be washed or antisepticised. Tin should also be washed and dried.

Beware of old rust on the instruments. Any can opener should be checked for defects before use, otherwise it can break in the process of opening.

Beware sharp cutoffs and serrated sides. As a rule, the majority of manual openers give such a result. Modern devices give less defects, but not in all cases. When throwing the tin and its cap in the garbage, it’s better to hold them by the parts in the middle.

If you don’t have a specialized opener, it’s better not to use other improvised means – it is likely to cause injury.

Choosing a good can opener, pay attention to some very important factors:

If the opener is designed for manual opening, it’s better to choose an entirely metallic base. Handles and valve can have plastic coating. Steel should be of high-quality in order not to get rusty with time.

When making purchase, take into account your previous experience and either buy something similar, or something very simple. Novices who buy kitchen utensils for the first time, need simplicity and easy usage.

It’s also important to take into account reviews and recommendations of those who already tried this or that can opener.

Manufacturers with a longstanding reputation are more preferable than little-known cheap imitations, as a really qualitative opener will serve for more than one decade.

Doing the first check-up of the device, see if all its parts are functioning easily and properly. Smooth non-slippery handles and body are additional pros.

Be sure to learn how to take care of the device correctly.

Choice should also depend on the lifestyle and habits of the owner. If canned goods are a main part of your diet, you definitely shouldn’t try to save money on a can opener. If you plan to use it when going camping, it’s important to choose a portable model that doesn’t depend on power supply.

Such devices are often multi-functional. For example, they have built-in bottle openers, etc. Usually it makes the device more expensive.


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