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Best jar opener?

For ten years I relied on my now-ex to open jars for me. Now that I'm alone, I need to purchase a jar opener. Can you recommend any good ones? There are so many out there, all with very different designs, some of which look bizarre - they can't all be equally effective, can they?

Thanks for your help!

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  1. Don't know what is the best, but this Oxo gets the job done for me: http://www.epinions.com/content_17117...

    1 Reply
    1. re: ChinoWayne

      I have one of those but it does not work well for all jars. Sometimes the old hot water ploy os best.

    2. Put on a rubber glove that you use for serious cleaning and then open the jar. The rubber is non-slip so you get traction and you don't need another gadget around the house.

      2 Replies
      1. re: rworange

        I use this trick all the time..since I wash dishes with rubber gloves, there's always one there...I did buy and OXO for trade shows, when I have to open multiple jars...

        1. re: galleygirl

          Yep, bang the lid at an angle on a table a few times, and then use rubber gloves. Works every time!


      2. I use a silicone hot pad. Works great with my carpal tunnel hands

        1. Mouse pads work good too.

          1. Another vote for the OXO.

            1. I whack the jar on the edge of the counter. I had not realized until a few days ago that my inability to open jars was actually carpal tunnel syndrome. I thought I was simply wimp - or dainty, depending on your perspective.

              1. For jars that have previously been opened but are now "stuck," I put a medium/thick rubber band around the lid and then twist. This has never failed me yet! For new jars that have the pop-up seal, I slide a "can opener" under the side of the lid and pop the seal. Once the seal is popped, I have no problems opening the jar. (I put "can opener" in parentheses because I don't know if that's what it's actually called, but it's the little tool that can puncture a triangle-shaped hole on the top of a can.)
                Hope this helps!

                2 Replies
                1. re: studiocate

                  The official scientific name for it is "churchkey".

                  1. re: Sharuf

                    I have a funny (?) story about this name:

                    My then-husband and I had bought a little old fixer-upper house in a conservative town, and were painting the inside. Having brought the paint, but nothing to open it with, I ran to a local convenience store (actually a converted 30's gasoline station) and asked the elderly storekeeper for a churchkey. (What my Dad had always called it)
                    "What's that?!" he asked.
                    "You know, the thing-ey you use to open a beer bottle" (pre-twist-off days)
                    His brows furrowed, eyes glared, and he erupted:
                    "That don't open the door to MY church!"

                2. I have this vintage jar opener that works SO well. Here's a pic of it:


                  1. I've had something like this one


                    attached to the bottom of a kitchen shelf for nearly thirty years. There's never been a bottle or jar I couldn't open with it. In fact, just the other day I had a handyman in my apartment who was struggling to open a bottle of touch-up paint. He looked at me skeptically when I took it out of his hands and stuck it under my shelf. It was open in two seconds. And not another gadget to clutter up the gadget drawer.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: JoanN

                      The above site has MANY kitchen aids for the strength-impared among us.
                      Check it out!!

                      thanks, Joan!

                      1. re: toodie jane

                        I swear by my wall-mounted jar opener similar to what JoanN posted. Mine is V-shaped. Just like this one:

                        I mounted it inside my walk-in pantry. I love it because when I need a jar opened, I usually need it opened NOW, and theres no time to run the tap to get hot water flowing. Plus any gadget, tool, rubber material, or fabric still requires some hand strength of which I have none (yes I am a wimpy weakling).

                    2. I've used the Swing-A-Way jar opener for years without any problems. I always run hot water over the lid first. This helps with the opening and also washes out any dirt or debris sitting around the edge of the lid, which would be sucked in when the vacuum is broken. It's slim and fits easily into the overflowing kitchen gadget draw.

                      Swing-A-Way Comfort Grip Jar Opener Model #711

                      1. I can't help but share a little trick that I'd learned for getting stuck jar lids to budge. While you're trying to open a jar, think about something else, like if the counters need to be cleaned or that little squirrel outside the kitchen window... and *pop* the lid just comes off. It works darn near every time, I wish I knew why.

                        1. I use one of my son's old baby bibs. The front side is fabric, but it's backed with rubber-like material. Works like a charm. An excuse to keep a bib on hand now that he's studying for his driver's permit!

                          1. Besides the actual tools mentioned above, remember that heat causes metal to expand. Run the jar under hot water for a few seconds, and this should help the process along.

                            1. I have a OXO and love it. My sisters and mom loved it so much that I bought them for everybody for X-mas.

                              I have never been able to get the church-key method to work, but occasionally I will use the hot water and then tap it on the counter to open a particularly stubborn jar.

                              1. I am still using the same jar opener (not just the same type, the actual thing) that we used when I was a little girl -- and I'm 55 years old! Mine is called Top-Off and was made by Edlund back in the 1950s, or maybe even in 1940s. The Vermont Country store sells one that looks and works like mine -- http://opener.notlong.com

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Ami

                                  We have this same opener, but it slips a lot. I can't seem to grip the jar lid if it does not have a tread. So, it is quite effective for some lids (especially the plastic ones that are softer and permit a true grip), but it just does not grab a smooth metal top, especially one that is large.

                                2. i use the hot water trick... sometimes that doesn't work... then i take a spoon and whack the edges and it always opens and exremely easily... i have never tried the spoon method first though... hmm

                                  1. I have an under-the-cabinet jar opener from Pampered Chef. It's one of my favorite gadgets. You screw it into the bottom of the cabinet, above the counter. It is a V-shape, similar to the hand-held ones by OXO and others. But I like that I don't have to store it in a drawer, and it's easy to slide jars as small as extract bottles and as large as mayonnaise jars into the thing, give a twist, and it's open!