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Best jar opener?

TheGloaming Jul 24, 2006 04:10 AM

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. ChinoWayne RE: TheGloaming Jul 24, 2006 04:15 AM

    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
      Candy RE: ChinoWayne Jul 25, 2006 01:10 AM

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

    2. rworange RE: TheGloaming Jul 24, 2006 05:27 AM

      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
        galleygirl RE: rworange Jul 25, 2006 11:47 PM

        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
          TexasToast RE: galleygirl Aug 24, 2006 12:49 AM

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


      2. c
        cooknKate RE: TheGloaming Jul 24, 2006 04:50 PM

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

        1. subinai RE: TheGloaming Jul 24, 2006 04:52 PM

          Mouse pads work good too.

          1. s
            Susan627 RE: TheGloaming Jul 24, 2006 11:33 PM

            Another vote for the OXO.

            1. jillp RE: TheGloaming Jul 24, 2006 11:48 PM

              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. s
                studiocate RE: TheGloaming Jul 25, 2006 04:08 PM

                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
                  Sharuf RE: studiocate Jul 31, 2006 09:22 AM

                  The official scientific name for it is "churchkey".

                  1. re: Sharuf
                    toodie jane RE: Sharuf Jul 31, 2006 04:01 PM

                    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. davinagr RE: TheGloaming Jul 25, 2006 11:13 PM

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


                  1. JoanN RE: TheGloaming Jul 26, 2006 12:07 PM

                    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
                      toodie jane RE: JoanN Jul 31, 2006 04:10 PM

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

                      thanks, Joan!

                      1. re: toodie jane
                        Alice Patis RE: toodie jane Aug 2, 2006 08:36 PM

                        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. BluPlateSpec RE: TheGloaming Jul 28, 2006 09:21 PM

                      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. JK Grence the Cosmic Jester RE: TheGloaming Jul 28, 2006 09:39 PM

                        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. c
                          chowdear RE: TheGloaming Jul 29, 2006 05:00 AM

                          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. toodie jane RE: TheGloaming Jul 31, 2006 04:04 PM

                            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. k
                              Kelli2006 RE: TheGloaming Aug 6, 2006 02:56 AM

                              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. a
                                Ami RE: TheGloaming Aug 21, 2006 05:50 PM

                                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
                                  liu RE: Ami Aug 24, 2006 01:29 AM

                                  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. mabziegurl RE: TheGloaming Aug 21, 2006 07:11 PM

                                  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. wyf4lyf RE: TheGloaming Aug 24, 2006 12:46 AM

                                    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!

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