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Jan 7, 2007 07:32 PM

manual can opener,best one?

tried 2 electrics and they dont do a consistant job- especially on larger cans -- I need a opener that dosent require too much strength as I have arthritis - thanks

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  1. I don't have a recommendation, but will mention a "do not buy" to save you from having a bad experience. First - I'm hung up on the side openers - just refuse to deal with the top openers any more - I've cut myself too many times on the sharp lids.

    I bought the Tupperware side-opener recently, having looked at the Oxo and the euro brands, thinking that the oversized handle would be easier to grip and turn. I've found that it takes a lot of effort, and would not recommend it for people with arthritis or any other wrist/hand problems.

    We love the Krups hand-held electric side opener - so much so, that we've gone through two of them. But unfortunately, they don't last that long - the cutting edge just gets so dull that it won't penetrate the sealed edge, and just keeps going around and around. They don't sell any kind of replacement blade, so the entire unit is junk - even when the motor is running as strong as ever. I was looking for another one of these, but they look to be discontinued - probably for the reasons I gave.

    I had looked at the Zyliss opener - very similar to the Tupperware, but with a smaller handle. Even with the smaller handle, it might be geared to be easier to use. Kuhn Rikon is another brand I saw. You can see images of both of these at

    1. Swing-A-Way has large vinyl-sheathed handles, a very large key and a smoothly operating mechanism -- certainly the easiest manual can opener I've used. That said, it still requires some effort, especially to pierce a can's lid.

      2 Replies
      1. re: carswell

        I have the Swingaway which cuts the top and it is hard to keep the cutting wheel clean. I also have the Kuhn Rikon side opener. I really like it, got mine at TJ Maxx, it stays clean and opens things with little effort. There are just some cans it cannot open which is why I keep the Swingaway around.

        1. re: carswell

          Consistently rated the best, I have two.

        2. I, too, strongly prefer the side-openers. I've been using the Good Cooks side opener which doesn't actually cut the can, but 'uncrimps' the seal, leaving smooth edges all around.

          1 Reply
          1. re: MobyRichard

            This sounds good, because to me, the side openers just trade one sharp edge for another. I can see the sharp edges on the can being just as much of a problem as the ones on the edges. That said, I just have a nice version of the standard style can opener. But I also only open cans once in a while, mostly for tomatoes and beans, so I don't use it that often. I just got it at Marshall's or TJ Maxx and picked one with nice grips.

          2. The key measurement is how long the turning handle is, since a longer handle gives more leverage. I have large, strong hands, but can't stand the pain from using the cheap, Ecko openers.

            I got an Oxo, which has a wide, lozenge-shaped plastic turner, but don't like that either, since it's not long enough, and my fingers slip off the tapered ends.

            Be sure to get one that has two turning pieces, geared together. This Swing-Away is the best I've found.

            1 Reply
            1. re: KRS

              That's so funny - it looks exactly like the canopener that my mother used for twenty-five years! The only reason she replaced it was that all the plating wore off and the gears got rusty (and after twenty-five years of opening cans the blade was blunt, blunt, blunt...)

            2. Can't go wrong with the good, old-fashioned, still made in America standby.


              2 Replies
              1. re: Sam Harmon

                If that's not a Swing-A-Way, it's a Swing-A-Way knockoff.

                1. re: carswell

                  It's a genuine, made in America Swing-A-Way for $10. I picked one up last week on Michigan Avenue and gladly tossed the crappy old supermarket opener that I've had since college.