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16 Types of Can Openers

There are a wide variety of can openers available to you. Read this article to make it easy to select the appropriate can opener for your needs.

Close up of a silver can opener opening a can with a gold top

You probably have quite a few canned items in your pantry if you look around your house. Perhaps you even can your own vegetables. Canning food is a great way to store perishable food so that it does not expire quickly. 

However, one of the most frustrating aspects of canned food is opening the can. Cans are typically constructed from metal or tin. You are not able to open these cans with your hand. You are going to need a tool to help you open them. 

Technology has helped us all open these cans quickly. You no longer have to struggle to get the lid off. There are a wide variety of can openers available to you. This makes it easy to select the appropriate can opener for your needs. 

What Is A Can Opener?

A can opener is a tool or device that helps you cut into a can made of metal. This makes it convenient and easy for you to gain access to the contents of the can. 

In general, a can opener punctures a hole into the can, rips it, or tears it from the top of the can. Some can openers are easier to use than others. 

Types Of Can Openers

Bunker Can Opener

Silver Bunker Can Opener

The bunker can opener is one of the most popular can openers that you can use with one hand. The handles are similar to pliers; it has a serrated wheel and a key.

All of this works together to create a smooth experience of opening a can. The part of the can opener that is the bunker is what grips the can. 

Once you grip the can with the pliers, then you crank the key to get the serrated wheel to turn. This wheel slices through the can to open the can. 

The bunker can opener has the advantage of allowing one to use one hand and efficiently operate a bunker opener.

Butterfly Can Opener

Silver Butterfly Can Opener

The butterfly can opener is similar to a bunker can opener in the way it looks and functions. It has a rotating wheel that cuts, allowing you to break open the top of the can. 

The butterfly can opener holds on tightly to the lid, and the can slowly open when the can opener spins around the lid. This type of can opener comes with a crank, or key, that helps you turn the can opener. 

When you crank the key, the serrated wheel opens the can. Unfortunately, the best way to use this can opener is to use the church key, which has a sharp edge, to puncture the lid. 

You secure the can opener in place with the pliers. When you crank the lever, the sharp wheel cuts through the can. The butterfly can opener is a little more challenging to use than some other types of can openers. 

This is a great can opener for someone that has weakened hands. They are also found in most kitchens because they are a popular type of can opener. 

Camp Can Opener

Silver military can opener, yellow background

A camp can opener is convenient for when you are camping. This may be called a military can opener. This is issued to the military as a basic tool. These can openers were explicitly intended for use by the military. 

These can openers are small and can be attached to king rings and dog tags. To use this can opener, you have to hold the can securely. You want to be careful not to grip the blade. Instead, grip the flat surface of the can opener. 

Then, you want to place your thumb and the surface of the opener perpendicular to the rim of the can. Then you can put the pointed blade on the inside edge of the can where you want to cut. 

It would be best if you turned the key down, similar to how you start the ignition of a car. This allows the blade to puncture the top of the can. Instead, you want to pull your hand back a little and then turn the can opener. 

You want to continue this motion until the lid of the can is open completely. The edges of the lid are going to be sharp, so you want to remove the lid once you are finished cutting it carefully.

Church Key Can Opener

Gold Church Key Can Opener

A church key can opener is a popular can opener for beer drinkers and those that like to camp. These can openers are simple and easy to use. The church key opener is a basic kitchen tool. 

It is hand-operated, and slices open the flat top of beer cans. It can also open the cork of different glass bottles. This can opener was invented back in the late 1890s. 

A church key opener is one piece of pressed metal that has a pointed edge on one end that punctures the can lid. The best way to use it is secure the guard firmly on the edge of the can. 

After that, puncture the lid with the pointed edge of the can opener. Finally, you want to lift the can opener with a quick movement that rips away part of the can. 

If you are not careful with church key openers, you can get hurt. For example, you can puncture your finger with a sharp edge. Therefore, it is most useful for cans that contain liquid, such as a beer bottle.

Countertop Can Opener

Happybuy Commercial Can Opener, 15.7 inches Tabletop Can Opener, Heavy Duty Manual Table Can Opener for Restaurant Hotel Bar

A countertop can opener is one that sits on your countertop. It is attached to the kitchen countertop. They typically have a vacuum base that seals to the top of the countertop to lock it into place. 

This can opener can open typical can openers and pop top cans. They can cut open the side of the can. It creates a smooth lid that you can touch. This ensures that you do not cut your fingers on a sharp lid. 

Countertop openers are ideal for cans that are large in size. These can openers only need a light touch to work them. Most of them are incredibly easy to use. 

The best way to use this type of can opener is to ensure that the opener is tightly in place. Then you want to make sure you have a firm hold of the base of the can. 

You then turn the knob with your other hand while the sharp wheel on the opener neatly and swiftly slices into the lid to create the perfectly opened can.

Electric Can Opener 

Cream colored electric can opener opening a blue can of tuna

The first electric can opener was created in 1931 but was re-introduced in 1956. They were invented to help make it easier to open cans. Electric can openers are simple to use. 

There are different types of electric openers. Some have a push button, and others flip a level to close it on the can.

There are free standing countertop can openers, and there are under the counter versions. These can openers have a magnet that holds the can in place. 

When using this type of can opener, it is essential that place the can under the opener. This is because the can opener rotates the can and tears open the lid quickly and efficiently. 

This can opener takes up space on your countertop, but it is an excellent option for those that do not have adequate grip strength. However, these can openers are more expensive than the handheld version. 

Electric can openers leave smooth can edges behind so that you do not have to worry about cutting your finger. Electric can openers are considered smart devices. They are perfect for people interested in updated technology.

Key Can Opener 

Key can opener, opening a small can of sardines

Key can openers look similar to door keys because of their design. Key can openers have a single twisted piece of metal that opens thin-walled cans. 

One end of the key can opener has a pointed, sharp edge of the key. This is attached to the cap for it to work the best. However, the key can opener must be attached to the container completely for it to work properly.

The proper way to use a key can opener is to twist it in a specific direction to easily tear a side of the can and roll it up upwards or outwards. These can openers are simple in design and do not take up much space.

While these can openers are easy to use, they are only good for certain kinds of cans, like Spam. There is not much use for them otherwise. Spam also usually comes with a key attached to the can. 

Lever Can Opener

Can Opener,2-in-1 Can Opener and Bottle Opener with Wooden Handle,Food-Safe Stainless Steel Can Openers Fit for Variety Cans and Tins,Old Fashioned Classic Manual Can Opener (1)

The lever can opener is also called the claw-type opener. This is mainly because it is in the shape of a claw. This is a basic type of lever can opener. It has a large blade that is sickle-shaped.

This blade punctures the lid of the can and opens it. It also has a shield, or guard, that acts to keep the blade from cutting into the can too deeply. This ensures the blade does not touch or contact the contents inside the can. 

There is a right way to use a lever type can opener. First, you puncture the rim of the can lid and then slowly drive the blade into the can. Then you saw along the edges carefully because it could result in a very sharp-edged container. You must be careful, or you can cut yourself with the sharp blade. 

Magnetic Can Opener 

Can Opener Manual, No-Trouble-Lid-Lift Can Opener with Magnet | Side-Cut Safety Can Opener Smooth Edge, with Sharp Blade | Rust Proof Stainless Steel Can Openers by PrinChef, Heavy Duty

Magnetic can openers have sharp stainless steel cutting blades that can easily cut through cans with less mess. In addition, these can openers have magnets that lift lids off the cans for safe disposal. 

You will not have to hold the lid that you cut and potentially hurt yourself. If this can opener has a window, it allows you to accurately line up the opener with the lip of the can. You will be able to see the process of the lid you are cutting.

Manual Can Opener

Zyliss - 20362 ZYLISS Lock N' Lift 7" Manual Handheld Can Opener with Locking Mechanism, White/Gray

A manual can opener is perfect for those that do not want to buy an expensive kitchen tool. If you are on a budget, this is also the best one for you. This type of can opener is easy to use.

It has a crank or wheel that you turn to spin the blades. The top of the can move through the blades, and it cuts open the top. It does require a tight grip and steady hands to use this can opener.

It may not be ideal for someone that has lost grip in their hands. 

One Touch Can Opener

Gld can, white a green one touch can opener

One touch can openers are easy to use because all you have to do is touch the button. This type of can opener is intended to be comfortable and convenient, especially for those that have difficulty using their hands. 

It can open cans of all sizes. You place the can opener on top of the can, touch the button, and it cuts open the can. You touch the button again to stop the can opener. 

This type of can opener has magnets that help lift the lid off the can. This can opener is usually battery operated and easy to store. 

Ring Pull Can Opener

Can Openers Ring-Pull Pull Tab Can Opener Jar Grip Kitchen Stencil Easy Grip 1PC TPKR52283

The ring pull can opener is perfect for cans with a ring pull, like soda or beer. This is a great tool for those that do not have the strength to pull the tab.

The ring pull can opener slips under the ring pull and provides leverage to safely and easily open the can. In addition, this can opener is lightweight and easy to use.

Side Can Opener 

Silver can of corn, silver side can opener, red and white arpon on the table

The side can opener was created in the 1980s. It was a shift from the traditional type of can openers that sit on top of the can and cut down through the lid. With those types of can openers, the top is removed, and the rim is left behind. 

A side can opener has a roller and a rotating cutting wheel that cuts through the side of the rim. It has both a serrated wheel and a cutting wheel. This can opener cuts through and removes the rim as well. 

This can opener is easy to grip and provides you with a better grip on the can. In addition, the lid of the can is left with a smooth finish. 

Single Wheel Can Opener

Can Opener Manual Heavy Duty Can Opener Good Grips Save Time and Effort for Seniors With Arthritis Hands

A single wheel can opener is similar to a bunker can opener. They have a design and function that resemble each other. This can opener has a magnet that attaches to the lid to keep it in place. 

No longer do you have to struggle to lift the lid off the can and risk potentially cutting your fingers. Instead, the magnets help keep the can in place while the wheel of the can opener slowly cuts through the rim of the can. 

The best way to use a single wheel opener is to attach it to the top of the lid, so the wheel is close to the rim. Then you crank the key to turn the wheel and to slice through the lid easily.

Smooth Edge Can Opener

OXO Good Grips Smooth Edge Can Opener

With a smooth edge can opener, the worry about hurting yourself is removed. This can opener always has a smooth finish. It is typically made with food grade stainless steel. 

You have to put the top edge of the can in the gap of the circular part of the can opener. The handle of the can opener should be on the outside of the can. The can opener should lock onto the lid. 

You must hold the can in place with one hand and use the other to turn the can opener clockwise. It would be best if you continued to turn it until the cutting is finished. Then carefully remove the smooth edge opener from the can.

Topless Can Opener 

Mcles Beer Can Opener, Soda Can Opener, Topless Can Opener, Handheld Safety Easy Manual Beverage Cans Household Bar Tool, Smooth Edge Effortless Rip and Sip Opener Black

The topless can opener has an innovative design that is intended to keep you safe while removing the lid of the can. It completely removes the lid, so there are no sharp edges. 

The topless can opener is easy to use. It has four stainless steel blades that cut into the lid. You place the can opener on top of the can and turn it clockwise. Once the opener is finished cutter, you push on the lid and shake the can opener to remove it from the top of the can. This type of can opener is ideal for canned drinks. 

What Are the Main Types of Can Openers?

There are three main types of can openers: manual, electric, and crown punch can openers.

Manual can openers are hand operated. Some have a crank, wheel, or handle that you turn to move the cutting blade. Others have no moving parts, and you move the blade up and down to cut the metal. 

Electric requires some type of power to them to cut the can. They are typically free standing countertop models, but some are handheld or can be placed on top of the can. They can be plugged into a power source or use batteries. 

Crown punch can openers are heavy duty models that open large cans. For these, you press down a lever that punches a blade that is circle shaped into the can. 

What Should I Look For When Buying A Can Opener?

You want a can opener that is best suited for the cans you are trying to open. It should be able to open your can. You want a can opener that is not complicated. It should also be easy for you to use. Since you are the one using it, you must be able to use it. 

You want the set-up to be simple and easy. It should not have any complicated steps. You want to purchase a can opener that is going to last. No one wants to buy a new can opener every year. 

What Other Requirements Are Important?

You want a can opener that is made well. It should feel comfortable in your hand. You should be able to grip it firmly but not too firmly. If you have a free-standing can opener, you want it to stand on its own without tipping over.

You want a can opener that resists rust. Lower quality can openers are going to collect rust. Stainless steel is a quality metal for can openers.  

A can opener should be easy to maintain and dishwasher safe. However, if it is an electric model, do not expect it to be dishwasher-safe. Or you may be able to remove the cutting unit and place that in the dishwasher. 

You want to ensure that the cutting wheel does not touch your food. This can contaminate the food and make it unsafe. You want the can lid to have a smooth, safe edge. Finally, you want to be able to touch the edge without concern about cutting your fingers. 

A magnet that lifts the lid is nice to have. This can opener lifts the lid for you and reduces mess. In addition, it usually has a release button that you can push to dump the lid directly in the trash. 

How Long Should A Can Opener Last?

You can expect the average lifespan of a can opener to be about three years. However, this does depend on how well made and maintained the can opener is. 

If it is cared for properly and made of durable materials, it could last much longer. However, how often you use it also plays a part in its life span. If it is exposed to water regularly, that could also decrease how long it lasts.