What Are the Types of Can Openers?

A can opener is one of the common tools in the kitchen, so most of us would just simply take it for granted. After all, most can openers are cheap and dispensable. When it’s broken or starts to rust, why bother to fix it when you could just buy a new one? You may not even need it if all the canned goods in your pantry have easy-to-open pull tabs.

Nevertheless, a can opener is an important kitchen tool, so at least you should keep one in case you find yourself struggling with pulling up that ring tab (some of them are stubborn indeed). Can openers are designed to save you time, effort and energy in popping that can of ready-to-eat tuna. Besides, there are still a lot of canned food products with flat tops (the ones that don’t have easy-to-open tabs or key openers) so you will most likely need an apparatus to pry them open.

If your everyday life practically revolves around the kitchen, you only deserve the best kitchen gadgets such as good-quality can openers that will get the job done.

But do you know that there is more than just one type of a can opener? Check out some of them and see which type of can opener is best suited for your needs and budget.

Lever-type can openerLever-type can opener – It is also known as the claw-type opener in reference to its shape.  It is probably the most primitive form of can opener, and is still very much in use up to this day. It features a large sickle-shaped blade, the part which punctures the lid of the can and pries it open. Opposite the curved blade is some sort of a “shield” that keeps it from cutting deeper into the can, therefore avoiding direct contact to its contents inside.

Butterfly can openerButterfly can opener – Another type of manual can opener, it usually features a rotating cutting wheel that punctures the top of the can, grips the lid and spins around it, until the can is partially or completely open. Butterfly can openers usually feature “tongs” or pliers, and a crank or “key” which requires the user to turn, causing the serrated wheel to open the can. It works similarly to the bunker opener, another type of a can opener.

Church key openerChurch key opener Many users – especially beer drinkers and campers – prefer this type of can opener because it is utterly simple and quick to use. Plus, it doesn’t take up a lot of storage space – you can even put it in your back pocket!

When easy-to-open beer cans were unheard of yet, beers sealed in flat-top tin cans were once popular and there arose the need for an easy-to-use beer can opener. And the church-key can opener was invented! The design of the modern church key can opener may have been patterned after an earlier device which was used to pull crown caps off glass bottles.

A church key opener consists of a single piece of pressed metal with a pointed tip that is used to puncture the lid.

Single wheel opener – Sometimes, you are having a hard time opening a tin can, and this may leave sharp and uneven edges on the can itself and its lid. If you’re not being too careful, these sharp edges may even cut your fingers and cause bleeding.

For a much easier and safer opening, a single wheel opener will prevent these issues. It is like the butterfly can opener/bunker can opener in terms of design and execution, except that the single wheel can opener comes with a magnet which holds itself onto the lid in place. It also comes with a crank or a key which turns the cutting wheel. This type of can opener allows you to slice through the lid smoothly and effortlessly, leaving you with a clean finish – an opened can and lid with smoother edges.

Electric can opener – For the ultimate hassle-free can-opening experience, why not get yourself an electric can opener? Electric can openers come in either free-standing countertop or under-the-cabinet models. Most of them feature a magnet which holds the can in place. Just place the can under the opener and just watch it rotate on top of the can, tearing it open in just seconds!

There are also smaller and cordless can openers that have the amazing ability to open cans of various shapes and sizes – even the rectangular-shaped ones! Just place the opener on the top of the can, push the power button and just let do its work as you do other things in the kitchen (like chopping vegetables). When the lid is finally lifted from the can, turn the can opener off. These cordless openers are mostly run by batteries.

Even though electric can openers are obviously the most expensive, they can be practical especially if you’re the busy bee in the kitchen, or if you are suffering arthritis. These types of can openers do a fast and smooth job in ripping the lid off the can, leaving their edges so smooth that you can even actually touch them without cutting your finger. With their price, quality and ease of use, electric can openers can easily become one of the top rated kitchen gadgets that are definitely a “must-have” especially for a smart kitchen.

Choosing can openers could have been a no-brainer affair. But now with different types and options, it leaves you a bit more puzzled yet a bit more excited. However, don’t let that cloud your shopping judgment and instead let your needs be the deciding factor in choosing the right can opener. If you plan to buy the more high-end types like the electric models, it’s best to read kitchen gadget reviews to get guides and insights from the customers themselves who have used these products.