The Best Manual Can Openers

A manual can opener opening a can
padu_foto/Shutterstock.com

Whether you’re camping or you just prefer using a manual can opener at home, these no-electricity-needed models will make opening canned good a snap.

While you might be considering a manual can opener because it’s what you’ve always used at home, an electric one can be immensely useful (especially if you have problems with your hands) but you need a power source, right? For those times where you need to do it the old fashioned way, we’ve looked at some of the best manual can openers out there.

Each of these can openers is great for opening any can easily, and often includes a bottle opener tool. You might be surprised to learn that these can openers also work with ring pull based cans. Why? Oftentimes, for people with hand issues, it can be trickier to open a can this way than through using a can opener. These can openers mean you won’t have to worry about that. They’re ergonomically designed too for maximum comfort.

Here’s the pick of the bunch.

Best Overall: Kuhn Rikon Master Opener ($15)

Kuhn Rikon Master Opener
Kuhn Rikon

As stylish as it is practical, the Kuhn Rikon Master Opener is a great design for a can opener. Lightweight yet long, you can easily toss it into your kitchen drawer amongst other utensils rather than needing to create lots of room for it.

It’s designed so that one end is a bottle opener while the other works as a can opener. Simply twist the large but easy to turn knob and the cutting wheel does all the hard work for you. More importantly, it never touches the food so you don’t have to worry about cross-contamination.

In addition, the opener also safely cuts the outside rim of the can so there are fewer sharp edges than before, although expect this to take a couple of attempts to get just right. It works on any can, plus it feels comfortable enough for left-handed as well as right-handed people.

Best For Those With Hand Issues: Zyliss Lock N Lift Can Opener ($10)

Zyliss Lock N Lift Can Opener
Zyliss

The Zyliss Lock N Lift Can Opener is far from attractive to look at and it’s more than a little bulky, however, that extra heft makes it ideal for those who have trouble with delicate motor actions. This can opener can contend with any size can and lid, with a smooth turning cutting mechanism that promises to open a can within seconds. All so very typical of a can opener, right?

Where things get more useful for the Zyliss Lock N Lift Can Opener is its soft touch grip. It’s very easy to hold onto thanks to some well-designed handle grips, so it reduces hand fatigue or aching that comes from various mobility issues. If you suffer from RSI or arthritis in your hands, this won’t make you dread opening a can.

Finally, there’s a magnet that clings to the lid and lifts it off the can so you can easily dispose of it without touching it. You won’t drop it either which is good for if you have other mobility concerns.

Best For Safe Edges: Oxo Smooth Edge Can Opener ($22)

Oxo Smooth Edge Can Opener
Oxo

With extra chunky handles, the Oxo Smooth Edge Can Opener also lends itself well to those with hand issues. It means there’s no need to hold onto fiddly knobs or levers, and the surface you grip onto feels snug and comfortable for your hands. It has an easy to turn knob that only requires a soft grip to maintain pressure, with non-slip handles for added safety. A side-winding mechanism makes it easy to cut the lid off the can.

The real strength here though? There’s an extra tweak to the mechanism that works to eliminate sharp edges too. And it does a remarkable job compared to the competition. It’s far more effective at achieving this first time, so you don’t have to worry about putting in extra effort.

It’s a little on the pricey side for a can opener but when you need to protect your hands and fingers from more damage, it’s worth the extra outlay.

Jennifer Allen Jennifer Allen
Jennifer is a freelance writer for ReviewGeek. In the past decade, she's also written for Wareable, TechRadar, Mashable, Eurogamer, Gamasutra, Playboy, and PCWorld. Read Full Bio »

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