What the best can opener has

When selecting a can opener, three factors take center stage: performance, ease of operation and size. As you're shopping, look for a can opener that has the following:

  • A lid magnet or pincers. For top-cut can openers, a lid magnet keeps the cut lid from falling into your food. This is not a problem when using side-cut openers. Instead, look for metal tweezers to help you lift the lid off.
  • Stainless-steel blades. Stainless-steel blades are durable and resist rust.
  • Comfortable handles. The best manual can openers have non-slip or rubber grips that make them easier to use.
  • Reasonable size. Electric can openers must be tall enough to accommodate the largest cans you intend to open, and the best handheld models should fit in a kitchen drawer.

Know before you go

  • How is your grip strength? If you suffer from arthritis or any other condition that may affect your hand strength, opt for an electric opener, or look for a can (or jar) opener with longer handles; they provide better leverage and ultimately require less effort.
  • Do you have children in the house? If so, you may prefer a side-cut can opener that leaves smooth, safe edges on the can and lid.
  • Will you need to open a wide variety of cans? Manual can openers handle the largest range of can shapes and sizes.

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