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Need a new can opener? Our kitchen experts researched the market before buying and testing 9 of the best models side by side. We include a range of traditional models, innovative designs, and manual versus electric ones, upon which we ran tests and assessed them on their sharpness, ease of use, versatility, durability, style, and footprint. We opened over a hundred cans of all shapes and sizes to determine exactly how each can performs across varying consumer needs. After days of testing, it was clear which contenders stood out from the competition and those that left us wanting. Use our comprehensive review to find the most suitable can opener for your needs and budget size.
Electric?: Yes | Opening method: Smooth seal break
REASONS TO BUY
Guiding bar attaches can perfectly
Opens cans without leaving sharp edges
REASONS TO AVOID
It's easy to attach any size can to the Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch Opener, and this was our overall favorite electric model. The guiding bar above the blade places the can in the perfect spot every time. The oversized locking lever is easy to use, and the smooth touch design breaks the can's seal along the lid's edge instead of breaking through it. The result is an opened can and lid with smooth edges, hence the name. Very little of the contents of the can remains on the opener's blades, creating minimal clean-up, a bonus of this design.
The Smooth Touch isn't without its flaws, though. The guiding bar and all of the gears for the can attachment are made of metal, but the lever that controls the locking mechanism is plastic. The introduction of plastic levers and electrical elements draws durability into question. The countertop design doesn't have any additional features like a bottle opener, and it requires a lot more space than the handheld models — considerations for those who infrequently open cans or lack excess counter space. That said, this opener's chrome and black look is timeless and sleek, so it's not an eyesore on your counter. Overall, the Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch is the best option if you open lots of cans and desire the easiest solution available.
For the best overall manual performance, the Ez-Duz-It Deluxe just can't be beaten. This opener looks just like the one many of us grew up using, and probably the one our parents grew up with as well. The Ez-Duz-It sticks to a classic all-metal construction with rubber grips that slide over the handles. The metal construction earns the model top marks in durability. The metal handles are covered in grippy, comfortable rubber. When attempting to puncture large cans, the grips, combined with the rigidity of the metal, give a great mechanical advantage. This opener performs equally on everything from small 6-ounce cans of tomato paste to large 28-ounce cans of crushed tomatoes. Besides being just about as affordable as a can opener can get, it is also exceptionally durable, a combo we salute. You can find this model with or without a can opener. We purchased one with a can opener, and we think it's worth getting two gadgets in one.
While the Ez-Duz-It is a great traditional option, there are a few areas it falls a little flat. The tendency to disconnect from the rim of the can when there's too much downward pressure on the handles is the most notable. This results in the lid being very difficult to remove because it is still attached in two places. Although initially frustrating, a little bit of practice mitigated this issue. Additionally, this no-fuss design does lend itself to creating sharp edges on the can's lid, as is common with this opener style. This might not be the best option if you have impaired dexterity or small children helping in the kitchen. However, with a bit of caution, the lid is still possible to remove. If you are looking for a good old-fashioned can opener that has the potential to outlast the competition, the Ez-Duz-It Deluxe is the opener for you.
If you're seeking the luxury of a countertop electric can opener with a manual can opener's price tag, check out the Cuisinart Deluxe CCO-50. You can have this white, sleek countertop model for just a little more than most manual can openers. The magnet feature holds on to the cut lid for easy removal, and the large lever makes it easy to puncture the tops of cans of all sizes. The auto-stop feature stops the opening and holds the can as soon as the lid is completely removed, making for easy, hands-off use. Additionally, the magnet and blade are easily removed for cleaning away from the electric parts.
Out of the five commonly available can sizes tested on each opener, two remained stuck in the Cuisinart's locking lever's clamp during testing. They were removed with a little additional pressure, but it was easy to spill the can's contents while doing so. Another drawback of this style is that it creates a jagged and sharp lid. The magnet makes it easy to remove the lid, but this isn't the best option if you have small children or would prefer a smooth edge. Additionally, the locking lever, the casing around the magnet, and the socket that attaches the blade/magnet to the body are all made of plastic. These high-use parts might lose some of their sleek chrome appearance as the paint chips away or wear down over time. Overall, we feel the Cuisinart works better than expected for its entry-level price if you are looking to try an electric model.
Electric?: Yes | Opening Method: Smooth seal break
REASONS TO BUY
Minimal pressure required to operate
Stylish and relatively compact design
Doesn't create sharp edges
REASONS TO AVOID
May not survive fall from the counter
It says "Yes You Can" right on the pink box, and, well, yes, it can. The Kitchen Mama Electric is a surprising standout. Out of the box, its fun pop offers something different from the otherwise modest-looking competition. After taking a few moments to determine exactly how to place the compact electric opener on the can, attaching it becomes effortless. The single button that operates the Kitchen Mama is easy to press and securely locks to the lid's edge for hands-free operation. Once the opener makes a complete rotation, pressing the button stops the opener and detaches it from the lid. The result is a smooth lid and can, with no food product left on the opener. Even the smallest cans did not cause any issues for the Kitchen Mama.
There are just a few downsides to this opener. It operates on four AA batteries, which leads to an additional cost of upkeep. Also, as a handheld electric model, it is likely to be knocked off of the countertop from time to time. When we tested this model for its drop resistance, the battery casing popped off, and the batteries scattered. Though we didn't experience any cracking during our drop test, we would recommend exhibiting care to not drop this model, as the plastic shell feels somewhat thin. Overall, we were very impressed by the Kitchen Mama, even if you have to replace it eventually. It takes minimal effort to operate and produces a smooth lid and can. All in all, this is an excellent and hip solution for those who struggle to operate a traditional opener or who don't want to add an appliance to their countertops.
Electric?: No | Opening Method: Entire lid removal
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
Creates sharp lid and can
The Joseph Joseph Can-Do Compact is at least a third of the size of any of the openers we tested, clearly earning its place in some kitchens. It is only 2" in diameter and about the same in height. This is a good option if you're short on space or need a compact can opener for camping trips. The Joseph Joseph attaches securely to the can's lid, and it takes moderate effort to turn the timer-like plastic dial. Once it is through the lid, and after lifting it off using the locking feature, pressing the release button on the opener's side takes firm pressure. Left-handed folks will appreciate that this model works ergonomically for either dominant hand.
While the Joseph Joseph is interesting in its colorful style and innovative design, it leaves room for improvement in its performance. Its design removes the entire top of the can, cutting just below where the lid is sealed. This created problems in the smoothness of operation for us, because the labels on the cans almost always became caught in the gears. Additionally, it left an open can with a sharp edge that lacks stability due to removing the thicker metal on the rim. This opener became stuck on some of the larger cans tested. After testing all ten cans, the button release function was already showing signs of wear, becoming completely stuck on the can's lid. No other option saves kitchen space better, though it's unclear how long the Joseph Joseph will perform.
Why You Should Trust Us
To find the best can openers, our editorial team and lead tester spent hours researching the best available models. We purchase each model we review, with hands-on testing of 11 total can openers over the past two years. In the process, we open 10 cans per product, ranging from tiny 2.25 oz cans of olives to 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes. That's 110 cans opened for direct testing and many, many more in continuous real-world use. We assess how much effort, pressure, and precision each tool demands. Our testers even intentionally drop these products from countertop height onto the kitchen floor to ensure they can handle real-life accidents, too. After these can openers lived in our kitchen drawers for weeks and got daily use, we feel confident in our assessments and experience with each model.
Our experienced review team consists of lead tester Austin Palmer and reviewer Jackie Kearney. Austin has reviewed hundreds of kitchen products including juicers, blenders, and even ice cream makers. Jackie spent nearly a decade working in the restaurant industry, performing every job from washing dishes to cooking to serving. They are both adventurous home cooks. Together, they have opened countless cans (and consumed their contents) to find the perfect tool for the job.
Analysis and Test Results
A can opener is an essential tool for any home cook. Having the right one can save you a lot of time, effort, and frustration. The openers were scored on their sharpness and smoothness, ease of use, versatility, durability, and style and footprint.
Which Can Opener Offers the Greatest Value?
Getting a great can opener is not an expensive venture, thankfully. When taking all performance metrics into account, we don't want to forget the importance of finding the best return on your can opener investment. If you are looking for the ease of an electric model, the Cuisinart Deluxe provides a well-performing kitchen appliance at a similar price point to some manual models. If you are someone who needs a non-traditional clamping grip or prefers to use an ambidextrous model, the Joseph Joseph caught our eye for an ambidextrous option. It also happens to be extremely compact and comes in at a steal of a price.
In evaluating all of these openers, we also found that often the simplest models performed the best. The award-winning Ez-Duz-It is no exception; it comes in at the lower end of the price range, and had one of the highest overall scores. Not to mention it feels like it could be the last can opener you ever buy.
In our experience, most can openers last a long time. The first part to falter is often the blade(s). They don't often break, but they inevitably become dull. With a small amount of effort and some care, you can sharpen the blades yourself, greatly extending the useful life of your can opener. Beware that the blades are sharp. Be careful whenever handling blades to avoid injury.
Which Can Opener Is Easiest to Use?
Ease of use describes the opener's function outside of the blade performance, and the quality of the opened can it produced. We counted exactly how many turns each manual can opener required to open five standard cans of beans (15-16 oz), evaluated the pressure necessary to open the can, assessed the quality of the lid after it was removed and how easy it was to remove it, took into account the sound produced by the electric openers, considered ergonomics, and considered how easy they would be to use for someone with impaired hand strength. This all boils down to how convenient the product is in daily life.
Again this metric favored the electric models. It was hard to ignore that the Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch, Kitchen Mama, and Cuisinart Deluxe Electric require minimal effort to operate and produce open cans that are either smooth or sharp, but easy to manage. Each of these models merely involves attaching the can, pressing a button, and stepping away, and they open up cans with no additional effort necessary. The Hamilton Beach and Kitchen Mama resulted in the smoothest can and lids after opening up garbanzo beans or cans of tuna, leaving behind no sharp edges for kid- and adult-friendly finger preservation. We're all clumsy to an extent, and removing sharp edges from the equation is pretty sweet.
As far as manual openers go, the Ez-Duz-It edges out the competition with ease. With its heavy-duty and no-nonsense construction, it is still comfortable and provides a good grip. Some of the openers, such as Joseph Joseph, Kuhn Rikon, and Zyliss Lock n' Lift lost points where their additional lid removing functions caused more trouble than they helped. Even with the oversized grips, the KitchenAid model felt a bit too bulky for our comfort. Additionally, the smooth plastic featured made them slippery when wet or dirty, and therefore harder to use.
Smoothness and Sharpness
When scoring this metric, we considered the cutting performance of each opener. Testing a minimum of ten cans for each opener gave us a good idea of the consistency of each opener's cutting power. It's frustrating when a can opener pops off the can while in use, or becomes stuck halfway around the can, leaving you with a can that is neither open nor closed.
Scoring the highest in this category are the Hamilton Beach and the Cuisinart models. They have the advantage of electricity, as does the Kitchen Mama Electric, and continued through testing to cut open cans evenly and consistently. Edging out the manual competition is the Ez-Duz-It Deluxe with slightly stronger cutting performance than the Kuhn Rikon and the KitchenAid. The Joseph Joseph 's design removes the entire lid, creating more resistance, while the Zyliss Lock n' Lift appeared to simply have a duller blade than its competitors.
We have all used can openers that can barely stay attached to the lid of the can, and there are few things more frustrating when you are trying to prepare a quick canned meal than struggling to use your beat-up can opener. Whether this is due to failing gears, dulling blades, or failing plastic, the frustration is the same. To evaluate durability, we examined the materials of the high-use parts. For the handheld models, we performed a drop test from a 40" countertop.
With its tried and true all-metal construction, the Ez-Duz-It Deluxe crushed the competition in this category. In general, the more plastic that is introduced into a model, the less durable it seemed. Notably, the Zyliss Lock n' Lift is made almost entirely of plastic and the KitchenAid Multifunction had plastic handles and knobs, pulling each opener's durability into question. The Zyliss also lost its grips during the drop test. Similarly, the Kitchen Mama fell apart during this test. For the countertop models we tested, the Cuisinart has significantly more plastic integrated into its can-opening mechanism than the Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch, making it seem less durable.
You probably will only have one can opener in your kitchen, so it had better perform well on anything you throw at it. To evaluate versatility, we assessed how each opener performs across all the can diameters and heights we could find at the supermarket: five of the most common 15-ounce cans, one small can of tomato paste, one can of large crushed tomatoes (28 ounces), one short wide can of chicken, one short tuna can, and one small tomato sauce can. We also considered additional features of the openers.
Almost all of the openers performed evenly across can sizes. The exceptions were the Joseph Joseph and Kuhn Rikon, which struggled on larger diameter cans. The KitchenAid Multifunction struggled with short cans because of their oversized nature. The Joseph Joseph, Hamilton Beach, Cuisinart, Kitchen Mama, and Zyliss Lock N' Lift do not serve any multifunction capacity. The KitchenAid, Ez-Duz-It, and Gorilla Grip all have a bottle opener function, and the Kuhn Rikon has five extra features in addition to its can opening ability. In some cases, these additional features added a bonus to compensate in areas where the opener might have otherwise fallen short.
Style and Footprint
Style can be a personal choice, but some models stood out for their innovative designs, colors, and their efficient use of space in the kitchen. We evaluated the aesthetic design and measured the footprint of each can opener.
The clear leaders in this category for both their compact footprints and innovative designs are the Kitchen Mama and Joseph Joseph. The Joseph Joseph is the best option if you value saving space over all else, while the Kitchen Mama manages convenient performance and space the best. The Hamilton Beach has a classic design that could match most kitchens but has a relatively large footprint compared to the rest of the board. The Cuisinart countertop model is very similar in size.
Through thorough research and hands-on, independent testing, we assessed a wide range of can opener models to find just the right style for your needs. Combining personal and professional experience, we developed an extensive and structured test that focused on key performance factors, highlighting the best and worst contenders in each metric. The gobs of cans opened and gulped down in our rigorous testing process familiarized us with each product's advantages and pitfalls, so you can make an informed decision quickly to get the can opener that fits your kitchen's needs.
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GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.