While many canned goods today come with pop-top lids, which do not require the use of a can opener or another opening tool, there are still many canned goods and products that require a good can opener.
So while some people argue that can openers are almost obsolete, there are still cans that cannot be opened without a can opener. Plus, the keys of the pop-top lids break off from time to time, making it necessary to use a can opener or other sharp tool to open the can.
In fact, can openers are still considered essential tools for camping, hiking, survival, and home use.
But how do you use the can opener properly, safely, and efficiently?
Here is a guide as well as some useful tips on how to use a can opener
While there are many different types of can openers on the market, from simple manual openers to electric or battery-operated ones, it is essential that you use the can opener correctly because it involves dealing with sharp and potentially dangerous cutting edges.
Here is a step by step guide on using a traditional manual can opener:
- Widen the can opener’s arms in order to fit the cutting edge on its mouth on the can. Use both hands to pull the arms of the opener apart, and then they will lock in place when the desired position is reached.
- Proceed to place the mouth of the can opener onto the lid top. Align it on the lid while keeping the can opener in an open position. Once you have aligned it on the edge of the can’s lid, you should press the mouth on it, so it can grip itself securely through the lid.
- When it is appropriately positioned, you can close the opener and use one hand to turn the rotating handle on top to get ready for cutting through the lid of the can. The jagged wheel on the mouth of the can opener will help keep the opener secured to the lid during the cutting.
- To stay safe and prevent injuries, always make sure that you keep both hands on top of the can you are opening.
- When the arms of the opener are closed, and the mouth is secured to the lid of the can, and it has been punctured, you can start cutting through the lid’s edge. You can do this by rotating the handle, which will move the serrated wheel alongside the edge of the lid and will cut through it as you go.
- Make sure that you keep applying the same amount of sufficient pressure as you are cutting through the edge of the lid. This will make the can opening process easier and faster.
- Keep twisting the rotating handle until you reach the end of the lid and until it is cut off and separated from the can entirely, or if you want to keep the lid on, cut until you have reached the desired position.
- After you are done, you can lift up the opened lid to remove it or open the can. Make sure that you do it carefully to avoid cutting yourself on any shards or sharp edges.
- You can easily remove the can opener from the can by pulling apart its arms and detaching it from the can’s edge.
- If the lid has plopped into the can, you can use a knife or other sharp object to pull it out gently. As an extra precaution, you can wear protective gloves when handling the sharp edges of the can and lid.
- Now, you can throw out the lid and proceed to use the food or other product from the can.
Related content: Best Can Opener Reviews 2023: Top 5+ Recommended
How to open a can when you don’t have a can opener handy
If you need to open a can but do not have a can opener, you can still open it if you have a knife or other sharp utensil or other suitable tools.
Here are several methods for opening a can without a can opener:
Using a kitchen or pocket knife
- Place the can with the lid up on a stable surface that you can reach easily
- Place the tip of the knife vertically against the inner part of the lid
- Hold the handle with one hand securely and away from the blade in case it slips
- Hit the top of the handle with the palm of your hand or a heavy object so that the knife’s tip punctures the lid
- Either pressure the knife through the hole and cut through the edge of the lid or move the knife over to create another hole next to the first one
- If you are using the method with the separate holes, the can should be easy to pry open with the knife after it is punctured around the entire edge
Using a metal spoon
- Place the can on a stable hard surface
- Inspect the lid for a raised small lip that has been crimped to seal the can
- Place the head of the spoon with its inside facing the middle of the lid
- Rub the metal spoon over the lip of the lid and keep working it back and forth on the same small area
- Keep rubbing until you have made a hole along the edge of the lid
- Then proceed to do the same while circling the edge of the lid until it is cut to an extent making it possible for you to open the can safely and access the contents
- Once you are done, use the spoon to pry the lid open while being careful not to cut yourself on any sharp edges
In doing so, just place the spoon’s tip onto the edge of the lid and apply a considerable amount of pressure to puncture through the lid. Once you’ve punctured the can, you can pry the spoon upwards, just like how you would typically do with a can opener, and cut your way through until the top part is separated. This method can also be done with any other sharp objects.
Check our guide for the Best Under Cabinet Can Openers in 2023