The 7 Best Can Openers That Cut Smoothly Every Time

Dotdash Meredith and Yahoo Inc. may earn commission or revenue on some items through the links below.

Replace your dull can opener with one of these reliable picks.

<p>Food &amp; Wine/Maria DeAngelis</p>

Food & Wine/Maria DeAngelis

Can openers aren’t an exciting or expensive purchase, but they are an item you want to buy once and never again, or at least for a long time. If you’ve dealt with a janky can opener, you know the importance of a quality one — one that latches on effortlessly and cuts smoothly around the entire can.

That’s why we did the research for you and found the models worth buying after evaluating each one’s design and ease of use. Whether you want an electric, manual, or ambidextrous can opener, our list features options that are functional and built to last.

Zyliss Lock N’ Lift Can Opener

Best Overall, Manual

Pros: We love its lid lock mechanism, smooth-turning soft handle, and built-in magnet for retrieving the top.

Cons: It’s mostly made of plastic.

This manual can opener from Zyliss lands in the top spot on our list because, frankly, the company nailed the design. Our favorite feature is that once punctured the lid, the blades lock into place, meaning you don’t squeeze the handles tightly as you move around the can. After opening the can, you simply press the red release button to unlock the blades from the lid. Following that step, you use the magnetic part of the can opener to lift the lid out of the can and throw it away for completely hands-free disposal. Best of all, this smartly-designed model is just a little over $20.

Price at time of publish: $22

  • Type: Manual crank

  • Material: Plastic and stainless steel

  • Length: 7 inches

  • Dishwasher-Safe: No

Hamilton Beach Classic Chrome Heavyweight Electric Automatic Can Opener

Best Overall, Electric

Pros: The cutting mechanism is very consistent and efficient, plus you can pop it off easily to clean.

Cons: The opener itself is quite light (despite its large size), so you need to hold onto larger cans.

During our electric can openers test, this Hamilton Beach model performed the best. The instructions are clear, it’s easy to notch cans into the cutting mechanism, and it’s truly hands-free (with the exception of a 28-ounce can, which our testers needed to hold to keep the can and the opener from tipping over).

A magnetic piece holds onto the top of the can, so you can pull the can away and then toss the lid without having to dig your fingers into the can, plus it stops cutting automatically once the top has been completely removed. At 10 inches tall, 5 inches wide, and 6 inches deep, it’s the largest can opener on this list, so it might not fit as easily into your utensil drawer as others.

Price at time of publish: $27

  • Type: Electric

  • Material: Aluminum and plastic

  • Length: 10 inches

  • Dishwasher-Safe: Yes

EZ-DUZ-IT Can Opener

Best Value

Pros: Basic, durable, and high-quality, this can opener gets the job done.

Cons: It’s lacking features that other models have.

If you’re looking for a no-fuss, no-frills model, this is the can opener for you. A simple swing-style design, it’s the tried-and-true place, squeeze, and turn kind of can opener. The handles are covered with a layer of rubber to grip comfortably, and the crank handle and blade are made of durable carbon steel. It’s the heaviest manual can opener on our list, so it isn’t particularly gentle on the hands. That said, you can rest easy knowing you won’t need a new can opener anytime soon.

Price at time of publish: $15

  • Type: Manual crank

  • Material: Carbon steel and rubber

  • Length: 7 inches

  • Dishwasher-Safe: No

KitchenAid Classic Multifunction Can/Bottle Opener 8.34-Inch Black

Best with Bottle Opener

Pros: This can opener does two jobs in one gadget, making it well worth your money.

Cons: Both the can and bottle openers are relatively basic.

It’s hard to turn down a two-in-one gadget, especially when it will save room in cluttered kitchen drawers. For this reason and more, we recommend this KitchenAid can and bottle opener. It has a straightforward, user-friendly design, featuring a rust-resistant stainless steel manual crank mechanism for opening all kinds of cans, ergonomic handles for comfort, and a built-in bottle opener at the top to effortlessly remove caps. The bottle opener does make it a little longer than many of the other manual openers on our list, but we let that slide considering it has a bonus tool.

Price at time of publish: $20

  • Type: Manual crank

  • Material: Stainless steel

  • Length: 8 inches

  • Dishwasher-Safe: No

Oxo Good Grips Smooth Edge Can Opener

Best Ergonomic

Pros: This manual can opener is functional and reliable while being gentle on the hands.

Cons: Its side-wind mechanism might take a few tries to get used to.

Gripping the arms of a can opener and turning the crank can be challenging for cooks with arthritic hands or weak wrists. If you can relate, we recommend the OXO Good Grips opener. The long arms are cushioned and slightly curved to fit perfectly into your palm, and the knob is also large and soft. Built-in pliers for hands-free top removal round out the user-friendly features. Plus, instead of cutting inside the upper rim of the can, this can opener cuts around the outside — so if you only need a cup of beans, you can put the top of the can back on, place it in the refrigerator, and use the rest another time.

Price at time of publish: $26

  • Type: Manual crank

  • Material: Stainless steel

  • Length: 7.5 inches

  • Dishwasher-Safe: No

RELATED: The 16 Best Kitchen Tools of 2023

Korin Japanese Can Opener

Best Compact

Pros: If you’re planning a long backpacking or camping trip, this is an excellent choice.

Cons: A true manual can opener, it requires more effort than others.

While all the other manual can openers on this list feature gears that turn to cut through the lid, this manual can opener hands you the reins. Entirely made of sturdy steel, it won’t bend or break regardless of how much force you use to pierce the top of cans. Before you scoff at the primitive nature of it all, consider that this can opener has no chance of the gears misaligning, rusting, or growing dull and ceasing to work. Likewise, it’s by far the smallest, so if you’re heading out on a backpacking trip and need to bring a can opener, this is your best bet.

Price at time of publish: $9

  • Type: Manual cut

  • Material: Stainless steel

  • Length: 5 inches

  • Dishwasher-Safe: No

Bartelli Soft Edge 3-in-1 Ambidextrous Safety Can Opener

Best Ambidextrous

Pros: The unique design makes it perfect for lefties and those who struggle with squeezing.

Cons: It has a bit of a learning curve.

Many can openers are not ideal for lefties, as you usually have to hold the handles with your left hand and squeeze tightly to start the process. But that’s not the case with this Bartelli can opener. Instead, you can use either hand to clamp it onto the lid and turn the blades while holding the can in place with your non-dominant hand. Note that it rotates clockwise, meaning lefties will turn the handle toward their body. With a bottle opener and mechanism for helping you open jars as well, it’s a great addition to your kitchen.

Price at time of publish: $18

  • Type: Manual crank

  • Material: Stainless steel

  • Length: 4.5 inches

  • Dishwasher-Safe: No

Our Favorite

We love the Zyliss Lock N’ Lift Can Opener for its lid lock mechanism, comfortable handles, and magnetic, hands-free removal. If you’re wanting an electric model, we recommend the Hamilton Beach Electric Automatic Can Opener, as it performed the best during our tests.

Factors to Consider


Classic manual can openers are the most popular choice. They feature a sharp rotating blade that pierces into the lid and comfort handles and a turning knob to cut around the can. While most models are similar to one another, some might cut from the side rather than the top, work best for lefties, or include bonus features like a bottle opener. For people with arthritis, we recommend an electric can opener, like our top pick the Hamilton Beach Electric Automatic Can Opener. These automatic models get the job done with minimal effort required from you. The only con is that they tend to be more expensive and bigger than their manual counterparts.


While electric can openers may make things easier, they are also larger than manual can openers. If you don’t have the space to stand your can opener in a cupboard and would rather tuck it away in a drawer, a manual one might be your best option. Likewise, if you need a can opener to bring on the go, a smaller model is a smart choice.

Ease of Use

Most of the can openers on this list are manual crank openers, meaning you position the opener on the ridge of the can, squeeze it, and then turn a handle to open the can. These tend to be relatively easy to use unless you have difficulty gripping the can opener’s handles with one hand as you spin the crank with the other. That said, a hands-free, electric can opener offers the ultimate ease of use.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you sharpen a can opener?

With frequent use, the blades on your can opener will inevitably grow dull. However, it’s very easy to sharpen a can opener. When you notice the blades starting to struggle, run a folded piece of aluminum foil or a piece of coarse-grade sandpaper through the can opener a few times to sharpen the blades — you’ll need another set of hands to either hold the foil/sandpaper or operate the can opener. Once this method stops working, it’s likely time to replace the blades or purchase a new can opener.

How do you clean a can opener?

The easiest way to keep a can opener germ-free is to scrub it with dish soap after each use and let it air dry completely before returning it to your drawer. But if it starts to rust or has visible buildup, soak it in white vinegar for a few minutes and then scrub the blades with a toothbrush — do this as many times as you need to in order to get it really clean.

Are electric can openers worth it?

It depends on what’s important to you. If you’re looking for a way to take the possibility of human error out of opening cans and storage space isn’t an issue, then certainly. Ditto if you are worried about your can opener getting dirty, as the blades attachment on our favorite electric can opener can be washed in the dishwasher. But if you’ve never had any gripes with a manual can opener and you like being able to tuck it away in a drawer, you don’t need to make the switch.

Our Expertise

Alyssa Sybertz is an experienced food writer and recipe developer who covers anything and everything you may find in your kitchen for Food & Wine. For this article, she researched the most durable and reliable can openers for all your canned food needs.

For more Food & Wine news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on Food & Wine.