The 8 Best Can Openers of 2021

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Our Top Picks
"It's easy to use, with wide, comfortable grip handles for functionality."
"Open regular cans as well as those that have pull-tab lids."
"Its non-slip, comfortable grip and easy-turn, oversized knob make it super simple to operate—even for those with arthritis."
"This manual side-cutting can opener has several added features."
"Tuck it in with your fishing or camping gear and take it with you."
"Simply push the ratchet without needing to hold onto it."
"Mounts to a wall where it is always ready for use."
"It's made for opening those flip-top cans and giving you extra leverage."

There’s no doubt about it—everyone needs a can opener. Even if you primarily buy fresh meat and vegetables, there often comes a time when it's convenient to have canned foods on hand, whether it's tomatoes for classic spaghetti sauce, chickpeas for hummus, or even tuna for making a melt in a pinch.

A manual can opener is easy to use and fits into a utensils drawer or countertop holder quite seamlessly, but opting for an electric opener may suit you best if you don't like the process of twisting. This kitchen tool may seem basic compared to other gadgets, but some have extra useful features to help you open your cans—and dispose of the lids—safely and seamlessly. Behold, the best can openers.

Best Overall, Manual: Zyliss Lock N' Lift Can Opener

ZYLISS Lock N' Lift Can Opener

This tool is easy to use, with wide, comfortable grip handles that make it easy to squeeze the opener into place on the can lid. The opener locks into place, so you don’t have to keep squeezing as you open the can. The side handle is easy and comfortable to turn, and the cutting operation is smooth.

When the can is open, you simply release the lock to let go of the can. A magnet grabs and holds the can lid so you can lift it away from the can, then you can use the magnet release lever to drop the lid straight into the garbage, so you don’t have to touch it at all.

Best Overall, Electric: Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch Can Opener

hamilton beach can opener

This electric can opener opens cans from the side of the lid rather than cutting from the top, so you can open regular cans as well as those that have pull-tab lids. It leaves a smooth edge, so you don't have to worry about cutting yourself on the sharp edge.

Since the blade never makes contact with the food, it will stay cleaner. You also don’t risk cross-contaminating foods, because no one wants their evaporated milk to taste like baked beans.

This has a large top lever that’s easy to press down, so it’s simple for anyone to operate. Just attach the can, press the lever, and hold it down as the can opener does all the work. It's not clunky and the design is quite sleek, so you can store it on your countertop if you open a lot of cans. If you won't be using it often, simply tuck it away in a cabinet.

Best for Arthritis: OXO Good Grips Smooth Edge Can Opener

While this can opener isn't electric, its non-slip, comfortable grip, and easy-turn, oversized knob make it super simple to operate—even for those with arthritis. The stainless steel cutting wheel never touches your food, which makes it sanitary, and you can use the attached lid pliers to remove the top of the can.

What makes this can opener stand out is the fact that it cuts on the side of the can instead of the top, meaning you aren't left with any sharp edges on the can or lid. Customers suggest reading the instructions or watching an instructional video before using it the first time, but once you get the hang of it, the whole process is quick, easy, and requires minimal grip strength.

Best Multi-Purpose: Kuhn Rikon Auto Safety Master Can Opener

This manual side-cutting can opener automatically locks itself onto the can as you turn the handle, so it’s simple to get it going. Since it works from the side of the lid rather than the top, you get clean, smooth removal with no sharp edges to worry about when the lid is removed, and since the cutter never touches the food, there’s no chance of cross-contamination. When the lid is free, lid-lifter jaws clamp onto the lid to remove it easily, then you simply push a button to release it into the trash. The lid can also be pressed back onto the can to keep the contents neat while you work on a recipe.

Besides opening cans, this has an integrated screw-top bottle opener, an integrated lift-off bottle opener, and a lever for pull-top cans, so you’ll be ready to open just about everything with this one device. It's available in several colors, to brighten up your kitchen or match your décor.

Best Compact: Korin Wall Mount Can Opener

This compact little cutter doesn’t have any moving parts, and it doesn’t require batteries or electricity, so you can tuck it in with your fishing or camping gear or use it to open cans when the power is out.

This requires a little more effort than other manual cutters, but the sharp cutting edge easily pierces the can lid, then the cutting continues with a rocking motion using the shape of the opener as a guide. This also includes a bottle opener, making it even more versatile.

Best Left-Handed: Kuhn Rikon Ratchet SAFETY LIDLIFTER

kuhn rikon ratchet safety lifter

Easy to operate with either the left or right hand, this has a ratchet arm rather than a turning handle. This opener is great for people with poor grip strength or arthritis because instead of twisting, you simply clamp it on and pump the ratchet.

This works from the side of the lid rather than the top, so it is able to open normal cans as well as pull-top cans if you have a broken pull tab. Since the opener never touches the food, you don’t need to worry about cross-contamination, even if you’re opening a lot of cans at one time. For easy lid removal of pull-tab lids, this has a small “beak” that will grab the ring so you can pull the top easily. Small integrated pliers grab the lid to make it easy to remove once it’s freed from the can.

Best Wall-Mounted: Swing-A-Way Japanese Can Opener (Ganji Kankiri)

No need to find storage space in a drawer or cabinet for this can opener–it mounts to a wall where it will always be ready for use. The mounting bracket and screws are included with the opener, so you’ll have everything you need to install it. It even swings out of your way when not in use.

This is a heavy-duty can opener made by a company that’s been making can openers since 1938, so they know what they’re doing. It has a large crank handle that operates the cutter, giving extra leverage for easy operation. It smoothly and easily cuts the top of the can, then a magnet grabs the lid to keep it from falling in. An integrated bottle opener is included, making this even more versatile.

Best Flip-Top: Kole Kl J-Popper

Flip-top cans sound like a great idea, but some are tough to open and can be difficult for folks with arthritis or poor grip strength. This opener is made just for opening those flip-top cans (like tuna, soup, and even soda), providing needed leverage for smooth, easy opening. Just insert the end into the tab and pull to roll the lid back. Since your fingers are far from the lid, this also helps avoid cuts from slipping while trying to pry the lid with your fingers. It's lightweight and inexpensive, which makes it great for taking on a camping or boating trip. And while it doesn't come into contact with food, it's dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.

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