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A can opener is a necessary gadget to have in the kitchen, but sometimes the manual ones can be hard to use, especially if you have arthritis or other problems with your hands. That’s why electric can openers are a great alternative. They’re easy for everyone to use and don’t require a lot of effort. Most often, you’ll be able to open canned goods with the touch of a button, but how do you know which one is right for you? We’ve researched what’s out there and compiled our picks for the best electric can openers available now.
Best Overall: Hamilton Beach Classic Chrome Heavyweight Electric Automatic Can Opener
Easy to use
Sometimes tips with oversized cans
This heavyweight can opener from Hamilton Beach is a top seller because of its durability and overall performance. It features SureCut patented technology that makes sure the can opens on the first try, every time. Besides opening cans, it also has a knife-sharpening feature. The opener plugs into the wall, but has cord storage to keep it tidy and out of sight when you’re not using it. When it’s time to clean up, you can conveniently remove the cutting unit to wash it.
One customer referred to the can opener as a workhorse, able to open up both small and large cans well—however, a word of warning: Some users had issues with the device tipping when working with oversized cans. That said, people love how clean the cuts are, how long it lasts, and how easy it is to use for people with arthritis or stiffness in their hands.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch Can Opener
Leaves smooth edges
Metal shards could fall in food if can rotates more than once
If you want to ensure that your cans will open with a smooth edge, a side-cutting system is important. This one from Hamilton Beach has that feature, and it’s also just a great product all around. It can open cans of any size, including pop-tops, and has an ergonomic lever that doesn’t require a lot of strength. Designed with chrome and black features, it looks sleek and attractive on the counter. You can also buy this model with stainless steel kitchen scissors and a storage slot.
Most customers have been extremely happy with this product saying it's easy to use and the edges come out very smooth. However, be forewarned: If you go around the edge more than once with the opener, metal shards might end up in your food. It’s something you’ll have to be careful with if you purchase this product.
Best Design: Cuisinart Deluxe Stainless Steel Electric Can Opener
Rubber feet help prevent slipping
Blade, magnetic lid holder are removable
Can may drop once lid is removed
One of the sleeker designs on the market right now, this gorgeous brushed stainless steel can opener from Cuisinart cuts with precision and features an extra-wide heavy bottom base that helps to keep it from sliding or tipping while in use. For extra protection, it also has rubber feet to prevent slipping. The blade and magnetic lid holder are removable for easy cleaning.
Customers love that the product is entirely made of solid metal with no plastic parts, and it seems to be relatively quiet while in use. They also say that it opens the cans smoothly, and heavy cans don’t seem to be a problem for the device to hold. On the contrary, a few reviewers reported that some heavier cans might need to be supported by hand, otherwise they might drop after the lid is removed.
Best Budget: Handy Can Opener Automatic One Touch Electric Can Opener
Cuts beneath can lid
Easy to use
Some say it stopped working sooner than they expected
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on an electric can opener, but still want something that will get the job done well, this one is a good option. What’s great about it is the fact that it’s small and compact, so it won’t take up too much room among your other kitchen gadgets. You can turn it on and stop it with the touch of a button, and it’ll safely cut beneath the lid so you won’t have to deal with sharp edges. Even though it’s small, it can open cans of all sizes—including large—according to the description.
Overall, it’s a simple product that doesn’t cost a lot. While some customers had issues with it breaking down sooner than they had expected, most were happy with its performance, felt like it was worth the money they paid, and would buy a second one if needed.
Best Value: Kitchen Mama Electric Handheld Can Opener
Some reviewers say it's a bit loud
Like our budget pick, this one is handheld, and while it’s more expensive, it’s also top quality. Powered by AA alkaline batteries and a 12,000 RPM motor, all you have to do is latch this tool onto any size can (just not soda cans with sloped edges), take your hands off, tap the button twice to turn it on, and watch it go to work. The super-sharp blade slices through metal quickly without any twisting and turning from you. Once it cuts through 360 degrees, press the button again to make it stop.
Here's a perk: The blade cuts along the side of the lid without touching the food inside, so you don't have to worry about hazardous jagged edges or cross-contamination. Since it's cordless, it's completely transportable, so you can be fully prepared to bring canned goods to your next picnic in the park. To clean, simply use a damp towel. Do not submerge it, rinse it under running water, or load it in the dishwasher. Batteries are not included.
Our top pick is the Hamilton Beach Classic Chrome Heavyweight Electric Automatic Can Opener because it's durable, easy to use, and performs well every time. For a sleek option that works well, but costs less, go for the Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch Electric Automatic Can Opener with Easy Push Down Lever.
What to Look for in an Electric Can Opener
Battery or plug-in
Plug-in can openers are always ready to be used, so you’ll never be hunting for batteries when you’re opening cans of green beans for your famous casserole. Battery-operated can openers are very handy when the power goes out—plus, they’re very portable, as they don't require a separate power source.
Side-cut or traditional
Traditional can openers cut the lid just inside the rim, leaving a circle of metal that can be handy when you’re draining the liquid from the can. Side-cut openers actually unseal the side of the can’s top, leaving a smooth, safe edge, and a lid that you can use to cover the can temporarily.
If you don’t open a lot of cans, you might want to store your can opener in a drawer or in a cabinet, so it’s handy when you need it and hidden when you don’t. How much storage space do you want to devote to it? If you open a lot of cans, consider whether you want to keep your opener on the counter and how much space it'll take up.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Taylor Rock is an associate commerce editor for The Spruce Eats. She constantly has her eye on the market for new launches and updates content accordingly. Freelance food writer Jenny Kellerhals contributed additional research and text for this piece. As a recipe developer, she knows the importance of a reliable can opener.