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The Best Can Openers of 2020

We buy  we assess  and we test the latest and greatest products to make sure your purchasing process does not involve opening a can of worms.
By Jackie Kearney ⋅ Review Editor
Friday June 26, 2020
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Need a new can opener? Our kitchen experts researched the 2020 market before buying and testing 9 of the best models side by side. We include a range of traditional models, innovative designs, and manual vs. electric ones, upon which we ran tests and assessed them on their sharpness, ease of use, versatility, durability, and style and footprint. We opened nearly a hundred cans of all shapes and sizes to determine exactly how each can performs across varying consumer needs. After days of measuring, testing, and can opening, we have a recommendation that fits your specific needs, all informed by dedicated, hands-on use.

1

Best Electric Model


Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch Opener


Editors' Choice Award
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$29.92
(40% off)
at Amazon
See It

Electric?: Yes | Opening method: Smooth seal break
Guiding bar attaches can perfectly
Hands-free
Opens cans without leaving sharp edges
Large footprint
Not cheap

The Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch stands out for how easy it is to attach any size of can to it. The guiding bar above the blade placed the can in the perfect spot every time. The oversized locking lever makes it easy for anyone to use. The smooth touch design breaks the seal of the can along the edge of the lid instead of breaking through it. The result is a lid and opened can with smooth edges, hence the name. An added bonus of this design is that very little of the contents of the can remains on the blades of the opener, creating minimal clean-up.

There are a few drawbacks to this model, however. The introduction of electrical elements and plastic levers draws into question its durability. All of the gears and the guiding bar for can attachment are made out of metal, but the lever that controls the locking mechanism is plastic. The countertop design also requires a lot more space than the handheld models and doesn't have any additional features like a bottle opener. This is something to consider if you do not have a lot of counter space or don't open too many cans. That being said, the chrome and black look of this opener is sleek and timeless, so it's not an eyesore on your counter. Overall, the Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch is the best option if you open a lot of cans and desire the easiest solution available.

A classic countertop design  the Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch is exceptionally easy to use and performs consistently across all can sizes.
A classic countertop design, the Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch is exceptionally easy to use and performs consistently across all can sizes.

2

Best Manual Model


EZ-DUZ-IT Deluxe


Editors' Choice Award
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$7.68
(30% off)
at Amazon
See It

Electric?: No | Opening Method: Lid puncture
Extremely durable
Comfortable grips
Great value
Requires practice for optimal performance
Sharp lid post-opening
For the best overall manual performance, the classic style of the EZ-DUZ-IT

cannot be beat. This opener looks exactly like the one many of us grew up using, and probably the one my mother grew up with as well. The EZ-DUZ-IT Deluxe 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 comfortable, grippy rubber. The grips combined with the rigidity of the metal give a great mechanical advantage when attempting to puncture large cans. This opener performs equally on everything from small 6 oz cans of tomato paste to large 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes. In addition to being exceptionally durable, it is also just about as affordable as can openers can get, a combo we salute.

While the EZ-DUZ-IT is a great traditional option, there are a few areas it falls a little flat. The most notable is the tendency to disconnect from the rim of the can with too much downward pressure on the handles. Although initially frustrating, a little bit of practice mitigated this issue. Additionally, the no-fuss style of this opener does lend itself to creating sharp edges on the can's lid, as is common with this style of opener. The lid is still easy to remove with a bit of caution, but this might not be the best option if you have small children helping in the kitchen or impaired dexterity. If you are looking for a good old-fashioned can opener that has potential to outlast the competition, the EZ-DUZ-IT Deluxe is the opener for you.

Classic and durable  the EZ-Duz-IT is easy to use and seems like it should last you a lifetime.
Classic and durable, the EZ-Duz-IT is easy to use and seems like it should last you a lifetime.

3

Best Value for an Electric Model


Cuisinart Deluxe CCO-50


Best Buy Award
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$19.95
at Amazon
See It

Electric?: Yes | Opening Method: Lid puncture
Great value
Easy cleaning
Magnet for easy lid removal
High use of plastic parts
Jagged lid

If you want to have the luxury of a countertop electric can opener, but only want to spend manual can opener price, the Cuisinart Deluxe Electric is a great option. For just a little more than most manual can openers, you can have this sleek, white countertop model. The large lever makes it easy to puncture the tops of all can sizes, and the magnet feature holds on to the cut lid for easy removal. 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 blade and magnet 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 clamp of the locking lever on the Cuisinart during testing. With a little additional pressure they were removed, but it was easy to spill the contents of the can while doing so. Another drawback of this style is that it creates a sharp and jagged lid. The magnet makes it easy to remove this lid, but if you have small children or would prefer a smooth edge, this isn't the best option. Additionally, the casing around the magnet, the locking lever, and the socket that attaches the blade/magnet assembly to the body are all made of plastic. These high-use parts might wear down over time or lose some of their sleek chrome appearance as the paint chips away. If you are looking to try an electric model, though, the Cuisinart works better than expected for its entry-level price.

The Cuisinart has a easy to operate lever that punctured the tops of cans with ease.
The Cuisinart has a easy to operate lever that punctured the tops of cans with ease.

4

Best Hand Saver


Kitchen Mama Electric


Top Pick Award
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$24.88
at Amazon
See It

Electric?: Yes | Opening Method: Smooth seal break
Minimal pressure required to operate
Stylish and relatively compact design
Doesn't create sharp edges
Battery-powered
May not survive all falls 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 to the otherwise modest-looking competition. After taking a few moments to determine how to place the compact electric opener on the can, attaching it to the can becomes effortless. The single button that operates the Kitchen Mama is easy to compress and securely locks to the edge of the lid for hands-free operation. Once the opener makes a complete rotation, pressing the button stops the opener and detaches it from the lid. The product 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. The thin plastic shell appears susceptible to breaking with a few more drops. But even if you have to eventually replace it, we were very impressed by the Kitchen Mama. It takes very little effort to operate and produces a smooth lid and can. If you have difficulty operating a traditional opener and don't want to add an appliance to your countertop, give this excellent and hip solution a try.

The Kitchen Mama literally takes one finger to operate.
The Kitchen Mama literally takes one finger to operate.

5

A Space Saving and Ambidextrous Option


Joseph Joseph Can-Do Compact


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$10
List Price
See It

Electric?: No | Opening Method: Entire lid removal
Compact footprint
Stylish design
Ambidextrous
Creates sharp lid and can
Poor durability

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 have limited space or need a little can opener for camping trips. The Joseph Joseph attaches securely to the lid of the can and it takes moderate effort to turn the timer-like plastic dial. When through the lid, and after lifting it off using the locking feature, pressing the release button on the side of the opener 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 innovative design and colorful style, 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, as the labels on the cans almost always became caught in the gears. Also related to this design is that it left an open can with a sharp edge that lacks stability resulting from the removal of the thicker metal on the rim. Additionally, 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 lid of the can. It's unclear how long the Joseph Joseph will perform, but if your main priority is saving kitchen space, then this no other option satisfies this need better.

6

Nicest Grips


OXO Good Grips Soft-Handled


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$14.79
at Amazon
See It

Electric?: No | Opening Method: Lid puncture
Textured handles
Compact design
Performance sensitive to the angle of operation
High use of plastic creates doubt in durability
Difficult to puncture can

As the name suggests, the OXO Good Grips has the nicest grips of the manual can openers we tested. The grips are textured, soft, and maintain their functionality even when wet. They have a nice oversized round knob, making turning the opener relatively easy. After a few tries to figure out the best angle to hold the opener to the can, the blade slices smoothly and evenly. This is also the most compact of the classic can opener styles we tested and performed well on the smallest cans. It also includes the additional feature of a bottle opener.

While the grips are nice, this model proved more difficult than others to puncture the cans with. The plastic structure of the handles leads to a lot of flex, which reduces your mechanical advantage, and increases the force you must use. If you do not want to or are unable to use a lot of force this is not the best fit for you. The plastic in the handles and the plastic spacer in the gears lead our team to question this product's longevity. The OXO Good Grips model isn't a poor option, but we do think there are some better options available, though none with as nice of handles.

7

Most Additional Functions


Kuhn Rikon Auto Safety Master


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$24.95
(4% off)
at Amazon
See It

Electric?: No | Opening Method: Smooth seal break
Many bonus functions
Smooth lid after opening
Many high use plastic parts
Poor can size versatility for large cans
Pincer switch hard to use

The Kuhn Rikon Auto Safety Master shares some features with classic models of can openers like the addition of a bottle opener and a large knob to turn the gears. The way it connects to the can, however, is unique. It is easy to get the opener to latch onto the top of the can and break the seal along the edge. This opener also includes the additional features of a pull-tab opener, pincers for lid removal, and an opener for twist-off bottle caps.

This opener can do many things, but there are a few areas in which it falls short in our eyes. The Kuhn Rikon has difficulty when opening the large diameter cans (28 oz and up), digging into their side and creating a dent where the lid could not be removed. The release function (turning the knob counterclockwise) was inconsistent in performance for us and the switch for the lid removing pincers required a lot of pressure. Lastly, most of the opener outside of the blade and gears is made out of plastic, it seems likely that the high use parts like the pincer switch will wear out with extended use. The Kuhn Rikon provides decent can opening function with four bonus functions.

8

A Colorful Option


KitchenAid Classic Multifunction


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$12.99
at Amazon
See It

Electric?: No | Opening Method: Lid puncture
Stylish colors
Oversized handles for leverage
Carbon stainless steel blade
Lifetime warranty
Bulky for footprint and small cans
Handles slippery and uncomfortable

The Kitchenaid Classic Multifunction is a traditional manual can opener design, but it comes in several different bright and stylish colors. The large, oversized knob is easy to turn. The long handles help lend mechanical advantage when puncturing the can, making it a little easier than some compact models. Additionally, Kitchenaid Classic Multifunction boasts a high-carbon stainless steel blade and a lifetime-warranty.

While the brightly colored plastic and oversized handles and knobs are aesthetically pleasing, they also created a few functionality issues during our tests. The large size of the opener is good for most cans, but the smallest cans made it feel a little awkward. It also takes up a lot of space in a kitchen drawer. The plastic on the grips is light and slippery, which can make this opener difficult to use. This was the most colorful of the openers we tested and would be a great addition to a kitchen prioritizing looks.

9

An Innovative Design that Fell Short


Zyliss Lock N' Lift


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$15.99
(11% off)
at Amazon
See It

Electric?: No | Opening Method: Lid puncture
Securely locks to lid
Handles flex leading to poor puncture
Dull blade
Faulty magnet function
Sharp lid
Poor durability

At first glance, the Zyliss Lock N' Lift is a great option that assists with the sometimes tenuous task of removing the cut lid from the can. It locks securely to the top of the lid as the name suggests, and has a magnet feature to help remove the lid from the can. The rubber grips on the plastic handles are soft and tacky.

The performance of the Zyliss Lock n' Lift was disappointing to our testers, who had high hopes for the model. The handles had a great deal of flex in their plastic and the blade was not sharp, leading to poor puncture ability. The lock button is also plastic, difficult to use, and feels as though it is about break. Unfortunately, the magnet does not attach securely to the lid, and often comes detached before the lid is removed from the can, leaving the user with a sharp lid to remove from the can. Overall, the Zyliss Lock n' Lift was promising, but the features that made it unique did not perform well for us.

Why You Should Trust Us


Jackie Kearney, our lead tester, has spent nearly a decade working in the restaurant industry, performing every job from washing dishes to cooking to serving. She's also an adventurous home cook. In the winter she works long days ski patrolling and in the summer she works long days on a vegetable farm. This experience and lifestyle mean she is passionate about finding the most efficient and effective tools for the kitchen. After spending years running around restaurants and running around during the day, she knows there is nothing better than the perfect tool for the job. As far as cans are concerned, she's not only an expert in opening them but also in consuming their contents.

The Joseph Joseph Can-Do Compact can opener had a ridiculously small footprint  less than a third of the size of every other product tested.
Running the OXO Good Grips through the can gauntlet.
We opened and ate a LOT of beans and crushed  diced  peeled  and whole tomatoes during the test process.

To find the best can opener models across different styles, our editorial team and lead tester spent hours researching the best can openers available. We selected a wide range of models to test, from traditional manual ones to innovative openers to countertop models and more, putting them all head to head in comparative analysis. In the process, we opened 100 cans of all sizes, from tiny 2.25 oz cans of olives to 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes, and many in between. We assessed how much effort, pressure, and precision each tool demanded from us, noting the easier ones from the finicky ones. We also examined how they open cans, and if they left behind sharp edges or none. Our leader tester intentionally dropped each model from counter-height onto the kitchen floor to ensure they can handle real-life accidents, too. After living in our kitchen drawers for weeks and getting daily use, we feel confident in our assessments and experience with each model we tested.

The power of the electric models like the Cuisinart slid through all of the lids with ease.
The power of the electric models like the Cuisinart slid through all of the lids with ease.

Analysis and Test Results


A can opener is an essential tool for any home cook, and 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.

Smoothness and Sharpness


When scoring this metric, we considered the cutting performance of each opener. It's frustrating when a can opener that pops off of the can while in use, or becomes stuck halfway around the can, leaving you with a can that is neither open nor closed.

We found varying sharpness among the models we tested  which affects the cutting prowess of an opener.
We found varying sharpness among the models we tested, which affects the cutting prowess of an opener.

The Hamilton Beach and the Cuisinart models scored the highest by far in this category. They have the advantage of electricity, as does the Kitchen Mama Electric, and continued through testing to cut open cans evenly and consistently. On the manual front, the EZ-DUZ-IT Deluxe edged out the manual competition with slightly stronger cutting performance than the OXO Good Grips, Kuhn Rikon and KitchenAid. The design of the Joseph Joseph removing the entire lid created more resistance, while the Zyliss Lock n' Lift appeared to simply have a duller blade than its competitors.

The combination of a sharp blade and electric power led to high scores in sharpness and smoothness for the electric models like this Cuisinart.
The combination of a sharp blade and electric power led to high scores in sharpness and smoothness for the electric models like this Cuisinart.

Ease of Use


Ease of use describes the function of the opener outside of the blade performance and the quality of the opened can it produced. We counted how many turns exactly each manual can opener required to open five standard cans of beans (15-16 oz), evaluated the pressure required to open the can, considered 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.

The Kitchen Mama took the least effort to operate  with the actual touch of a button it sliced through all sizes and shapes of cans with ease.
The Kitchen Mama took the least effort to operate, with the actual touch of a button it sliced through all sizes and shapes of cans with ease.

Again this metric favored the electric models, as it was hard to ignore that the Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch, Kitchen Mama and Cuisinart Deluxe Electric require very little effort to operate, and produce open cans that are either smooth, or sharp but easy to manage. Each of these models involves simply 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.

The Joseph Joseph removed the entire lid from the can  cutting below where it is sealed. This created both a sharp can and a sharp lid  and remove the structure of the opened can  making it easier to spill.
The Joseph Joseph removed the entire lid from the can, cutting below where it is sealed. This created both a sharp can and a sharp lid, and remove the structure of the opened can, making it easier to spill.

On the other hand, the EZ-DUZ-IT edges out the competition on the manual can openers. 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. The KitchenAid proved to be just a little too bulky to be comfortable to use, even with the oversized grips.

Versatility


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 the openers performed across all the can sizes we could find at the supermarket: 5 "average bean cans", 1 small tomato paste, 1 large crushed tomatoes, 1 short wide can of chicken, 1 short tuna can, and 1 small tomato sauce can. We also considered additional features of the openers.

The Joseph Joseph and the Kuhn Rikon both dipped into the edge of larger cans  catching on the wider diameter.
The Joseph Joseph and the Kuhn Rikon both dipped into the edge of larger cans, catching on the wider diameter.

Almost all of the cans performed evenly across can sizes. The exceptions were the Joseph Joseph and Kuhn Rikon, which struggled on larger diameter cans, and the Kitchenaid, which struggled on short cans due to its oversized nature. The Joseph Joseph, Hamilton Beach, Cuisinart, Kitchen Mama, and Zyliss Lock N' Lift do not serve any multifunction capacity. The Kitchen Aid, EZ-DUZ-IT, and OXO Good Grips all have a bottle opener function, and the Kuhn Rikon has five extra features in addition to its can opening ability.

The Kuhn Rikon has 5 additional features. Two bottle openers  a twist top assist  a pop top assist  and pincers to help with lid removal.
The Kuhn Rikon has 5 additional features. Two bottle openers, a twist top assist, a pop top assist, and pincers to help with lid removal.

Durability


We have all used can openers that can barely stay attached to the lid of the can anymore, 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. To evaluate durability we examined the materials of the high use parts and performed a drop test from a 40" countertop for the handheld models.

All metal construction of EZ-DUZ-IT Deluxe can't be beat for durability.
All metal construction of EZ-DUZ-IT Deluxe can't be beat for durability.

The EZ-DUZ-IT Deluxe crushed the competition in this category with its tried and true all-metal construction. In general, the more plastic that is introduced into a model, the less durable it seemed. Notably, the OXO Good Grips has a plastic spacer in its gears that doesn't inspire long-term, frequent use, and the Zyliss Lock n' Lift is made almost entirely of plastic. Its handle popped off in the drop test, although it still worked thereafter. Similarly, the Kitchen Mama fell apart during the drop test. For the countertop models, we tested the Cuisinart had significantly more plastic integrated into its can-opening mechanism than the Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch, making it seem less durable.

Almost entirely plastic construction and poor marks in the drop test drew the durability of Zyliss into question.
Almost entirely plastic construction and poor marks in the drop test drew the durability of Zyliss into question.

Style and Footprint


Style can be a personal choice, but some models really 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.

Stylish colors of Kitchen Mama and Kitchenaid options. The Kitchen Mama also scored for its unique  compact electric design.
Stylish colors of Kitchen Mama and Kitchenaid options. The Kitchen Mama also scored for its unique, compact electric design.

The Kitchen Mama and Joseph Joseph are the clear leaders in this category for both their compact footprints and innovative designs. The Joseph Joseph is clearly the best option if you value saving space over all else, while the Kitchen Mama manages convenient performance and space combined the best. The KitchenAid Classic also scores points for fun color choices in a market where bland looks are par for the course. 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.

The Hamilton Beach has a classic chrome and black color scheme to match any kitchen.
The Hamilton Beach has a classic chrome and black color scheme to match any kitchen.

Conclusion


Through thorough research and hands-on, independent testing, we are able to assess a wide range of can opener models to find you 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, which highlighted the best and worst contenders in each metric. While we may never want to eat a can of chili or bean salad again, the gobs of cans opened and gulped down in the rigorous testing process lead us to really get to know each product's advantages and pitfalls so you can make an informed decision quickly to get the can opener that fits you and your kitchen.

Jackie Kearney