PDA

View Full Version : What is wrong with can openers today?


ombre3
12-13-2005, 07:53 PM
I had an old electric GE can opener that finally crapped out.

Decided there was no good reason to waste electricity to open a stupid can------besides, in Floriduh with hurricanes, can't really depend on electricity sometimes.

I remember old manual can openers working very well--20 30 years ago.

But the last 2 I bought just recently have both been a pain in the ass to use. (I bought the second one because I thought I had bought a cheapo the first time and therein the problem and therefore bought the most expensive can opener available at Ace Hardware.

Second can opener not much better than the first. Doesn't cut deep enough into the can. If you play with it long enough it will actually open most cans except for the last teeny bit--------stick a knife in and you can pry the top of the can open. Kind of like Popeye's spinach cans.

Do they make manual can openers differently than 30 years ago? Are the cans made differently?

Or have I just been unlucky and bought a couple of lemons?

Cheez_Whia
12-13-2005, 08:09 PM
Buy a Swing-A-Way. Be sure to get the heavier model that also has a bottle opener on it. The one I have I bought in 1980 and it still opens cans with no problems. I think I have seen them in the $12-$15 range at most stores that sell kitchen gadgets.

Crafter_Man
12-13-2005, 08:36 PM
I hear ya, ombre3.

Like you, I put up with substandard can openers for many many years. I finally said, "I've had it with piece of sh!t can openers!!" and bought me a real can opener. It's an OXO SteeL 58081 (http://amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00004OCMM?v=glance). I loved it so much I bought another for work. It works great.

samclem
12-13-2005, 08:38 PM
This one will probably get better action in IMHO. Factual answers are allowed there as well as in GQ.

Moved. samclem GQ moderator

Stranger On A Train
12-13-2005, 08:48 PM
Buy a Swing-A-Way. Be sure to get the heavier model that also has a bottle opener on it. The one I have I bought in 1980 and it still opens cans with no problems. I think I have seen them in the $12-$15 range at most stores that sell kitchen gadgets.They also make a great pseudo-martial arts weapon. :D

And in the cold, dark yesteryears, I used to use the Swiss Army Knife standard can opener blade to great effect, until I got a Leatherman, which is even better.

Cheap & junky, or elaborate & complex can openers are like cheap & junky or elaborate & complex corkscrews; not worth the effort and pinched fingers required to operate them.

Stranger

jabiru
12-13-2005, 08:52 PM
I recently had occasion to replace my ancient can opener, the name of which I now forget. I was faced with the choice of multple cheapies which I suspect wouldn't have done the job or two whose names I was familiar with but which cost the earth. Swingaway was one and Magican was the other. I'm not sure now which is which but one of them I've used before and it left a lethal sharp edge at the top of the can because of the daft way it worked.

I ended up spending only a couple of dollars more for an electric can opener.

Lemur866
12-13-2005, 10:30 PM
Our new (by new I mean 2 years old) can opener is great. I don't remember where we got it, but it says "Good Cook" on the label. It opens cans from the side, not the top, leaving lids that perfectly set on top of the rims. The cut away tops don't have sharp edges, they are blunt. And it cuts with absolutely no difficulty or raggedness. Great gadget.

hermann
12-13-2005, 10:48 PM
Nothing works better than this old standby, the P-38:
http://diggerhistory.info/images/food/can-opener.jpg

fishbicycle
12-13-2005, 10:55 PM
We bought one at the grocery store, 7 1/2 years ago, that works just fine. It's made by Starfrit. It attaches to the can and turns from the top rather than the side, and makes a clean cut under the rim, that isn't sharp. The only problem I have with the design is that cutting a can open from under the rim lets a little bit of water (soup, what-have-you) escape while you're cutting. Not enough to be of concern, but still, you lose some, and have to wipe up the counter.

Ferret Herder
12-13-2005, 11:08 PM
Our new (by new I mean 2 years old) can opener is great. I don't remember where we got it, but it says "Good Cook" on the label. It opens cans from the side, not the top, leaving lids that perfectly set on top of the rims. The cut away tops don't have sharp edges, they are blunt. And it cuts with absolutely no difficulty or raggedness. Great gadget.
I have one like that, made by Kuhn-Rikon (http://chefscatalog.com/catalog/product.aspx?category=Kitchen+Tools&subcategory=Can+%26+Jar+Openers&item=93619). and love it. It takes a bit of getting used to, to figure out how to place the opener on the can, but the no-sharp-edges opening is great.

jasonh300
12-13-2005, 11:47 PM
I ended up spending only a couple of dollars more for an electric can opener.

I haven't seen an electric can opener that was worth a crap in years.

I still remember that old General Electric or maybe Kenmore can opener my Mother had when I was a kid...it was Avacado Green to match the rest of the appliances. It worked great for about 20 years. And it was heavy duty as well as heavy--like 8 lbs. When you opened a can with it, the lights dimmed and the cats came running into the kitchen.

jabiru
12-14-2005, 12:27 AM
I haven't seen an electric can opener that was worth a crap in years.

I still remember that old General Electric or maybe Kenmore can opener my Mother had when I was a kid...it was Avacado Green to match the rest of the appliances. It worked great for about 20 years. And it was heavy duty as well as heavy--like 8 lbs. When you opened a can with it, the lights dimmed and the cats came running into the kitchen.

This is the first electric can opener I've ever owned so I'm not an expert by any means. It's a Kenwood and works OK. I decided it was worth the extra dollars because I'm getting a bit of arthritis in my hands and I resented paying so much for a manual.

DMark
12-14-2005, 02:07 AM
I have about given up with can openers.

Three electric and four manual...from cheap to not-so-cheap...and every one has crapped out on us in less than a month.

I will have to check out some of those listed above.

It is reassuring to know we are not the only ones having problems with what used to be a simple, cheap, long lasting device.

ombre3
12-14-2005, 06:31 AM
I haven't seen an electric can opener that was worth a crap in years.

I still remember that old General Electric or maybe Kenmore can opener my Mother had when I was a kid...it was Avacado Green to match the rest of the appliances. It worked great for about 20 years. And it was heavy duty as well as heavy--like 8 lbs. When you opened a can with it, the lights dimmed and the cats came running into the kitchen.

The electric one I ended up pitching was about 30 years old and a GE and harvest gold. Heavy old sucker. The teeth or the gripper or something was starting to wear out after all those years and it had gotten a little erratic in cutting.

However it still worked better at 30 years of age than the couple new manual ones I recently bought. And I don't remember having any problem with the manual can openers I had 30-40 years ago.

Looking back on it, maybe I should have tried to find replacement parts for that old moose. For almost 30 years opening a can without any problem was a given, something you accepted as part of modern techological society.

Could it have something to do with the Chinese making just about everything these days?

Cheesesteak
12-14-2005, 07:25 AM
Buy a Swing-A-Way. Be sure to get the heavier model that also has a bottle opener on it. Heh, the first thing I thought on reading the title was "He didn't get a Swing-A-Way" The heavier model has a gear driven cutting wheel, it is far superior to the free spinning style. They haven't changed the design in decades, because it works.

I'm always surprised by people who have really lousy can openers in their kitchens. The Swing-A-Way is under $10, and tough as nails, so I always suggest that you have one stuffed in your drawer, even if you get an electric or other fancier model. One day, in a pinch, or a blackout, you will need a can to be opened, and the old Swing-A-Way will be there to save the day.

My mom bought one of the side of the can/no sharp edges can openers. Over Thanksgiving, we had to call her over every time we wanted to open a can because nobody else could figure out how to use the damn thing.

BiblioCat
12-14-2005, 08:01 AM
I have an OXO brand can opener (but a different model than Crafter Man's), and it's lasted at least 10 years. It's the one with heavy rubber grips.
It's working just fine, and opens cans quite easily. I have two, actually; one in the kitchen and one in with the camping gear.

I also have a cordless Black & Decker Gizmo, (which I see is featured in the Google ads :p ) and it works well, but I often forget to put it back on the charger and always pull out the trusty handheld OXO. Well worth the few extra dollars.

Kalhoun
12-14-2005, 08:11 AM
I use an old fashioned, all metal, hand-crank can opener. And a church key. They work every time.

I'll tell ya what REALLY pisses me off. My dad has a corkscrew that is "this far" from going through a window. The spiral metal that goes into the cork doesn't point directly down, so it's a major project to get it to go into the cork. Always a lopsided drill...always a traumatic extraction. I hate that fuckin' thing.

wheelie
12-14-2005, 08:15 AM
Another satisfied Swing-A-Way owner here. Only cost $8 at WallyWorld and doesn't get all nasty like electric openers I've had. And they're still made in the USA to boot.

Heh, the first thing I thought on reading the title was "He didn't get a Swing-A-Way"Me too.

Zsofia
12-14-2005, 11:05 AM
OXO has a bunch of different kinds in the Good Grips line - I'm very happy with mine, and I've given them as gifts. They have the kind that makes the smooth edge, although I'd never tried it. Actually all of their gadgets are fabulously wonderful, except I like the Zyliss garlic press and Microplane graters.

gotpasswords
12-14-2005, 11:43 AM
Another OXO fan here. After I don't know how many years, the thing still works.

Kalhoun - get a waiter's corkscrew. It only goes in whatever direction you point it. If it goes in lopsided, you're also lopsided. :D

Sal Ammoniac
12-14-2005, 12:25 PM
Another Swing-A-Way toady here. They're more expensive than some, but vastly more robust. We had one of those side-cutting things Lemur mentions, and it was okay once we got past the cognitive dissonance, but it just didn't last. The teeth wore down and it became useless. Of course, if you're a tough ombre, you can just rip the top off the can with your bare hands.

little*bit
12-14-2005, 02:52 PM
The other problem with the side-cutting openers is if you usually use the cut top to drain the contents, this is no longer an option.

Jake
12-14-2005, 06:30 PM
I went bananas a couple years ago and bought a forty dollar Krupps side opener.
I'ts now under the sink with some other junk. I now use a wallyworld twister non-electric that work's better but not perfect.
Show me a person who can make a perfect can opener and s/he will rule the world!
'specially on bent cans. ;)

scr4
12-14-2005, 07:11 PM
I was about to say "Why are you guys having so many problems? I bought a generic one at Target for less than $10 and it works beautifully."

It turns out it's a Swing-A-Way. I guess I was lucky to have chosen it. ;)

ombre3
12-15-2005, 12:05 AM
OXO has a bunch of different kinds in the Good Grips line - I'm very happy with mine, and I've given them as gifts. They have the kind that makes the smooth edge, although I'd never tried it. Actually all of their gadgets are fabulously wonderful, except I like the Zyliss garlic press and Microplane graters.

Just checked the brand name on the second manual can opener I bought at Ace Hardware-- the most expensive one Ace hardware had--for about $12--------the one you have to play with and eventually have to use a knife to pry one side open making it look like a Popeye spinach can.

It is an OXO.

I guess it's Swing A Way for me.

taxi78cab
12-15-2005, 11:08 AM
I really like the side-opening model that I have. It does take time to get used to, but it leaves the cover intact so it can be used to store the food in the fridge. Great for the kitty food - I open it one day, and it's still fresh in the fridge the next. Much better than aluminum foil on top of the can!

But I do also have a plain old-fashioned kind for when I want to use the cover to drain the contents of the can. So I guess I'm a proponent of both kinds.

I don't know what brands I have though. Good luck finding something that works for you.

Maastricht
12-15-2005, 11:58 AM
It opens cans from the side, not the top, leaving lids that perfectly set on top of the rims. The cut away tops don't have sharp edges, they are blunt. And it cuts with absolutely no difficulty or raggedness. Great gadget.

The best can-openers don't cut through the metal, (either from abov or from the side) but through the soldeer (sp) the metal that glues the two together. That means the knife has to "work around the corner", but as the soldeer is much softer then the can-metal, it goes much easier. And like others said: no sharp edges.

I've got one like that, it cost me about 10 bucks from a salesman. Great buy. I've seen them occasionally in stores, too.

Amazon Floozy Goddess
12-15-2005, 01:17 PM
Most likely their parents didn't teach them manners. They got in with a bad crowd, started drinking, doing drugs, etc. Sad, really.

thirdname
12-15-2005, 02:14 PM
More and more cans have tabs on the top these days, even some generics. It might not be important for much longer.

Baldwin
12-15-2005, 10:39 PM
Another vote for the OXO. Sucker cuts through the rim from the side, takes the whole top off the can with no sharp edges. You can even put the top back on the can if you're not using it all, and put it in the fridge.

thubten
11-18-2015, 01:32 PM
If your Swing Away stops cutting well....
get your self a mandril from one of those old orbital disk sanders you put into your portable drill;
get some PB Blaster and then loosen the nut on your Swing Away
Remove the cutter wheel and attach it to the mandril with a ? 1/4"x20 flat head screw;
run your drill with the cutter wheel carefully against a fine sharpening stone and look at the edge with a magnifying glass
Voila a new cutter wheel!

AllShookDown
11-18-2015, 02:18 PM
When I have an old, beloved kitchen thing bite the dust the first thing I do is check ebay to see if someone is selling the exact same thing that broke on me. I did a search for "vintage electric can opener" and the first thing that came up was a harvest gold, GE model. $22 plus $6 shipping.

I have an Oxo (sharp) and I think a Kuhn Rikon (smooth). Both work fine.

Thudlow Boink
11-18-2015, 02:21 PM
I hear ya, ombre3.

Like you, I put up with substandard can openers for many many years. I finally said, "I've had it with piece of sh!t can openers!!" and bought me a real can opener. It's an OXO SteeL 58081 (http://amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00004OCMM?v=glance). I loved it so much I bought another for work. It works great.Interesting that this link is still alive and well 10 years later.

silenus
11-18-2015, 02:32 PM
I'll bet the can opener is too.

bump
11-18-2015, 03:20 PM
Buy a Swing-A-Way. Be sure to get the heavier model that also has a bottle opener on it. The one I have I bought in 1980 and it still opens cans with no problems. I think I have seen them in the $12-$15 range at most stores that sell kitchen gadgets.

Yep. This is wise advice. We got a new Swing-a-Way in 2008, and it's still chugging along just fine.

bump
11-18-2015, 03:22 PM
Kalhoun - get a waiter's corkscrew. It only goes in whatever direction you point it. If it goes in lopsided, you're also lopsided. :D

I'll second this too. Once you get the hang of using them, you won't go back. Oxo's rendition of the waiter's corkscrew is pretty solid as well.

cochrane
11-18-2015, 03:29 PM
Kalhoun hasn't posted here in 2 1/2 years. You're replying to a zombie.

Scumpup
11-18-2015, 03:36 PM
I have a dedicated Swiss Army Knife in the kitchen that is used as a can opener.

BrotherCadfael
11-18-2015, 03:49 PM
Our old electric died a couple of months ago. It had a good life, but, at twenty, it was pretty tired. We inherited a Swing-Away from my in-laws, and it works well enough, and we open few enough cans, that I don't plan to replace the electric.

JcWoman
11-18-2015, 04:40 PM
Nothing works better than this old standby, the P-38:
http://diggerhistory.info/images/food/can-opener.jpg

Yes, yay! I used a P38 for many years because the regular hand-operated metal can openers really hurt my hand to use. It's a marvel that such a tiny little piece of hinged metal can work so much better than the fancy stuff and also not hurt to use! But... these days I've also joined the OXO party. Hubby talked me into it. I still have a deep affection for the P38, though.

wolfpup
11-18-2015, 04:53 PM
+1 on OXO -- I don't actually have their manual can opener, but I have several other gadgets and really love the way they're built.

For opening cans I just have some random electric thing that seems to work just fine and I've had for years, and a couple of manual ones in case of emergency. Mostly I'm thinking here that I probably haven't opened a can in about six months -- at least, not the kind that's made of metal and needs a traditional opener. They're somewhat of a fading packaging technology.

boffking
11-18-2015, 05:22 PM
You went to a hardware store. That'd your problem. Would you buy a generator at Williams-Sonoma? It's thr same thing.

gotpasswords
11-18-2015, 06:29 PM
I'll bet the can opener is too.
Amazingly, yes. I still have the same Oxo can opener (and the same waiter's corkscrew!) today that I praised here ten years ago. and I still prefer it to the electric one.

If we have a power failure, I'll still be able to get into cans and wine bottles.

ratatoskK
11-18-2015, 06:48 PM
I have this OXO Smooth Edge (http://amazon.com/OXO-Good-Grips-Smooth-Opener/dp/B000079XW2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1447890575&sr=8-1&keywords=oxo+can+opener) can opener and really like it.

Common Tater
11-18-2015, 07:34 PM
I still remember that old General Electric or maybe Kenmore can opener my Mother had when I was a kid...it was Avacado Green to match the rest of the appliances. It worked great for about 20 years. And it was heavy duty as well as heavy--like 8 lbs. When you opened a can with it, the lights dimmed and the cats came running into the kitchen.

I still have my parents. It's Avocado green, too. With (I'm not making this up) combination electric knife sharpener grinding wheels, too. :)

I've since retired it, or at least gave it a break. I use a manual type and wanted a good one. U.S.A. made "EZ-Duzit" is the answer you seek. I'm sure the Germans or Swiss make an excessively over-engineered, sleek model that costs and arm and a leg but this one works well for the money.

Crafter_Man
11-18-2015, 07:45 PM
Interesting that this link is still alive and well 10 years later.
And we still use it on a daily basis. Works great.

Crafter_Man
11-18-2015, 07:47 PM
I have a dedicated Swiss Army Knife in the kitchen that is used as a can opener.
Pfft. Real men use a P-38 can opener. :p

Senegoid
11-18-2015, 08:13 PM
Our new (by new I mean 2 years old) can opener is great. I don't remember where we got it, but it says "Good Cook" on the label. It opens cans from the side, not the top, leaving lids that perfectly set on top of the rims. The cut away tops don't have sharp edges, they are blunt. And it cuts with absolutely no difficulty or raggedness. Great gadget.

Where in the world can one find one like this? I see "Good Cook" branded kitchen utensils in great profusion in stores around here, including the manual can opener that I am currently using. In general, their products seem good but not quite great. I've never seen a can opener that works as you've described it, but it sounds like a neat idea.

(Pauses to try a little experiment . . . )

Well I'll be hornswoggled! I just tried opening a can with my Good Cook opener, using it the way you describe -- slicing the side of the can just below the rim instead of the top just inside the rim. It works! I've never before seen or heard of using a can opener like this. As you say, the lid of the can has a blunt edge, but the cut away edge of the can itself is sharp.

Senegoid
11-18-2015, 08:20 PM
Okay, I see several posts above, describing can openers that open the can from the side instead of the top.

But as I've just discovered and demonstrated (see post above), my Good Cook can opener works either way. So now I wonder if many or all manual can openers can be used either way.

kaylasdad99
11-18-2015, 08:51 PM
nm

Dewey Finn
11-18-2015, 09:10 PM
Well I'll be hornswoggled! I just tried opening a can with my Good Cook opener, using it the way you describe -- slicing the side of the can just below the rim instead of the top just inside the rim. It works! I've never before seen or heard of using a can opener like this. As you say, the lid of the can has a blunt edge, but the cut away edge of the can itself is sharp.
I have a couple of side-opening can openers and I believe what they do is not cutting into the can but instead mechanically separating the top from the can and that's why there are no sharp edges.

Onomatopoeia
11-18-2015, 09:53 PM
Our new (by new I mean 2 years old) can opener is great. I don't remember where we got it, but it says "Good Cook" on the label. It opens cans from the side, not the top, leaving lids that perfectly set on top of the rims. The cut away tops don't have sharp edges, they are blunt. And it cuts with absolutely no difficulty or raggedness. Great gadget.I have this one, (http://givinguponperfect.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/DSC_0029.jpg) which I purchased 3 years ago. Mine has Pampered Chef stamped into the metal. It does everything you described so it may be the same as yours. It is, hands down, the best can opener I have ever owned.

Lumpy
11-18-2015, 10:59 PM
Look for "safety can openers". They work by the side method and are designed to cut through the crimp at the top so there are no sharp edges. Plus they leave a close fitting lid which I find very handy.

Onomatopoeia
11-18-2015, 11:12 PM
Look for "safety can openers". They work by the side method and are designed to cut through the crimp at the top so there are no sharp edges. Plus they leave a close fitting lid which I find very handy.Yep, mine does this, although I haven't availed myself of this benefit as the only cans I have contain tuna, which I eat in one sitting.

Common Tater
11-19-2015, 02:06 AM
Okay, I see several
But as I've just discovered and demonstrated (see post above), my Good Cook can opener works either way. So now I wonder if many or all manual can openers can be used either way.

Fighting Ignorance Since 1973!

PatrickLondon
11-19-2015, 02:51 AM
I haven't used a can-opener in years. Any cans I've used come with ring-pulls that take the whole top off.

Lumpy
11-19-2015, 09:15 AM
I haven't used a can-opener in years. Any cans I've used come with ring-pulls that take the whole top off.

"Daddy, what's a can opener?"

BubbaDog
11-19-2015, 09:31 AM
I apologize for adding nothing of value here. I just wanted to be part of an epic 10 year discussion on can openers.

Senegoid
11-19-2015, 01:42 PM
I apologize for adding nothing of value here. I just wanted to be part of an epic 10 year discussion on can openers.

Well, it's about time. I've been a self-sufficient independently-living adult for 45+ years already and I've never before seen or heard of the idea of a can opener cutting the lid off from the side of the can instead of the top. This ignorance fighting has taken waaaaaay longer than just from 1973 until now.

TheFaerie
11-19-2015, 02:22 PM
Now I want to go home and try that can opening trick!

purplehearingaid
11-19-2015, 02:48 PM
Everything is junk today ! I couldn't find a decent can opener and had to buy one that poorly designed . You might be able to find a good second hand one at a thrift store.

Dewey Finn
11-19-2015, 03:12 PM
One of my manual can openers is Oxo brand. I've found all of their kitchen tools to be thoughtfully designed and of good construction.

Best Topics: crow pet bestiality site radium watch cantor's diagonal bad tongue bite stanley myron kramer ferrington boys comparing penis sophomore etymology kybosh origin coke medicine amish inbreeding solution acronym plurals caliper guide pins stauer watches wikipedia solder eyeglasses grimace mcdonald's martin mull gay jacque gonzales illness mr.rogers tattoos obscene limericks itchy lungs dream giveaway reviews palm tree ireland eilish holton 2016 phallis frontalis major genital pumping solid rear axles 1800gotjunk prices gaps in eyebrows nitrous tanks for sale can incense set off smoke alarm smack my ass and call me sally what happens if you eat coffee grounds what sentence uses all the letters in the alphabet text from landline to cell phone slang for penis in spanish raw steak safe to eat questions to ask at a baby shower trivia stop signs in parking lots george foreman grill paninis crest whitening strips hurt my teeth fedex package not due for delivery can i pick it up safety razor at walmart why does my cat like bread microsoft comfort optical mouse 3000 red button panic button on car keys how do bowling alleys work when our eyes meet cool sports nicknames for guys what is a panini grill best way to hide security camera use ammonia in laundry can raisins go bad why is card counting considered cheating purpose of bread box spiderman vs wonder woman the prime function of schooling should be to equip the future generation to find jobs. sim theme park vs roller coaster tycoon what can replace nutmeg ragdoll cat size comparison