The Best Can Openers, According to Our Test Kitchen

Whether you’re right-handed or left-handed, these can openers get the job done.

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An assortment of can openers on a designed background
Photo: Courtesy of Merchants

From soups to tomato sauce to vegetables to fish, canned items are a budget-friendly staple in pantries thanks to their long shelf life and versatility. You can easily transform canned goods into quick and delicious meals, which makes a good can opener an essential kitchen gadget. To help you find the right tool for your needs, we've pulled together a list of the best can openers.

Types of Can Openers

There are two types of can openers: manual and electric. Can openers remove the tops of cans in two different ways. A traditional can opener works by piercing the lid of the can and rotating gears to make cuts around the circumference so the lid can be removed. The downside of this method is that it often leaves jagged edges around the rim. The second type has a mechanism that lifts the entire lid (including the rim) off the can, leaving a smooth edge.

In addition to the way they cut, there is also a difference in usage between the two types of openers. With a manual can opener, the user has to rotate the knob of the can opener to move the gears. A manual can opener also requires grip strength to hold the handles and keep the can opener moving. Meanwhile, an electric can opener can be either battery operated or plugged into an electrical outlet. An electric can opener rotates the gears for you, so it requires less grip strength.

While both types of can openers are equally effective, some may come with additional features like a bottle opener or lid remover, making it a multifunctional tool. The size of a can opener can also vary, especially with electric can openers, so size—and how easily it can be stored—is also something to consider.

Best Can Openers

This is our list of the best can openers to make it easier for you to pick one.

Read on for details on what makes these can openers the best, as well as the openers that deserve an honorable mention.

Best Manual Can Opener

Zyliss Lock-N-Lift Can Opener

zyliss manual can opener

The Zyliss can opener cuts through lids smoothly and cleanly. The handles of the opener are comfortable to hold and lock in place once the initial puncture into the can is made. Compared to other openers, which require users to grip both the handles and the knob to make cuts, the Zyliss only requires movement of the knob as the locked handles maintain the grip allowing the user to simply hold the handles. In addition to this helpful feature, the can opener includes a magnet to lift the lid and toss it without touching the contents of the can (a simple button removes the lid from the magnet with zero hassle). This affordable and handy can opener was the best manual can opener tested.

Buy it: Bed Bath & Beyond, $13

You might also consider:

Cuisinart Metropolitan Collection Can Opener

cuisinart manual can opener

This sleek and functional can opener easily rotates around the can and includes helpful language printed on the opener to let the user know which direction to turn the knob. Aside from the smooth functionality of the can opener, the design also features a built-in bottle opener (because who doesn't love a two-in-one kitchen item?). And to top it off, the opener is also dishwasher-safe, which makes it easy to clean any bits of food from the gears.

Buy it: Amazon, $26

OXO Smooth Edge Can Opener

oxo good grips can opener
OXO Good Grips

The OXO Smooth Edge can opener is a comfortable and effective option for any can. As the name suggests, this opener leaves a smooth edge behind so you can avoid any accidental nicks on sharp or jagged edges. With a larger knob and smooth handles, the OXO can opener feels good in the hand. Add in the pliers which make removing the lid a clean and quick process, and this can opener is a solid option.

Buy it: OXO, $23

Best Electric Can Opener

Cuisinart Deluxe Can Opener

cuisinart electric can opener

If you frequently eat canned goods, the Cuisinart Deluxe is well worth the investment in terms of price tag and storage space. Although the can opener is significantly larger than a manual one, the benefits of an electric can opener outweigh the size. With a sturdy base to prevent slipping, the electric motor makes quick work of the lid. The lever, which starts the motor, is easily removed to make cleaning simple. And with a sleek design, this is one appliance that you'll want to show off on your countertop.

Buy it: Bed Bath & Beyond, $30

You might also consider:

Farberware Professional Battery Operated Can Opener

farberware can opener

If you want the perks of an electric opener, but don't want to take up precious storage space, the Farberware can opener fits easily in a drawer. This stylish and functional can opener latches on to the top and moves around the lid, all without the user needing to hold it. You'll be amazed as the battery-operated can opener easily cuts through the surface and cleanly removes the lid thanks to the magnet.

Buy it: Bed Bath & Beyond, $26

Best Can Opener for People with Arthritis

OXO Locking Can Opener with Lid Catch

oxo locking can opener

OXO's founder Sam Farber started the company to create a peeler that could work with his wife Betsey's mild arthritis. That led to the creation of many comfortable and ergonomic kitchen tools, and this can opener is no exception. Similar to the Zyliss, the OXO's handles lock into place so there's no need to squeeze while operating the opener. The knob turns effortlessly and makes quick work of the can's lid. Thanks to a magnet, the lid won't fall into the can, which makes for easy cleanup too. The opener is also designed with a window so lining up the can's edge and the gears is effortless.

Buy it: OXO, $18

You might also consider:

OXO Soft-Handled Can Opener

oxo soft handled can opener

Although it doesn't feature the bells and whistles of the above model, the OXO Soft-Handled Can Opener is another great choice. The handles are wider and larger than most models, but they're designed to be comfortable in the hand. The oversized knob is easy to turn and works quickly around the can. The affordable model does feature a built-in bottle opener and should be hand-washed.

Buy it: OXO, $15

Zyliss EasiCan Opener

zyliss electric can opener

If you want to eliminate the need for a grip at all, an electric can opener is a great option for people with arthritis. The Zyliss EasiCan Opener is a small yet mighty opener that latches on to the top of the lid. With the simple push of a button, the opener rotates around the lid without the user needing to hold it and includes a magnet for easy lid removal. This battery-operated kitchen tool is the perfect size for any can and is easy to store thanks to its small size.

Buy it: Williams Sonoma, $20

Best Compact Can Opener

Joseph Joseph Can Do Can Opener

joseph joseph can opener
Joseph Joseph

If your kitchen drawers are cluttered, the Joseph Joseph can opener might be the best choice, as it will take up far less space than other models. To eliminate the need for handles, this affordable can opener is circular and the user grips the sides of the opener with one hand and twists the top with the other. This can opener leaves a smooth edge behind as it cuts the sides of the can instead, and would be great for left- or right-handed people. The can opener automatically grabs onto the lid as it's being cut, and a simple push of the button releases the lid for a clean and effortless removal.

Buy it: Amazon, $8

Best Multifunctional Can Opener

Hamilton Beach Can Opener

Hamilton Beach can opener
Hamilton Beach

This electric can opener has all the features you need (and the features you didn't even know you wanted). Similar to the Cuisinart Deluxe Can Opener, the Hamilton Beach model is also large, but worth the storage space (a retractable cord also makes storage easy). The removable lever cleanly cuts into the lid of the can and doesn't require the user to hold the can while it rotates. In addition to the traditional features, the Hamilton Beach opener also comes with a built-in knife sharpener in the back of the model. This surprise feature transforms a regular can opener into a two-in-one item that eliminates another necessary, but oftentimes bulky, kitchen tool so you can make the most of your kitchen space.

Buy it: Walmart, $19

Best Can Opener on Amazon

KitchenAid Classic Multifunction Can Opener

Kitchenaid can opener

The KitchenAid can opener is the perfect combination of efficiency and speed. The opener easily bites into the lid and turns quickly with the sleek knob. With ergonomic handles and a built-in bottle opener, it's easy to understand why the opener has over 2,600 five-star reviews on Amazon. With the range of color options including red, aqua, gray and more, this can opener will be a standout in any kitchen.

Buy it: Amazon, $15 for the red option, prices may vary depending on color

Best Can Opener for Left-Handed People

Kuhn Rikon Auto Safety LidLifter

kuhn rikon can opener
Kuhn Rikon

Most can openers are designed with the knob on the right side, which is naturally comfortable for right-handed people. But for left-handed people, it's not the most effective option. Instead, a smooth-edge can opener, which clamps onto the top and cuts the sides of the can, is the better option. The Kuhn Rikon can opener does just that and automatically grips the lid so you can skip clamping onto the surface. When you need to remove the lid, the can opener features a set of mini pliers that makes picking it up and throwing it out easy. The opener also comes in three color options including red, black and white.

Buy it: Amazon, $21

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