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Best Inexpensive Can Openers

A can opener. A simple tool that is mandatory for every kitchen. Whether you’re a student living in a dorm, a world-class chef in a 5-star restaurant, or somewhere between—you need an easy, reliable way to open a can. That’s about as basic as life gets. Why is it that something so simple as opening a can of food has become such a challenge?

Can opener and Design

The year was 1810. Peter Durand took food preservation to new levels with his patenting of the tin can. Sadly, those first cans were so thick they had to be hammered open, eliminating all hopes of practicality for home use.

It took a few decades, but finally in 1858, just as our friend Peter was coming up with thinner cans, Ezra Warren patented the first can opener. As primitive as that first opener was, it worked! And that’s a lot more than we can say for most can openers 162 years later.

Can’t anyone make a can opener that’s easy to use, does a great job, and doesn’t turn into absolute junk in a matter of months? An opener that will latch on easily, twist smoothly, and give a clean continuous cut every time? Is that too much to ask?

Perhaps you detect my severe case of angst when it comes to can openers. I’m pretty sure that through the years, I’ve owned ’em all. Most can openers work, at first. But then in what seems like no time at all, they begin to slip causing slips and misses. Or the rotating parts seize up. Is there anything more frustrating than a can opener that refuses to open a can?

Best Inexpensive Can Openers

Today I bring you good news. It’s taken a while but I’ve made a breakthrough. Perhaps my ah-ha moment will become yours as well. Ready?

Here it is: Never put a  can opener—any can opener—in the dishwasher, even if it touts dishwasher safe. Just don’t. Never. Ever! That goes for a manual model, a sleek stainless steel option or the working parts of an electric model if those parts come off to be washed. Repeat: Never put a can opener in the dishwasher. The cutting wheel will turn to rust and in time, that will destroy its intricate working parts.

Instead, always wash a can opener by hand with hot soap and water; rinse well, and dry quickly to prevent rust. Keep it rust-free and a good one will keep cutting and working for many years to come.

EZ-DUZ-IT Manual Can Opener


Can opener and Design

Here it is, friends. The best manual can opener for under ten bucks. With its vinyl-coated grips, it is simple and functional. It grips cans securely and cuts smoothly every time, producing a top with traditionally sharp edges. This model requires a bit of effort to run it around the top of the can, but for most people the task is easy. If you want a reliable economical can opener, EZ-DUZ-IT Manual Can Opener fits the bill.

Why we like it

  • Heavy-duty “swing” design can opener; made of heavy gauge chromed steel
  • Features carbon steel cutting blade and thick rubberized deluxe handles for easy grip
  • Gear-driven design allows for smooth, easy operation
  • Made in the USA!
  • The price!!
  • Offers many years of service when washed by hand with warm soapy water.


Rosle Manual Safety Can Opener

Can opener and Lid


This beautiful stainless steel manual model sits on top of the can, rather than the more traditional “hanging” from the side approach of other can openers. In this way, the can opener separates the can’s lid from its body, so there are no sharp edges. The beautiful Rosle Safety Can Opener with pliers-style grips is smooth and feels great in the hand. Talk about smooth-operation! Wow! And the lid, once removed from the can, can be re-used to store the can’s contents. Gorgeous!

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Why we like it

  • Made of durable and hygienic 18/10 Stainless Steel
  • Easy positioning pliers that grip onto the top of the can, lift the lid from the can so your hands never come into contact with the food.
  • Suitable for both right- and left-handed users.
  • Ergonomically shaped thumbscrew for smooth and effortless turning
  • Safe, lateral cutting wheel which avoids sharp edges along the rim and lid of the can by separating it from the can.
  • 20-year warranty with Rosle, when washed by hand!

Hamilton Beach Automatic Can Opener


Can opener and Lid

This smooth touch, electric can opener with the easy push-down lever, is ideal for anyone who enjoys a beautiful appliance sitting out on the counter, but especially for seniors with arthritic hands or other challenges that make a manual opener problematic. Easy to operate, this opener opens all standard-size and pop-top cans. This Hamilton Beach Automatic Can Opener cuts along the side of the can, producing smooth, “touchable,” safe lids.

Why we like it

  • Eliminates sharp lid edges: This electric can opener cuts cans along the sides for smooth, touchable lids.
  • The price!
  • A manually retractable cord.
  • Opens pop-top and regular cans: No need to struggle with or handle sharp and messy pop-top lids any longer.
  • Easily open cans with one hand, designed with an easy-touch opening lever.
  • Sleek chrome and black design: the stylish design of the Hamilton Beach can opener looks great on the countertop and complements any décor.
  • 1-year warranty, provided you never put any part of it in the dishwasher!


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10 replies
  1. Elizabeth Sheehy says:

    We own the Hamilton Beach – works just like you said, and we really like it. I have my dad’s little bitty GI opener from WW II with my camping gear – now, that one is a marvel! The opener blade on my scout knife works like a charm as well, although it takes a bit of practice…

  2. Linda Radosevich says:

    My mom had a Swing-Away opera as long as I remember. It was wall mounted and ‘swung away’ to lie flush with the wall when you were done using it.
    We’ve used the EZDUZIT for over 40 years – still works perfectly!

  3. Sharon Gresh says:

    I hope it works. I have to get a new one because mine is awful. I just bought it last summer and it hasn’t cut right since I got it. Thanks for the suggestion.

  4. Shirley B Woods says:

    I have had the Hamilton Beach can opener for years. I have only replaced it once, because I did put the attachment into dishwasher. On my seconds one for years now and I love it. I like that I can easily open big and tall cans as well. Pop tops also. The best I ever had.

      • Gina Stevens says:

        Leftie here. I’ve used the EZ DUZ IT for years without problems. Mine says Swing Away on it. It looks the same and I’ve had it for decades.

  5. Susan Mollner says:

    I have arthritis and my go to can opener is the Pampered Chef smooth edge. Sells for $25.00 through PC. I have had mine for at least 10 years. New design sis different than mine but looks to work the same. It attaches to top of can and the mechanism is much easier to work. I don’t have to grip the torn handle very hard.

    • Ronda says:

      I’m surprised you didn’t mention the Pampered Chef smooth edge manual can opener. I’ve had mine for 10 years or more and it still works just fine. We also carried one in the RV when we had it. That one, which is also about 10 years old but obviously didn’t get used as often, was passed along to my daughter. She uses it regularly and it’s still going strong. I think it’s around $20-25 now but was much less than that when I bought mine. It;s a great can opener, I’ve never had a problem with it.


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