Updated On May 18, 2020

How To Open A Can With A Can Opener

Caning food products is the evolution of food packaging. It has proven to be more effective in preserving food than boxes since it’s hard to damage, easily portable, airproof, and supports cooling. Not only does it preserves food, but it also quantifies and measures them in amounts, making them easily sellable.

These days almost every type of food or drink is canned. This includes

  • Beverages: soda, juice, beer and etc.
  • Vegetables: pickles, olives, tomato, etc.
  • Minced meat: beef, fish, chicken, etc.
  • Fungi
  • Nuts: peanuts, cashew nuts.

Thus, they bring the necessity of having a can opener in a house.

Now, most people use knives to open cans because they don’t like the inconveniences of using a can opener. However, it’s actually easier using a can opener to open a can than using a knife. To use a can opener in the opening can, you must understand its components first. Thus, the components of a can opener include:

  • Levers
  • Wedge
  • Handle

Now starting with levers, they are the limbs in which operate the can opener. They require pressure force from a hand to operate meaning they operate by gripping.

The wedge is a circular spiked blade on a can opener. Its function is to cut a can out wide when using can opener.

Lastly, the handle is the part that has an adjusting screw. It’s used to adjust the opener before opening the can’ top lid.

How to use a can opener to open a can

There are two types of can openers, which are electric can openers and manual can opener. Starting with the common manual can opener, here is how you use it to open a can:

1. Place your manual can opener on top of a can

The can opener must be placed in such a way that the wedge lies on the sides of the top part of a can. At the same time, you’ll have to make sure that the handle of the can opener holds the can.

2. Open the limbs of the can opener

A can opener is a machine in which means that it requires effort to operate. Now in order to use the wedges to cut and pierce the cans, you’ll need to open the levers of a can first.

Thus after opening them, squeeze the levers until it holds the rim of the can tightly. For most people, this is the annoying part especially if you’re new to using opener (You’ll likely glide the opener of the can a couple of times)

3. Adjust the handle

The handle is what holds the can in place during rotation. Therefore, it needs to be adjusted well in order to fit the wedge directly on top of the can rim.

Note that if the can handle isn’t adjusted to firmly, it may lead to the can opener gliding off the can during rotation of the manual opener.

4. Rotate the can opener on top of the can

Now, most cans are circular and thus you’ll need to rotate the can opener in a circular motion. As you rotate the can opener, the wedge will be cutting out the top layer of the can until it reaches the point where it first pierced the can.

Afterward, remove the cut top layer piece of a can and Walla! Your can is ready for use.

Now the other way involves using an electronic opener. Let’s take a look at how to use them to open cans

1. Place the can beside the electric can opener

The electric can opener is built in such a way that it can cut off a can’s top by itself when placed beside it. Thus, in order to open the can, you’ll need to place it right next to the electric opener at the side where the cutter and the wedge is located

2. Place the opener’s cutter on top of the can

In order to do this, you’ll need to first place the cutter on top. Then, you’ll have to move the cutter down on the top of the rim of the can.

After the cutter touches the can rim, the electric opener will begin to move and hence you’ll require to hold the can.

The electric opener contains a magnet. The magnet is responsible for holding the can when the opener cuts the rim of the can. Thus your job will be holding the can at the bottom while the magnet holds the top layer of the can.

3. Remove the top layer of the can after cutting

Detach the top layer of the can from the electronic opener by using your hands and later on, throw it. Thus, you can is ready for use.

Manual can openers versus Electric can openers

  • Complexity

Manual can openers are more complex to use than electric can openers since they require many procedures. Electric can openers only require placing the cans beside them and let the machine do the rest.

  • Cost

Electric can openers are expensive in terms of bill charges and the cost of purchase. Manual can openers use main power unlike electric can openers, thus saving you’re the charge of electricity consumption.

  • Work simplification

Electric can openers require less work since they do the can opening job themselves thus work faster than manual can openers.


It all comes down to what you’re comfortable with. Most people like electric can openers since they get the job done faster than manual can openers,  while others prefer using knives to open cans etc.

Categories Kitchen

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