Friday, June 11, 2010

Best Manual Can Openers: Review

Best Manual Can Openers Review Part 1

What is the best can opener for your kitchen? A poorly working can opener must be one of the few experiences that is common to every single person: it has happened to all of us. At we believe that there is no reason so ever settle for less than optimal kitchen tools: we want our kitchen implements perfect in usability, and excellent in longevity and reliability. In this review we will discuss what makes a good can opener, then evaluate and rate traditional and smooth edge can openers.

What you need to know about can openers

Manual vs Electric. While traditional can openers are manual, so many users have become disappointed with the low quality manual can openers that a market has opened up for electric can openers: they are often seen as painless and easy to use compared to manual can openers. While this is certainly true when you compare the better electric can openers to the average shoddy supermarket can opener, a good manual can opener is no harder to use than an electric can opener. Electric can openers carry five additional drawbacks: (1) they are more costly, they take up space in the kitchen (wall, counter or shoulder space), they require the use of an outlet or special wiring, they are more difficult to sanitize, and they are less reliable quality manual can openers.

When to use electric can openers. There are two circumstances when an electric can opener makes sense. Users with very weak hands for medical reason (such as extreme arthritis) may not be able to sue even ergonomic can openers. Those cooks who, for some reason, make an industrial consumption of cans (tens of cans per day, for instance in a school kitchen) may also be helped by magnetic lock electric can openers.

Traditional vs smooth edge. Most cooks are accustomed to traditional can openers, which cut off through the lid of the can. Traditional can openers can be of very good quality, but suffer from two drawbacks: they leave sharp edges behind them, and must be sanitized after each use as they are in contact with food (one reviewer mentions that, in a commercial kitchen, sanitary inspectors often go straight to the can openers). Smooth edge can openers work off of a different principle: they typically run horizontal, on top of the can lid (instead of on the side), and pry the top open from the side. They remedy the major drawbacks of traditional can openers, as they do not leave sharp edges and never touch food (so no need to sanitize). They do come with their own drawbacks: they are somewhat harder to use for people with arthritis, and are a little harder to figure out the first time around.

What makes for a good can opener

Usability. A good can opener is easy to use, and does not require multiple tries before you can actually start opening the can, or finish opening it up.

No jags. The surface opened up by the  can opener should be even, with no jags (even if it is sharp in the case of a traditional can opener).

No need for hand strength. The best can openers do not require strength in the hand.

Reliability. The best can openers doe not break down easily, use few parts, are made with quality pieces and materials, and do not lose their cutting ability (if they need to cut).

Longevity. Good can openers should last 10 to 25 years, or more, without breakdowns. They should be primarily made with solid, rustproof metal, possibly with the exception of the handle grip.

Compactness. Kitchens are limited in space and storage. Like all kitchen tools, can openers should be compact, and take as little storage or deployment space as possible.

Good looks. A good can opener should also look good and cleanly designed.

Dishwasher proof. Some can openers can be thrown into the dishwasher, a significant advantage for traditional can openers that need to be cleaned after each use.

Next we rate the best traditional manual can openers... so come back soon!

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