Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Manual Can Opener Online Sources

Manual Can Openers Review Part 5

Where can you find good sources of information when researching can openers, or, more generally, kitchen tools and gadgets?


User input, when it can be found in good quantities, is always what we trust most. No professional reviewer is as good as large amounts of users owning and using a tool for long durations, and most professional reviews fail at identifying the weaknesses of a product that come out in the medium and long term. In many cases we consider forums an outstanding tool for finding out issues, and also for identifying new products that may not be widely distributed, but that resolve standing issues in existing products.

In the case of kitchen tools and gadgets, however, surprisingly, despite the large number of cooking sites, there are not as many good destination forums as we would like to see. Very few have the right combination of focus on kitchen tools, good traffic, and high quality user participation.
  • Chowhound cookware forum ***. Chowhound is the best, and really the only good forum site to discuss cookware today. It represents an enormous community of users, and even its lesser forums still see good traffic. While it has a dedicated cookware forum, many threads in other forums also discuss kitchen tools and gadgets, so using search is essential:-) Some typical can opener discussions are thread1, thread2, and thread3.  
  • ChefTalk Chef Forum **. Reserved for chefs only (but you can read on), the Chefs' forum on ChefTalk is full of entertaining and instructive information, such as, for instance, how to deal with overcooked prime rib when you need to serve 200 guests (the answer: drip cooked beet juice on it, it will look medium rare). While often useful, this forum does not have valuable information on can openers. ChefTalk also has other forums that are open to all.
  • GardenWeb cookware forum *. While we normally rate Gardenweb at three stars, in this case, the traffic of Gardenweb's cookware forum is low enough that it has not accumulated a large amount of data, and does not provide answers in a timely manner. 
  • cookware forum *. Because of low traffic, the cookware forum of does not have critical mass- although as a forum site is very good.
  • DiscussCooking Cookware and Accessories Forums *.  While DiscussCooking has large amounts of users and good traffic overall, the Cookware and Accessories forums are not gathering enough traffic to make them lively enough for a strong database of information.

User review sites

Amazon user reviews ***. Amazon is an excellent source of user reviews for kitchen gadgets, and sells most, if not all, of the can openers and kitchen gadgets that are in general availability, either directly from Amazon, or on the Amazon Marketplace. user reviews **. The cookware store, also a marketplace (i..e many vendors participate in it) has a good number of user reviews. The range of products is narrower than Amazon, and there are fewer user reviews.

Shopping sites user reviews *.  Other kitchen shopping sites, such as Target and Walmart, also have user reviews. They have not reached the broad range of offerings found on Amazon and - but they are still useful when they carry the item you need and when users have written about their experience.

Wize *.  Wize is a review aggregator, which consolidates access to the reviews from multiple large sites (including the most of the ones mentioned above) in a single location. The concept is incredibly useful - but the application is still weak, as there ae not enough categories available, and Wize search rarely finds the item you are looking for unless it already belongs to its pre-classified categories. In a year or two, hopefully, Wize will become widely useful - and we will up its star rating:-)

Bing Shopping *. Bing Shopping (MicroSoft search engine applied to shopping) now displays results with the review ratings it finds as well, although it only picks up review information from a few sites (so far we have seen Amazon and Bestcovery reviews only displayed in Bing). Like Wize, as Bing extends its coverage of review sites it will become more useful.

User review sites *. One can occasionally find some reviews for a specific product on epinions, buzzillions, rateitall, or reviewcenter, although it is mostly a hit-or-miss proposition.

Comparative review sites and expert sites 

Cook's Illustrated ***. Cook's Illustrated Magazine, a subscription magazine and site, is the Consumer Reports of cooking. Their test kitchen proofs recipes, and publishes equipment reviews.Their equipment reviews are excellent, although we do not incorporate any other suer input that their own testers. As a consequence, like Consumer Reports, their picks do not always line up with the feedback from the equipment owners and users themselves...

A Cook's Wares **. While the site is an online store for cookware, in the discussions section Byron Bitar, a cookware expert, discusses pros and cons of many cookware items and gives his informed opinion of how they compare. Many of his discussions are excellent, although some sections are starting to be a bit dated. There are no discussions on can openers.

Consumer Search Can Opener Review **. Consumer Search, a good review site for consumer products, has a review out for can openers. Unfortunately, manual can openers are a small part of the review, and their sources are not very good in this case.

Bestcovery Can Opener Review *. Bestcovery has staff rate equipment in a wide range of consumer products areas, and published a review on can openers. Their reviews are a good first cut at looking at a category, but do not look in depth at the range of products available. While they identify the popular products in a area, they cannot be trusted, in general, to identify the best products in the range.

Galttech Can Opener Review *. Galttech is another review site which offers expert reviews, and which has a can opener review  out. They do not pretend to select the best, but orient the reader towards products in the upper range of functionality. They represent a useful addition to field knowledge.

Consumer Unlimited Can Opener Review *. Consumer Unlimited is another site that produces "expert" reviews that are poorly researched. They offer a can opener review which is up to their typical standards: slightly informative but by no means definitive.

Other resources
Fork & Bottle **. Fork & Bottle does not provide direct reviews but points are numerous interesting resources in food and wine, which can be exploited to yield data.

Builders' square product search engine **. A surprising resource, Builders' Square has an excellent products search engine for many cookware products, and can often find models that are not available on cookware sites such as Amazon or

The Find **.  The Find is a product search engine that lists its finds in a grid-like results list, with pictures. It has interesting one-click filters, such as price or color. While its range is limited to the online stores that it spiders, its range is wide, and it can be a good tool to find unusual products.

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