I hate my can openers!!!

I hate my can openers. I have a Swing-away (to replace my old one which I loved) and an Oxo Good Grips. Both of them skip sections of the can lid so I can’t take the whole lid off. I’m also worried that I will cut myself on the edge of the lid. This is driving me nuts! It’s frustrating that something so simple shouldn’t work correctly. Anyone have any recommendations? All I want is a manual can opener that - wait for it - opens cans! I don’t want an electric one or a wall-mounted one. There’s a Zyliss Lock n’ Lift mentioned online, and it gets good reviews, but so did the Swing-away and the Oxo. Can someone please help me so that I can think about more interesting things than can openers??? Thanks.

I feel your pain… I tried so many manual can openers and finally waived the “white flag” and got an electric one. I also tried the swing-away along with a whole host of other manual openers to no avail. If the power goes out, I use this P38 can opener. It is the ONLY manual can opener I found that actually opens a can.


I’ve got the Swing-Away and it’s performed flawlessly the umpteen zillion years I’ve had it.

If I was going to buy a new one, I’d try something like this:

There’s a number of different ones with this sort of mechanism, which has the plus of a smooth, won’t-slice-your-finger-open lid. I’ve used them infrequently, and they seemed to work just fine. YMMV, obv.

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Our Oxo seems to miss just one tiny spot right at the end around 95% of the time. I need to use a knife blade to lift the lid and then twist it off. Never more than that. Maybe try another one?

We also have a battery operated one that grips the can and turns as it cuts. It works well but is a PIA to deal with. Takes way too long… I wouldn’t recommend it.

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I guess it depends if your priority is cutting through the entire can or a smooth cut lid. I know both are important to you, but a priority may help to select a can opener. I have a Oxo smooth can opener. It is not an aggressive can opener, which means it does not cut deep and fast. However, the cut surface area is smooth so it is pretty safe to to directly grab the lid or the can.

Amazon.com: OXO Good Grips Smooth Edge Can Opener

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I have a oxo . Works very well .


I have an old-style Rösle (only one arm) that works like that. Still works fine and I have a swing-away, too, that I like when I want that kind of cut (so that I can push the lid in and drain the contents without losing anything. I’ve had no trouble with either. I have nothing against an electric opener if you need one ( I had to buy one for my dad years ago ). There’s a thread on this somewhere, IIRC.

Perhaps try the Luddite-way, and dispense with the can opener entirely?

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Is it possible that the problem is the user?

These are incredibly reliable instruments tested by thousands of people who do not share the experience described here. Most likely other similarly well-tested and rated devices will receive the same frustrated response.

The common element is the operator. I wonder if either 1. you’re not using them correctly, or 2. you’re getting overly annoyed at having to occasionally go over skip areas a second time.

Anyone who does this ought to have a special tee shirt emblazoned with “I hate my knives.”

I have this one, having bought it for the same reasons as the OP: I hated my can opener and was in despair of finding something that would actually open cans. It works about 85% of the time, but there are many instances that it just doesn’t work at all—like, doesn’t cut through ANY part of the lid, and you’re stuck rooting around for your Swiss Army knife.

My counter is not expansive enough to waste space on an electric model.

I have had this Zyliss side cut for decades and it has never failed (even on dented cans). Problem is they don’t make this specific model anymore.

for more than you could EVER want to know about can openers:

Or tattooed on their foreheads.

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I have a Kitchenaid (manual) can opener that works probably 19 times out of 20, and that 20th time failure is usually operator error. I grew up not knowing how to use a manual can opener, because my parents had an electric, and I thought everybody had one. Mrs. ricepad thought I must have grown up a spoiled brat, because she had never seen an electric can opener! When I suggested putting an electric can opener on our registry, she looked at me as if I had sprouted a third eye.

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I have a giant Swing-A-Way handheld model. Never had a problem with it (knocks wood).

My most reliable can opener is this kind of basic model, never doesn’t open a can. But yes, sharp edges.

I also have a cheapie Ikea one that looks like a smaller version of this that is also uniformly effective, but also sharp edges.

This Oxo one takes a bit more fiddling (for me anyway) and fails if there’s an anomaly or dent, but no sharp edge when it works.

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I have a telescoping magnetic picker upper. Works when the lid wants to fall in. A magnet with a handle/on a stick.

$2-3 item at the auto parts store.

I was a die-hard user of electric openers for many years. I finally purchased a Kuhn-Rikon manual opener and haven’t looked back. Lid doesn’t fall back into can and the edges are not left sharp. QVC has specials a lot this time of year.