Mounted manual or electric can opener for impaired, arthritic hands?

You all are the best minds I could think of…full of opinions and knowledgeable about cookware and appliances.

In short, my wife and I are both aging, and facing our respective limitations of what we can do and cant do.

My wife has some pretty significant arthritis of her wrist and hand. She’s been seen for it, had her hands and wrist injected, but is slowly losing strength and function of her wrist and hands. It’s nothing dire…its osteoarthritis of her hands and wrist that limits what she can do and cant do.

She has a hard time with our cast iron and heavy cookware, lifting and grabbing…one place where it has shown to most impair her, is with opening jars and cans. She has a helper device for jars, but can openers are now becoming most vexing and frustrating. We have both traditional manual cutting can openers, as well as those that lift the external edges of the can without cutting. Both are proving to be difficult and frustrating for her.

Sooo…am thinking about a mounted manual can opener or even returning to the Ozzie and Harriet kitchen tool…the mounted electric can opener.

I am sure that technology has changed since Ozzie and Harriet, and my parents…so what is out there in manual or electrical can openers for those who have problems opening cans?

I dont mind to buy once, cry once, as long as it works…

What is your experience and what do you recommend?

Thank you all in advance for your heart felt suggestions.


What motion(s) pain her the worst? Squeezing to pierce the can? Turning an eared spindle? Can she grip and crank a single handle?

The only real downsides I see for electrics are counterspace/storage and proximity to receptacles. Small price to pay if handheld manuals hurt.

Kaleo, aloha and thank you.
Both the piercing and initiation of piercing the lid, as well as the cranking are painful for this wahine. We have not broken down which movements are most painful…she has both reacted in distress as well as anger and frustration about opening cans. Initially she claimed that the manual can openers “didnt work”…but i have found that they work just fine. I think she has just overall frustration at having the now inability to open cans easily contrasted with being totally independent in the past. My purpose in coming here to HO and to all of its cookware experts is to seek advice as to the best solution. I know it wont be perfect…but the best compromise is often the best we can do.

If that is the case, then electric can opener is best. I have seen a few manual can openers which is good at reducing the force required to piece or good at the force to turn, but I think electric can openers probably are the best options.

Any knowledge or suggestion on a make and model?
My mother had a mounted electrical can opener in her kitchen…the thing was awesome, BUT I imagine its year of manufacture would shock most of us.

Are there any contemporary, currently available electric can openers that are as reliable as the break of dawn?

Please know that I started this whole thread to make my wife happy and deal with a real health problem of those of us growing older. Imagine the happy wife, happy life effect if we can find a good can opener.

Maybe overkill, but this is dependable.

Industrial grade, however.

We have it in some of our smaller restaurant kitchens. Never fails.

This is not from experience, but you might want to focus on an older, respected brand, like Hamilton Beach. I think they make several models, including a side-cut—an added boon, because it also allows the user to auto-open poptop cans.

I have this one:

It’s a counter top model. Opens smaller cans perfectly. Sometimes a little wobbly on larger cans of tomatoes, but not so bad that I wouldn’t recommend. The cutting piece sort of glides in to pierce the can, so there’s almost no effort in that respect.
The feature I like most is that the lever comes off so it’s easy to clean. Some of the older ones get pretty gunked up.
Not too expensive at around $30, though you can get fancy with the chrome it you like.
Worth a try, and I hope this helps :slight_smile:


I got a Cuisinart can opener like this model for my Dad over 20 years ago, when he was having issues with using a manual opener. He was very pleased with it. I don’t recall any problems.


I clicked that link, laughed out loud and showed it around.

It would be a lot cheaper if she just called Uber every time she needs a can opened.

But at least it’s dependable. :rofl::rofl::rofl:

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check out the video here - some appear to be low impact

What’s wrong? Is it because it is expensive? It isn’t that big or anything.

Nah. Everybody needs a $750 can opener.



Think twice about a wall-mounted can opener. My hand strength isn’t a problem, but my right shoulder is now very arthritic, so I can’t lift my arm high enough to use the shoulder-height manual mounted opener. I bought a typical manual one, which is fine. If you get an electric opener, keep in mind you’ll still need a manual in the event of a power outage.

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That one looks good and is a lot like the 35 year old guy in my pantry (just checked it - still works!) that we haven’t really used in 20 years because for us the manual ones are fine.

This one from HB is similar but might be a bit better for wabi’s wife because the engaging lever looks like it could more readily be depressed with any part of the hand.

[EDIT - turns out this was the winner in review of openers by The Spruce Eats that Tom (@HappyOnion) posted]

(Image from Amazon)

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This is the one I was thinking of when I recommended HB. Thanks for picturing it.

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Good suggestion from Tom and you then. Look good and solid. The Amazon review is amazing too. Only 3% of people rate it at 1 and 2 stars.

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Nice… and it’s a side cut too! It does seem like a better choice.

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I want to thank you all for your suggestions.
I’m going with the Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch side cut electric model.
Funny, I NEVER thought I would go the route of an electric can opener…but here I am.
If you know, you know…Happy wife, happy life.


Smooth edge is a plus