Electric or manual can opener?

I bought an undercabinet mount electric can opener which was a huge pain in the booty. Then I got one of those that takes the whole lid off, I’m not smart enough to use it reliably. Our new/old home has one mounted on the wall in the pantry that is manual, but has a nice big lever for pushing the blade into the top of the can and a handle that is at least 6" long which gives GREAT power. That sucker is the best can opener EVER. It looks sorta like this, only all metal.

On another note, those nice industrial, counter mounted can openers actually have two uses I found out, as I watched my cook pull the cast iron pole out of the mount and proceed to beat the hell out of the owner of the restaurant. So those do pass the Alton Brown Unitasker Test, it opens cans and functions as a weapon.

Another odd feature of this house, there are a billion bottle openers mounted all over the place. As far as I know, no one that ever lived here (has been in the family about 40 years) has ever been much of a beer drinker. It is kind of odd.

The manual Swing-A-Way - done and dusted. Mounts on the wall, never fails, doesn’t take up a plug or counter space. This is one of those devices that has been perfected and there is no need to continue to monkeying with it. An electric MAY be useful if you are handicaped.

Manual. I had an electric many years ago, but never used it. I finally gave it to Goodwill after I moved.

I’ve never had an electric can opener, but I can’t imagine it being very sanitary. There’s no way a blade can cut through the lid and not come in contact with the contents. And I don’t believe electric can openers have easily removable blades that can be rinsed or washed after every use, right?

I’ve got one of those as well, partly because I live in an apartment with very little counter space. It’s simpler to keep this in a drawer and pull it out when needed. (Now that I think about it, it’s got to be at least 18 years old but still works fine.)

I have always used a Swing-A-Way, just like my mother did. Easy to use, wash it off, and throw it in a drawer. I’ve had the same one since I started cooking for myself, so it’s about 28 years old.

Can opener for lefties

I’m another swing-a-way user. For me, the time factor is what makes the difference. I can either bend down, open the cabinet, move the toaster and pull out the electric opener, plug it in, get the can lined up on it just right, open the can, then reverse the process to put it away or I can open the drawer, grab the swing-a-way, lock it in and open the can. The actual opening process takes almost the exact same amount of time, but using the electric comes with much more peripheral work. And why do more than you have to?

Manual. Works every time. No counter space. No cord. I can open cans right over the sink, too.

Swing-a-way, hands down. Why mess with perfection?

Well, people with arthritis and similar issues might need an electric one. Not I, though. OXO.

We had a wall-mounted Swing-A-Way with a crank when I was a kid, and it was “bulletproof.” I bet if I went back to that same house, the same 60-year old Swing-A-Way is probably still on the wall in the pantry.

Now, I have a padded hand-held Swing-A-Way and a side-cut number from OXO or somesuch. I really like the side cut. I do have arthritis, and these two don’t give me any trouble.

I had a pretty good GE electric countertop, til it bit the dust. I had a lousy Black & Decker under-cabinet electric that rarely finished a can on the first try.


I probably think electric when I hear the word.

I have an electric can opener because 20X years ago when I moved into my own place, someone gave me one. I still use it although rarely.

I was raised an electric can opener gal. Spent 17 years of marriage the same. Moved to Sweden and couldn’t FIND an electric opener! Nor was it an easy task to find wall to wall type carpeting. My (Swedish) husband used a little metal triangle thingy, and after many attempts at it, I went on the hunt for an electric one and finally found one. (I adapted quite well to the no carpet issue and still have no carpet in my house here in the states)

We moved here and I reverted to a manual which just finally decided to quit turning a week or so ago…so I reached deep into the darkness of a lower kitchen cabinet and low and behold (!!) found the electric can opener…plugged it in and have been enjoying this fine bit of modern technology thoroughly…ahhh

Never used an electric can opener, and while my parents had a SAW, I prefer the models that undo the seal between the top of the can and the body, as opposed to cutting it off and leaving a nice sharp edge on the lid and what’s left of the top.

I was raised using a manual can opener & still use one. But my mother had bad arthritis & the electric model was good for her.

Also for her cats–they could tell when something yummy was being prepared from some distance. Canned catfood now usually comes in pull top cans–but they are not easy for people whose hands don’t work right, either.

Manual. At some point in my childhood my parents bought an electric under-the-cabinet-mount can opener, and for the life of me I could never get the thing to work right. I’d think I had the can lined up correctly, but it wouldn’t start. Or when I’d finished opening the can, I couldn’t detach the lid from the magnet.

It was a mess, so I swore to never own one.

Plus, I live in a place prone to very bad and very frequent thunderstorms, plus hurricanes. How ridiculous would you feel if you’d stocked up on canned goods in case of a disaster, but then couldn’t open one because your can opener needed electricity?

We used to have an electric, but when it started to die I bought one of those that opens the can from the side. We use it even for cans with pop tops, because we recycle them, and that little remaining edge on the can, after the pop top comes off, is sharp when you’re rinsing out the can. As are the pop tops, though we throw those away. So we just do nice blunt edges on all the cans and lids.

I can’t stand the electric can openers. They are, almost without exception, a pain in the ass to use. Trying to line up the can and having the thing drop the can if it’s not secured right, blah. I’ve got a Swing-A-Way (didn’t know it had a name till today!) and I love it. I can’t see myself ever bothering with an electric opener unless I end up with arthritis or something.