Opening pop-top cans

A lot of canned foods now come in those pop-top cans – the kind where you pull the entire top off.

I have a hard time with some of those, due in part of increasing arthritis or maybe just general old-age decrepitude.

Can anybody recommend an alternative way of opening these? Is there some trick using any tools I might have around the kitchen? Are there any kitchen tools out there specifically designed to open lids like this?

(Some such cans can be opened with a can opener, but not most that I’ve seen.)

I still use a side-opening can opener to open such cans. I can’t remember ever having any problem doing so.

Can a regular (hand-operated, not electric) can opener be used as a side-opener too? I’ll have to play around with mine and see if that works.

Some cans can be opened with a regular can opener if you turn them upside down and open the bottom. But not most, that I know of.

No, side opening can openers use a completely different mechanism, as shown in this photo from Wikipedia or this YouTube video.

Pop-tops I can’t manage to get a fingernail under are usually susceptible to a butter knife used to pry the tab up to where it can be gripped.

I never have trouble lifting the tab, it’s pulling the entire lid off that is sometimes difficult.

Sorry, misunderstood your goal. I’m content to pull up the top to empty the can.

Get yourself a couple of these.

Another option. If you look on Amazon, there are various little gizmos that use leverage to help remove the lid of a pop top can.

Yes, @silenus and @Dewey_Finn , that’s kind of what I’m looking for – a specific tool designed for the job.

Although, that one looks like cheap plastic and I’m skeptical that it will hold up long. It also looks like it can only pull the lid half off, not all the way off. But the idea is there.

Fun observation: The close-up picture shows the can top clearly has the words clearly visible: “If preferred, use can opener on opposite end”. :slight_smile:

I bought one of those Gilhoolie bottle openers from Vermont Country Store. It was a rip-off. We had one when I was a young-un and it worked marvelously. The one I got was a total piece of shit rip-off that didn’t work at all. (ETA: I think the one pictured here is the rip-off version.)

“Half-off” at least gets you into the can. Then all you need is a spoon. But yeah, still not the best tool.

That would be a well-compensated, health-insured body servant.

I’m kind of imagining it will take a more complicated device to do the job right. Something like this, maybe.

I really hope I can find something I can see in person in a brick-and-mortar store. After buying that rip-off Gilhoolie, once burned, twice shy.

Something like this, only stronger.

Yeah, that Rube Goldberg thingy is what me fevered imagination is picturing.

How about that side-opening can opener? Where can I find one of those? I haven’t seen or heard about these before:

Target? Bed Bath and Beyond? Amazon? Sometimes they’re labeled as safety can openers or smooth edge can openers, because they don’t leave a sharp edge. (Seriously; I’ve tried and you really can’t cut yourself on the edge that they produce.)

BTW, another advantage is that the lid will sit on top of the can, so you can use part of the contents and store the rest.

We have some of those stores in my quadrant of the galaxy. I’ll have to poke around and see if I can find any.

Have you used any of these types yourself? Do they work well? Do they hold up well?

Yes, I’ve used a handheld one and an electric one. They’re both sturdy and work fine. Get a name brand if you’re concerned.

ETA: my handheld side-opener is a Zyliss.

If you can get the tab up enough to get a potential lever through it, wouldn’t any sort of rod of sufficient length, such as wooden dowel, do it?

One thing to be aware of with these - you end up with a very sharp edge. I have a nasty scar on one finger from reaching into my recycle bin and cutting myself pretty badly on the aforementioned edge. I got rid of that can opener shortly thereafter, but as long as you’re cautious, you should be OK.

I keep a dollar store screwdriver in the kitchen drawer. Lifting the tab by hand I then slip it through the hole in the tab from the near side so the shaft is resting on the far side of the rim. The handle of the screwdriver give a good grip and the leverage is enough to peel the lid off.