A simple can opener can become your enemy in the kitchen as you get older, especially if you struggle with arthritis. You need to use a lot of force to cut through metal and hold the opener in your hands, and most traditional can openers have metal handles that are far from comfortable.
It might be time to upgrade to a smarter model.
The best can openers for seniors are comfortable, lightweight and easy to use. Some of these smart designs have an ergonomic design or even a one-button mechanism. But which model is the right one for you? We’ll go through everything you need to know before you buy one.
What to Look For in a Can Opener for Elderly Seniors
While the pick ultimately depends on your taste and specific needs, there are some things you should pay attention to before buying.
If you lack upper body strength, look for a lightweight can opener. Handheld models like the Kitchen Mama Electric Can Opener are usually a good option. They don’t require you to lift the can or hold the opener in your hand.
On the other hand, if you open lots of cans, a countertop model might be an ideal option. This way, it’s always accessible, and you don’t have to lift or move it around.
The best electric can openers are incredibly easy to operate. You’ll need to place the opener on the lid in the right position—this may take some practice—and then press a lever or button.
Manual models, even the easiest ones, always need you to turn a lever and hold the opener in your hands. This can get tough or painful, depending on your health.
Large buttons and levers are easy to find, even without glasses. If you struggle with buttons, pay attention to the size and shape of the features you need to operate the can opener. Bright colors can also make it easier to find the buttons, as well as spot the can opener in your drawer.
On a tabletop model, size is important to make sure you can fit big cans under the machine. They usually work with large levers that are easy to use.
Opening cans can be a safety risk because of the sharp edges many openers leave on the lids. If the lid then drops inside the can and you have to get it out using normal kitchen utensils, you’re more likely to cut yourself.
Some of the best can openers for seniors cut the lid off on the outside, leaving no sharp edges on the lids. They do leave those sharp edges on the can, so they’re still not safe for small grandkids to use.
Also, remember that when cutting through the metal, some can openers leave a bit of metal residue. These pieces can be sharp, and if you try to remove the lid with your fingers you may get pinched!
Other can openers include a magnet so you can get the lid off easily without it dropping it. This means you’ll spend less time battling against the lids and are at a smaller risk of cutting yourself at this stage.
Manual vs. Electric Can Openers for Seniors With Arthritis?
Whether you should go for a manual or an electric can opener depends on how bad your arthritis is. If you tend to experience bouts when you have difficulty holding, twisting and pressing with your hands, we would recommend a good electric can opener.
On the other hand, if you tend not to experience much pain in your hands, you may be okay with a manual can opener. Note that you will need both hands to use them because one will hold the handles while the other uses the crank. You also need a bit of strength in your hands to keep it firm.
The positive of a manual model is that you won’t need a power outlet or batteries. Tabletop models have an electric cord, which means they’re not portable. Handheld automatic devices can use a lot of batteries, and if you forget to buy them, you’ll be left without your opener.
Best Can Openers for Seniors: Reviews
Check out these options for the best can openers for seniors.
1. Balywood Electric Can Opener
About: This Balywood Can Opener has a nice ergonomic design, an affordable price and a one-touch operation. Just place it over the can you want to open, press the button, and it cuts through the lid on the outside of the can.
The built-in magnet keeps the can opener firmly in place when cutting and lifts the lid off when you’re done. This means you’ll keep your fingers safe from small metal parts and sharp edges. The blade is hidden inside the unit, so you don’t cut your fingers when looking for it in the drawers.
This model stops on its own when it has made a full 360-degree turn, so you won’t have to press the button a second time. It works with two AA batteries and has a small size that fits neatly in your kitchen drawers.
The negative with this type of can opener is that it may get stuck on some cans after you’ve been using it for a while. You can avoid this by cleaning it thoroughly after use and seeing that there’s no paper inside from labels on your cans.
- Stops automatically.
- Magnet that lifts the lid.
- No sharp edges on the lid.
- Hidden blade for security.
- Small and fits in a drawer.
- Some users report cans getting stuck.
- You need to be careful with the edges of the can.
2. Cuisinart CCO-50BKN Deluxe Electric
About: This tabletop can opener from Cuisinart is sturdy and easy to use with one hand. Just place the can on the opener, press the lever and the blade cuts through the lid. You don’t need to hold or turn the can, and the opener stops on its own when it’s done. The lid also pops out on its own without needing to fish it out.
This item is a countertop opener that needs electricity, but it doesn’t take up too much space. It’s about 11 inches high and 6 inches wide and works on all standard-sized cans, big and small. It’s also relatively quiet to use.
One negative many customers note is that this model shreds the labels as it works its way around the can. These tiny bits of paper can end up sticking to the blade. You should remove the blade and clean it after every use so that they don’t clog the mechanism.
Another thing to remember is that while the blade is made from stainless steel, the lever is plastic and may break with rough use.
- One-touch activation.
- Easy to remove the blade and the action lever for washing.
- Quiet operation.
- Shreds labels and leaves paper on the blade.
- The lever is plastic and breaks easily
3. Zyliss Lock N’ Lift
About: This Zyliss Can Opener is manual, so you won’t need a power outlet or batteries to use it. It’s still very easy to use and has a comfortable design that’s easy to hold and doesn’t require a lot of strength.
Many manual can openers tend to slip, and you need a lot of strength just to keep them in place. This one has a handy lock-in mechanism that keeps the jaws of the can opener tightly on the edge of the lid. When you’re done, a built-in magnet lifts the lid right off, and a lever releases it so you don’t have to touch the sharp edges.
Note that you will need to use your fingers to twist the crank lever to cut through the lid. The design is simple, the handles are comfortable to hold and thanks to the locking mechanism, you don’t have to squeeze them tight. Still, it’s not the best option for arthritis patients or those with injuries.
On the plus side, this model is fully manual and you’re never left without a can opener when you run out of batteries.
- Manual operation, no batteries required.
- Includes a magnet to lift the lid off.
- Handy lock-in mechanism.
- Comfortable, ergonomic handles.
- Requires some strength to operate.
- Sharp edges and digging out the lid can cause injuries.
4. Kitchen Mama Electric Can Opener
About: This Kitchen Mama Electric Can Opener works with just one push of a button. It’s lightweight, and you can store it in your kitchen drawer without the need to clear out counter space.
The design is ergonomic and comes in bright colors, and the button is large, so you can find it easily. You don’t have to hold the button down to open the can, which makes it much easier to use. It doesn’t shut down automatically, so you do have to push the button again to stop it.
As for safety, this can opener cuts along the sides so it doesn’t leave sharp edges on the lid but will leave them on the can itself.
It doesn’t have a magnet and learning how to get the lid out on your own takes some practice. Also, note that the cutting process sometimes leaves sharp bits of metal, so it’s best to take the lid out with a knife.
This can opener requires four AA batteries, but the battery life is decent. The blade is very sharp, and the motor is powerful and fast—and quite noisy! For a handheld can opener, it is sizable but still small enough to fit in your kitchen drawers.
- Easy to use with just one button.
- No sharp edges on the lid.
- Powerful motor and sharp blade.
- Doesn’t stop on its own.
5. Hamilton Beach 76700 Can Opener
About: This model from Hamilton Beach is a two-in-one with an electric can opener and manual knife sharpener, so you can save a bit of space in your kitchen. To help keep your counters decluttered, it also includes cord storage at the bottom.
If you’re looking for a good-looking kitchen gadget, you might like this one. The body of the unit is sleek stainless steel, slim and lightweight. Do note that the levers are plastic, so they may break in use.
The Hamilton Beach can opener is easy to use and stops on its own when it has done a full circle. You don’t have to hold the can in your hand, but just pop the lid under the blade and it will cut through the lid. After you’ve finished, you can remove the cutting unit to wash it easily.
This can opener is big enough for all standard cans, even big ones. However, the slim design does make it less stable on your countertop. You may have to hold bigger cans in your hands, so it doesn’t tip over. If you lack the necessary upper body strength, this may not be the right product for you.
- Slim design, great for small kitchens.
- Cord storage at the bottom.
- Knife sharpener included.
- Easy to use.
- May tip over with larger cans.
- The plastic lever breaks easily.
After going through the five best can openers for seniors you can find on the market today, we picked the Balywood Electric Can Opener as our favorite. It’s easy to use, and the built-in magnet gets the lid off without effort without dropping it in the food. This way you’ll also avoid possible injury with the edges of the can.
This model also uses only two AA batteries, is fully portable and stops on its own when it’s finished. The blade is hidden inside the machine, so you’re not at risk of cutting yourself with it when you’re looking for your can opener in the drawer.
Overall, it’s a safe and smart option and very arthritis-friendly, so check it out for yourself!
Last update on 2021-10-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API