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, elder-friendly 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 factors 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, so the can opener weight is less of an issue.
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.
One-touch models just require placing the can under the electric opener, touching a button, and voila – you can is opened!
The downside to one-touch openers is that they can be bulky and take up more treasured kitchen drawer or counter-space than a standard handheld model.
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.
Safety & Sharp Lids
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 still do require some careful handling. But since a can has much more grip space than a lid, they are usually safer to handle.
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!
Some 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 largely 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 upside of a manual can opener is that you won’t need a power outlet or batteries. This also tends to make them smaller, more compact, and better suited for small-space kitchens.
Tabletop electric models have an electric cord, which means they’re not portable and usually stay positioned on a kitchen counter.
This isn’t a huge issue if you use the can opener frequently and have a large kitchen, but if opening cans is just an occasional need, having a can opener on your countertop along with a microwave, electric kettle, and coffee maker can start to make your kitchen feel very crowded!
Handheld automatic can openers are usually in-between size-wise. They’re a bit bulkier than manual openers, but not as big as tabletop models. However, some models use a lot of batteries, and if you forget to buy them, you’ll be left without your opener.
Best Can Openers for Seniors: Our Favorites
Check out these options for the best can openers for seniors.
Balywood Electric Can Opener—Most Affordable One-Touch Opener
This Balywood Can Opener has a nice ergonomic design, an affordable price, and features 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. On top of that, the blade is hidden inside the unit, so you won’t cut your fingers when looking for it in the drawers.
All of this makes the Balywood our top pick for the easiest-to-use can opener for seniors, especially those with arthritis!
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 occasionally 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 the device, leftover from labels on your cans.
- Stops automatically after completing 360 degree rotation
- Magnet that lifts the lid to avoid touching sharp edges
- Hidden blade for security
- Small and fits in a drawer
- Some users report cans labels getting stuck
- Bulky for kitchen drawer storage
Cuisinart Deluxe Electric Opener —Best Standing Can Opener
This tabletop Cuisinart Deluxe Can Opener 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.
As is the case with many other can openers, this model shreds the labels as it works its way around the can. These tiny bits of paper can end up sticking to the blades, so keep an eye out for paper and be prepared to occasionally clean the blades so that the paper doesn’t clog the mechanism.
Another thing to remember is that while the blade is made from stainless steel, the lever is plastic. This isn’t a huge issue, although it means the lever could potentially break with very rough use.
- One-touch operation and auto-stop
- Easy to remove the blade and the action lever for washing
- Slim design for a countertop model
- Quiet motor
- Shreds labels that sometimes leaves paper on the blade.
- Lever is plastic and could be more durable
Zyliss Lock N’ Lift—Best Manual Hand-Crank Opener
This Zyliss Can Opener is manual, so you won’t need a power outlet or batteries to use it. Despite being a manual crank opener, 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, making it our top pick for the best manual can opener for seniors.
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 so you’ll never be left without a can opener if 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 hand strength to operate
- Sharp edges and digging out the lid may cause injuries
Kitchen Mama Electric Can Opener—Best One-Touch Can Opener
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 also don’t have to hold the button down to open the can, which makes it even easier to use.
However, this can opener 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 the lid on the can itself, which you then have to manually remove.
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 carefully with prongs.
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
- Leaves no sharp edges on the lid
- Lightweight and brightly colored
- Powerful motor for fast opening
- Loud motor
- Doesn’t stop on its own
Hamilton Beach Can Opener—Best Stainless-Steel Opener
This Hamilton Beach Countertop Can Opener 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
- Potential to tip over with much larger, heavier cans.
- Plastic lever has potential to break with heavy use
Our Winner & Top Choice: Balywood Electric
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.
Why? Well, 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, making it one of the easiest can openers to use. 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, smart option and very arthritis-friendly, so check it out for yourself!
Last update on 2020-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API