Have you ever had trouble trying to open a jar lid? Do you have arthritis, weak joints or struggle to grip well? It can be frustrating trying to remove the lid of a jar, whether due to it being tamperproof, childproof, or vacuum-sealed.
Sometimes lids can be slippery or sticky, and without sufficient arm or wrist strength, you can’t open them. This is when a sturdy jar opener can really come in handy!
If you’re wondering what to look for in the best jar openers for seniors, we have a comprehensive guide below, and covering the top options and detailing their features.
Features to Consider When Shopping for a Jar Opener
Jar openers make it possible for senior citizens to open stubborn lids without a lot of strength. The best jar opener for any individual will largely depend on how much counter space they have, and if they prefer a manual or automatic jar opener (we suggest automatic for most seniors due to their ease of use).
Factors to keep in mind to make sure you buy the correct opener, include:
Manual or Automatic Jar Opener
There are two types of jar openers: manual and automatic.
- Manual jar openers need a little strength to open the lids. They require you to use your hand to turn a crank, which moves the opener along the rim of the can. Most manual jar openers use a “butterfly-wing” design to twist the lid and open it. Manual jar openers can vary in terms of quality, but higher end ergonomic units can be just as effective as automatic jar openers. Plus they usually take up significantly less space than automatic models.
- Automatic jar openers operate on electricity or batteries. They require little to no hand strength, making opening jars an ease, even for those with arthritis. However, they also tend to be more expensive and heavier than manual jar openers.
Jar openers come in different shapes, designs and sizes. Some also provide additional features to improve functionality, such as:
Grip Efficiency and Strength
A good jar opener offers a snug, tight, and firm grip on the lid to minimize the possibility of slipping and to provide the best traction. The sturdier the grip, the more efficiently the opener does its job.
Some jar opener offer a compact design so you can store them easily in a kitchen drawer. Some also offer holes so that the tool can be hung up when not in use.
Manual openers tend to be more compact than automatic jar openers, which tend to be bulkier.
Ideally, the jar opener handle should utilize an ergonomic design to give optimal comfort and to prevent slipping. Many standard openers are made of stainless steel, but most seniors will want a handle that is covered with a soft rubber or foam padding for better comfort.
The body or jaws of jar openers can be made of metal or plastic, with most designs using both. Stainless steel and heavy-duty plastic are most commonly used because they are both rust-proof and robust.
How Does a Jar Opener Work?
The way you use a jar opener can depend on whether you have a manual or automatic version. Understanding how to use them before buying may help you decide which model is preferable.
Manual Jar Opener
- To use a manual jar opener, place the device over the lid of the jar. There’s generally a groove which fits over the lid securely.
- Rotate the turn-knob (if present) in a clockwise direction to tighten the opener’s jaws onto the lid and lock the opener.
- Hold the jar, bottle or tube using light hand strength to lock it into place. Turn the opener’s handle in a counterclockwise direction. The lid should open without putting in a lot of effort.
- When you feel the lid is open, use the turn-knob to release the lid – be careful, as it will be sharp.
- Clean the jar opener after use to avoid stains and store it away for later use.
Automatic Jar Opener
- To use an automatic jar opener, place the opener over the lid of the jar, tube or bottle so that it perfectly fits. Many higher end models have two arms; an inner arm that fits tightly on the lid and rotates it while the outer arm provides a tight grip.
- The lid opens automatically within a few seconds and doesn’t require any effort.
- Use the release button to free the jar and lid. Most automatic jar openers will have a built-in feature to turn off the device when the operation is complete.
- Clean the jar opener after use and store it properly.
Product Reviews of Best Jar Openers
1. Besmon Stainless Steel Electric Jar Opener
About: The Besmon Electric Jar Opener is fully automatic, lightweight, and easy to use. The sturdy plastic design makes this opener convenient for unlocking various sized stubborn jars, and the process is quick and easy.
The jar opener is operated by pushing the button on the top to both start and stop the opening process. When the opener’s arms reach their innermost or outermost position, the opener will switch off automatically. A magnet retains the lid until you remove it to avoid spillages.
Besmon’s thoughtful design ensures there are no sharp edges on the opener to hurt fragile hands.
Batteries are not included with the product, which requires 2 AA batteries to operate.
- Auto shut-off and lid-holding magnet.
- Automatic operation makes it easy to use.
- Some seniors find the plastic construction feels cheaper than they’d like.
- Somewhat bulky compared to manual openers.
2. Meyuewal Jar Opener Five in One Multifunction
About: The Meyuewal Opener Kit features two devices that allow for multifunctional use, making life more convenient for those with limited hand and wrist movement or struggle gripping, holding, and twisting jar lids.
The kit consists of a 4-sized manual jar opener and a 5-way bottle and can opener. Meyuewel’s multi-function kit can be used for pickle bottles, jar lids, bean cans, and soda bottle caps, to name a few. You can easily perform tear, pull, turn, and twist operations.
The jar opener offers an ergonomic and non-slip design that provides a firm grip on jar lids for manual opening, while the non-slip construction ensures that it’s secure even in weak or wet hands.
The rubber grip fixed inside the jar opener will give enough traction to open any jar lid effortlessly.
- Fits a variety of different sizes jars and bottles.
- 2-for-1 tool pack, with a jar opener and bottle opener.
- Manual devices may be difficult for seniors with weak hands.
3. BRIX Jarkey Jar opener
About: Manufactured in Denmark, the Brix Jarkey Jar opener is recognized by Arthritis Associations worldwide because of its convenience to people suffering from joint problems.
The Brix is a durable manual jar opener made of sturdy plastic, capable of fittingall traditional preserve jars.
The opener is simple to use. Just place the jar key against the jar’s lid to release the vacuum and unscrew the lid instantly. Despite being a manual opener, this tool doesn’t involve rotation or twisting and quickly lifts the lid.
The Brix opener also allows you to open bottles without applying much strength.
Plus, it’s available in various attractive colors.
- Easy and simple to use.
- Dishwasher safe.
- Extremely compact for convenient storage.
- Only suitable for vacuum-sealed containers.
- Requires some moderate hand strength for leveraging.
4. Rtreek Jar Opener
About: The Rtreek Jar Opener is a versatile, compact manual jar opener capable of opening lids of various sizes. Rteek’s sharp opener jaw design uses high carbon steel, with the super-hard metal able to firmly hold a variety of lids, regardless of the material.
This jar opener design uses a lever technique that enables the user to apply little input force but produces high output force to twist off a lid effortlessly. The opener’s anti-skid and ergonomic design makes it convenient to handle and provides a firm grip to the user.
The Rtreek Opener is ideal for lids with diameters of around 1 inch to 4-inches. You can use it on containers like water bottles, jams, chili sauce and peanut butter, amongst others. It also has a handy opener on the handle for easily lifting off pull-rings.
This jar gripper is lightweight and compact, so you can easily slide it into your bag to take to a friend’s house, or store in an already-crowded drawer without much concern about space.
- Beneficial for people with weak hands and arthritis.
- Lightweight and travel friendly.
- Handle is hard plastic and not very comfortable.
5. The Grip Jar Opener
About: The Grip Jar Opener operates a bit differently than others openers on this list, as its designed to be installed underneath a cabinet.
The Grip Jar Opener will open all lid sizes and types of bottles and jars, including medicine bottles, honey jars, baby food bottles, vacuum-sealed bottles, detergents and soda bottles. It’s a one-stop solution for all the containers in your kitchen!
The highlight of this jar opener is that it does all the gripping. You only need to hold the jar in its jaws and twist. An effective V-grip design and strong dual carbon steel teeth allow effortless motion. It’s also made of unbreakable ABS plastic, so this kitchen stable should last many years.
G Grip has designed this opener to fit under a kitchen cabinet, so it’s always at arm’s reach in the kitchen and won’t take up unnecessary space in a drawer or on a countertop. The industrial-grade adhesive supplied with this device provides a permanent bond and allows for quick installation.
- Doesn’t require any additional counter or storage space.
- Has an excellent grip.
- Can open lids of any type and size.
- Must be installed beneath a cabinet.
- Requires holding the jar up along with a twisting motion that may be challenging for some arthritic seniors.
6. Swing-A-Way Comfort Grip Jar Opener
About: The Swing-A-Way Grip Jar Opener is another solid pick for seniors looking to open stubborn jars. The Swing-A-Way can open jar lids and caps of 0.5 inch to 4.5-inch diameter.
The Swing-A-Way opener operates by opening the jaws and placing them on top of a can. It can easily be adjusted to fit the lid perfectly, and then uses a spring-load mechanism and slight twist of the hand to open the lid.
This jar opener’s all-steel construction makes it extremely durable, and the soft cushion grips are comfortable even for sensitive hands.
- Comfortable, ergonomic cushioned handle.
- Simple to use.
- The steel body is sometimes quite slippery.
- May not be suitable for those with minimal strength.
7. Prepworks by Progressive Jar Grips Multi-Purpose Lid Openers
About: These Prepworks Jar Grips are the most uncomplicated alternative out there for helping seniors open tight jars.
Rather than actually opening the jar, these grips give you a firm hold on your jar lids while you use your hand to manually twist open the jars.
This Prepworks set contains three rubber grips, allowing you to choose the most suitably shaped one for the type of container you need to open.
The innovative cupcake-inspired grip provides maximum adhesion while opening stubborn small size jars. The larger flat-gripped panels are ideal for medium-sized jars or bottles.
The flat grips can also serve a double purpose by allowing you to firmly hold the jar’s base while you twist the lid, if that is easier for some. The anti-skid property of the grip will protect the container from slipping out of shaky hands.
It is worth noting that with frequent stretching and pressurizing of the rubber, the material may tear over time. Luckily, these grips are affordable and easy to replace when needed..
While these grips offer a solution for seniors with moderate hand strength, you do need to apply a significant amount of effort while using these grips, so they are not well suited to those with limited hand strength.
- Ideal for small and medium-sized jars.
- Easy to store.
- May not be suitable for those with minimal strength, as these require manual gripping and twisting.
No matter what age you are, it’s likely that you’ve struggled to open a jar or bottle at some time or another. This becomes even more of a struggle as one ages and finds hand strength lacking.
When you’re thinking of buying an arthritis-friendly jar opener for elderly seniors, you need to consider how the opener functions. If you open jars regularly, then electric is the way to go due to their superior ease of use.
They are more expensive and can be a little more complicated to operate, but they are usually much easier on joints.
That’s why our top recommendation is Besmon’s Stainless Steel Electric Jar Opener with its simple, no-stress push-button operation.
Our other selections all have their place in the kitchen for someone, and all will make life that little bit easier when you fancy a jelly and peanut butter sandwich!
Last update on 2021-07-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API