The best can openers: 6 grade-A finds for opening cans safe and easy

Our team rounded up six of the best can openers to make your cooking experience quick and convenient

best can openers
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Before the can opener was invented in 1810, people had to use hammers and chisels to open tin cans. Talk about a lot of work to get to preserved food! Centuries have passed and the can opener has come a long way, making it easier than ever to cook and eat canned food. 

Even so, you don’t want to grab the first can opener you see. You've got to ask yourself if you want an electric can opener, one that has a magnet, or if you're looking for a can opener that cuts smooth lines. And that's just to start! 

We’ve pulled together a number of our favorites, each with different features and capabilities so you can understand the full scope of can opening options at your disposal.

Kitchen Mama Electric Can Opener

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1. Kitchen Mama Electric Can Opener

Best overall: enjoy a mess-free experience with this small electric can opener

Specifications
Size: 7.09 x 2.76 x 2.17 inches
Magnet?: Yes
Smooth cut? : Yes
Reasons to buy
+Has a magnet for mess-free disposal+Hands-free cutting makes it safe for kids to use+Leaves a smooth cut so no dangerous jagged edges
Reasons to avoid
-Requires batteries 

The best can openers are easy to use and safe to handle and that’s exactly what you’ll find in the Kitchen Mama Electric Can Opener. It runs on batteries and can open a can in just a few easy steps. Place the can opener on top of a can, press the button to start, and it cuts open the can automatically. Once you press the button to stop, you pull the Kitchen Mama off and the lid comes with it, revealing a smooth cut around the rim. 

This can opener was designed by a family to help an aging matriarch in the kitchen who had issues handling certain items with her arthritic hands. The Kitchen Mama is perfect for people who have issues with gripping, as well as children who want to help their loved ones in the kitchen. 

Zyliss - 20362 ZYLISS Lock N' Lift 7" Manual Handheld Can Opener

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2. Zyliss Lock N' Lift Handheld Can Opener

Best handheld: this durable handheld can opener locks and lifts the tops of tin cans when cutting is complete

Specifications
Size: 2 x 3.5 x 7.5 inches
Magnet? : Yes
Smooth cut? : No
Reasons to buy
+Durable can opener with soft grip handles+Locks the lid in place, so you can drop it into the trash with the press of a lever+Large turnkey handle 
Reasons to avoid
-Leaves behind some jagged edges

Whether you’re a lover of a classic handheld can opener or you just don’t want to have batteries always on hand, you might want to consider the Zyliss Lock N’ Lift Manuel Handheld Can Opener. The name – Lock N’ Lift – comes from a locking mechanism on the can opener. Once placed on a can, it takes squeezing the handle for the tool to puncture the can and lock it into place. Turn the handle and watch it cut through the can easy peasy. 

When you’re done, lift the can opener. The built-in magnet pulls the lid off. You can dispose of the lid without touching it with a release lever on the bottom of the can opener for a mess-free process. 

Yokuso can opener

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3. Yokuso Can Opener

Best for smooth edges: this can opener cuts the lid from the side so the blade doesn't touch the food

Specifications
Size: 8.9 X 2.6 X 1.8 inches
Magnet? : No
Smooth cut? : Yes
Reasons to buy
+Slim design prevents it from taking much space+The blade is hidden so no worry about cutting yourself+Cuts into the side of the can leave a smooth finish
Reasons to avoid
-Lacks a magnet

Cutting your finger on a jagged can or can opener blade is a good way to ruin your day. This is where the Yokuso Can Opener comes in. It looks different from other can openers in that it’s slimmer which makes it a nice addition to a compact kitchen or in your backpack on a camping trip. Though you can't easily see or touch the blade, it makes a smooth cut, protecting your hands from any accidents. 

Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch Electric Automatic Can Opener

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4. Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch Electric Automatic Can Opener

Best electric: let this sleek and stylish can opener do the hard work for you

Specifications
Size: 4.67 x 5.01 x 10.2 inches
Magnet? : Yes
Smooth cut? : Yes
Reasons to buy
+Mostly hands-free can opener+Cord extends and contracts into the machine+Includes scissors in the back
Reasons to avoid
-Some reviewers note metal slivers left behind by can opener

You’ll like the Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch Electric Automatic Can Opener for many reasons. Once you connect the can, press the lever and watch the electric can opener cut along the side of the can, rather than into the top. This allows for a smooth cut and prevents the blade from coming in contact with the food. Take note, you don't have to hold the can as it's cutting. The machine will do that for you. 

In addition to a cord that extends or contracts into the machine, there are a pair of scissors in a built-in holder at the back of the can opener. 

Swing-A-Way Wall Mount Can Opener with Magnet

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5. Swing-A-Way Wall Mount Can Opener with Magnet

Best wall-mounted can opener: always have this can opener with an ergonomic handle on hand with an easy-to-install wall mount

Specifications
Size: 6.89 x 2.95 x 2.76 inches
Magnet? : Yes
Smooth cut? : No
Reasons to buy
+Long turn-crank handle +Mounts to the wall +White and gray color options to match your kitchen  
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn't make a super smooth cut

With a wall-mounted can opener, there is no need to rummage through drawers in search of this tool. The Swing-A-Way Wall Mount Can Opener is always on-hand. Plus it has a long crank-like handle that doesn't strain your wrist. The built-in magnet will hold the lid once you're done so you can quickly throw it in the trash. If you have a kitchen with white or gray elements, you're in luck, because the can opener comes in those two colors. 

KORIN Japanese Can Opener

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6. KORIN Japanese Can Opener

Most reliable: go old school with the most simplistic and reliable can opener

Specifications
Size: 5.08 x 2.76 x 1.26 inches
Magnet? : No
Smooth cut? : No
Reasons to buy
+Very compact +Includes a bottle opener+The durable blade cuts easily through cans
Reasons to avoid
-Takes time to figure out how to use-Sharp blade isn't safe for kids

Sometimes it's the simplest things that work really well. That’s exactly what you’ll find in the KORIN Japanese Can Opener. This can opener doesn't have knobs like other can openers. The rectangular-like construction has a built-in bottle opener and a sharp blade. Once you puncture the can lid with the blade, just rock the can back and forth and watch as the blade cuts around the rim. Reviewers rave about how easy it is to clean and does a quality cutting job, even if it took them some time to figure out how to use it. 

What's the best can opener?

The Kitchen Mama Electric Can Opener was designed to make opening cans easy for everyone -- kids, seniors, or anyone who has difficulty gripping handheld can openers. This fact, and how it makes a clean cut, put it in first place. Coming in at second is the Yokuso Can Opener because it provides a smooth cut with no jagged edges and takes up little space. 

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