What Are the Different Types of Can and Jar Openers?


    One of the most important kitchen tools that you must have is a jar opener and a can opener. These items will help your cooking experience be more convenient. In this article, you will learn the different types of can and jar openers. 

    Can Openers

    A can opener is regarded as one of the most widely used kitchen accouterments because it makes opening a metal can very simple and convenient.

    3 Main Categories of Can Openers

    Can openers come in three primary categories depending on the sources of energy that cuts the lid off the can.

    1. Manual Can Opener

    The manual type is the most common. Manual can openers require you to use your hand and muscle power to operate them. To cut through the lid, they may have a knob, crank, or lever that you turn or push up and down.

    2. Electric Can Opener

    A small motor or two batteries power the electric version, which rotates a blade around the can lid to cut through it so you can remove it. To prevent accidental drops, some electric openers also have magnets that hold onto the lid after the power has been turned off.

    3. Pneumatic or Air-Powered Can Opener

    The round blade is punched into the can’s lid using compressed air in the pneumatic or air-powered model.

    Side Cutting vs Top Cutting Can Openers

    Top Cutting Can Openers

    Can openers with top-cutting blades trim the inner edge of the lid? The cutting wheel makes contact with the food and leaves the lid with a sharp, jagged edge. Cross-contamination may result if the opener is not cleaned after each use.

    Tin Can Being Opened with a Side Opener

    Side-cutting Can Openers

    Can openers that cut along the side do so just below the lid’s lip? They don’t touch the food while removing the can’s outer rim, and they don’t leave a sharp edge on the lid. Because of this, side-cut can openers are also frequently referred to as sanitary, safety, or smooth-edge can openers.

    woman opening a can of tomatoes

    Manual Can Opener Types

    Manual tin openers are hand-operated, as was already mentioned. Depending on the method used to cut them into cans, they can be classified into a wide range of categories.

    woman opening a can of corn with can opener

    1. Traditional Handheld Can Opener – Top Cutter

    By turning a knob, a cutting wheel is propelled along the can’s rim and a lid is cut off the top of the can, opening the can. The term “rotary-style openers” applies to them.

    2. Safety Smooth Edge Manual Can Opener – Side Cutter

    Can sides are cut by can openers with a smooth edge.

    3. Heavy-Duty Screw to the Counter Manual Can Opener

    This type of opener needs to be fastened to a sturdy surface with screws. A knife that cuts into the can lid is activated by turning the handle. These can openers can cut large cans up to 11″ tall and are primarily designed for commercial use.

    4. One-handed (ratcheting) Tin Opener

    Simply squeeze the ratcheting handles several times with one hand to open a can.

    5. Emergency (Military) Can Opener

    A military or travel can opener is another name for this kind of portable can opener. A cutter is attached to the handle of this particular miniature can opener. You must use the cutter’s sharp point to pierce the lid of the can before moving it along the edge of the can in a slight up-and-down motion toward yourself to open it.

    6. Old-Fashioned Claw Can Opener

    The traditional can opener is a lever-style manual opener with the cutter attached to the handle in the shape of a claw. This kind of opener has no moving parts. The sharp point of the can opener must be used to pierce the lid of the can before moving the claw in a slight up-and-down motion away from your body along the can rim.

    7. Church Key (Punch) Can Opener

    A simple tool called a church key can opener makes a hole in the top of a beverage or soup can so you can drink the liquid inside or pour it out. When using a church key can opener, hold it with the pointed end facing down and on top of the can. To create a hole in the lid, use the pointed end of the can to pierce the top of the can.

    8. Left-Handed Can Opener

    This opener fits on the left side of the can, allowing a left-handed person to turn it with their stronger left hand while holding it in their right hand.

    9. Manual Crown Punch

    A powerful table can opener that can open large cans with just one motion is the manual crown pinch. It works by depressing a lever, which drives a circular blade into a can.

    Electric Can Opener Types

    A tool that assists in automatically opening food cans is an electric can opener. Electric can openers come in a variety of styles, and each one has a unique set of features. 

    Process of opening the metal can with preserved foods

    1. Traditional Freestanding Electric Can Opener (Top Cutting)

    On the countertop, there is a freestanding electric can opener that must be plugged into an electrical outlet to operate. You must depress the lever on this kind of electric can opener for the blade to easily slice through the can from top to bottom. The can opener will shut off once the can has been opened. The magnetic lid holder keeps the lid in place so it won’t drop into the opened can.

    2. Countertop Electric Smooth Edge Can Opener (Side-Cutting)

    The traditional freestanding electric can opener functions similarly to the countertop smooth-edge can opener. Simply pull the lever to try and open it. The only distinction is that this can opener creates smooth, touchable lids by cutting cans along the sides.

    3. Hands-Free Battery Operated Can Opener (Works on AA Batteries)

    AA batteries are typically used to power battery-operated can openers. An automatic can opener works by placing a blade along the side of the lid, cutting along it without touching the food inside, and then pressing a button to release the lid with no sharp edges left behind.

    4. Automatic Cordless Rechargeable Can Opener 

    The hands-free can opening rechargeable cordless can opener. While cutting, it moves along the lid, and when the lid is removed, it automatically shuts off.

    5. Commercial Electric Can Opener

    Need to quickly open cans? Use the industrial electric tabletop can opener. Simply pull the lever, and you’re done!

    Pneumatic Can Opener Types

    With this type of heavy-duty machine, one operator can open thousands of cans in a single shift with the simple push of a button.

    1. Air Driven Crown Punch Opener

    The pneumatic crown punch is the strongest industrial opener available on the market for standalone use. An air-driven circle-shaped blade opens and removes the lid in a matter of seconds.

    2. Jar Openers

     A jar opener is essentially a kitchen tool that aids in loosening jar lids so they can be opened easily and frequently without the use of much force.

    Two Main Categories of Jar Openers

    Jar openers come in two main categories: manual and electric.

    1. Manual Jar Opener

    With the aid of a manual jar opener, you can open jars by getting a better grip, more leverage, or both.

    2. Electric Jar Openers 

    You can easily open a jar with the push of a button thanks to electric jar openers. They can be corded or battery-operated, plugging into a regular electrical outlet. People with weak hands or arthritis can benefit greatly from electric jar openers, which are also good for one-handed use.

    Manual Jar Opener Types

    1. Gripper Jar Opener

    Grippers are the most basic type of manual jar openers. Their main job is to make it easier for you to get a firm grip on the lid so you can unscrew it. The best grippers to use on larger lids are thin ones.

    2. Lever Jar Opener

    Another easy-to-use but effective tool is a lever, which is used to pry open the jar’s lid and break the vacuum seal. Unfortunately, it only functions with glass vacuum-sealed jars.

    3. Under-Cabinet Jar Opener

    Among all manual jar opener varieties, the under-cabinet jar opener is the simplest to use. It offers a better grip and enables you to open jars with both hands. Additionally, it does not occupy any kitchen drawer or counter space.

    4. Handheld Jar Opener

    Manual handheld jar openers with a handle and a pad that grasps the lid in more than two points may be adequate for people who are strong enough to stop jars from turning while unscrewing lids. Handheld manual jar openers can be used in conjunction with a rubber gripper or base pad to reduce the strain on both hands.

    Electric Jar Opener Types

    1. Battery-Operated Jar Opener

    AA batteries are used in battery-operated jar openers. They possess two sets of arms, one of which is used to hold the jar and the other to open the lid.

    2. Corded Electric Jar Opener

    Any type of jar up to 4 1/2 inches wide and 8 inches tall can be opened easily and quickly with a corded electric jar opener.


    It’s time to choose the can and jar opener that is best for you now that you have a better understanding of the various types of can and jar openers. We hope this article has helped you narrow down your options and made the decision-making process a little bit easier, whether you choose a manual or electric option.  

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