With the advancement of technology, more electric can openers are being introduced to the market every day. But many people prefer the reliability, the lower price, the versatility and the ease of storage, and easier maintenance of manual can openers.
Since there are so many different types of these kitchen tools on the market, we have meticulously reviewed a large number of them and have come up with our list of the best manual can openers for 2021 for you.
Best Manual Can Openers
Our top choice for the best manual can opener for 2021 is the Oxo Good Grips, but we have added a large variety of other openers that are suitable for all needs, preferences, and budgets for you.
Some of them are more suitable for everyday use, while others are better suited for occasional use. We have chosen tools that are easy and safe to use and which will last longer. We have also picked some openers which are suitable for people who have problems causing pain and weakness in their hands. There are certain models that are suitable for lefties too.
So, read on to find out more about the best manual can openers for 2021, so you can choose the one which is the most suitable for you.
It is affordable and very sturdily built, so you will be using it for years. This can opener can be used even by people with weak hands or those suffering from painful health issues affecting the fingers and hands, such as fibromyalgia or arthritis.
The handles are large, cushioned and ergonomic, and will help take the pain out of opening all kinds of cans.
The manual can opener has an easy to turn large-size knob, which requires a few twists to open any can without effort.
The tool is designed to absorb the pressure and do most of the work every time you are opening a new can.
The cutting wheel of the OXO Good Grips can opener is made of stainless steel and is very sharp. Yet, the opener will not leave any dangerously sharp edges on the can when it opens it, so you won’t risk cutting yourself as you prep your meal.
The can opener even comes with a built-in bottle opener, so you will be buying two useful kitchen tools in one if you decide to purchase this top-quality manual can opener.
The dimensions of the tool are 7 x 1.9 x 2.8 inches, and it weighs 1 lb.
It is easy to wash and will not rust if proper care is taken to dry it off.
The OXO Good Grips opener is actually a classic model, which has been used by thousands of people for over 20 decades.
Overall, this is the best manual can opener for 2021 if you want a reasonably priced, durable, easy to use, and universal opener that will allow you to open a can of any size and type, no matter how weak your hands are.
The Kuhn Rikon 2242 Auto Safety Smooth Touch can opener is another superb manual can opener that is definitely worth investing in.
The design of the Kuhn Rikon opener, which features a twisting knob on top of the tool rather than on its side, makes this manual can opener a perfect choice for left-handed people and those who are ambidextrous and prefer to use their left hand for such tasks.
The affordable opener has a special side-cutting mechanism that will open every can easily while leaving a safe and smooth edge. This is achieved thanks to the fact that the cutting mechanism cuts the outside part of the can’s rim rather than its top.
This means that there is no risk of cutting yourself against the edges as you are accessing the food inside the can while you are prepping your meal.
The known is comfortable to grip and turns very easily.
The cutting mechanism of this Swiss-designed manual can opener is made of sturdy and rust-proof stainless steel. It attaches itself to the rim of the can automatically and remains in place until you are done with the opening.
Thanks to its clever design, no part of the can opener ever gets in contact with the contents of the can, so it is 100% hygienic to use. Also, there will be no mess on the countertop when you are opening a can because the opener will not contact the food or other contents inside at any stage of the process. Its lid-lifter will simply lift the can lid off after you are done with the opening.
It comes with Swiss quality and will serve you for years, thanks to its sturdy build and premium quality materials used for making it.
Its size is 7.2 x 2 x 3.5 inches, and it weighs 5.6-oz.
The Kuhn Rikon manual can opener is very comfortable, easy, and safe to use, no matter whether you are left or right-handed.
Best budget-friendly option
The two can openers have been used by the military since World War II, and even today, they are an essential element of most military and survival kits.
The P51 Shelby US can opener is 2 inches long, and the P-38 is 1 ½ inch long.
They can easily be carried on a keychain and are small enough so you can carry one or both of them everywhere with you.
These simple and yet sturdy and efficient manual can openers are perfect for hiking, fishing, hunting, and any other outdoor activities. They are made of stainless steel and are very durable. In fact, they will withstand a lot of wear and tear and will still function properly in all weather and rough conditions.
Designated as the US army’s greatest invention, the P-51 and P-38 can also be used for cutting edges, as well as for screwdrivers, seam openers, groove cleaners, and for a number of other practical uses.
The P-38 weighs just 0.16-oz, and the P-51 weighs 0.32-oz.
The size of the bundle is 5 x 2.5 x 0.1 inches.
These handy manual can openers are easy to use and will endure just about anything. For this price, there is no other can opener on the market that will beat their quality and versatility.
The rest of the best manual can openers for 2021
The Ganji Kankiri by Korin is the Japanese version of the Shelby US army manual can opener. It is old-school, durable, and inexpensive. These features make the Japanese can opener one of the most popular manual can openers on the market today.
- It costs less than $10
- The design is traditional and sturdy with no moving parts which makes it even more durable and easy to use
- It will open any can without getting food stuck into crevices of the tool
- It has a sharp stainless steel edge which will withstand a lot of use for a long time
- It has a built-in bottle opener
- The size of the tool is just 4 x 2.5 inches, and it weighs 2.4-oz
- It is dishwasher safe
- It is great both for kitchen use, as well as of camping, hiking, fishing, and other outdoor adventures
Related article – See Our Recommended Electric Can Openers
The Edlund 11100 manual can opener is probably the sturdiest and longest-lasting of all can openers on the market right now. It is on the high end when it comes to price, but it will most probably be the last can opener you will ever need to buy in your life.
- It is designed and made for commercial use
- It is available in two sizes – one capable of opening cans up to 7 inches and this one, with a capacity of handling cans up to 11 inches tall
- The tool is made of sturdy metal, with a plated steel base which will never rust or break
- It is designed to be mounted on wood or steel prep tables or countertops
- The crank handle is comfortable and easy to use
- With its smooth and effortless operation, this pro-range can opener opens cans like butter
- Its size is 20.6 x 8.8 x 4.3 inches, and it weighs 7 lbs.
- This tool is so sturdy and well-built that it may be the last can opener that you will ever need to buy
If you need a heavy-duty manual can opener, or work in a professional kitchen at a fair price, then the best option to go for is the premium New Star Foodservice Manual Can Opener.
It is designed and made for commercial use, and is capable of opening all kinds of cans up to 11 inches in height.
- A pro-range, commercial manual can opener
- It is heavy duty and made of sturdy cast iron
- The tool is easy to mount on any countertop or table for safe and easy can opening
- It will quickly and efficiently open all types of cans sized up to 11 inches in height
- The opener makes opening cans much easier and safer
- The dimensions of this can opener are 8.3 x 3.9 x 18 inches
- It weighs 8.85 lbs.
The OXO Steel Can Opener is another ingenious kitchen tool by OXO. It is made of durable and sleek stainless steel and is designed to be able to open cans easily and with minimal effort.
- A sleek stainless steel body
- The handles are big and are cushioned to provide you with ultimate comfort
- The knob is oversized and very easy to turn, so opening cans will no longer be a pain
- It is suitable for people suffering from hand pain and those with weaker hands
- The cutting wheel is sharp and will open the can smoothly without jagged edges
- It has an integrated bottle opener for added versatility
- The opener can handle cans of all sizes without too much effort
- The dimensions of the useful kitchen tool are 7.8 x 3.9 x 2.5 inches, and it weighs 10.2-oz
This manual can opener features a classic design which some of you probably remember from their childhood and youth. Nogent is a French brand that has been making top-quality knives and other tools since 1932. This opener along with all other products made by the company comes with a “lifetime of use” guarantee by Nogent.
- It has a simple and yet efficient classic design
- The opener is made of premium quality steel, and chrome-plated nickel
- It can be used for opening all types of cans
- The cutter successfully cutes and crimps the lid without leaving sharp edges for added safety
- It features an easy to turn, plastic coated screw handle
- The tool is compact and will fit in the drawer easily alongside your other kitchen utensils
- You can easily carry it with you when going camping, hiking, or even in your lunchbox
- It is made in France by Nogent, a company with nearly 90 years of experience in the field
- The dimensions of the can opener are 1.8 x 1.8 x 2 inches, and it weighs only 2.4-oz
- Its blade is made of strong stainless steel and will easily puncture and cut through all can types
- Thanks to the easy to grip, oversized knob, you will need to put minimal effort into opening cans manually
- The ergonomic handles of the opener provide a steady and comfortable grip
- It is easy to clean – all you need to do is rinse it and dry it
- It is sold with a 1-year warranty by KitchenAid
- You can choose among the different color options – red, aqua, black pistachio, and white, as well as whether you prefer the company’s logo to be in black or stainless steel color
- Its dimensions are 9.5 x 4 x 1.8 inches, and it weighs 6.4-oz
The Good Cook Can Opener is designed to leave perfectly smooth and safe edges after cutting a can open. This means no more painful cuts on those jagged edges when you are prepping your meals!
- The opener has a patented design allowing for smooth and safe can opening
- The blade is rust-resistant and resistant to warping, breaking and scratching or staining
- The ergonomic and long handles provide a secure and comfortable grip
- The plastic knob is easy to turn and will not slip while you use it
- The cutting wheel will never be in direct contact with the food, so there is no risk of cross-contamination in the kitchen with this tool
- The construction is made of sturdy chrome
- The tool is easy to clean
- The size of the utensil is 9 x 3.5 x 1.5 inches, and it weighs 4-oz
- It is sold with a 100% satisfaction guarantee by Good Cook
- It is available at an amazingly low price for the value provided
If you are a fan of investing in more versatile tools and devices, then you will love this 4-in-1 stainless steel heavy duty manual can opener. It has multiple uses, and yet costs and takes up space of a single kitchen tool.
- The 4-in-1 kitchen tool can be used as a can opener, a bottle opener, a screw cap bottle opener, and to pry lids from cans
- It is the perfect compact versatile kitchen tool
- The handle of the can opener is ergonomic, non-slip and provides a great grip
- The oversized knob is easy to turn without hurting your fingers
- It can open cans of all types and sizes
- The cutting wheel is sharp and made of durable stainless steel
- Opening cans with it is easy and doesn’t require too much strength or effort
- It can be cleaned very easily by rinsing it or wiping it after use
- The tool is sold with two additional replacement blades
- The versatile manual can opener is sold with a 40-day satisfaction guarantee and an 18-month warranty
- It is 8.1 x 2.2 x 2.5 inches in size and weighs 9.3 lbs.
The OXO Good Grips Smooth Edge manual can opener is another premium quality product by the company, which will become an indispensable device in any kitchen. Plus, it has a contemporary and very attractive design.
- It is easy to use and will open all kinds of cans without ending up with sharp and jagged edges either on the can or on the lid
- The winding mechanism is large-sized and twists smoothly
- The knob provides a soft grip for added comfort and ease of use
- The handles are ergonomic and non-slip
- The cutting wheel is made of stainless steel and is designed to not come into contact with the food in the can
- The tool has built-in pliers which will allow you to remove the lid of the can without having to touch it or use another tool
- It is 6.5 x 10.8 x 11 inches, and weighs 0.16-oz
- The utensil has a sleek and modern design which will look great in any kitchen
The Made in the USA can opener is a classic manual opener which as its name suggests is proudly designed and made in the USA since 1954. It is sturdy, opens cans like warm butter, and is much more durable than many of the other manual can openers on the market.
- It was redesigned in 2018 as an improvement to the classic US Swing-A-Way opener which moved its production to China
- This is a durable and strong, gear-driven can opener which will handle cans of all types and sizes
- It has an easy to turn, skip=proof feed wheel
- The tool is made of sturdy carbon steel, with zinc-plated and heat-treated wheel, gears and cutter
- With proper maintenance, and drying after rinsing, this can opener will last for years
- It is made in the USA and the manufacturer offers excellent customer support
- Its size is 7 x 2 x 2 inches, and it weighs 10.4-oz
With this premium quality Lock N’Lift manual handheld can opener by Zyliss, you can forget about making a mess due to the lid splashing in the can, or having to touch it when you are throwing it away.
- Zyliss’s Lock N’Lift technology which uses a magnet to hold the lid
- There is a lever for easy, hands-free disposal
- A special locking mechanism which will ensure that the cut is consistent with minimal strain on your hands
- Soft-touch handles for reduced fatigue
- Smooth turning handle
- The cutting wheel and mechanism are made of durable, premium stainless steel
- A modern design which will look good in any kitchen
- The size of the opener is 2 x 3.5 x 7.5 inches, and it weighs 0.008 ounces
- You can buy it in different color options
If you are a leftie then you are probably aware of the difficulty of finding any kinds of tools that are designed especially for left-handed use. Well, this manual can opener by Lefty’s The Left Store is designed specifically for people who want to use their stronger left hand to open cans.
- This is the perfect kitchen tool for left-handed or ambidextrous people
- It is designed to fit on to the left side of the can, and that the knob be turned by the stronger left hand
- The know rotates counterclockwise which makes the task of opening cans manually much easier for lefties
- It has a built-in bottle opener for added versatility
- Its size is 2.8 x 2 x 9.1 inches, and it weighs 4.8-oz
- This is a perfect and very useful gift for a left-handed person
This compact manual can opener looks quite different from the ones we are used to seeing, but it is a pretty efficient kitchen tool that can easily be used by both right-handed and left-handed people.
- It is very small, so you can fit it in your kitchen utensils drawer with ease
- The tool is made of fine alloy steel and sturdy ABS
- It uses advanced gears which slide and provide the pressure necessary to open the cans without a single sharp edge
- The sliding gears and the special safety grooves of the opener will keep your fingers safe from painful cuts
- It is a 3-in-1 versatile manual can opener which you can also use to open bottles and to pry open lids from cans and jars
- The tool is perfect for barbecues, camping trips, and other outdoor activities due to its compact size and multiple uses
- It is very easy to clean, and the cutter does not actually come into contact with the contents of the can
- It is suitable for left-handed use also
- Its dimensions are only 5 x 3.3 x 1.6 inches, and it weighs 4-oz
This affordable kitchen tool kit is one of the best deals you will find on the market in 2021. It costs less than $15 and includes 3 multifunctional tools that you can use for over 10 different tasks in the kitchen.
- The set includes a can opener, a 5-in-1 jar opener, and a 6-in-1 bottle opener
- All of the tools in the set are versatile and are designed to provide ultimate comfort
- Their handles are covered with soft rubber which offers a superb grip and provides added comfort when using each of these tools
- The manual can opener has ultra-sharp and durable blades which create smooth and safe edges on every can and lid
- The stainless steel manual can opener has a sturdy and large knob which is easy to turn
- The can opener also has a bottle opener integrated into it and can be used as a lever
- The 6-in-1 jar opener is suitable for opening six different types of lids and seals, including jar lids, sealed bags, bottle caps, and tops, pulling pull tabs, twist open plastic bottle caps, loosen difficult jar lids, and others
- The 5-in-1 bottle opener can be used to open water bottle screw caps, can lids, open can tabs, and loosen jar lids
- The set is offered at an amazing price and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee
- They are easy to store in a drawer, to hang, or to take with you when camping
- The tools are sold in a gift box, so you can buy them as very useful and impressive gifts for anybody
The Nemco-56050-1 CanPro is among the top preferred professional range manual can openers by restaurant owners and professional chefs. It is safe and easy to use and allows for quick and seamless can opening which saves time and energy for all of the food prep that goes on in a professional kitchen.
- The cutter does not come into contact with the contents at any time
- The can opening process is perfectly smooth with no metal shavings falling into the food, as well as no risks of injuries
- The cutter is gearless and is made to open 50,000 and more cans without maintenance
- It has replacement parts which can be replaced easily and quickly to minimize the downtime
- It screws on any countertop or table easily and steadily for easy access and stability
- It also has an option for permanent mounting via sturdy screws
- It is NSF listed for safety, health and environmentally-friendly design and build
- The pro range manual can opener is made in the USA of premium quality materials
- It cutter itself is made of stainless steel and can cut through over 5,000 cans before it needs to be replaced
- Thanks to its gearless design, there is no risk of broken or worn out gears
- The can opener by Nemco is designed to make can opening as easy and fast as possible without putting stress on the hands and elbows
- It has a useful can locking feature for a safe and mess-free can opening experience
- The size of the can opener is 6 x 3 x 19 inches
Of course, no list of the best manual can openers can go without the classic Swing-a-Way opener. It is inexpensive, easy to use and clean, and is a can opener which just about everybody in the US is familiar with.
Plus, it is the can opener which NASA selected to take to its Skylab Space Station.
- The tool offers a very smooth and safe can opening experience
- The cutting wheel is made of high carbon
- The can opener opens cans without skipping parts and causing sharp and dangerous edges
- It has an extra-long crank handle providing a secure and comfortable grip
- The crank is foldable, so the kitchen tool is very easy to store
- The handles are cushioned with soft rubber
- The tool has an integrated bottle opener
- It is easy to clean
- The price of this classic can opener is very reasonable
- It is offered in various color options including blue, black, red, gray, white and green
- The size of this kitchen tool is 8.5 x 4 x 1.5 inches, and it weighs 10.2-oz
- The versatile manual can opener can also be used as a bottle opener, a jar opener, and a lever
- It is designed to be easy to use even by people with weak hands and arms
- The handles are large and non-slip and are made of food-grade stainless steel
- The entire can opener is made of stainless steel and ABS
- The opener has a sharp and strong blade which will open the can without jaded edges, and without the risk of getting metal shavings in the food
- The tool is easy to use – you just need to lock it onto the can, grab the handles and turn the large-sized ergonomic knob
- It is sold with a 12-month satisfaction guarantee, so you will get your money back or a free replacement if you are not happy with your opener
- Its size is 8.5 x 2.2 x 2.2 inches and it weighs 7.3-oz
- You can hang it or keep it in your utensils drawer
This ergonomically designed can opener will allow even people with arthritis and weak hands to open cans easily. It is made of stainless steel and strong ABS for added durability.
- A 4-in-1 tool which can be used for opening cans, bottles, jars, and unscrewing screw caps
- It is constructed of food-grade stainless steel and sturdy ABS plastic
- The edge of the cutting wheel is sharp and will open cans without sharp edges or burr
- Large and soft handles
- It comes with two bonus blades
- An ergonomic knob for easy use by seniors and people with hand pains and issues
- Lightweight and portable, it is only 8.5 inches long and weighs 0.56 lbs.
- It costs less than $10
The pros and cons of owning and using a manual can opener
If you open cans often for food preparation, for your pet, or for any other reasons, you do need an easy to use, safe and reliable can opener.
Because cans require heavy exertion force to be opened, using an unsuitable or low quality can opener can make this experience pretty frustrating, painful and even dangerous.
There are various can openers on the market to choose from. Some are manual and others are electric.
Both types have their pros and cons.
While electric can openers are easier to use and require minimal effort, which is good news for elderly people or those suffering from painful health conditions affecting their hands and arms, these electric-powered tools are usually specifically designed for opening certain types, sizes, and shapes of cans only.
On the other hand, most manual can openers are much more universal and can handle cans of all sizes, shapes, and types.
But this is just one of the reasons why more people are choosing to buy and use manual can openers.
The other benefits of the manual type of these kitchen tools over the electric ones include the following:
- They are less expensive to buy, use and maintain
- They can handle cans of all sizes, shapes, and types
- They do not require electrical power and thus help save money
- They are usually smaller, take up less counter space, and are easier to store
- In general, they are easier to clean
- They are sturdier and have a lower risk of something breaking, as they lack motors or other electrical or mechanical parts
- They require simple or no maintenance
- They work even if you are outdoors off the grid or there is a power outage
- They are more eco-friendly as they require fewer resources to be made, and use no electric energy
To be fair and objective, we must mention the disadvantages of the manual can openers as compared to electric or battery-powered ones as well.
The main cons of manual can openers are:
- They do require some effort and manual power, so they can take longer when opening a can
- Some of them are not as safe as the electric ones, as they have sharp blades, but there are many manual can openers which are designed to ensure ultimate safety as well
- If you are left-handed or have weak hands or pain in the arms and hands they can be more difficult to use
What features to look for when buying a manual can opener
Because there is such a wide range of different manual can openers, it is essential to know which features are important when choosing the best one for your needs.
Here are some of the most important characteristics which the best manual can openers should have:
- Stainless steel blades. This will ensure that the blades will remain clean and free of rust if properly maintained. Not only will this prolong the life of the blades, but it will keep you safe as well. To prevent your can opener from rusting, you should always dry it well after rinsing or washing it.
- A suitable size. Depending on how much space you have, and how often you use a can opener, it makes sense to pick one which will suit your needs. Some of the manual can openers are small enough to be fitted in the pocket or on a keychain. Others can fit into your utensils drawer, while pro-range ones are mounted to the table or countertop and are much larger. Think about whether you will be using the can opener only in the kitchen, or you will be taking it with you when camping, traveling, hiking or other.
- Ergonomic handles and knob. You will want to pick a manual can opener which doesn’t hurt your hands when you use it, and which requires lesser manual effort and is easy to use. Choose a can opener with cushioned or other ergonomic handles that provide a safe and secure grip, and which has a larger and ergonomic knob which is easy to twist.
- Ease of cleaning. Some of the models from our list, especially those which cut the can from the sides rather than from the lid to not touch the food in the can at all. But top cutting ones may get into contact with the food. All of the blades need to be rinsed or wiped after use to prevent cross-contamination, so choose a manual can opener which is easy to wash and keep clean.
- A durable build. Of course, when you are buying something which you plan on using for some time in the future, you should opt for a better quality and durably built one, so that it can endure more can openings for more years.
- A smooth and low-effort opening ability. You should opt for a manual can opener which makes the job of opening cans much easier and safer for you. Choose a tool that cuts the can without skipping and without roughening the edges of the can or lid, and also one which offers a smooth performance.
- A design that suits your hand strength. As you can see from our list, some of the can openers are better suited for left-handed people, and there are some recommended for people with weakness or pain in the hands and arms, as well as other mobility issues. So, make sure you pick a tool that will be easier for you to use.
- Our list of the best manual can openers contains many options that have more than one functionality. There are openers that can also open bottles, others can pry open lids of cans or jars, and there are some with even more useful functions.
- Safe opening. Many of our top choices can open cans without leaving any jagged or sharp edges on the can or lid, and which will not lead to metal shards ending up in the content of the can. This is a feature you should opt for if you are worried about your own safety, or the safety of your children, pets, and others. The traditional manual can openers usually open the can from the top, while the safety ones cut through the side of the can below the rim, which results in perfectly smooth edges on both parts.
- The ease of removing the lid after it is opened. Some can openers push the lid into the can, and others will lift it up for you magnetically. It is important to choose a can opener which makes your task of prepping the food safer and easier, so check out how the tool handles the lid after it is done opening the can.
- The type of can opener. Some of the can openers on our list are heavy-duty and can open tens and even more cans a day easily. Others are for occasional use and are not as sturdy. Think about how often you need to open cans before choosing the type of manual can opener you need.
- Pick a manual can opener which you know will not fail you, and which will open the can every time easily and cleanly. Traditional can openers are usually the more reliable type, as they are more sturdily built, and have lesser parts that can break or get damaged.
- The price. Obviously, the price is a very important factor to consider. Make sure you set a budget for your next manual can opener and look for the best option in this range. There is a huge price difference between many of the manual can openers, so carefully consider how much money you are planning to spend on a new one before shopping.
Hopefully, this detailed guide of the best manual can openers for 2021 has been useful for you. Since we have added so many superb can openers of all types, sizes, and prices, we are pretty sure that there is a perfect can opener for everyone on our list.
So, good luck with your purchase, and enjoy using your new, reliable, safe, efficient and durable manual can opener!