The Best Electric Can Openers for the Kitchen

Streamline food prep in your kitchen by replacing that wrist-twisting manual can opener with an electric model that looks sleek and works fast.

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The Best Electric Can Opener Option

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Perhaps the humblest of kitchen gadgets, the manual can opener is also one of the clunkiest. Using one can slow you down, whether breaking out beans for your five-alarm chili or trying to get your pets’ food in their dishes while they hungrily complain. The solution is a sleek, efficient electric can opener in the style that suits your needs and budget. Ahead, learn what to look for when shopping for a quality electric can opener, and find out why any one of the following models might be an asset in your kitchen.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Cuisinart SCO-60 Deluxe Stainless Steel Can Opener
  2. RUNNER-UP: Proctor Silex Power Electric Can Opener 
  3. ALSO CONSIDER: Kitchen Mama No Sharp Edge Electric Can Opener
The Best Electric Can Opener Option

Photo: amazon.com

Types of Electric Can Openers

The first electric can openers debuted in the 1930s, but they didn’t catch on until improved versions appeared in the ‘60s. Today’s models have come a long way and primarily fit into two  main categories: top-cut and side-cut openers.

Top Cut

The most common type of can opener, a top-cut model features a sharp rotary wheel with a blade that cuts along the inside of the can’s top rim. This style of opener usually includes a magnet to hold the lid in place and keep it from falling into the can once it’s severed. While many cooks rely on this tried-and-true can opener style, it does leave a razor-sharp edge on the lid.

Side Cut

As a safer alternative to the top-cut can opener’s sharp lid, consider a side-cut model. It works by cutting away the lid just under its rim, resulting in a smooth edge that cannot cut your fingers. Unfortunately, side cut can openers don’t work on cans with reinforced rims that are designed to hold plastic lids, such as coffee cans.

The Best Electric Can Opener Option

Photo: amazon.com

Features to Look for in the Best Electric Can Opener

All the best electric can openers are easy to use and won’t take up a lot of countertop space, but several different factors and features may make one type better suited to your kitchen and lifestyle.

Design 

  • Upright: The original electric can opener design, an upright version plugs into a standard household outlet and is usually kept on the countertop, pushed toward the back until needed. If countertop real estate is at a premium, however, you might consider a handheld model. Upright electric can openers are available in both top-cut and side-cut models.
  • Handheld: These handy gadgets are gaining in popularity because all you need to do is position the small device on the top edge of the can, push a button, and let it work its way around the can. Handheld models are most often battery operated, requiring either AA, AAA, or 9-volt batteries, although you can find an occasional plug-in model. Battery- operated, handheld electric can openers are easy to stow out of sight in a drawer. The downside to these devices is the chance that the battery could die right when you most need to use the opener, so consider keeping backup batteries on hand.

Cutting Mechanism 

A top-cut opener punches a hole in the top of the can and then cuts away the lid with a sharp rotating blade. The can is held in place by the cutting mechanism itself through pressure. This works well for removing most standard can lids, but if a can is extra hefty, the opener may not be able to support its weight while cutting.

The cutting mechanism on a side-cut model works similarly by attaching to the can’s rim and holding it securely while cutting around the side. Handheld models are more likely to feature side-cutting mechanisms, while upright openers are more likely to feature top-cutting mechanisms.

Durability 

Electric can openers come in various qualities, and parts on the least expensive ones may not be as durable as more expensive models made from higher-quality materials. For example, a stainless steel lever on an upright electric can opener will likely outlast a plastic lever on a similar type of opener. Handheld models have a reputation for not being quite as durable as uprights.

Ease of Use

The handles on some manual can openers can be difficult to hold, and the crank can be a challenge to twist. Electric can openers avoid these issues, making them well-suited for those who have arthritis and find a manual opener difficult.

Many of today’s upright electric can openers come with an automatic shutoff that stops the cutting process when the lid is severed. This is a handy feature for busy cooks because they can stir a pot or take cookies out of the oven rather than monitoring the progress of the can opener.

Our Top Picks

To qualify as a top pick, an electric can opener must be durable and reliable. The best electric can opener for you will depend on whether you want a countertop model or you’d like one that tucks away in a drawer. One of the following openers may well come in handy in your kitchen.

Best Overall

Best Electric Can Opener

The nonslip base of the Cuisinart Deluxe Electric Can Opener keeps it firmly in place while operating. This upright, top-cut opener comes with a sharp stainless steel cutting wheel that powers through can lids with just the push of a lever. It features a magnetic lid lifter that holds the lid when you remove the open can from the unit. The Cuisinart opener is dependable and easy to use. And should the power go when you’ve got cans to open, reach for the bonus manual model that features an oversized handle and nonslip grip.

Runner-Up

The Best Electric Can Opener Option: Proctor Silex Power Electric Can Opener
Photo: amazon.com

This Proctor Silex Electric Can Opener is a top-cut model with a stainless steel cutting wheel that slices through can lids with the simple press of a lever. The opener also features automatic shutoff so you can stir a pot or cut out biscuits without worrying about the opener continuing to run after the lid is separated. This model boasts an integrated knife sharpener on the back side and a detachable cutting assembly that can go in the dishwasher for easy cleaning.

Also Consider

The Best Electric Can Opener Option: Kitchen Mama No Sharp Edge Electric Can Opener
Photo: amazon.com

The Kitchen Mama Handheld Electric Can Opener cuts away can lids with just the simple push of a button. Simply position the Kitchen Mama on the top of the can, tap the button twice, watch it cut all the way around the can’s side, and then tap again to stop the cutting process. The Kitchen Mama is a side-cut opener, so it won’t leave a sharp edge on the lid, which is a plus when there are kid cooks in the kitchen. The opener runs on four AA batteries (not included), and you can stow it out of sight in a kitchen drawer.

FAQs About Electric Can Openers

Electric can openers are among the handiest of all kitchen power tools, and once you have one, you may never go back to a manual opener. If this is the first time you’ve shopped for an electric model, you may want some more info, so check out the answers to these common questions.

Q. What is the easiest can opener to use? 

Electric can openers are much simpler to use than manual openers because they don’t require wrist agility and hand strength to cut away a can lid.

Q. How long does an electric can opener usually last? 

The useful life of an electric can opener depends on the quality of the tool. In general, you can expect a good quality opener to last five years or longer.

Q. Do electric can openers need to be washed? 

The cutting assembly on an electric can opener can become gunked up with food residue from the cans’ contents. The cutting assembly is removable for easy cleaning on many openers, but if it isn’t, wipe the assembly clean with a damp rag.