How to Use a Can Opener

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A can opener is a great kitchen gadget to have. It doesn’t matter if you have an electric or manual can opener, it is essential to know how to use a can opener.

In this article, we will discuss how to use a can opener, both manual and electric.

How to Use a Manual Can Opener

While electric can openers are the more convenient type of can opener, many people still opt to use manual can openers. If you’ve never used a manual can opener before, you may be confused about how to use a manual can opener.

Here’s how to use a manual can opener:

  1. Place the can you want to open on a flat surface.
  2. Place the can opener on the lid of the can, making sure that the turning handle is facing away from the can.
  3. Open the wings of the manual can opener and fit the cutting wheel or sharp edge on the rim of the can.
  4. Close the wings, so they gently hold the cutting blade in place on the can and hold it with one hand.
  5. Use one hand to squeeze the can opener’s wings together, locking the handles in place to pierce the lid with the cutting wheel. You might have to reposition the cutting wheel to get it to pierce the lid.
  6. Using your free hand, turn the knob clockwise. You’ll start to notice that the can opener moves around the rim of the can as you turn the knob.
  7. Keep turning the knob so the can opener will continue to cut through the lid. Once you’ve cut the entire lid off, the lid will detach.
    • You can leave about half an inch uncut so that you can bend the lid up. This prevents the lid from falling into the food.

Advantages to Using a Manual Can Opener

A manual opener doesn’t rely on electricity or batteries to operate so you can still use them in power outages. Manual can openers are typically made from sturdy materials that last much longer than an electric opener.

Manual can openers are also easier to clean because most of them are dishwasher safe, and they tend to be much cheaper than electric can openers.

Proper Maintenance of Manual Can Openers

Now that you know how to use a manual can opener, you also need to care for it properly.

After using your can opener, please don’t throw it back into your drawer because moisture and food debris could be on the inside edge of the cutting wheel. It’s very common for people to do this and then have bacteria growth start on their can opener, which is very unhygienic. Additionally, moisture can cause your can opener to rust.

You must clean your manual can opener with soap and warm water and let it dry thoroughly after each use. If you notice any grime build-up, let it soak in white vinegar for about a minute, then use a small toothbrush to scrub at the affected part to remove the grime.

How to Use an Electric Can Opener

If you’re looking for something more convenient, you can go for an electric can opener. If you’ve never used an electric can opener, knowing how to use an electric can opener can be confusing too.

Here’s how to use an electric can opener:

  1. Lift or press the lever that releases the clamp or blade of the can opener so you can place your can.
  2. Put the can against the back of the can opener, ensuring that the edge aligns with the blade and serrated wheel.
  3. Once the can has been placed, adjust the cutter head to clamp the can in place.
  4. Press down on the cutter head or the start button to start opening the can. The can opener will stop automatically once the can has been opened completely.
    • Ensure that you hold the can lightly to prevent it from falling and spilling all over the counter.
  5. The magnet on the can opener will hold the lid of the can until you disengage the clamp. Remove the lid and discard.

Advantages to Using an Electric Can Opener

Electric can openers have quite a few benefits, including that they do all the work for you. So, people who have hand weakness or arthritis can open cans by themselves. The edge of the can will always be smooth and safe to touch.

An electric model also makes the process of opening cans faster than manual can openers, but they are more expensive, and they’re harder to clean.

Proper Maintenance of Electric Can Openers

Now that you know how to use an electric can opener, you need to care for one properly.

After using your electric can opener, you should wipe down the machine with a damp paper towel – make sure that you get the blades! Some electric can openers have removable blades that you can take off and hand wash or pop in the dishwasher for an even deeper clean.


Knowing how to use a can opener is crucial because cans are an essential ingredient in many dishes. There are two types of can openers: manual and electric. Manual can openers are a bit trickier to use than electric can openers, but once you know how to use them, you’ll be set.

Manual can openers are more durable than an electric can opener and can be used without power, and they can be thrown in your kitchen drawer and forgotten about.

Electric can openers quickly open several cans at once, but they are bulkier and require power. They’re also harder to clean. But they also make clean lid cuts that are safe to touch.

Now that you know how to use a can opener, you can open all sorts of cans in your kitchen without struggling! Hopefully, this guide has helped you learn how to use a manual can opener and how to use an electric can opener.

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