How To Use A Can Opener


There’s so many types of can openers out there. Electric ones, battery operated ones, hand held ones, etc.

There’s a reason why most of us still prefer a manual can opener. These so-called high tech gizmos fail all the time.

However, even with a trusty manual can opener, some cans can be tricky to open.

We’ve put together a step-by-step guide that will eliminate all your can opening niggles.  

1) Place the can onto a flat, solid surface, such as a kitchen unit top


Placing the can onto a stable base gives you added leverage for piercing the can lid.

You place a lot of stress on your hands and fingers if you try to open a can in the air, not to mention the risk of spilling food onto yourself and everywhere else. 

2) Hold the can opener to one side of the can so that the turning knob faces away from the can 


You need to place the can opener to the right hand side of the can, if you are right handed.

If you’re left handed, place the can opener to the left.

The Chef Remi Can Opener is designed to cut with the turning knob positioned parallel to the side of the can.

We prefer this position as there is less stress on the wrist and hands, and it’s also easier to see where you are positioning the cutting disk on the can.

Some manual can openers are designed to cut with the turning knob facing up towards you.

If this is the case with your can opener, hold the can opener so that it hovers above the can, and the turning knob is fully visible and facing you.  

3) Separate the cutting disks by spreading the 2 long handles as far as they go 


The more a can opener ‘opens’, the more room you have to see exactly where to place the cutting disks.

Some can openers will only open to a small angle, while others will open much further so the disks are completely separated from each other.

For ease of use, we suggest you buy a can opener where the disks separate completely.

Not only is this easier for you to see where to grip the top of the can, it also means you can get to the disks to wash them thoroughly after use, and no food particles get trapped. 

4) Place the top cutting disk onto the inside edge of the can


You want to make sure that the topmost serrated cutting disk digs in to the inside edge of the can.

Using a can opener that cuts from the side makes this step a lot easier!

5) Squeeze both handles till you feel the can lid puncture

This will bring the bottom cutting disk up to meet the top disk, with the can edge in between.

You should be able to feel the cutting disks puncture the can, as well as a hissing sound as the pressure is released from inside of the can.

Opt for a can opener that has cushioned handles as, without cushioning, this step can hurt the palm of your hands.

Also, opt for handles that have a non-slip coating to stop you dropping the can opener and causing accidents.  

6) Turn the rotating knob / handle


Turn the rotating knob / handle in a clockwise direction. This will start rolling the cutting disks around the inside edge of the can lid as the can moves in the opposite, anti-clockwise direction.

Keep rotating until you have cut all the way back to the point you punctured the can.

Keep applying pressure using the long handles as you rotate the knob.

Changing the pressure can mean that the cutting disks stop biting the can, which is when you get that annoying situation where some of the can has been opened, but there are parts that are unopened.

This is why having ergonomically shaped, cushioned handles on a can opener is so important.

Also, opt for a rotating knob that has a nonslip coating, which helps you grip and rotate more evenly.

If you do have areas on the can lid circumference which has not been cut, detach the can opener from the can by opening the long handles (which separates the cutting disks) and reattach it at the last point the can was cut.  

7) Remove the detached can lid 

Some can openers detach the lid so it cuts on the outside, and therefore the lid is removed by grasping it with your fingers and thumb and lifting.

Others cut inside the rim so the lid falls onto the food.

Several years ago, things were black and white. A model that cut inside the rim left a sharp lid, which could be dangerous. A model that cut outside the rim offered a smooth, no-fingers-cut option.

Nowadays, even models that cut inside the rim offer a smooth option, so you should never cut your fingers.

The choice between an inside and outside cut comes down to preference.

Do you prefer to have the lid on the inside, where you can simply poke in a finger (or the handle of a spoon) and pick out the lid?

Or do you go for an outside cut where the lid stays on top, but you risk spillage of food from the can?

Personally, we prefer an inside cut that doesn't waste any food, but it's your call! 



The Chef Remi Can Opener cuts on the inside, but the edges of the lid are completely smooth. So, just push the handle of a spoon in, or your fingers, to turn the lid into a vertical position inside the can, and then use your thumb and forefinger to lift the lid out.

Use the above steps, and you’ll find that opening cans is a lot faster, as well as a lot safer!


The Chef Remi Can Opener is backed by 100% Money Back Lifetime Replacement Warranty. No Can is a Match!

Watch the video tutorial below to see this gadget roll smoothly through can lids and detach them easily.  







Lily Lupin#1

Hi there, i found this article very interesting and helpful on how to open a can with a conventional can opener. However, could you explain how to open a can with a traditional manual can-opener. Mine does not have disks, just a blade. Thanks in advance


hi am thilina this articale is so good


I’m always brutalizing my hands using can openers.

lauren horn#4

Being left handed, I didn’t find this very helpful. I honestly don’t think that’s suited for my or my not so nimble hands. Maybe better marketing is needeD?

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.

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