A can opener. A simple tool that is mandatory for every kitchen. Whether you’re a student living in a dorm, a world-class chef in a five-star restaurant or somewhere in between — you need an easy, reliable way to open a can. That’s about as basic as life gets. Why is it that something as simple as opening a can of food has become such a challenge?

Perhaps you detect my severe case of angst when it comes to can openers. I’m pretty sure that through the years, I’ve owned ‘em all. Most can openers work at first. But then, in what seems like no time at all, they begin to slip. Or the rotating parts seize up. Is there anything more frustrating than a can opener that refuses to open a can?

Today I bring you good news. It’s taken a while, but I’ve made a breakthrough.

Here it is: Never put a can opener — any can opener — in the dishwasher, even if it touts dishwasher-safe. Just don’t. Never. Ever! That goes for a manual model, a sleek stainless steel option or the working parts of an electric model, if those parts come off to be washed. I repeat: Never put a can opener in the dishwasher. The cutting wheel will eventually turn to rust, and that will destroy its intricate working parts.

Instead, always wash a can opener by hand with hot soap and water; rinse well, and dry quickly to prevent rust. Keep it rust-free, and a good one will keep cutting and working for many years to come.


Here it is, friends. The best manual can opener for under 10 bucks. With its vinyl-coated grip, it is simple and functional. It grips cans securely and cuts smoothly every time, producing a top with traditionally sharp edges.


— It’s a heavy-duty “swing” design can opener, made of heavy-gauge chromed steel.

— It features a carbon steel-cutting blade and thick rubberized deluxe handles for easy grip.

— Its gear-driven design allows for smooth, easy operation.

— It’s made in the USA.

— It has a great price.

— It offers many years of service when washed by hand with warm, soapy water.


This beautiful stainless steel manual model sits on top of the can rather than, more traditionally, hanging from the side. With this method, the can opener separates the can’s lid from its body, so there are no sharp edges.


— It’s made of durable and hygienic 18/10 stainless steel.

— It has easy positioning pliers that grip the top of the can and lift the lid from the can so your hands never come in contact with the food.

— It’s suitable for both right- and left-handed users.

— It has an ergonomically shaped thumbscrew for smooth and effortless turning.

— It has a safe lateral cutting wheel, which avoids sharp edges along the rim and lid of the can by separating it from the can.

— It has a 20-year warranty with Rosle when washed by hand!


This smooth-touch, electric can opener with the easy push-down lever is ideal for anyone who enjoys a beautiful appliance sitting out on the counter. It’s especially good for seniors with arthritic hands or other challenges that make a manual opener problematic.


— It eliminates sharp lid edges, cutting cans along the sides for smooth, touchable lids.

— It opens pop-top and regular cans. No need to struggle with sharp and messy pop-top lids.

— It easily open cans with one hand, designed with an easy-touch opening lever.

— It has a great price.

— It has a manually retractable cord.

— It has a one-year warranty, provided you never put any part of it in the dishwasher!

You can find specific details on these can openers and where to find them at https://EverydayCheapskate.com/bestcanopeners.

Would you like more information? Go to EverydayCheapskate.com for links and resources for recommended products and services in this column. Mary invites questions, comments and tips at Everyday Cheapskate.com, “Ask Mary.” This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a lifestyle blog, and the author of the book “Debt-Proof Living.”


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