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Semi OT: Can Openers

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  • Semi OT: Can Openers

    I'm seriously considering reinventing the wheel and building my own can opener. We seem to go through can openers one a year and it's getting old... we've tried Kitchenaid, Oxo, generic, etc.

    In a fairly short amount of time, they all become rusty, the gears seize up, the cutting wheel gets dull, etc. I've seen some countertop mounted commercial ones that look better, but does anyone make a high quality hand-held can opener? Something I can buy once and it will last 50 years, with the exception of trading out cutting wheels every now and then? I want something made out of a high quality stainless steel that really is rust "proof" (we have salty tap water, so most things corrode quickly) and something with heavy duty gears and crank. I wouldn't have a problem spending $100 on one if I knew it would last (at one a year, it doesn't take me long to blow through $100 in freakin' can openers!)

    What do you think? Do I fabricate my own or is there a heavy duty commercial handheld unit out there? Or bite the bullet and find a good counter top unit, even though it takes up more space?

  • #2
    We finally gave up (but were not willing to spend $100) and just bought a cheap electric for $6-7 and considered it to be disposable, which was not what we really wanted. Surprisingly, it has been working fine for about 3 years and I wish we had relented earlier as it does much better than expected. The blade assy comes off easily for cleaning and I have no real complaints.
    My first job was in a kitchen and we had a heavy-duty can opener that was well built, but wall mounted.
    Last edited by Joel; 11-08-2016, 11:23 PM. Reason: Grammatical error
    Location: North Central Texas

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    • #3
      My wife bought a Battery powered electric can opner that sits on top of the can and operates automatically.
      The first one lasted for 11 years and cost about $20.
      The replacement she bought this last spring cost $15 on Amazon and is still happily cutting away.
      These work by cutting the whole top of the can off.
      The can is not sharp after the cut.
      I don't know how they do that.
      Great can openers.
      Just change the batteries when they slow down.
      Look on Amazon for "electric can opener" and it's the red one that is pear shaped.
      Bill
      I cut it off twice and it's still too short!

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      • #4
        Fancy ain't always better. My wife buys the ones with the nice handles, big crank knob, etc. I have the old style vertical opener you have to pull the cutter into the can. Still works, old, and I won't replace it.

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        • #5
          The best ones are a Japanese type that open the can along the tip ridge (not down in the lid) - leaving a nice drop in lid... Mine seem to last 10 years or more.

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          • #6
            rosle

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            • #7
              Originally posted by elf View Post
              elf,

              That one sure looks good! Is it all metal?

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              • #8
                Does anybody else use an angle grinder?
                Jim H.

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                • #9
                  Carbide trecanning tool in the lathe.
                  Last edited by Toolguy; 11-08-2016, 06:41 PM.
                  Kansas City area

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                  • #10
                    We have two of these, one is 40 years old, the other is thirty ish.

                    https://www.amazon.com/Swing-407BK-P.../dp/B001CDEFK0

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by lakeside53 View Post
                      The best ones are a Japanese type that open the can along the tip ridge (not down in the lid) - leaving a nice drop in lid... Mine seem to last 10 years or more.

                      Not sure what brand you have but yeah the OXO one we use has been very nice to use and although ours is only about 3-4 years old now, so far no complaints.

                      Video link to a demo of the OXO can opener.
                      Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                      Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

                      Location: British Columbia

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                      • #12
                        Part off in the lathe, but I usually end up with my food everywhere.

                        All joking aside, I have a very similar experience with can openers as you have. I hate electric can openers, you can't clean them easily. They take up way to much counter space and are ugly. The hand held ones can be thrown in the dishwasher when they get dirty.

                        I've tried the ones that cut the top off, but I'm not super big on them as you have to use the little pliers to pry the lid off (at least with the ones I had). I prefer the classic ones. We've been through numerous ones (at least 6 different ones), and I'm not that old yet. Such a waste. I agree with you - it should be like good kitchen knives - buy one and buy it for life. We purchased a set of high quality German made knives 5 years ago, and I'm convinced it is some of the best money we've ever spent in the house.

                        I think it would be a great project for the shop. It's actually a multi-faceted project - machining, hardening, , design etc. You've got me thinking .... . If I make up the drawings and do the build would anybody be interested? I'm thinking 316 stainless.
                        Last edited by enginuity; 11-08-2016, 07:11 PM.
                        www.thecogwheel.net

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                        • #13
                          Man up. Use a P-38.
                          Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
                          ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~

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                          • #14
                            I bought my best can opener in Walmart in vagas, I still use it, as cheap as you can get oxo or somthing but it does a beautiful seam removal, maybe just luck.
                            We had a tabletop one in the tinplate lab in work to open hundreds of tins to sample the can( pears really give tins a hard time, the coatings have improved a lot, we got fed up of eating pears and pineapple, mind it was free!
                            Mark

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                            • #15
                              A co-worker once misplaced his can opener and was in a lurch for his lunch. All the guys were amazed when I pulled out a generic pocket knife and opened the can with it.

                              Weston, you beat me to it with the p38.

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