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Semi OT: Can Openers

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  • #16
    The one thing that never fails: P38 - always ready, always works. Cost maybe $ 1.00 in Army surplus store.
    I have one on every key chain.

    If you want to spend a little more.......I have used this one for 30 years without a problem.
    If there is a can that it can not open than it has a very special rim. Very rare. Than use a P38.
    Last edited by Juergenwt; 11-08-2016, 08:26 PM.


    • #17
      Originally posted by Weston Bye View Post
      Man up. Use a P-38.
      I want to buy a half doz of them but being a tightwad, I am pained by the prices I see for them. :-) Used them for C rations many a time.


      • #18
        Originally posted by Mike Burdick View Post

        That one sure looks good! Is it all metal?
        It appears to be. We've had one for four or five years now and haven't had any problems.


        • #19
          Fasttrack --

          My wife and I bought a Swing-A-Way hand-operated can opener in 1975, and it's still going strong. We've since inherited her mom's and my mom's Swing-A-Way openers, so you'd think we'd be set. Over all those years, we've noticed what seems to be a characteristic weakness of the Swing-A-Way, and that's that the last 3/8 inch or so of the cut overlaps the first 3/8 inch of the cut, but is slightly offset. The result is a sliver of can lid that's connected to the seam at one end, to the center of the lid at the other end, and pulling the center free breaks the sliver at one of its ends . . . leaving the sliver as a spike, either on the can or on the lid.

          A few years back, I bought a "Good Cooks" seam-cutting can opener that cut the outside of the lid seam. I love it, my wife struggles to get it to latch onto the can, so she still uses one of the Swing-A-Ways. The Good Cooks can opener was made in Taiwan, and doesn't show any signs of wearing out.

          Of course, our Swing-A-Way openers were made in St. Louis, but the company was bought out and production moved to China. I have no experience with the Chinese-made Swing-A-Way can openers, but they look and feel like the American-made ones. The John J. Steuby Company makes an "EZ-DUZ-It" can opener of the Swing-A-Way design today, in St. Louis, but the examples I've handled have SHARP edges on the stamped handles. I'd recommend against buying an EZ-DUZ-IT unless you can (forgive the puns) handle it before you buy.

          Two or three months ago, I found a Zyliss-brand side-cutting can opener (made in China) at T J Maxx for US$ 4. It attaches to the can differently than the Good Cooks, and I thought my wife might be able to use it, so I bought it. The Zyliss design has the toothed drive wheel grip the inside of the lid seam, so the handle turns in the plane of the lid. My wife says it's MUCH easier to use than the Good Cooks opener, and uses either the Zyliss or a Swing-A-Way, whichever is on top in the kitchen drawer.

          One caution about "side cutting" can openers; not all of them cut the side of the lid seam. There are, or at least used to be, some that cut the side of the can below the lid seam. "Starfrit" is one brand that does that. The cutter wheel extends into the can's interior, at a low-enough level that fluid inside the can leaks, and the whole top of the cut can is sharp-edged. A should-be-in-the-textbooks example of urine-poor design!



          • #20
            I don't understand why you guys are having so many problems with openers. We are going on 35 years with an old cheap electric Black & Decker. We had three kids and two cats with this can opener. Do you have any idea of how much cat food we opened? Pork & beans are my favorite food. Wash? I thought they were self-cleaning. Maybe I should send this one to the Smithsonian!



            • #21
              I have one of those, a manually operated one, and I like it. I also have a Hamilton Beach that has been sitting on my kitchen counter for as long as I can remember; 10, 15, or more years. It works fine and has an automatic stop feature when the can is open. I always clean the top of the can before opening it and I use the same piece of paper towel, which is damp from cleaning the can top, to clean the cutter both before and after opening a can. That keeps it clean. The cutter is chrome plated so it does not rust. Wiping it after use also keeps it dry and keeps acidic foods off of it which also helps to keep it from rusting or corroding. I clean the manual one after use in a similar manner too.

              I think keeping it clean and dry is a key to a long life. Many people will wash them and put them on the drain board still wet. That is not good.

              One thing you have to realize here is any recommendation that involves an example of a long lasting can opener is not for the present day product of the company, but for what they were selling 10 or 20 years ago. So, it is still a crap shoot.

              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.
              Last edited by Paul Alciatore; 11-08-2016, 09:18 PM.
              Paul A.
              SE Texas

              And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
              You will find that it has discrete steps.


              • #22
                My wife wanted an electric so I bought one for her ten years or so ago. The mechanism detaches so you can wash it or stick it in the dishwasher. In that time it's never balked and shows no signs of age or wear. It takes up the real estate of about a quart jar on the counter but that can't be helped. The counter has to deal with the food processor, rice cooker, canisters and other stuff.
                "People will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time they will pick themselves up and carry on" : Winston Churchill


                • #23
                  Originally posted by enginuity View Post
                  Part off in the lathe, but I usually end up with my food everywhere.
                  That's what vertical lathes are for!

                  Sent from my XT1053 using Tapatalk


                  • #24
                    I suspect can openers are like car window openers. The electric ones hold up better simply because you can't force them to work harder or faster

                    Many years ago my dad made a can opener. He copied a manual one my mom had. The difference was this one opened 55 gallon drums! He had a lot of them to do at his job and got tired of the hammer a chisel method.


                    • #25
                      We had a wall mount Swingaway from the '70s, finally got too floppy in the can grip area and needed replacement 2 yrs ago. Bought a new Swingaway, looked identical except for
                      far eastern sourcing. Had trouble almost immediately and found that the gears mis-meshed once per rev with a tooth tip hitting a tooth tip and jamming. Basically
                      unusable. Making do with older Swingaway hand held, hence the interest in this thread.
                      Last edited by sch; 11-09-2016, 02:34 PM.


                      • #26
                        We've had one of those Oxo Good Grip for at least 15 -20 years. I can't imagine a can opener working any better.

                        The $14.99 model shown here at JC Penney's:

                        Rust? I've never seen a modern can opener with rust ...maybe a little staining and/or crud on the cutter wheel and gears.
                        Lynn (Huntsville, AL)


                        • #27
                          I have an old can-o-mat, it's older than me and still works fine.
                          Similar to this one:

                          Went through about a dozen openers then dug that one out of a box my wife's grandmother's stuff, been using it since.
                          Think they are making cans out of thinner steel, the other openers kept rolling off the edge.


                          • #28
                            I have a Rosle side opener and will never get anything else again. It's so effortless you wonder why people are still buying the old style.

                            Probably won't need to either as the carbide wheel is not sharp and will last forever. It doesn't require any pliers either after opening, you just lift the lid off. You can put it back again as well to put a half can back into the fridge.


                            • #29
                              Never failed me yet
                              What you say & what people hear is not always the same thing.


                              • #30
                                I have only replaced one hand cranked wall mount can opener in the 40 years I have lived in my house. Look for one in a hardware store.