4 Arthritis-Friendly Can Openers

A Good Can Opener Is a Necessity for People With Arthritis

An easy-to-use can opener is a valuable kitchen tool. When you have arthritis, the pain, a hand deformity, or weak grip strength can make opening cans much more difficult than it should be. A good can opener is a must-have for anyone with arthritis.

What does "good can opener" mean? It is one that is lightweight, durable, and easy-to-use. Better yet, if it is designed for hands-free operation, that's just frosting on the cake.


The Black & Decker Gizmo is a cordless electric can opener. It's very versatile and can be used to open cans anywhere. Once engaged, it simply walks around the can and shuts off automatically when done.

The Gizmo is a compact design and you can choose to store it anywhere that's convenient. It includes a mountable base and will also fit in a drawer or can simply be set on the counter. 

Black & Decker claims that on a full charge, it can open "a month's worth of cans." That's an arbitrary claim, however, because you may open more cans than someone else. Yet, according to people who own it, the charge does last quite a long time.

The biggest drawback is the price, but people say it's worth it and they typically last for many years. There are used Gizmos available as well.


Sharp lid edges are a thing of the past. The Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch leaves a smooth edge on the lid so you no longer have to worry about cutting your hands once it's cut off.

This is a compact countertop model that is quite a bit smaller than traditional electric can openers. The cord is nice and long and can be stored inside the machine when not in use.

The Smooth Touch can open pop top and regular cans. It uses an easy-touch opening lever, so hand mobility and grip are not an issue for most people. As an extra bonus, the black and chrome make for a very sleek design. 


For an affordable can opener, the Kuhn is a good choice. This one is manual, but the design is significantly more friendly to arthritic hands than traditional metal openers. The turning knob is extra large and the handle has a nice diameter, so it is considerably easier to use.

This Kuhn model only works on regular cans, so it won't help with pop tops. Yet, it cuts from the side, leaving no sharp edges and the lids do not drop into the can. It has a touchless system for removing the lid, so you can use the opener to pry it off after cutting.

This one is very compact and can be cleaned in the dishwasher. While it may not last forever, people who own it say it's a good deal for the money.


The OneTouch was originally an "As Seen on TV" product. It was designed with people who have arthritis and carpal tunnel in mind. It's an automatic and portable opener that runs on two AA batteries.

There are always advantages and disadvantages for inexpensive electric can openers. Some people have great experiences with this one and others don't. Even those who like it find they replace it every couple years or so, but they think the ease of use is worth it.

The OneTouch works by simply pressing a button and it doesn't leave sharp edges. It also includes a magnet to remove the cut lid, which is very convenient. It seems to work well on most cans. Some people caution against using it on a small one like those that tomato paste typically comes in.

Read the manual carefully and familiarize yourself with all the tips and tricks it includes. This seems to be the key to getting around some issues people report.


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