Ergonomic Nightmare of the Week: Can Openers

Have you ever tried to use someone else’s can opener? Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like every can opener design is a little bit different, and getting that interlocking gear blade thingy to line up just right is never as easy as it should be.

can opener

After fiddling with the unfamiliar can opener for ten minutes, you are about to give up when you finally puncture the metal and excitedly start cranking around the can. Then, when you have the can open, only seconds away from enjoying delicious tuna, you cut yourself on the piece of jagged metal and have to go to the hospital to get a tetanus shot. You never get to eat your tuna.

Can openers are in general horribly designed death traps, deserving of the title of ergonomic nightmare of the week.

can opener can opener

A couple years ago I came across a new type of can opener that opens up the can by actually breaking the seal between the lid and the can without cutting it at all. What is left is an in tact lid with totally smooth edges. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

can opener

Since then I have been seeing more and more of these so-called “smooth edge” can openers. Unfortunately, since the concept is so new, every brand that makes one comes out with their own unique design, so there is somewhat of a learning curve to figuring out how to use it. Which brings me back to my first point…never try to use someone else’s can opener.

This smooth edge can opener got a good review:

OXO Smooth Edge Can Opener

Beth says:

The handle size is so perfect that this is THE can opener for anyone with arthritis or carpel tunnel syndrome. There are no sharp edges, whatsoever, and there is absolutely no possibility of the can top falling down into the can and contaminating its contents.Truly a simple little kitchen gadget that one must have – and one which you will not be able to go without having after using it just once or twice.