Can openers are one of those basic kitchen gadgets than can easily go underappreciated––until you’re trapped with a poorly made version that doesn’t function properly. At the blink of an eye, whipping up a tomato sauce becomes an impossible task with those peeled San Marzanos securely sealed away. Ditto for those occasions when you want to make a quick tuna fish sandwich and a thin sheet of aluminum stands between you and your homemade fast food.
But basic doesn’t necessarily mean simple. After all, accomplishing frequent tasks with consistent ease is a great challenge, so a well-designed can opener makes a meaningful difference. Otherwise, you’re likely to end up struggling to crank its handle as you slowly work around the circumference of a can and wind up with a dangerously jagged lid once you (finally!) manage to get it off.
To eliminate guesswork and help you make the right investment, we’ve rounded up some of the best stainless steel can openers available. Throwing together a meal from pantry staples has never been such a breeze.
1. Cuisinart Deluxe Stainless Steel Can Opener
If you want minimal fuss the next time you need to crack open a can, look no further than this design. Simply place any standard-sized can into place and press down the sleek lever to make the initial cut and allow the electric motor to do the rest. The device stops automatically once the job is complete and a small magnet conveniently catches the lid before it plops back down into your canned goods. Its effortless function is great for everyone, but might be especially good for cooks who struggle with the needed hand strength.
Pros: It does all the hard work for you.
Cons: This model takes up counter space as opposed to tucking away neatly in a drawer.
2. Rösle Stainless Steel Can Opener
Opening cans may be an everyday task, but it doesn’t come without its risks, most of which are related to the sharp edges the opening process can produce. This design eliminates them entirely. Made from durable and hygienic 18/10 stainless steel, it features a built-in, grip to securely hold the tops of cans and prevent them from slipping. Even the thumb crank was thoughtfully engineered with a curved silhouette that’s far more ergonomic than those found on most models.
Pros: Smooth-edge cutting design that prevents sharp lids.
Cons: It has to be held to the side, parallel to the cooking surface when being opened which may be awkward for some cooks.
3. ZWILLING J.A. Henckels TWIN Pure Stainless Steel Can Opener
Designed in conjunction with Italian architect Matteo Thun, this can opener has some of the best aesthetics of any pick on our list. Made from 18/10 stainless steel for enhanced corrosion resistance, it has a hefty handle that’s ergonomic and allows for a comfortable grip even after opening several cans in a row. Its shape prevents unwanted food particles from becoming easily trapped within (no one wants to encounter extra scraps of tuna down the line), but even if it gets soiled, it can be easily thrown in the dishwasher.
Pros: Its architecture-inspired aesthetic elevates any stash of utensils.
Cons: Its novel design elements might not be right for every cook or kitchen.
4. Hamilton Beach Electric Automatic Can Opener
Perfect for those who cook with canned goods frequently, this countertop model has an extra-tall design and modern stainless steel exterior. The detachable cutting lever effortlessly breaks into any can and can be likewise detached for quick cleaning. And that’s not the only convenient element. The base has room for cord storage so as not to take up undue space and it even features a knife sharpener, meaning you get two devices in one.
Pros: The addition of a knife sharpener gives this model enhanced value.
Cons: The extra-tall design might not work for the amount of space in every kitchen decor.