Tin openers are one of the most vital small kitchen gadgets you could own. The convenience of tinned food is unbeatable, and many store cupboard staples such as tinned tomatoes, kidney and baked beans are hard to find available any other way.
Getting into them can be a real pain, though. Not only do you need a really effective tin opener, but there isn’t one standard set design for metal cans, so an opener which is perfect with a tin of your favourite soup may struggle with tinned potatoes.
Thankfully, electric tin openers take a lot of the strain and pain out of the job. They are perfect for anyone with wrist or dexterity issues as many operate at the press of a button rather than manually twisting, and the good news is that they don’t take up too much storage room either.
There are unfortunately rather a lot out there which really aren’t worth the time, effort and money, so we have compiled a list of the best around to ensure your tin opening is safe, easy and doesn’t cost you the earth.
The Best Tin Openers – Our Top Picks
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Best Countertop Electric Tin Openers
Kenwood CO600 3-in-1
This Kenwood is not only one of the best automatic electric can openers around, but it also comes in handy when you need a bottle opener or knife sharpener as it is a 3-in-1 unit.
The blade starts cutting with just a light press of the lever and stops when the job is done. There is a magnet which retains the lid, to prevent it from falling into the can and ruining your food or making it dangerous to fetch. It leaves the tin without any sharp edges, which makes it nice and safe for everyone to use.
When you are done, the mechanism is easy to clean as it just pulls out of the unit and slots back in place, so you can wash it in warm water and dry it fully to avoid future rust or contamination.
- Dimensions: 13.5 x 13.5 x 23.5 cm
- Power: 40W
- Maximum Can Size: Up to 1.2 kg
- Simple to clean
- Keeps hold of can until you are ready
- The knife sharpener and bottle opener functions are a bit fiddly
A trusted name, and great if you need all three appliances but want to keep things as simple as possible
Morphy Richards Multifunction Can Opener 46718
This opener really is multifunctional, offering six different ways to use it which could all come in handy.
There is the automatic can opener, as well as a jar opener and a multi-opening tool to deal with bottle tops, ring pulls, lids and even hard clamshell plastic packaging. Because it can do so much, it is perfect for those with dexterity issues or the elderly.
If you don’t fancy leaving it out on the bench, the compact design makes it easy enough to store away in a cupboard, and there is inbuilt cord storage for keeping it all tidy. All you need to do is put the can in place, press down on the lever and the lid will come off, while the appliance keeps the tin in place until you can safely remove it.
The jar opener is a real standout though, and it rids the need to try and get a grip on jars with tea towels or get air into it with a teaspoon. We loved how all of the bits fitted perfectly back on to the main unit, to keep it all in one place and give you some extra storage room.
Just plug it in, and you’re good to go. The power cord is around 30cm long, so there should be plenty of adaptability in terms of placement.
- Dimensions: 13 x 14 x 23.5 cm
- Good instructions for all applications
- Good price for what you get
- Can be hard to get the tin attached
Perfectly adaptable, and a great kitchen accessory for anyone with arthritis, dexterity issues or who simply struggles opening jars and tins
Swan SP20110N Electric 3-in-1
Another 3-in-1 tin opener, with a knife sharpener and bottle opener function. It is lovely and compact, meaning it is ideal for those who will be storing it away in between uses.
Fully automatic, you just have to place the can and wait until it is done. The magnetic lid holder will stop the lid dropping back into the tin until you can safely dispose of it all. The added convenience of the extra functions is welcomed, and both are comfortable to use.
There are a few tins it does not like, and it is hard to line up the cutter and roller properly. But it is one of the cheapest electric tin openers, which is great as it also has so many functions.
- Dimensions: 14 x 22.1 x 11 cm
- Power: 60W
- Attractive design
- Good bonus features
- Not the easiest can opener option
Not the easiest to use for a can opener, but the two other functions are strong and worth the cost alone
Best Handheld Electric Tin Openers
JML Hands Free Battery Powered Tin Can Opener
Whether round, square or ring-pull, this one-touch can opener can make light work of trying to access your food.
Press the button and let go of the unit, and it will start to cleanly remove the top of the can. Just press the button again, and it will stop – you can tell when it is done by listening to the change in pitch of the sound it gives out. The magnet keeps a hold of the lid until you have taken it away and want to dispose of it.
If you only have the use of one hand, it is ideal as it can be fitted and working with minimal effort. It sometimes looks as though the tin hasn’t even opened as the cut is so neat.
- Batteries: 4 x AA
- Dimensions: 27.8 x 17.4 x 8.4 cm
- Easy to get working
- Fits a huge range of cans
- Can be a bit fiddly working out a way to put the can on
The high praise reviews are all worthy - it is a fantastic and easy to use piece of kit
Cooks Professional Electric Can/Tin Opener One Touch Automatic
Simply place this tin opener on top of the can you want to open, make sure it is steady and then press the button. It will get to work, safely cutting the top off the can, without any interruption.
Perfect for those with dexterity issues or simply anyone who hates using conventional tin openers. The magnet tidily removes the lid until it can be safely disposed of, and then the tin can be washed out and safely disposed of with little risk of injury thanks to the clean open.
The magnetic element makes it very easy to attach to cans, which is welcome as some others can be very fiddly. It is not light and difficult to work with like some others and is a great price in comparison too.
- Batteries: 4 x AA
- Dimensions: 18 x 6.7 x 5.5 cm
- Simple to attach to tins
- Two-year guarantee
- Uses quite a bit of battery with each use
A tin opener very worthy of its place on this list, and one of the most faultless to use
Culinare One Touch Automatic Can Opener
Our budget tin opener pick, this Culinare features a lovely curved design which moulds with the shape of your hand for easier placement and use.
There is just one touch to turn it on and again to turn it off, and the built-in magnet will keep a hold of the lid once it is done, so it doesn’t fall back into the food or create a mess all over the appliance.
It uses just two AA batteries, whereas many others use at least four, which is great. Tins of at least 5.2 cm in diameter can be opened, so is perfect for the majority of household options. It is quick to get the job done and is more compact in size than most rivals.
Unfortunately, it is on the noisier side and doesn’t give users the smoothest of cuts. The edges left behind were slightly rough and sharp, and even after you have pressed for it to stop, it still carries on for a little while, as though the response is delayed. Getting it to start can also require quite a hard press of the button, so it may not be the best for those with dexterity or pressure issues.
- Batteries: 2 x AA
- Dimensions: 13.5 x 6.5 x 22 cm
- Compact design
- Available in black or white
- Leaves sharpest edges of those reviewed
- Can be slow to respond to your button presses
Good if you want something cheap and for the ease as opposed to it being a vital bit of kit. You just need to be careful of using it due to the sharp edges it leaves behind, so it maybe isn't the best for the elderly
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Electric Can Opener Buying Guide
Types Of Can Opener
- Handheld – The smaller, compact tin openers which look like the traditional manual twist models. All you have to do is attach it, and press a button to make the cutter go around the lid and stop again. They are often battery operated
- Countertop – These do more of the hard work for you. Simply lock the can to the machine and press the lever/button, and it will open it without you having to hold the tin in place. They are usually mains operated
- Rust Resistant – Your cutting mechanism is going to come into contact with some liquids, whether it be opening a tin of kidney beans or washing it in hot water. The last thing you want is for it to become difficult or unsafe to use, so look for a model with a stainless steel mechanism
- Cutting Wheel – You don’t want this to come into contact with your food, so you avoid the risk of cross-contamination. Safety can openers cut through the side of the can which is the best option, or there are automatic models which lift the lid after they’re done
- Operation – Some are less bother than others, and some are more appropriate for users with a certain favoured hand
- Cleaning – The best electric tin openers will have removable cutting blades and wheels which can safely be washed without getting the entire unit close to the water. This also helps when wanting to avoid cross-contamination.
You will either want your can opener to store nicely in the drawer as a compact handheld model, or in the cupboard if it is a freestanding model.
Countertop models are bigger of course, but can still be surprisingly small. If they do a few other things, such as act as a knife sharpener or bottle opener, they may be more on the bulky side
You will want your tin opener to leave a relatively smooth, safe edge when done. This will still be sharp, but it will be harder to injure yourself on it. Look out for a can opener which sells itself as ‘safe-edge’ or ‘safe-cut’.
The actual operation is important, too. If you or the person you are buying this opener for struggle with pressing buttons or pulling levers, ensure you buy a model which can comfortably be started and stopped
The absolute cheapest option will be a manual model, but if you are set on buying an electric tin opener, you will see prices ranging from around £10 up to £30+.
Countertop models are more expensive generally than handheld, and those with extra features such as knife sharpeners or jar openers will likely be the highest price.
Why Do I Need A Tin Opener?
You may wonder why manufacturers don’t just use ring-pull tins, as they are much easier to open. Well, essentially they’re more expensive to produce, so plenty of standard tins are still around.
Unless you have a tin opener, it is impossible to get into a metal tin. Even if you only buy ring-pulled options because of the convenience, you never know when the entire ring is going to snap off, leaving your beans on toast lacking the actual beans. A tin opener can help sort this out
What Makes Electric Tin Openers Better Than Manual Ones?
- Less effort in opening cans, and less wrist action
- Safer cutting – they often leave cleaner edges and can keep the lid out of harm’s way until safe to dispose
- Can deal with difficult shaped tins such as square or thick edged options
Will An Electric Can Opener Open Difficult Tins?
A FAQ across the board when it comes to tin openers. The real test of any model is whether it can cut into the toughest of them all, a famed Fray Bentos pie. Manual options, such as butterfly or rotating wheel, fail too often, and unfortunately, there is no definitive answer.
Most will cut around the edge of whatever shaped tin you throw at them, but could struggle with thicker models or tins where there isn’t a very good grip (such as rounded or completely flat designs).
The Fray Bentos tins are a certain shape and incredibly thick as you cook the pie inside them, which takes a lot more power than most tin openers can cope with. It is worth giving it a go, but you may be best purchasing a modern lever-type opener if it doesn’t work and you use these tins often.