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best can openers for arthritic hands

The Best Can Openers for Arthritic Hands of 2017

For an elderly person suffering from arthritis, not much hurts more that trying to open a can of food. The squeezing and twisting required can be excruciating to inflamed, painful joints. Holding down a narrow button while waiting for the opener to complete its circle can seem like forever. And removing the sharp can lid is also a recipe for injuries in the kitchen. But there are ways to open up your favorite canned foods without hurting! Here are the best can openers for arthritic hands for 2017.

Comparison Table: Arthritis Friendly Can Openers

Photo
TOP PICK!
Product
Hamilton Beach 76606ZA Smooth Touch Can Opener, Black and Chrome
BLACK+DECKER Spacemaker Multi-Purpose Can Opener, Black, CO100B
Bangrui Smooth Edge Electric Can Opener--One Button Start & Auto-Stop(Green)
Trudeau Stress Less Safety Can Opener
Jokari Deluxe Ring Pull Can Opener
Mini-Review
Best Electric Countertop Style
Best Under the Cabinet Can Opener
Simple, automatic one-button operation
Completely manual with easy to turn knobs
Manual opener for pop top and ring top cans
Price
$25.99
$34.97
$29.99
$16.30
$7.68
TOP PICK!
Photo
Product
Hamilton Beach 76606ZA Smooth Touch Can Opener, Black and Chrome
Mini-Review
Best Electric Countertop Style
Price
$25.99
Photo
Product
BLACK+DECKER Spacemaker Multi-Purpose Can Opener, Black, CO100B
Mini-Review
Best Under the Cabinet Can Opener
Price
$34.97
Photo
Product
Bangrui Smooth Edge Electric Can Opener--One Button Start & Auto-Stop(Green)
Mini-Review
Simple, automatic one-button operation
Price
$29.99
Photo
Product
Trudeau Stress Less Safety Can Opener
Mini-Review
Completely manual with easy to turn knobs
Price
$16.30
Photo
Product
Jokari Deluxe Ring Pull Can Opener
Mini-Review
Manual opener for pop top and ring top cans
Price
$7.68

Last update on 2017-08-23 at 12:31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Types of Can Openers

​It is very important for a senior's nutrition and eating habits, that they have a can opener they can easily use. Many nutritious and easy to cook foods come from cans. Being able to pop open a can of food and throw it in an easy to use microwave oven will improve their independence in the kitchen. Quickly heating up a bowl of oatmeal while making their morning coffee will encourage better eating habits.

Can openers come in a variety of types.​ Some have to be cranked manually while others run on electricity or batteries. It is important to understand how they work before choosing a can opener for the elderly or those with arthritis.

lady opening can of food the hard way

CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Opening Pasta Sauce by Ahmed Sagarwala on Flickr

Manual Can Openers

These look somewhat like a pair of scissors with a turning handle on the end. To use this type of can opener, the ​handles must be squeezed tightly together to break the seal on the can. While still squeezing with one hand, the other hand must turn the crank wheel. This moves the can opener around the edge of the can until it makes a full circle. Then, the lid can be removed.

For people suffering from arthritis, manual can openers are nearly impossible to use. Every step in using one is going to hurt. Gripping the handles tightly and squeezing will cause the hand and knuckles sharp pain. Turning the crank will make the wrist ache. There isn't a good way to avoid it.

​Electric Can Openers

​This is the type of can opener that most people are familiar with. These plug into a wall outlet and generally sit on the counter top. Some mount under the cabinet for space saving. To use one, a lever arm with a blade is pressed onto the can lid to break the seal. Then, the arm is held down and a motor advances the can around until it makes a full circle. Many shut off once the lid has come off.

The difficulty for arthritic hands is holding the lever down long enough. Especially if the lever is small and only fingertips fit on it. It is painful to hold the fingers straight that long. Some elderly and seniors will not have the strength to make the initial puncture of the lid too.​

​Handheld Automatic Electric Can Openers

​This style of can opener is usually powered by batteries although some use rechargeable batteries with a built-in charger. These are smaller in size than other can openers. They lock onto the edge of a can. Then a button is pushed to move them around the edge. Many of these are automatic and hands-free.

In theory, this style is a good choice because most are fairly hands-free in their use. However, there are many cheap versions on the market that aren't worth what people are charging for them. Read reviews for automatic handheld can openers carefully.​

Pull Can "Pop Top" Openers

These are designed to help open cans will pull top lids like are found on tuna cans and pet food cans. They work by giving extra leverage to lift the pull tab.​

Usually these are helpful because it is difficult to get an arthritic finger through the pull hole without pain. Make sure the handle is robust enough not to require a tight grip.​

What to Avoid for Arthritic Hands

  • Can Openers that require tight squeezing or gripping to operate
  • Manual crank wheels - especially ones that are small
  • Small buttons or levers that must be held down for long periods
  • Levers that require a lot of strength to puncture the lid

So, what are the Best Can Openers for Arthritic Hands? 

Obviously, you want a can opener that causes no or minimal pain. It should be highly functional and maybe even a little stylish. ​Cost is always an important consideration.  Here are my nominees for overall best can openers for arthritic hands:

​Best Electric Can Opener for Arthritic Hands

The Hamilton Beach 76606ZA Smooth Touch Can Opener

Hamilton Beach 76606ZA Smooth Touch Can Opener, Black and Chrome

The biggest reason for my recommendation is the easy to use lever handle. It presses down without much force at all. Even the initial puncture of the blade is easy. The handle can also be pushed with the palm of the hand or even the forearm saving pain in the fingers or hand.

Something else to think about is that this is the style of can opener that most people are used to using. There is no learning curve to using it. Elderly users won't feel intimidated by it and are able to use it right our of the box.​

It's not very often I give a 5 -star rating - but this product deserves it. And 81% of the reviewers on Amazon agree - they gave it a 5-star rating too.​

  • ​Blade cuts the side of the lid leaving a smooth, safe edge
  • Large, ergonomic lever handle is easy to push and hold down for a full cycle.
  • Stylish, attractive design
  • 5" wide x 4" deep x 9" high
  • Weighs 3.1 lb
  • 1 year warranty

My Overall Rating:

Last update on 2017-08-23 at 12:31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Best Under Cabinet Can Opener for Arthritic Hands

Black+Decker CO100B SpaceMaker Multi-Purpose Can Opener

BLACK+DECKER Spacemaker Multi-Purpose Can Opener, Black, CO100B

​People with arthritis rave about how much this can opener has improved their life. This model uses a large, easy to push handle that needs very little force to use. The blade cuts into the side of the lid with ease also leaving behind a smooth edge. Because this is a Space Saver model, it mounts under the cabinet out of the way. A flip down door covers the front ​when not in use. The built-in bag cutter, knife sharpener and bottle opener will also benefit users with arthritis. Installation is simple with the included templates, spacers, and easy to follow instructions.

  • ​Power Pierce Cutter removes lid from the side leaving a smooth edge
  • Also works as a bag cutter, bottle opener, and knife sharpener
  • Large handle pushes easily requiring very little force to operate
  • 5" high x 7.5" wide X 5" deep
  • Weighs 1.1 lb

My Overall Rating:

Last update on 2017-08-23 at 12:51 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Best Handheld Automatic Can Opener for Arthritic Hands

Bangrui Smooth Edge Electric Can Opener

Bangrui Smooth Edge Electric Can Opener--One Button Start & Auto-Stop(Green)

This handheld can opener may appear intimidating at first but it is actually simple to use. Just line up the blade and wheel against the edge of the can, then press the button. The can opener will cut around the side of the lid automatically. No hands required. It will also shut off once it has completed the cycle. The opener holds onto the lid via a magnet and comes off easily. No sharp edges too! This is another excellent choice for elderly seniors and people with arthritis because it is hands free.

There have been some complaints about this can opener not being very durable. This is a common complaint about this entire category though. Because they are so small, people tend to say they lack the power needed to open large cans. I researched this category well and this is the highest rated handheld can opener and one of a few that had more than a 3-star rating.​ If the can opener will be used heavily, I would recommend the Hamilton Beach one above.

  • Automatic one button operation: no manual work or squeezing required
  • Cuts from the side leaving a smooth edge
  • Requires 4 AA batteries - not included
  • 4.8" long x 2.9" wide x 2.4" high
  • Weighs 7 oz

My Overall Rating:

Last update on 2017-08-23 at 12:51 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Best Manual Can Opener for Arthritic Hands

​Trudeau Stress Less Safety Can Opener

Trudeau Stress Less Safety Can Opener

For those who prefer a manual can opener or for elderly people who don't want to use electrical appliances, this is a great choice. It uses reduction gears and a long crank handle to make turning the can opener much easier. This one also uses a prying motion to open the lid rather than a cutting blade which would leave sharp edges. The handle folds in and out easily for storage. This can opener is both easy and safe to use! It is also the only manual can opener I could recommend.

  • Large rotating arm is 50% easier to turn than other manual crank can openers
  • Crank handle folds in for easy storage
  • Bladeless cutting mechanism leaves smooth edges
  • 5.5" long crank x 0.8" thick x 8.7" long
  • Weighs 8 oz

My Overall Rating:

Last update on 2017-08-23 at 12:51 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Best Pull Top Can Opener for Arthritic Hands

Jokari Deluxe Ring Pull Can Opener

Jokari Deluxe Ring Pull Can Opener

While not a general can opener, this little gadget has a definite place in the life of a person with arthritis. This opener is specially designed for pop top or ring pull style cans like on tuna, pet food, and such. Those types of cans can be difficult for anyone to open - arthritis or not. Prying them open is much simpler with this!

  • Makes opening pop top and pull ring cans a breeze
  • Uses pry action to lift ring pulls without hurting fingers or breaking nails.
  • Wide handle with natural grip shape
  • 4" wide x 1/2" thick x 9" long
  • Weighs 3.2 oz

My Overall Rating:

Last update on 2017-08-23 at 12:51 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Conclusion and Recommendations

Arthritis pain interferes too much with the quality of life for many seniors and elderly. Painful swollen joints make every day items like can openers difficult to use. Look through the options above for can openers that are easier - and less painful - to use. There are also automatic and manual jar openers to help seniors with arthritis or weak hands. Lightweight pots and pans are also very helpful at relieving arthritis pain in the kitchen.

​My top pick of the best can opener for seniors with arthritis is the Hamilton Beach model. It is easy to use, looks great in the kitchen, doesn't take up a lot of room, and doesn't break the bank either.

Hopefully this list of the best can openers for arthritic hands is helpful. Let me know in the comments if you have a product you recommend or any other can opening tips for my readers!

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