The 5 Best Manual Can Openers for Seniors

Not every senior wants or needs the latest electronic gadgets. So, here are the best manual can openers for seniors that have a familiar feel and look but are easier to use with soft grips, large cranks, and safety features built in.
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Here are my Top Picks:

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Manual can openers are handy to have in the kitchen, but they can be frustrating and awkward to operate. It sometimes feels like department store can openers were designed for use by professional rock climbers with abnormal grip strength, they are so unwieldy and awkward for people to operate.

Electric can openers are an option, however, they present their own problems for seniors who aren’t used to working them. Who wants to worry about losing control or a battery powered can opener losing charge?

This selection of the best manual can openers for seniors includes easy to grip and operate devices that help people with arthritis and other mobility issues retain their independence in the kitchen.

best manual can openers for seniors cover image

Comparison Table: Best Manual Can Openers for Seniors

Here is a summary of my top recommendations so that you can compare these options quickly. Want more details? Keep scrolling or click the “Read Review” link to jump to my review of that model.

Image*ProductImportant FeaturesPrice*More Info
OXO Good Grips Smooth Edge Can Opener OXO Good Grips Smooth Edge Can Opener

An easy to use manual can opener with chunky grips and an oversized crank.
✔ Smooth Edge
✔ Cushioned Grips
✔ Large Crank Handle
✔ Easy Lid Removal
$21.95 Buy Now at Amazon

Read Review
Swing-A-Way 6090 Easy Crank Can Opener Swing-A-Way 6090 Easy Crank Can Opener

Traditional-looking manual can opener with several senior-friendly features.
✖ Smooth Edge
✔ Cushioned Grips
✔ Large Crank Handle
✖ Easy Lid Removal
$12.98 Buy Now at Amazon

Read Review
Trudeau Stress Less Safety Can Opener Trudeau Stress Less Safety Can Opener

This manual can opener is designed for seniors with poor hand strength or arthritis.
✔ Smooth Edge
✖ Cushioned Grips
✔ Large Crank Handle
✔ Easy Lid Removal
0.00 Buy Now at Amazon

Read Review
Swing-A-Way Wall Mount Can Opener Swing-A-Way Wall Mount Can Opener

This wall mounted nostalgic can opener feels familiar to many seniors and is always easy to find!
✖ Smooth Edge
✖ Cushioned Grips
✔ Large Crank Handle
✔ Easy Lid Removal
$10.49 Buy Now at Amazon

Read Review
Easy Open Ring Pull Can Opener Easy Open Ring Pull Can Opener

Designed especially for pop-top cans and drink containers like soda and beer that have lids with ring pulls.
✔ Smooth Edge
✔ Cushioned Grips
✔ Large Handle
✔ Easy Lid Removal
$6.98 Buy Now at Amazon

Read Review

*FYI – The product image and price are from the Amazon API and are provided for reference and comparison only. They are updated twice a day but are subject to change at any time.

Reviews: Manual Can Openers for Seniors

These easy to use can openers put safety and convenience first, making them a good choice not just for seniors, but for parents with inquisitive kids too.

Features

  • Easily opens cans without creating sharp edges on can or lid
  • Oversized side-wind mechanism moves smoothly
  • Soft grip knob and non slip handles
  • Sharp stainless steel cutting wheel doesn't touch can contents
  • Built in pliers allow for contact free lid removal

Why I Recommend It

This easy to use can opener features chunky grips and an oversized crank mechanism, making it easy to use even for those who have stiff or aching hands. The cutting wheel is sharp and made from stainless steel, and is designed for maximum hygiene, producing a smooth edge to the can, and not touching the contents.

There is even a set of built-in pliers to remove the lid so users don’t have to risk cutting their fingers when lifting the lid up, or have to worry about cross-contamination during food prep.

Pros

  • Large and chunky grips
  • No ragged edges when cutting the tin open
  • Hygienic and simple to use

Cons

  • Cutting wheel needs to be washed carefully
  • The crank mechanism uses a rotary motion, which may irritate some people’s wrists

Features

  • DURABLE ALL-STEEL CONSTRUCTION: This can opener is one you can rely on to get through tough can tops effortlessly. The body is constructed out of extremely durable steel.
  • EASY TO USE WITH COMFORTABLE HANDLE: The Swing-A-Way Can Opener features an extra-long crank handle for a better grip; helping take the strain and pain from your hands when in use.
  • CUSHION GRIP INCLUDED: There are extra-long soft cushion grips for comfortable handling, the ergonomic handles fit any size hands.
  • SMOOTH AND EASY USAGE: The cutting wheel is made of high-carbon and glides easily across the tops of cans. The cutting is smooth and skip-proof making usage easy. A built-in bottle opener is included.
  • EASY TO CLEAN: It is recommended to hand wash with warm water and a mild detergent; rinse then dry immediately.

Why I Recommend It

While some of the “accessible” can openers on the market look more like alien space ships, this Swing A Way can opener looks more like the traditional type that you probably grew up using. This easy crank can opener is made from stainless steel, with a robust, cushioned grip for comfort. The traditional butterfly handle is replaced with a long crank handle which offers extra leverage, reducing the strain on your hands and wrists when you are operating the can opener.

The high-carbon cutting wheel is sharp and promises skip-free can opening, and there’s a built-in bottle opener (Click here for more bottle openers for seniors) too for added convenience. If you’re looking for a kitchen aid for seniors that “just works” and that wouldn’t be out of place in a younger person’s kitchen this is a great choice.

This is just one of several Swing A Way can opener models. If you find that the easy-crank isn’t quite up to the job there are other designs, including one with a fold-out crank handle that is even longer than this one, giving more leverage. For those who struggle with the twisting motion of a butterfly can opener, one of the Swing A Way models is a good solution.

Pros

  • One of the more affordable ‘easy to use’ can openers on the market, at a sub $15 price point
  • High carbon, sharp cutting wheel
  • Long crank handle takes the effort out of even stubborn cans
  • Built-in bottle opener

Cons

  • Some users report difficulty latching on to large cans to start cutting
  • Not very durable, fine for occasional use but loosens quickly

Features

  • Open with ease
  • 50-percent less effort due to gears and rotating crank arm
  • Cutting mechanism leaves no sharp edges; touchless lid removal pliers
  • Crank handle folds in for convenient, compact storage
  • Great for all ages; safe and easy to use

Why I Recommend It

The Trudeau Stress Less Safety Can Opener is aimed at people with reduced hand strength, either from arthritis or multiple sclerosis or other conditions. Instead of cutting down into the can, this tin opener cuts around the top, not touching the food inside.

The Trudeau Stress Less safety can opener makes it easy to lift the lid off the top of the can. In addition, the crank and gear system means that it takes very little effort to rotate the handle. Where traditional butterfly can openers can cramp your hands and wrists and make opening even small cans feel like a full gym workout, this can opener simply glides around the outside of the can. The handle folds away into the can opener once you are done, reducing the amount of space that it takes up in the drawer.

Be aware that if you cut “around” the can more than once, it can start to produce excessive tin shavings, so take care to cut slowly and methodically, on a plate, so that you can see if you’ve cut too far.

Pros

  • Compact and easy to use
  • Cuts around the outside of the lid so the can opener doesn’t come into contact with food
  • Lids just lift off for easy disposal
  • Gears and levers make the handle easy to turn

Cons

  • It can be hard to tell when you have cut all the way around the can
  • Shavings build up around the blade and require careful cleaning to remove them
  • If blade is not cleaned properly then it may dull quickly

Features

  • MULTIPLE STORAGE OPTIONS: This can opener can easily mount to walls, saving valuable drawer space and being easy to access while cooking. The bracket and screws are included with purchase.
  • DURABLE METAL CONSTRUCTION: This can opener is one you can rely on to get through tough can tops effortlessly. The body is constructed out of extremely durable steel.
  • 3 POSITIONS TO LOCK: This can opener can lock in 3 different positions when not being used.
  • SMOOTH AND EASY USAGE: The cutting wheel is made of high-carbon and glides easily across the tops of cans. The cutting is smooth and skip-proof making usage easy. A built-in bottle opener is included.
  • MAGENT INCLUDED: There is an integrated magnet that helps lift lids off for safe and easy disposal. Eliminate the risk of cutting your hands.

Why I Recommend It

Swing A Way have a good reputation in the world of accessible kitchen aids. This wall-mounted can opener is a good choice for those who want the convenience of having a wall-mounted device, but who dislike electric can openers for being too quirky and unreliable. This can opener is incredibly tough and durable, and can be trusted to serve its owner well for many, many cans.

Once the can opener is secured to the wall it can be locked in one of three positions, allowing the owner to choose the angle it is kept in when not in use. It has a built-in magnet that assists with lifting can lids up, and the crank handle is long to provide maximum leverage. This is a handy device both for those with limited hand strength and mobility and for those who simply do a lot of cooking and opening cans, who want a simple and hassle-free solution.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Magnet to help with removing lids
  • One of the more durable hand crank can openers

Cons

  • Requires fixing to the wall
  • Because of the wall mount, it’s not ideal for large cans

Features

  • EASILY OPEN YOUR CANS. No more frustration from stubborn tabs that won't lift up. Quickly pop the top of canned soda, soup, fruit, dog or cat food without pain or chipping or damaging fingernails.
  • DON'T BE FOOLED BY KNOCK OFFS: To ensure you are getting a genuine Jokari product and not a cheap imitation, purchase from Jokari as the seller on Amazon.
  • BEST FOR KIDS AND ANYONE WITH SORE HANDS OR MANICURES. Perfect utensil to help children and people with painful fingers or freshly painted fingernails open the drinks, beverages and snacks they crave
  • PERFECT FOR ENTERTAINING LARGE GROUPS. Don't let your guests struggle to open their favorite drink. Store these openers near your cooler to make opening beverages as smooth and painless as possible.
  • DISHWASHER SAFE ON TOP RACK. Traditional can openers are difficult to clean and typically get rusty over time. Our professional grade industrial strength rubber tool is easy to use, wash and care for.

Why I Recommend It

We’ve discussed a lot of traditional can openers, but what about ring pull cans? This easy open ring pull can opener isn’t a cutting device, but it is designed for those pesky tins of sardines, tuna and canned hams that use a ring-pull mechanism. If you’re sick of breaking nails and making your fingers sore trying to pry open an awkward lid with a pull that will inevitably snap at an inopportune moment, this could be the solution you didn’t know you were looking for. What’s more, there are three of these in a pack so you can keep them in handy places and not worry about losing them.

The Jokari Ring Pull Opener isn’t just for canned food, it works on soft drink and beer cans too. It’s an easy to hold lever that slips under the ring pull and lifts it up with a steady pressure. Senior citizens with limited hand mobility will find it useful, and it’s ideal for kids too. This dishwasher safe can opener will save time and stress.

Pros

  • Low Cost
  • Super easy to use
  • Three in a pack to save you money, keep in the car, in your handbag, etc
  • Dishwasher safe

Cons

  • Surprisingly strong so might rip the ring pull off on smaller cans
  • Takes a little getting used to

Summary and Final Recommendations

It can be difficult for many seniors to try new products. Many just like to keep their lives simple and have no need for newer gadgets like electric can openers. So, they hang on to the manual can openers they have had for years.

These can opener options have a look and feel they are familiar with but they also have features that make them easier for seniors and the elderly to use. This just might be an easier switch for many seniors.

So, what do you think is the best manual can opener for seniors? Tell me about your suggestions and favorites in the comments below!

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About Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®

Assistive Technology Professional, Custom Wheelchair Specialist, Medical Equipment Guru, Dad and Grandfather

I am a lucky dad to four awesome daughters and grandfather to three pretty terrific grandkids. When not working as a custom wheelchair specialist at a regional home medical equipment company, I enjoy early morning runs and occasional kayak trips. I am also a self-admitted nerd who loves anything from the 1980's. Learn More

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