A tin can, also called a tin (especially in British English) or a can, is an air-tight
container for the distribution or storage of goods, composed of thin metal, and
requiring cutting or tearing of the metal as the means of opening. Cans hold diverse
contents, but the overwhelming majority preserve food by canning.
While beverage cans or cans of liquids such as soup merely need to be punctured
to remove the product, solid or semisolid contents require access which is generaly
gained by removing the top (or bottom) of the can. Although this can be accomplished
by brute force using something like a large, heavy knife, many more convenient can
openers have been devised and marketed.
A can opener (also known as a tin opener)
is a device used to open metal cans. This is a very common tool and you will find
it almost in any kitchen. Without doubt, there are many can opener products out
there. The problem with them is that after one year or more they lose their cutting
edge and they just wont hold the can anymore. Depeds on the model, they can left
a razor sharp, circle of danger along the top of the can in which you can cut your
fingers. Can openers do wear out and require occasional replacing. The cutter and
mechanism tends to become dull and performance becomes hampered. Sometimes a good
cleaning will restore efficiency, but if that fails, it's time for a new one.
Types of can openers
There are many openers on the market for various uses, with some that are multi-faceted
to increase their versatility, and others are ergonomically designed for comfort
or to meet special needs.
Generally, a home will have several types on hand, based on their particular use,
and we'll also look at what a basic list would entail. One thing they mostly have
in common, with the exception of electric models, is that they are very affordable.
To Open Food Cans and Tins
Every home needs at least one manual rotary opener for their emergency or disaster
kit. I would recommend having 2, one that stays in your emergency kit, and one in
the kitchen for use during brief power outages, or to supplement another model.
There are hand models that have been ergonomically designed for comfort and
provide smoother operation than the base models. Units that can be wall-mounted
really save on drawer space.
Electric can openers are the easiest, safest and provide the least hand strain when
opening food tins. They are available in counter models, units for mounting on the
wall or under cabinets, and also in cordless designs. The cost of a small appliance
but with the added benefits of ease and comfort.
To Open Milk and Juice Tins For Pouring
Small, easy to store openers that can be used for opening milk cans, and to break
the vacuum seal on jars, are a must-have in a kitchen. They can also be used to
pry off lids from frozen juice containers or pull tabs from soda cans.
To Open Bottles
There are some small grip or wrench type of openers for bottles, but a soft grip-type
liner material, or plastic gloves, will also work quite well. Kitchen shears also
usually have a built-in grip opener configured in the handle, which works well on
water and soda bottles.
To Open Jars
Jar openers are available in under-the-cabinet slide in and turn models, adjustable
wrench-type, and soft grip pads. Breaking the vacuum seal on a new jar, will often
make it easier to open, as will running a preserve jar lid under warm water to loosen
the ring. Electric models are more expensive than those previously mentioned, but
provide the easiest operation if you cannot apply hand strain to twist off a lid.
They can usually accommodate various sizes and heights of jars, making them very
To Cut or Open Other Food Containers
Kitchen shears are the handiest for cutting open other types of food containers
or bags. Versatile, many can even be used for cutting food portions and helping
with food preparations. There are other small cutters which can be used for opening
resealable produce bags, and have a thin cutting blade and sharp end. These are
also useful for opening parcels and mail.
Basic Kitchen Opener List
- rotary can opener - at least one, and perhaps a second designed for comfort, or
an electric model.
- Small milk can opener
- Gripper pad or opener for use with bottles and jars
- Kitchen shears
- Small cutter for parcels and resealable bags