With more and more people buying things that come in a can from drinks to fruit to soups, a can opener is a very helpful tool for them to have in their kitchen drawers. The question that a lot of people ask though is what opener do they need, and that depends on what they are opening and how much work they want to put into opening the can’s lid.

Invention Of The Can
Cans were invented about 150 years before the first-ever opener was invented. Napoleon Bonaparte, in 1795, was the person who set the invention of the can in progress. He wanted there to be a way to preserve food for his soldiers, so he offered 12,000 francs to anyone who came up with a way to preserve the food. It was 15 years later that Nicholas Appert, a chef and candy maker, successfully invented jarring food. He realized that food could be stored into a tightly sealed container and then slightly heated, which would preserve the food. He used glass jars, which ended up being a problem for the military because of how easily they could be broken during travel. Shortly after that Philippe de Girard, a countryman, came up with metal tins out of iron and tin, which he sold the idea to the British. He won the prize because he managed to perfect the art of preserving food for the military to take with them. The British combined Appert’s method for sterilization of the food and Peter Durand’s invention of the can to perfect the art of preserving food. These first cans were solely used for the army and navy because of how hard it was to open them. They were known to use whatever they could get their hands on in order to open their cans, including rocks, their own bayonets, and even shooting the cans on occasion. It was not until canning was mechanized and refined in the 19th century that they were made available for civilians because they became easier to open and use.

What Is An Opener
To put it simply, an opener is a device that helps someone open a can by cutting through the metal of the can. It works by piercing the metal lid of the can and then rips it off the can, giving access to the contents of the can. While all of these openers include a blade that opens the can, there are two different categories that they can fall under. Depending on what needs to be opened will determine what kind of opener is needed. The two different kinds of openers are manual and automatic. A manual opener means it has to be cranked in order to open the lid of the can, and an automatic one does all of the work itself. While a lot of people are starting to use an automatic opener because of how easy it makes the job for them, it is still advised that they have at least one manual opener in their kitchen drawers in case the automatic stops working or the power happens to go out. Now, as the years have gone on and there have been many more inventions when it comes to the can and openers, there is almost no need for an opener anymore because most come with tab openers that are attache to the lid of the can to open it.

Notable Opener Inventors
Some of the inventors of openers that need to be noted are Ezra Warner, William Lyman, Udico, and Ermal Fraze. Ezra Warner was the first person to patent an opener, which happened in 1858. In 1870, William Lyman was the first one who invented an opener that uses the rotating wheel. Udico is the first person to produce an electric opener in 1956. The person who invented the pull-open cans was Ermal Fraze, and he invented them in 1966.

Claw-Shaped Opener
The claw-shaped opener is also known as a lever-type opener. It was one of the first designs that were deemed successful in slicing open cans. This is purely a hand-operated opener. It is made with a curved blade on the top with a guard on the other end, which helps stop it from penetrating the can.

How To Use
This tin opener works by puncturing the top of the can along the rim by driving the sickle into the top. Then sawing along the edge opens the whole top of the can. This leaves the open can jagged, so caution is advised when using this opener.

Pros and Cons
The pros of this opener are that there is no contact between this opener and the contents of the can and that it punctures the can lid neatly. The one con of this opener is that it has an open blade that can accidentally cut a person’s finger if they are not careful.

Church Key Opener
This is a tin opener that is not meant for canned goods but for canned or bottled drinks, such as beer cans or wine bottles. It is made completely of metal and has a pointed edge for piercing the lid.

How To Use
In order to use this opener, one must hold the object being opened with their nondominant hand in order to keep it from moving. Then the guard on the opener is placed at the edge of the can and the can is punctured by forcing the point down into the top. Once the lid is hooked on this opener, one just rips the lid off. It is used the same way for opening bottle lids and corks.

Pros and Cons
The pros for this opener is that it works great for beers and other drinks and that is is a very basic mechanism to use. The con of this opener is that it has a pointed edge that can cause injury to the user.

Key Opener
This opener is made from a single piece of metal that has been twisted to the point where it resembles a house key. These openers are used on cans that are thin-walled, and they usually come with them.

How To Use
This opener is used by twisting the key in a certain direction in order to tear and roll up the side of the can. There are often two keys included with certain can in order to roll from both edges.

Pros and Cons
The fact that this opener is small and easy to use are some pros, but the con of this opener is that it has sharp edges that can cause injuries.

Bunker Opener
This tin opener is a one-handed opener that involves multiple pieces put together to make it work. These pieces include handles that are like pliers, a key for turning the opener, and a serrated wheel for opening the top of the can.

How To Use
This opener is used by clamping the can with the plier portion of the opener and then turning the key to twist the serrated wheel around the lid of the can.

Pros and Cons
This opener does not really have any cons, but the pros for the opener are that it only needs on hand to operate and is easy to use.

Butterfly Opener
This opener is very similar to a bunker opener. The main difference with this opener is that it is designed with incorporating a church-key design. This means that this opener has a plier handle design, serrated wheel, and a pointed end for puncturing the lid.

How To Use
One uses this opener by using the pointed end to puncture the lid, and then they clamp the plier handles onto the rim of the can. Next, one just turns the key on top of the opener, which turns the serrated wheel and opens the can.

Pros and Cons
The one pro for this opener is that it does great at getting the cans open, but the con for this opener is that it can be complicated and tricky to work.

Single Wheel Opener
This opener opens a can much smoother than other openers do because it has a finer grate. There are magnets on this opener that is placed around the part that opens the can in order to help hold it on the can while opening the can.

How To Use
One uses this opener by placing the serrated wheel part on top of the lid as close to the edge as possible. Then they just crank the key, which turns the wheel and opens the can.

Pros and Cons
There are two pros to using this kind of opener, and they are that it gives a smooth, clean cut and has magnets to prevent the lid from falling into the contents of the can. The con for this opener is that is can be a nuisance to use and is difficult to use.

Side Can Opener
This opener is designed with plier handles, a serrated feed wheel, a key, and a cutting wheel. The serrated wheel helps the opener get a sturdy grip on the can, and it is designed to cut the outside section of the can lid, which means it comes off clean and smooth.

How To Use
To open a can, this opener is placed on the raised edge of the opener, and then the key is twisted to cut through the lid of the can.

Pros and Cons
This can opener has an innovative design and removes the rim and top of the can completely, which are two great pros. On the negative side though is that it can be complicated to use, which is a bad con.

Countertop Opener
This opener usually has a vacuum base, which helps to secure the opener to a kitchen counter no matter what type of counter it is. There is a grove by the slicing blade of this opener that helps to hold the can in place by hooking onto the protruding lip.

How To Use
In order to use this opener, one must first make sure it is completely secure in place. Then one just holds the bottom of the can and turns the knob of the opener, which moves the sharp wheel and slices into the lid to open it cleanly.

Pros and Cons
The pros for this opener is that it opens a can neatly and stays in the place it is placed. The con for this opener is that it often requires a large open space on the counter to secure it.

Electric Opener
The great thing about these openers is that the machine does all the work without any help what so ever. There are magnets that hold the can in place while the opener is slicing the can open. This opener is very simple to use.

How To Use
The can is secured under the opener and then rotated by the opener in order for the wheel to slice through the top of the can. The magnets on the opener will hold the lid to prevent it from falling into the can.

Pros and Cons
There are some great pros that come with this opener, and they are that it is quick and easy to use and has an updated design that makes it practical to use. The cons on the other hand for this opener are that it is way more expensive than other openers and has to be used with both hands.

Pull Taps
These are a very modern version of an opener and can be found on cans of pop and often on cans of soup, but it can be found on other types of cans as well. This opener makes for one of the easiest and quickest means to open a can in order to access the contents of the can quickly and easily.

How To Use
These openers are often on thinner cans. To open the can, the tab just has to be lifted, which punctures the tin, and then rolled or lifted to open the lid or pull it off completely.

Pros and Cons
The major pro about these kinds of openers is that they are super easy to use and gives a clean opening for access to the can’s contents. The con for this opener is that it does not come on every can.