As seen in:
West Bend
Electric Can Opener
Oster
Tall Can Opener
Hamilton Beach
Smooth Touch Can Opener
Cuisinart
Deluxe Electric Can Opener
Handy Can Opener
Automatic One Touch Electric Can Opener
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Good

Includes retractable cord, knife sharpener, and bottle opener. Accommodates tall cans.

Disassembles for convenient cleaning. Accommodates tall cans. Powerful magnet.

Modern design. Side-cutting action helps ensure safety.

Easy to clean. Wide base enhances stability.

Portable. Accommodates cans of any height. Package includes two openers.

Bad

Occasionally grabs the paper label on cans (which can lead to motor strain and jamming).

Noisy operation. Cutting mechanism is a bit unusual. Includes knife sharpener but no bottle opener.

Tiny metal shavings are possible.

Cutting blade is plastic instead of metal; this raises some concerns about strength and durability.

Requires batteries, which may be somewhat difficult to change.

Bottom Line

This top-quality, easy-to-use appliance is the perfect package. It's simply the best on the market.

This tall, stable unit offers many benefits, but there is a definite learning curve to using this appliance.

Easy to clean and operate, this sleek appliance opens most cans and satisfies most needs. The best deal for a low price.

An affordable, light-duty can opener with the potential for durability issues.

A portable, side-opening appliance that would be ideal for some elderly and physically handicapped consumers.

How we decide
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Products received from manufacturers
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Models Considered
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Hours Spent
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Experts Interviewed
211
Consumers Consulted

Best Electric Can Openers

The electric can opener has seen its share of design changes over the years, but it still delivers on the important task it was designed to accomplish: opening food cans.The distinctive whir of a modern electric can opener calls millions of dogs and cats to the dinner table. It also makes life simpler for fans of canned food products. We examined dozens of electric can openers. These top five contenders will get the job done safely and effectively.

Products we considered

West Bend
Electric Can Opener
Oster
Tall Can Opener
Hamilton Beach
Smooth Touch Can Opener
Cuisinart
Deluxe Electric Can Opener
Handy Can Opener
Automatic One Touch Electric Can Opener

Considerations

Construction/Design

While an electric can opener may be one of the least obtrusive appliances in the kitchen, it still has an aesthetic presence. In this section, we take a close look at the materials used in the construction of each top contender, as well as the design elements that allow each appliance to blend into the overall scheme of things. Durability is an important consideration, too; the best electric can openers are kitchen workhorses that perform well on a daily basis for many years.

Versatility

All electric can openers perform one essential function, and that is to open cans. Some can openers are limited to a few standard can sizes; others are able to handle exceptionally large or small cans. Some offer bottle openers and other additional features. We address all noteworthy features and functions in this part of our review.

Ease of Maintenance

For both performance and food safety reasons, electric can openers need to be maintained regularly. Can opener blades can harbor a number of food-borne germs, so owners should spend a few minutes with a brush and sanitizing solution to address this. Some electric can openers are designed to break down easily for proper cleaning and repair, but others are a bit more challenging when it comes to routine care. Here, we take a close look at each top contender's ease of maintenance.

Safety Features

By its very nature, traditional can opening is a potentially hazardous activity. Some electric can openers remove the entire lid at the seam for a smooth edge, but others create a sharp lid edge as part of the process. Thankfully, manufacturers have taken important steps toward improving the appliance's safety. We look for elements such as blade guards, shut-off devices, lid extractors, and lock/release mechanisms in this section. Stability of the unit's base is also an consideration. Because some consumers buy can openers because of physical limitations, we also discuss ease of use in this section of our review.

Considerations

Construction/Design

West Bend 77202 Electric Can Opener, Black

As at least one satisfied owner has already stated, the West Bend 77202 Electric Can Opener's sleek modern design elevates a basic kitchen appliance to something worthy of display in an industrial arts museum. Made of chrome, aluminum, and plastic, the West Bend 77202 uses a powerful, 70-watt motor to cut through just about any size can available to the public. We are impressed with the unit's height, which can accommodate the tallest cans without any special maneuvering. The blade assembly easily locks onto the lid and does not require constant manual pressure during the opening process. A magnet pulls the lid away from the opened can and, when not in use, folds into the front of the cutter. Another thoughtful design feature is the West Bend 77272's retractable cord with protective cover.

Oster 3126 Tall Can Opener, Black

The Oster 3126 Tall Can Opener has the same modern profile as some of our other contenders, but is more monochromatic. We appreciate the unit's height, which makes it easier to open taller cans of juice or other liquids. Instead of employing the standard round cutting blades, the Oster 3126 Tall Can Opener uses a patented "Powered Piercing" cutting mechanism that punctures lids of any thickness. This alternative cutting method does have a bit of a learning curve, so we urge new owners to consult the instruction manual before using it for the first time. An exceptionally powerful magnet holds the lid in place while it rotates, but some users tell us the lid sometimes makes contact with the contents of the can.

Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch Can Opener, Black and Chrome

Much like another top contender, the West Bend 77202, the Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch Can Opener has a sleek black and chrome design that blends well with modern kitchen schemes. Unlike the West Bend and some others on our shortlist, the Hamilton Beach uses a "side opening" technique to open cans. The can is placed between two cutting blades that grip the edge of the lid and the top of the can. The user presses down lightly on an over-sized, ergonomic lever and holds the can in place for at least one full revolution. Some owners say that the lid will continue to revolve even after the cutting process is finished, which can generate tiny metal shavings and threads. The lid itself is smooth, however, and will not make contact with the food.

Cuisinart CCO-50BKN Deluxe Electric Can Opener, Black

The Cuisinart CCO-50BKN Deluxe Electric Can Opener's mostly black, plastic housing is punctuated by a few chrome accents, but it's not quite as impressive on the counter as the West Bend or Hamilton Beach models. One design feature we like is the attachment of the blade assembly to the handle, which makes routine maintenance much easier. Surprisingly, the cutting blade on the Cuisinart CCO-50BKN is not metal, but a strong plastic. This raises some durability and strength issues with us, and several owners have also expressed concerns about the lifespan of the Cuisinart CCO-50BKN. The blade itself is described as a "power cutter" in the manufacturer's promotional material, but we are not entirely convinced it will handle thicker or larger commercial-sized cans without breaking. The unit's can-opening process can be challenging at first, since the can needs to be precisely aligned with the cutting blades, but it does perform as advertised once the handle is depressed. A magnet grabs the lid as the can turns, and we have not received many reports of the lid falling into the contents after opening. Overall, we would describe the Cuisinart CCO-50BKN Deluxe Electric Can Opener as an affordable, light-duty model. Endurance may not be its strong suit.

Handy Can Opener Automatic One Touch Electric Can Opener - 2 Pack

The Handy Can Opener Automatic One Touch Electric Can Opener stands out from the other top contenders because of its "hands-free" design, but this model is not just a gimmick for late-night shopping network fans. Side-opening can openers, in general, are terrific because the end result is a reusable lid with no dangerous edges. This type of appliance also tends to have a cleaner blade assembly. The Handy Can Opener Automatic One Touch Electric Can Opener has a palm-sized plastic housing that can be ordered in various colors. It is powered by two AA batteries. Some satisfied owners report opening cans as large as a gallon (although several passes were required). The blades don't cut the lid as much as they separate it mechanically from the can's seam. Because the Handy Can Opener doesn't have a limiting vertical housing, it can open virtually any can on which it is placed.

The budget-priced Hamilton Beach can opener sports an affordable black and chrome design that blends well with modern kitchen schemes.
Considerations

Versatility

West Bend 77202 Electric Can Opener, Black

The West Bend 77202 accommodates cans of different shapes and sizes – a definite plus! Its handle contains two unexpected (but useful) features: a bottle opener and a knife sharpener. Owners who require a bottle opener do not need to spend time looking for a small tool in a drawer full of other small tools. The knife sharpening feature may seem like an afterthought to some, but we believe many owners will find it useful while working on larger cooking projects. The West Bend is not a powered blade grinder; rather, it derives its power from a manual sharpening stone that will restore a knife's edge between tasks.

Oster 3126 Tall Can Opener, Black

The Oster 3126 Tall Can Opener is versatile enough to handle most cans in most standard sizes and shapes. However, it may not have the power to handle heavier commercial cans. One common complaint from users is excessive noise during operation. This can become worse if the motor strains or the label paper jams. The Oster 3126 includes a decent, built-in knife sharpener but no bottle opener. The power cord can be tucked into a discreet storage compartment, allowing the appliance to maintain a low profile between uses.

Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch Can Opener, Black and Chrome

The Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch opens most standard-sized cans with ease, including the "pop up" variety often used for canned soups. Some owners have had difficulty opening larger commercial cans (primarily the #10 type sold in bulk food aisles), but most home cooks tend to use cans in the 28- to 32-ounce range. The appliance's cutting blades follow the outer contours of the can and essentially peel the lid off. Unlike a traditional can opener, the Hamilton Beach does not cut through the actual lid itself. While we feel that this appliance's side-cutting action is a safer option overall, there are some owners who lament their inability to use the opened lids to strain liquids from tuna or other canned meat products. 

Cuisinart CCO-50BKN Deluxe Electric Can Opener, Black

The Cuisinart CCO-50BKN Deluxe Electric Can Opener is designed to perform one task, and that is to open standard-sized cans. It does not have additional features such as a knife sharpener or bottle opener, but it does have the capacity to handle numerous cans during one session without overheating or becoming sluggish. Other electric can openers – even some on our shortlist – have a tendency to bite into the can's paper label and cause jams during the opening process. Very few owners complain about this happening with the Cuisinart CCO-50BKN Deluxe Electric Can Opener. The Cuisinart's base is wide enough to provide much-needed stability while opening larger cans. We only wish the blade assembly had been made with more durable materials.

Handy Can Opener Automatic One Touch Electric Can Opener - 2 Pack

The Handy Can Opener Automatic One Touch Electric Can Opener doesn't have additional features to offer, but it does do a great job opening standard-sized cans with standard lid shapes. Because it is a side-opening model, the Handy Can moves around the rim of the can a bit more slowly than the top-cutting contenders on our shortlist. Users' patience is rewarded with a much safer lid with no sharp edges. Owners can place this lid back onto the can to protect the remaining contents or throw it away without worrying about hurting others or tearing through a garbage bag. The original package actually arrives with two portable Handy Can Openers. Owners like the Handy Can Opener because it's portable; they can take the can to the product. This comes in handy when dealing with large pallets of canned products in a cafeteria or other institutional site.

The versatile West Bend 77202 Electric Can Opener features both a bottle opener and a knife sharpener.
Susan T.
Expert Consultant
Susan T.
Chef, Food Entrepeneur

Susan Sano Tuveson has been cooking for people for five decades. Educated in music, law, and languages, she left her legal practice to establish Cacao Chocolates in Kittery, Maine. A three-time Best of Seacoast New England winner, the shop was popular for its high-quality artisanal truffles flavored with unusual local ingredients.

Considerations

Ease Of Maintenance

West Bend 77202 Electric Can Opener, Black

One important (yet often challenging) chore when it comes to electric can openers is cleaning the blade assembly. Some models simply don't make it easy for users to remove the cutting blades for proper maintenance. Fortunately, the West Bend 77202 is not one of those models! The entire blade assembly can be removed for cleaning by accessing a few screws with a standard screwdriver. The unit's housing can be wiped down with a clean cloth and sanitized with a disinfecting spray when necessary. Our biggest concern about the West Bend 77202 is its tendency to grab the top of the paper label during the opening cycle, which can lead to jamming or extra strain on the motor.

Oster 3126 Tall Can Opener, Black

The Oster 3126 Tall Can Opener's housing does not contain chrome elements, so its plastic casing can be kept clean with just a few wipes of a damp cloth and food-safe sanitizer. Because the unit's powered cutting blade can make contact with the can's contents, routine cleaning of the blade assembly is critical. Fortunately, Oster makes this process much easier by allowing the entire blade assembly to be removed from the rest of the base. Users still have to be careful around the sharp blades while cleaning, but the entire assembly can be spray-washed thoroughly and reconnected in seconds.

Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch Can Opener, Black and Chrome

The Hamilton Beach's plastic and chrome exterior can be easily cleaned with cleaning spray and a paper towel or hand cloth. Unfortunately, the blade assembly itself is not designed for routine maintenance, and replacing aging blades is not a job for amateurs. Because the cutter blades are designed to open cans from the side, however, they do not come into direct contact with many food products. This means the blades will remain "environmentally" cleaner longer than traditional, top-cutting blades.

Cuisinart CCO-50BKN Deluxe Electric Can Opener, Black

The Cuisinart CCO-50BKN is an entry-level model designed for those whose can-opening needs are modest at best. Cleaning the blade assembly and handle is fairly straightforward, as they are essentially one unit. (Other models incorporate a separate blade assembly that is tucked away in a recessed part of the base.) The housing itself can be kept clean with a few sprays of a kitchen cleaner and a wipe down. The main cutting blade can be extremely sharp, so we urge caution when handling it. Due to the nature of the Cuisinart's can attachment and cutting blade, we would not recommend this appliance for elderly or physically challenged users.

Handy Can Opener Automatic One Touch Electric Can Opener - 2 Pack, Assorte

Due to its minimalist design and side-opening blade assembly, it's easy to keep the Handy Can Opener Automatic One Touch Electric Can Opener in proper operating condition. The housing can be wiped down with a small towel and a food-safe cleaning product. The blade assembly is not easily removed from the base, but users can still use a brush or sprayer to remove any food residue between sessions. Side-cutting can openers benefit from the fact they do not cut directly into the lid or make direct contents with the can's contents. The biggest challenge most owners will face is replacing the batteries. Everything else is handled automatically by the opener itself.

Because the Hamilton Beach's cutter blades are designed to open cans from the side, they are unlikely to come into direct contact with the food.
Considerations

Safety Features

West Bend 77202 Electric Can Opener, Black

The West Bend 77202 employs sharp blades to cut through the lid of a can, but the machine's automatic locking mechanism minimizes human exposure to those blades. Once the can is attached to the blade assembly and the user pushes down on the handle, the rest of the process is automatic, including shut-off. While other electric can openers can create jagged edges, the West Bend 77202 creates a much smoother edge that will not fall into the opened can, In addition, the blade assembly does not create hazardous metal shavings which can fall into the food and ruin it for consumers. The West Bend 77202 is ideal for elderly users who cannot press hard enough to penetrate the can or maintain a steady pressure during the opening process.

Oster 3126 Tall Can Opener, Black

One important safety consideration with electric can openers is the stability of the base. The Oster 3126 Tall Can Opener is definitely stable on the counter. We have some concerns about the jagged edges of the lid after opening, but the magnetic holder is exceptionally strong and should keep it securely in place. The locking mechanism appears to work well under normal conditions, but some owners say that it can be difficult to make adjustments to a damaged can once the cutting process starts. There is an automatic shut-off feature, but if children are to use this appliance, we would recommend adult supervision during operation.

Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch Can Opener, Black and Chrome

The best safety feature of the Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch Can Opener, in our opinion, is its side-opening operation. Not only does a side-opening can opener create a safer lid, it also protects the food from contact with a potential source of contamination. The finished can cannot be removed until the lever is released by the user, which means a sharp, jagged lid will not be exposed on the magnetic holder.

Cuisinart CCO-50BKN Deluxe Electric Can Opener, Black

The Cuisinart CCO-50BKN Deluxe Electric Can Opener's best safety feature is its stable base. This is an important consideration when opening multiple cans of varying sizes. The high placement of the blade assembly helps users avoid awkward movements while trying to load taller cans. The ability to remove the cutting blades and the handle as one unit reduces the number of sharp parts that must be cleaned and sanitized. Because the cutting blade has some durability issues, however, we urge users to look for any damage to the blade assembly if a can becomes misaligned or jammed. According to some owners, the edges of the lids can be smooth yet also extremely sharp! Careful disposal is always a good idea; some Cuisinart owners actually bend or pinch their lids before throwing them away to reduce the chance of injury.

Handy Can Opener Automatic One Touch Electric Can Opener - 2 Pack

The best safety feature of the Handy Can Opener Automatic One Touch Electric Can Opener is the creation of a perfectly safe lid. Because it is a side-opening model, the Handy Can Opener mechanically separates the lid from the can instead of using a sharp cutting blade. The process is considered much safer, but injuries are still possible. Some users tell us that accidental contact with the blade assembly during operation can result in pinched skin or damaged clothing. We believe the "one touch" feature and automatic shut-off make the Handy Can Opener ideal for elderly and physically challenged users.

The West Bend 77202 Electric Can Opener's locking mechanism minimizes human exposure to its sharp blades.

Best of the Best

Electric can openers used to be noisy, boxy appliances that could never be described as stylish or sleek. However, one of our top five contenders stands out as an example of modern form meeting modern function. Armed with a powerful 70-watt motor, a locking/cutting mechanism, and an automatic shut-off feature, the West Bend 77202 Electric Can Opener is a workhorse appliance that will open virtually every type of can found in the average kitchen. The bonus for owners is that all of this usefulness comes packaged in an attractive, slimline housing that looks very upscale on the counter.

While other can openers generally offer just one function – can opening –the West Bend 77202 also includes a bottle opener and a manual knife sharpener. This may not sound like much of a benefit at first, but owners tell us they appreciate having both of these kitchen tools available during large food prep tasks. Removing and cleaning the blade assembly couldn't be easier – and we all know how important it is to keep can opener blades clean and sanitary. In terms of safety, the West Bend 77202 has a one-touch automatic locking mechanism and shut-off function that will keep fingers away from the blades during operation. A reliable magnet removes the lid before it can contact the food, and the sharp blades make smooth cuts with no metal shavings. While its retail price of $46 does represent a bit of an investment, we believe the West Bend 7720's aesthetically pleasing design and additional features justify spending a few extra dollars. For all of these reasons, we declare the West Bend 7720 Electric Can Opener to be the Best of the Best!

Best of the Best
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The attractive, slimline West Bend 77202 is a prime example of modern form and function in the kitchen.

Best Bang for Your Buck

In general, consumers share a few common concerns about electric can openers: ease of use, performance, and overall safety. While all of our top contenders address these issues very well, one appliance also addresses the issue of economy. That appliance is the Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch Can Opener.

When it comes to can opening, you can't get much safer than a side-opening blade assembly. Conveniently, the side-opening Hamilton Beach sports an ergonomically designed lever that requires very little effort to operate. Aesthetically speaking, it has the same stylish "black and chrome" look as the higher-end West Bend 77202. Moreover, it features the same versatility as the Oster 3126 and the Cuisinart CCO-50BKN.

While routine maintenance of the Hamilton Beach may be challenging, the appliance's blade assembly does not accumulate food particles and debris like traditional top-opening can openers often do. In addition, opened lids do not make direct contact with the contents of the can; this greatly reduces the chance of cross-contamination. The Hamilton Beach may not be in the "one touch and done" camp of fully automatic can openers like the West Bend 77202, but we believe that most elderly or physically impaired users should have no problem holding down the lever during the short can-opening cycle.

The average home cook opens an estimated 600 cans a year, so it only makes sense to invest in a can opener that delivers a safe final product. At an affordable retail price of $29, the Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch Can Opener appeals to lots of people, and for good reason. We strongly endorse it as the Best Bang for Your Buck!

Best Bang for your Buck
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The affordable, hygienic Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch Can Opener appeals to lots of people – and for good reason.
The team that worked on this review
  • Michael
    Michael
    Creative Lead
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Editor
  • Ann
    Ann
    Operations
  • Jimi
    Jimi
    Product Analyst
  • Ben
    Ben
    Operations