With the advanced household appliances development nowadays, people are now benefited from many tools in everyday tasks. And one of the most critical tools we want to introduce you is a can opener, a vital tool to help you open a can, and how to sharpen a can opener.
As you know, with a sharp can opener, your open-the-can task becomes hassle-free, easy as a piece of cake. However, through time, any tool or equipment will experience normal wear and tear, and with a can opener, it will be dull. With a dull can opener, you will struggle to open the can, even use more energy than when you don’t use the tool. You may end up giving up and thinking about replacing the opener.
However, you don’t have to do this. This article will show you how to sharpen a can opener and some tips to make this process easier and require less effort.
In this article, we will introduce you to the ways how to sharpen a can opener, both mechanical and electrical:
- Simple and user-friendly
- It will not cost you a lot of money
- It will guarantee you and your family’s safety, whoever has to perform the task.
You will receive some valuable tips in my article:
- Different types of the can opener
- Advantages and disadvantages of these types
- Signs that your can opener needs to get sharpened
- Some methods how to sharpen your can opener, both manual and electrical
- Why, when, and how you need to replace the blade
Types Of The Can Opener
Nowadays, there are two types of can openers: a manual and an electrical can opener. You may ask us which one you should choose? Well, we answer that it depends on the individuals’ needs and requirements.
Therefore, we want you to fully understand these two types, what they are like, and their benefits and drawbacks. As a result, your decision-making process will be much more apparent to you.
Manual Can Opener
This is the first type. As you can see from the picture, the manual can opener contains two arms and a rotatable handle to manage it.
Most of you may not recognize, most manual can openers look familiar; however, their operating principles fall into two categories. The can opener either slices the lid of the can inside the can rim or expunged the can’s outside edge.
The first method will help hold the lid on and use it to hold the food in position when removing the liquid. In contrast, the second one will enable the lid to be put on a can for storage purposes. However, you need to be careful not to grab the can from the top; otherwise, you will make such a messy mess.
Electrical Can Opener
This is the second type, and most families choose to buy it.
As you see from the picture, you will realize that it contains a magnet lid that will keep the lid from falling into the can. Moreover, the blade will be made from durable, sturdy materials like stainless steel to increase durability. Also, height is the fundamental factor you need to consider because it has to be tall enough for your highest cans. There is also a removable lever for quick cleaning.
Furthermore, some additional features that will assist you in opening the can are the automatic shut-off so that you won’t have to control the cutting process and so much more.
Now, we think you all have a typical picture about the can opener; we will move to the part where we will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each kind so that you can fully understand them.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of A Manual Can Opener
Easy to store
As you can see, most manual can openers come in a compact size; therefore, it is easy to store in limited spaces, such as a kitchen drawer. We are sure that people with occupied kitchen countertops will appreciate this feature.
Since the opener only requires the human’s energy; therefore, you don’t have to worry that you may have to spend time learning to use the opener like the electric one. Moreover, since it doesn’t need electricity, you can freely bring it anywhere you want without hesitating that it will unexpectedly run out of electricity and become useless.
Although most electric models are battery-powered; however, it still causes you trouble when the battery dies, and you may not carry extra batteries.
It May Take Longer To Open The Can
Since it only needs human energy, this is precisely not suitable for people who suffer from serious health issues that are hard to use their hands or experience poor hand sturdiness. These people will have difficulties using a manual can opener because it needs strong force from the hand; consequently, they may hurt themselves. Therefore, an electric can opener will be a better option for them.
The manual can opener contains sensitive components, such as the blade. If you are not careful, you may cut your hand on the edge while putting strong force from your hand to the opener. Most manual can openers are not dishwasher safe; therefore, you may cut your hand when cleaning them. This feature is even more dangerous for your children if they accidentally touch the sharp blade.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of An Electric Can Opener
In general, the benefits of a manual can opener will be the disadvantages of an electric one and on the way around. Therefore, now, let’s see what we’ve got for you.
Suitable For Everyone
We think this is the most foreseeable benefit of an electric model, unlike the manual, where you need to use your energy. With the electric one, you will only have to wait for the can to be opened. Therefore, people, regardless of their health situations, can use this can opener.
Youngsters may not allow using this opener, but teens or adolescents can use it. That’s why we said that it is appropriate for almost everyone.
As you know, all you have to do is press a button, and the machine will do the rest of the task for you. Therefore, you are less likely to hurt yourself, unlike the manual model.
Moreover, with the electrical model, you only have to unplug the cord and wash it with water. With sensitive parts like the blade, you will have a toothbrush to eliminate the dust and debris—no need to worry that you may accidentally cut your hand.
You May Spend More Time To Learn How To Use
Like any equipment, with an electric can opener, you will have to learn how to use it. Although some models include only basic features, you still have to spend time to get to know the machine. With the manual model, you can just grab and use it right away!
Electricity Could Be A Problem
You may argue that most models now use batteries; however, if your opener loses batteries and there is no battery around you, the opener will become useless. The situation can be worse if your machine uses an electrical outlet. Not every place you come will have an electric socket; therefore, a manual may be more suitable if you are away.
Now, you may develop some basic knowledge about the can opener, what it looks like, and when it is suitable, you will know which model you should buy. Therefore, we will head to this article’s essential topic: how to sharpen a can opener. Firstly, you need to know when it is the right time to point it. This process is the same between these two types, so you should not worry if we don’t split it into two parts.
Signs That Your Can Opener Needs To Get Sharpened
The most foreseeable sign you can see that when it stops working. You may ask yourself, when does it stop working? It is when you use strong force from your hand, but suddenly, your hand slips, and the lid still stays the same. Moreover, you will realize when it takes more time to cut the cans’ tops as usual. This is the time you should sharpen your can opener.
Moreover, there will be a time when the can opener’s blade requires replacement because right now, sharpening is no longer helpful to the edge, and it has rust everywhere.
Some Methods To Sharpen Your Can Opener
This method is the easiest one, and we highly recommend you to do it right after finishing using the can opener.
All you have to do is unplug the cord and clean it with water. You need to make sure that all specks of dirt, debris, and food particles are eliminated from the can opener. Once a month, we suggest you soak the blade into warm water with soap or not; this is up to you. You may wonder why you have to have to do this.
The answer that proper cleaning will extend your can opener’s durability. For your information, sometimes, during the cleaning process, you may neglect detailed cleaning. For example, instead of using a toothbrush to remove the edges’ particles, you simply let the water flow and do not scrub.
In the short-term, you still see the opener shines; however, many particles stick into the edge through time, and you may never eliminate them. That’s the main reason why your blade is dull.
In general, you have to use the toothbrush to clean the blade, and once a month, you should soak it in warm water.
Use Aluminum Foil
This method is recommended by most people when you have tried almost all the ways to sharpen your blade, but it is not working.
Now, we will show you the ways to do it.
Firstly, you will need a little aluminum foil and fold it in half or even in fourth to thicken. This depends on your choice about the thickness level.
Secondly, you will carefully run the aluminum foil over the blade to sharpen it. After that, you will rotate the blade in different directions to entirely point every blades’ sides. Make sure to carefully run the edge through all the aluminum foil’s length.
This may be hard for you to imagine; therefore, we have included the video of how to sharpen a scissor using aluminum foil. The first step is identical; the difference is that you have to run the aluminum foil over the blade, not just cut it like the scissor.
After that, you should check if the edges are sharp. If not, repeat the steps until you see the results.
If you don’t like the aluminum foil method, you can just use sandpaper. We will simply have to repeat the same steps as the aluminum foil.
Firstly, you will need a piece of sandpaper, with the sandpaper, we think you only need to fold twice.
Next, you will carefully run the sandpaper over the blade in every possible direction by modifying the handle. Then, if the edge is sharp, your task is done. However, if it is not, you can simply repeat the process until you see the results.
For your information, both aluminum foil and sandpaper are valuable materials to clean your blade and make it sharpen again.
Use The Knife Or Scissor Sharpener
This method is beneficial for an electric can opener since you will have difficulties using aluminum foil or sandpaper. Instead, let’s follow these steps.
Firstly, make sure that you unplug your opener from the electric socket or temporarily remove the battery for safety reasons.
Secondly, you should wash and dry the knife sharpener. If you use it regularly, you may pass this step and move to the next part.
Next, you will support the can opener’s body and put the knife sharpener inside. For convenience, make sure that the sharpener is on your right side.
Press down the lever, then place the blade on either right or left sharpener’s side.
You only have to run the sharpener over the blade’s total length, with slow, steady motion in this step. You need to remember two points: you need to run the sharpener in the blade’s full size and a controlled movement.
Repeat the step 5 to 6 times and then change the side. You should stop when it reaches the sharpness level you want.
Finally, you should clean and dry your sharpener blade. You should be cautious when cleaning the knife to prevent you from hurting yourself. Just one more point, you need to use this tool at the solid surface for effectiveness.
For better understanding, this video could be a big help to you. Although it refers to a scissor or a knife, the technique is almost the same.
Replace The Blade
When you have tried all the methods, and your blade is still dull, maybe it is the right time to replace it. We will include the section where we will demonstrate to you when and how to replace the blade. Therefore, let’s stay tuned with us through the entire article!
This is maybe the most exciting part for some of you here; you will not have to sharpen your blade; it is the right decision to replace it.
Why, When, And How You Need To Replace Your Blade
Why Replace The Blade?
Like any equipment or tool, the blade has its lifespan. Although you may clean the edge and protect it adequately from rusting because of external factors, it will only extend the lifespan, not that your blade will remain inside the can opener forever.
Therefore, you should check the blade regularly to ensure that you know the blade’s wear and tear. Moreover, with the periodical check, you will have better methods to protect your edge from rusting and breaking.
Moreover, if your blade experiences rust, then sharpening is only temporary until you can replace the blade.
When To Replace The Blade?
The most probable sign that you can see is the rust. If you see your blade is rusting, simply replace it; you have already used the edge for a long time.
Moreover, if you have tried many ways to sharpen the blade and it is not working, your blade remains dull, then you should change the edge right away. There is no use pointing it over and over again.
With the electrical model, if you see your machine is difficult to clamp into the cans and the hard-to-turn button, it is time for a replacement blade.
Finally, if you find some metal pieces inside your food products, it means that the blade is no longer give an effective cut; change the edge!
How To Replace The Blade?
The steps are not complicated, so we are sure that you can all understand them.
Before pulling the two screws securing the outdated blade, ensure to lift the handle.
Position the latest blade on the base, followed by the support plate.
Position the holes and lock the two screws in place.
Other sections should not be removed or adjusted.
If you still cannot fully figure the process out, this video will offer you a big help
Now, we move to the Q&A section to answer some common tips you may ask about using the can opener properly to extend its longevity, and you will not have to sharpen the blade too often.
Frequently Asked Questions: What You Need To Know About A Can Opener
Manual Can Opener
What Is A Right Way To Use A Manual Can Opener?
This article mainly focuses on sharpening a can opener; however, we are sure that you will be eager to know how to use a manual can opener.
Firstly, you need to place the can on a flat surface. This is to make sure your safety, unlike when you put it on a rough texture so that it may cause you troubles.
Next, you need to face the turning handle away from the can. With the rotating handle pointing away from the can, lightly open the manual can opener’s wings and place the slicing wheel inside the can’s rim.
Smoothly close the wings to keep the knife in position and carry it in one hand. Push the wings tightly with a hand, typically the left, to secure the handle together, then use the slicing wheel to penetrate the lid. You may reorient the slicing wheel moderately to obtain the suitable angle to parry.
Drop the handles, realign marginally, the slicing wheel should be bent out gently, and attempt again if possible.
With the hand that isn’t keeping the handle shut, switch the knob. As you change the gear, the can opener can ‘move’ around the can’s rim, cutting through all the steel inside the edge.
You can proceed until the lid is completely removed, or you can end with about metal’s a half-inch length to remain uncut to enable you to fold the lid up or out of the way (and prevent it from falling into the can.
Eliminate the lid from the can with care, or fold the lid up. Remember that the lid’s edge would be incredibly sharp unless you use a seamless-edge knife, so be attentive not to hurt yourself.
Here is the video for you to know better:
How To Maintain A Can Opener?
This is the most common question that many of you will ask us. Therefore, we want to give some answers right away.
We know that some of you may put your can opener back into your drawer without cleaning it after using it multiple times. You can’t see it, but the food debris and particles are building up bacteria. Moreover, the dirt also creates rust and corrosion, resulting in the falling of the metal pieces into your food, which will harm your health negatively.
Therefore, you need to clean it with warm water after using it each time. If you see your opener experience rust, soak it in vinegar or simply dip the toothbrush into the vinegar to scrub the blade’s corner. In doing this way, you can soon remove and dissolve the corrosion.
If you see no progress in your blade after you have done many ways, you should change the edge.
How Do You Fix A Manual Can Opener?
After using it a few times, you may encounter a situation where your can opener is difficult to rotate; the best way is to use the oil or the cooking spray to smooth the working parts, especially the wheels and the gears.
You should not use a commercial lubricant since it is not safe for your food. Therefore, it may drip into your food through times, and it is no good for your health!
If you use the oil and the can opener is still not rotated, you should consider buying a new one because it is probable that some gears are broken, and it is impossible to fix it. Simply discard the opener and buy a new one.
Electric Can Opener
How To Use An Electric Can Opener?
We have included how to use a manual can opener; therefore, why not use the electric can opener.
Firstly, you need to place it on a sturdy, flat surface, for example, a kitchen top or a tabletop. Some can openers are even designed to put in the cabinet; therefore, you can pass this step if you own it.
Secondly, you need to plug the opener into the electric socket or turn it on if your opener uses a battery.
Thirdly, you should raise the lever to launch the slicing wheel into the atmosphere. Then position the can’s lip underneath the wheel. Then lower the lever and apply pressure enough to push the disk into a can.
Next, when you push the On button, when you keep the can’s bottom, the wheel will gradually spin as it cuts through the can rim.
Finally, when you can hit the bottom and notice a slight drop, detach it from the opener. The lid will remain glued to the opener’s magnetic, and the can will be ready to pour.
Here’s a video for you to understand the process:
You need to remember that you need to switch off and safely unplug the can opener from whatever source it is inside before cleaning. This step makes sure to protect both your safety and your can opener.
Secondly, after every use, you should properly clean the can opener to avoid any food bits or food particles building up in the blade and the body. As a result, this may lead to the blade’s dullness, and you will have to spend more time sharpening the knife. Moreover, it may contaminate the other food cans the next time you open.
Thirdly, don’t ever put it into the dishwasher. And you shouldn’t put the whole can opener into the water because electricity and water are not a good friend, and this behavior can set the machine into detrimental effect.
Last but not least, you should consider how you will clean the blade. You shouldn’t just wash it with warm water every time. Once a month, you should use other liquids like alcohol, cooking oil, and cooking spray to prevent it from rusting too early.
With many kitchen tools, some of you tend to use them for different purposes. There are many reasons behind this tendency, primarily because of the convenience they can bring to you.
However, with the opener, you should only use it for opening cans. If you use it to cut materials or other kinds of stuff, this will damage the blade overtime.
If you use the can opener to cut hard materials, the blade will end up damaging, and you will need to spend more money to replace the edge before you intend to change it. We are sure that none of you here wants this situation to happen.
If you use the can opener to cut other objects than can, it may break the can opener’s engine.
Consequently, it may cause the machine to work improperly and break down eventually. You will never want to waste more money on a new can opener; therefore, don’t do it.
Since this type of can opener is electrical and you will have to store it in a suitable place, you can’t simply lie it around like the manual can opener. We have some tips for you:
- Firstly, you shouldn’t put the opener within your children’s reach. While it is a crucial tool for your kitchen, it can be seen as a dangerous item for your kids. Your children may hurt themselves or mess up with the machine.
- Secondly, you should put the opener in safe places like in the cabinet or the drawer. Don’t simply put it anywhere in your kitchen; it will develop rust and some severe damage.
- Thirdly, your storage place should be as dry as possible, don’t use moist or damp areas. They will cause damage to the engine inside, and rust and corrosion will appear.
Like any other equipment, your can opener will soon be broken and needs to be repaired. That’s a typical procedure, and you don’t have to worry about it too much. We have some tips for you:
If your can opener is battery-powered, always make sure that it is not run out of energy, and when the running-out-of-energy occurs, please change the battery right away to maintain it in the best condition.
You may have to replace some components; therefore, you need to find reputable suppliers to buy them. Come to the manufacturers in the first place; if they don’t have the parts, you should come to other people.
The best way to expand its lifespan is to read the manufacturer’s manual and strictly follow it.
After reading our articles, we are sure that you have already obtained crucial information about sharpening the can opener. We will conclude three ways: using the aluminum foil, the sandpaper, the knife, or the scissor sharpener. However, the most critical task is that you clean it properly after each time you use it.
Moreover, there will come the time that you need to replace the blade. We have also included when it is the right time and how to replace it so that you don’t have to ask for help from other people.
In general, a can opener is a crucial tool in the kitchen, and protecting it from being broken, and rusting is what you should do. And you don’t have to do this alone; you also have our support with this article. We hope that this article is beneficial to you and you will not struggle to find ways to sharpen a can opener and take care of it.
When talking about a can opener, we think you can’t miss the opportunities to buy the best Serbian chef knife to bring for yourself the most satisfying meal with both canned and cooked food:
This is the end of our article. Thank you for staying with us through the end of it. See you in our next article for more tips for your kitchen equipment.