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Best can opener 2024: Our favourite automatic, traditional and left-handed tin openers

Say goodbye to tattered tins and aching wrists with our pick of the best tin openers

If you’re fed up of hacking away at cans because your opener just won’t latch on properly, our roundup of the best can openers is here to help. There’s no one-size-fits-all product when it comes to tin openers. Weak grip strength, mobility difficulties and left-handedness can all make opening cans more difficult, but luckily there is an amazing array of can openers out there designed to make everyone’s life a little easier.

So whether you’re looking for something state-of-the-art, or just need a good old-fashioned opener for occasional tasks, we’ve found some of the very best suited to everyone’s personal needs and preferences, be that mobility, style or budget.

If you want to know more about the types of can openers you can buy, our helpful buying guide spills the beans on how to choose the right tool for the job. If you already know what style you need, read on for our pick of the best tin opener in each category.

Best can opener: At a glance

How to choose the best can opener for you

What types of modern can opener are there?

While there have been plenty of types of can openers over the years, nowadays you mostly tend to find these four ‘modern’ styles as they are the quickest and easiest to use.

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Butterfly: These tin openers are made in a classic style that’s been knocking about since the 1920s. They get their name from their shape, which somewhat resembles a butterfly and is a combination of a traditional church-key opener and a serrated-wheel opener. While some people swear by this classic style, others find it a little tricky to master as you need to get the grip just right for them to work effectively.

Manual: The ones you’ll see most often in shops and online. Manual can openers can either open tins from the top or the side. They require you to manually clasp the serrated wheels onto the rim of the can with one hand and turn the handle with the other. They come in all shapes and sizes (including the butterfly shape mentioned above) and can be trickier for left-handers and those with mobility issues as they have to be turned in a specific way and require you to use both hands.

Automatic: For complete ease of use and a cleaner cut, automatic tin openers are the way to go. Like their manual cousins, they come in all shapes and sizes. Some require you to clip the serrated wheel on before you press the button, while others simply need to be placed on top and will do all the work for you. Smaller ones will spin around the top, while others spin the can itself. These are ideal for anybody who finds traditional manual can openers tricky and are best for people with limited wrist mobility.

Dual-handed/left-handed: Perhaps unsurprisingly, these can openers are designed to be used with either your left or right hand. They can be automatic or manual, and the cutting mechanism works both ways, ensuring you get perfect results no matter whether you’re a leftie or a righty.

How much should I spend on a can opener?

That’s hard to say. A more expensive can opener won’t necessarily be any better than a cheaper one, but there are a lot of bargain-basement openers that aren’t worth your time. You can get relatively good tin openers for as little as a fiver and butterfly ones come in even cheaper. Most of our favourites are around the £10-£15 mark and we think spending this much will definitely get you something half-decent.

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The best can openers to buy in 2024

1. MagiCan Auto 2: Best easy-to-use can opener

Price when reviewed: £11 | Check price at AmazonIf, for one reason or another, you’ve struggled to get along with any kind of traditional can opener, this easy-to-use option from Culinare could be exactly what you’re looking for. It has two neat side buttons that lock the cutting mechanism into place around the rim of the can, so you don’t need to worry about it slipping off while you’re turning the handle. This also means you can use it one-handed if need be.

It’s suitable for use on lots on different types of can, cutting underneath the rim for a clean finish every time. Better still, it holds onto the lid until you push the release button on the side, meaning you can carry and eject the lid into the bin without even having to touch it. This one can be a little tricky to get used to, but once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll wonder why you ever used anything else.

Key details – Type: Manual; Handle material: Plastic

2. KitchenCraft Heavy Duty Opener: Best cheap can opener

Price when reviewed: £6 | Check price at AmazonThis may not be the prettiest-looking can opener you’ve ever seen but that doesn’t really matter, because it gets the job done. It’s a no-nonsense manual tin opener with chunky handles and sharp cutting blades for an easy experience. Like most manual models, this latches on from the side and you’ll have to remove the lid yourself.

While it’s not so great for left-handers or those with limited hand mobility, it’s ideal for everyday use if you’re able to wrestle with a classic can opener. Interestingly, it comes with an impressive 12-month guarantee, which makes this an almost risk-free purchase.

Key details – Type: Manual; Handle material: Plastic

3. Kenwood 3-in-1: Best automatic can opener

Price when reviewed: £130 | Check price at AmazonIf you’re a can connoisseur who regularly finds themselves reaching for the tin opener, you might want to consider Kenwood’s beefy automatic can opener. Designed to open cans of any type up to 1.2kg, this is one serious bit of kitchen kit. Like many automatic can openers, this can take a bit of getting used to at first. You need to ensure the opener’s magnet is as central as possible to ensure the tin can be easily picked up and cut. It might not work perfectly the first time but with a bit of practice, it’ll transform the way you open your cans, leaving edges smooth and mess minimal.

The base has non-slip feet to avoid any accidents and it’s easy to clean, too. Simply pop the cutting mechanism out of the slot, rinse and return. While this might be a bit of a space-hog, it’s a fantastic can opener for anyone who struggles to use manual models, as well as for anyone who wants to save time and mess.

Key details – Type: Automatic; Handle material: N/A

4. Oxo Good Grips Tin Opener: Best manual can opener

Price when reviewed: £16 | Check price at AmazonYou can always count on the Oxo Good Grips range to be great quality and this can opener is no different. It’s a classic manual can opener that attaches to the side of the tin, but it comes with added comfort in the form of thick, non-slip handles.

It may not have any fancy tricks up its sleeve, but this can opener does a great job of tackling cans with very little resistance. You do have to fish the lid from the top of the can yourself but, as it leaves no sharp edges after cutting, that’s not too much of an issue. If you prefer a classic manual opener, this is a great choice. You can also buy a snap-lock version for £21, if you love the design but want a hands-off lid experience.

Key details – Type: Manual; Handle material: Plastic

5. Joseph Joseph Can-Do: Best can opener for left-handed people

Price when reviewed: £6 | Check price at OnBuyWe love this small but mighty can opener from Joseph Joseph. It’s only 7cm wide and is made from lightweight plastic, making it ideal for small kitchens and trips away. Simply pop the opener on top of your can, give the handle a small twist and hear it lock into place. Continue twisting for a clean cut under the rim and use the eject button on the side for touch-free disposal.

What’s best about this opener is that it works equally well in both directions, so it can easily be mastered by both right- and left-handed people. As it’s so small, it can sometimes be fiddly, and might be trickier to use if you have large hands or struggle with your fine motor skills. But if that’s not an issue, you should seriously consider this nifty little gadget, especially if you’re left-handed.

Key detailsType: Manual; Handle material: Plastic

Check price at OnBuy

6. KitchenCraft Butterfly: Best traditional can opener

Price when reviewed: £5 | Check price at AmazonWith so many fantastic, easy-to-use can openers on the market, often at very reasonable prices, it’s hard to recommend one of these traditional butterfly models at all. However, if you swear by this style of can opener, this one from KitchenCraft does do the trick. It’s still not as easy to master as some of the others on this list, but as far as butterfly tin openers go, it’s really not all that bad and very cheap too.

If you don’t have to open cans regularly or find this style easy to use, this all-metal number is a must-have gadget for your kitchen drawer. It’s cheap, lightweight and doesn’t take up too much space – what more can you really ask for?

Key detailsType: Manual; Handle material: Metal

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