Electric vs Manual Can Openers – What’s The Difference

If you are considering the difference between electric vs manual can openers, in this article we will compare the two and which one is most suitable for you. Can openers are the gadgets present in almost every type of kitchen? However, many people like manual can openers because it fits neatly into the drawer. On the other side, many people rely on the simple electric can opener.


Difference Between Electric vs Manual Can Openers

The main purpose of using the electric can opener is to use the standard size cans of the food. So with the help of an electric can opener, you can also open the bigger cans purchased from the grocery store.

You can also find commercial-grade electric and manual can openers in the market. These are industrial size can openers that can cut even the cans having five or more pounds of food. In other words, there is always a can opener for any can.

The function of the can opener

The function of the can opener is almost the same. The reason is that every can opener is made to remove the lid of the can. The process of opening the cans is very simple and easy. The full removal of the lid minimizes getting any cut or injury to the user. This thing is also helpful in the prevention of metal shavings dropping into the can.

Manual Can Openers

Manual can openers come in the most simple form of can openers. Normally, they are made of stainless steel and consist of two simple arms. The top of the can’s rim is punctured with a small blade attached to one arm of the robot.

It is easy to puncture cans by pressing the two arms together. A simple flywheel and handle design on the arms allows the can to be rotated. The blade expands the puncture as the can rotates, separating the lid from the body.

Materials used in the construction of Manual Can Openers

You can find manual can openers constructed entirely of stainless steel or steel and plastic handles. It is possible to clean both types by hand or by using a dishwasher.

It is a new level of convenience to use an electric can opener. These models are designed to sit on the kitchen counter. Under the blade and handle is a can that is punctured by pressing the handle and blade together.

Furthermore, the handle triggers rotors. It allows the blade to easily sever the lid from the can while turning the can. A can’s metal lid usually gets gripped by magnets when you use an electric can opener.

Electric Can Openers

A hard plastic body is usually used in electric can openers that can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth. Many models have removable handles and blades for easy cleaning.

Electric can openers could be mounted under cabinets in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The devices floated over the kitchen counter and were introduced to save space.

Related Article: Best Electric Can Openers

Commercial Grade Manual and Electric Can Openers

Both manual and electric can openers are often used in restaurant kitchens. These large manual openers are mounted on a chopping block or counter.

The device may have an adjustable body to accommodate cans of all sizes and shapes. Electric can openers that are larger may equally be fixed in place and provide easy access to opening even large institutional cans.

Some models are very inexpensive and models that are extremely expensive when it comes to can openers. The majority of supermarkets and discount retailers offer reliable can openers for home use. The majority of restaurant supply houses offer industrial models.

During my research into the best can openers, I spent a lot of time comparing manual and electric models. Over the years, I’ve used manual can openers, and I have been dissatisfied with the results.

Still, I wasn’t quite ready to buy an expensive machine that I would have to leave on my countertop all the time. You may be on the fence like I was regarding can opener styles. Read on to learn the key characteristics of each type, and hopefully, make a decision that is right for you.


There is no doubt that manual can openers have an advantage over electric ones since they are usually made of heavier metals. They can also cut through thicker cans since manual can openers do not hold them up.

In contrast, electric can openers typically work only with standard sizes and weights. There is a possibility of rust on manual and electric can openers, so both types need to be cleaned properly.

Compared to an electric can opener, a manual can opener is more likely to offer more durability over time if you plan on opening a lot of heavy cans frequently.

Daily Care

Manual can openers are easier to clean than electric can openers. You can wash the manual can opener after you use it in the sink. To dry it, you don’t have to do anything special.

A wet motor or electrical parts will break an electric can opener (unless you intend to break it). An electric can opener can be cleaned by gently wiping down its blades and surface, and you might even need a cotton swab to clean inside the mechanism.

Despite this, some electric can openers are much easier to clean, with some even featuring detachable blades that you can clean yourself. It’s a useful feature that I didn’t even know existed since I was worried about accidentally getting the base wet and shorting it out.

Overall Price

You should consider the price difference between electric and manual can openers after considering all other factors. As a result of the motors and electric components, electric can openers usually cost more than manual ones.

You can find some affordable and functional electric can openers on a budget. They will, however, cost you more than most manual openers. Furthermore, repairs and replacements of an electric can opener tend to be more expensive than a manual can opener.


According to my research, electric can openers are slightly more prone to breaking and malfunctioning than manual can openers. Electric can openers have motors and other mechanical parts that are more delicate. The majority of manual can openers, especially those made out of metal, will be able to handle a lot of use.


When you’re opening a can, they’re less likely to break.

In addition to the fact that electric can openers require constant power, reliability is another major consideration. When you are without electricity, this may not seem like a big deal.

I once lost power for several hours right around dinner time for my family and me. I was extremely happy to see that I could still open our canned goods and warm them up on the stove. Because electric can openers don’t have an automatic backup mode, they can’t be used without power.


Electric can openers will always win for a simple head-to-head comparison when comparing ease of use. This is because electric can openers require no effort from you.

Each model will operate differently, but most involve placing the can in front of the opener and pressing it into a locking mechanism. The machine will hold the can, turn it, and cut off the top for you for as long as you hold down a lever or press a button.

Some manual models have special gears and differing blade configurations that make them easy to use. Because of this, you don’t have to put in as much effort as when you used those old, troublesome models.

Since some electric can openers can’t handle heavy cans or cans with irregular shapes, your biggest consideration here is the type of cans you intend to use. Cans must be held in place or not handled at all.

How to Choose an Electric Can Opener?


To evaluate the safety of an electric can opener, you have to pay attention to two aspects:

  • Magnetic lid holders are built into some can openers. The jagged edges of the lid removed have sharp edges that can cut your fingers. This is a good safety feature. With the magnetic lid holders, you won’t have to worry about cutting your fingers when you collect the lids from an opened can.
  • It comes with a top-cut and a side-cut can opener.
  • It’s best to get a side-cutting one for safety reasons since it has a smoother, cleaner edge than the top-cutting one. The blade may contact the food inside and cause cross-contamination if not cleaned properly.


When buying your electric can opener, size is one of the most important factors to consider. You should get a tall can opener if you need to open soup or broth cans since some can openers are only suitable for opening low, small cans like tuna and spreads.

Hands-free use is possible with most of these gadgets. For mounted can openers, you need one that is a little on the heavy side so that it won’t topple over once a heavy can is attached to it.

Cleanliness and maintenance

Most of these gadgets have electrical plugs, so they can’t go in the dishwasher. To make cleaning easier, it’s best to look for an opener that has a removable blade or that can be put in the dishwasher.

Additionally, it would help if you kept them dry to prevent rust from forming on the blades. Clean the blades after every use, and then store them somewhere dry.

Power Type

You don’t have to use a power source to use an electric can opener; battery-operated ones are also. These are normally mounted on countertops and are usually larger and powered. Batteries are typically smaller and about the size of the hand. It’s perfect for a picnic or hiking trip.

How long are you going to wait? A can opener with an electric motor would be best. If you get a multifunction one, it will make your life easier. Furthermore, you saved money because you bought one kitchen tool instead of four separate ones.

Additionally, you save a lot of counter space, giving you more room to move around. In the case of our senior citizens, or friends or family members with disabilities, it’s not just an added convenience but a necessity. The solution will be effective and inexpensive. You will not regret upgrading.

Related Article: Homemade Pizzas in the Vaal

Guide to Buying a Manual Can Opener

It is not easy to choose an opener because so many are available. When selecting the best can opener on the market, there are a few things to consider-

Multifunctional requirements

It is crucial to check this detail before making a purchase. Advanced technologies and designs are now available in many types. Beyond opening cans, you can use them as knife sharpeners and tool holders. It is, therefore, best to choose a can opener that can serve all your multifunctional needs.

Buying a multifunctional can opener is a good idea if you don’t know which can opener works best for you. A wall-mounted opener is also an option to avoid damage. Further, you can use this one for various settings, including schools, homes, hospitals, etc.

Cost and warranty

Before buying a can opener, you should also check the price and reliability. There are many cheap can openers on the market, but only a few are durable and good quality. A manual can opener is more affordable. A manual can opener can cost anywhere from $10 to $60.

Before purchasing a product, understand what you want from it.

A little more expensive than a manual product, an electrical product will keep the hassles at bay. The electric one is more convenient and durable, however. The warranty feature of the product can also be checked. The tool with a warranty allows me to use it without any worries.


I changed 2-3 openers in the past due to the soft material breaking off quickly. However, the tool I own fails to provide me with sturdiness and firm grip whenever I use it. Choosing a can opener based on this is one of the most important considerations.

The best material is stainless steel, as it is durable, corrosion-resistant, and safe. It will, however, be a bit more expensive than plastic. Due to their lightweight nature and spring-loaded action, plastic ones are easier to handle. Although steel is more durable and quality than plastic, it will be more expensive.


If a product ensures the safety and does its job perfectly, it will be a remarkable product. Using traditional gadgets with sharp edges on the lids can be dangerous.

Other gadgets may also cause you injury. Select the one that ensures your safety and provides a smooth edge. I prefer countertop and electric can openers in terms of safety and ease of use. To avoid any mishaps, you can buy them if you have children in your home.


A large product will be frustrating if there is not enough space to keep it. Consider this before purchasing one for your kitchen. It’s possible to find a small can opener that fits in your drawer of utensils. You can choose a large or countertop gadget if sufficient countertop space. Since I can carry a small one anywhere, I find it easier to carry.

There are manual can openers specifically designed for small cans. These can openers are easy to use and store. On the other hand, a large electric one is also quite convenient. Decide what the tool will be used for and what your needs are. It would help if you also looked at the space available for the gadget.

Easy to use

Beginner cooks know how rewarding it is to explore and use a new appliance. This is an important factor I have included in my buying guide. The product should be easy to use both when you are doing other tasks and when the product is being used.

Additionally, make sure that you can use it with your left hand. As most tools are designed to be used with the right hand, this is essential to consider before purchasing. Listed below are the best can openers for left-handed people.

Additionally, you should research the different brands and kinds of can openers. I included the products based on the factor. You can also learn about the best stainless steel can opener.


How long do electric can openers last compared to manual ones?

They indeed tend to rust more frequently than electric models, but it should still take a while before you notice it. Although both electric and manual can openers are solid and should last a long time, manual can openers tend to last longer.

Is it true that manual can openers wear out?

We tested a number of these models over a long period and found that they could last for years without ever becoming dull. Manual safety models last for about one or two years and cost two or three times as much as conventional openers.

What are side-cutting can openers?

Most can openers work the same way, and dozens to choose from. The lid was cut around the inside rim, leaving the rim intact and a sharp-edged lid once it was opened. Opened cans have a sharp edge on the can while the lid retains the rim.

Final Thoughts

In this article, you have acquired all the knowledge you need to select the can opener that is right for you. You are aware of the types of can opener that best suit your needs (mechanical, electric, or crown punch). It’s up to you to decide which features you want in a can opener.

It is clear to you that each type has positives and negatives. When you reviewed the description of the individual need, you noted if you fit into any of the categories. You still need a can opener even if you don’t fit into any of those categories.

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