Many can-openers can require very fine motor skills to turn, and strong finger strength is a big requirement. For people suffering from arthritis, this is obviously a huge pain as their hand and finger mobility is greatly limited. Luckily, many alternative style can openers are out today (both manual and electric) which take the struggle out of opening cans.
If you don't want to keep your can opener plugged in or worry about how it's going to get power, a manual can opener is going to be ideal. Obviously they require a bit more work than electric, so avoid these if your arthritis is extremely hindering. However, the models we've linked below are designed for those with arthritis, and can be a good fit.
This manual can opener for great for a number of reasons. The first reason is its locking mechanism. With traditional can openers, the user has to clamp down with their hands to keep the teeth locked onto the can. This can opener locks onto a can by itself so that the user doesn't have to hold it. This allows turning of the can opener without having to clamp down with the other hand. After the can is opened, there's a magnet that does the final lifting of the lid off.
This swing-a-way can opener is great because it doesn't require any finger strength to turn the can opener. Rather than being a short knob, the can is opened with a large crank. This means that it requires arm strength rather than finger strength to open the can making it deal for people with certain types of arthritis. It's also one of the few manual can openers that are great for opening big cans.
With a similar opening mechanism to the can opener above, this wall mounter swing away can opener can also hold the can in place while you crank it. This is an ergonomic double whammy since you don't need to hold the teeth down while you open the can. Very little to no grip strength will be required to open your cans, which is great news for anyone suffering with arthritis.
If you have the space for it, an electric can opener is going to be the ideal solution to someone with advanced symptoms of arthritis. While the manual ones above require some level of manual effort, these electric units require virtually zero. If you have the space and the electric outlets available - this will make the process of opening cans as easy as can be!
This model is rather aesthetic and extremely simply to use. Simply place the can against the can opener and place the rim under the cutter. Once you're there, just press the button and let the machine do all the work. Once the lid is completely broken you can simply lift it off with your finger without worrying about sharp edges!
This model works similar to the one above, but as a bonus it comes with a built-in knife sharpener. Having a sharp knife is critical if you want to be able to chop things, especially for cooks with arthritis.
This option is just another alternative to the units above, but it doesn't really do anything differently. We just wanted to give you another choice for varying budgets and aesthetics. Check it out below!
Even though this isn't all that relevant to can openers, we wanted to take this opportunity to share Dr. Michael Greger's resource page on arthritis found here. If you haven't seen his work before, Dr. Greger goes through all of the published nutrition research year over year, and makes videos discussing which foods have been shown to prevent or reverse disease. There is some real actionable advice on this section of his website, so we do hope that you check it out!
Hey! I’m Michelle and I write product reviews for ThriveCuisine.com. I’m always preparing healthy / plant based foods and I’ve developed a knack for helping people get the best bang for their buck.