Do you use an electric or manual can opener? Why?

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Posted 2/7/2013 by SharlaG in NSBR Board
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Kingpin of something undisclosed, but important

PeaNut 88,246
May 2003
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Posted: 2/7/2013 1:31:54 PM
Is "MANUAL" the correct term for a can opener that is NOT electric?

oooh, what you said!

PeaNut 27,933
January 2002
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Posted: 2/7/2013 1:35:58 PM
I call it a manual. that's what I use, a good old fashioned Swing Away. I use it because it fits in my drawer and doesn't take up counter space. Also, it works every time I need it. I never have to fuss with it or hold my mouth right to get it to cut.

And with a manual opener, my contribution to universal entropy is smaller.

I sense impending mayhem.

PeaNut 51,520
October 2002
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Loc: Beautiful BC

Posted: 2/7/2013 1:37:51 PM
Manual. Quick, easy, stored in a drawer. I don't feel the need for yet another electrical appliance, especially one that would have to be on my counter all the time.


PeaNut 363,175
February 2008
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Posted: 2/7/2013 1:40:27 PM
Manual and it's a long, long running joke in my family because every time I have tried to use an electric one I end up breaking them I'm known as the girl who can't work the electric can opener
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You gots to access your uncrazy side.

PeaNut 83,119
April 2003
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Posted: 2/7/2013 1:41:33 PM
Manual- no space or need for another electric device on our counter.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 11,642
February 2001
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Loc: Ohio

Posted: 2/7/2013 1:44:08 PM
Manual-my electric one got so gross around the blade, and it makes those sharp lids for the trash. I use the kind that goes around the top, so what comes off the can isn't sharp. I also put it in the dishwasher to keep it clean.

Allons-y Alonso

PeaNut 174,150
October 2004
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Posted: 2/7/2013 1:45:09 PM
I have a handheld electric one because of my RA. I don't have the strength in my hands to open cans with a manual one.

& the Velcro dog

PeaNut 133,429
February 2004
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Posted: 2/7/2013 1:45:44 PM
Our electric one died a number of years ago. I never bothered to replace it as I found I preferred the manual one.

Spongemom Scrappants
In my happy place.

PeaNut 297,141
February 2007
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Loc: South Carolina

Posted: 2/7/2013 1:46:04 PM


I hate appliances crowding the counter top.

And I like that I can easily wash it every time I use it.

dedicated chocoholic

PeaNut 55,649
November 2002
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Loc: TX

Posted: 2/7/2013 1:54:24 PM
Manual - takes up less space.


PeaNut 539,539
January 2012
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Posted: 2/7/2013 1:56:00 PM
Manual. Less space and easily stored.

Peaing From Podunk

PeaNut 45,443
August 2002
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Loc: North Dakota

Posted: 2/7/2013 1:57:00 PM


I hate appliances crowding the counter top.

Me too


PeaNut 116,504
November 2003
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Loc: East Tennessee

Posted: 2/7/2013 1:57:51 PM
manual here... had power outage many years ago and couldn't open anything... been manual type ever since

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 210,654
June 2005
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Loc: Connecticut

Posted: 2/7/2013 1:59:21 PM
Manual, for the same reasons as the others.

Allons-y Alonso

PeaNut 174,150
October 2004
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Posted: 2/7/2013 1:59:40 PM
BTW mine is battery powered and fits in my drawer. It isn't one of the huge countertop ones. Sucks to not be able to open cans. I have a helper for jars too. Damn RA.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 9,321
January 2001
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Posted: 2/7/2013 1:59:52 PM
manual, smaller, less space, easy to toss in dishwasher


PeaNut 412,905
February 2009
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Posted: 2/7/2013 2:02:43 PM
I had a small hand held electric one that served me well for at least 15 years until it died a few months ago. So it was back to a manual - which broke last week. When XH bought the electric I thought he was crazy to spend so much (about $30 back then), but it sure paid for itself many times over.


PeaNut 266,020
June 2006
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Loc: freedom, pa

Posted: 2/7/2013 2:11:56 PM
Handheld. We had an electric one I had trouble using (maybe my left handedness had something to do with it) and my parents took it. Every time they'd open a can at their house after, they'd say "this is how it works!"

It became a family joke. I will probably never own am electric one again!

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Wise~old Pea

PeaNut 17,460
June 2001
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Posted: 2/7/2013 2:18:14 PM
Manual for the few cans I open. Cat food cans have a pull tab.

prey-sniffing bully

PeaNut 32,477
March 2002
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Loc: Out in the boondocks

Posted: 2/7/2013 2:19:34 PM

i broke my hand once and it just doesn't work good enough to use the manual style



PeaNut 75,848
March 2003
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Loc: Northern Maine

Posted: 2/7/2013 2:20:08 PM
I used to have an electric one, but they do get gross around the blade. I ended up getting a manual one because I figured if the power went out I could still use that to open something if I needed to. I just recently got the newer one from Pampered Chef that makes the smooth edges and I prefer it so much more than their older one.

Thrift Ninja

PeaNut 226,011
October 2005
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Posted: 2/7/2013 2:20:17 PM
Manual. We used to have an electric but I think it broke and never bothered to replace it. Or it got lost when we moved, or... something...

Anyway, I have two manual can openers. The OXO brand one is really nice.

chatty chatty

PeaNut 120,522
December 2003
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Loc: San Jose, CA

Posted: 2/7/2013 2:20:46 PM
Manual. Electric takes up space, gets gross, and I can never get it in there correctly. And I like to leave a bit together so I can swing the lid up.


PeaNut 280,462
October 2006
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Loc: Central Texas

Posted: 2/7/2013 2:21:51 PM
Manual. The electric ones we used to have about 30 years ago would get so gross and filthy. Plus, the sharp edge you got could be dangerous. I use the Pampered Chef one and will never use anything else. I also upcycle cans for other things and need a smooth edge for that.

Had not thought about putting it in the dishwasher, might have to try that.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 497,090
January 2011
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Posted: 2/7/2013 2:23:33 PM
electric at home. I have the one that doesn't leave sharp edges.

at the new house hand-held ones.


PeaNut 53,328
October 2002
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Loc: Bellaire, TX

Posted: 2/7/2013 2:25:07 PM
I have an electric one. I very rarely cook, so I think I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've used it.
I probably should buy a manual one though - hurricane season is not terribly far away.

Pride of the Peas

PeaNut 25,575
December 2001
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Loc: Stuck in the Middle With You

Posted: 2/7/2013 2:26:30 PM
Electric, but we keep a manual in the drawer as a back up.
A sure sign of having RA is having an electric can opener.

Before my hands were affected, I gave away the electric opener given to us as a wedding gift because it took up counter space. Now I can't go without one.


PeaNut 452,927
January 2010
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Loc: Mass

Posted: 2/7/2013 2:28:22 PM
we had an electric one.. I get up early on Sunday mornings and cook a tomato sauce (opening cans) and I swear that can opener would wake up household along with the dead in the cemetery just over the hill here.. so I bought a handheld.. and I don't mind using it.. DH, on the other hand, hates the manual, so the kids got him an electric one.. it IS quiet, but I, too, hate another thing on the countertop... but.. it's ok

Leads a Charmed Life

PeaNut 43,843
July 2002
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Loc: East Coast

Posted: 2/7/2013 2:36:05 PM
I have 2 manual ones and with both a have a heck of a time opening cans. I don't know if its the opener (both kitchenaid) or my technique?

Thrift Whisperer

PeaNut 114,407
November 2003
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Posted: 2/7/2013 2:40:29 PM
Manual. Fits in a drawer and just easier.
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PeaNut 281,551
October 2006
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Posted: 2/7/2013 3:33:49 PM
Manual, takes up less room and so many cans have pop tops now anyway that I rarely even need the manual one.


PeaNut 281,551
October 2006
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Posted: 2/7/2013 3:33:50 PM
Manual, takes up less room and so many cans have pop tops now anyway that I rarely even need the manual one.

Manic Mom of 2

PeaNut 274,243
August 2006
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Posted: 2/7/2013 3:38:20 PM
My house came with a built in electric but I rarely use it! I like my manual one!!
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PeaNut 44,602
August 2002
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Posted: 2/7/2013 3:44:22 PM
Manual from Pampered Chef. Never had an electric one growing up, so that's probably's just what I'm used to. Come to think of it, I hardly use it...guess we don't use many canned goods.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 408,684
January 2009
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Loc: Georgia girl

Posted: 2/7/2013 3:48:31 PM

I grew up with an electric one, and probably didn't use a manual one until I was in my 20s. But manual can openers aren't so useful when the power is off, they take up counter space, and I swear they are temperamental. You have to get the can angled just right to make them happy.

So I got a nice red KitchenAid manual one, it's never failed me, works the same every time, and fits neatly in a drawer.

Miss Lerins Momma
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 151,660
June 2004
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Loc: KY

Posted: 2/7/2013 3:56:39 PM
Manual... a pampered chef (older style one). It's very easy to use and it fits in our utensil drawer. We don't have a lot of counter space, so that's what we use. We also have one for our camper... not a fan of the newer pampered chef style, so I don't know what I'll do when that one doesn't work anymore, but I'm hoping that's not for a long long time.

Restless Spirit
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 218,419
August 2005
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Posted: 2/7/2013 4:03:34 PM

a good old fashioned Swing Away

Love my Swing Away manual. I've broken every electric I've ever owned. I'll never have an electric again. Positively hate them.


Cold Pea on a Cracked Plate

PeaNut 156,343
July 2004
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Posted: 2/7/2013 4:05:51 PM
Manual. Saves space, doesn't get as gross, doesn't break or if it does, cheaper to replace.
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Dancing to the end of love.

PeaNut 8,446
December 2000
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Loc: Newport News, VA

Posted: 2/7/2013 4:06:22 PM
Manual. I hate electric gadgets, and I'm mechanically challenged. A manual is all I can manage.


PeaNut 211,645
June 2005
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Loc: Kirriemuir, Scotland

Posted: 2/7/2013 4:08:18 PM
I did have an electric one when my DD was at home - it saved having to have a left handed can opener and a right handed one



PeaNut 13,004
March 2001
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Loc: USA

Posted: 2/7/2013 4:12:33 PM
I use a pamper chef manual. I don't use my electric because my dog chewed on it (yes, he's a counter surfer) and I was worried about the blade to replace it. The PC manual is fine - I like that it doesn't leave sharp edges also. Works great when the power is out too.

boring + nerdy

PeaNut 52,817
October 2002
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Loc: Oregon

Posted: 2/7/2013 4:17:15 PM

Manual. Quick, easy, stored in a drawer. I don't feel the need for yet another electrical appliance, especially one that would have to be on my counter all the time.

This. And honestly, I had not idea electric can openers were still a thing. I don't think I've seen one since I was a kid in the '70s.


PeaNut 161,999
August 2004
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Loc: Georgia

Posted: 2/7/2013 4:17:58 PM
I had an electric one - it broke about 8 years ago. I have a manual one, it does the job & I don't see the purpose in shelling out any money on something I don't really need. A lot of cans are pop top now anyway.
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PeaNut 155,670
July 2004
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Loc: Central NJ

Posted: 2/7/2013 4:19:49 PM
We have a hand-held (manual) can opener. WHen I moved into my own apartment many, many years ago, I had no counter space and so I bought a manual. It's just been a no-brainer to keep it and use it. Why take up space on the counter for something you don't use that often?


PeaNut 486,271
October 2010
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Loc: Dallas, TX

Posted: 2/7/2013 4:32:57 PM
Manual. I have never been able to work the electric ones.
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*Delphinium Twinkle*
I'm just a pea:)

PeaNut 163,613
August 2004
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Loc: *Sunny Southern California*

Posted: 2/7/2013 4:34:09 PM
Manual here. We have the pampered chef one that removes the whole lid and doesn't leAve the sharp edge.
DH almost cut two of his fingers off one night while pushing the trash down.
So we use the safe opener now
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Michel's Mom ~ Sugar Plum's Mummie

PeaNut 52,307
October 2002
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Loc: Land of Enchantment - Louisiana girl in a Southwest world.

Posted: 2/7/2013 4:37:38 PM
I can NOT use a manual HANDHELD can opener. What I have is a manual WALL mounted Swing away just like my mother had when I was little. I found it at a kitchen store at a an outlet mall. We were traveling in the RV, I was thrilled since I can't use a handheld can opener, just in my DNA, I guess.

Anyway, I DO have a under counter electric can opener but it is still under the sink, never installed here. I just installed the extra Swing away that I bought just before I moved back here on the wall by the stove. The wall mounted one has a pin that you remove and it comes off, easy to wash. I don't have that much under counter space free NEAR an electric outlet and I actually prefer my manual wall can opener!

Happy now?

PeaNut 156,993
July 2004
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Loc: Connecticut

Posted: 2/7/2013 5:26:51 PM
Manual. For all the reasons stated above.


PeaNut 18,334
July 2001
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Loc: State of cultural confusion. Yeehaw and Aloha have collided!

Posted: 2/7/2013 5:34:38 PM
Electric. The cutting mechanism comes off and goes in the dishwasher with the utensils. Comes out sparkling clean and pops back into place.

I can't seem to run the manual ones.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 231,164
November 2005
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Loc: Midwest

Posted: 2/7/2013 5:35:34 PM
Manual, but I grew up with an electric one. My parents still have an electric one and no manual backup that I know of.

I had a manual one going to college for space issues and have just kept it.
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