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Can Openers Guide

Because there are so many types of can openers, having one of the top can openers for the job can save you time and energy. Commercial can openers are broken down into three main categories. Manual can openers are great for lower-volume use. Electric can openers are a good choice for moderate-volume use. Crown punches are designed for consistent, high-volume usage.

Different Types of Can Openers

The handheld can opener is a trusty tool that many of us are familiar with from home use, from common crank handle can openers to even simpler lever type can openers used to pry a can open.

But in a commercial setting, the need to open more cans, and larger cans, usually necessitates a more robust product. Manual can openers provide a step up in terms of production. Electric can openers take some of the physical strain off of your employees in addition to offering better capacity. And crown punch can openers deliver the speed and simple operation needed when opening cans is a big part of your business.

Restaurant Equipment

Manual Can Openers

Manual can openers work by punching the lid with a blade and turning a crank handle, which rotates the can against the blade and cuts the top free. This design makes them a great basic choice for a #10 can opener, though they can handle many other can sizes common in commercial foodservice, too. There are three types of manual can openers, and generally as you progress from light, to standard, to heavy duty the number of cans that each unit can handle increases.

  • Light-Duty: Occasional use
  • Standard-Duty: 2-3 cans per minute, 15-25 cans per day
  • Heavy-Duty: 4-6 cans per minute, up to 50 cans per day

Often the difference between standard and heavy duty can openers comes down to the size - A standard duty can opener is a bit smaller, with a shorter handle that may require more turns to open the same can. A heavy duty can opener is larger and features a more heavy-duty construction. When considering which one to buy, you'll also want to look at other design points, like whether it is NSF or UL listed, and whether it uses a screw-in base that's designed for permanent mounting, or a clamp base that can be moved around as needed. Some higher-end can openers also remove the threat of metal shavings and jagged edges by cutting the lid off along the side wall of the can instead of cutting out the top.

Restaurant Equipment

Electric Can Openers

Electric can openers operate with just the pull of a lever or press of a button; the gear mechanism pulls the can in tight while it spins under a dull blade, removing the top.

These units are designed to accommodate a variety of can sizes. Electric can openers are a favorite of K-12, colleges and universities, and healthcare applications due to their easy single hand operation. They are typically suitable for 75 to 200 cans per day, at 4-7 cans per minute, though light duty models are available. Many electric can openers are also UL and NSF Listed.

Restaurant Equipment

Crown Punch Can Openers

A crown punch can opener is ideal for heavy volume use where speed and durability are must-haves. A circular set of blades is inserted in to the lid of the can and the entire lid is cut free in one swift motion.

Crown punch can openers can easily open between 100 to 3000 cans per day, at 6 – 10 cans per minute. The blades on a crown punch can opener are normally set to open standard #10 food service cans, but other sizes can typically be configured as well.

Manual versions use a lever to push the blades down, but air-powered models are a desirable choice for the highest-volume applications, since they don't require an electrical connection and instead use pressurized air to force the blade down. You might also consider a unit with a magnetic lid remover to make it easier to move from one can to the next. 

Can Opener Maintenance Tips

Using the right can opener for the job can help avoid constantly replacing parts, or the need for a new can opener. Here are some additional maintenance tips:

  • Regular cleaning will prolong unit life.
  • Inspect and change knives and gears regularly. Knives and gears should last for approximately 2,500 - 5,000 cans and should always be replaced at the same time.
  • Manual can opener knives are reversible, to extend blade life.
  • Edges are intentionally dull on knives and crown punch blades to prevent metal slivers, therefore they should not be sharpened.
Restaurant Equipment

Can Opener Replacement Parts

We carry a variety of replacement parts to keep your can opener working properly, no matter which type you have! Whether you need new knives and gears, a new base, or some more complex parts for an electric or crown punch model, we've got you covered.

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Please refer to our Content Policy for more details.

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Can Opener Reviews

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