Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch Can Opener

Solution for sharp lids

Unlike the previously-reviewed Starfrit Securimax, this opener is electric and sits on your counter, so it requires very little exertion or physical dexterity. Since the blade cuts along the side of the top, it never cuts or touches down into the can — i.e. no dirty blade contaminating the can contents, no metal shavings fall in your food, and no contents oozing out over the dust covered can top. Also, since the cut top is slightly bigger than the body, no cut lids fall into the can — and after opening, the top can easily be placed back on the can. For short term storage in the fridge, I use some tape to keep it in place.

Best of all, the opener leaves a lid and can that have no sharp edges — even with a pop-top. I don’t know about the rest of the country, but most communities in New York State require recycling, and all recycled food containers must be clean. Our household goes through many cans in a week, and washing out cans opened with a traditional can opener can be treacherous because of the sharp edges.

Hamilton Beach sells almost a dozen models of can openers, but only one uses the “Smooth Touch technology.” I’m baffled, since after using this one it’s hard to imagine why anyone would want to return to a traditional style opener. You operate it, more or less, as you would any electric counter-top opener. Just wedge the can between the two rotating discs and push down on the lever to grip the can. Press the lever a little more to rotate and cut the can. You do have to hold the lever down throughout the operation, which can be mildly annoying for a large diameter can. Some time-pressed people will also miss the automatic shutoff of other electric can openers. Certain brands, notably College Inn tend to require up to two revolutions to open. But the time, effort and caution it saves when we’re cleaning the cans is certainly worth it.

-- David King 11/13/08

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