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How to Open a Can Without a Can Opener: Easy Mode

Have you ever gone to make your dinner or a quick snack of soup only to find the can opener is missing or broken? Unless all your cans have handy ring pulls, this can be a disaster. How do you get to your favorite food or ingredients without the right tools?

Thankfully, there are a few different solutions. Learn how to open a can without a can opener and never be caught hungry again.

How to Open a Can Without a Can Opener: Easy Mode

How to Open a Can Without a Can Opener: Three Ways

All these methods require using different household tools and utensils. Always follow safety precautions, and don’t rely on brute force, as this can cause tools to slip, which may result in injury. Above all, make sure your tools are clean before you get started. This avoids getting unwanted nasties into your hard-earned dinner.

Abstract hand man open cans

The Spoon Technique

This is one of the best-known ways to get into cans when your can opener has gone walkabout. Simply position a standard metal spoon on the edge of the rim where you would normally place the can opener. Don’t push down — at this stage, excessive force could bend the spoon. Follow these steps:

  1. Rub the spoon back and forth over the same spot repeatedly. The spoon is harder than the can and will gradually wear a dent in the lid.
  2. Once the dent is pronounced, push down with a bit more force. Within a very short space of time, your spoon should pop through the lid.
  3. Now use the spoon to lever off enough of the lid that you can tip the food into a suitable container.

The spoon will not remove the lid as neatly as a can opener. There may be a jagged edge, so take care not to scratch or cut yourself.

The Hammer and Awl Technique

An awl is a tool for making holes in things. If you don’t have an awl, you can use the heel of a kitchen knife or a sturdy skewer. Here’s how to open a can without a can opener using holes.

  1. Secure the can so it can’t move.
  2. Position the awl (or alternative) anywhere on the edge of the can.
  3. Tap firmly with a hammer to make a small hole.
  4. Repeat this process around the entire rim of the can.
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Now you’ve perforated the lid; you can use a knife to quickly cut through the remaining metal or lever the lid open.

The Knife Technique

This is similar to the awl technique but faster. It’s also potentially more dangerous, so avoid this method if you have shaky hands or you’re not comfortable using knives. The sharper the knife, the easier this method is. A blunt knife is more likely to slip and hurt you. Make sure you choose a knife with a stiff blade. A flexible tool like a fish knife may snap or simply bend too much to make an indentation on the can.

How to open a can without a can opener using a knife:

  1. Secure the can.
  2. Position the knife on the edge of the can and tap firmly.
  3. The knife should cut easily into the can. Leave the knife in this position and start to see-saw it back and forth.
  4. Using this method, you should be able to cut the can lid neatly away and tip the contents into another container.

Again, be careful of sharp edges or jagged metal when retrieving your food.

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How to Open a Can Without a Can Opener: FAQs

Now you know a few methods to try, you might be ready to give it a go. However, if you still have questions, read on.

Won’t Damaging the Can Lid Contaminate My Food?

Opening the can with a spoon or other utensil poses no greater risk than opening it with a can opener. The tiny particles of metal that may get into the food are also present when you use a conventional opener. Cans are generally made from steel or aluminum, small amounts of which are considered safe by the FDA.

Will I Injure Myself?

We certainly hope not. However, whenever you’re using sharp utensils, you must take the appropriate level of care. Try and secure cans on a non-slip surface and, if possible, seek assistance from a buddy.

Canning knife opens the jar. top view.

Can’t I Just Smash the Can?

You can, but you will end up with a messy mush of food. You also risk chunks of can material becoming hidden in the food.

From Cans to Bottles: Opening Made Easy

Not having the right tools can be frustrating, but you can handle some aspects of it when you know how to open a can without a can opener. Another tool that tends to get lost is the bottle opener, which is essential for beer, some sodas, and even some high-end sauces! Thankfully, you don’t need to learn special techniques to get your bottles open. Just browse the extensive range at Bottle Openers Now.

From practical wrench-style bottle openers to fun shark tooth openers, all our products are fully customizable. It’s as simple as clicking your preferences, uploading any bespoke designs or artwork, and selecting a guaranteed delivery date. Our team will even send you digital proof upon request so you can be sure that what you order is exactly what will arrive. For more information or to talk to our team about any aspect of customizing bottle openers, call us at 1-877-204-4326.

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