What every Can Openers has:
- Stainless-steel blades
- Comfortable handles.
- Reasonable size.
Once popular, under-cabinet and under counter mounted electric can openers are less common today. Only one brand still makes them for the home market -- and only one model, at that: the Black & Decker Spacemaker Under-the-Cabinet Can Opener (Est. $25).
Under-cabinet can openerBlack & Decker Spacemaker Under-the-Cabinet Can OpenerThe Black & Decker Spacemaker Under-the-Cabinet Can Opener tucks snugly underneath a wall cabinet, off the counter and out of your way. This top-cut electric can opener holds the can by itself, and it... Read More >Amazon $35.99
We didn't find any expert tests of the Spacemaker under counter can opener. But the current model -- the CO100B, available only in black -- has been on the market for more than a decade, and plenty of owners have aired their opinions at Amazon.com and elsewhere.
Largely, they like it. The Spacemaker under cabinet can opener earns a 4.2 star rating at Amazon.com. Many of the 800-plus buyers have owned an older Spacemaker for years -- decades, sometimes -- and bought the new version when their old standby finally died. Others remember the old Spacemaker under counter can openers from their childhood, and thought they'd try the new version.
The Spacemaker under cabinet can opener has some convenient features. You don't have to stand there and babysit it: The Spacemaker holds the can itself and shuts off automatically when the can is open. Besides the can opener, the Spacemaker has a bag cutter, knife sharpener and bottle opener mounted on it. It is a traditional top cut can opener.
The boxy black unit is about 7.5 inches wide by 6.5 inches deep by 5 inches high. A cord allows it to plug into a nearby outlet. It comes with a template for drilling the four necessary holes into the cabinet or counter above, which owners say is accurate. It's designed for flat-bottomed cabinets, but it comes with stackable spacers in various sizes that you can use if your cabinet bottoms are recessed.
The Spacemaker is designed to be mounted at the front of the cabinet, so that the can opener lever will stick out past the front frame; this gives you room to lift the lever straight up, to remove the cutting head for cleaning. Some owners mounted it farther back or didn't use spacers, but with poor results as many find the can opener difficult to use or clean when mounted that way.
For people with the use of only one hand, or very limited dexterity or grip strength, an under-cabinet jar opener can be a godsend. Handheld jar openers, such as the Best Reviewed Swing-A-Way Comfort Grip Jar Opener (Est. $10) (discussed in our Best Manual Can Openers section), can work well, but they do require two hands. Electric jar openers are available, but they hog counter space and won't work with tiny lids or tall jars. We found plenty of reviews from people suffering or recovering from a broken finger, hand, arm, etc. -- as well as people with limited grip or dexterity, who need to grip the jar with both hands to twist it -- who prefer a slim, manual under-cabinet jar opener.
During our research, we found several nearly identical-looking under-cabinet jar openers -- white plastic disks with a V-shaped set of metal teeth that grab the lid while you twist. But even though they look alike, one model earns more positive (and authentic) reviews than the others: the EZ Off Jar Opener (Est. $16).
This jar opener is sold at the EZ Off website and on Amazon.com (by EZ Off), where it earns 4.8 out of 5 stars with about 1,630 customer reviews posted. Owners like that it can handle any size lid or jar -- from a tiny nail polish bottle to a gallon jar of pickles -- and it's unobtrusive, screwed to the underside of a cabinet or counter.
The biggest downside, for some owners, is the sharp metal teeth. The vast majority of owners say the teeth really do grip lids and open jars with ease, but if you don't hold the jar securely in the "V," they can gouge the lid or leave sharp little burrs sticking out. That can be a problem if you plan to reuse the lid, but most owners don't find it an issue.
The Swing-A-Way Wall Can Opener (Est. $11) draws rave reviews from people who grew up with these space-saving models in their kitchens and, in some cases, still use the very same one.
The newer models are compatible with the wall mount from decades past. However, those who've purchased current versions say quality has declined quite a bit in recent years. Others note small quirks, like having to tilt cans to engage the cutting teeth, which can lead to a sloppy mess if the can is full to the brim. The magnet that's meant to hold onto the cut lid sometimes becomes dislodged and really only works if you keep it clean.
Still, while it appears to be not quite as well made as the old Swing-A-Ways, the current version does work and plenty of users remain loyal to it. At Amazon.com, we saw a rating of 4.1 stars following more than 560 reviews.
The Swing-A-Way Wall Can Opener is covered by parent company Amco Houseworks' 30-day warranty -- if purchased directly from the company. If you buy the can opener from a retailer, it "must be returned to the original place of purchase," Amco's website states.Best Electric Can Openers