How to Operate an Electric Can Opener

Tara Dooley

Operating an electric can opener is a simple and straightforward process.


Thoroughly clean the rotating discs of the opener following each use to remove any labeling or food debris from the discs. Apply a small amount of lubricating oil to the discs periodically.


Use extreme caution when removing the can lid from the opener. The lid will typically have a jagged edge, which should be handled carefully to avoid cuts.

How to Operate an Electric Can Opener

  1. Position the electric can opener on a sturdy, flat surface, such as a kitchen counter or table top. Some openers are designed to be mounted beneath cabinets, which eliminates the need for this step.

  2. Raise or rotate the handle of the opener, depending on the model. This will separate the two primary components of the opener: a serrated metal disc, which turns the can, and a sharp disc that punctures and slices around the edge of the can top.

  3. Position the can against the serrated disc, which is mounted horizontally on the opener. The lower lip of the can will rest on top of the disc, allowing the disc to rotate the can for opening.

  4. Lower the cutting disc onto the lid of the can by rotating or lowering the handle of the opener. This process will cause the cutting disc to puncture the lid of the can.

  5. Press the handle completely down to activate the opener. This will cause the serrated disc to turn the can, while the cutting disc neatly cuts the can along the thicker metal rim. Raise or rotate the lever of the opener to remove the can for use.