How to Use a Camping Can Opener – Simply Explained

can opener

There are many different types of can openers, such as butterfly, military, swiss army knife ones, and many more. In this article you will find exactly how to use a handheld can opener, including all of the ones just mentioned.

Military can openers are very popular amongst campers because they are very inexpensive, compact, and practical. Some prefer to take and use a swiss army knife on their camping trip, which is understandable since it has many tools, and at the end of the day it comes down to personal preference.

Military Can Opener

It goes without saying that you don’t hold a camping can opener by the blade. Let’s get into exactly how to use a small can opener.

Securely grip the flat surface with your index finger between the back of the little blade and the other side of the flat surface.

Now, these kind of can openers are made for right-handed use, so if you are left-handed, you should make sure that you’re comfortable using your right hand, otherwise you could cut yourself by mistake.

While holding the can properly with your left hand, place the flat surface of the can opener, as well as your thumb, to the rim of the can perpendicularly. The blade goes over the inside at the top of the can at the edge, which is where you will make your initial cut.

All that you need to do now is to turn your right hand down, the same way you want to turn a key in a car’s ignition. By doing this, the blade will insert itself.

Now, just move your right hand back slightly and repeat. To make things easier, begin turning the can with your left hand counterclockwise. Continue to turn the can while cutting the top until it’s completely off.

That’s it, you’ve successfully used a camping can opener! Make sure to give it a clean when you’re done, and always close it at the hinge before putting it away.

Swiss Army Knife Can Openers

Rather than bringing along a small military can opener, many campers prefer to opt for a swiss army knife since it has several tools in one.

There are actually a few different types of swiss army can openers, the two most notably of them being Wenger and Victorinox.

Wenger, the older style of the two, are V-shaped with a single sharpened edge. The tip pierces the can’s edge of the lid, and you need to tilt the tool so that the ‘V’ notch rides along the lip of the can. Pressure needs to be applied downwards, very much the same way as a military can opener.

The Victorinox type has a small slotted screwdriver at the end of the blade, giving it an additional use. This blade is more versatile because it is shorter and provides more control. Once again, like the other can openers, the blade pierces the edge of the lid, and you need to lift the tool handle to do so.

Multi-tool can openers are very similar and work the same way.

Bunker Can Openers

Portable bunker can openers have two wheels, one of which is sharp. Start by opening the can opener from its handles, place the sharp wheel to the edge of the can’s lid, and squeeze the handles shut to enable the two wheels to clamp onto the can. Then, turn the lever forwards and continue to do so until the lid is completely removed.

Side can openers are very similar to bunker ones, and they work almost the same way; all that you need to do is place the raised edge of the opener along the very edge of the can and twist the knob until the lid is off.

Butterfly Can Opener

Open the butterfly can opener by the handles and place it on the edge of the tin. As mentioned previously, these can openers are also intended for right hand use, but there are left-handed ones available for purchase.

Hold the handles firmly shut while turning the butterfly wings away from you. Now, all you need to do is to keep turning until the lid is completely off.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do you use a portable can opener?

Portable bunker can openers have two wheels, one of which is sharp. Start by opening the can opener from its handles, then place the sharp wheel to the edge of the can’s lid, and squeeze the handles shut to enable the two wheels to clamp onto the can. Then, turn the lever forwards and continue to do so until the lid of the can is completely removed.

How do you use a simple can opener?

Side can openers are very simple to use and these ones, like bunker can openers, also consist of two wheels. Just place the raised edge of the opener along the very edge of the can and twist the knob until the lid is off.

How do you use a butterfly can opener?

With your right hand, open up the handles and place the can opener on the edge of the can, with the bent tab resting on top. Pull the bar on the can opener up while turning the handle clockwise slowly in order to wedge the cutter into the lid of the can. Continue turning the handle until the lid is completely off. 

Are can openers for left-handed use?

Most can openers are made to be used in the right hand, but there are left-handed can openers available for lefties.

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