How to Open a Can Without a Can Opener

By Max. D Gray. March 29, 2021
How to Open a Can Without a Can Opener

You have a can that you want to open, but you don't have a can opener. Now that? Maybe you have tried smashing it against the ground only to be rewarded with a dented can just as sealed as it was before the bashing. Don't worry, you are in the right place.

Modern food cans have a thin metal lid that can be relatively easy to break without the need for a can opener if you know how to use the correct technique. To do this, you will only need a knife, a spoon, a razor or any other similar instrument. At oneHOWTO, follow our steps if you wan to know how to open a can without a can opener easily.

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How to open a can with a spoon

Using a metal spoon to open a can is one of the most practical options if you don't have a can opener handy. Of course, you should choose a resistant spoon made of strong material so that it does not bend or break during the process. To open a can with a spoon, follow these steps:

  1. Put the can on a stable surface and hold it firmly with the hand in which you don't hold the spoon.
  2. With the can stabilized, place the spoon on the edge of the lid in one of the slight indentations they usually have. Place the tip of the spoon down at about a 45 degree angle.
  3. Next, take a firm grip on the handle of the spoon and place your thumb on its back to move it from side to side as hard as possible to cut through the aluminum.
  4. During the friction you will observe how the can wears and opens. It will create a small opening that you can continue to scoop around the entire circumference of the lid.
  5. Lift the lid and take out its contents.

You must use a lot of force for the spoon to get through the aluminum. If you see that you hurt your hands, you can hold the spoon with a cloth in between to soften the contact. The trick is to wear down the metal rather than puncture it as you would with a can opener. Patience is a virtue with this technique.

How to Open a Can Without a Can Opener - How to open a can with a spoon

How to open a can with a knife

The most useful utensil to open a can without a can opener is undoubtedly the knife. It is effective, although you must be very careful not to cut yourself, because the sharper the knife, the more effective it will be at opening the can. To do this, follow the steps that we indicate below:

  1. Put the can on a stable surface like a kitchen counter.
  2. Insert the tip of the knife into the lid, in the indentation closest to the edge.
  3. Hold the knife by the handle while making a firm fist and keeping your thumb up. With the palm of your free hand, you should hit the handle of the knife until it is inserted into the can. This step is dangerous, so do it carefully so you don't lose control of the knife and hurt yourself. As a precaution, we recommend wearing gloves to carry out this process.
  4. After a few strokes, you will see how the knife will start to make a small hole in the can. Then move the knife a few inches and repeat the operation to create another hole.
  5. Repeat the process until the entire edge of the can has small holes. At this point, the lid will be weakened and you can insert the knife horizontally to trim the metal of the lid. You can use a smaller knife to cut the connecting parts between the holes.

In a few minutes you will have the can open. This option will also help you if you are looking to open a can if the ring pull is broken.

If you have a large chef's knife, you can use the sharp part of the blade that is closest to the handle of the knife. This tip can be used as a can opener, as you can use it to cut the aluminum around the entire circumference of the lid. Don't use a weak knife as it will likely break and increases the chance of injury.

How to Open a Can Without a Can Opener - How to open a can with a knife

How to open a can with pliers

If you have needle nose pliers, you can use them to open a can quickly and easily. The steps are simple:

  1. Rest the can on a stable surface and hold it firmly with one hand.
  2. Take the pliers and place them at the point where the top of the can and the side of the can meet. Try to place the tips over the fold of the seal, as this is the point where you can open the can more easily.
  3. In this position, stick the tip in and twist the pliers. Repeat the process around the lid, like a can opener.
  4. As soon as you finish cutting the can with the pliers, you can open it by pressing it lightly.

How to open a can with scissors

You can't use any scissors to open a can. You will need a sturdy pair of metallic scissors which a strong hinge. Even if the metal seems hefty, the handle or the hinge might not be. If you put too much weight or pressure on these scissors, they can snap and cause serious injury. Something the strength of garden shears (or using actual garden shears) will be much more effective.

Once you have the right pair of scissors or shears, do the following:

  1. Stick the tip of the scissors into the outside edge of the can until you open a hole in the aluminum.
  2. In this position, slide the scissors around the can to quickly trim and open it.
How to Open a Can Without a Can Opener - How to open a can with scissors

How to open a can with a rock or stone

If you are away from home and don't have any utensils at hand, don't worry. There is still some possibility of being able to open your preserves without a can opener. How? Using a stone following the steps that we give you below:

  1. Locate a stone that is somewhat pointed and on which you can apply pressure.
  2. Place the can on top of the stone and hold it firmly as you rub the can against the stone. This friction should be done for 5 minutes and will serve to file the edge of the can.
  3. Press against the stone until you notice that the lid has come off the edges. At that time, pressing with your fingers, you will be able to take it off a little more.

It is likely that the lid will not open completely during the process. Once you have taken it off, using a cloth to avoid cutting yourself, you can finish opening the can completely.

How to Open a Can Without a Can Opener - How to open a can with a rock or stone

How to open a can with a brick

Another good option to open a can if you don't have kitchen utensils at hand is to use a brick or breeze block to open the can without a can opener. It is a very simple procedure, take note:

  1. Turn the can upside down. The top part should be on the brick.
  2. Then press down on the can and rub it hard back and forth until the lid is worn away. This technique is similar to opening the can with a stone.
  3. After you wear down the top, you can open it with a little pressure. If it doesn't open, repeat the process to wear it down a bit more and make the process easier.
  4. These steps may cause metal shavings to break out. Try to clean them so that they do not reach the inside of the can and spoil its contents.

If you have are having trouble opening other foods without a utensil, we are here to help. Nature's can is the coconut, and you can learn how to open a coconut with our easy guide.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Open a Can Without a Can Opener, we recommend you visit our Food & drink category.

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