Oh, the elusive glass kitchen jar; for decades, this crafty little entity has left many a hand sore and red after failed attempts to release the treasures left inside!
We’ve all been there: tears welling in our eyes, desperately trying to open that jar of pickles for hours on end, roping in family member after family member to find anyone who could possibly open it.
Sure, you could keep trying to open jars by hand, but a lot of jars are simply too firmly sealed for humans to comfortably open.
To those who wish to alleviate themselves of this painful ordeal, we have one suggestion:
Get a jar opener!
These handy devices are made specifically to take that painful job of opening your glass jars out of your hands and into the hands of modern technology!
They’re lightweight and portable enough to be taken anywhere, easy enough for a child to use, and prevent the injuries and messes that opening jars by hand often result in.
Although getting a jar opener may sound like a simple buy—-I mean, really, how many ways to open a jar can there be?—-in actuality, jar openers come in a vast array of different sizes, materials, designs, and features, from basic rubber jar openers to openers powered by electricity.
Thus, we’ve compiled a list of the four best jar openers on the market to help you in your journey through the niche world of jar openers.
But before we jump into discussing our choices for jar openers, let’s discuss a few of the factors that you should consider before buying a jar opener.
What Should You Look for In A Jar Opener?
Some of the most important considerations you need to look for when buying a jar opener are:
What type of jar opener do you want: manual or electric?
The two main types of jar openers are manual openers and electric ones.
Manual openers work by breaking the jar’s vacuum seal; there are a few different designs for manual openers.
Some manual openers have a V-shaped handle that fans outward, intensifying the grip on the lid and making it easier to turn.
Another design utilizes a straight handle with an open end that fits onto the lid, which breaks the vacuum seal when pulled back.
Manual openers are perfect for simply opening those tougher lids on occasion, but if you’re consistently opening difficult jar lids (say, you own a restaurant, or
some other commercial enterprise), springing for an electric jar opener may be worth it.
These tend to be somewhat larger and more pricey, but in return they’re often easier, safer, and more efficient to use.
Electric openers come in a wide array of sizes, from handheld and counter-top openers for the casual buyer to larger industrial openers for more professional locations.
What size jar opener do you want? Where are you going to use it?
You’re going to want your jar opener to open a vast variety of different sizes and shapes of jars, so it needs to be a suitable height and width.
Maybe you want a more portable jar opener that you can take on the go; in this case, you’ll want to look for something smaller and more lightweight, such as a manual jar opener.
That said, if you’re looking to keep your jar opener in the kitchen, there are other variables to think about. How much drawer and counter space do you have?
Should you aim for something smaller to try and conserve space, or do you have enough space to justify buying a larger one?
Alternatively, should you buy a wall-mounted jar opener to avoid thinking about counter space at all?
How comfortable is it, and how long will it last?
Balancing comfort and durability in a jar opener is vital.
Manual jar openers made out of stainless steel, for example, are more likely to last longer and will be resistant to rust, and if it has a non-slip handle it’ll be easier and more comfortable to use.
How easy to clean is the jar opener & What’s your budget?
You don’t want your pickle juice seeping into your beans, do you?
You’re going to want to regularly clean your jar opener, so making sure that the process isn’t too difficult is vital.
How much are you willing to spend on a jar opener?
Manual jar openers might be better for those on a budget, as a good manual opener may go as low as about $10.
If you’re willing to spend a bit more, you can pay at least $25 and spring for a decent electric jar opener.
4 Best Jar Openers for Elderly
Enough with the details! Let’s go over our four jar opener recommendations.
1. Kichwit Arthritis Jar Opener Stainless Steel Lids Off Jar Opener
If you’re looking for a great manual opener that’ll consistently pop those lids off, the Kichwit is a safe bet.
Just place this sucker on top of the jar, twist the handle so that it grips the lid tightly, and keep twisting until the lid comes off like nothing.
The Kichwit is well-designed and extremely comfortable.
It’s also very sturdy, and, according to the manufacturer, resistant to rust. It can handle lids with diameters between 1.2 and 3.7 inches, which will cover most basic lids.
You’ll have to use your hands, but not much strength is needed, so don’t worry about renewing that gym membership anytime soon.
Plus, with every Kichwit, you get a cute little keychain bottle opener!
2. Kuhn Rikon The Gripper Jar Opener, White
If you can’t use your hands too much and the Kichwit isn’t for you, the electric Kuhn Rikon may be better.
The Gripper is simple, yet effective, covering lids with a diameter between 1 and 3.5 inches.
The Gripper is made of plastic and dishwasher friendly, so cleaning is an absolute breeze.
It can be hung and stored by the hole in its handle, making it easy to access.
This still isn’t an entirely hands-free option, but it takes a lot of the strain off your hands (which may be good if your hands are weakened or a bit on the older side).
It works well, has tons of favorable reviews, and the price point is super affordable.
3. Hamilton Beach Open Ease Automatic Jar Opener, Model 76800
Hamilton Beach’s electric openers—whether for cans or jars—are great.
This little gadget can even place lids back onto the jar in addition to taking them off, which can be a huge help for those who need extra assistance.
It requires no work on your part whatsoever besides simply pushing a button.
This jar opener does require two AA batteries, and Hamilton Beach asserts that it can open more than 250 jars on one set of batteries.
As with other Hamilton Beach products, it’s durable and of great build quality.
It’s more pricey, but in return, you get a consistent product from a consistent brand and a lot of extra functionality.
4. Swing-A-Way Comfort Grip Jar Opener, Black
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! This is a more traditional manual jar opener that has recently fallen out of style due to the popularity of its electric counterparts.
That said, it’s still fairly good to use!
We had some hiccups here and there—the device does require some extra elbow grease to use, so watch out for that!
But once we did get it to work, we found it to be consistently reliable at opening any jar we threw at it.
It’s super durable, being made out of stainless steel, and it comes at a super cheap, hard to beat price making it the perfect gadget to have in your cabinet.
If you have arthritis or some other issue preventing you from using your hands too much, definitely look elsewhere, but if you’re able to use that extra bit of force, we definitely recommend this classic tool!
Final Thoughts, and Our Verdict
We’ve presented with but a small tasting of the wide world of jar openers.
There’s a lot of other brands and designs, but these four products should give an accurate representation of what to expect when buying a jar opener.
If you can spring for the electric jar openers, we definitely recommend it.
Yes, they’re a bit pricier and require batteries, but they drastically reduce the amount of effort you need to put into opening a jar; as such, they’re perfect fits for those unable to open jars because of arthritis or other issues.
The other jar openers are still great—-but just be sure to expect the extra grit that you’ll have to put into them!
Our personal favorite is the Hamilton Beach opener—-it’s the most expensive, but it’s an incredibly durable, consistent, and easy-to-use product that comes with the added functionality of re-tightening lids.
Plus, it’s a well-known and reliable brand that has always given us a great experience.
Give your palms a break; get your hands on a jar opener today, and get them off the jar lid tomorrow!