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Container openers (screw-on, pull-tab) for those with weak or painful hands


Kim Shook

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I have hand 'issues' - weakness, numbness, pain, etc. and I know that some fellow eGulleteers do also. Opening jars is really hard for me. I have one of these, and it works really well, but only on jars that thin 'lips'. Things with fatter or deeper lids don't work at all.

Question is do any of the other ones work? The motorized one seems like a lot of counter space to give to something like that. I was hoping to find that one of the handhelds work as well. I really have a hard time with the jars - sometimes I just have to give up and not cook what I was planning on when I am home alone.

Ta, Kim

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I have a motorized one that was my mom's but I never use it. As you say, it takes up too much real estate. I also have The OXO good grips jar opener and it works like a charm. That one, I use all the time.

Marlene

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I have the Kuhn Rikon Gripper & I really, really like it. I still use the little blue plastic gizmo to pop the seal on jars of salsa, etc, but I use this one for just about everything else.

pat w.

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Were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance.

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I have hand 'issues' - weakness, numbness, pain, etc. and I know that some fellow eGulleteers do also.  Opening jars is really hard for me.  I have one of these, and it works really well, but only on jars that thin 'lips'.  Things with fatter or deeper lids don't work at all. 

Question is do any of the other ones work?  The motorized one seems like a lot of counter space to give to something like that.  I was hoping to find that one of the handhelds work as well.  I really have a hard time with the jars - sometimes I just have to give up and not cook what I was planning on when I am home alone. 

Ta, Kim

If you have lost and I mean this very strongly a little weakness gone, then yes then this openers work, saying that up front this is what I found.

My father had ALS aka Lou Gerhig's (he passed away this past march at the age of 76). These types of openers were o.k. at first, but when he becamer weaker -nothing helped. Just beginning able to get the gadget onto the lid and trying to turn it while holding the jar was hard. And my father was a very pridful man and hated admitting that the tools I had bought no longer work.

Bless his heart he batttled for a long tim but his left arm and hand gave out first and he was able to do a lot of things right handed - openning jars was not one of them - thank the good people he lived around his street (he had lived there since 1959) helped him all the time.

So find something that fits your grip and is not too bulky - what works for one person does not always work for another - it is a matter of the hand strenght.

Hope this helps.

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I have a motorized one that was my mom's but I never use it.  As you say, it takes up too much real estate.  I also have The OXO good grips jar opener and it works like a charm.  That one, I use all the time.

Another vote for the OXO. The one I have has a silicone pad that stores on the opener, keeps the bottom of the jar/bottle from twisting. You can actually use both hands to manage the opener if you need to.

http://www.amazon.com/OXO-Good-Grips-10579...96704857&sr=8-1

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one of these, and it works really well, but only on jars that thin 'lips'

These [rubber strap wrenches] are available all over the place, grip jars as well as lids, are easy to clean, cost next to nothing. Buy two and if the jar slips in your hands then deploy both at once. About the only thing they are not so good at is dealing with little skinny lids [they work, but are a bit fiddly on the really small ones], but then you have the JarPop for those.

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I have pretty severe rheumatoid arthritis in my hands and wrists, so I am definately sensitive to these issues. And, I'm single. And my "housemates" both have paws......

I *LOVE* the JarPop type gizzies. Breaking that vacuum is usually enough for me. I have (had........) one of the Oxo jar openers, and used it for a while. Then it fell into the black hole behind my range (where it doesn't snug up to the wall, oy) and I haven't missed it enough to retrieve it. I found the angle of the handle put more pressure on my wrist than was worth it. After I'd broken the vacuum it was easier, and less painful, for me to just twist the cap. Even on the small bottles. I just couldn't get the right leverage it seemed with the Oxo. It always felt awkward. But that may be just me and my particular weaknesses.

It could also be related to the fact I'm much taller than the average female cook, and the counter therefore is much lower than for most. That would throw the leverage factor off.

Some very very recalcitrant lids I do need to work over with hot water and/or by smacking them with the handle of my knife steel to loosen the seal further, but mostly I can deal pretty well once the vacuum is gone. I *do* have several of those rubbery gripper thingies (usually round or square, sorta like the material they make those garlic peeler tubes from) and they help as well.

Like you, the automatic openers just seem to me to be overkill, and I don't have the counter or cabinet space to dedicate to them. That's not to say next week they won't be looking like an excellent option... :sad:

--Roberta--

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  • 15 years later...

Staff note: This post and responses to it have been moved from the Food Packaging topic, to maintain focus.

 

 

On 2/24/2023 at 6:33 PM, Tropicalsenior said:

I've noticed that down here a lot of food Packers are going back to the old sealed can and away from the  pull tops. They must be more expensive to use.

 

My hands can't pry open a pull top can as intended, so I use a can opener.  It would be nice if food processors canned (sorry) the pull tab and dropped the price of soup.

 

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

Whatever you crave, there's a dumpling for you. -- Hsiao-Ching Chou

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5 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

My hands can't pry open a pull top can

I can't either but some years ago I bought this to open water bottles and I found out that the little hook on the end slides right under those pull tops and peels them right open. No strength or dexterity needed.

20230225_022805.thumb.jpg.216eacd2d730c4901fe013fdbef810ae.jpg

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10 hours ago, Tropicalsenior said:

I can't either but some years ago I bought this to open water bottles and I found out that the little hook on the end slides right under those pull tops and peels them right open. No strength or dexterity needed.

20230225_022805.thumb.jpg.216eacd2d730c4901fe013fdbef810ae.jpg

 

Sadly I have something like that already.

 

Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

Whatever you crave, there's a dumpling for you. -- Hsiao-Ching Chou

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I have a few of these Japanese babies strategically scattered around the house. They open most things. The protuburence to the right is for ring pulls. Dirt cheap. Bought 5 of them in Vietnam for less than $1 (USD).

 

_20230228230005.thumb.jpg.72d80b4d099a8a806944c2e4c5ed68c2.jpg

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

"No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot"
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30 minutes ago, AlaMoi said:

hmmm.  me and some water bottles have had our battles . . .

so I went to the shop and . . .

IMG_2874.thumb.jpg.cad1aac6b856e21831e2cba0fefbb797.jpg

Talented! When I went 9 months with radial nerve palsy I tried to switch to non dominant hand but used teeth in frustration. Not a good solution.  The latest idiotic packaging was 18 eggs in a clear  plastic lidded container. Very hard for me to break into or get the eggs out of their tight seats. Grrr Recently I had to use pliers to try to open the clamshell type packaging on some prepared seafood but the tabs were so tiny I had to break in with a sharp knife tip. I find that a majority of the tabs on sealed products too tiny to grasp with fingers or a toot so again - knife break in.

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18 minutes ago, AlaMoi said:

for those blankity-blank clear plastic welded together in 20 places . . . kitchen shears.  I don't even try anymore - cut, snip - whatever....

Yup.

A few years ago one of our chain retailers was selling an "as seen on TV" gizmo specifically for opening all kinds of packaging (ie, festooned with any number of blades, cutters, prongs, spudgers, etc). On the outside of the blister pack was the slogan "This is the Last Package You'll Ever Struggle to Open."

 

The irony amused me, in an "I've lost my glasses and can't find them until I have glasses" kind of way.

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11 hours ago, liuzhou said:

I have a few of these Japanese babies strategically scattered around the house. They open most things. The protuburence to the right is for ring pulls. Dirt cheap. Bought 5 of them in Vietnam for less than $1 (USD).

 

_20230228230005.thumb.jpg.72d80b4d099a8a806944c2e4c5ed68c2.jpg

 


That’s what I have, except mine are orange.

 

Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

Whatever you crave, there's a dumpling for you. -- Hsiao-Ching Chou

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2 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:


That’s what I have, except mine are orange.

 

 

Yeah. One of mine is orange.

 

Here's another which does screwtop  jars, bottles and ring  pulls. Also Japanese.

 

opener.thumb.jpg.86a0eb7fb37ea4152b052610536ef51b.jpg

 

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

"No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot"
Mark Twain

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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I started this thread waaaaay back in 2007 and, oddly enough, never came back to update on my solutions.  I have these little gadgets in a kitchen drawer that I use all the time:

1-IMG_2349.thumb.jpg.d70ee47a710adf275b3f0a46bb4a4419.jpg

My dad gave me the one on the left many years ago - it works like a bottle opener and releases the vacuum on a jar so that the lid can be turned more easily.  The blue one was a freebie from my physical therapist when I was having some PT on my hand after surgery.  It had three working parts, but two have broken off.  The notch on the left is what I've always used anyway.  It is for those pop ring, pry-off types of lids.  Once you pop the ring, you place the notch around it and it helps with that hard pull.  

 

A few years ago, Mr. Kim got me one of these under cabinet jar openers.  It is fantastic and opens most all of the jars/bottles that I have trouble with.  The only issue I have with it is that the teeth sometimes leave a sharp edge on certain lids and can scratch you if you aren't careful.  

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I was going through a box of stuff from my countryside home, which I recently sold and found these which I had forgotten about.

 

whiteopener1.thumb.jpg.6fd6b64a433e69f4438ddef8df6d91f4.jpg

 

whiteopener2.thumb.jpg.e85dc614f4799fefc8b6618bb85e89b5.jpg

 

metalopener1.thumb.jpg.36306beda91e1e3e99c241520ea4b672.jpg

 

metalopener2.thumb.jpg.1fa70fd756fee2a865f72e3b2b0deb83.jpg

 

The white handled one is great, but only deals with opening lids on smaller jars, where as the all metal one is more accomodating of a range of sizes less comfortable to use.

 

 

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

"No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot"
Mark Twain

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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8 hours ago, liuzhou said:

I was going through a box of stuff from my countryside home, which I recently sold and found these which I had forgotten about.

 

whiteopener1.thumb.jpg.6fd6b64a433e69f4438ddef8df6d91f4.jpg

 

whiteopener2.thumb.jpg.e85dc614f4799fefc8b6618bb85e89b5.jpg

 

 

I have one like that with a wooden handle. It's been in the family as long as I can remember, and I use it regularly. It isn't good at opening bottles, though: anything as small as a pop bottle will need another tool. It looks as though your longer implement would work for those. I've never seen one of that design.

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On 3/5/2023 at 1:46 AM, Smithy said:

anything as small as a pop bottle will need another tool.

 

 

The white one grips any screw top from 0 to 3 inches in diameter; the all metal one goes up to almost 6 inches.

 

 I don't think it would open anything else other than screw caps nor was it intended to. For the other necessities I use my ancient, well-used waiter's friend.

 

WaitersFriend.jpg.5156945471ee021a6c78bc532323bb7b.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

"No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot"
Mark Twain

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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This is the finest jar opener ever. Happened on it in a bargain bin at the checkout in a kitchen store. It's been with me for years.20230302_103453.thumb.jpg.ec03ee5654db296671a0fc5577f59280.jpg

 

Toothed metal edge lets it really get a grip on lids.20230302_103545.thumb.jpg.677f27296314100860cd1fba108e567f.jpg

Edited by kayb (log)
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