Monday, December 18, 2006

I finally learnt how to use a can opener (tin opener)

If you came here searching for info on how to use your can opener, see the first picture below.
Part B for regular can openers.
Part A for left-handed ones.
Part C is wrong, ignore it.
The picture is applicable to simple butterfly version only but maybe used to figure out how to use rotary can openers as well.

Update: VIDEO instructions: YouTube - How to open a tin of spaghetti

They say "You can find anything in the Internet", and I believed them... until today. Sure you can find a lot and lot of things, especially for free on the Internet. But I could hardly find any information on how to use a can opener. Actually I couldn't find any, except a small picture, which too was wrongly oriented! Here goes the story...

First I bought a can of lychee (it is a fruit). Now I found a can opener in my house. Wow I've never seen it before in my life, and I don't know how to use it. Well, I like to experiment with things, so I put the can opener on the can in different positions, trying to get it work. There was one part of the can opener which looked sharp, and so was thought to be the part which actually cuts the metal. (Sadly later I found that this part doesn't even touch the can during operation.)

Then I began my faithful search on Google. Typed in "how to use can opener" and clicked Google Search (I wasn't feeling lucky on Google... heck I never feel lucky on Google!). My expectation of 100s and 1000s of pages with illustrated directions on how to use the thing was shattered when I found that the number of pages with such information is equal to... zero! Rather to my surprise, the first result says that can opener is actually a bad design! There were other pages which says about the history of can openers, can opener cartoons (what the heck?), P-38 can openers (something that is not even close to the one I have!)... etc etc etc... but no instructions...

After a bit of keyword tweaking and other trials, I reached the Wikipedia page on can openers. I found other pages and went about doing other stuff for a while. Then giving up hope, I decided to cut the metal using a screwdriver I found. So I used it to cut the metal a bit, and then used a pair of pliers to tear it open. Later when all are over, I came back to the Wikipedia page again. Over there I found this statement: A can opener (also known as a tin opener) is a device used to open metal cans. (Why didn't I find it earlier?)

Hmm... that gives me a little hope. It is also called a tin opener.

So I searched "how to use tin opener" in Google, and viola... Err, I still did not find any satisfactory results... hold on... this seems interesting... "Tin opener with geared rotary action (Red) left handed"

I went to that result, and I found, though not exactly, what I had been searching for. The web page was actually designed to sell left-handed can-openers, but luckily it also had illustrations on how to use them.



Update: VIDEO instructions: YouTube - How to open a tin of spaghetti (embed below). By the way, that's not me. Thanks to Kumarika for nudging me to find the video.


The webpage had only Part A and Part C of the picture above. They were advertising left-handed can opener as more convenient than regular ones, and A illustrates left-handed one, while C illustrates right-handed regular one. Showing C, they say how inconvenient it is to use it. Actually, they're wrong. I flipped A to get B, and viola! The REAL way to use a right-handed can opener emerged. Hold with left hand, turn with right hand. And I tried it out, and found B was easy and more natural than C.

I really wonder if people would ever use regular can openers as depicted in C. My best guess is, majority of right-handed can openers in the world are used as shown in B. These people just created C to give a wrong idea to a visitor. If the visitor doesn't know how to use a can opener, he would assume that C is how a regular one is used, and therefore A would seem natural and easier to him. If the visitor already knows to use it as shown in B, he would wrongy assume that his way of using is not the standard way, and that the standard way is much harder, thus making him think of buying a left-handed can opener. Blah blah blah what they make people believe in order to market!

Ok here is a picture of the can and it's cut out top and bottom. The top was first torn open with screwdriver and plier, and later cut out with the can opener. The bottom was neatly cut out with the opener.

44 comments:

  1. hmm!
    good that you know how to open!
    hahaha.
    was suprise when i see the Title!
    Smiles! (:

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  2. Thank you so much for this. Today my electrical can opener has mysteriously disappeared. I figured I'd found about 8 million pages with manual can opener instructions, but apparently they are few and far between. Luckily google brought up your page and those images were all I needed to get me started. I, too, thought the spinny wheel part was the part that cut the can because it looked sharp. Anyway, thanks for doing the deep searching so I didn't have to.

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  3. Shawna, I'm glad my blog post has helped you with this. I'm really surprised we can hardly find any clear instructions on usage of can openers on the Internet, the so-called "Ultimate Encyclopedia/know-it-all/whatever". I used to think "You can find anything on the Internet" but now I know it's not so true all the time!
    Anyway thanks for visiting and also taking time in reading the post! :) God bless you!

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  4. i genuinely appreciate that you have endeavoured to answer my can opening needs. I only wish that I had been capable of doing it my self. thank you, and good day, kind sir.

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  5. Hi ADTC,
    Thanks for all the efforts. I have tried many times to open a can using the steel-teeth in can-opener, which was same as your assumptions. And finally I thought of searching in Internet today and tried the same way as you did and I typed "how to use can opener". I found your blog...Wow!!! I got it.....Thanks......

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  6. Hi Swami,
    I'm really glad that my post helped me. It's even nice to know that searching "how to use can opener" shows my blog as one of the results. Seems like mine is the only manual out there on the World Wide Web when it comes to using can openers. Hehehe... :D

    Oh I checked out ur blog.. It has only one post on Sivaji and nothing else.. consider updating :)

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  7. Finally i got to have tuna when no one is home! I'm very appreciative of your tutorial :)

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  8. This page was very helpful. I am enjoying a tin of peaches as we speak solely due to this post. Thank you.

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  9. Man, you're really helpful. I had to go to a neighbor with my can and my can opener, and neither of us could figure out how to open it. Then I found your post :-)
    Thanks again!

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  10. Hey Glenn

    I really appreciate your putting this tutorial on the world wide web. I was in the same situation as you were and viola your tip worked.

    Thanks once again. A lesson i learnt if you know of something it may be very simple just put in the web. It sure can help others in similar situations and man for that person it could the biggest help on the planet at that point of time.

    Cheers

    Pankaj

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  11. Same predicament. Now, I have a neatly opened can - thanks to you!

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  12. Wow this is popular :D
    Btw my nick is ADTC, not Glenn.
    Thanks.
    ~ADTC

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  13. HI,
    Thanks for the instructions, which may be helpful. I searched for the same.and got your page opened........and by that time i could manage to get the tip opened.

    hahahahahaha
    Sriram

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  14. I'm glad this post has become useful to you guys. I love being helpful to people :D
    Your happiness is mine :)

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  15. Well I ended up buying few cans and I was wondering how to open.I bought a can opener too.

    Its only now when I read your blog It clicked in my mind n yes I succeeded
    he he..Thanks

    Now that was a useful post I must say

    Cheers
    Praveen Adil

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  16. I spent last 30 minutes fighting with the tin then thought of searching on the net.. It was good to find out the answer.
    I can eat whatever I want .. now!! :))

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  17. Thankyou soooooooo much for this. I used to know how to use a can opener but today i just could NOT remember. I tried stabbing it with a knife. Anywho it was soooooooo helpful.

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  18. Hey Arun... Thanks a lot buddy.. I'm so glad I could find your post, was completely at a loss as to how to use that thing... I too thought that sharp thing was the one that cuts the can :D
    Thanks again...

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  19. Hey.. thanks man.. that was helpful! I googled and what I cudn't find on wiki, I found on your blog through the same google search engine! :P Keep it going! :)

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  20. Hey, as everyone before has already stated, thanks a lot. You've just saved a poor soul from starving to death in a little town of Massachusetts. Now I can have my New England clam chowder and satisfy my hunger. It's strange though that when people talk about such dumb things on the Net, how come no one's put an article on how to use a can opener apart from you. Or maybe I am only the 22nd fool in the world who couldn't figure out how to use a can opener by myself. Thanks again. My chowder must be ready to eat by now!

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  21. Ugh thanks so much. I just moved into a new place and all we had was an old ass butterfly can opener and I was just dumbfounded how to even use it. I couldn't find any info anywhere else how to use one of these things!

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  22. Thank you all visiting my blog and finding this information useful. I appreciate that you took your time to leave a comment, thus giving me an idea of how many people are still learning to use butterfly can openers.

    Seriously, I thought I was the last man on earth to not know something "so obvious". Well, it's clear that this isn't obvious, but the Internet has no information about it, except in my blog?

    Thanks once again. New visitors please leave comments as well, recollecting ur experience with cans and internet research.

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  23. Thank you! I looked online for the same information and only your blog helped!

    --Anjana

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  24. hey,this helped ...I am suppose to cook for 11 people today and i was so tensed when I relaised that I forget how to use it..your bolg helped..thanks so much

    Lavanya..

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  25. Thank you so much for the pictures! I can finally eat! I'm keeping the can as a trophy lol!

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  26. THANK YOU SO MUCH! I HAD NEVER BEEN ABLE TO USE ONE UNTIL NOW! YOU ROCK!

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  27. Thanks I tried this today I has ended my 35 years of frustratation and tumoil. I avoided to buy tinned food at all cost becuase i could not use the bloody tool. Thanks for this blog. God bless you

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  28. Thank you so much!! I thought I was never going to be able to eat my ravioli...

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  29. Haha thank you, I can't believe there's only a few results for this! I am currently eating some beans on toast because of you

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  30. thank you for this post i have finally been able to open my can of campbell soup

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  31. YAY! i get to eat! i also thought the spiky wheel thing is what opened it...thanks to your pictures i'm not going to starve!

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  32. God, I was starving. This can of tuna was taunting me. The can opener sat there and mocked my intelligence. Just as I was about to give up hope and rot away in a corner, I stumbled upon this blog. Thank you!

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  33. thanks for this...the part i thought was used to cut actually didn't do the cutting lol

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  34. dude this blog does the trick for me, now this is one more reason i luv the internet man...

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  35. Thank you!!! This is still the only page on the whole internet with instructions on how to use a can opener!

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  36. Still did not work for me :( ... is there any video with detailed instructions

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  37. I hope you're using the same type as depicted in my post - butterfly can opener.

    I found a video for you:
    YouTube - How to open a tin of spaghetti

    Hope it helps.

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  38. Thanks a lot... you save me. I tought was just wasting money buying butterfly can opener....

    I'll try it at home

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  39. Thanks a lot. This helped me a lot.

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  40. Thanks for this post. It helped me a lot, after struggling for some time. I chuckled all the way while reading, because this is exactly what I went through. You can imagine how glad I was, when I finally came on an answer. Have a wonderful day :)

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  41. You saved my evening: I did not have to spend it starving while watching an unopened can of beans! :) Thanks for the excellent instructions!

    Katja (who just move to the UK, where can openers are entirely different from those of her native country :)

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  42. Please tell me this is sarcastic. I've been using these since I was a little kid!

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  43. Have you also been masturbating since you were a little kid? I bet you'd find it sarcastic when someone learns about masturbation when they're 35!

    Ask all the commentators posting the 42 comments before you (minus myself) whether they were sarcastic when they said "Thank you for saving my day!"

    Get a hold of yourself. Not everyone is born knowing everything!

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