4 Methods To Open A Can Without A Can Opener?

by Evelyn Brown | Published On

Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team, nixny.com is reader-supported. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission, at no extra cost to you.

Almost every household today has a can opener as a necessary kitchen tool. However, there might be an unfortunate instance wherein you are unable to find your can opener or you have misplaced it. In such situations, you have no other option but to open your can without using a can opener.

In the article that follows, we will discuss the various methods via which you can open your can in the absence of a can opener.

open can without opener

4 Methods For Opening A Can Without Can Opener


  1. Open A Can Using A Kitchen Or A Pocket Knife

    • Position your can on a table that is preferably at hip height. Stand over your can for easier access. Place your knife’s tip against the inner edge of your lid.
    • Hold your knife in a vertical position rather than at an angle. Hold your handle in such a manner that your fingers don’t hinder the way of your blade if it slips.
    • Your hand’s back should be upward-facing. This is a more effective method as compared to the one where you use the knife’s blade to sew off the lid. The former method will not only ruin the knife but also leave metal shavings in the food.
    • Your knife should be locked in its place and fully extended so it doesn’t slip.
    • You can even use any other sturdy and chisel, thin object instead of a pocket knife.
    • Lightly smack the back of your hand which is gripping your knife’s handle by using your second hand.
    • The gentle motion that you will create will cause the knife’s tip to puncture the can lid. Make sure you don’t smack extremely hard because you will lose control of your knife.
    • Smack using your open hand and try connecting using your palm. This will guarantee you increased control. Scoot your knife over and proceed to make another hole.
    • Place the knife’s tip at a distance of a few centimeters and follow the same process again to puncture your can. Circle your entire lid using the pocket knife.
    • The lid of your can will become loose around this time. Slip your knife’s tip inside of the holes.
    • Pry the lid off using the hole. You can even make use of a smaller knife for sawing through the leftover parts.
    • Make sure you cover your hand with your sleeve or a towel before you pry off the lid. This will ensure that your hand isn’t scratched off due to any contact with the lid.
  1. Open A Can Using A Spoon

    • Position your can on a smooth surface. Use one of your hands to firmly hold your can and at the same time, use your other hand to work using the spoon.
    • Your spoon should be positioned against the inner edge of your can’s lid. If you observe the lid carefully, you will find a small, raised lip that has been crimped for sealing the can shut.
    • You have to make sure that your spoon is positioned in line with this lip’s inside area.
    • Note that you require a metal spoon for the smooth conduction of this method. No other material will be able to work.
    • Now use your spoon to rub your spoon’s tip back and forth at the crimped edge of your can’s lid.
    • The can lid will begin to get thinner as a result of the friction generated from rubbing your spoon in a back-and-forth motion. Keep repeating the same process till you have made your way through the lid.
    • You should scoot your spoon over and rub through the can’s lid till you have finished circling the complete can lid. By this time, your lid will be loose.
    • Don’t turn your can upside down. Else your food will be spilled out.
    • If prying your lid off using a spoon seems like an impossible task, you can substitute it with a knife. Or you can make use of your knife for sawing any small components of your lid which are still connected to the can.
    • Your can’s lid will be sharp, so make sure you don’t end up cutting your finger in the process. You can even use a towel or your sleeve to protect yourself if required.
  1. Open A Can Using A Concrete Or Rock

    • Using a rough piece of rock, you can puncture the lid of your can. You can’t use a smooth piece because it won’t do the work.
    • Place your can in an upside-down position against your rock. This will enable you to break the seal which is situated on the top of the can.
    • Start rubbing your can in back and fourth motion over your rock. Make sure you use scrubbing motion.
    • Keep repeating the same process till you observe moisture on the can’s lid or the rock.
    • Turn your can over to observe it after a few minutes. Just remember that you have to stop when you see moisture.
    • It gives you an indication that the lid has become thin enough for breaking through.
    • Don’t, at any point, rub so rigorously that you rip through the can. Your food will end up spilling out of the can and onto the rock.
    • Once the lid is thin enough, make use of a pocket knife for opening the lid.
    • Note that your seal should be so thin that you can easily use the blade to cut open your can’s lid.
    • Push your knife gently to pry off the lid. Once you pull off the lid, simply discard it.
    • You can even substitute your pocket knife with a butter knife, spoon, or any other tool.
    • You can alternatively use a lid for knocking the lid can inward.
    • However, it isn’t recommended because you might end up contaminating your food with bits of dirt or rock.
    • Don’t forget to cover your hand with a towel or sleeve so you don’t end up cutting yourself.
  1. Open A Can Using A Chef’s Knife

    • For this method, place your can on a stable surface which is preferably at your hip height.
    • Don’t position the can in between your legs or on your lap. You might lose control of the knife and end up injuring yourself.
    • Now grip your knife’s top with your palm positioned at the spot where your handle meets the knife’s blade.
    • Your fingers should be resting against the handle’s side i.e. in a safe space away from the blade’s sharp edge.
    • This method is only a feasible one if you have a firm grip. If you have a slippery hand, this method will be a dangerous one for you.
    • You shouldn’t be using this method with any knife which is smaller than a chef’s knife. This is because a chef’s knife is a large and heavy knife that has more weight than a steak or pruning knife.
    • You need a blade with a heavy weight for puncturing the can’s lid.
    • Note that the knife’s heel is the position where your blade is the widest. It is situated at the opposite end of your blade from the tip.
    • Position it against the raised lip situated at the edge of your can’s lid.
    • You should center your heel right under the position where you are gripping the knife using your palm.
    • Position your knife against the lid’s edge, so it doesn’t slip.
    • Using slight force, press down the knife for puncturing you’re can so that it creates a small hole.
    • If you are finding it difficult to puncture the can, you can stand up and lean over it. Use one of your hands to hold the knife in its place.
    • Your other hand should be on the top. Apply a decent amount of pressure using your hands and keep pushing down till your can is punctured.
    • Striking the can is not an option. The knife might end up slipping and injuring you.
    • Apply steady and slow pressure until your knife breaks through the can. Don’t, under any circumstances, make use of the sharp tip of your knife.
    • The heel should be used because it’s relatively more stable. Using the tip will disrupt the blade’s edge. Now move your knife along the lid’s edge.
    • Using the same process, create another hole just next to the first one. Just like you would use a can opener to circle the entire lid surface, use the knife in an identical manner.
    • The lid will now be loose. Insert your knife into any one of the holes. Make sure the blade is positioned away from your body so you don’t end up injuring yourself.
    • You can even make use of a smaller knife to seep through any remaining parts.


Therefore, you have four ways to cut open your can’s lid in the absence of a can opener. Depending on your comfort level, you can opt for any opt-out of the ones mentioned above. All you need to do is make sure that you don’t harm yourself throughout the process.

Rate this post
Evelyn Brown

Evelyn Brown is a housewife and spends most of the time at home taking care of her infant son. The time that she has left after cleaning the house and taking care of the son and the daddy is dedicated to making her mark on the internet. She loves to write about the kitchen appliances that she uses in her daily life. She also likes to spend quality time with her husband and drink aged wine and scotch.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *