Tin cans have been around since 1810. They were first introduced in England to preserve food and allow traveling soldiers to transport food in a manner that would keep for a long time and hold up under harsh conditions. Although we no longer travel so frequently with our food, these days canned food is still a practical and efficient means of storing food for long periods of time.
The first cans were made of thick metal, topped with lids that had to be smashed, sawed or hammered off. Then manufacturers started using softer metals that could be removed with an easy to use opener like the one patented by William Lyman in 1870. His invention featured a wheel that rolls and cuts the rim of a can, and was very similar to the hand models we use today. It wasn’t until 1931 that an electric version of the same wheel-based can opener was introduced on the market.
These days, like electric woks, electric can openers can be found in most contemporary kitchens. Commercial electric can openers are usually made of plastic, stainless steel or other common metals. They’re also available in a variety of shades, so they can match all countertops or other kitchen appliances. If you’re not planning on leaving it out, some can openers are compactable for easy storage. A standard feature on most models is automatic shut off once the can has gone full-circle.
Along with the ability to open cans, most can openers today come fully equipped to tackle other small kitchen jobs. Some feature bottle openers and sharpeners for kitchen knives , and others even double as kitchen clocks or cooking timers! Most electric can openers come with a base that sits on your countertop but you can also purchase units that fasten under your cupboards for easy access and more counter space.
Cordless electric can openers are great for those who move around their kitchens when cooking, because they’re portable, rechargeable and lightweight. Another handy can opener feature allows users to adjust height, so cans of any size can be opened.
Electric can openers are available at most home renovation and departments stores. A basic model will cost you around $15, but more deluxe versions with multiple functions and accessories will cost you much more.
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