The TikTok Canned Food Opening 'Hack' That Sadly Won't Make The Cut

If the 10 billion searches for #CookingHacks and over 100 billion for #LifeHacks on TikTok are any indication, finding easier and more efficient ways to do things is a struggle for many. But while some seem like genius at first glance, a closer look often reveals some flaws.

Such is the case with a can opener hack shared by TikToker @comestayawhile. It involves using the can opener horizontally to remove the lid from the outside instead of the inside. The hack touts no more sharp edges or trying to get the lid out, and some would argue it reduces possible contamination from a dirty lid because it won't fall into the can. But not everyone agrees that this way is better.

"I'm seeing sharp edges," commented one person. "I did that one time but the can itself was sharp," said another. Others criticized the sideways use of the can opener. "They make specific types of can openers to cut like this, doing this with a [regular] one can [break] it," said one disapproving TikToker. While we haven't confirmed the claim about breaking, many conventional can openers are designed to be used vertically, and they're not always easy to handle correctly. While flipping the can opener horizontally instead of vertically may seem brilliant to many, those who would rather open their cans around the side instead of the top would need a smooth cut or safety can opener.

There are better can openers and can opener hacks

So what is the correct way to use a can opener? There are proponents of holding it horizontally as well as vertically. For those who cite having to dig a sunken lid out of the can with your fingers as a reason not to open it vertically, there are other options. You could use a spoon or fork to fish it out, or even stop cutting before the lid is completely removed and use your spoon to peel it back. This may also reduce the fear of getting dust or grime in your food from the lid since it's not falling into the can.


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If the idea of dealing with any kind of sharp edges inside or outside the can is something to be avoided, a safety can opener is probably what you should be looking for, which smooths out the rims and sides. While there are many manual can openers to choose from, the compact Nogent Super Kim Safety Can Opener and the Kuhn Rikon Auto Safety Master Opener both make the claim that they leave no sharp edges.

In the end for many people, which style to buy will come down to cost and longevity. According to the New York Times, safety can openers often are costlier than traditional styles, and they usually wear out much quicker, while a conventional can opener can stay sharp for years.