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Side Cutting vs Top Cutting Can Openers 2017

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Side Cutting vs Top Cutting Can Openers - The differences and the pros and cons.

We've come a long way in can opener technology since they were first created in the early 1930's.

Top-cutting models are what you might be used to. But "used to" is definitely an operative term here, as it could be something we only "used to" do. So, with the advancements we have nowadays, why should we be used to top cutting technology that leaves sharp and dangerous edges? There is a better way, hence the use of the term "side cutting" or "smooth edge".

Yep, the smooth edge style can openers prevent a couple of traditional problems from ever being a factor in your kitchen ever again. You no longer have to worry about jagged edges cutting your fingers after you open a can, or worry about your children cutting themselves. Or even with pets, it's so much easier to just take the can of pet food and put it on the ground after it's been opened than taking that extra step of transferring the can contents to a dish or bowl, which will need to be cleaned later.

The other thing is completely eliminating worry about dealing with sanitary issues, such as covers falling into the food when that final cut takes place - contaminating the contents. Side cutting can openers completely shear off the edge from under the lid, preventing any such issues from being possible. Most of all, the lids can pop right back on.

Shouldn't we have been doing it like this all along?

However, there's still room for improvement. For instance, they haven't made a side opening can opener that will never need to be replaced. Some ideals can't be achieved. There are, however, a few areas where cutting technology is still improving - that's in popping the tops off (most new can openers are built with a pair of pliers in them for easy removal) and slivers of metal can still fall into your food depending on the make and model, and use by the operator of the unit. Nothing is fool-proof.

On the other hand, top-cuting can openers can last longer and open cans more dependably than their side-cutting counterparts, perhaps due to more robust cutting blades. Top-cut models nowadays are often equipped with magnets to keep the cut lid from falling into your food, which can eliminate the sanitary issue. If you prefer top-cutting models, there are still plenty on the market to choose from.

In the various sections of, I explore the top options today depending on your needs.

Here's a great video demonstrating some times when one may be more appropriate than the other

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