Opening A Can Without A Can Opener


It is probably the most annoying thing when you are stuck with a sealed can, and you do not happen to have a can opener. You certainly want that jam, those berries, those beans, or whatever is in that can, but you can’t open it since you don’t have iron fingernails. There is no need to worry; we are here with a step-by-step guide on how you can open a perfectly sealed can without using a can opener. The best part about these methods is that these are ordinary household things that you might even find lying around anywhere. 

Pocket Knife

Yes, you can open your can using a simple pocket knife! Take the can and put it on a table or any strong surface. Use a table that is ideally shorter in length so that you can place the can by your hip. Take the pocket knife and touch the sharp tip of it to the circular edge of the can’s lid. Now carefully hold the knife in a vertical position so that the tip of the knife points exactly towards the inner lid. Hold the knife tight with one hand and use the other to press the handle down. Make sure that you are at a safe distance even if the grip slips. 

You do not have to cut through the entire lid because that would damage the knife too; instead, puncture a hole where the tip of the knife is. The tip should be touching the lid tightly so that there are no slips. Use the hand on top of the knife and smack the knife down with an open palm. It should just be hard enough to puncture a hole in the lid and not go completely inside. Do a couple of light smacks if you are scared of ruining the items inside the can. 

After making the first hole, tow up the knife and place it again on the lid but this time a little further from the first hole. Rather than sawing the entire lid, we will make enough punctures to loosen the lid. Puncture a hole, move a couple of centimeters and repeat till you have a full circle. The lid should be noticeably loose now, and the content of the can is also safe inside. Put the knife in the punctured holes and pry the lid one by one. You will notice the lid come off, and then you can completely remove it. 


If you do not happen to have a pocket knife or don’t feel safe with it, you can use a spoon. Just make sure that you are using a metal spoon that can take the tension. To get started, place the can similarly as you placed it in method 1. Use a stable surface and hold the spoon with one hand and hold the can with the other. 

Hold the spoon vertically and place its tip at the same place as the knife from above, on the inner lid’s edge. Make sure that you position the spoon’s bowl to face the lid. 

Now simply rub the tip of the spoon in the same small area repeatedly. Rubbing the spoon in the same spot will create friction in that area and make the lid thinner. You have to rub it constantly till you poke through the lid. Place the spoon very close to the hole you made and make another one. Do this till you have a big enough hole in its entirety. 

Now that the hole is bigger grind through the rest of the part and loosen up the lid completely. Now do what you did with the knife and pry open the lid. Now place the spoon inside and lift the lid from the edge and get it completely off. The lid can pop off, so be careful doing that. 

A knife is a much better resolution to this problem, but spoons are safer, so prefer whichever one you want. You can even use both. Rub and puncture holes with the spoon and saw through the rest of the holes using the knife. 

Chef’s Knife

If you don’t have a pocket knife and spoons are just too time-consuming, you can even use a chef’s knife to open the can. Use only a chef’s knife for this because you need a heavy blade for puncturing the lid easily. To begin, place the can on a table or any strong surface. Do not use your hand or your lap. Ideally, the surface should be low enough for your arms to stretch out so that you can do the movements easily while maintaining a safe distance from the can in case of any mishap. 

Carefully hold the knife from the handle but keep your hand close to the blade. You have to hold it from the point where the handle and blade meets. Meet your palm at the meeting point, and your fingers will rest on the side of the handle. Make the grip tight so that your hand does not accidentally slip. Be very careful and do not injure yourself. 

Place the heel of the knife on the inner edge of the lid. The heel is much more stable, whereas the tip is too sharp and slippery. It could hurt your hand or ruin the can and its contents. Using the tip might even damage the knife’s blade, so avoid it at all times. Position it on top of the raised lip of the can’s lid at the edge. Now, as you did with the spoon or the pocket knife, use the heel of the knife to puncture a hole in the can’s lid.

Press softly because the knife is heavier and sharper than other objects. If you press too hard, you can either lose the grip or flip the entire can. Create small holes by leaning slightly towards the table and over the can. After placing the heel and puncturing the first hole, just place it nearby and make another hole. Keep making holes, leaving a few centimeters of a gap between each of them. 

When you have punctured holes all around the lid, just use the heel to circle the entire can’s lid to cut all the gaps between the holes. Now you should have a loose lid. Use the tip of the knife to pry off the lid. Now you can remove the lid easily and carefully. 


All these methods are slightly different from each other, and you can use any one of them, and it would work perfectly. Choose the instrument that is available to you and the one you are comfortable using. Use a spoon if you do not feel comfortable with the knives. Please be careful while using the knives because you can accidentally hurt yourself while opening the can.