If you’re like most lazy humans, the amount of effort it takes you to pry off the lid of a bunch of cans with a manual can opener when you’re cooking is effort you’d like to avoid if possible. Maybe you’ve tried the automatic can openers that sit on your countertop and inevitably tip over, spilling crushed tomatoes all over your stove. Or maybe you have an automatic can opener that simply isn’t tall enough to handle cans the size you need to open.
If so, you’ve probably been tempted to pick up the Black and Decker Spacemaker Under-Cabinet Hideaway Can Opener. I too was lured by the promise of a neat solution and by Black and Decker’s good name; it’s a mistake I won’t make twice, and hopefully you won’t have to make it at all.
Here are three reasons why you should not buy the Black and Decker Spacemaker Hideaway Can Opener:
Flimsy Construction. The can opener body is made of a brittle plastic shell. The blades of the Black and Decker Spacemaker Hideaway Can Opener frequently fall out of the unit, sometimes while it’s in use. Eventually the “on-switch” snapped right off in my hand. There was no way of repairing this-not super glue, and not a replacement part. Once it breaks, it’s done. For a company that relies upon its reputation as much as Black and Decker does, you would think they would have pulled their Spacemaker Hideaway Can Opener off the shelves by now for this reason alone.
Under the Cabinet Mounting. This feature is supposed to be a plus, right? Safely tucked away under your cabinet, the Black and Decker Hideaway Spacemaker can opener does leave you room on your countertop for food prep or other appliances. But that’s where its advantages end. Mounting Black and Decker’s Hideaway Spacemaker can opener was a two-hour chore that caused my mild-mannered husband to curse. When he was done, he uncharacteristically proclaimed that he was never touching it again, so if it broke, it would be my problem. Apparently, installing the Black and Decker Hideaway Spacemaker Can Opener required drilling four holes into the bottom of our cabinet; that was the reasonable part. The unreasonable part came after we’d already emptied the glasses from the shelf, and realized that the screws were so long and unwieldy that all the glassware and the shelves themselves had to be removed. When the unit did break, and removal became my problem, it took me another hour and a half to do the tricky balancing routine of holding the can opener in one hand, and unscrewing these outrageously long bolts with the other, so that it would not chip or splinter my wood cabinets.
The Mess. The only dirt you can “hideaway” with the Black and Decker Hideaway Spacemaker Can Opener, is the blade-face, by closing the unit. The blades themselves are difficult to clean, and accumulate food particles and splatters very easily. But even closing the unit to disguise your dirty blades can’t hide the splatters all over the bottom of your cupboard. Black and Decker’s Spacemaker Hideaway Can Opener design is directly at fault for this. Unlike other can openers of its kind, Black and Decker’s Spacemaker Hideaway Can Opener attempts to “help” you keep the lid from falling into the can by catching it with a magnet. If the magnet simply held the lid in place, that’d be one thing. But the arm of the magnet flips the lid upright, spraying food directly in your face EVERY TIME. My husband and I eventually learned how to hold the can to minimize the spray, but something always ended up on the cupboards or the countertops. And there was no way of disabling this so-called feature.
Black and Decker seems to have realized that the original Spacemaker Hideaway Can Opener was a flawed model, and is attempting to move on to the new Slimline Spacemaker. This one has a clock. I remain skeptical; buyers beware.