In today’s technologically advanced world, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype of having all the newest gadgets. But do we really need
them? Here are the five best reasons not to get an electric can opener.
1. Cross-contamination and bacteria is a serious risk.
There’s a reason that most professional kitchens use manually-operated can openers – they’re washable, and should be regularly washed.
Think about how a can opener works; a small sharp point is inserted into a can and pressure is applied until the top of the can is penetrated. For all intents and purposes, that functional tip of the can opener has been inserted into the can, thereby being exposed to all of the bacteria living within the can. In addition to this, the initial piercing causes a small outflux of air from the can; while this might not seem like much, the problems that we’re facing in a kitchen involve microscopic bacteria, and it doesn’t take a large amount of space for bacteria to move and thrive.
One could argue that the amount of food and bacteria on a can opener is negligible, but take into consideration the frequency with which we use our can openers. The average person uses a can opener at least once a day, and often uses it more than once per session to open various types of foods, so it’s easy to see how germ buildup could occur.
2. They are not always terribly user-friendly.
There are many people in the world who are absolutely brilliant but cannot, for the life of them, manage to use a mechanical can-opener, which was created not to confound people but rather to save time and energy. Sure, you laugh. Who has problems operating electric can-openers, you ask? Left-handed people. While most lefties can assimilate to a right-handed world for manual habitual tasks, such as operating a manual can-opener, the positioning for an electric one asks the left-handed brain to operate in a manner contradictory to its given wiring.
3. They take up vital counter space.
If you have more than enough space in your kitchen to comfortably hold all of your appliances and still have enough room left over to function, count yourself among one of the lucky few. In a world of apartment living, condos and townhomes, kitchens rarely afford enough space to fit the bare kitchen essentials, such as a microwave, coffee pot, mixer, cutting board and so on. While a manual can opener can fit neatly tucked away in a drawer, an electric can opener takes up yet more valuable space and one more sparse electrical plug.
4. They waste electricity.
The amount of energy that a can opener uses may be minimal, but the fact of the matter is that any time an appliance is plugged in, it is using energy – whether or not it is actually in use. The outlet is constantly sending an electric current through any plugged in machinery, and while the amount that you would save yearly from an electric can opener might average somewhere less than 50 dollars, think of the other things you could do with that money. You could buy enough decent manual can openers for a city block with that.
5. They aren’t terribly safe for children.
Anything with sharp edges and whirling metal bits is not safe for children. It might seem harmless enough, with its shiny plastic, up on the counter, pushed all the way back so that it’s out of easy reach, but here’s the simple truth: your children climb on the counters when you’re not looking. You can argue that you always leave it unplugged, but there are times when you’re likely to forget. All it takes is one phone call in the middle of dinner and a rambunctious toddler, and the next thing you know, you’re rushing someone to the hospital and hoping that blood stains come out of the Formica.
A manual can opener offers children the ability to learn to do something without the aid of technology and reassures adults that their children can try all day long without getting injured. It’s physically impossible for a small child to apply enough pressure with one hand to cause bodily harm with a manual can opener (unless, of course, they’re using the can opener for other purposes, like hitting a sibling).
For these reasons, one should sincerely consider sticking with the tried-and-true manual can opener. One with sturdy grips should be more than sufficient to get the job done.