Thursday, July 06, 2006

Zwilling J.A. Henckels - Twin Select Can Opener

Wow, what a great gadget! While I haven't been a big fan of Henckels cutlery for a while now, this can opener is da bomb!

I heard about this can opener from Keith, at the office. He heard about it from his mom, who's apparently a big kitchen gadget freak.

Anyway, I was on my way home and had to pick up a few things in the kitchen section of the nearby department store. I saw the can opener and decided to give it a shot.

My experience with can openers have been rather mixed. Mostly, I end up with can openers that are barely capable of opening a can without slicing me open at the same time.

The sad truth is that while I'd rather not deal with any more can openers, you can't really live without them. Sooner or later, you'll have to open a can of some sort.

I gave up on electric can openers a looong time ago. They are noisy, take up counter space, and don't work any better than simple hand operated ones.

In hand operated ones, there are a few options. There are two common types. First are the variations of the USA made Swing-A-Way that I use (the copies are crap and stop working almost as soon as you buy them--if you go for this type, hunt down the original). The second type cuts the top off the can by running a blade around the perimeter of the can. They claim that this is better because the top doesn't fall into the can, but it leaves the top of the can quite sharp and sometimes creates a ragged mess. To me this seems like an accident waiting to happen!

When I picked up the Twin Select (based on what I could make of the naming convention, this means the gadget has more stainless steel than plastic) can opener, I didn't even understand how it worked. It looked like a handle with a knob to turn but no cutting mechanism. It actually looked like it was missing the a key piece.

The instructions on the box said something about rotating the knob back a few turns and then turning it forwards. Thanks...that was helpful!

Luckily the operation of the can opener wasn't too hard to figure out. What you are supposed to do is put the silver wheel on the top rim of the can. When you start turning the knob, the silver wheel retract a bit and pulls the can into the cutting mechanism. The blade cuts the lid at the very top of the can and separates it from the seal where it is clamped onto the rest of the can.

This may seem similar the the can openers that you've seen that cut the top off the can, but this cut is so smooth that you can't hurt yourself on either the lid or the top edge of the can. PLUS, because you just separate the lid at the seal, the lid is actually still intact so you can use the lid to cover the can if you aren't going to use all the contents at once. Ingenious!

The whole procedure is a lot harder to explain than it really is to execute. Just trust me on this one. You need one of these can openers. Best of breed and worth your hard earned cash.

I'm telling you this because Zwilling J.A. Henckels doesn't really advertise this cool gadget. Actually I had problems finding it online and had to do a search on their corporate site.

Over the years, I've see a lot of kitchen gadgets that I can do without. This one is definitely a keeper and should be in all kitchens.

10+ Highly Recommended!


At 6:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i first saw this can opener at a taipei department store when a staff was in demo. i was very impressed with this kitchen gadget, hesitating to buy or not, i end up not buying it because i'm not always using a can opener since canned goods are not good, we can eat them but not always... after that vacation, i realized that i should have bought the gadget especially when im opening a can of lucheon meat (square type) using its key that breaks away after a few turn.
now, i end up buying this gadget and much cheaper in my home country hehe... when i bought it and got home, i really opened the luncheon meat (square type) and it really opens the square type can, i thought it can only open round canned goods. the staff in the stores don't know if it can open a square type or not.
highly recommended! clean and safe!

At 1:00 PM, Anonymous Wholesale kitchen gadget said...

Great article! I have a few favorites, but not near as many as you do! I love that striped red and white spatula!


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