How To Fix A Can Opener?

How To Fix A Can Opener

You can hardly miss a can opener in any modern kitchen. After all, people in towns prefer buying canned food. Some people prefer manual can openers since they are cheaper than electric can openers.

Many people consider the price instead of quality when purchasing either option. Unfortunately, after a short while, the can opener develops some problems. Note that a good manual can opener can serve you at least one or more while the electric one can last for many years.

This article focuses on some problems which the owners of either electric or manual can opener face when using the appliances and How To Fix A Can Opener.

A. Manual Can Opener

Manual can opener may stop operating well due to poor quality or lack of proper maintenance. If the kids keep on dropping it and messing around with it, the chances of breaking it are high. The same applies if you wash it regularly and fail to wipe it well. It will develop a rust coating, making it hard to operate.

Identifying Can Openers Problems and Fixing It

1. Gears failing to turn cans

Maybe you have been using the can opener for more than a year, and now the can opener can no longer turn cans. The chances are high that the gear has worn out, rusty, or an arbor has worn out. If the gear has worn out, the best option would be to replace the gear using the steps below.

a. Replacing worn-out gears

• Get a screwdriver to help you disengage the gear with ease
• Use the screwdriver to block gears motion as you twist the handles counterclockwise.
• Lift the handle from the gear and replace the gear with a new one before reassembling the opener.

b. Rusty gears

What if the gears are not worn out but are rusty? The best option would be to clean the entire can opener using an old brush. Here is what to do.

• Use a screwdriver to unscrew the can opener, and if it’s too rusty, use pliers.
• Pull the blade and use an old toothbrush to clean off the rust from all the parts.
• Clog off the spindle using a toothbrush and wipe it using 40wd and a clean towel.
• Reassemble and use it.

Note that vegetable oil can also help you clean off the rust. Ensure that the handle doesn’t get the oil since it will become slippery. The same applies to your hands. Operating the opener with an oily hand is unadvisable. Wash with soap and warm water to remove oil from your hands and the handle.

c. Worn out arbor

If the arbor is worn out, it means that the gear will not have contact with the can, making it hard to open. The best option is buying a new can opener.

2. Knife Failing to Lift Higher

It could be whenever you lift the handle; the knife is unable to pierce through the can. The reason being, it can’t lift further from the gear. That could only mean that either the handle or the brushing is worn out. The only cure is replacing either of the two.

3. Metal Silvers in Food

Imagine opening the can only to find some metal silvers in the food. You may even fear taking the food for fear of ingesting some, leave alone the damage they can cause when ingested. Instead of replacing the entire opener, replace the knife or even use the other edge of the knife if it’s still okay. So, how do you replace the knife?

• Lift the handle using one hand and remove the pin using the other hand.
• Remove the holder before unscrewing to allow you to access the knife.
• Remove the knife and replace it before reassembling again.

B. Electric Can Opener

Buying a new electric can opener can be expensive. If damaged, do everything possible to fix it before thinking of a replacement. But how will you discover what the problem is? Check some clues below.

Assuming you have been using the can opener to open several cans, but the motor suddenly stops. Chances are high that the excess friction from the motor could be the issue. Instead of forcing it to work, allow it to cool first before using it.

It could be the gears are not rotating as they should. The chances are high that they are rusty and require you to clean off the rust using an old toothbrush. If there is no change that means some gear teeth could be missing and requires replacement. Whether you replace or you clean it, you should lubricate it to help it operate well.

Maybe even after connecting the opener to the power source, it’s not functioning. The chances are high that the cord is faulty. If the cord is okay, then double-check that the power is on.

Servicing On/Off Switch

Note that the on/off switch requires servicing lest it fails to work. Below are some amazing ways to service it.

I. Start by unplugging the power cord before removing the opener’s cover.
II. Test if the level can make contact with the switch by pressing it down.
III. Check if there could be some residues obstructing it and clean using fine sandpaper.
IV. You can align the level if there is no presence of obstructions.
V. Use a tester to check the switch if there is no change even after aligning the tester.
VI. Note that corrosion and sanding residue could be the main culprits. Clean then using sandpaper and electrical contact cleaner, respectively.
VII. Bend the switch using plies to allow good contact with the leave or replace the switch if it’s defective.


Lack of proper maintenance and poor quality openers are two main reasons why the opener fails before time. Knowing where the problem is will allow you to repair or replace the affected part easily. Note that the opener requires servicing on its switch and gear for efficient performance.


1. Why can’t my feed gear turn the can anymore?

If the feed gear is rotating well but failing to turn the can, then chances are high that it’s clogged with residues or worn out. A stiff brush can help you unclog it. If it’s worn out, then replacing it is a better option.

2. Why does the can opener suddenly withdraw when cutting through the can?

This is a common issue with the manual can opener. The issue is with the base or the handle. Check if either is worn out and replace. Also, check if the base is standing on a flat surface too.

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