Value for money

 

This week Conor Popetakes a look at can openers

BHL Can Opener €3

Highs:This boy-scout option is about as old-school a can opener as we could find and was also the cheapest by a long shot. Theoretically at least, it should prove to be more useful than the competition, as it also features a corkscrew and bottle opener.

Lows:There is a definite knack to opening cans using the gouging method that this opener demands and one which Pricewatch doesn't really have, so we spent much of the long, long time it took to open a can convinced that we were about to be forever parted from one or more of our fingers. While the corkscrew looks useful, it got a little bent out of shape when opening wine bottles and we'd have fears about its longevity, as the whole apparatus is on the flimsy side.

Verdict:Old fashioned and fiddly

Star rating: **

Culinaire One Touch Can Opener €29.95

Highs:This does exactly what it says on the, er, tin opener by effortlessly opening a can in a heartbeat with the touch of a button. There's no wall mounting needed, no twisting, no savage stabbing motions - just one single push of a button, some gentle whirring and off pops the top. It is absolutely idiot proof, and while dubbing it a "revolution in can opening" is either a dreadful play on words or a dreadful overstatement, it is a very good product.

Lows:Given that most cans are opened with ring-pulls, we fear it may have arrived just a smidgen too late to be of any real use to most people - although it certainly might offer welcome relief to people with limited hand mobility. It is on the pricey side and is a little clunky, so will take up far too much precious space in the average sized drawer.

Verdict:Excellent but pricey

Star rating: ****

WMF Can Opener €25.95

Highs:If the brand name of your kitchen utensils matters to you (and, let's face it, it probably shouldn't) then this nicely designed option with its brushed chrome finish and recognisable international name might appeal. It is a lightweight option which functions perfectly and should last for generations. It has a long stem which will suit the big-handed and it attaches and detaches itself from cans very efficiently.

Lows:The plastic handle was found to be a little flimsy - which is odd when everything else looks to have been finished to a very high standard. The price is also something of a concern and we can't see what we get for the €8 more we had to pay for this when compared with its nearest rival from Prestige.

Verdict:Too dear

Star rating: **

Swing-away wall mounted can opener €16.95

Highs:This is a sturdily built model which should have a long life of can opening ahead of it. It has a very smooth action and once it is bolted on to a surface it is very easy to use. It can be pushed back so it sits flush against the wall rather than sticking out obtrusively and you'll always know where your tin opener is without any drawer-rummaging required. It is also comparatively cheap.

Lows:While this certainly opens cans in a fairly effortless fashion, the whole wall mounting bit was a chore Pricewatch could have done without. And once it is on the wall it becomes a permanent and visible feature of your kitchen - which might not suit everyone. It was probably cutting edge at one point, but has been replaced by newer funkier models.

Verdict:Solid and reliable.

Star rating: ***

Prestige Can Opener €18.50

Highs:With its non-slip patches, shiny metallic surfaces and hefty rubber handle, this weighty option looks like it's a well-made piece of kitchen kit. It doesn't cost too much and should be very easy to find.

Lows:While it may have been a one-off problem, we found it slightly more difficult to get purchase on our can with this opener - although once it did latch on it worked as effectively as any of the competition. The bottle opener is pretty useless and we had to wonder why they bothered with it.

Verdict:A safe option

Star rating: ***