Best Backpacking Can Openers | Hikers University

Opening cans can be a real pain, especially when you're out in the wilderness and don't have the right tools. So, what are the best backpacking can openers?

Not having a can opener is a huge pain when you're backpacking or camping. You could try to use your knife to pry open the lid, but that's risky and could end up ruining your blade.

The Victorinox Swiss Army Multi-Tool, Lantana 2-in-1 Safety Can & Bottle Opener, Bartelli Soft Edge 3-in-1 Safety Can Opener, Kuhn Rikon Safety Can Opener, US Shelby Co. P-38, and P-51 Can Opener, Coghlan's G.I. Can Opener and KORIN Japanese Can Opener are some of the best backpacking can openers.

There is nothing worse than being out in the middle of nowhere and realizing that you have no way to open your can of food. This is where a good backpacking can opener comes in handy. Not all can openers are created equal, so it is important to know how to choose the right one for you. In this article, we will discuss the different types of can openers available and help you decide which one is best for your needs.

We spent countless hours researching and testing different types of can openers to find the best ones on the market. We considered a variety of factors when making our decisions, including ease of use, durability, and weight. We also considered the opinions of other backpackers and hikers who have used these products in the past. After careful consideration, we have determined that the following seven can openers are the best available.

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Best Backpacking Can Openers

Here are some of the best backpacking can openers on the market:

1. Victorinox Swiss Army Multi-Tool

The Victorinox Swiss Army Multi-Tool is a versatile and multi-functional tool that is perfect for any household. With over 33 different functions, this handy tool can do everything from open bottles and cans to tighten screws and cut through a rope. The Swiss Army Multi-Tool also comes with a handy Leatherman-style case, making it easy to keep track of all the various tools. Not only is the Victorinox Swiss Army Multi-Tool an essential tool for any household, but it also makes a great gift for any occasion.

The sleek and compact design is perfect for fitting into a pocket or bag, making it always within reach when needed. Whether camping, hiking, or simply dealing with everyday tasks around the house, the Victorinox Swiss Army Multi-Tool is an essential piece of equipment. The tool is also small and lightweight, making it perfect for backpacking. At only four inches long and weighing less than 7 ounces, the Victorinox Swiss Army Multi-Tool is ideal for taking on any adventure.

2. Lantana 2 in 1 Safety Can & Bottle Opener

The Lantana Can & Bottle Opener is a handy tool that can open both cans and bottles. The unique design allows the user to open cans with one hand without the need for a separate can opener. The Lantana Can & Bottle Opener is also equipped with a safety cutter, which helps to prevent injuries when opening cans. The cutter is located on the side of the opener, making it easy to reach and use. The Lantana Can & Bottle Opener is made from durable stainless steel and has a comfortable grip, making it easy to use. The compact size and lightweight design make the Lantana Can & Bottle Opener perfect for taking on any adventure.

The Lantana 2-in-1 Safety Can & Bottle Opener is also safe to use, thanks to its built-in Blade Blocker technology. This feature prevents the blade from touching the can or bottle, making it safer to use than traditional can openers. As a bonus, the Lantana 2-in-1 Safety Can & Bottle Opener comes with a built-in magnet, so it can be stored on the fridge for easy access. Whether you're opening a can of soup or a bottle of wine, this handy tool will make light work of the task at hand.

3. Kuhn Rikon Safety Can Opener

The Kuhn Rikon Safety Can Opener is one of the most popular can openers on the market. With its simple design and easy-to-use features, it's no wonder that so many people love it. But what makes the Kuhn Rikon stand out from other can openers? For starters, it has a blade that is made from stainless steel. This ensures that it will never rust or dull and that it will always provide a clean cut. The blade is also serrated, making it easy to open any can, no matter how tough the lid is.

In addition, the Kuhn RikonSafety Can Opener has a built-in magnet that helps to keep the can opener in place while you're using it. This means that you won't have to worry about it slipping or moving around while you're trying to open a can. And finally, the Kuhn Rikon Safety Can Opener comes with a safety guard that protects your fingers from being cut. This is a great feature for anyone worried about accidentally cutting themselves while opening a can. With all of these safety features, it's no wonder that the Kuhn Rikon Safety Can Opener is one of the most popular can openers on the market.

4. Bartelli Soft Edge 3-in-1 Ambidextrous Safety Can Opener

The Bartelli Safety Can Opener is a versatile and easy-to-use kitchen gadget. With just a few simple movements, it can open cans of all sizes, including pop-top cans. The opener's three blades are made of durable stainless steel, and the ergonomic handle is comfortable to hold, even for those with arthritis. The opener's unique design also makes it safe to use, as the blades are fully enclosed when not in use.

The Bartelli Safety Can Opener is dishwasher safe and comes with a satisfaction guarantee. In addition, the Bartelli opener has a security button that locks the blade in place when not in use, making it safe to store and transport. Whether you are left-handed or right-handed, the Bartelli Soft Edge 3-in-1 Ambidextrous Safety Can Opener is the perfect can opener for you.

5. US Shelby Co. P-38 Can Opener and P-51 Can Opener

The P-38 can opener is a small, lightweight can opener that was first developed for use by the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. The P-38 can opener was issued to every soldier in the U.S.Army and air force, and millions were produced during the war. The P-38 can opener consists of a small blade that is attached to a key ring. The blade is used to puncture the top of a can, and the keyring is used to hold the can opener on a keychain. The P-38 can opener is still in production today and is popular with campers, hikers, and survivalists.

The P-51 can opener is another essential tool for anyone who needs to open cans on a regular basis. Unlike the P-38, the P-51 is designed to be mounted on a wall or countertop. This makes it ideal for use in commercial kitchens or other high-volume settings. The P-51 also features a serrated blade, but it is slightly longer and thicker than the P-38's blade. This makes it better suited for opening larger cans or cans with tougher lids.

6. Coghlan's G.I. Can Opener

The Coghlan's G.I. a can opener is a must-have tool for any camping or hiking trip. This small, lightweight opener can easily open any standard can, making it a convenient way to access food and other supplies while on the trail. The opener is also easy to use, with a simple lever-action design that requires no electricity or batteries.

The Coghlan's G.I. Can Opener has a comfortable plastic handle that makes it easy to grip and use. Additionally, the opener is made of durable stainless steel, ensuring that it will withstand repeated use. Whether you're an experienced camper or just getting started, the Coghlan's G.I. can opener is an essential piece of gear.

7. KORIN Japanese Can Opener

The KORIN Japanese Can Opener is one of the most popular can openers on the market. Unlike traditional can openers that have a sharp blade that cuts through the lid, the KORIN has a blunt edge that gently pries the lid off of the can. This makes it safer to use, and it also prevents the sharp edges of the lid from damaging the food inside.

The KORIN is also designed to be easy to clean, and it comes with a handy storage case that keeps the opener clean and protected when not in use. Whether you're opening cans of soup or tuna fish, the KORIN Japanese Can Opener is a safe and easy way to get the job done.

How to Choose the Perfect Backpacking Can Opener?

Choosing the perfect backpacking can opener may not seem like an important task, but it can actually be quite tricky. There are a few things to consider when making your selection, such as the type of can opener, the material used to create it, weight, and sharpness.

Types of Can Opener

When it comes to can openers, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The type of opener that you need will depend on the type of cans that you will be opening and the conditions under which you will be using it. There are three main types of can openers: military issued, multipurpose knives/pliers, and household can openers.

Military-Issued Can Opener

When it comes to opening cans, there is no tool that is more durable and reliable than a military-issued can opener. These can openers are specifically designed to withstand tough conditions, making them ideal for use in the outdoors. Additionally, military can openers can be used to open any type of can, regardless of size or shape. This makes them an essential tool for any camper or hiker who wants to be prepared for anything. While there are many different types of can openers on the market, none of them can match the strength and versatility of a military-issued can opener.

Multipurpose Knives/Pliers

For anyone who loves being outdoors, a multipurpose knife is an essential tool. Also known as an all-in-one tool, a multipurpose knife usually has a built-in knife and pliers, making it extremely versatile. Whether you're camping, hiking, or simply working in the yard, a multipurpose knife can come in handy. The built-in knife is great for opening cans or cutting rope, while the pliers can be used for gripping or twisting. In addition, most multipurpose knives also include a can opener, making them even more versatile. Whether you're an experienced outdoorsman or a novice, a multipurpose knife is an essential piece of equipment.

Household Can Opener

Household can openers are the most common type of opener and can often be found in most kitchens. They may not be as durably made as military-issued or multipurpose options, but they will usually get the job done. This type of can opener is designed to cut through metal cans along the lid's seam. It has a small, sharp blade that is activated when the opener is placed on the lip of a can and then turned. The opener's cutting wheel punctures the lid and follows the seam as it goes around the circumference of the can. Some models also have a magnet that lifts the cut lid off of the can so that it can be discarded safely. Though they may not be built to last, household can openers are still an essential kitchen tool for many people.


A can opener can be made from a variety of materials, such as steel, titanium, or even stainless steel. The material that you choose should be based on your needs and preferences.


Can openers come in a variety of materials, but steel is by far the most common. Steel is durable and strong, making it ideal for use outdoors. Additionally, steel can openers are usually less expensive than other materials. However, there are some drawbacks to using a steel can opener. For instance, they can rust if they're not properly cared for, and they're not as easy to clean as some other materials. Nonetheless, steel can openers remain a popular choice because of their durability and affordability.


Titanium is a precisely engineered metal that offers an ideal combination of strength, lightness, and durability. For these reasons, it is frequently used in outdoor gear, where weight and durability are both important considerations. One downside of titanium is that it is more expensive than other metals. However, titanium products are typically more durable, making them a good investment for people who are looking for long-lasting items. In addition to its strength and durability, titanium is also non-reactive, making it safe for use with food. For all of these reasons, titanium is an excellent choice for a can opener.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel can openers are not as common as their counterparts made from other materials, but they offer some unique benefits. One advantage is that they are less likely to corrode or rust over time. This means that they will maintain their appearance and function for a longer period than other can openers. Additionally, stainless steel can openers are often dishwasher safe, making them easier to clean than other types of can openers. Finally, stainless steel can openers are often more durable than other materials, meaning that they are less likely to break or bend with extended use. While they may cost more upfront, the long-term benefits of stainless steel can openers make them a wise investment.

Size and Weight

Can openers come in a variety of sizes and weights, so it is important to consider both factors when choosing one for your kitchen. A heavy-duty can opener may be necessary if you open a lot of cans on a daily basis, but it may be too bulky and difficult to store if you have limited space. On the other hand, a smaller can opener may be more convenient to use and store, but it may not be able to handle heavy-duty tasks. In addition, the weight of the can opener can affect its overall durability. If you are looking for a can opener that will last for many years, choose one that is made from sturdy materials and has a comfortable weight.


Anyone who has ever used a dull can opener knows the frustration of trying to open a can, only to have the blade slip and tear the lid. A sharp can opener blade, on the other hand, cuts through the metal with ease, making the task of opening a can simple and straightforward. In addition to being more efficient, a sharp blade is also safer to use, as there is less risk of the blade slipping and causing injury. For these reasons, it is important to choose a can opener with a sharp blade. There are a number of different factors to consider when selecting a can opener, but the sharpness of the blade should be at the top of the list. With a sharp can opener, opening cans will be quick and easy, with no risk of injury.




Peter Brooks

Peter Brooks

I’m a hiker, backpacker, and general outdoor enthusiast. I started hiking out of college while working for the National Forest Service, and have been hiking ever since. I’ve been solo hiking and leading hiking groups for two decades and have completed hundreds of small hikes and some majorones such as the Appalachian Train and the Pacific Crest Trail, and hiked on four continents. I’d love to share some of my insight with you.

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