How to Open a Can Without a Can Opener

Cutlery knife or a pocket knife

A knife is another item that should definitely be in your suitcase. Be sure to put it there if you haven’t already done so.

To open cans with a knife, place the can on a flat surface. Place the blade vertically on the edge of the lid and grasp the handle firmly with one hand. With the other, tap the knife and pierce the lid. Make many holes all around the edge of the lid. Insert a knife into one of the holes and gently cut the lid open.


A spoon can be used to open a jar in the same way as a knife, but it will take more effort. Place the round end of the spoon vertically on the edge of the lid. Press the spoon on the surface of the lid and move the spoon sideways until you have wiped the lid clean. Continue wiping new holes next to previous ones until you open the jar.

Stone or asphalt.

This method will take more time and effort, but allows you to open the can almost anywhere. To do this, you need to rub the can well in a circular motion against the asphalt, a large rock, or a concrete floor. Then the whole rim of the lid will wear off. Gently squeeze the can from the side and remove the top lid.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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