Pros: It opens cans
People who aren't architects should not design houses. My house is partially earth bermed, built into the side of a mountain. Since all of the external walls are poured concrete there are no bearing walls inside the home. The builders essentially poured the external walls, and let the original owner, Mrs. Cooley, tell them where to put the inside rooms. Apparently the kitchen was not a big part of Mrs. Cooleys life because it is extremely tiny and awkwardly arranged with a decided dearth of counter space. Thus began my love affair with space saving under the counter appliances.
I went through three inexpensive (under $20) under the counter can openers in less than three years. I do not think that I am all that hard on can openers, so after the last one (a GE that I truly wanted to review, I had the title-Shouldn't A Can Opener, Say, Open Cans?-but it wasn't in the database), my husband decided that you get what you pay for, and talked me into shopping for the next can opener at Herbergers, not Wal Mart. All of the can openers at Herbergers were countertop models, except for one, the Krups Open Master hand held opener.
That was six months ago. I hated it at first, but it grew on me. I wouldn't go so far as to say that I love it today, but it is the very best can opener I have ever owned.
KRUPS OPEN MASTER
This is an electric hand held can opener, so rather than taking up counter space, it can be stored in a cabinet or a drawer. This is a bonus if you don't have much counter space, don't open many cans or don't like the cluttered look caused by keeping many appliances on the counter (all of these apply to me). Unlike standard can openers which pierce the can inside the rim and cut through it, the Open Master pierces the can under the rim and removes the entire top of the can. This has good points and bad points.
*No sharp edges
*Easier to get the last bit out of a can by putting some other liquid in it and shaking
*Easier to store the contents of a can by placing the lid back on-half a can of dog food stayed fresh overnight in the fridge
*Lid top cannot fall back into the can (who knows where that yucky can top has been?)
*Much harder to strain liquids out of fruit, veggies, etc.
*When making something requiring many canned goods (sauce, quick stews, chili), mess piles up quicker because you cannot put lids into the empty cans
*You can't pierce the bottom of the can to facilitate the removal of 'tubular' food like cranberry jelly or some pet foods
Another problem I had was getting the knack of hooking the opener onto the can. You have to get it just right, or it just crushes the edge of the lid. My husband got the knack right away, it took me a few weeks. Because of this, initially I really hated the can opener (I was beginning to think I had the dreaded Can Opener Curse), but once I figured out the angle I needed to use to open the can, it pretty much worked every time for me. The exception seems to be, for some odd reason, cans that have pictures on the lid like Hunts Tomato products or Swanson broth. I have to turn these cans over and open them from the bottom.
It is easy to use (once you get the aforementioned knack); you hook it onto the edge of the can, press the button on the handle, it grips the can and rotates it, and stops when it finishes cutting. Since it is hand held, it can open cans of any height or size. Since the can is sitting on the counter top, there is no danger of the can dropping from the opener and making a mess.
The instructions come in French and English, and are very clear and simple to follow. As with all Krups product, this carries a limited one year warranty through both Canadian and American service centers. It requires very little maintenance other than wiping the plastic body and metal cutting element with a damp cloth.
PRICEY, BUT A GOOD VALUE
At $35, this can opener was relatively expensive, when many can openers with additional features (knife sharpeners, bag cutters, etc.) can be had for under $20. Since all I was interested in was a can opener that opened cans (something the less than $20 can openers seemed unable to handle), the Open Master fit the bill. This is a well made product from a company with a reputation for excellent, well made high end appliances. I expect it to last for many years. I paid $60 for three can openers over three years, so if this $35 can opener lasts over two years, it will have been worth it.
Krups products are generally available in better department stores, like Macys, The Bon, Filenes and Herbergers. They are available at several online home and kitchen stores (even more so around the holidays, since for some bizarre reason, men seem to think women want to find can openers and toasters under the tree). I have never seen them in mass retailers like Wal Mart.
WHO WOULD LIKE THIS?
If you, like me, have limited counter space, you might like this can opener. It can be stored easily in a drawer, and will take up very little space if left out, and can even be hung on a hook on the wall. If you have a poorly arranged kitchen (again, like me), with the sink, range and fridge as far away from each other as is possible in a small space, you may also like this because it is very portable. This would also be a good gift for a college student or a person living in a studio apartment. If you cook in very large quantities and use industrial size canned goods (try opening one of those giant cans of soup with a regular counter top can opener) you might like this as well.
I really like this can opener; it is neat, well designed and functional. It opens the can every time, which is pretty much the bottom line for can openers.