Kuhn Rikon LidLifter

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Kuhn Rikon Ergo my Favorite Can Opener

Nov 17, 2008 (Updated May 11, 2010)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Ergonomic design, no sharp edges, fun and easy to use, no electricity required

Cons:Stockpilers beware... You may feel like opening all the cans in your pantry!

The Bottom Line:

I will never use a bladed or motorized can opener again ~ the Ergo Lidlifter rules my pantry!


Inspectra Gadget here, reporting for duty. There have been sightings of a suspicious looking kitchen tool on the premises. As you can see from the mugshot, here, this criminally attractive gadget is masquerading as a sleek sculpture which fits seductively in the palm of your hand. According to the dossier, its codename is the Kuhn Rikon Ergo Safety LidLifter ~ but don't let the name fool you, its MO is to open cans, and I'm on a mission to investigate the veracity of this claim!

Background ~ as a gadget girl (one of many here on Epinions), I must confess that this is not the first Swiss-made, non-electric can opener I have owned. For the last half dozen years or so, I owned a less sleek version of the device, also made by Kuhn Rikon. Both models open cans via a mysterious method that lifts the lid without the help of a traditional cutting blade. A few months ago, my original Kuhn Rikon finally gave out, and I found myself looking for a replacement model.

Ergo, the sum of its parts ~ Enter this beautiful and (dare I say) sexy tool, which I bought for about $10 at my local Marshalls. It was love at first sight with Ergo! I couldn't wait to test drive this new, futuristic version of my former model. The Ergo Lidlifter is about 6 inches long and 3 inches wide at the midpoint of its elongated, ovoid form. Its handle is constructed of intensely smooth and sturdy molded plastic. The ergonomic handle shape curves downward to make it fit effortlessly in the palm of your hand. I like the weight of my new Ergo Lidlifter ~ it's not too heavy to hold comfortably, and not too light as to feel flimsy.

The mechanism ~ Being a non-electric or motorized tool, the Ergo relies solely on its intriguing shape and unique mechanism to unhinge the lid off a can from your pantry. To open a can, first separate the two halves of the handle. Next, place the device over the top edge of a can and gently squeeze the handles shut. Your objective is to grip the can's protruding lip in between the rotating wheel and hidden blade mechanism. To be honest, securing the Ergo properly before lift-off may take a little practice at first.

Next, grip the handle tightly and turn the bold, black rubber lever clockwise. As you turn the lever, the suspended can rotates in a familiar fashion.  If you have never used a can opener with a hidden blade, like the Ergo Lidlifter, you'll be surprised by the results! After one complete rotation, set the can down and release the handle grip. Gently grab the lid and pry it off the can ~ Voila! The lid should lift off easily, and you'll notice no sharp, jagged or dangerously pointy edges on either the lid or the can. Another benefit ~ your fingers won't come in contact with food particles stuck on the inside of the lid. And, since the can opener never gets dirty, you'll never have to wash it or watch grime build up on the blade.

Righty/Lefty ~ What kind of cook are you? I'm basically right-handed, and this Kuhn Rikon Ergo works like a charm for me and my cans. If you're a lefty, though, you'll need to lock the device on the right hand side of the can, but you could hold the handle with your right hand and turn the lever with your left, although it might be a bit awkward. However, not much force is required during the process, so your right hand need not posess super-human strength.

Durability ~ Will this Ergo Lidlifter lift lids forever? I believe the answer to this question may be "No". As with my older version, I suspect the mechanism will eventually wear out. But, using an unscientific method, I predict that I'll log at least another half dozen years of use from my Ergo before I can choose one of the other hot colors this model comes in.

Case Closed ~ So, with the case of the ergonomic gadget now filed away, the evidence is going back into my kitchen tools drawer (if I can find any room, that is). For any renegade cans out there who may have been nervous while reading this report, you can relax, now, my Ergo Lidlifter has left the premises! 

Tags: can opener, best, Kuhn Rikon, review, rating, opinion


Recommend this product? Yes

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