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 Best Camping Can Opener

(updated for 2023)


Best camping can opener needs to be small, light and functional. It should take very little space in your backpack, or maybe even fit in your pocket.

Our 3 top choices match the mentioned criteria.

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1. P-38 & P-51 can openers

 P-38 and P-51 combo pack are made in the USA by Shelby company.  Both can openers look alike, but are different sizes: P-38 is smaller – measures only one and a half inch long, and P-51 is the larger one – two inches long.

Opening a can with P-38 can opener

These openers are lightweight and compact, they can even fit on your key ring to carry in your pocket.

To open cans you need to move the opener toward yourself in an up and down motion along the can rim (read more about manual can openers with no moving parts in Can opener types).

It is possible to find other creative uses for these openers, such as flathead

screwdriver, cutting edge, groove cleaner, or seam opener. Some people report that these gadgets are not sturdy enough and can bend while opening larger cans.

It seems like the quality of the items is inconsistent according to customer reports, yet a large number of reviewers gave this opener set 4 and 5-star rating.

Check out high quality, but pricey, alternative to P-38 here.


2. Victorinox Fieldmaster Multitool

Victorinox Fieldmaster is not actually a can opener. It is Swiss Army Knife with 15 tools included, a can opener being one of them. Besides a can opener, Fieldmaster has 2 blades, 3 screwdrivers, wood saw, scissors, toothpick, wire stripper, reamer, hook, tweezers, bottle opener and a key ring.

Victorinox Fieldmaster features a can opener that is combined with a flat head screwdriver on the tip. (Take a look at the video screenshot below where Victronix knife with the opened can opener/flat head screwdriver tool is pictured in the middle).

To open a can with this tool – you need to move it in a forward motion. (To see how it is done, watch the YouTube video below made by Nomadic) .

The gadget is Swiss made of stainless steel and comes with a lifetime warranty. It makes an ultimate gift for a man – each time he reaches for the knife in his pocket- it will remind him of the

3. Nogent Classic Mini Kim can openers

These openers come in two versions – for right handed and left handed individuals:

Nogent Classic Mini Kim Left and Right. 

It is a very smart solution because small size manual can openers with no moving parts are not easy to operate. It is especially difficult for left-handed people to use the right-handed version, so having an opener that really fits your individual needs while camping or on a trip is invaluable.

( Read more information and watch a video featuring this opener in Best left-handed can openers). 

Mini Kim is 100% French made and comes with a lifetime warranty. The stainless steel blade of the opener is sharp,  and the butterfly-shaped handle gives good leverage which makes can opening easy.

The drawback is that the blade sticks out, it doesn’t have a hinge to lay flat like in the P-38 and P-51 can openers.

If you want a can opener with good leverage that has a folded blade – then continue reading about Japanese can openers.

Please, be aware, that all manual openers with no moving parts will leave a very sharp jagged edge on the lid and on the can.

4. Other camping can openers to consider

There are a few more can openers that are worthy of honorable mention as good choices for campers and travelers:


Kotobuki Japanese retro can opener

This nifty high quality can opener is made in Japan.  Its size is 4.38 x 3 x 1.13 inches and it weighs 0.8 oz.  Its compactness and light weight makes it great for camping.

The body is made from a single piece of stainless steel, with a sharp blade riveted to it on the opposite side of the rolled handle.

This opener works like the P-38, but because it has a larger handle it gives more leverage, which makes can opening jobs easier.

Kotobuki can opener has an integrated bottle opener, cool design, and won’t rust ( you can even place it in dishwasher).

The only drawback of this gadget is its high price.


Japanese Can Opener (Ganji Kankiri).

This one is really great can opener that didn’t make the top 3 because of its larger size: 5.1 x 2.8 x 1.3 inches.

It still takes very little room, folds flat and weighs just 4.8 oz, but as a traveler, you would want a smaller size, though this tool is perfect to put in your picnic basket or to keep at home as a backup in case your electric can opener or electricity is out.

It is very sturdy and the large handle makes can opening a breeze. This opener is featured in Best can openers: top 5, read the article to find out more information about this gadget.

All openers mentioned in the article are also good candidates for an emergency/preparedness kit.

And now, view the best camping can openers in the comparison tables below and choose the best one that fits your needs.

Note. The faded out text in the tables shows what features are not available in the particular opener.

Best Camping Can Opener
Best Camping Can Opener
Best Camping Can Opener

Best Camping Can Openers