Best Jar Openers for arthritic hands
Best jar openers for arthritic hands are those that put as little strain as possible on your hands when you are opening jars.
People with weak hands, arthritis, or carpal tunnel syndrome are well aware that it is not just unscrewing the lid that demands the effort, but also a lot of strength is required from the hand that holds the jar. And the wider the jar is – the more difficult the task becomes.
But don’t despair! With modern technology and innovations, there is the solution to this problem.
I will introduce you to the types of jar openers available on the market today that will make jar opening an easy task. Which kind of the opener you choose will depend on your individual needs: how severe your arthritis is, your budget, and also in which situation the opener must be used.
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So, keeping in mind that the best jar openers for arthritic hands should lessen the strain on both hands my recommendations (listing from the best to good) are:
1) Electric jar openers
Electric jar openers, whether battery operated or corded ones that plug into an electric outlet are the best choice for people with arthritis and weak hands.
In order to use an automatic jar opener, not much strength is required. If you can press the button – you can open a jar. That’s the good part. But what are the negatives?
Read an in-depth article about One touch jar openers: battery operated and electric corded.
Battery operated jar openers are noisy and it takes them 20-60 seconds to open the jar. Also according to manufacturers instructions, they should not be used on plastic jars.
Corded electric Lids Off Jar openers made by Black and Decker can handle plastic jars, and open the jar fast. Their biggest drawback is their price. They are expensive machines. Also, it is disappointing that being that pricey they are backed with only 1 year of manufacturer warranty.
For people with arthritic hands, the best choice in the electric jar openers category (which are also often called one-touch, hands-free, automatic) is Black and Decker Lids Off JW 275 corded electric device. See the picture and the features of this opener at the end of the article. And watch a short YouTube video made by DaleYs ( Reviews You Can Use) to see Lids Off JW 275 in action.
Alternatively, if you are willing to spend more money (or if you are thinking of a perfect gift for your aging parents), you can get Lids Off Open-It-All center JW 400 which combines electric can opener, electric jar opener, and a bottle opener. The negative of this choice is that it is even more expensive than JW 275 model with the same meager 1-year warranty.
If you cannot afford corded electric jar openers but your arthritis is severe – your best bet will be Robo Twist as seen on TV battery operated jar opener. It cost just a fraction in comparison with corded electric jar openers (and significantly less than Hamilton Beach battery operated jar opener). Also, the Hammacher Schlemmer website now sells the Robotwist jar opener and Hammacher Schlemmer promises lifetime guarantee on all products it sells.
2) Under cabinet jar openers
I recommend them because with this type of the opener you can use the strength of both hands to hold the jar while metal teeth of the opener are strongly grabbing the lid. ( Just to be clear: you don’t have to use both hands, a person with one hand can open the jar with this kind of opener but I am talking about the possibility – it is the only kind of the opener where the strength of both hands can be used to hold onto the jar itself).
The only negative I can see about this kind of opener is that it needs to be installed with screws under a cabinet. It is easy to do by yourself because the opener comes with predrilled holes and an adhesive sticker that keeps the gadget in place while you screw it under the cabinet. But if your arthritis is severe- you might need to call somebody for installation. Most manufacturers of this kind of opener (EZ Off and Uncapper) are made in the USA and backed by a lifetime warranty.
A word of caution – if you are not able to raise your hands to the under cabinet level – then this kind of opener is not for you.
There are several manufacturers that make under cabinet jar openers, but my recommendation would be EZ Off. I like that it has 2 rows of metal teeth that grab the lid strongly. The product is well made, offers a lifetime warranty and is very reasonably priced.
I need to mention that electric and under cabinet mounted openers are not only the best jar openers for arthritic hands, elderly, and people with weak hands, but also they are a great choice for those that can use just one hand.
3) Manual handheld jar openers
In this category, I would recommend a jar opener that looks like a V-shaped pad with sharp teeth and a handle. (To some degree it resembles the design of an under cabinet opener. See photo in comparison tables under the article).
Though quite a few different kinds of manual jar openers exist, I strongly feel that described above design is the best option for the people with weak hands. It will not be as easy to use as electric or under cabinet mounted jar opener, but to have this kind of an opener can be handy in some situations:
a) if you are traveling – because this kind of opener is small and lightweight you can take it with you on a trip or vacation.
b) if you own an electric plug-in jar opener – the manual jar opener can be used as a back up in case the electricity goes off.
Handheld jar openers have an obvious drawback – they ease the work required from the hand that opens the lid, but do nothing for the hand holding the jar.
To solve this problem you might want to take a look at Solo Grip that functions as a hand that grabs the jar. You place this wedge-shaped gadget with non-slip feet on the kitchen counter, slide the jar in the wedge until it stops, and and it holds the jar in place while you are opening the lid using handheld jar opener (Read more about Solo Grip here). Using Solo Grip in conjunction with a handheld jar opener will lessen the strain on both hands and make your jar opening task easy.
However, I think that the combined price of Solo Grip plus a handheld jar opener, the need to store two devices (Solo Grip is bulky), and the extra steps to take before opening jars with the described set up turns out to be quite expensive and creates more complication than needed. It can be justified only if you are not able to afford corded jar opener or cannot raise your hands to the level of the kitchen cabinet to use the under cabinet jar opener. But even in this case – battery operated jar opener will be more cost-effective and less frustrating to set up and operate.
The best performing handheld jar opener is OXO Good Grips jar opener with base pad. You place the pad that comes with it under the jar to hold it more sturdy and to prevent it from slipping. The opener has a row of metal teeth (like in under cabinet jar opener) that strongly bite into the lid. If your other hand has enough strength to hold the jar – then the hand that opens the lid should be able to turn it easily with OXO Good Grips. I also like that this opener is dishwasher safe ( the pad that goes under the jar is hand washed though) and, like all OXO products, it has guaranteed lifetime satisfaction.
A similar product is RtreeK jar opener for weak hands. It seems well made and is very light -2.4 oz, which is great to take for vacation or travel with you. The only problem – I can not find manufacturer warranty for this opener, that is why my preference is for the well-known OXO brand.
Not recommended handheld jar openers
From my own experience I would not recommend for people with arthritis or weak hands manual jar openers:
1) that look like a loop with the different size of slots that you need to fit over the jar;
2) and a metal adjustable opener that clamps on the lid ( see photo below).
They did not work for me and I do not have arthritis, just not much strength in hands. In my experience, the use of those openers requires the same amount of strength, if not more, as if you were not using the device at all. I cannot imagine that the pictured openers could work for people that have pain or problems with dexterity.
In comparison with two not recommended devices pictured above, it was much easier for me to open the jars with just rubber grippers (especially the cone-shaped red one is great for opening lids on narrow jars or unscrewing caps on water bottles): less time, less frustration, better grip. Also, the rubber pad can be placed under the jar ( green round gripper under the jar of mayonnaise on the photo below) to prevent it from turning and sliding while you unscrew the lid with the help of another gripper pad.
Final thoughts on best jar openers for arthritic hands
There is a way for the people with arthritis to open the jars easily.
The best jar openers for arthritic hands are electric, under cabinet and some manual handheld models.
In the tables below you can compare side-by-side the 3 best performing jar openers in the named categories that are suited for people with arthritis, weak hands, seniors, and all those folks that just want to open a jar an easy way.
To learn more, read related articles:
OXO good grips with base padmanual, handheld
- well made ( plastic with stainless steel teeth)
- easy to operate
- works on jars and bottles of all shapes and sizes and lids made of any material with a diameter of 3/4 inch to 4 inches.
- includes the base pad to hold jar steady on the counter
- lightweight, people with arthritis can take it for a trip or vacation
- dishwasher safe
- warranty: lifetime
EZ OFF jar openermanual, under cabinet
- well made ( plastic, with 2 rows of teeth from hardened metal)
- easy to operate, you can use both hands to hold a jar while opening
- opens jars and bottles of all sizes
- does not take much space on the kitchen ( hidden under the cabinet)
- made in the USA
- warranty: lifetime