ELECTRIC (ONE TOUCH) JAR OPENERS:
battery operated and electric corded
(updated for 2021)
One touch jar openers (also called hands free, automatic, electric) make a jar opening a breeze with no heavy muscle required.
Since very little effort is needed to use it, this type of opener is a great choice for seniors, for people with arthritis or weak hands, children, and is also suitable for one-handed operation.
There are two categories of one touch electric jar openers:
1) battery operated automatic jar openers,
2) electric jar openers that need to be plugged into a standard household outlet to work.
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Battery Operated (Cordless) Jar Openers
Electric battery operated jar openers open jars automatically with one touch of a button. They are able to apply the amount of force needed to open vacuum-sealed jars, screw on lids, and stuck on jars.
What is on the market?
There are 3 main models of hands-free battery operated jar openers on the market today:
RoboTwist (as seen on TV) is just a newer version of One Touch (as seen on TV) jar opener. The only difference I can see is that One Touch promises to open lids 1-4″ in diameter, and RoboTwist: 1.2 – 3.5″.
There are some copycats of the mentioned models, but I wouldn’t recommend them because of low ratings, or because consumer reviews were hijacked and do not match the reviewed product.
How do battery operated jar openers work?
All existing models have the similar design featuring two sets of jaws: one set of gripping jaws firmly holds the jar and the other holds and twists the lid.
In order to operate One Touch and Robo Twist as seen on TV models, you need to install 2 AA batteries (not provided), place the opener on the lid of the jar that needs to be opened, press and hold the On/Off button for 3 seconds and let the opener to do its magic.
OpenEase jar opener made by Hamilton Beach comes with 2 AA batteries. The manufacturer specifies that the tool is intended only for glass jars with screw on lids. This device can open the lids 1-4″ in diameter.
Unlike as seen on TV model it has 2 buttons: “Open Jar” and “Release Lid”. In order to operate it: first, you need to push “release lid” button to open arms wide enough to place over jar lid. After that press “open jar” button. This will tighten arms around the jar and will open the lid. In the end, push the “release lid” button so the arms let go of the lid and the jar.
Please, view Robo Twist and Hamilton Beach OpenEase users’ manuals in Resources section.
Are There any restrictions of use?
All manufacturers of battery operated one touch jar openers instruct not to use their gadgets on plastic jars because the grabber arms can crush the jar. But a lot of people using Robo Twist, and some using OpenEase were able to unscrew lids on plastic jars with peanut butter and report that the plastic jars were opened. None of the battery operated jar openers are able to open screw on small caps like on a 2-liter soda bottle.
Things I like about one touch battery operated jar openers
a) they do open jars most of the time. In some instances, especially with OpenEase, you will need to hold the opener on the top of the jar with your hand preventing it from slipping.
Things I do not like about the battery operated automatic jar openers
a) they are noisy;
b) it takes a long time (from 20 seconds to up to 1 minute) for the gadget to open the jar. That is a long time to wait and listen to the loud whiny noise that machine makes;
c) one touch battery operated jar openers are not recommended by manufacturers for plastic jars;
d) all of the battery operated jar openers have just one year of manufacturer warranty. (Note. The Hammacher Schlemmer website now sells the Robotwist jar opener and Hammacher Schlemmer promises lifetime guarantee on all products it sells.)
Final thoughts on battery operated jar openers
They are loud, they are slow, they are not made for use on plastic jars, their warranty is not great, but battery operated one touch jar openers work most of the time. Does the benefit of not needing to apply force in order to open a jar outweigh mentioned negative points? It is for you to decide. But before making that decision keep on reading to learn about the alternatives.
A word of caution. If you decide to buy an automatic jar opener on Amazon that is not mentioned in this article because you saw hundreds of 5 star reviews (like here) – please be aware that sometimes automatic battery operated jar opener reviews do not match the product listed for sale, so be sure to scroll down and actually look through the latest reviews. Please, read my in depth article about hijacked Amazon reviews. It is especially important if you are gifting a jar opener to somebody, because your loved ones might get a piece of junk.
Corded electric jar openers
For the electric jar openers that plug into a wall outlet, the only significant player on the market is Black and Decker company with their Lids Off jar openers. Over the years Black and Decker produced few models: W 200, JW 250 and JW 275 that are used for opening regular and vacuum-style screw-top jars, and JW 4000 which is a multitool that opens jars, cans, and bottle.
According to ncsu.edu, the prototype of Lids Off was created by Yale University student Jen Davis which she called Twistmaster. Black & Decker acquired ownership of the Twistmaster in late 1999.
For whom is it made?
The first version of Lids Off appeared on the market in 2003. It was designed
to be accessible to people of all dexterity and strength levels, and to work with a wide range of jar and lid sizes. The general population – especially women – constituted the primary market because of difficulty in opening jars, particularly lids on vacuumed sealed jars. Secondary markets included the elderly, people with physical disabilities and children.
What can Lids Off open?
Lids Off jar openers adjust to fit almost any size, shape and material of the jar: large jars (pickles), narrow jars (capers), small jars ( baby food), jars with plastic lids (peanut butter). It opens most standard sized jars measuring up to 4 1/2″ in diameter and up to 8 inches in height.
JW 400 (Lids Off open-it -all center) is able to open regular and vacuum sealed screwtop jars, any size of cans without pull rings and bottles with metal caps.
How to operate it?
In order to operate Lids off jar opener you need:
1. Plug jar opener in a standard electric outlet.
2. Push back the Release button with the thumb, and lift the upper part of the device until it locks in the raised position.
3. Place the jar in the middle of the turntable.
4. Lower upper body of the opener until it rests on the lid of the jar.
5. Press the “On” button ( in JW 275 it looks like a dome on the top of the opener)
A set of lower jaws in the opener will hold the jar securely while the upper jaws will open the jar lid. Keep pressure the button until the lid is opened, (you will hear a “pop” if the jar is vacuum sealed; for screw-top jars – wait for one full turn of the jar on the turntable (about 10 seconds).
6. Remove the jar with loosened lid from the opener.
It is that easy and quick!
Watch a short YouTube video in Best Jar Openers for Arthritic Hands to see Lids Off JW 275 in action.
Final thoughts on Lids Off
All described Black and Decker Lids Off models collapse for easy storage.
Lids Off corded electric jar openers are handy and easy to use and maintain. The Lids Off JW 400 can cutter blade assembly is removable and dishwasher safe.
The negative point is that they are expensive. Also, Lids Off won’t work without electricity. They are made overseas and come with 1-year manufacturer warranty.
Despite the mentioned drawbacks, users with arthritis or weak hands, and those that can operate a device with just one hand, reported these machines as a blessing that gives them independence. You cannot put a price tag on that.
This device can make a wonderful gift for the aging parents or relatives.
Next step and alternatives to one touch jar openers
Now, take a look at the best performing one touch jar openers in the tables below for easy visual comparison side-by-side and pick one that is right for your situation.
If you want to read instructions on how to operate and care for the openers before buying it, visit manufacturers’manuals page in our resources section.
If you are interested in much cheaper but functional alternative to automatic jar openers, read the article about under cabinet jar openers.
Other related articles:
– battery operated (needs 2 AA batteries);
– just push and hold the button for 3 seconds to start ;
– works on lids 1.18 – 3.5″ in diameter
– not recommended for plastic jars;
– easy to clean – wipe with a damp cloth
-compact, store in a drawer;
– takes a long time to open a jar;
– perfect for people with arthritis, can be operated with one hand;
– 1-year warranty (or buy it with lifetime guarantee from Hammacher Schlemmer)
– battery operated (comes with 2 AA batteries);
– press “open jar” to start jar opening, and “release lid” to take the tool off the jar;
– works on lids 1 -4″ in diameter
-intended only for glass jars with screw-on lids. Do not use on plastic jars;
– to clean: wipe with a damp cloth
– compact: store in a drawer;
– takes long time to open the jar;
– perfect for people with arthritis , can be operated with one hand;
-1 year warranty
– plugs in an electric outlet;
– keep the pressure on a dome-like button until the jar is opened (it takes 10 seconds);
– promised to work on most standard sized jars: up to 4 1/2 inches wide and up to 8 inches tall;
-opens glass and plastic jars;
– easy to clean – wipe off the surface with damp cloth;
– opens jars quickly;
– perfect for people with arthritis, can be operated with one hand;
– 1-year warranty;