If you've ever spent 10 minutes banging a glass jar against the kitchen counter or twisting it until you're short of breath, you know that opening jars is tough — and if you have arthritis, it's even tougher. However, the best jar openers for arthritis allow you to pop lids off with greater ease.
When shopping around for one, first think about size. How big are your jars? Standard mason jar lids are typically about 2.3 to 2.75 inches wide, while peanut butter jars and other condiments often run 3.2 to 3.4 inches. For most practical purposes, 3.5 inches will be plenty, but if you use lots of oversized containers, you may want to consider something in the 4- to 4.5-inch range.
Next, think about materials. Stainless steel is the strongest, particularly for the teeth which need to be able to clamp down on the jar properly. Handles and other components can be plastic, as long as they're strong and durable. It's also helpful if they have a rubber or vinyl coating for grip.
Finally, evaluate the ease of use. There's no point in having a jar opener that doesn't make the task any easier for you. Whether you go with a spring-loaded, twist-off, under-the-cabinet, or fully electric style, reading the reviews is a great way to make sure it works smoothly.
To help you out, I've done the research and compiled a list of the best jar openers for arthritis below.
1. The Best Overall
Maximum lid size: 3.7 inches
What's great about it: Specifically designed for arthritic hands, this Kichwit arthritis jar opener is easy to use and super effective. It's made with sturdy stainless steel on the bottom to grip your jar and a strong plastic handle on top that's easy to twist. The material is durable and rust-resistant, and the whole thing only weighs 4.4 ounces. As a bonus, it's affordable and comes with a free bottle opener.
What fans say: "Very easy to open jars, even with my arthritis. No hard pressure needed. With one hand on the jar and the other on the Kichwit, twist the handle until it is gripping the top of the jar, then apply a small amount of pressure ... The jar opens easily."
2. The Runner-Up
Maximum lid size: 4.5 inches
What's great about it: This Swing-A-Way jar opener is another great pick for folks with arthritis that's similar to the first one but with a slightly different method. While the other pick has a ratchet-style opening mechanism, this one, which boasts more than 1,500 reviews, relies on a spring-loaded lever. It has tough, steel construction and an ergonomic handle coated in soft rubber. Simple to use, reviewers say it works well.
What fans say: "As my arthritis progresses, I find that I cannot get a good grip to open a pickle jar any more. I went all through my pitiful collection of jar openers and found some that were too small and others that were too large; none that were the right size. So, I tossed them all out. This has a ratcheting mechanism that instantly adjusts to the jar size so it gets the best grip. Chrome-plated steel with a padded vinyl handle grip. This will last."
3. The Best Under-The-Cabinet Opener
Maximum lid size: 6 inches (based on reviews)
What's great about it: Instead of a manual twist- or pop-off design that you use on top of the counter, this under-the-cabinet jar opener for arthritis is designed to be attached below a cabinet or under the kitchen sink. Just slide the jar in, rotate it to the left, and voilà — effortless lid removal. Reviewers found installation pretty simple: just peel back the sticky adhesive and place it where you want it. Then, use the included screws to secure it in place. The device has a strong plastic casing and firm metal teeth.
What fans say: "Once in a while you stumble on a product that is better than advertised. This is one of them. Having arthritis in my hands, I struggle to open some large jars. This works like a charm and makes it a one-handed operation. Following the advice of another reviewer, we mounted it ‘backwards’ so the point of the V is towards the front of the cupboard rather than the back. This allows us to pull the jar towards us, rather than pushing it away. It also means we can’t see the metal teeth from our sofa. Now I want to open every jar in the house"
4. The Best Electric Jar Opener
Maximum lid size: 3.46 inches
What's great about if: If you want to take the simplicity of lid opening one step further, this electric jar opener does the entire job for you. Best of all, it doesn't even require a cord or electrical outlet. The battery-operated device, which weighs less than 1 pound, is ultra-compact and fully cordless. Just slide it over the top of any jar and press the button — it will pop the lid off in seconds. It has an easy, no-slip clamp that lets you to open wet or slippery jars, and the grips expand up to 3.46 inches.
What fans say: "I absolutely love this opener. I have very little strength in my hands, and I cannot ever open a jug of milk. I reached for this opener, and that solved my problem. I have opened many jars without any problem. Will purchase another one when this one wears out. It's a great gift for anyone who has arthritis or weakness in their hand."
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