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Kitchen gadgets review: Can-Do – a cut above ordinary can openers

What?

The Can-Do (£13.50, johnlewis.com) is a circular blade and cog fixed to a plastic disc. When clamped to the upper rim, the cutting device orbits the drum until its upper surface is severed.

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Why?

Anything a can do, Can-Do does better. Look, it’s a can opener, what do you want?

Can-Do can opener

The Can-Do fits neatly on top of a standard can. Photograph: Teri Pengilley for the Guardian
Well? Modern life can feel like a treadmill of novelty variation, like Comic Relief red noses for a less good cause. I guess artificial lungs and contactless cards, and slipper socks are OK. But sometimes, I find myself pouring milk into a single-serve, waxed-paper porridge pouch – containing mostly sugar and crack cocaine, I think – and the “fill to here” line makes me feel singularly depressed. Is all the good stuff invented already? Innovation may be a double-edged concept, but this week I found a double-edged cutting device that successfully reinvents the wheel – or, at least, the circle. It’s a space-saving can opener, shaped like a mini air-hockey paddle with the volume of a scone.

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Can-Do can opener

The grippy handle plucks off the lid once it is cut … Photograph: Teri Pengilley for the Guardian
Do we need it? Well, traditional can openers are awful. They’re large and cumbersome, like outmoded Victorian obstetrics equipment. They hold a certain fascination – the meshed teeth on the head are like the exposed face of a monstrous nematode – but they’re the ugliest thing in the kitchen. At best, they’re reminiscent of pruning shears.

Can-Do can opener

… and a button on the side flicks out the lid. Photograph: Teri Pengilley for the Guardian
Can-Do is pretty. Operation is familiar, too, with the piercing clench and the rotating screw. But it sits neatly above the can, the handle built-in, with no arms. The design is elegant, so petite, and curvy. You could call it the Kylie Minogue of can manipulators, but women-to-cookware comparisons are a hot-button issue. Speaking of hot buttons, this has one, which pops out when Can-Do is locked on. After cutting, the severed head is gripped in place; press the button, and the lid is flicked disdainfully into the bin. You never handle the sharp edge by hand – a nice touch, literally. It’s easy to clean, simple, space-efficient, and affordable. The name is a bit Scrappy-Doo for my liking, but it’s a pun, so I approve. Can-Do has more class than the Ucas handbook and opens a can of whoop-ass on everything else around.

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