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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 of a can, the cutting device orbits the drum until its upper surface is severed.

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

Can-Do can opener

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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.

Can-Do can opener

 

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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 are 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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