Judith is a fairy in the world of writing: she manages to turn any topic (far not only a kitchen-related) into an entertaining text that is so easy and educating to read. Fond of gardening, reading, and cooking, of course.
Emily has over 10 years of professional experience using, testing and comparing kitchen appliances. Her knowledge helps to easily and naturally solve everyday problems. She is also the owner of the lifestyle blog emilyreviews.com
Last updated: June 10, 2021
For people with arthritis, things like opening a jar of sauce, which are otherwise easy to do, can be a struggle. A jar opener comes in handy in such case, with the best jar openers for arthritic hands helping you pop the lids off most jars and bottles easily in just seconds.
We’ve reviewed 13 top products so far and singled out our editor’s choice, EZ Off Jar Opener, as the best jar opener for people with arthritis, owing to its convenience, practical design, and durability. We also tested five other popular jar openers and identified the best features in each. We hope that, in this review, you’ll find the ideal jar opener for your condition.
Our research entailed looking at all the important features in a jar opener for arthritis. We considered the type, whether manual or automatic, and how this may affect usability for a person with limited hand mobility. We also looked at the lid sizes each jar opener can open. Other things we considered are the dimensions of the jar opener, its weight and how this determines who can use the product and where they can use it, and the warranty, specifically looking at what guarantees and protections you get from the manufacturer. For easy perusal, we’ve included a summary table, in-detail reviews of each product, and a buying guide that shows you how to evaluate jar openers for arthritis in greater detail during purchase.
The EZ Off Jar Opener is specifically made to open twist-style lids and does a fantastic job on all types and sizes of jars. Note that it won’t replace a can opener because it is not designed to open cut-style cans.
It installs easily under the cabinet, meaning it won’t take up any space on your counter, and comes with three screws to fix it into place. These are short screws, so designed to ensure that they don’t go through the cabinet and damage it. It also has a strong, pre-attached peel-and-stick adhesive that doesn’t come off with time, which holds the opener firmly while you fix the screws. We tried a little experiment and concluded that the adhesive is strong enough to hold the opener under pressure, and you can open jars with just the adhesive holding the opener in place.
Once installed, the jar opener is super easy to operate. You only need to place one hand on the jar to steady it, and then twist the jar, and the opener will loosen the lid.
What are our favorite features?
Opens all lid sizes
Comes with installation screws and strong adhesive
The Black & Decker JW200 Lids Off Jar Opener is designed for use on screw on/off lids with a diameter of 4.5 inches or less and no taller than 8 inches. One of the things we love most about this jar opener is that it’s very easy to use. All you have to do is lift the handle, place the jar on the turntable base, lower the upper part of the opener so that it rests on top of the jar, and press the ON/OFF button continuously until the lid is loosened. Then you can remove the jar and lid.
Should you unwittingly place a can in the jar opener and it gets stuck, turn the can counterclockwise and press the release button at the same time. Another thing we like about this jar opener is that it is collapsible, which makes storage easy.
However, we noticed that the rubber grips on the inside move about, which is unfortunate because should yours come off, you won’t get replacements since Black & Decker no longer makes this model.
The instecho Automatic Jar Bottle Opener is an electric wonder tool that runs on two AA batteries, which means you don’t need any muscle strength to operate it. Simply place the jar opener on top of the jar and press the button on top of the gadget to turn it on. The grips will hold the jar firmly to keep it from tipping over, and the opener will tighten around the lid and loosen it. No effort is required from you.
It’s designed for lids that are 4 inches (or smaller) in diameter, and best of all, you can use it on taller jars because there is no height limit.
The only blot on this otherwise fabulous product is that it does not come with batteries. But this shouldn’t be a problem because AA batteries are widely available and affordable too.
This stores easily in a drawer, but it needs a somewhat deep drawer given that it measures 6.8″ (L) x 2.5″ (W) x 4.3″ (D). If your drawers are small, you can place it in an open box on your counter.
The Kuhn Rikon The Gripper Jar Opener is designed to open lids that are 1 to 3.5 inches in diameter and works great on both grooved and smooth-sided lids. Its long handle gives you a firm grasp and makes the process easy and comfortable. The teeth and clamp are designed to cover the lid without extending to the jar itself, which means it carries no risk of damaging the jar.
It’s easy to operate, but you’ll need to use both hands. For people with advanced arthritis who may have little hand strength, this can take quite some effort. To open a jar, place the jar opener over the jar with the teeth facing down, and then rotate the turn-knob clockwise. This tightens the jaws onto the lid and locks the jar opener into place. Keep a steady hold on the jar, then push the handle counterclockwise to open the lid. Next, loosen the-knob to release the lid. That’s all.
A little detail we couldn’t help noticing is that it’s molded from hardy plastic and feels sturdy and well-made; you’ll probably be counting on it to serve you for a long time.
The Rtreek Jar Opener is made from hard plastic for durability. Its non-skid design, along with metal teeth that have a solid grip on lids, ensures that jars don’t slip while you’re trying to open them. You can use it on jars that are 1–4 inches in diameter, and it works as desired on a wide range of metal and plastic lids. The pointed end of the jar opener is designed for opening ring-pull cans. Simply insert the end into the ring to widen the gap, and then use your finger to pull the ring. The handle is made in an ergonomic design for extra comfort and grip, which adds to the tool’s ease of use.
The jar opener only weighs 2.4 ounces, so it’s not a burden to lift or carry. You can easily carry it in your purse or put it in the car for ease in opening jars and drink bottles when traveling. It stores easily in the drawer, or you can hang it on a hook via the detachable aesthetic circle on the top of the jar opener.
If you’re looking for a solidly-built jar opener that will last, The Pampered Chef Jar Opener is a good choice to consider. While it’s made from plastic, it is very sturdy and weighty in your hand, and doesn’t look like it could break under any circumstance. The metal teeth are carefully inserted into the opening and firmly set, so they won’t be coming loose either.
It’s designed for lids with a diameter of up to 3½ inches, which covers the majority of jars. The easiest way to use the jar opener for people with arthritis is by installing it under the cabinet using screws, in which case you only need to hold the jar under the opener, turn it to tighten the jar opener on the lid, and then turn the handle to loosen the lid. People with greater hand strength can turn the jar opener by hand without installing it first. In this case, you hold the jar steady with one hand and turn the lever with the other.
A soft-grip handle provides a cushy holding surface for your hands and makes it comfortable to use.
What do we love it for?
Soft grip handle
Easy to use
What were we disappointed with?
Can be hard to maneuver on larger jars when used by hand
Can’t open larger lids
Things to Consider
The reviews we’ve covered above clearly outline the different types of jar openers for people with arthritis available on the market and how each works. For example, some are automatic and some are manual. Some are great for opening small jars, while others open jar lids of all sizes. What’s clear is that some jar openers are a better choice for you than others, depending on the severity of your arthritis and how much hand strength and mobility you have. Let’s now look at how jar openers can help people with arthritis and how to choose the right one.
How jar openers help people with arthritis deal with jar lids
Lack of hand strength and a weak grip are some of the debilitating effects that people with arthritis have to live with. Consequently, the affected have a hard time doing simple everyday tasks like opening jars. Jar openers do all the heavy lifting so you don’t have to struggle with twisting jar and bottle lids trying to pry them open.
Automatic jar openers especially are convenient as you only have to place the jar opener on top of the jar, press a button, and it does the rest. Manual jar openers take some effort to turn, but they are still 100 times better than opening the lid by hand.
How to pick the best jar opener for arthritic hands
It’s no use having a jar opener if it ranks low on the usability scale. You want something that you can count on to pop the lid off any jar you lay your hands on. And this means you have to choose the correct jar opener to begin with. To do so, you’re going to need to know what makes a good jar opener for people with arthritis, which is what we’ll address next.
Jar opener types
The type of a jar opener that will suit you best is probably the first thing you should decide on. In general, there are manual and electric openers, but you can actually find more features and benefits in each, like the ability to be mounted, or portability.
Automatic jar openers – Electric, extremely easy to use, and require no effort from your side. On the flip side, you must connect them to a power source – either batteries or a power outlet-for them to work.
Manual jar openers – Require some amount of effort to open jars, which is their main disadvantage, the other one being that they can break when you use too much force. But they’re adaptable and can open jars of different shapes, and they don’t require a power source.
Mounted jar openers – Installed under, say, a cabinet, which means you can only operate them from this fixed spot.
Portable jar opener – You can take these with you wherever you go.
What lid sizes can it fit?
Choose a jar opener that can fit most if not all the common jar lid sizes. Most jar and bottle lids are between 1–4 inches, and a lot of the jar openers on the market cater for this. A few, like Black & Decker JW200 Lids Off Jar Opener, fit lids of up to 4.5 inches, so this won’t be a challenge.
Dimensions and weight
The best jar openers for arthritis are lightweight and non-bulky. If the product is too big, it will be unwieldy and difficult to maneuver. If it’s a design with a handle, check that the handle is long enough to ensure your comfort so that it’s not awkward and a hindrance.
Having these additional features makes using the jar opener invariably easier:
Dishwasher safe and rust resistant construction – You want a jar opener that you can put in the dishwasher for stress-free cleaning, like the Rtreek Jar Opener. It’s also important for the metal parts to be rust free, especially the teeth.
Non-slip grip – Ensures that even if your hands get shaky, the jar won’t slip from the opener and break or cause a mess.
Ergonomic handle – This will ensure that the handle is comfortable and does not strain your palm, causing pain.
Doubles up as a can opener/bottle opener – If the jar opener can also open cans and bottles, it’s a double win for you since you get to open different containers with the same tool. Some good choices are Rtreek Jar Opener, which comes with a ring-can opener, and instecho Automatic Jar Bottle Opener, which is also a bottle opener.
How much do jar openers usually cost?
For the most part, jar openers are affordable, with a good number of the manual type selling for less than $10 and an equally large number selling for between $10 and $15. There is no fixed range, though, and you’ll come across manual units that cost more than $25, like The Pampered Chef Jar Opener.
Automatic jar openers are often more expensive than manual ones, with models like the instecho Automatic Jar Bottle Opener going for more than $40. You can find plenty of good ones with prices between $10 and $25, and a few in the $30–35 range. You could also come across discounted offers for both manual and automatic jar openers, and these can significantly bring down the cost.
If the jar opener has several extra features, such as ergonomic soft grip and dual style of use in The Pampered Chef, you can expect the price to be a little higher, in which case it may be justifiable to pay more for it, so always weigh your options.
Yes. Jar openers will open bottle lids, provided the lid is within the manufacturer’s recommended size range; if unsure about the model you’re buying, confirm with the manufacturer. The lid has to be of equal or smaller diameter than that of the jar opener. Fortunately, most manufacturers design jar openers that will open all the standard sizes of lids. And bottle lids are much smaller than jar lids so they fit into the jar opener effortlessly. Don’t worry about the opening being too big; the jar opener is designed to press in and grip the bottle lid to open it.
Manual jar openers can break if you apply too much exertion when turning the handle, but you would have to apply a lot of force for this to happen. So, if you consider the low possibility of breakage, you can say that, yes, manual jar openers last longer. Automatic jar openers do not require muscle power to operate, which eliminates any likelihood of them breaking. On the other hand, automatic jar openers rely on an electric mechanism to run. And there’s always the possibility that the mechanism could malfunction, rendering the jar opener inoperable. In this case, manual jar openers have an advantage over automatic ones.
They can shred the lid, especially if they are very sharp. For this to happen, however, you’d need to use a lot of force when opening the lid. To ensure that your jar opener does not shred your lids, avoid using unnecessary effort when twisting the opener. In any case, the jar opener does not take too much effort to turn. If you find yourself clenching the handle too tightly to the extent that the muscles around your elbow tighten, you’re applying excessive force. Instead, press the handle firmly toward the lid, and then relax your hand as you begin to turn the handle.
Our top choice, EZ Off Jar Opener, impresses with its ability to open all jar lid sizes. It also goes under the cabinet, a plus that makes it perfect when counter space is a challenge. We also like how easy it is to install and use.
Our second choice is Black & Decker JW200 Lids Off Jar Opener, an automatic jar opener for lids that are up to 4.5 inches in diameter and 8 inches tall. It’s easy to use, doesn’t need installation, and you can collapse it so that it takes up little space during storage.
Third on our list of best jar openers for arthritic hands is the instecho Automatic Jar Bottle Opener, whose biggest attraction is its automatic design, which means you do not require hand strength to use it. It opens a wide variety of jar lids and you can use it on jars of any height.