3 Kitchen Gadgets to Protect Your Precious Hands

Are you struggling to get jars, bottles, and cans open? Before you resort to using your teeth, please read this! Through my 28 years of practice as an occupational therapist, one of the biggest challenges people with hand injuries, chronic hand pain, or arthritis endure, is the inability to open a jar, bottle, or can. In recent years, this has been a challenge for me, too! If you’re having hand or wrist pain or if your hands are your life and you want to protect those precious hands, these are my top three favorite kitchen gadget recommendations. Each gadget helps reduce the use of force that can cause pain and repetitive stress on your hands, fingers, wrists, and forearms.

And just so you know, I do not receive any compensation as a result of these endorsements!

  1.  The 5-in-1 Opener:  This opener is extremely versatile and, as the name implies, it serves five different purposes.  

    • The 5 in 1 can replace your standard bottle opener, so you can get rid of that one in your kitchen drawer to free up space!                                                The 5-in-1 Opener Link

    • The hook can be used on a pull tab to open that can of soup without any joint pain.

    • Flip the hook around and it can be used to pop the seal of a new jar. This is simply miraculous as once the seal is broken, the jar is a piece of cake to open. Try using a ‘C’ grip position if opening by hand, as this dramatically reduces stress on the basal joint of your thumb. Remember, protect those precious hands. Brute force is not a good option, so if you are still unable to open it, see gadget number two.                                      

    • The round end of the 5-in-1 can be used to open a standard pop bottle cap with ease.

    • Turn this tool around, and the opposite end can be used for a tab top, such as on a pop can, as the illustration shows.

  2. The 6-in-1 Opener:  This opener is similar to the previous opener, but it offers additional functions and versatility.  There are some duplicate functions to the 5-in-1 tool, but you can purchase the pair together on Amazon, so I recommend ordering both.

    • Have you ever been frustrated by a package that says “tear here to open,” but you can’t tear it?  The 6-in-1 opener has a hidden blade. Slide that hidden blade across the package, and tear it with ease!   The 6-in-1 Opener Link

    • Use the large end to open a larger jar or bottle. Remember, always pop the seal first using the hook on the 5-in-1, as this reduces the force needed to open a new jar!

    • The smaller end of the 6-in-1 is more versatile than the 5-in-1 because it is adjustable. It can open a standard size pop bottle and slightly larger bottles.

    • Letter "E" in the picture illustrates the use of the center of the opener to peel open an aluminum seal. Honestly, I cannot get this to work. Instead, I have found the hook to be more effective. Just pierce the plastic or aluminum seal with the hook and then run the hook around the bottle and the seal comes off easily. 

    • The hook on the end is another option for opening pull tabs, but I must say the hook on the 5-in-1 works better for me!

    • Like the 5-in-1, the 6-in-1 can be used as a standard bottle opener.

  3. Electric Opener: If you are looking for an electric can opener that is small and easy to operate, the Kitchen Mama is for you! I greatly dislike clutter on my countertops, so I love the small size of this can opener, which fits easily into my kitchen gadget drawer. It is also battery operated and it cuts the outside of the can, completely eliminating sharp edges. Operation is as simple as pressing a button. This was on my Christmas list and Santa delivered! Perhaps my favorite Christmas present!                        Electric Opener Link


Rather than using brute force that may lead to joint pain—or for an aging parent or friend who no may not have the hand strength—consider the use of adaptive devices in the kitchen. These tools reduce stress on joints and greatly improve the ease of completing functional tasks. We hope you will find that one or more of these kitchen gadgets helps you protect your hands from injury and strain!


~ Lori Erner MS, OTR/L, CHT ~