Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Something new and different

Most gadgets that purport to be revolutionary improvements over a traditional tool rarely live up to their reputations, and those that actually do the job a bit better (such as Cuisinarts) usually turn out to be fragile, difficult to clean and maintain, or prohibitively expensive.

One of the few exceptions is the Oxo Smooth Edge Can Opener.

It's an innovative manual opener that offers three advantages over the traditional can opener:
• As the name suggests, it leaves a smooth edge when it separates lid from can (no jagged edges to handle as you wash or dispose of the can).
• After the lid is cut, you use a little pincer tool on the edge of the opener to lift the lid completely off the can (eliminates the spraying of the contents of the can that usually occurs when you flip a lid back).
• The cutting mechanism rarely comes in contact with the contents of the can, so it needs minimal cleaning.

It was the third point that sold me, since I loathe cleaning tuna fish juices out of the gears of a traditional can opener. That always seems to take repeated scrubbing with lots of soap and hot water, and once the gears stop smelling fishy, they start smelling soapy. And, in a few weeks, the frequently washed can opener has unattractive (and probably unsanitary) corroded gears.

The Oxo is so subtle to use that the first time I tried it I didn't realize that the lid had been separated from the can. Eventually, I took a chance and applied the little pincers and the lid lifted completely off, leaving me staring into smooth pool of olive oil filled with Italian tuna. Yum!

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