My poor mom suffered with arthritis and joint pain in her hands and fingers. My mom-in-law did, too, as does Esther’s. Because of arthritis and general use over a lifetime, many seniors find it difficult or almost impossible to open stubborn jars.
You can try running the jar lids under hot water, tapping the edge of the lid gently against a kitchen counter, or even heating up the lid with a hair dryer to loosen the seal. But these activities can be dangerous (what if you break the jar while you are trying to open it?), so it is better to use a tool to open a jar.
Here is our list of the best jar openers for arthritis sufferers. These have been tested in our own kitchens or that of our senior parents, so we know how well they work!
If you’re looking for the easiest way to open jars, choose your best jar opener from the following. And just so you know, any of these can make a great gift.
Easiest Jar Openers
Battery Powered Jar Opener For Weak Hands
This is the coolest jar opener ever! Okay – it is a little on the slow side, but it is almost hands-free, it fits in a kitchen drawer and it works great for anyone with a weaker grip.
This automatic jar opener is super simple to use – just put it over the lid of a jar, push the “Open Jar” button and watch it work. You may not even mind that it’s slow because it’s sort of entertaining to watch the little arms close against the lid and the top, give a simple twist and open the jar.
This opens lids from 1.2 inches to 3.5 inches and runs on 2 AA batteries.
The drawback to this one is that it can’t open a lid smaller than a baby jar size and can only go up to about 4″ wide.
This very good jar opener actually made it on to my own Christmas list this year because my husband now has arthritis in both thumbs and he’s my designated jar opener. We feature this on our comprehensive gift guide, too.
Black & Decker JW200 Lids Off Jar Opener
This is a super-useful automatic jar opener that Esther’s mom-in-law has had and used for years. She’s 100 years young now (!) and still uses this frequently. It’s the best option for someone with severely arthritic hands and/or poor hand strength.
This electric jar opener can open just about any size lid. It plugs into a wall socket, which means it sits on the counter instead of being hidden away in a drawer. But, it can open a wide range of jars ranging from baby food size to peanut butter jars and more – anything up to 4-1/2 inches in diameter and 8 inches high.
The drawbacks to this one are that it takes up counter space and can’t open any jar taller than 8″ high. So, if you don’t have much space on your kitchen counter, this may not be a good product for you.
It’s also fairly heavy, weighing about 3.5 pounds, so it may not be easy for a frailer senior to lift up onto the counter if they choose to store it in a cabinet. That said, it is very easy to operate!
Runners Up – Manual Jar Openers
Manual jar openers can be a great option for those suffering from arthritis. These devices can be placed over the top of a jar and then twisted to open it, without requiring much grip strength.
Jar Gripper Tool
This one requires a little more effort than the battery operated jar opener we just mentioned, but it’s still convenient for someone with arthritis. It’s got a V-shaped gripper so you can use it on progressively smaller (or larger) lids. Just place the gripper tool over the top of a jar lid, hold it with a firm grip and twist to get the lid off.
The nice thing about this one is that it can unscrew a jar with a lid as large as those wide mouth canning lids but as small as the cap of a soda bottle – so almost any size jar lid.
If it’s too difficult to twist lids off, this does come with mounting screws so it can be hung under a cabinet. That way, a senior can use both hands to hold the jar while twisting the lid off.
Oxo Good Grips Jar Opener
If you’re looking for a jar opener that will give you a better grip, we recommend the Oxo Good Grips Jar Opener.
Jar and Bottle Opener Set
This is touted as being specially designed for weak hands. I agree – with one exception.
The bigger tool is useful for large jars. But the person has to have enough strengthen to simultaneously grip the handle, hold it closed, and twist. I am not sure that a frail senior could use it well. That said, I love the one I have.
The smaller tools are great for opening soda cans, water bottles or pulling the ring on the top of cans without much effort. You can pop off soda tops and slice open bags with the hidden blade.
There’s also a great bottle opener tool included as well.
Under Cabinet Jar and Bottle Opener
This handy, dandy tools is mounted under a kitchen cabinet jar opener works great on jars and bottle caps. It can be used on a wide variety of jars from small to large.
Even pickle jars. Plus, it’s easy to use if you have some hand strength. I love that it is mounted under a cabinet, making it out of the way and easy to use.
Long Handle Jar Opener
IF you prefer a long handled jar opener, then this one by Kuhn Rikon works very well. It’s ergonomic design makes it easier for some to handle.
There you have it – our recommendations for the best jar openers for arthritic hands. Whether you need help with glass or plastic jars, bottles or cans, there’s a tool to help you.
Whether you choose an automatic opener or a manual one, we hope you find one that makes your life a little easier. Do you have a favorite jar opener that we didn’t mention? Let us know by emailing us today.