How To Open A Can Without A Can Opener

Knowing how to open a can without a can opener can be a life-saving survival skill that will surely come in handy in emergency situations. Learn how to do it yourself with these two ingenious life hacks.

RELATED: Canning vs. Freezing: What’s The Better Preservation Method

How to Open a Can Without a Can Opener | 2 Ingenious Life-Saving Methods You Need to Learn

Method 1: Using Only a Spoon

Caution: Use gloves for safety purposes. If you don’t have a glove, then grab a towel and wrap it around your hand.


  1. Hold the spoon with your dominant hand. Keep your pinky on the inside of the spoon and allow your thumb to control where it’s supposed to go.
  2. Start by grinding on the seam of the can with a lot of pressure.
  3. Rub the spoon against a part of the lid of the can in a back and forth motion and you should feel the metal thinning out.
  4. Once you break through part of the lid, it should now be easier to work through the rest of the top of the can.
  5. Try to leave a small part of the lid attached to the body before you scoop the lid out completely.

RELATED: A Step-By-Step Guide To Canning Chicken Safely At Home

Method 2: Using Only a Rough and Hard Surface


  1. Look for a rough and hard surface. Depending on where you are, it can be pretty much anything like a concrete pavement or even a rock if you’re out camping.
  2. Start by flipping the can over and rubbing it along the surface.
  3. Do this in a continuous, back-and-forth motion and you should feel the top of the can wearing down slowly.
  4. Pause after a few seconds and check to see the condition of the lid. The last thing you don’t want is to wear it down completely and have your food spilling on the ground.
  5. When you feel that you have worn the can down enough, you should be able to press down on it. The lid should come off cleanly and you should be able to access the food inside easily.

Now that you know how to open a can without a can opener, check out WatchMojo’s 10 survival skills that will definitely come in handy in emergency situations:

Learning how to open a can without a can opener might seem like an unnecessary skill to master. However, in an emergency situation, it is always best to be prepared for any kind of scenario, even the most seemingly unrealistic ones. You’ll never know when you’ll need it!

Other than learning how to open a can without a can opener, are there other survival skills you would like to know about? Ask us in the comments section below!


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