Alternative Ways to Open the Can

Alternative Ways to Open the Can

As a prepper, stockpiling food should be high on your list of priorities. Canned foods make a part of that up and a can opener would usually be needed. But what happens when the can opener breaks or you forget to add one altogether? How are you going to open the cans to get that precious food supply out? Well actually, you have a few methods that we are going to look at today.

Safety Note: All of the methods shown below involve a measure of risk. Please use caution should you attempt any of these methods.

Concrete/Flat Stone

Rub the lid of the can on a piece of concrete until it wears through the top rim. This method is going to be messy – and you’ll want to be careful and watch out for metal shards and concrete / rock dust.

This is easier than you think as the lid of the can is quite thin with a rolled seam. You will see moisture on the concrete as you get closer to removing the lid. Keep going until you can remove the lid easily or pry it off using your knife.

Wipe the edges of the can before opening to remove as much of the metal shards and concrete dust as possible.

Use a Spoon

push down with the tip of the spoon against the inner edge of the can and start rubbing. It won’t take long for the spoon to penetrate the lid and you can carve around the can with the spoon’s edge.

Flat-Nose Pliers

With the pliers, pinch and twist the outer rim of the can. Work your way around the circumference of the can, carefully breaking the seal. Once you have broken the seal, use the pliers again to pinch the edge of the lid and pull upwards.


  • Place one prong on the can’s outer edge.
  • Press down until the prong penetrates the lid.
  • Work the fork up and down to tear the metal, slowly turning the can as you go.
  • Once you have progressed, you may find it easier to flip the fork to give yourself better leverage.


This is very dangerous so please be careful and use extra caution. Stand the can up straight and place the tip of the blade on the outer surface. Gently strike the end of the handle until the tip pierces the can. Then work your way around the outer edge of the can. You could also use the same method with your axe.


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