in: Featured, Manly Know-How, Skills, Visual Guides

Skill of the Week: Open a Can Without a Can Opener

Open a can without an opener illustration.

An important part of manhood has always been about having the competence to be effective in the world — having the breadth of skills, the savoir-faire, to handle any situation you find yourself in. With that in mind, each Sunday we’ll be republishing one of the illustrated guides from our archives, so you can hone your manly know-how week by week.

Do you remember the scene in The Road where the boy and his father discover an untouched, perfectly stocked survival bunker? The hungry nomads happily gape as they take in crate after crate of canned goods, an unbelievable oasis in an otherwise desolate, apocalyptic landscape. The pair liberate the contents of the cans with a can opener, and make a dinner of canned pears and peaches; “They licked the spoons and tipped the bowls and drank the rich sweet syrup.”

But what if father and son hadn’t found a can opener amongst the supplies? Fortunately, as long as they knew some alternative opening methods, they wouldn’t have been out of luck. 

Despite how impenetrable they may seem, cans of food are made from fairly thin aluminum. Exploiting the can’s weakness with a variety of tools is easy. Here are three ways to get at your next meal if ever you find yourself without a can opener.

Illustrated by Ted Slampyak

Related Posts