4 Jar Opening Tools That Actually Work

Struggling to figure out how to open a stuck jar? Reach for one of these easy and affordable jar opener tools. Here you'll learn about jar opener tool models you can buy online starting under $5, learn why medical pros recommend arthritis jar openers, plus discover tricks to open a jar without any extra equipment whatsoever.

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We've likely all been there, fought that (be it a jar of pickles, marinara sauce, salsa, or otherwise). Yep, we're talking about how to open a stuck jar lid. Whether it's due to tired or sore hands, light grip strength, or a simply an over-the-top stubborn lid, you need not fight with it elbow grease alone. Many medical pros recommend calling in reinforcements by way of a jar opener tool, especially if you have arthritis or struggle in general with gripping items. Read on for how to open a tight jar and for the dish about the best jar openers that can be delivered to your door to help you tackle the tough ones.

person opening jar of pickles in kitchen
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Why Jar Opener Tools Are a Good Investment (Plus Who Benefits Most From Jar Openers)

While feisty, tightly-fit jar lids can affect even the most dexterous humans on the planet, more jars will likely trouble us as we age and lose grip strength or notice achy joints.

"I recommend jar openers to all my patients with arthritis since they often struggle with daily activities because of the constant pain during and after using their hands," says Yeiddy Ferreira, an occupational therapist at Westmed Medical Group in Purchase, New York. "Opening jars is so challenging for patients with arthritis because the condition debilitates the joints, most commonly those of the thumbs. A jar opener can protect hand joints, decrease pain, and increase functionality."

It can save you a lot of time and stress, too. It's truly all about mechanics when you're considering how to open a stuck jar. Many important hand tasks, including gripping, grasping, and pinching, originate from the thumb, Ferreira explains. Since individuals with arthritic hands have "worn out" thumb joints, their thumbs are often stiff, swollen, weak, and have a limited range of motion.

"It's guaranteed that patients would then most likely have a hard time not only opening jars, but also any activity that requires force coming from the thumb joints," Ferreira adds.

4 of the Best Jar Openers Money Can Buy

Starting under $5 and topping out at $30, these electric jar openers, rubber jar openers, and grip-boosters will help make quick work out of opening tight lids.

EZ Off Easy Grip One Handed Jar Opener

EZ Off Easy Grip One Handed Jar Opener

Amazon

Cabinet-mounted openers, like this EZ Off Jar Opener, are Ferreira's top recommendation. It's a breeze to install as well: Simply expose the sticky back, press it on the cabinet with the "V" facing toward you, and secure with three screws. Then it's good to go. "I was home all alone for the weekend and had the entire dinner made and could not get the bottle open! It was defeating and embarrassing," one five-star reviewer raves. "I searched for something that would not take up any room in my kitchen and found this product...Get the jar in the teeth all the way back. Once it is secure, then turn! It is that easy. No more worrying when I am alone that dinner will be ruined."

Price at time of publish: $23

Hammacher Schlemmer The Automatic Jar Opener

The Automatic Jar Opener

Hammacher Schlemmer

For an even easier option that's ideal if you struggle to lift or twist the jar into the EZ Off Jar Opener, employ this AA battery-powered automatic jar opener. Its robotic top twists off lids with the touch of the button, then the two padded, curvy arms press in on the jar's exterior while the motor spins the lid to untwist it in a flash. "This is an extremely useful item for those with weak hands and wrists who find opening jars to be either painful or impossible," says one purchaser. "It works on a wide variety of jar sizes...is a reasonably compact size for what it does, and stores well in a normal kitchen drawer."

Price at time of publish: $30

Norpro Red Silicone Jar Opener

Red Silicone Jar Opener

Amazon

The most affordable of the bunch, rubber gripper jar openers earn an honorable mention from Ferreira. "The rubber material creates some friction, which helps open the jar while protecting hand joints and not putting much pressure on the thumbs," she says. Since the silicone is heat-resistant up to 465°F, the dishwasher-safe jar opener tool can also play double-duty as a trivet or oven mitt. A reviewer says, "We've had other jar openers similar to this, but they were thinner and not made of a high-grade material. This one is just the right thickness to provide a good grip without being too thick, which would make it clumsy to use."

Price at time of publish: $5

JAPI 4-Pack Bottle Can and Jar Grip Openers

JAPI 4-Pack Bottle Can and Jar Grip Openers

Amazon

Consider this four-part, dishwasher-safe jar opener tool kit like the Instant Pot of the jar opener space; able to tackle a variety of tasks with ease—and fast. The 6-in-1 can opener can help with soda can tabs, bottle tops, and beyond, the 5-in-1 bottle opener rocks with screw caps and lids, the 4-in-1 nonslip jar opener tool can twist off stuck lids, and the nonslip rubber pad can help finish the job. Each jar opener gripper is ergonomically designed and "heavy duty," according to one fan. "I haven't found a bottle I can't open since I received them. Would definitely recommend them!"

3 Tricks to Open a Jar Without a Jar Opener Tool

If you don't have arthritis but do have a majorly obstinate jar lid, try these quick and easy tricks to open a jar.

  1. Tap it. Using a wooden spoon or sturdy butter knife, tap the lid of the jar a few times to try to loosen or shift the seal enough to budge the lid.
  2. Pop the seal. Holding the jar in your non-dominant hand with the lid facing more toward the floor than the sealing, tilt it at a 45-degree angle. With the center of your palm, slap the base of the jar firmly (but not so hard that it hurts your hand, of course). Listen for a slight "pop" noise—that's the seal being broken, which means the lid should be much easier to open.
  3. Apply some heat. Warming the lid may help it expand a bit, perhaps enough to loosen its grip on the jar. Try blowing a warm hair dryer around the lid for about 30 seconds or run the lid under hot water for 30 seconds. Using a dry dish towel, wipe off any moisture and try to open the jar.

With this guide for how to open a stuck jar, you'll never be in a pinch come dinnertime when your meal plan includes canned fruits or vegetables, jams, pickles, salsas, or any jar with a lid. Bonus: Many of these jar openers can make speedy work out of opening nail polish bottles and soda bottles, too.

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