So I’m sad about my can opener… dealing with it a very “Mike” sort of way.

This letter (sent to the manufacturer) is my initial attempt to address what I feel is a disappointing consumer situation that has a clear and obvious remedy. I hope to follow this post with another happier one in the near future!

What do you think? Will the Swiss let me down? I have my fingers crossed.

My epic tale of can opener woe…

I have the white one.


Dear Kuhn Rikon,

Almost four years ago I went on a glorious mission to replace the old can opener I stole from my mother when I moved away from home for the first time. It was very old (one of the traditional “swing away” brand models) and had been a workhorse for many years prior to my acquiring it. Newly manufactured versions even from the same company are prone to failure and substandard performance. After a couple bad experiences I decided to avoid them as well as all the cheap knockoffs. I went to several fancy home stores here in Edmonton, Canada and asked around for a manual can opener that was modern but would stand the test of time. I was looking for a lifetime product regardless of cost. I specifically eliminated price as a consideration and was directed to one of your products, the “slim safety lid lifter”. Being engineered and made by the Swiss, and also costing nearly $60 CAD I figured I had something pretty awesome. The very nice, clean and SAFE operation was impressive. I love that it left no sharp edges on cans. I did check out some competing products, but yours seemed the best and had a nice modern “Euro” feel to it. I had no idea your MSRP is $14.00 on the item at the time and now feel a little sheepish. Quite the impressive mark-up for a retailer, and I think it placed your product in a category that it couldn’t live up to. Was your product quality misrepresented or have I just found a random dud?

I’ve recently encountered problems leading to total failure of the opener to work. It will no longer hold the edge of a can strong enough to cut the lid open and the cutting blade no longer touches the metal. Despite heroic efforts and modified holding methods I have been unsuccessful at opening any canned goods for some time. This has left me helplessly unable to access vital food supplies necessary for the preparation of several of my favourite meals, to say nothing of the inconvenience and shame. Many a time I have amused myself as a girlfriend hopelessly struggles to figure out how to use it and is amazed by the nifty sideways sliding mechanism when the mystery is solved!  I really see no reason for it to die on me given the fairly light duty it sees in my employ.  The look of disappointment on my face may well have brought sympathetic tears to your eyes. There was much sadness in my kitchen and the loss continues to be felt most acutely.

I thought surely, given my level of commitment and interest in your product as well as obvious admiration for your global reputation as a quality goods manufacturer, you would be interested in helping me remedy this situation to our mutual satisfaction and benefit. Your kind assistance would help me avoid having to roll the dice with some  inferior “Made in China” product that is not likely to last me even nearly this long. There are few alternatives in the can opener market these days and so I am counting on you to renew my confidence in the proud tradition of world-renowned manufactured goods and excellent craftsmanship from Switzerland!

I frequent a Swiss cafe in my neighbourhood called “Swiss to go” and the lady who runs it gives regular lessons on Swiss culture, life, geography, business and interests that would warm your heart. She serves a range of foods and treats that would remind you of home, and is never shy about her pride for where she comes from. She is delightfully eccentric, charming and fierce. Most certainly not to be trifled with. Anyone who makes rum balls as potent, rich and delicious as hers (from the finest Swiss chocolate no doubt) should be taken seriously indeed!  She is a lovely woman, but thus far I have avoided sharing this tale of woe with her, fearing that her wrath may be too much for you to bear. She is after all; natural born Swiss and you know what they say… No one messes with the Swiss! We could instead share a happy story with her, having come to a mutually beneficial arrangement following such a heartbreaking personal loss.

Luckily, she is too busy for internet and so does not regularly follow my Twitter (@ADHDCanuck) or my blog ( So though I will share this openly with my roughly 500 daily readers here and around the world, she is not likely to discover it for some time. I hope my most earnest entreaty reaches sympathetic ears willing to help rejuvenate my desire to explore European culture through kitchen accessories in the meantime!

I await your imminent response and suggestions with great anticipation (and a cupboard full of canned goods held hostage to your generosity). As well as a number of friends who were very interested in your products as a result of my initial glowing endorsements.

All the best as we enter the winter season (or as we call it here in Northern Canada “Where’s my face? Is it still there?!?!” season)…

Yours in cookery;

Michael Thomas



Slim Safety Lid Lifter product link:

Swing Away Brand model:

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1 Comment(s)

  1. Cheap $3 opener at Superstore will do ya fine. Had a similar safe can opener that lasted 2 years. Then I went back to old school style.

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