Toolipedia: Paint Can Opener

Updated: Dec. 15, 2023

Toolipedia: Everything you wanted to know about paint can openers

Paint Can Opener | Construction Pro Tips

What is a paint can opener?

As the name suggests, the primary function of a paint can opener is to open the pressed in lids of pint, quart and gallon paint cans. Usually made of steel, a paint can opener has a curved end to open paint cans. The beveled end fits between the lip of the lid and the lip of the can and the bend just past the beveled end allows for leverage to be applied to the lid. Here are the basic parts of a paint can opener:

  1. Paint Can Opener End
  2. Bottle opener

Painters, remodelers and DIyers all use paint can openers as it is safer to use, when opening paint cans, than a flat head screwdriver. Some stores will give paint can openers away with the purchase of a gallon of paint.

How is a paint can opener used?

Operation basics

  • Place the beveled end of the paint can opener under the lip of the lid
  • Pry away from the paint can lid
  • Work around the lid at regular intervals (i.e. 2 o’clock, 4 o’clock, 6 o’clock, etc.) prying up
  • Remove lid once it pops loose of the can


  • Older paint cans can be sometimes be stuck and may require extra leverage
    • When applying extra leverage the end may slip out and can become dangerous, keep supporting hand back from the end

What makes a good paint can opener?

  • Strong handle
  • Bottle opener end

Warner makes a high quality paint can opener.

Paint Can Opener Tip

Keep the tip clean and free of paint build up. Too much build up will make it challenging to open the paint can.

Discover other painting tools here.