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How to Repair a Commercial Can Opener

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Commercial can openers are one of the simplest machines in a restaurant kitchen. They have two moving parts and a simple gear mechanism. When commercial openers fail to work, there are only four things that could be causing the problem. Using a common sense approach, the average person can fix nearly any commercial can opener in less than an hour.

Check the handle knob. Make sure that it is whole, not cracked, and is swiveling freely on the center post. If any of these things are not right, use the screwdriver on the underside of the handle to loosen the post and replace the knob.

Replace the blade if it is not cutting through cans cleanly and easily. Remove the screw that is in the center of the blade front. Carefully remove the blade by lifting it off the opener. Install the new blade in place of the old one, and tighten the screw to hold the blade in place.

Use a green scrub pad and soapy water to thoroughly clean the gears. Most problems with the gear slipping or not turning smoothly are because of built-up dirt or grease in the gears. Clean between every tooth in both gears, rinse and air dry the opener.

Tighten the gear assembly if cleaning does not fix the problem of smooth gear movement. Your handle gear may have loosened and so it is not catching on the body gear. Locate the screw that holds this assembly together, and tighten the screw a little at a time, testing the opener after each turning of the screw until you have achieved the correct tightness.

Completely wash, dry, sanitize and air dry your commercial can opener after every repair job. Follow your state health department directions for safe commercial dish cleaning.


Wrap old razor blades in layers of cardboard wrapped in a rubber band to prevent them from cutting through trash bags and cutting employees.


New opener blades are literally razor sharp. Be very careful when picking them up and installing them.


Working in sunny Florida, Anne Baley has been writing professionally since 2009. Her home and lifestyle articles have been seen on Coldwell Banker and Gardening Know How. Baley has published a series of books teaching how to live a frugal life with style and panache.

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