Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Friday, 16 May 2008

If you open tins here's a must

So why is the Brabantia tin-opener so good? One reason is that significant forces are concentrated at the notched wheel (which drives the opener round the rim of the tin) and the disc blade (which is pressed into the tin end and does the cutting). On cheaper openers the spindles on which these two components rotate wear quickly and both wheel and blade become loose. When the play is so extensive it is almost impossible to squeeze the handles together sufficiently to drive the blade through the end of the tin.

The photo can't show how securely the notched wheel (on the right) is mounted but I can assure you the spindle diameter is twice that of cheaper openers. But the key to the design is the mounting of the blade (which has its own idling notched wheel to grip the other side of the rim of the tin). For one thing the spindle is mounted at an angle. Thus when the driven wheel and blade are squeezed together they operate optimally. Second, even when spindle and blade begin to wear, they are held in position by the curved spring which engages with the free end of the spindle.

I'm afraid it's all a bit wordy. The qualities are easier to understand when you see the Brabantia "in the metal". It only remains for me to add I am not in the pay of Brabantia. I simply like things that work, and this does.


Plutarch said...

As far as I am concerned, there are two kinds of tin-opener - those which cut out the top off the tin from inside the rim and those which slice off the top of the tin from below the rim. The latter will open any type of tin and doesn't seem to wear out. I am devoted to ours. I am not sure where the Brabantia cuts the tin, but I enjoy your account of the mechanism.

Barrett Bonden said...

Weh ist mir! In concentrating on spindles and notched wheels I missed the main point. Because it is well designed the Brabantia is a delight to use. Also, wear doesn't render tin openers useless it makes them harder to use and less of a pleasure. And to answer Plutarch's specific question, the Brabantia operates within rather than under the rim of the tin