View Full Version : Good can opener...

02-13-2003, 11:22
Seeing as I'll probably buy most of my food along the trail. I suspect I'll need a good can opener (tuna, chicken, tomato paste, etc.).

I have one on my knife, but I get so frustrated with it because it doesn't lock. As such, when I slide the blade out of the can, it folds up a bit.

I vaguely remember my grandmother having a simple can opener at home, but I can't find them anywhere. If I could find one, I could carry a lighter knife.

Any suggestions?

SGT Rock
02-13-2003, 11:40
Army surplus P38. It weighs about 1/2 ounce.

02-13-2003, 11:40
You could try a miltary style opener called a P-38..its about an inch long, pretty tought, and weights practically nothing...Surplus stores will definitley have them or you might them at Walmart of Target (or similar). They are small and might be a little difficult with cold fingers....

Coghlan's makes a version and sells them in packages of two..a package costs $1.40 at REI...lots of discount stores carry Coglans products...

02-13-2003, 11:43
Those things actually work? Work well? I have seen those a few times, but they looked like a gimic.

Maybe I'll have to give them a try.

SGT Rock
02-13-2003, 11:46
Yes they work. I carried one for years until I lost it. In fact, they always work. http://www.georgia-outfitters.com/page52.shtml

Lone Wolf
02-13-2003, 11:48
They work damn good! I still have mine from Marine Corps boot camp. Most outfitters sell them now.

02-13-2003, 12:21
I also use the P-38 can opener from cohglans www.thesportsauthority.com should have em. I can open a can with them as fast as my electric can opener at home! Streamweaver

02-13-2003, 12:41
Now there's a blast from the past !! Seeing Rock and others comment on the P-38, I had cause to reflect on an event that took place over 30 years ago.
Like Rock and Lone Wolf ...I carried my "issue P-38" with me my entire 3 years on active duty (and several years after) and it worked like a charm. One day however, it worked almost too well ! Stepped off the struff of a UH1-D Helicopter during a jump exercise (I know, I know, why would anyone jump out of a perfectly good airplane? ...but stay with me here). Horrendous cross winds on the ground and I started to swing back and forth (pendulate) at about tree-top level and could not correct for the movement. Hit the ground hard on a "down-swing" and really got my bell rung. Shook off the impact and did a quick primary assessment - no broken bones ...but my left upper pant leg was covered in blood. Yup, you guessed it, the blade of my trusty P-38 had apparently swung open during the jump and when I came down on my left side it dug into my leg and tried to do a "can openner" on me. Still have the scar (and the P-38) to prove it.
Anyway ...back to backpacking. Amazing though how seeing the name P-38 in this thread just caused that flash-back

Lone Wolf
02-13-2003, 12:49
I actually liked the old canned C-Rats.

02-13-2003, 12:52
Don't get me started Lone Wolf ...had most of the C-Ration meal contents memorized way back when. I was known to trade valuable stuff for the meal with the B1-A unit (Fruit cocktail) in it.
Gosh ...I can't believe I remember that after all these years !!

02-13-2003, 14:21
A guy I work with has been carrying the same P-38 for 25 years or so. Still works great. Funny thing is, he had the same problem with it opening. He cut his theigh pretty bad too. I here that story at least once a week...

I have one on my swiss army knife. I use the Victorinox Huntsman. It weighs 2.5oz, but has alot of useful things... and not so useful things...

- Knife
- Scissors
- Can Opener
- Bottle Opener/Screwdriver
- Saw Blade (for cutting firewood, works good too, no *****)
- Tweezers (Great for Ticks & Slivers)

- Plastic Toothpick (Yuck)
- CorkScrew (Although I turn 21 next month, and I oh so love my reds...)
- Reamer (***, how do you even use this?)
- Bootlace Hook (good for military boots, but thats it)
- Small Blade (I always use the big one)

Considering a P-38 weighs 0.5oz, in the end the extra 1oz in weight over a swiss classic & P-38 gets me a bottle opener/screwdriver and a saw to cut up firewood and get fresh stuff if need be. Or build a log cabin if I'm ever stranded in borneo... I'm thinking of breaking-off the last three items on the useless list.

02-13-2003, 16:06
The reamer/awl on the Victorinox knives is great. You can use it to make a mouse-proof hanger in a shelter, poke a new hole in your leather belt or your dog's collar, enlarge existing holes (that's the awl part), or even sew with locking stitches (that why there's a hole near the end). The Wenger knives have a dull reamer with no awl or sewing hole. And they have hard-to-use can openers. The only good use I've found for the pastic toothpick is as a cake-tester. I can do without a corkscrew also. And I'd rather have a nail file than a 2nd blade, but if I have 2 blades, I keep the short one very sharp for cutting 'chute cord and use the other for food (cutting cheese, spreading pb).

02-13-2003, 20:31
Yup, my P-38 lasted for 30 years, still going strong.

Bandana Man
02-13-2003, 23:58
P-38?? Never knew that is the official designation. At Parris Island, my DI's called it a "John Wayne" and since the Duke was, is, and always will be the greatest actor of all time that is what I contine to call mine! Wish I still had my original "John Wayne" from boot camp, like Lone Wolf. I have one I actually carried back when I was a grunt, so it's at least 25 years old. Still works, too. Wear it around my neck with my old USMS dog tags whenever I go backpacking!

Lone Wolf
02-14-2003, 03:38
Bandana. I was gonna say John Wayne but didn't think there were too many Jar Heads on this forum. Semper Fidelis, Marine. The **** is gonna hit the fan soon. God bless every Marine, Soldier, Sailor, Airman, and Coast Gaurdsman that will put themselves in harms way.

02-14-2003, 09:06
I second that motion Lone Wolf

...with a huge Airborne Hoooah !!

Uncle Wayne
02-14-2003, 09:32
I have a p-38 that is still good to go after almost 20 years of use.

The only thing I've used the corkscrew attachment for on the Swiss Army knife is to hold the small eyeglass screwdriver you can buy that screws down in the corkscrew. Perfect for repairing / tightening the tiny screws in eyeglass frames.

02-18-2003, 20:11
If you use a bag for your pot that has a drawstring, tie the P38 on it. I have never worn one out, but have lost several. I've broken several can openers on knives, but the knives were not good quality...oh well:D

02-19-2003, 16:25
Damn! My scale is screwed up! I just bought a new one and confirmed it. My Huntsman weighs 3.5oz, not 2.5oz. So I've yet to decide, but I may bring a swiss-classic and a P38 with me to save 2 ounces. We have swiss-classics at a local discount store for $6. My huntsman still accompanies me on a daily basis though...