Home-ownership is a unique learning experience. Several months ago, I couldn’t have imagined many of the skills I’ve developed. While house chores and upkeep are taxing at times, they never fail to reward. But there’s one chore I’ve received the most enjoyment from: painting.
Thankfully, we built in small block of time to paint before moving in our belongings. This, of course, made the task go much more quickly, there being no furniture to move or maneuver around. Now the obvious tie-in to drinking – because there’s always a tie-in here at The Hip Flask – would be to write of the enjoyment of drinking beer while painting. And don’t get me wrong, it certainly is. But that’s not my point today. Instead I want to talk about a useful discovery I made with my paint can opener – it’s function as a superb bottle opener.
Who needs another bottle opener, you might ask. That’s a fair question, to be sure. The paint can opener’s true usefulness comes in removing bottle caps without crimping them, a task that most other standard bottle openers struggle with. The difference between standard openers (or Churchkey-style) and paint can openers (sometimes called a loop opener) are in each opener’s technique. Here, Wikipedia’s information about bottle opener techniques is more clear and succinct than my own:
The standard opener “functions as a second-class lever: the fulcrum is the far end of the bottle opener, placed on the top of the crown, with the output at the near end of the bottle opener, on the crown edge, between the fulcrum and the hand: in these cases, one pushes upon the lever.”
The paint can opener, on the other hand, functions “as a first-class lever, by placing the near end on the top of the crown, and the far end under the crown edge, then pushing down on the lever (thus the output is on the opposite side of the fulcrum from the hand). This is particularly used with bar blades, which form an obtuse angle. Mechanically, this is a marginally less effective lever, as the effort arm is shorter, but the action of pushing down is marginally anatomically easier.”
Because the paint can opener doesn’t crimp the cap in the center during removal it’s the tool of choice if you want to save a bottle cap for collecting or photographing. Also, it makes it easier to pop open a cold open while painting. Perhaps the folks who designed it knew a little about drinking while painting themselves.