Within the past couple of months, I bought this Tornado can opener for my 86 year old father and 78 year old mother. After many attempts to teach him, my father couldn't figure out how to use the Mainstays Safe Cut can opener, which is an awesome no-brainer can opener that's better than my previous Oxo version at half the cost. As for my mother, she has arthritis and strength issues with her hands. Initially, after reading the instructions, and using 4 AA NiMH Rayovac recharged batteries, it cut the lids off of cans just fine. It wasn't particular fast, but it did the job. There may be better versions of this type of can opener, like the Toucan, but this is the one I came across in the Home Kitchen department. Then one day, it stopped working for some reason. My multi-meter voltage tester showed the batteries were still fully charged. A similar test could have been done by inserting them in my small Maglite flashlight. So, since I'm technically inclined, I decided to open up the device to see if I could determine the problem. Long story short, the problem was that one of the stranded wire (solid wire would be better) electrical leads from the motor had broken away from a solder point connected to a battery terminal. After I re-soldered the line back to the battery terminal, the motor came to life all over the workbench. Suffice it say, it's a very powerful little motor. Afterwards, I just put everything back together an the unit has worked fine. Keep in mind that, possibly after a year or less of consistent use, the blade will dull, it won't cut well, and if will eventually stop cutting. Also, you might start to see thin metal strands being shaved from the can, which is something of a safety hazard around food, be it for person or pet. When that event starts happening, it'll be time to buy a new unit. It's kind of a shame you can't just replace the round blade, but that's the way of our disposable society. If you buy the Tornado, it's probably not a bad idea to buy either a spare set of 4 AA NiMH batteries that are perpetually in your sole charging station or buy an additional charging station that comes with NiMH batteries. The drawback might be that the charging station you buy might only come with 2 AA and 2 AAA NiMH batteries. That's the scenario I discovered last night with a Rayovac Value Charger I bought specifically for this Tornado can opener. So, I'll still have to buy another $8 4-pack of NiMH batteries to have a fully charged set. Nowadays, Rayovac, Energizer, and Duracell sell NiMH chargers with batteries and additional batteries that will charge in 1.5 to 2 hours. The Rayovac Value Charger I bought will recharge NiMH batteries in 8 hours, but that's not a big deal for me. The only drawback is that these newer NiMH battery chargers by all three big brand manufactures seem to require you to recharge batteries in sets of 2 or 4 at a time. So, if you've got 3 batteries that need charging, you're going to have to put and possibly keep a spare AA or AAA in one of the charger slots so battery 3 of 3 is detected and engages the charger. My old Rayovac NiMH charger lets me recharge 1-4 batteries at a time.
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