How to remove the top of a soda can without damaging it?

What would be the best way to take off the 'lid' of a soda can, so you can use it for other things without destroying it?

soda cans have these 'lids' that are put on after they are filled, anybody know how to remove these while keeping the rest of the can intact?

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Re-design7 years ago
Those seams are rolled after the cans are filled. The best I can do is to take a very sharp knife or a razor saw and use the bottom edge of the roll as a guide and cut the top off there.
toelle (author)  Re-design7 years ago
Did as you said. Used an exacto and cut around it until I could pull off the top.
Attacking the seam like this is probably the best way. You might also try a flat belt or disk sander to grind the seam down until it releases. Filling it with water and freezing it might help if you are constantly crushing or denting the can.
nick200x2 years ago

The best thing i'd do is get a can opener and use it like that

ZaynabE2 years ago

The easiest and cleanest way is to use a can opener!

Those little -super-light-weight, camping style can openers (see attached pictures) work well for this task. I keep one of these can openers attached to my keys. BTW, this trick is great at parties.
Ha! That's called a P38. They've been around since the 40's, and were invented for the military. I absolutely love them! I'll be making a video where I take the top off of a can using this exact method this weekend!
I agree. This little "P38" can opener is the ideal tool for quickly and easily removing the top of a beer can, and making it into a party-improvised drinking vessel, or pencil holder, or whatever. So I am glad to hear you plan on sharing this knowledge with others. I also love this little can opener, and I keep it on my keychain, so it is with me pretty much everywhere where I wear pants. Also, thanks for the history lesson.
anarchrisis5 years ago
Use a safety can opener. Clamp it on to the top. Turn and remove...cake.

What's a good project for these, btw? I'm making a solar can heater, but have all of these soda can lids left over...
jgadd26 years ago
I have been trying to do this recently. I remember using a sanding pad I got from a furniture factory. Those things worked great. I've tried sand paper, and green scrubbies with no luck. With the sanding pad, I just rubbed the top of the can briskly and after a few seconds It popped right off with no effort or distortion to the can.
rmullins6 years ago
Some years ago there was a guy on the internet who had developed this tool that you set on top of the can and smacked it real hard with a hammer and it popped that top right in. I have been trying to find him but he had a whole lot of cool little toolsets he had developed for sale for messing with tin cans. Anybody ever seen this guy?
Weldeon6 years ago
Can openers, i use them to salvage aluminum from the cans.
onrust7 years ago
Turn the can upside down and grind the top of on smooth concrete. Patience, pressure, and a circular motion.
bubbaman227 years ago
I have a cool collectors iron man can and I used a can opener :D