Why do we call a can opener a church key?

We all are familiar with can openers. We use it to open a bottle or a can. As it looks like a key, it is generally called a Church Key. Today we will discuss the church key, the reason for it being called a church key, and many more.

What is a Church Key?

A church key is generally a bottle opener or can opener. People use it to open the caps or corks of a bottle or can. This opener is named or called a church-key. It was a simple device used to pry open a new type of bottle invented in 1892. Then in the year 1900, someone in Canada patented a unique style of opener that resembled a large and simple key. 

Why is a bottle opener called a church key?

Though it is a bottle opener, it still has got a name which is church-key. People call a bottle opener a church-key. But why is it called like this a bottle/can opener is called a church key? Because it was designed as an old-fashioned church key used by the monks. Monks used it to open the doors of churches, and the bottle opener resembled that church key. That’s why it is mainly called a church key. 

Why is it called a church key?

Why is it called a church key? It can be called a room key or a car key. But it is called the church-key. But why? There was a theory that most brewers of that time were monks. The brewing beers at that time were kept under lock. And only the monks have access to the lock’s key. They were taught not to imbibe in alcoholic drinks. But ironically, they were the ones to make “accursed” drinks. Church Key is a mocking term that means that if you use the church key, you are likely to miss the church, and you cannot enter the church by using a literal church key.

On another theory, it was a satire to the proponent of the prohibition in the US, which lasted 13 years. It lasted from 1920 to 1933. According to the proponents, the prohibition was given to stop all kinds of crime in the US and improve the overall health of the country. But it didn’t work as expected. Then, the first beer produced in Can, which was needed to open with an opener invented, punctured a triangular hole to the Can lid, and the name Church Key name remained. 

Best Church Key Can Opener

When you are preparing to enjoy a drink alone or with friends, A church key can opener is a must-have utensil. There’s a wide range of can openers on the market, and it is not easy to find the best one.

Our top picks for the best church key can openers, ranked in order:

  • Norpro, Brown Can Punch Bottle Opener
  • Chef Craft Select Butterfly Can Opener
  • American Metalcraft BBC39 
  • Tablecraft Magnetic Stainless Steel Bottle and Can Opener
  • True Churchkey Bottle and Can Opener

01. Norpro, Brown Can Punch Bottle Opener

Norpro, Brown Can Punch Bottle Opener

Special Features:

  • Heavy duty Chromium Steel made
  • Hardwood handle finish
  • Dual Use: can punching and bottle opening
  • Measures 5.75 inch/14.5cm
  • Hand wash only

02. Chef Craft Select Durable Plated Iron Bottle Opener

Chef Craft Select Durable Plated Iron Bottle Opener

Special Features:

  • Consists of durable plated iron
  • Dual-use: a bottle opener, and a can tapper
  • Convenient for camping, or traveling
  • Measures 4 inches in length
  • Dishwasher safe

03. American Metalcraft BBC39 

American Metalcraft BBC39 Stainless Steel Hand-Held Deluxe Bottle and Can Opener

Special Features:

  • Made of heavy-gauge tempered stainless steel
  • Hardwood handle for comfortable grip
  • Easily open bottles and cans
  • Looks professional and elegant
  • Measures 4.5” L. Slim

04. Tablecraft Magnetic Stainless Steel Bottle and Can Opener

Tablecraft Magnetic Stainless Steel Bottle and Can Opener with Wood Handle

Special Features:

  • Stainless Steel construction with wood handle
  • 2-in-1 design, bottle/can opener
  • Hand wash recommended
  • 6 x 1 1/2 x 5/8 Inch
  • Weighs only 0.11pounds

05. True Churchkey Bottle and Can Opener

True Churchkey Bottle and Can Opener

Special Features

  • Crafted from high quality stainless steel
  • Pointed side to tackle old school cans
  • Easy to use and stylish
  • Perfect for everyday use in your kitchen

a) When referring to a bottle opener, what is the origin of the phrase church key? 

Bottles, mainly beer bottles, were once opened with a heavy cast iron opener, and it resembled the same type of key used to open the doors of churches in Europe. And the opener is called the same name in modern days as well.

b) From where did the church-key term come for a bottle opener? 

For protecting their aging beers in their monasteries, the monks locked the beers away in lager cellars, and only the monks had the keys of those lager cellars. Because of the shape or design or the use of the opener, monks started calling them “church” keys.

c) What is church-key slang for?

Church-key is mainly a bottle opener. It is a tool that helps remove the caps from the glass bottle or puncture lids on Can. It is also can be used as slang for a bottle opener- ”Be sure to bring the church-key with you to open the bottle!”

d) What do bartenders call a bottle opener?

Bartenders don’t call a bottle opener a church key. They called it on a separate name. Bartenders working behind a bar kitchen need a bottle opener and don’t use a church key to open the bottles. They use their tool called bar key, which is also called a speed opener,” “popper,” and “mamba.”

e) What does a church-key look like?

A church key or bottle opener has a pointed triangular end. It resembled large keys which were used to open the doors of churches. The church key, a bottle opener, looks the same as the original church keys. That’s why it had given the name church-key.

Hope this article helped you to know the reason behind the “Church Key” name of bottle/can openers and find the best church key can opener for your next party.

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