Published May 1, 2009. From Cook's Illustrated.
We found one opener that could open anything from a small bottle of vanilla to a quart-sized jar of pasta sauce.
Manufacturers keep coming up with new ways to open stubborn jars. We rounded up five new jar openers, plus the winner of our March 2005 review, and tested them on big jars of spaghetti sauce as well as tiny bottles of vanilla extract. One opener was so cumbersome it was worse than struggling with a jar. Two others couldn’t shrink down to grip vanilla lids. Another mangled lids as they were opened. We liked a rubbery disk that also works as a trivet and pot holder, but it couldn’t outperform our old standby. For its low price and ability to adjust quickly to any size jar without a single slip, our favorite is still our previous winner. Made of chrome plate, this opener consists of a 7 1/2-inch bar perforated with 18 holes and a vinyl grip. Although it takes a few tries to learn to adjust the clamp, this tool is handy in the stickiest of situations.