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Can Key Owner's Club: Show Us Your Can Keys and What You Can Do With Them! 3265

No Life Club Posts: 1,670
Can Key Owner's Club: Show Us Your Can Keys and What You Can Do With Them!
« on: October 11, 2016, 12:08:37 PM »
Some of you with older SAKs that have a back layer Phillips may have noticed a slot in it. I've got two: a Super Tinker (black scales) and a Deluxe Tinker (red scales). I periodically look for a decent condition Tinker and Small Tinker with the bifurcated Phillips, to round out the Tinker family.






It's called a Can Key. At one time all manner of canned goods, and a few other things, including some military supplies, could be opened by a can opener, but you didn't need one. It came with a Can Key spot welded to the can. The key had a slot into which you would put a metal tab located somewhere on the side of the can. Then you would start winding the key. The side of the can was lightly scored so a strip of metal from the can would be wound around the key into the key thereby opening it. It was presumed if you used the Can Key that you were going to use or do something with the can's entire contents versus leaving it in the can as putting the end that had just been removed was nearly always impossible.






Sometimes the spot weld failed, or someone would twiddle with it until it broke off, and it wasn't present when you wanted to open the can (sans can opener). Victorinox saw fit to put a slot into the Phillips that could be used as a Can Key, in the event you wanted to use it in lieu of the can opener. The advantage of the Can Key and strip of metal was a smooth side. The can's contents could slide out without having to go around a rim left behind on top of the can when a traditional can opener is used.



The strip of metal had a sharp edge and you were supposed to throw it away wound around the key that came with the can. Obviously one would not throw the SAK away with the curled up metal strip; it would be carefully pulled off the Phillips and disposed of. Invariably, some people would cut themselves on it (just as they do can lids today). Children were at higher risk, just as they are now with opened cans and can lids from using a current can opener. The can itself, top and bottom, also had a sharp edge. The days of Can Keys are gone now. So what is there to do with a SAK Can Key now? Earlier this year I wanted to curl some ribbon to tie up a gift to some friends . . .



I happened to be wearing the Deluxe Tinker at the time and its Can Key came to mind with the thought I might perform an experiment to see if the ribbon was thin enough to fit into the slot . . .



It fit, and by putting my finger on it to fold it over the slot edge, I pulled it through rapidly several times until I got the amount of desired curl.



This tool is of thought of as an anachronism, made obsolete by canning industry abandonment of the Can Key. It's still there, languishing on older knives. Surely, there must be practical uses for this Can Key slot in the older back layer Phillps drivers.

Show us your Can Keys, and what you can do with them (other than aiding in narrowing a SAK's mfr. date  ;) )


John
« Last Edit: October 11, 2016, 01:05:11 PM by jalind »

John
No Life Club Posts: 1,967
Re: Can Key Owner's Club: Show Us Your Can Keys and What You Can Do With Them!
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2016, 04:06:14 PM »
My old Craftsman vs. a canned ham.

Jeep the SAK of the auto world or is it SAK the Jeep of the Knife world?
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 17,517 I'm not a pessimist, I'm an experienced optimist!
Re: Can Key Owner's Club: Show Us Your Can Keys and What You Can Do With Them!
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2016, 04:31:02 PM »
I have only ever used mine for accessing canned meats. I like the ribbon curling trick though



The cantankerous but occasionally useful member, formally known as 50ft-trad
No Life Club Posts: 3,273
Re: Can Key Owner's Club: Show Us Your Can Keys and What You Can Do With Them!
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2016, 07:57:52 PM »
You could warm them up and use them as emergency hair curlers...

It would be interesting to see how they put that slot in there. Presumably that was the final step of the manufacturing process?
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 17,889 Bon Journee!!
Re: Can Key Owner's Club: Show Us Your Can Keys and What You Can Do With Them!
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2016, 09:18:16 PM »
My Hoffritz Super Tinker has one.  I date back to the can key days and didn't know Vic put them on their knives.  I'd kill to find an old Spam can that I could try this on!

Barry
Sr. Member Posts: 259
Re: Can Key Owner's Club: Show Us Your Can Keys and What You Can Do With Them!
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2016, 05:35:45 AM »
My first SAK, a 111mm Adventurer has one, and I recall testing out that feature once I found out it was there, on a can of Spam, many moons ago.  The only other one in my collection is on the Space Shuttle Master Craftsman.

Sent from my SM-N910T using Tapatalk


R
No Life Club Posts: 1,670
Re: Can Key Owner's Club: Show Us Your Can Keys and What You Can Do With Them!
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2016, 12:30:52 AM »
My old Craftsman vs. a canned ham.

Gene -
How old was this ham when you opened it?
I've been looking for anything that still uses a can key!

John

John
No Life Club Posts: 1,670
Re: Can Key Owner's Club: Show Us Your Can Keys and What You Can Do With Them!
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2016, 12:36:22 AM »
My first SAK, a 111mm Adventurer has one, and I recall testing out that feature once I found out it was there, on a can of Spam, many moons ago.  The only other one in my collection is on the Space Shuttle Master Craftsman.

Sent from my SM-N910T using Tapatalk

Was that a new can, or an old (very old) can? Been looking for a canned ham, SPAM, corned beef, etc., that still uses a can key! I've seen some things on YouTube that leads me to believe that a country or two (at least) in South America - notably at least Brazil - still have meat canned with a can key. A couple of the videos blow it by not removing the paper like they should. I remember coffee cans being opened with them. On those, I think the strip was at the very top just under the lid and you could mash the lid back down onto the can, but that's digging back many decades into my childhood.

John

John
Sr. Member Posts: 259
Re: Can Key Owner's Club: Show Us Your Can Keys and What You Can Do With Them!
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2016, 01:19:55 AM »


My first SAK, a 111mm Adventurer has one, and I recall testing out that feature once I found out it was there, on a can of Spam, many moons ago.  The only other one in my collection is on the Space Shuttle Master Craftsman.

Sent from my SM-N910T using Tapatalk

Was that a new can, or an old (very old) can? <snippage>
It was newish, in that first year after getting the Adventurer  ('87-88), about the time that Spam started coming in the new, pull-top cans. 


Sent from my SM-N910T using Tapatalk


R
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 17,517 I'm not a pessimist, I'm an experienced optimist!
Re: Can Key Owner's Club: Show Us Your Can Keys and What You Can Do With Them!
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2016, 01:27:20 AM »
You can still get that kind of can here in the UK. My can key isn't quite obsolete yet  :D



The cantankerous but occasionally useful member, formally known as 50ft-trad
No Life Club Posts: 1,670
Re: Can Key Owner's Club: Show Us Your Can Keys and What You Can Do With Them!
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2016, 02:48:25 AM »
You can still get that kind of can here in the UK. My can key isn't quite obsolete yet  :D

Should tell Vic to resurrect it! But wait until I've done the "Discontinued Challenge" first please  ;)  I'll be looking again in grocery section of the department store where I buy food just to see if there are any lurking about. The kipper snacks my father loved came in a flat sardine tin with roll up top and can key . . . sadly now only with pull tabs.

John

John
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,826
Re: Can Key Owner's Club: Show Us Your Can Keys and What You Can Do With Them!
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2016, 02:53:04 AM »
I'm old enough to remember can keys on a variety of items, ham and other canned meats, nuts, coffee, stew. A lot of them were items you might take on a camping trip, or have in a cabin.

About the only item you find them on nowadays in US grocery stores is corned beef imported from South America.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2016, 02:55:14 AM by ColoSwiss »
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,826
Re: Can Key Owner's Club: Show Us Your Can Keys and What You Can Do With Them!
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2016, 05:39:09 AM »
Here's a trio of Vics with slotted phillips s.d.

Old Fisherman and Salesman (short Super Tinker) with square phillips, and a more modern Super Tinker with round phillips.

No Life Club Posts: 3,516 Benner fan club #003
Re: Can Key Owner's Club: Show Us Your Can Keys and What You Can Do With Them!
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2016, 06:01:10 AM »
It's possible that Tulip Luncheon meat is still packed in turn key cans. I've seen this brand in Asian grocery stores, but have never taken a close look.

Global Moderator Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,006
Can Key Owner's Club: Show Us Your Can Keys and What You Can Do With Them!
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2016, 01:39:24 PM »
A few in my collection.

Recent addition is the Original Craftsman



Tinker Small



Another Craftsman



I know I have a couple more... just couldn't find the pics right now...

Seldom use the can keys... I remeber testing one on a can of corned beef from South America... Those are the ones I still see with can keys. Thanks to the wifey, corned beef is not on our regular menu


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Global Moderator Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,006
Re: Can Key Owner's Club: Show Us Your Can Keys and What You Can Do With Them!
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2016, 01:50:20 PM »
Ahh found them

Fisherman



Old Grand Prix




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
No Life Club Posts: 1,967
Re: Can Key Owner's Club: Show Us Your Can Keys and What You Can Do With Them!
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2016, 03:52:06 PM »
My old Craftsman vs. a canned ham.

Gene -
How old was this ham when you opened it?
I've been looking for anything that still uses a can key!

John

Maybe a year old. If I recall I got it at BigLots.

Jeep the SAK of the auto world or is it SAK the Jeep of the Knife world?
Sr. Member Posts: 259
Re: Can Key Owner's Club: Show Us Your Can Keys and What You Can Do With Them!
« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2016, 01:10:33 AM »
I checked the grocery aisle for canned meats, found two that still require a key, a spicy Brazilian corned beef and a plain store brand corned beef, made in Uruguay.  I didn't get any, as I prefer the corned beef hash, which in the small can has a pull tab, large can needs a regular can opener. 

I think off all my SAKs, only two or three don't have a can opener! (A Classic and a Rambler.)

Sent from my SM-N910T using Tapatalk


R
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 17,889 Bon Journee!!
Re: Can Key Owner's Club: Show Us Your Can Keys and What You Can Do With Them!
« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2016, 01:20:02 AM »
Love that Craftsman Jaya man!  Pull tabs have taken all the fun out of canned goods. >:(

Barry
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 17,517 I'm not a pessimist, I'm an experienced optimist!
Re: Can Key Owner's Club: Show Us Your Can Keys and What You Can Do With Them!
« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2016, 01:29:46 AM »
I replied before, but didn't post a pic.
Correcting that right now  :salute:



The cantankerous but occasionally useful member, formally known as 50ft-trad
No Life Club Posts: 3,516 Benner fan club #003
No Life Club Posts: 1,670
Re: Can Key Owner's Club: Show Us Your Can Keys and What You Can Do With Them!
« Reply #21 on: October 15, 2016, 04:59:44 AM »
http://www.food.com/recip...eef-hash-over-rice-313157


Thanks . . . definitely foraging through the Meijer (regional dept. store chain similar to Target) grocery section, especially through the ethnic food aisle this weekend!

John

John
Thread Killer 2017 Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,398 Born to multitask.
Re: Can Key Owner's Club: Show Us Your Can Keys and What You Can Do With Them!
« Reply #22 on: October 15, 2016, 05:13:36 AM »
I don't have a SAK with a can key, but I do have a regular can key. It came with a spam can about three years ago. Spam cans are now ring-pulls. Sod sad, I enjoyed winding the can key around. It was very satisfying and fun. imagine how fun it would be with an actual SAK. oh boy, I have to get one. and an appropriate can.  :climber:
No Life Club Posts: 1,670
Re: Can Key Owner's Club: Show Us Your Can Keys and What You Can Do With Them!
« Reply #23 on: October 24, 2016, 04:20:56 PM »
I don't have a SAK with a can key, but I do have a regular can key. It came with a spam can about three years ago. Spam cans are now ring-pulls. Sod sad, I enjoyed winding the can key around. It was very satisfying and fun. imagine how fun it would be with an actual SAK. oh boy, I have to get one. and an appropriate can.  :climber:

Can keys live!!
Found this corned beef with onion (one of three variants) at the local grocer yesterday. Look for something similar from Brazil or the Philippines where they still use can keys and can some of their canned meats with them.



John
« Last Edit: October 24, 2016, 04:22:42 PM by jalind »

John
Global Moderator Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,006
Re: Can Key Owner's Club: Show Us Your Can Keys and What You Can Do With Them!
« Reply #24 on: October 24, 2016, 04:53:13 PM »
I don't have a SAK with a can key, but I do have a regular can key. It came with a spam can about three years ago. Spam cans are now ring-pulls. Sod sad, I enjoyed winding the can key around. It was very satisfying and fun. imagine how fun it would be with an actual SAK. oh boy, I have to get one. and an appropriate can.  :climber:

Can keys live!!
Found this corned beef with onion (one of three variants) at the local grocer yesterday. Look for something similar from Brazil or the Philippines where they still use can keys and can some of their canned meats with them.

(Image removed from quote.)

John
Libby's.... yum


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
No Life Club Posts: 1,670
Re: Can Key Owner's Club: Show Us Your Can Keys and What You Can Do With Them!
« Reply #25 on: October 24, 2016, 05:04:52 PM »
I don't have a SAK with a can key, but I do have a regular can key. It came with a spam can about three years ago. Spam cans are now ring-pulls. Sod sad, I enjoyed winding the can key around. It was very satisfying and fun. imagine how fun it would be with an actual SAK. oh boy, I have to get one. and an appropriate can.  :climber:

Can keys live!!
Found this corned beef with onion (one of three variants) at the local grocer yesterday. Look for something similar from Brazil or the Philippines where they still use can keys and can some of their canned meats with them.

(Image removed from quote.)

John
Libby's.... yum (Image removed from quote.)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Been a long time since I've had any corned beef! Will have to look up recipes for something more than cooking it with potatoes.

This one just arrived Saturday . . . an 84mm Small Tinker with split Phillips. Someone had tried to squeeze it together, probably not understanding what it was for. Was able to restore it by carefully using a small jewler's driver as a wedge. Needs some cleaning and its scales polished, but all the tools are in excellent shape. Looks like it had not much more than pocket carry and someone tweaking the can key split.



John

John
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 17,889 Bon Journee!!
Re: Can Key Owner's Club: Show Us Your Can Keys and What You Can Do With Them!
« Reply #26 on: October 24, 2016, 09:00:17 PM »
Nice one John!  When I first picked up that Super Tinker I had no idea what that slot was for either, and I was well into knife carrying vintage when Vic was turning them out.  I'd love to find some Corned Beef with the key on it to try this guy out.

Barry
No Life Club Posts: 2,875
Re: Can Key Owner's Club: Show Us Your Can Keys and What You Can Do With Them!
« Reply #27 on: October 25, 2016, 09:51:13 AM »
 8)



ConTrail or Chem Trail ??  :think: :ahhh :ahhh :ahhh :ahhh :ahhh  :D  :whistle:
« Last Edit: October 25, 2016, 09:53:26 AM by cali-SAK-attack »

***CLICK on my pics to see actual sized photo :)
Thread Killer 2017 Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,398 Born to multitask.
No Life Club Posts: 1,670
Re: Can Key Owner's Club: Show Us Your Can Keys and What You Can Do With Them!
« Reply #29 on: October 25, 2016, 01:36:44 PM »
8)



ConTrail or Chem Trail ??  :think: :ahhh :ahhh :ahhh :ahhh :ahhh :D :whistle:

I vote for potassium iodide and dry ice. Hope you've got your brollie with you!

 :woohoo: Another can key Phillips!

John

John

 

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