Switching to doorstep delivered milk led to another gadget for our house

Real milk bottleThe Coronavirus pandemic has been very damaging to many business. But some have benefited from the lockdown.

For 40 years the early morning clink of glass milk bottles  has been declining. Disappearing pinta: Are the milkman’s days finally numbered?

There was a slight boost in the past couple of years due to the ‘Attenborough Effect‘, but nothing had really changed.

However since 16 March and our national lockdown, milk delivery companies have been inundated with inquiries, Coronavirus: The rise of the milkmen and women.

And this includes our local provider Hook and Son. We had already switched to them a few months before the virus, so didn’t have to join the long queue of new customers wanting to sign up. It has been a fantastic opportunity for this farm who had been struggling for many years to make ends meet.

Hook and Son

Now that my wife and I are both working from home, we find we are getting through more milk than ever before. So we have switched to their larger one-litre bottles.

And so we come to the need for a new gadget. The metal tops on these new bottles are really stiff. And we all seem to struggle to get them off.

So it was time to research a better way to remove these resistant lids. This is one of my favourite activities – I am a librarian / information professional after all. But this topic proved challenging, as there are many rival products on the market with very different approaches, and results.

A Google search for ‘jar opener reviews’ results in over 2 million results, with Top 10 Best Jar Openers On The Market 2020 Reviews first. Despite their in depth analysis of 10 different openers, including pros and cons lists, I was not ready to buy.

Jar opener (8)


















At first I was tempted by the Kichwit, with the big white handle on top. But after extensive reading of reviews I was put-off. It seems the two metal prongs squeeze and damage the lids instead of gripping them effectively. Some customers have improved them by adding a rubber layer.

Anything battery powered was out for both environmental and complexity reasons. So that led to to the Oxo Good Grips (black with metal V above). The original version got rave reviews, so I was all set to buy. But then discovered the current version had lost the plot. Not only was it no longer effective at removing lids, it also frequently damaged them with its sharp metal teeth.

I finally settled on the Easi-Twist, which looks like a giant nut-cracker. The version I found on Amazon had 4.2 out of 5 stars from 809 customer ratings. The fact it only cost £3.99 including free delivery may also have had some influence on my decision.

Otstar opener in action

I have now tested it on a variety of lids including of course the new milk bottles, and my favourite Bon Maman Apricot Conserve. I have had no failures to date, so I’m very happy, and so are my wrists.

Bon Maman Apricot Conserve

2 Replies to “Switching to doorstep delivered milk led to another gadget for our house”

  1. Interesting. I am a gadget fiend myself, and put in lots of work to find what works best to solve a particular problem.
    As a result, I v rarely have the onerous task of returning items, but most of the time they do sort the problem.
    Your solution here isn’t solving a problem I have, but your suggestion of the Numeric turbo head for my Henry vacuum cleaner was absolutely brilliant, especially at a paltry £11.50 inc postage.
    So, even if you aren’t solving a problem I have, I still find this sort of blog good to read…

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