P-38/51 vs SAK can opener

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by will62, Nov 10, 2018.

  1. will62

    will62 Guide

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    Even though I can use the can opener on either of my Swiss Army Knives I still have a P-38 on my keyring and in my packs. I find the P-38 easier to use than the SAK can opener. Does anyone else still carry a P-38 even though there is a can opener on your multitool or SAK?
     
  2. scottmm2012

    scottmm2012 1 Peter 1:20 Supporter Bushclass I

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    Yep, P51. But my other tool is the Leatherman SuperTool 200, which has an awesome can opener on it as well.
     
  3. Awkward

    Awkward Supporter Supporter

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    seperate p-38 is much easier to clean imo
     
  4. JohnP

    JohnP No more half measures Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Sorry, this is slightly off topic as I have no experience with a SAK. About twenty years ago our fancy electric kitchen can opener went belly up. I got out a P51 for temporary use and we’re still using them today. We have about eight of them stuck on the fridge with magnets. My wife can open a can with a P51 faster than you can wink an eye. Yep, she’s a keeper. We never bought another opener.

    We have a P38 on all our keychains.

    JohnP
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
  5. Blackhillz

    Blackhillz Supporter Supporter

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    P38 fan here, I keep one on my Car keys, one in my ruck and another with my mess kit.
     
  6. Boondocks70

    Boondocks70 Scout

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    Yup. P-38 lives in a corner of my wallet and probably gets used the most, even in the kitchen. It's been in one wallet or another for somewhere around 25 years, and not been lost.....wow! I have no idea how I've accomplished that!!:4:
     
  7. DavidJAFO

    DavidJAFO Supporter Supporter

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    "somewhere having a brew (tea)"
    hello,
    @will62 Oh yeah, a souvenir of the good old days. British MORFED Cold War souvenir, & recent finds by the Ministry of Defence (stores) dated 1996 from the Bosnia War (Peace Keeper mission). I was gifted the box of surplus MORFEDs, which are no longer used by the British Military within Compo Ration packs. As yet unopened a pair of U.S (John Wayne's) gifted to me by a BCUSA forum member *who wishes at present to remain anon (respect). In 2017 I GAW a spare Israeli Defence Forces P-51 can opener with Zahal mark (Brand NEW) to @SoreFeet I have a few others in my collection, but I always carry my MORFED. :)
    Regards
    David
     
  8. Tdr

    Tdr Scout

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    I had a p38 on my key ring as long as I can remember. I use the key next to it to place on top for more leverage .
     
  9. bosque bob

    bosque bob Guide

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    P38 and 51 here. All I use cause that's all I have. Since like the 1960s.
     
  10. DarrylM

    DarrylM Guide

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    I keep one in my kit, but not on my keychain, yet. Woulda saved me some knife sharpening a couple weeks ago. Fixin' to sort that out today.
     
  11. Hartlage

    Hartlage Supporter Supporter

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    P51 for me. I forgot once and had a use a 3" Kershaw blade. Never again.
     
  12. Haggis

    Haggis Bushmaster

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    I like the P-38 best,,, got one from a friend, brought it back from Nam he said. Gave it to me in 1976, and I carried it for over 30 years, but it’s in a memories box now, in a safe place. My SAK is replaceable,,,
     
  13. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    If the can doesn't come with a pop top, it doesn't get bought.
    Hey, someone had to say it :p

    I've never used a P38 opener, but I've seen them at the gun shows. I should pick up a few one of these days. Lots of ringing endorsements here.
     
  14. DKR

    DKR Scout

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    For years I worked the 'gig economy' - IOW, contract work. At one job site had a younger person asking around if anyone had a can opener. Seems he brought a can of soup for lunch - the M/W was working, but he couldn't figure out how to open the can.

    I always carry a SAK, but this cat had a Leatherman tool on his belt. I told him he had a can opener.

    After the look of surprise, I asked to see his LT. I pulled out the can opener 'blade' and pointed to it. "See. You're good to go"

    He thought I was joking. I had to walk hm thru how to use it, as it seemed the concept was alien to him. Yeah.

    I keep a P-51, a knife/fork/spoon and a small pot - all in a ziploc bag - in the daily driver. You just never know and I hate eating out of a can, let alone with with no utensils.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2019
  15. mtngunr

    mtngunr Scout Banned

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    I carry a can opener on my SAK, even though there is a P38 in my wallet, because it is not especially easy to remove and I want the screwdriver blade, which gives more torque than I can get using my P38 for slotted or phillips.
     
  16. Blackhillz

    Blackhillz Supporter Supporter

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    I recently discovered one of the types of canned chicken I buy for woods cooking now comes with a pop top, mind blown lol gonna take all the fun out of opening cans, but will be nice when it's cold out.
     
  17. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    Every once in a while I'll run into a can that doesn't have a pop top and I have to admit, it takes me by surprise.

    Does anyone else remember the sardine cans having the "key" that had a place to thread the lid tab into a slot and a T handle?
    They were really onto something. Before their time.
     
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  18. mtngunr

    mtngunr Scout Banned

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    When I was a kid, most every canned meat used a key to open them, producing a very useful and dangerous clockspring of razor wire. The newer pop tops are somewhat safer and less an adventure in possible hospital trips, than of old. I feel safer using a P38/51 than with any of them....
     
  19. southron

    southron Guide

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    I use my SAK a lot at home, but I always have a few p38's on my key chain and laying around.

    One older lady I know, who is a great cook, still pulls out a p38 and opens her cans with it.

    One would expect her to be using something fancy, but nope nice rich lady who lives like normal folk.

    I'd say a SAK is a bit easier to use as I get older, but both work about the same.

    Having a p38 is just to handy not to have.

    Also if someone wants to open a can I"d a lot rather hand them a p38 than my SAK since I have it sharpened and have had it a long time with no one but me using it.

    Guess the SAK is a working talisman in my mind. :)
     
  20. Lars

    Lars Angry German Supporter

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    I use my SAK to open cans when not at home. Just annoying that it works much better in my right than my left hand for that purpose. I would guess that it happens less than ten times a year.
     
  21. BCWoodsman

    BCWoodsman Wet Woodsman Supporter

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    My P38 is my preferred can opener away from home.

    The one on the SAK works well enough, but I find it awkward to use. I also really like the can opener on my Leatherman.
     
  22. Lichen

    Lichen Supporter Supporter

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    A friend returned home from VietNam back in the '70s and gave me a P38. It is still on my keyring and has opened hundreds of cans. He has since passed away and think of him everytime I use it.
     
  23. DPris

    DPris Guide

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    My SAK dates to 1984.
    My P38 dates to 1972.

    I've never used the can opener on the SAK.
    Before I got the SAK, that P38 I kept from a field ration was used for many purposes. It served frequently as a screwdriver, before the SAK. Can opener occasionally still after the SAK came along.
    Same P38 has been on my keyring well over 45 years & the batteries are STILL good.

    I would avoid the Chinese stuff today, not as strong.
    Denis
     
  24. EternalLove

    EternalLove Guide

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    SAK for me. I find it easier to use once I get it going. My hand tends to cramp up when using a p38 /58. I have both and occasionally carry one or the other when going overseas. It's possible that my bug out bag has one. I also do not have much on my key chain. In fact my key chain is carried seperately from my car key which has no key ring.
     
  25. colrbh

    colrbh Tracker

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    P38 on my father's ww2 dogtags.Oddly enough wasn't allowed in a court house because I wouldn't take it off and let security hold it.
     
  26. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead LB#42 Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    My Dad's P-38 (Korean veteran) rides on my keychain.
    We use a SAK can opener at home in the kitchen.
     
  27. WY_Not

    WY_Not Supporter Supporter

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    P-51 lives in my keyring. Heck it works better than many traditional can openers you buy anymore.

    Not a big fan of the SAK style can openers.
     
  28. Stophel

    Stophel Scout

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    I never really open cans "in the wild", but I use a P38 at home. I used my can opener on my Leatherman tool the other day. These types of openers work fine, but requires more arm motion than the P38, which you can lever much more quickly and easily with your fingers.
     
  29. Todd1hd

    Todd1hd Supporter Supporter

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    I guess I am the odd man out here, I use my SAK opener even though I probably have a half dozen P-38's and P-51's laying around. What is wrong with me?
     
  30. Line Dawg

    Line Dawg Scout

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    I have a few P-38's, but don't carry them. I always have my SAC so I use it.
     
  31. vdeal

    vdeal Guide

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    Never used a P-38 or 51 but I have used ones on my SAK's. It doesn't happen often but is easy enough. As for cans with keys I had that conversation with a buddy about 2 years ago and we were remembering the ones with the keys that you spun and they unzipped the cans. Finally found a picture online. A few months later I was in a fairly rural part of West Virginia and stopped at a little gas station and was looking around and wouldn't you know it there was a can of something with a key. I couldn't hardly believe it.
     
  32. MadMarcus

    MadMarcus Tracker

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    I've had a P38 on my keyring for about 30 years. For about the first five years of my marriage it was the only can opener we had. For me it's much quicker than the SAK can opener.
     
  33. JohnP

    JohnP No more half measures Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Anybody ever try one of these?

    BC2CD8B9-7260-4DCD-96FB-E178D0F8F4E5.jpeg

    A0B09C0F-2557-4EE0-9BAA-4C48EB43BF53.jpeg

    I have no idea what they are called. I see them a lot at gun shows and finally got one to try. I thought they looked kinda cool, but, in our hands, a P51 will kick its butt.

    JohnP
     
  34. DavidJAFO

    DavidJAFO Supporter Supporter

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    "somewhere having a brew (tea)"
    hello,
    @JohnP along similar lines, I have used to effect a similar lever style WWII German Army SIEGER can opener. I was gifted these 2 (John Wayne) can openers (sealed packets) by a BCUSA forum member recently from a trip to New York. :)
    Regards
    David

    Image 1.jpg
     
  35. dirt7

    dirt7 Supporter Supporter

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    Looks like I need to get a P-38 or -51, I have only ever used my SAK opener. While on a camping trip at a family campground a younger guy came over and asked if I had an opener. I handed him my SAK, he walked back to his site then came back a few minutes later completely confused on how to open it with a knife. They are pretty quick once you get used to them.
     
  36. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    Only on Russian 7.62x54R spam cans.
     
  37. Metaldog

    Metaldog Just chasing my tail... Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I keep a couple of P-38's in my "go kit" or pack (for emergencies). But, since I always carry a Gerber Multi-tool, I usually use the one on it, if needed.
     
  38. wizard

    wizard Guide

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    I can get a can opened with a SAK, but only with some persistence and a need to eat as motivation. I use a P-38 at home, out in the wild and anyplace I want to open a can easily, I have a few P-51'a and like them but they have a tendency to break, too much leverage. A great can opener is the Canadian Forces ration opener, much like a P-51 but more robust and good for opening cans while in gloves or mittens.
     
  39. dub

    dub Supporter Supporter

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    P-38 on the key-chain. Anyone else ever have the blade swivel open in your pocket and stab you in the leg when you sit down?
     
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  40. Sosteve

    Sosteve Scout

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    SAK ,when you get the hang of it,its like second nature
     
  41. lodge camper

    lodge camper Guide

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    i just use swiss tool when camping.
    if only they'd make an 83P for lefties.
     
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  42. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    Ha. I see what you did there ;)
     
  43. AdamD1776

    AdamD1776 Scout

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    I was actually just going to ask if anyone else experiences this, or knows a way to prevent it?
     
  44. DavidJAFO

    DavidJAFO Supporter Supporter

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    "somewhere having a brew (tea)"
    hello,
    I was gifted a pair of these too back in 2016. :)
    Regards
    David

    Image 1.jpg
     
  45. WY_Not

    WY_Not Supporter Supporter

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    I used to just cut off a strip of vet wrap and wrap it around a couple times. Always had a couple rolls floating around when I was an Appleseed instructor. Vet wrap and foam pipe insulation makes great impromptu stock build up material. :dblthumb:

    Oh, if you have to buy a roll, buy it from the local farm supply store (TSC, etc) rather than buying the stuff at the pharmacy. Same stuff, a third of the price.

     
  46. House of Horst

    House of Horst Have knife, will travel Supporter

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    @DavidJAFO, what might those be called? I like the looks of those! Can AND bottle opener in one. NICE!
     
  47. House of Horst

    House of Horst Have knife, will travel Supporter

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    I’ve put a small o-ring over mine. Hasn’t moved yet.
    B8DE0A63-745F-4EAB-BDC1-56B522604E18.jpeg
     
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  48. DavidJAFO

    DavidJAFO Supporter Supporter

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    "somewhere having a brew (tea)"
    hello,
    They're Canadian, I was gifted the pair & haven't seen any more since. :(
    Regards
    David
     
  49. DPris

    DPris Guide

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    Been stabbed in the leg dozens of times by my P38 over the years.
    Reassuring; lets me know it's still there. :)
    Nicely patina'd now.
    Denis
     
  50. Corso

    Corso Guide

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    keep meaning to pick one of these up but they missed a trick

    to two

    german.jpg
     

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