How cut open an old tobacco tin?

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Actonius

Lurker
May 11, 2021
16
18
Sydney, Australia
I just acquired this old tin of Gallaher's Two Flakes and I'm puzzled how to open it?! How were you supposed to cut the top of these tins? The old style can openers with the sharp prong are useless as you don't have a ridge to wedge the blade... The only option I can think of is to use a heck saw, but the cut will too rough and it'll ruin the tin. Any ideas?
 

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simong

Lifer
Oct 13, 2015
2,488
15,070
UK
Strewth cobber, Two Flakes!!!
housewives choice
3C1C9197-CDE0-42B0-8710-F5293D68AACD.jpegArmy Issue but you can also find these in camping stores etc.
2E9AC98E-9EFE-4772-AE1D-E2B05DF28E71.jpeg
As you rightly said you don’t want to use anything with a serrated edge or you’ll ruin the tobacco.
Please show us a photo of the flakes, when you get round to opening it & tell us what it smokes like. I for one would be fascinated to see & hear all about it. Should be in impeccable condition & a mesmerising smoke. Fair Dinkum!👍
 
Jun 9, 2015
3,693
22,922
41
Mission, Ks
That is a cutter top tin, it had a cap on it that had little blade the you twisted around the top of the tin to open, sadly you're missing your cutter cap. They are fairly thin and can be opened with a small sharp knife poked into the top and slowly ran around the inside of the edge on top just like the original cap would have done. cutter top.jpg
Photo courtesy of reborn pipes
 

condorlover1

Lifer
Dec 22, 2013
7,959
26,494
New York
That is a cutter top tin, it had a cap on it that had little blade the you twisted around the top of the tin to open, sadly you're missing your cutter cap. They are fairly thin and can be opened with a small sharp knife poked into the top and slowly ran around the inside of the edge on top just like the original cap would have done. View attachment 195436
Photo courtesy of reborn pipes
Damn! I was just about to offer to buy the damn tin off you!
 

simong

Lifer
Oct 13, 2015
2,488
15,070
UK
You can buy an empty one with the 'cutter' lid on Ebay Oz for a few A$
True, but who’s to know if the tin lid has a different circumference? Being Australian, I’m guessing he’s partial to a few ‘tinnies‘ of an evening. Potential recipe for disaster. At least if he get’s a proper opener he’ll keep his fingers & thumbs intact….as well as never going hungry when he’s out in the bush! Nothing worse than being out camping, cold wet & hungry, alone with a tin of beans but no opener!

Here’s the last cutter top I had (with lid).
2239BF99-BCF0-4988-B4DD-64301D9FDAED.jpeg
 
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macaroni

Lifer
Oct 28, 2020
1,002
3,056
Texas
@simong - Great idea --a "John Wayne" or P-38! That also popped in my mind!! I also remember, from long ago, a "housewife" as a little sewing kit haha LOL! Speaking of old Marine Corps jargon, anybody remember a "rubber bitch?"
kindly
mike
 

simong

Lifer
Oct 13, 2015
2,488
15,070
UK
@simong - Great idea --a "John Wayne" or P-38! That also popped in my mind!! I also remember, from long ago, a "housewife" as a little sewing kit haha LOL! Speaking of old Marine Corps jargon, anybody remember a "rubber bitch?"
kindly
mike
Unfortunately not. They didn’t allow females in the regiment ‘back in the day’. Different countries, different rules I suppose. Lol
 

Actonius

Lurker
May 11, 2021
16
18
Sydney, Australia
Strewth cobber, Two Flakes!!!
housewives choice
View attachment 195430Army Issue but you can also find these in camping stores etc.
View attachment 195431
As you rightly said you don’t want to use anything with a serrated edge or you’ll ruin the tobacco.
Please show us a photo of the flakes, when you get round to opening it & tell us what it smokes like. I for one would be fascinated to see & hear all about it. Should be in impeccable condition & a mesmerising smoke. Fair Dinkum!👍
I remember these can openers, the bottom one works only with modern cans, notice the slot behind the blade where the can rim is supposed to go. The tobacco tin doesn't have suck rim unfortunately.
I can try to find the can opener on the top, however I have no idea how it's supposed to work but maybe the longer blade would be able to do the job. Thanks for the good suggestion, will search in the camping supplies section
 

Actonius

Lurker
May 11, 2021
16
18
Sydney, Australia
That is a cutter top tin, it had a cap on it that had little blade the you twisted around the top of the tin to open, sadly you're missing your cutter cap. They are fairly thin and can be opened with a small sharp knife poked into the top and slowly ran around the inside of the edge on top just like the original cap would have done. View attachment 195436
Photo courtesy of reborn pipes
Yes, I have seen these lids, but sadly my tin doesn't have one. it's still unclear to me how exactly it works but I may buy a cheap empty tin just for the lid. Seems like you squeeze the plates on the top and just rotate the lid around? Should the lid be with the right diameter though?
 

Actonius

Lurker
May 11, 2021
16
18
Sydney, Australia
True, but who’s to know if the tin lid has a different circumference? Being Australian, I’m guessing he’s partial to a few ‘tinnies‘ of an evening. Potential recipe for disaster. At least if he get’s a proper opener he’ll keep his fingers & thumbs intact….as well as never going hungry when he’s out in the bush! Nothing worse than being out camping, cold wet & hungry, alone with a tin of beans but no opener!

Here’s the last cutter top I had (with lid).
View attachment 195554
Oh, that's a beauty! And the blade is a of a different design. How does it look like from the bottom side?
 

mingc

Lifer
Jun 20, 2019
3,953
10,981
The Big Rock Candy Mountains
I remember these can openers, the bottom one works only with modern cans, notice the slot behind the blade where the can rim is supposed to go. The tobacco tin doesn't have suck rim unfortunately.
I can try to find the can opener on the top, however I have no idea how it's supposed to work but maybe the longer blade would be able to do the job. Thanks for the good suggestion, will search in the camping supplies section
The model on the top also needs a raised rim to work. The rim guides the opener around the edge and serves as a fulcrum for the opener as you work it around the can.