Tin opener

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( Tin opener.png
Name tin opener
Appearance tin opener
Base price 30 zm
Weight 4
Material iron
Monster use Will not be used by monsters.

A tin opener is a tool that appears in NetHack. It is made of iron, and is naturally used for opening tins.


Tourists and Archeologists have a chance of starting with a tin opener.


You can only apply a tin opener if you have at least one tin in your inventory - doing so will prompt you to choose which tin you then want to open and eat. You can also wield it before manually opening the tin via e. Wielding a tin opener by applying it will not take up an additional turn if you immediately open a tin when prompted.[1] Though a tin opener is not a weapon or weapon-tool, a cursed one will weld to the player's hand when wielded.[2]

Opening a tin with this tool will do so quickly regardless of the tin's BUC status. The exact number of turns required to open a tin depends on the BUC status of the tin opener: 0-2 turns if cursed, 0 or 1 turns if uncursed, and 0 turns if blessed.[3]


Tourists who begin the game with a tin opener will enter the Dungeons of Doom wielding it, and should ideally unwield it before attempting melee combat.

Applying a tin opener to wield it and immediately opening a tin saves a turn compared to wielding the tin opener with w and then eating the tin, which may prove important when eating a tin of a monster that cures stoning or in a turn-count speed ascension. Using a blessed tin opener is the only way to guarantee that a tin is opened immediately, since even a blessed tin may otherwise take 1 turn to open, during which you may be interrupted.


The tin opener first appears in Hack 1.0.2 - from this version to NetHack 3.0.0, the item was called a can opener. From its introduction up to NetHack 3.6.1, applying the tin opener would only display a message instructions to wield it before eating a tin.



In UnNetHack, the iron golem found in the forest within the Ruins of Moria has a 50% chance to generate with a tin opener.

Encyclopaedia entry

Less than thirty Cat tribes now survived, roaming the cargo decks on their hind legs in a desperate search for food.
But the food had gone.
The supplies were finished.
Weak and ailing, they prayed at the supply hold's silver mountains: huge towering acres of metal rocks which, in their pagan way, the mutant Cats believed watched over them.
Amid the wailing and the screeching one Cat stood up and held aloft the sacred icon. The icon which had been passed down as holy, and one day would make its use known.
It was a piece of V-shaped metal with a revolving handle on its head.
He took down a silver rock from the silver mountain, while the other Cats cowered and screamed at the blasphemy.
He placed the icon on the rim of the rock, and turned the handle.
And the handle turned.
And the rock opened.
And inside the rock was Alphabetti spaghetti in tomato sauce.

[ Red Dwarf, by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor ]


  1. src/eat.c in NetHack 3.6.6, line 2726: use_tin_opener sets res, the number of turns taken, to 1 if you wield the tin opener. res is then returned if you choose to not open a tin. However, opening a tin will cause 1 to be returned regardless of whether you wielded the tin opener. Note that start_tin will set an occupation for the number of turns it would take to open the tin, which is processed separately.
  2. src/wield.c in NetHack 3.6.6, line 161
  3. src/eat.c in NetHack 3.6.6, line 1482