Try It Review: Zip It package opener

3:20 PM, Mar 22, 2011   |    comments
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Zip It clamshell package opener

ALPHARETTA -- It's almost comical how tough it is to open clamshell packaging that more and more products seem to be sold in. But sometimes it's a serious problem. In fact the Consumer Product Safety Commission reports more than 6000 people a year end up in the emergency room from injuries suffered while trying to open packaging.

George Prattes knows the frustration and danger when using scissors or knives to get into the plastic wraps.

The Zip It battery operated package opener claims it safely cut through even the toughest package.

"I thought it was a cheese grater," George said as he looked over the handheld gadget. If it works, he's ready to lay out his 20 bucks on the spot.

After inserting two brand new AA batteries, George tried to slice open a light bulb package.

While the Zip It sliced off a little plastic, the package is still tightly sealed.

"It opened the first level," he said.

The directions say if you're having trouble, you should remove the safety guard and try again. That really concerns George.

"Once you take the guard off you've got the exposed blades here," he said, "and if you accidentally slipped you could do a lot of damage with a rotating blade on your fingertips."

Then George carefully tried again. But it was still tough going and it took him several tries to get the package open.

"Okay that would open it," he said, "but you see how much work I had to go through to get it open."

Just to make sure, George tried opening other types of packages.

George thought his scissors and knife were looking better by the minute. Then barely five minutes into opening packages the Zip It seems out of juice.

"The batteries are almost dead," he said, "and we haven't even gotten through two or three packages at the most."

So is the Zip It the cure for "wrap rage" or just another empty promise?

"This is one that I could not honestly go out and purchase myself," George said. "I am going to have to give it unfortunately two thumbs down."

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