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How to Use Different Types of Wine Openers and Corkscrews

Updated on September 26, 2017

Many Types of Wine Openers to Uncork that Bottle

If you enjoy a bottle of fine wine as much as I do, you know that the first trick is getting the bottle open. There is a wide selection of wine keys on the market these days, ranging from $5 corkscrews, to $100 (or more) silver gadgets that twist their way into the cork and then pop it out, almost seamlessly. These devices range widely in cost, effectiveness and value. Moreover, you can often find bargains on some of the more trendy openers, if you buy them through eBay, or at garage sales, rather than at boutique wine stores.

This article will go through a few of the primary types of wine openers, and compare them. You may decide to have one or two in your kitchen drawer. One size doesn't always fit all.

And, once you figure out how to get to that nectar, read more about the foods with which you should pair your drink.

There are many different tools to use for opening wine
There are many different tools to use for opening wine | Source
Rabbit lever wine opener
Rabbit lever wine opener | Source

Lever Wine Opener

Cost: Approximately $40

Benefits: Easy to use. Position over the top of the cork, lift the lever down and the screw will drive down into the cork. Press the lever up and the cork comes out. Depending on the tightness of the cork, you may have to grip the bottle tightly.

Drawbacks: Relatively expensive. Does not last forever (models break after about 1-2 years). Not very portable. Takes up a lot of room in your kitchen drawer.

Air Pressure Wine Opener

Cost: $30

Benefits: Ease of use. No struggling with getting the cork out. Portable.

Drawbacks: I've never seen this before, so I'm not sure if this would actually work as advertised. It appears that you simply pump air in and then pull out the cork. If its really that easy, then I'm game to try! On the expensive side.

Tabletop Wine Opener

Cost: Approximately $75

Benefits: Easy to use, like the lever wine opener above. Plus, it will look really cool in your kitchen, or in your bar. Impress your guests or date! No struggling with the bottle if the cork is tight, the base of the tabletop wine opener has a suction that grips the counter, allowing physics to do the work for you.

Drawbacks: Expensive. You must really be into wine to buy this gadget! It will always be out, taking up space on your counter. Not portable at all! If it breaks, you're out a lot of bucks.

Corkscrews are an intuitive type of wine opener
Corkscrews are an intuitive type of wine opener | Source

Waiter Corkscrew

Cost Ranges: $5-15

Benefits: Cheap, Portable, Multi-functioning (you can use it to open beer bottles too). Small enough to be stored very easily. Once you get the hang of it, they are relatively easy to use.

Drawbacks: Not intuitive to use. If you get the corkscrew in crooked, you could end up breaking the cork, or getting half out. Have you ever been to dinner and watched a novice waiter try to use a corkscrew?

Corkscrew wine opener
Corkscrew wine opener | Source

Regular Corkscrew

Cost: Varies widely, depending on materials, $5-$150

Benefits: Portable, easily stored, can be a beautiful piece of art, a gift, or heirloom. For those that know how to use them, simple mechanism that does not break.

Drawbacks: Like the waiter corkscrew, its not easy to use for novices. Must be precisely positioned and handscrewed into the cork. User must then use their own muscular force to extract the cork.

Butterfly Wine Opener

Cost: Ranges from $10-40 (or more, depending on materials)

Benefits: Ease of use, portable and easy to store. Position the corkscrew over the top of the cork. As you drill down into the cork, the "wings" raise up on the side, allowing you to press down to release the cork.

Drawbacks: You may have to "re-drill" before the cork will come out. Positioning is key, as with many of the other models discussed in this article. Not the least expensive model.

Still Need Help Opening that Bottle of Wine?

© 2008 Stephanie Hicks


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    • traslochimilano profile image

      traslochimilano 5 years ago from USA

      Nice Tips with pic. I like white wines. Cheers............

    • louromano profile image

      louromano 5 years ago

      Wow thanks for such an advance information i have learnt a lot.

    • jeremytorres profile image

      jeremytorres 6 years ago

      Useful hub.Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      Rabbit wine opener 7 years ago

      Thank's for the review man

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      LOL - yes, the marathon is coming up fast!! I'm at work today, but brought my gear for a noon-time run. 18 miles last Sunday.... I can hardly believe I finished. :-)

    • Dottie1 profile image

      Dottie1 9 years ago from MA, USA

      Why aren't you out training? I'm watching you!!!! !Dottie~

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thanks for the tip, daniel. I will take a look at the website. More options for easy wine opening... when even screw top is too difficult? :-) Steph

    • profile image

      danielg343 9 years ago

      I was just reading in Patterson's Tasting Panel about a new type of butterfly wine opener for screw top bottles. I dont think you can actually buy them yet, maybe you can. The website is

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Waiter's corkscrews are very convenient, especially when you know how to use them. And quite portable! I've never tried Compu-Smart's trick... but it must work for him! LOL!!

    • Caregiver-007 profile image

      Margaret Hampton 9 years ago from Florida

      The table-top is too bulky and lacking in elegance. I've heard good things about the air pressure opener from users. The butterfly has been a fall-back that works O.K., and the regular corkscrew is a royal pain.

      My all-time favorite to which I keep returning is the waiter's corkscrew. A GOOD one. Not all corkscrews are created equal! It's quick and efficient (when I pay attention), light-weight, and I can keep one in my travel bag and one in my purse. Never again do I want to arrive at a remote lake location with a great bottle of wine and no opener! (Hey -Does compu-smart's noisy trick actually work???)

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      LOL - 2patricias! I think you can get the hang of any of these openers. But do watch for the hangovers... :-)

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 9 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      I think its worth getting to grips with the waiters friend type opener. I think I've got the hang of it now that I've practised a lot. Shame about the hang over though.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      You're right Lissie - much of the wine that I buy that originates from those countries has screw tops. I think that the wine stays fresher, longer, once you open it. But no fancy gadgets necessary. :-)

    • Lissie profile image

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 9 years ago from New Zealand

      Screw top wines are the norm in Australia and NZ !

    • compu-smart profile image

      Compu-Smart 9 years ago from London UK


      Ill think about the screw tip!


    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Good one Compu-Smart! LOL!! Or, you could also try one of the screw-top wines. No implement needed, and the wines are actually getting much better these days.

    • compu-smart profile image

      Compu-Smart 9 years ago from London UK

      Im going to think about the butterfly opener..I actually bang the base of the wine bottle against a hard wall using a towel to stop bottle from breaking! Each firm bang and the cork slowly rises.

      Benefits. You don't need anything except a wall and cloth..

      Drawbacks. Can annoy the neighbors!!

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      OMG, Peter - you totally have me dying here! Perhaps the Kitchen Gadget one pushed the envelope a bit too much! Thanks! :-)

    • Peter M. Lopez profile image

      Peter M. Lopez 9 years ago from Sweetwater, TX

      Nice hub. I though the "Kitchen Gadgets To Make You Laugh Out Loud" hub would have made the finals for sure. Good luck on this one, though.

      ...I'm hope I'm not imagined on anyone's cabinet with knives in me. LOL!

    • Angela Harris profile image

      Angela Harris 9 years ago from Around the USA

      We always use the butterfly. I'm not a wine drinker, but I have friends and family that insist.

    • Shadrack profile image

      Shadrack 9 years ago

      You know when I was a waiter I had such a trouble in having to open bottles of wine for the table that I will be serving. On my first day I had to push the cork inside and I had to pay for a new bottle from my tips. I am now a professional when it comes to that. Thanx to your hub

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Do we have to choose? LOL

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Me too! Cheers red or white ladies? great HUB.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Me too! Most reliable and cheapest

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile image

      Stacie Naczelnik 9 years ago from Seattle

      I'm a butterfly wine opener fan myself.