Last updated: September 7, 2021

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For wine lovers, nothing quite equates to the pleasure of uncorking a good bottle of wine. For this task, corkscrew wine openers are a practical and functional kitchen tool. The digital age has brought with it a wide range of designs with new functions that allow you to open even the toughest corked bottles with ease. Corkscrews are not only intended for professional environments, but they are also practical and useful at home as well.

Not only enology enthusiasts will enjoy the ability to appreciate the delicacies of wine within the intimacy of their own home. The availability and importance of having a good wine opener in the home and in businesses are simply undeniable. In this article, we reveal the workings of the different types of wine opening tools available to you. This information will allow you to determine your needs, a key step in finding the perfect corkscrew.

Key Facts

  • The simplest corkscrew mechanism you can find on the market are handheld "T" shape wine openers. Their basic design consists of a metal helix and a handle (almost always made of wood or some other durable material) to grip. Both pieces are set up perpendicular, making the shape of a T.
  • In the last few decades, the technology behind these wine accessories has evolved so much so, that in the United States today you'll find an endless array of models, which adapt to the specific needs of each user.
  • Today, both professionals and amateurs are opting for electric wine openers, a fast and efficient tool that requires little to no effort. Some models are so simple, that all they require is pressing a button.
  • There are some corkscrews that, unless you have a lot of previous experience, prove to be difficult to use. There are others, such as the air pump corkscrew, which are capable of altering the properties of the wine if the needle component is inserted incorrectly into the bottle.

Ranking: The best corkscrews

It’s nearly impossible to open up a bottle of wine without a bottle opener, making them an essential part of any kitchen or restaurant toolbox. If you like superior quality and high-end products, you may be willing to invest a good amount of cash, however, spending a fortune on this kitchen accessory isn’t always necessary. Take a look at our ranking to see and compare descriptions of the top-rated products. This will give you a better idea of the possibilities, helping you find the one that best suits your needs and your wallet.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about corkscrews

Buying a corkscrew may seem like a simple and medial task. An errand that can be carried out in any store, whether that be in a strip mall or a cheap store. However, if you want a good, reliable product that will allow you to go through your daily life with ease, opening bottles efficiently and safely; it’s best you inform yourself well on the ins and outs of corkscrew openers. Below are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions among users, and all the main details you should consider before making your purchase.

Mesero sirviendo vino

Having a good corkscrew at home or in your business will make your life much easier at the time to cork a bottle.
(Source: Pelikh: 119822429/

What is a corkscrew exactly?

Surely, you already have an idea of what a corkscrew is and what it looks like. The ancient corkscrew design has been used and repeated throughout history to help us handle, create and open a wide variety of materials. However, if we want to be a bit more specific, a modern corkscrew is a long metal helix or spiral that is built with a handle or lever to facilitate removing corks and opening sealed bottles.

The closest tool frelative is the traditional metal spiral used by English soldiers in the 17th century to extract jammed bullets from rifles. The history of the corkscrew is rich, and gives us insight into the discoveries, invetions, evolution and progression of our species. Although the corkscrew was around for decades before, the first patent was made by the British inventor Samuel Henshall, in 1795, patented in it’s most well known form, the shape of a "T".

One of the most important and large corkscrew collections in the world is in the Vivanco Wine Museum, located in Briones, municipality of the Autonomous Community of La Rioja. It showcases a wide selection of diverse corkscrews that were made across a millenia, uncovered in different places all around the world.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a corkscrew?

These days, there are a plethora of different models of wine openers on the market, as you have probably already seen. Despite their variations and differences in design, all corkscrews will make it easier for you to remove corks from bottles, usually wine. In the following table, we’ve laid out the general advantages and disadvantages of using corkscrew bottle openers:

  • Easy to use
  • The color, flavor and aroma of the wine are kept in the cork
  • The spiral tip does not damage the cork
  • The lever doesn’t pierce the cork of the bottle, rather it is used externally
  • Some types require a lot of dexterity (corkscrew)
  • some corkscrews (air pump) may alter the properties of the wine if missused

Which is preferable, an electric or manual corkscrew?

It all depends on your personal preferences. As mentioned above, there are as many types of corkscrews as there are preferences. For instance, there are those who are passionate about the classic forms of wine openers, those who prefer a corkscrew that they can easily carry with them and those who prefer to invest in the latest technology wine openers. Let's take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of each type:

Advantages Disadvantages
Electric corkscrew Bottle opens effortlessly. It is suitable for elderly people or people with difficulties due to medical condition. It is a convenient, new-age device that only requires it be recharged so that it is ready to go next time. If they require batteries, they can be quite heavy. They can be more expensive and don't deal with tight or long corks will.
Manual corkscrew It is always ready to use. It is usually smaller and lighter than electric models. In general, they are cheaper. They are usually very robust and include other features, such as foil cutters and bottle cap openers. Sometimes they require quite a bit of practice. It is often necessary to exert force and technique to remove the cork.

What types of corkscrews are there and which one is right for me?

The original corkscrews were very rudimentary, but from their discovery, they evolved and new models continue to emerge, each one increasingly maneuverable and with greater adaptability towards the corks they extract. Below is a table with all the main types of corkscrews, their advantages and disadvantages:

Types of corkscrew Advantages Disadvantages
Lever Corkscrew With a handle that makes it easy to twist, this is the simplest of the wine bottle openers. A concave disc between the handle and the screw allows the cork to slide out of the bottleneck. It requires strength, if you have frail wrists or will be opening lots of bottles, it is not the best choice. A tough cork will give you trouble and it can brake.
Waiter's Corkscrews or sommelier knife It is precise and simple to use. Beginners and novices may have some difficulty using them at first.
Winged Corkscrews (or butterfly) The two levers make it so that it requires less effort and force than a typical twist corkscrew. You have to be careful and make sure to choose a variety with a well-shaped screw - one not too wide in diameter - to avoid shredding the cork. It occupies a lot of space compared to other types.
Handheld T-shaped Corkscrew Very simple design which the name describes. Requires strength and technique to properly extract the cork. It doesn't have any kind of support to use as leverage. The cork is easily damaged if not used correctly.
Bell or Barolo Corkscrew It's great for beginners. It ensures bottle stability and it is practical to use. It's more expensive than winged corkscrew openers and it takes up more space. It can get stuck or malfunction.
Ah-So Cork Puller It facilitates the extraction of the cork without any damage. It requires a lot of skill and ability to work it smoothly.
Electric Wine Opener It does not require skill or previous practice. It needs batteries, making them overall, more expensive. They are usually heavier and bigger due to the use of batteries.
Air Pump Corkscrew No power required. It is not frequently used because it can alter the properties of the wine by introducing air into the bottle.

How are corkscrews used?

The use of a corkscrew varies according to the type and model. It is not the same to uncork a bottle with an electric corkscrew as it is to uncork a bottle with a winged corkscrew. In the following table, we’ve summarized the techniques and efforts necessary to use each different type of corkscrew and the corresponding considerations to keep in mind. Pay attention:

Types of corkscrew How to use it
Waiter's Corkscrews or sommelier knife First, you must rest the spiral on the top of the cork. Then, insert the metal screw in the bottle and remove the cork by pulling it upwards. Once you’ve extracted two-thirds of the cork via the lever system, use the help of the lower metallic support to extract the entire cork.
Winged Corkscrews Support the base by the neck of the bottle. Rotate and turn the upper part of the corkscrew until the entire metal spiral emerges out from the bottom, the wings will lift as you do so. Rotate the handle the other way to screw the metallic spiral into the cork. Lower the wings completely with a bit of force and lift the cork smoothly until it is almost completely removed.
Handheld T-shaped Corkscrew Properly screw the metal spiral into the cork. Pull up tightly while holding the bottleneck to remove the cork completely.
Bell or Barolo Corkscrew Introduce the metal spiral into the cork of the bottle. Turn the upper part until the cork is fully removed.
Ah-So Cork Puller The sheets must be inserted through the sides of the bottleneck. Then with a bit of force, simply pull to remove the cork completely.
Electric Wine Opener Simply place the tip of the corkscrew on top of the cork. Then, just press a button and the spiral cork tip will automatically lower and insert into the cork, pulling it out smoothly on its own until the cork is removed completely - no force or movement required.
Air Pump Corkscrew You only need to stick the needle in the cork of the bottle to introduce air. Pump until the cork is completely out.

How do I clean my corkscrew?

If you want your corkscrew to remain useful and still be like new over the years, regular maintenance and cleaning are necessary. Often with traditionally designed corkscrew openers, you simply need to wipe them down with a damp cloth or sponge after using it and dry it well to avoid possible oxidation and rusting, this is especially important if it is not made of stainless steel.

Sacacorchos de una pieza

If you have frail writs or lack the strenth, you can always opt for electric corkscrews.
(Source: Karandaev: 98590849/

Purchase Criteria

If you've come this far, you know there a multitude of corkscrews models on the market. For instance, if you know you have frail writs or don't quite have the arm strength or simply prefer not to use a lot of muscle force, you can opt for an electric corkscrew. In any case, it is always advisable to familiarize yourself with the different characteristics and purchase standards of these tools so that you can ensure you make the right choice. Here is the last set of criteria to keep in mind during your search for the perfect wine or bottle opener:

Ease of use

Even if you are passionate about having elegant and beautiful products, you should keep in mind that the corkscrew you choose should also be practical and suitable for all your needs. The wine opener should always be suitable for the coordination, strength, and size of each individual. If you don't have a lot of practice opening wine bottles, make sure it’s a model that you can easily handle and you will for sure use in your home or restaurant for years to come.

Couple date with wine

In its traditional form, a corkscrew is simply a steel screw attached to a perpendicular handle, made of wood or some other material.
(Source: Lightfieldstudios: 102324522/

Intended use

It seems obvious, but as with all other kitchen tools and utensils, size matters. If you have little space for storing it or need to carry it with you to various locations, smaller models will, of course, be the better choice. If, on the other hand, you need it only to use in your home and you have space, it is only important that it be robust, durable and large enough to fulfill its function with ease.

Always keep in mind whether you will want extra features, such as foil cutters or bottle cap openers, incorporated into your corkscrew opener. If you work in a restaurant or know you like to enjoy a variety of drinks, it may be wise to buy multi-purpose corkscrews to decrease the number of tools you need to have around or carry with you.

Paulo CoelhoBrazilian Author
"Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle."

Material and weight

Make sure you double-check that the corkscrew is made of high quality and long-lasting materials. Stainless steel or non-stick propeller/screw will ensure maximum durability. It also provides for a non-slip grip. Wood is a durable and beautiful material, common for gift pieces. Their finishes are elegant, however, they also tend to be more expensive.

Wood is commonly used in the most traditional and simplest of models; applied to make the handles of the classic "T" shaped corkscrews openers. Other corkscrews are made of aluminum or metal. In any case, opt for one that is light, making it easier to handle and to uncork a bottle. And as always, we recommend that you choose quality products that will stay functional and endure the passage of time.

Ejemplos de sacacorchos

A corkscrew is a tool for drawing corks from wine bottles and other household bottles that may be sealed with corks.
(Source: Jirkaejc: 76354991/


Keep in mind that even manual corkscrews can include accessories, such as a foil cutter. These small, built-in blades are used to remove the aluminum outer capsule often wrapped around the neck of the bottle. This eliminates the need to use a knife or spend the time peeling it off with your hands. Another common accessory is the bottle cap opener, allowing you to quickly and easily remove the caps on beer or glass soda bottles. If these are features that interest you, make sure to take them into consideration at the time of purchase.

Oliver GoldsmithBritish Writer
"I love everything that is old; old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wines."

Electric or non-electric?

If the corkscrew is electric, you should take into consideration the material, weight, size and it's built-in accessories. The power supply system is usually either battery or battery-operated. Almost always, the best option will be a long-lasting rechargeable battery, eliminating the necessity to charge and buy disposable batteries. However, purchasing AA or AAA batteries can help, as they are cheaper.

Another thing to look out for is the number of bottles that can be opened with a single charge, especially for professionals. If you work in the restaurant business, you don’t want the opener to suddenly die in the middle of your workday. Never forget to check out the warranty on the device; as we all know, any electric device comes with the possibility of malfunctioning. Lastly, like any other product or traditional corkscrew, ensure it is made of good and quality materials.

Perfect dinner with wine

The first known patent on the corkscrew dates back to 1795 by a Samuel Henshall of England.
(Source: Lightfieldstudios: 102616615/


All in all, the corkscrew is an indispensable tool in any home or kitchen. If you are passionate about the world of wine, you’ll greatly appreciate a quality product every time you open a new bottle of wine. As you have already seen throughout this guide, there is a wide range of models on the market. Making it important that you take the time to look for the one that best suits you and your preferences and needs. Although it is a simple, everyday object first created hundreds of years ago.

Its evolution has gone hand in hand with the technological innovations that characterize the world of today. It is now possible and accessible to enjoy the benefits of electric corkscrew openers and all of their infinite possibilities. Keep in mind that, above all, the purchase criteria and recommendations we have made throughout this article, are meant to lead you towards finding only top quality products that will last you a lifetime. Doing thorough research before buying a corkscrew opener is your only job and a decision you won’t regret.

(Featured image source: Tomertu: 56812803/

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