Skip to main content

How to Use Different Types of Wine Openers and Corkscrews

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

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

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?

Regular Corkscrew

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

Scroll to Continue

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?

Wine Openers

© 2008 Stephanie Marshall


traslochimilano from USA on May 23, 2012:

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

louromano on March 24, 2012:

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

jeremytorres on October 12, 2011:

Useful hub.Thanks for sharing.

Rabbit wine opener on September 27, 2010:

Thank's for the review man

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on August 27, 2008:

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 from MA, USA on August 27, 2008:

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

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on August 27, 2008:

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

danielg343 on August 26, 2008:

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

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on March 31, 2008:

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!!

Margaret Hampton from Florida on March 31, 2008:

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???)

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on March 28, 2008:

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

2patricias from Sussex by the Sea on March 28, 2008:

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.

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on March 28, 2008:

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. :-)

Elisabeth Sowerbutts from New Zealand on March 27, 2008:

Screw top wines are the norm in Australia and NZ !

Tony Sky from London UK on March 13, 2008:


Ill think about the screw tip!


Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on March 12, 2008:

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.

Tony Sky from London UK on March 12, 2008:

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!!

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on March 12, 2008:

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

Peter M. Lopez from Sweetwater, TX on March 12, 2008:

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 from Around the USA on March 12, 2008:

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

Shadrack on March 12, 2008:

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

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on March 11, 2008:

Do we have to choose? LOL

Zsuzsy Bee from Ontario/Canada on March 11, 2008:

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

regards Zsuzsy

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on March 11, 2008:

Me too! Most reliable and cheapest

Stacie Naczelnik from Seattle on March 11, 2008:

I'm a butterfly wine opener fan myself.

Related Articles