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Aug 20, 2010 10:52 PM

Which corkscrew is the best?

I am working on my wedding registry, and need a corkscrew. I feel guilty registering for a super fancy-schmancy one (i.e. the rabbit), however I struggle alot with opening wine (I'm a certified bartender, but have NO upper body strength). Any recommendations? Is the rabbit worth it?

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  1. My wife will only use the Screwpull Classic Table Model which requires little to no upper body strength and retails for under $30.00.

    3 Replies
    1. re: LGregory

      +1 for the Screwpull - bought mine 15 yrs ago on my honeymoon in Napa. I've pulled a lot of corks with it, and it's still pulling fine. ;-)

      I also love just a traditional waiter's tool too. I was a server for many, many years and I always carried one in my purse until after 9/11 and my favorite one was confiscated by airport security. :-(

      1. re: lynnlato

        I've lost count of the number of corkscrews I've lost at security gates. You'd think that by now I'd learn. Well, what I HAVE learned is that if I'm going to travel with a corkscrew, it's best if it's a cheap one.

        1. re: CindyJ

          I actually have a plastic one that lives in my carry-on - it was a promotional giveaway at some trade show I attended years ago. It's pretty crappy (it's a screw-type, not helical - see discussion below) but has worked OK the few times I've used it.

    2. Perhaps you should consider a Screwpull style like this:

      Personally, I like one of the simplest and most compact cork pullers, the "waiter's friend" style, like this:

      While there is some learning curve to the second type, because it is up to you to place the corkscrew correctly into the cork, I have got used to that and I am pretty sure that nothing is faster and easier. Plus, the ability to modify and adjust how the screw enters the cork is helpful on occasions when you're opening very old wines with weakened cork. You do need to use some muscle to pull the cork with leverage, but I prefer using leverage to the discomfort of turning a knob into the cork as with many other types.

      Also, there are cheaper and workable versions of the rabbit design. Chinese knock-offs, no doubt.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Bada Bing

        The waiter style cork screw is the best. It's simple and easy to use. It's also fast. If it wasn't waiters wouldn't use it.

        One of my tricks when it comes to outfitting my kitchen, watch what the pros use.


        1. re: Davwud

          Ditto. I am a very tiny women and can pop open a bottle in no time with a waiters corkscrew.

          1. re: Davwud

            YES! The rest of that rabbit, screwpull junk is nonsense. A waiter's style cork screw will even fit in your pocket. Look for a laguiole if your taste requires "pimped" items

        2. I am very happy with the Campagnolo corkscrew that I bought in Italy. The screw is planed so that the surfaces that pull the cork are flat. I never have any trouble getting a cork out, and the corks never break apart, no matter how bad their condition. It doesn't need to be a Campagnolo corkscrew, but the screw should be planed in a similar manner.

          10 Replies
          1. re: Tripeler

            This is the exact same one my dad always used. He loved it and I remember that it worked really well - for him.. For me, though, I love my plain and simple cork screw with a wood handle. I've had it for years and never have a problem getting a cork out. I have trouble with almost any other kind.

            1. re: Tripeler

              Interesting - when I was first learning about wine and corkscrews (this would be well back in the previous century), one of the first things I remember being taught was, "always make sure the screw part has a hollow core" - that if you couldn't insert a nail up the center of the screw you risked grinding up the cork instead of extracting it. Yet the one you picture has a solid core. Was I being lied to lo those many years ago?

              1. re: BobB

                I can't answer that, except to say I've never seen a corkscrew with a hollow core. I've only rarely ever crumbled a cork though, like maybe a couple of times in 30 years.

                1. re: ZenSojourner

                  You've probably seen them but not noticed the difference. They're the kind where the screw looks like a piece of heavy wire was wrapped around thin dowel, then sharpened at the end, as opposed to the type Tripeler links to that's like a large version of a wood screw. The vast majority of corkscrews out there, from those on Swiss Army knives to Rabbits, are hollow core.

                    1. re: BobB

                      OMG! When they said "hollow core" I thought the meant that the corkscrew itself was hollow, like it would be made of a piece of tubing twisted into that hollow shape.

                      LOL! What you're showing me above is actually the only type I've seen.

                      1. re: BobB

                        This is exactly what mine looks like except it has a wood handle. I have no idea where it came from, except that it's stamped "italy" on the metal shaft. I love this thing, i've had it forever and it never fails me. It disappeared once for a few weeks & i was SERIOUSLY bumming.

                    2. re: BobB

                      Not exactly. Most screw type corkscrews are crap. It requires extra, fairly expensive machining to make them work properly. A helix shaped screw only requires a pointed end, and so even cheaply made ones can work just fine.

                      1. re: dscheidt

                        Which brings up the question - if even cheap helical ones work fine, why bother spending all that money to machine the other kind?

                    One of the easiest corkscrews to use and it travels well! $20.00.

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: HillJ

                      That's my corkscrew of choice, too. My problem with a waiter's style corkscrew is that I too often screw the worm in at an angle and end up breaking the cork, or worse, grinding the glass bottle. The Screwpull is failsafe that way; the worm goes through the middle of the cork every time.

                      1. re: CindyJ

                        CindyJ's point is good: all of us fans of the waiter's style need to acknowledge that it calls for a bit of skill. There's a learning curve, as I said above, but it's not steep.

                        Like others, I assume, I've evolved a way to do it right every time--and I could describe it if the OP is interested--but you really do have to initiate the insertion of the screw in the cork just so.

                        1. re: CindyJ

                          The one described punches through the bottom of the cork though.

                          I don't think the waiters style is all that tricky. A bit of aim and you're good to go.


                          1. re: Davwud

                            It's a bit tricky, is all I'm saying. And it is possible to mis-insert a waiter's-style corkscrew along the side of the cork in such a way that you can tear apart older corks, even if you back it out and reinsert.

                            But the fact that you can precisely locate the insertion point of the waiter's style is also a great plus. A friend of mine once pulled only the top of an old cork out using wing-style puller, leaving so little remaining cork that pushing down at all on the remaining cork would push it into the wine. Only the waiter's style allowed us to put lateral pressure on the cork at just right point, and we got it out. It's totally my favorite style for ease and versatility.

                          2. re: CindyJ

                            I love this corkscrew! Can't count the number of folks that have converted to this and the ideal bottle/cs gift this has made. Fits in a purse, pocket with ease. I've been using the same one for a long time with no issue. Waiter's style is fine but I prefer the one I highlighted above.

                            1. re: HillJ

                              You're right, HillJ - the Screwpull is as small as a waiter's style; all the pieces just fit so nicely together. And it requires such minimal effort; one finger can twist the "thingy" and pull the cork right out.

                            2. re: CindyJ

                              I remember breaking a couple of corks when I first started using waiter-style corkscrews. There's an easy way through the short learning curve: Just enjoy more wine.

                            3. re: HillJ

                              I have that model and the original model and I like the original best. It's now called:
                              Screwpull by Le Creuset Table Model Corkscrew
                              This was the model that made Screwpull famous. The fixed two finger handle on the top is easier using than the removable one finger one. The screw is coated with teflon which makes going into and out of the cork very easy and clean. I have a kitchen draw with most of the other ones mentioned here and they never get used anymore. I did once have one that worked by injecting air to push the cork out. You would stick what looked like a giant hypodermic needle through the cork and then begin pumping the handle to build pressure inside the bottle. It was amusing until I tried it on a bottle of sangria which exploded. Definitely don't get that one.

                              1. re: BluPlateSpec

                                I have this exact corkscrew, and the drawer of ALL of the others, and this is the one that gets used and used and used. Through wedding and wine clubs, I have received all of the others and while I can use a waiters corkscrew without much angst, this one requires to effort at all. Put piece one over the bottle of wine, insert piece two, turn to the right until the cork comes out. Hold the cork and turn to the left to remove the cork. Repeat on your 2nd bottle of wine!

                              1. re: fourunder

                                Hilarious! Great party the walls!