HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
What are you cooking today?
TELL US

Best corkscrews?

frogmountain Feb 3, 2011 10:18 AM

Ours was lost in a recent move, so we need to get a new one. Suggestions?

  1. m
    mikie Feb 3, 2011 11:00 AM

    Personally I prefer the waiters style with the double hinge, something like this:

    http://www.amazon.com/Pulltap-Double-...

    The advantage of the double hinge is the ease by which you can leverage the corkscrew then as it nears the end of the pull put the other part of the leg down to fully extract the cork.

    In the new age of faux corks the CO2 powered "Cork Pops" jsut don't work consistantly.

    11 Replies
    1. re: mikie
      l
      la2tokyo Feb 3, 2011 11:11 AM

      +1 on the double hinge, specifically that "Pulltap" one.

      I was waiting tables for a while and I opened dozens of bottles of wine per night, and that was my favorite corkscrew. People have given me all kinds of corkscrews. I have two fancy corkscrews that probably cost over $100 with beautiful wood handles, other Laguiole corkscrews, that "rabbit" thing, etc.. When I go to help out at my friend's wine bar these days the $9 pulltap is the only one I would consider using. The worm is the perfect thickness and the knife cuts well for a long, long time. I can't remember ever breaking a cork with it. If it had one more turn it might help with really old long crumbly Bordeaux corks and the like, but it's $9 and the next best thing is probably at least $50.

      1. re: la2tokyo
        frogmountain Feb 3, 2011 11:30 AM

        Many thanks!

        1. re: la2tokyo
          sunshine842 Feb 3, 2011 11:41 AM

          Me, too -- friends of ours have one, and we were so impressed when we saw how well it worked that when our regular waiter's corkscrew packed it in a few weeks later, we searched out one with the double hinge.

          It takes half the arm and hand strength and as above, doesn't seem to break the cork as easily.

        2. re: mikie
          paulj Feb 3, 2011 11:43 AM

          That double hinge one sells for something like $2-3 at Trader Joes

          1. re: paulj
            frogmountain Feb 3, 2011 11:49 AM

            Our TJ's (on Long Island) doesn't sell wine, so no corkscrews, alas.

            1. re: frogmountain
              l
              la2tokyo Feb 3, 2011 12:15 PM

              There are a lot of double hinged corkscrews that are junk. I bought a box of corkscrews that looked similar to the one in the link but they were stainless - 99 cents a piece, made in China. If you look down the center of the worm in the cheap ones, they aren't symmetrical. The asymmetry causes the screw to tear the cork as it travels down. The cheap corkscrews in question also have thicker worms, which put a lot of pressure on the cork, causing it to expand and leading to more breakage. In the two weeks we had those corkscrews there were over a dozen corks broken in my restaurant. I had to throw them all out. Pulltap's is a trademark and I don't think any of the imitations are allowed to put the name on the package. They used to be made by Vollrath but now I think the manufacturer has changed. I bought the new ones and they seem the same. It's worth the extra $7. You can probably open three thousand bottles of wine with one before it falls apart. Eventually the spring that holds the worm out will fail or the knife will go dull, but if it's for home use your liver might fail before the corkscrew does.

              I attached a picture of the package. I saw them at bevmo for about the same price.

              http://www.amazon.com/Waiter-Pulltap-...

               
              1. re: la2tokyo
                Delucacheesemonger Feb 3, 2011 01:03 PM

                Wine accesories unlimited sells the chromed model, 5151c for $ 28 plus shipping. It is heavier and far cooler than the regular one and is perfect.

                1. re: la2tokyo
                  SanityRemoved Feb 5, 2011 08:46 AM

                  I just picked this up yesterday at my local restaurant supply house for $9.

                  Small cardboard box with the following printed on the box: Waiter's Corkscrew Pulltap's Pulltex Vollrath Made in Spain Item 47602

                  http://www.vollrathco.com/catalog_pro...

                  1. re: SanityRemoved
                    m
                    MOSFET Feb 5, 2011 10:33 AM

                    Vollrath doesnt manufacuter those. The biggest importer of the pulltex corkscrews into the U.S. is Franmara

                    1. re: MOSFET
                      l
                      la2tokyo Feb 5, 2011 10:51 AM

                      I think Vollrath used to have the patent and trademark, and they sold it to Franmara. My uncle used to work for Vollrath and he had crates of them piled in his office. They said it was one of their more successful products. But now they don't seem to have them anymore and the Pulltap's® trademark is only on the Franmara package. As I said before, the quality seems to be the same. Hopefully they keep it that way.

            2. re: mikie
              scubadoo97 Feb 3, 2011 03:38 PM

              My wife has problems using most of the cork screws in our house like the rabbit, the waiter style and the double hinge one. I finally got a Screwpull that works great for her. Just screw in and keep turning and the cork lifts right up. No leverage needed

              http://www.amazon.com/Screwpull-S1015...

            3. b
              blackpippi Feb 3, 2011 12:42 PM

              Typically, I'm not a fan of the Wings because the worms are too small and they feel flimsy in the hand. However, about 10 years ago I found a heavy duty one with an extra long worm and am still using and loving it.
              Unfortunately, they are diffcult to find. I just bougt one for a friend (who loves it too) at the beveragefactory.com and with shipping and tax was $25.00.

              Here's the description: Deluxe Wing Corkscrew - Auger Worm, Chrome Plated.

              (Don't like the pulltaps. Maybe if I spent some time learning how to use them they would work, but inevitably I end up breaking out in a nervous sweat while I shred the cork.)

              1. s
                Sharoneonta Feb 3, 2011 03:49 PM

                Farberware. Wing. $5.

                1. s
                  smkit Feb 3, 2011 07:06 PM

                  If you are only somewhat into wine, I would go with a reliable/cheap waiters' style corkscrew, but if you really like wine, get something that works and you love. A corkscrew is often used more than most of your best kitchen tools. (Mine is used daily.) I bought a beautiful Forge de Laguiole Michel Bras designed corkscrew, and it is something that I will use for decades.

                  I have the top one on this link and I definitely open more bottles of wine just to use it ; )

                  http://www.forge-de-laguiole.com/page...

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: smkit
                    paulj Feb 3, 2011 07:41 PM

                    Does that Languiole really work better, or just look better? :)

                    1. re: paulj
                      s
                      smkit Feb 4, 2011 01:16 AM

                      Well, it depends upon the individual. IMO other screw pulls are easier at extracting a cork in terms of force (double-hinged ones for instance), but the Laguiole is one of the most comfortable I have used and has a nice heft to it. For single-lever pulls I like some weight. The pull seems smoother to me.

                      The lever arm is pretty short, and this affects how you need to apply pressure to remove the cork once the worm is fully inserted. For the Laguiole pull it is one smooth action. I have a Rosle with a longer lever arm and I end up pulling up at one point and then repositioning my hand to push the handle up the rest of the way to extract the last bit of cork. I like how I don't have to reposition my hand with the Laguiole, but I am sure other screw pulls also do this.

                      The foil cutter is also the best I have seen on any corkscrew. it is hard to describe, but it is longer and nests perfectly with the neck of the bottle while holding the body of the screwpull and the cutter is rounded just right.

                      Is it better? That is hard to say. I definitely prefer using it over other screw pulls in my drawer. There are subtle design aspects that make it slightly better in my opinion, but there are probably cheaper options that have these same features. Is the extra cost worth it? It does for me, but earlier in life I would have scoffed at dishing out more for a screw pull.

                      I guess it is kind of like a good pen. It doesn't write that much better than a regular plastic pen, but it feels better in the hand, will last longer, and looks better.

                      1. re: smkit
                        m
                        mikie Feb 4, 2011 05:08 AM

                        That's a beautiful corkscrew indeed. My issue with items labeled Laguiole is that not all of them are of the same origin. Evidently Laguiole suffers the same dilution of brand as Sabaiter knives, some are very good, made by reputable manufacturers and some are not. I've found very expensive Laguiole corkscrews made in China for example, not what I have in mind. Amazon.com has 85 listings for Laguiole corkscrew, ranging in price from $13.88 to $259.99, I have to believe there is some difference in quality there, as well as country of manufacture. So, without just throwing out $260 and hoping it's made in France of high quality, how do you know what you're getting?

                        1. re: mikie
                          s
                          smkit Feb 4, 2011 06:27 AM

                          You are correct that there is a lot of crap stuff out there with the Laguiole name on it, so it is wise to be careful. Some of the ones I think make quality products are:

                          Laguiole en Aubrac
                          Forge de Laguiole
                          Fontenille Pataud

                          I actually bought mine in France from a reputable shop.

                  2. t
                    taos Feb 5, 2011 04:54 AM

                    Best corkscrew I've ever used is this one:

                    http://www.amazon.com/Pedrini-Wine-Po...

                    1. iluvcookies Feb 5, 2011 06:29 AM

                      I have a $6 waiter's friend that I got at my local wine shop. Works just fine and Ive never been tempted to get a fancier one.

                      1. k
                        kdkrone Feb 5, 2011 06:46 AM

                        Like someone else who has posted here, we have way too many corkscrews. My go-to model at home is a lever pull model by Screwpull. But my favorite, having tried MANY models over the past 35 years is the Screwpull pocket model:
                        http://www.amazon.com/Screwpull-S1115-31-Pocket-Corkscrew-Black/dp/B0001UZOF0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1296920259&sr=1-1

                        If it has a fault it is that the auger slips out of its storage place easily, but i have yet to lose one. The other pieces of equipment are a prong type ( the old ah-so) modl and a cork retriever (long prongs and handle which helps to extract corks which fragment and some portiona fall back into the bottle

                        )

                        http://www.amazon.com/Screwpull-S1115...

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: kdkrone
                          m
                          MOSFET Feb 5, 2011 08:22 AM

                          I like the Screwpull table model its only around $15

                           
                          1. re: MOSFET
                            k
                            kdkrone Feb 5, 2011 03:59 PM

                            It works wel but does not fit in my pocket. I usually take wines to a resraurant in a wicker basket, then throw one in with the wines.

                        2. PoppiYYZ Apr 7, 2014 09:31 AM

                          Big Bump.

                          My weapon of choice is the Laguiole en Aubrac - Juniper. Think of it as a piece of jewelry for your wine.

                          However, if you want to be the perfectly prepared traveler, or the hero to the rescue when a corked bottle has become a problem, this "Swiss Army Waiter" should always be on your person. This excellent little knife just finished two weeks sailing in the Grenadines and came to the wine rescue repeatedly !!

                          BTW. I have opened bottles of corked wine without any tools. Remove wrapping to expose the cork, hold bottle by the neck HORIZONTALLY, and tap the bottom firmly, carefully, repeatedly against some solid wood (a tree or heavy fence post works great). The cork will inch its way out. When the cork is almost completely out, you can pull the remainder by hand without wasting a drop. Honest.

                           
                           
                          Show Hidden Posts