9 types of wine bottle openers - Use Guide 2021

9 types of wine bottle openers

Each type of corkscrew has different advantages, and while they all open wine bottles, the way they are used to remove a cork varies from one type to another. Generally, to use a corkscrew, you will screw the worm into the center of the cork. Then slowly pull upwards until the cork is removed.

Below are the different types of corkscrew and their instructions for use to help determine which corkscrew is best for you. This section is ordered with the most commonly used corkscrew styles listed first.

1. Waiter's corkscrew

Waiter's corkscrew
Photo: WebstaurantStore

Waiter's corkscrews, also known as wine keys, are the standard tool of choice for most establishments. They offer the perfect combination of affordability, compact size and functionality and are considered the oldest way to open a bottle of wine. 

They are perfect for use in the front of the house for waiters who often they open and serve wine directly on the tables. Many waiter's corkscrews also include bottle cap openers and foil cutters.

How to use a waiter's corkscrew:

  1. Start by cutting the foil below the rim of the bottle.
  2. Remove the foil from the neck of the bottle.
  3. Place the worm in the center of the cork and turn the corkscrew to insert the worm into the cork.
  4. Place the first small notch of the starter lever on the rim of the bottle and hold it in place
  5. Lift the handle to pop the cork halfway out of the bottle.
  6. Move the second notch on the starter lever to the tip of the bottle and pull the cork out of the bottle.
  7. To remove the cork from the worm, reverse the movement of the corkscrew while holding the cork

2. Pocket corkscrew

Hand holding purple pocket corkscrew and using it to remove cork from wine bottle
Photo: WebstaurantStore

Pocket corkscrews are compact in size that is perfect for carrying on your apron or in your pants pockets. Many pocket corkscrews include a cover to prevent the corkscrew worm from penetrating fabric or pockets. This sleeve is also often used to create a “T” shaped crossbar that provides a lever to twist the worm in the cork and remove the cork. 

These small, portable corkscrews are ideal for waiters and waiters to have on hand at all times. Pocket corkscrews require more force than counter-mount or electric corkscrews.

How to use a pocket corkscrew:

  1. Start by cutting the foil below the rim of the bottle.
  2. Remove the sleeve and slide it into the opening at the base of the corkscrew.
  3. Insert the corkscrew into the cork and turn it until the worm is inserted into the cork
  4. Once the worm is fully inserted, pull out on the handle to remove the cork.
  5. To remove the cork from the worm, reverse the movement of the corkscrew while holding the cork

3. Wing corkscrew

Hand holding top of wing corkscrew and turning it into wine cork
Photo: WebstaurantStore

Wing or winged corkscrews are a popular choice for synthetic cork removal due to their ease of use. Plus, they can be used on cork stoppers of all sizes for added versatility. Wing corkscrews are not the best choice for opening aged wines or wines with brittle, natural corks, as they can leave behind cork crumbs. Small in size and easy to use, these corkscrews are ideal for waiters to use at the front of the house.

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How to use a winged corkscrew:

  1. Start by cutting the foil below the rim of the bottle.
  2. Cut the foil around the neck of the bottle.
  3. Remove the aluminum foil and insert the worm into the center of the cork.
  4. Turn the corkscrew lever to insert the worm into the cork. Continue turning until the wings are fully raised.
  5. Once the wings have been raised, push them down simultaneously to remove the cork from the bottle.
  6. To remove the cork from the corkscrew, simply turn the handle counterclockwise

4. Electric corkscrew

Waring Stainless Steel Electric Wine Bottle Opener with Plug on the Right and Corkscrew on the Left
Photo: WebstaurantStore

Electric corkscrews are the easiest way to open wine bottles. Its simple button operation makes it possible for anyone to open a bottle of wine. These corkscrews are ideal for indoor use and for quickly opening wine bottles behind the bar. Electric corkscrews are ideal for anyone with arthritis or low hand strength.

How to use an electric corkscrew:

  1. Start by cutting the foil below the rim of the bottle.
  2. Place the electric corkscrew on top of the neck of the wine bottle. Make sure to keep the corkscrew vertical
  3. Turn on the corkscrew and it will automatically insert the worm and remove the cork.
  4. Remove the corkscrew from the top of the bottle once the corkscrew has removed the cork.
  5. Reverse the movement of the corkscrew to remove the cork from the worm

5. Counter-mount corkscrew

Counter-mount stainless steel corkscrew attached to counter edge with wooden handle facing down
Photo: WebstaurantStore

Counter mount corkscrews can be attached to a table or counter for added strength and support. Counter-mount corkscrews provide extra torque and can open bottles faster and with less effort than many other types of corkscrew. 

Therefore, this style of corkscrew is ideal for high volume establishments. These corkscrews are ideal for indoor use and easily attach to bars for a convenient way to open wine bottles. 

How to use a counter mount corkscrew:

  1. Start by cutting the foil below the rim of the bottle.
  2. Insert the wine bottle into the corkscrew.
  3. Pull down on the handle to insert the corkscrew worm
  4. Release the handle to uncork the wine bottle.
  5. Return the handle to the up position and the cork will fall off the worm

6. Lever corkscrew

Hand holding black lever corkscrew and pressing lever down on wine cork
Photo: WebstaurantStore

Lever corkscrews are rapidly gaining popularity thanks to their ease of use. Most lever corkscrews only require two movements, one forward in which the worm inserts itself into the cork and another that gently pulls the cork out of the bottle. 

The real benefit of using a lever corkscrew is the amount of control they provide, as the handle holds the neck of the bottle firmly while using the corkscrew. These corkscrews are ideal for use in the front of the house and are compact in size to keep them hidden behind the bar. 

How to use a lever corkscrew:

  1. Start by cutting the foil below the rim of the bottle.
  2. Remove the foil from the neck of the bottle.
  3. With the lever up, place the corkscrew on top of the wine bottle
  4. Push the lever down to insert the worm into the cork
  5. Once the lever is fully down, pull the handle up to remove the cork from the wine bottle.
  6. To remove the cork from the worm, lift the corkscrew out of the bottle and move the handle up and down several times.
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7. Wine cork extractors

Manually push the stainless steel wine cork extractor into the wine cork
Photo: WebstaurantStore

Wine cork extractors feature tips that slide down between the wine bottle and the cork to remove the cork from the bottle. They are ideally used with antique corks made from natural cork. Best of all, extractors will not damage aged wine corks or cause them to break by dropping crumbs into the wine. Due to their small size, these pullers are ideal for keeping behind the bar or in aprons for convenient access. 

How to use a wine cork extractor:

  1. Start by cutting the foil below the rim of the bottle.
  2. Holding the neck of the bottle firmly, slide the tips of the extractor between the cork and the inside of the neck of the bottle.
  3. Move the tips downward in a left-to-right motion while applying light force to the handle
  4. Once fully inserted, twist the puller and pull up to remove the cork.
  5. To remove the cork from the puller, simply slide it out between the tips.

8. Wall corkscrew

Hand pressing the handle down on the stainless steel wall mount corkscrew on the wine cork
Photo: WebstaurantStore

Wall mount corkscrews mount to a beam or wall for optimal stability and safety when removing wine corks. Wall mount corkscrews can be configured for different depths of penetration. This is useful for partial removal of the wine cork in banquet room functions, where the wine will be placed on the tables before the event begins. These corkscrews are ideal for home use and ensure that wine corks are not lost or misplaced. 

How to use a wall mount corkscrew:

  1. Start by cutting the foil below the rim of the bottle.
  2. Insert the neck of the wine bottle into the crib.
  3. Pull down on the handle to insert the corkscrew.
  4. Return the handle to the starting position to remove the cork.
  5. Once the bottle is removed from the crib the cork will fall to the ground

9. Continuous pull corkscrew

Red continuous handle corkscrew with black cork
Photo: WebstaurantStore

Continuous pull corkscrews work with a twisting motion to insert the worm into the cork. Additionally, the sides of the continuous pull corkscrew sit on the bottle neck seat, and many styles have hinged handles so you can tighten them around the neck of the bottles for a better grip. Due to their small size and user-friendly design, these corkscrews are ideal for use by waiters and waiters in the front of the house.

How to use a continuous pull corkscrew:

  1. Start by cutting the foil below the rim of the bottle.
  2. Place the corkscrew base over the top of your wine bottle
  3. Turn the handle clockwise to insert the worm into the cork.
  4. As the worm curls into the cork, slide the sides over the neck of the bottle for a better grip.
  5. Continue turning the handle clockwise until the cork is completely pulled out
  6. To remove the cork from the corkscrew, simply turn the handle counterclockwise

Anatomy of a corkscrew

There are many different types and styles of corkscrew. Despite their differences in style, corkscrews generally have at least one corkscrew worm, a handle, and a contraband to remove the corks. Additional features, such as aluminum foil cutters and bottle cap removers, are also common components found on some corkscrew styles.

wine bottle openers

What to consider when buying a corkscrew

Easy to use:

The first thing to consider when purchasing a can opener or corkscrew is its ease of use. A corkscrew that is difficult to use can result in cork crumbs in the wine, broken corks, or you may end up being unable to remove the cork. Because of this, many large operations have moved toward countertop mounting, wall mounting, or electric corkscrew, as these styles make cork removal incredibly easy for everyone.

Cost:

Smaller operations or establishments with sommeliers or personnel trained in wine cork removal may opt for a pocket or waiter's corkscrew. These corkscrews are generally less expensive than other styles and are inexpensive to replace. Large, high-volume operations should consider the more expensive wall mount, counter mount, and electric corkscrew as these styles make opening many bottles at once quick and easy, helping to recoup your cost in labor saved.

Size:

Smaller corkscrews, such as waiter's and pocket corkscrews, are a great option for staff on the go. These corkscrews easily fit into an apron or trouser pocket and are lightweight. Larger corkscrews, such as electric, counter-mount, and wall-mount, are best suited for a single location where staff bring wine bottles to the corkscrew to open. These larger corkscrews are generally faster and easier to use than smaller corkscrews.

Cork type:

Different types of corkscrew excel at removing different types of cork. For starters, there are two types of wine corks: synthetic and natural cork. Synthetic corks are denser than natural corks, requiring more force to twist the worm in the cork. The advantage of synthetic corks is that they are less likely to break during extraction. Natural corks are more fragile and sensitive to removal than synthetic corks. The advantage of natural corks is that they properly age wines stored for long periods of time.

What type of corkscrew is best for removing synthetic corks?

A winged corkscrew is an excellent option for removing synthetic corks. They provide more leverage than other types of corkscrew for easier removal of tight synthetic corks.

What type of corkscrew is best for removing natural corks?

Natural corks can become sensitive or brittle with age. So if you're opening a lot of vintage wines, look for a lever extractor or corkscrew. This type of corkscrew is less likely to break a cork leaving cork crumbs in the wine.

Type of restaurant:

International shipments may take up to restaurants luxury that emphasize the presentation of wines can opt for a decorative or stylish corkscrew vintage due to the improved presentation value these corkscrews provide. 

Large banquet halls, wedding venues or wine tasting rooms Those who can open many bottles of wine in no time will want to consider a wall- or counter-mount corkscrew for its speed and ease of use. 
Finally, the restaurants who only serve wine occasionally may want to consider a wing or waiter's corkscrew simply from a customer's point of view costs.
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wine bottle openers