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What’s the best corkscrew out there? It depends on how you're using it: are you opening younger or older bottles? How often are you drinking or serving wine? Do you have limited mobility? Do you prefer to keep your corkscrew in your pocket or on display in your kitchen? As a corkscrew nerd myself—or just a person with questionable social skills—I find myself asking fellow oenophiles about their preferred corkscrew quite a lot. When it comes to professionals, they almost always use a waiter’s friend (commonly referred to as a wine key by industry folks), typically with a double hinge versus just one. As wine entrepreneur Regine Rousseau puts it, “The waiter’s corkscrew or bust—period.”
For context, a waiter’s friend is the kind of corkscrew you’re likely to find in a restaurant, hotel room, airport lounge, or swag bag. A wine key is great for any situation, even at home, but if you’re not opening wine bottles for a living, then you certainly have other worthy styles to choose from, each with their own set of advantages. Here’s everything you need to know about the best corkscrews out there based on your lifestyle, tastes, and needs.
Classic, double-hinged design
Screw goes in smoothly
Removing cork from screw takes firm hand
"As long as it's a double-hinged waiter’s corkscrew, I'm happy,” says Carrie Wynkoop, owner and founder of Oregon wine club Cellar 503. See what I mean? While Wynkoop buys hers in bulk at auction from the TSA (yes, that’s a real thing), you can get your feet wet with one of Pulltap's double-hinged wine keys, an ever sturdy and reliable option from this go-to brand based in Barcelona. This key features a foldaway serrated blade for foil-cutting, a nickel-plated double-hinged lever, and a Teflon-coated worm (the screw part) that works perfectly on both natural and synthetic corks. Many wine pros and online reviewers swear by this durable, classic option.
Anti-rotation clamp feature
Slip ring helps with alignment
Winged corkscrews can often be a bit flimsy, their arms going rogue whenever handled (there’s a reason they’re sometimes referred to as “cheerleaders”). But Rabbit as a brand in general offers some seriously sturdy tools, and its RBT line just so happens to be even more functional and aesthetically pleasing than its standard counterparts. With supreme leverage for easy bottle-opening, the ultra-compact RBT winged corkscrew could not be more simple to operate, thanks largely to its slip ring at the base (this helps to ensure perfect alignment with the cork) and anti-rotation clamp feature, the answer to a common problem with everyday winged corkscrews. This corkscrew is made up of brass-finished stainless steel and matte black plastic parts, and it comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Includes foil cutter
Transparent corkscrew mechanism
Wobbles on charger base
Foil cutter can be knocked off easily
Electric wine openers aren’t necessarily a go-to for serious oenophiles, but they do have their moments, especially for those with limited mobility who might otherwise struggle to remove a cork. This kind of opener is also perfect for anyone who just isn’t comfortable with a wine key, lever system, winged corkscrew, or other manual tool. Plus, electric wine openers are fast, easy, rechargeable (if not battery-powered), and often come with a display base and an accessory or two. Such is the case with the top-rated Secura electric wine opener, a stainless steel device that comes with a charging base and a great foil cutter, which is always great to have on hand no matter what kind of corkscrew you’re using. This model can remove up to 30 corks on one full charge (perfect for events), and the built-in LED light helps immensely with visibility, though the device is designed to guide the worm in nice and straight without extra effort on the user’s part.
Our product tester is impressed with how quickly and cleanly the cork comes out with this tool, especially compared with a traditional corkscrew. She notes, however, that you have to make sure to press down firmly on the opener, otherwise it will just rotate but not make contact with the cork.
"All you have to do is place the opener on top of the bottle and make sure that it remains as upright as possible." — Sage McHugh, Product Tester
Double-hinged, compact design
Comes with serrated foil cutter
Takes some force to open and close
Though Pulltap’s standard waiter’s friend is relatively affordable, there is a less expensive equivalent for those who love a deal. With the True Truetap waiter's corkscrew, you’ll get all the same bells and whistles that the Pulltap offers: serrated foil cutter, compact size, double-hinged design, nonstick worm, and thoughtful design—at a significantly lower price point, which several reviewers give it high marks for. This is a great option if you’re buying in bulk for an event or gifting endeavor, or are simply stocking up on wine keys (the more, the merrier). Just note that a few customers say it takes a bit of arm strength to open and close the corkscrew, but they add that it might loosen up with extended use.
Expertly crafted in France
Beautiful design and box
Makes a great gift
A bit stiff to use out of the box
The Laguiole en Aubrac waiter's corkscrew is easily one of the most deluxe openers available—if you want to impress your sommelier friends, this would be the corkscrew to buy. It's an investment piece, to be sure, but it’s handmade in France and features a folding corkscrew made of Sandvik stainless steel (known to be extremely durable and strong) and features decorative chasing along its metal spine. Online reviewers praised the Laguiole en Aubrac for its impressive craftsmanship, with one person saying that it’s an “heirloom” piece. It’s perfect for the gourmet cook’s kitchen or as a housewarming gift for a friend or family member. Plus, it comes in a beautiful storage box so all you need to do is wrap it!
Quick and fun to use
Sleek and compact
Useful tool for cork collectors
There is a learning curve
If you plan on opening an older bottle at any point, make sure you prepare accordingly: older corks can become brittle and fragile, and if you want to avoid the woes of crumbling one into your wine, you’ll want to have the right gadget on hand. And it’s simple, really. This sleek and relatively inexpensive tool is designed to safely remove even the most compromised corks with ease—the Ah-So-style cork pull is made up of two prongs that slide down the sides of the cork, which work together to remove the cork from the bottle’s neck without penetrating it down the middle. A good, high-quality Ah-So cork puller is essential to keep on hand for this kind of occasion, and it also makes a great gift for the wine enthusiast in your life. Monopol, a two-prong steel opener made with German steel, is as great as they come, complete with a protective cover and a five-year warranty.
Great for gifting
Corkscrews can also serve as great display pieces—particularly this striking set by Wine Enthusiast, a trusted high-quality brand behind some of the best wine accessories out there. The Legacy Corkscrew collection includes the corkscrew itself along with its black marble handle and matching stand, and you can either purchase these pieces separately or opt for a set (such as this one). This particular set features a pewter-finished corkscrew with a smooth-gliding worm that’s designed to work for both natural and synthetic corks; the black marble stand can also be monogrammed, which is always great for gifting. The Legacy Corkscrew is a favorite among reviewers, with one describing the pewter and black marble set as “nothing short of a piece of art.”
Sleek, sturdy design
Easy to use
Works well with both natural and synthetic corks
Underwhelming foil cutter
Lever-style corkscrews are another smart alternative to traditional wine keys for wine drinkers with limited mobility (or anyone who just prefers an easier means of opening a bottle of wine). This type of tool is generally made up of two long clamps that secure around the base of a bottle’s mouth, with the corkscrew attached to a single lever that drives the screw downward into the cork at the ideal angle. OXO’s steel vertical lever corkscrew, which comes with a nifty foil cutter, is made up of a die-cast zinc handle and nonstick worm (plus a replacement screw), meaning it works well with natural and synthetic corks alike. It’s also incredibly easy to use, say many online reviewers: it requires minimal physical effort to remove any cork. Plus, they say it's easy on the eyes, thanks to its sleek, smart design.
If you’re looking for the best all-around corkscrew, we recommend Pulltap's double-hinged waiter’s corkscrew. It’s a durable, high-quality bottle opener that pros swear by. If you prefer something more budget-friendly, consider the True Truetap waiter’s corkscrew. It has all the features of Pulltap's opener—foil cutter, double-hinged design, a nonstick worm—but at an easier price point.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Between writing about wine for the past seven years and being half French, Céline Bossart has opened more bottles than she can count. Her preferred corkscrew is a classic waiter’s friend, and she may or may not have taken Wynkoop’s lead in buying a mixed bulk bag from the TSA.