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Best Wine Openers

Updated July 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 18 Models Considered
  • 17 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 131 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best wine openers

    Last Updated July 2018

    Having a glass of wine can be the perfect way to unwind at the end of a long day – and wine, when consumed in moderation, can have health benefits. Not such a guilty pleasure after all!

    When you’re ready to unwind, the last thing you want is to struggle to open that bottle of white, red, or rosé. Without a good corkscrew, this seemingly simple task can be downright infuriating. There definitely isn’t anything enjoyable about finding bits of cork floating in your glass if you don’t open the bottle properly. That’s why every wine enthusiast needs the perfect wine opener.

    A good wine opener can quickly and easily remove the cork from the bottle without leaving any of it behind, so you can ease into relaxation mode promptly at wine o’clock. With so many options on the market, though, it can be tough to figure out which wine openers really get the job done, and which might be worth spending a bit more on.

    If you’re ready to buy a wine opener, take a look at our top recommendations. You can buy these products online for a great deal and have them home with you in just a few days. For general info on choosing a wine opener and how to use it, continue reading our shopping guide.

    Avid wine drinkers may want to have more than one type of wine opener on hand. That way, if you run into trouble with a particular bottle of wine, you have other options to open it.

    Types of wine openers

    There are four main types of manual wine openers, from a simple one that takes a bit of strength to ones that take close to no effort to use. There are also electric wine openers, which you can learn more about on our Best Electric Wine Openers page.

    Screwpull or twist corkscrew

    A screwpull or twist corkscrew is the most common type of wine opener. It features a handle on top and a curled rod, known as the worm, on the bottom.

    To open the wine, you screw the worm into the cork and then use the handle to pull it from the bottle.

    Screwpull corkscrews are usually compact and affordable, but they require significant arm strength to use. They also take longer to open a bottle than other types of openers.

    Some wine openers come as a part of a set, which includes the opener and other tools, such as a foil cutter, wine aerator, wine stopper, and replacement worms.

    Waiter’s corkscrew

    A waiter’s corkscrew is one of the oldest and most classic types of wine openers. It’s widely used in restaurants, which is how it gets its name.

    A waiter’s corkscrew is similar in design to a screwpull corkscrew, but it also includes a lever that helps you pull the cork from the bottle.

    Because of its design, you don’t need to be quite as strong to use a waiter’s corkscrew. However, you must be sure to get the worm slightly off-center in the cork and insert it just the right amount to use it properly.

    A waiter’s corkscrew usually features a built-in foil cutter as well.

    Restaurants that serve vintage wines usually use waiter’s corkscrews because they’re better able to remove older corks in tact.

    Winged corkscrew

    Winged corkscrews are extremely common, and they make opening a bottle of wine much easier than a traditional screwpull style.

    These corkscrews have a handle on top to screw the worm into the cork and levers on either side that rise as you insert the worm. To remove the cork, you simply push the levers back down. The only trick is to center the screw into the cork and screw through its entire length. (If you don’t do this, you might remove only half the cork.)

    Using a winged corkscrew doesn’t require much strength or skill. The style is usually fairly affordable as well, though it isn’t as compact or portable a screwpull style.

    A winged corkscrew isn’t the best option for aged wine, either, as the corks tend to be smaller and/or more fragile and require a more delicate opener (waiter’s corkscrews are best).

    A lever- or rabbit-style wine opener is a good choice for individuals with arthritis or limited hand strength because it requires the least effort to use.

    Lever-style corkscrew

    A lever-style corkscrew makes opening a wine bottle much easier than a screwpull or waiter’s corkscrew.

    Also known as a rabbit wine opener, it has handles to hold the bottle steady as you insert the worm into the cork using a lever. To pull the cork free, you simply lift the lever back up.

    A lever-style corkscrew can open wine bottles quickly and easily, but they’re usually more expensive than other types of wine openers.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Some corkscrews features replaceable worms, so you can simply purchase a new worm once you notice that the wine opener no longer removes corks as easily as it used to.

    What should you look for in a wine opener?

    Size

    Most wine openers are no larger than a standard can opener, but some are more compact than others. If you have limited storage space, you’ll want to pay attention to an opener’s size to ensure you have room to store it.

    Screwpull and waiter’s corkscrews tend to offer the most compact design (small enough to fit in your palm), while lever style corkscrews are usually the bulkiest. Winged corkscrews fall somewhere in the middle.

    Many wine openers are equipped with a built-in foil cutter, which allows you to easily remove the foil wrapper from around the neck of a wine bottle.

    Materials and durability

    While you can find many inexpensive wine openers, the cheapest ones usually aren’t very well-constructed, so they don’t last long. For example, the freebies you might receive at a hotel or as swag (simple twist-and-pull) often break after only one or two uses.

    If you want a wine opener that can reliably open bottle after bottle for years, you’ll want to choose a model that uses durable materials that hold up to regular use (and very stubborn corks).

    In particular, pay attention to the material used for the worm, which is usually the first part of an opener to wear down. Stainless steel is typically the best option. It should be thick, well-mounted, and not bendable.

    When it comes to handles and levers, those made from zinc alloys tend to be more durable than those with plastic components.

    If you’re concerned about the longevity of your wine opener, choose a model that offers a warranty. Some manufacturers offer up to a 10-year warranty on their product.

    Worm length

    For the most effective wine opener, choose a model with a worm or screw that’s at least 1 3/4 inches in length. If the worm is any shorter, it can break the cork into pieces.

    Avoid wine openers that have augurs instead of worms. While worms are simply coiled screws, an augur is a screw that’s wrapped around a nail, which can rip a cork into pieces.

    Ease of use

    For most people, the key factor when it comes to choosing a wine opener is how easy it is to use. Ideally, you want an opener that provides some sort of mechanical assistance to remove the cork, so you don’t have to be very strong to get the bottle open.

    Lever- or rabbit-style openers and winged corkscrews are typically the easiest openers to use. Screwpull and waiter’s corkscrews tend to require the most strength to remove the cork, so they’re the hardest to use.

    Stand

    Some wine openers come with a stand, which stabilizes the wine bottle while you open it. The stand also allows you to hold the opener at the ideal height to remove the cork.

    What makes these stands so helpful is that they ensure that the worm or screw enters the cork at the right angle, so you don’t have to worry about it breaking as you remove it.

    A winged corkscrew usually works best for removing synthetic corks.

    Cork type

    A wine bottle can have a natural or synthetic (usually rubber) cork. It’s important to choose a wine opener that can handle either type.

    • Lever or rabbit style openers don’t always work well with synthetic corks.

    • Screwpull and winged corkscrews work well with synthetic corks but may break older, natural corks.

    • Waiter’s corkscrews tend to work well with any type of cork, so if you aren’t sure what kinds of corks you’ll be removing, this is the best bet.

    EXPERT TIP

    If you drink beer in addition to wine, look for a wine opener that has a built-in bottle cap remover.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Wine opener prices

    Wine openers vary in price based on type and size, but you can typically expect to spend between $5 and $50 for a good one.

    • For a basic screwpull wine opener, you’ll usually pay between $5 and $20.

    • A classic waiter’s corkscrew typically costs between $10 and $25.

    • A winged corkscrew is usually priced between $10 and $25.

    • For a lever- or rabbit-style corkscrew, you’ll usually spend between $20 and $50.

    Tips

    • When you’re inserting the worm into the cork, work it in until only one curl remains above the cork.

    • When using a screwpull corkscrew, always turn the handle in a clockwise direction.

    • With a waiter’s corkscrew, be sure to position the worm slightly off-center in the cork. If you place it directly in the center, you may have trouble removing the cork.

    • You know you need a new winged corkscrew if the cork starts to move into the bottle when you try to insert the worm into it.

    • If you encounter resistance when inserting the worm of a lever- or rabbit-style opener into the cork, remove the opener and reposition the worm.

    Try not to shake the wine bottle too much when you’re using a wine opener. That can mix any sediment at the bottom of the bottle into the wine.

    FAQ

    Q. How do you clean a wine opener?
    A.
    Always consult the manufacturer’s instructions to determine the proper cleaning technique. It’s usually not recommended to wash wine openers in a dishwasher. To remove any wine residue or sediment from the opener, wipe it with a damp cloth or sponge. Dry it thoroughly with a clean towel before storing it.

    Q. What type of wine opener works best for aged wine?
    A.
    If you regularly drink older wines (late harvest, dessert, port, etc.), a screwpull or waiter’s corkscrew is usually your best bet for handling the fragile corks. Sometimes the cork is even smaller than standard bottle corks. You should definitely avoid using a winged corkscrew with aged wine, though, because they can crack or break older corks or push them down into the bottle.  

    Q. What type of wine opener is best for travel?
    A.
    Screwpull and waiter’s corkscrews usually offer the most compact design, so they’re easy to pack for picnics, road trips, and other travel. They’re also a good option if you don’t have much storage space because you can easily stash them in a drawer. Lever-style openers are usually the bulkiest, so they can be more difficult to travel with or store. Keep in mind that corkscrews with built-in foil cutters will not be allowed in your carry ons, so don’t take these types through security or they will be confiscated.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Alice
      Alice
      Web Producer
    • Amy
      Amy
      Writer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Katie
      Katie
      Editorial Director