|Best Overall||Prestige Waiter’s Corkscrew by Coutale Sommelier||Check Price||
Gorgeous and effective, the Prestige is a connoisseur grade wine key for a moderate price.
|Best Budget||True Truetap Double Hinged Waiter’s Corkscrew||Check Price||
A budget waiter’s wine key that won’t let you down.
|Best Winged Corkscrew||ZWILLING J.A. HENCKELS Sommelier Double Lever Corkscrew||Check Price||
This German winged corkscrew proves itself with reliable and precise uncorking, bottle after bottle.
Every great wine pour starts with a smooth uncorking, and smooth uncorking starts with the best wine openers. Whether waiters, bartenders, or book club hosts, we’ve all had that awkward moment where the moment comes and we just can’t get that bottle open. Wine opening issues start with inferior wine openers, but worry not — well-designed wine openers await.
Great wine openers come in different designs, from classic wine keys that can fit in your pocket to higher-tech electric models. Read on to learn which options are the best wine openers for you.
- Best Overall: Prestige Waiter’s Corkscrew by Coutale Sommelier
- Best Budget: True Truetap Double-Hinged Waiter’s Corkscrew
- Best Winged Corkscrew: ZWILLING J.A. HENCKELS Sommelier Double-Lever Corkscrew
- Best Electric: Secura Electric Wine Opener
- Best Lever Opener: OXO Steel Vertical Lever Corkscrew
How We Picked The Best Wine Openers of 2022
To assemble this list of wine openers we used expertise garnered from tech reviews and years of serving and bartending. We reviewed a wide range of keys and corkscrews of various types from numerous manufacturers looking for the best of the best. Along the way, we kept some key criteria in mind.
Structural integrity is always important in a wine opener. Since most wine openers work by applying force to the top of a wine bottle to draw the cork out via a lever mechanism, enough structural integrity to survive the significant force is of the utmost importance. No one wants their wine key to fall apart after just a few bottles, so we looked for wine openers that are designed to last.
The ergonomic factor is crucial to any tool. In restaurant or bar settings, good ergonomic design provides the speed required to keep you abreast of the dinner rush, and the confidence required for five-star presentation. When shopping for a waiter’s wine key, it’s important to look for designs that fit the hand well, and won’t hinder you when you’re opening bottles while standing table-side. Waiter’s keys also need to fit well in an apron pocket. In winged or levered openers, intuitive designs help bartenders open bottle after bottle without slowing down or getting carpal tunnel.
Precision can make all the difference. Many winged openers suffer from imprecise corkscrew angles that pierce corks on a diagonal. This can often shred the cork, and sometimes compact and damage the interior glass of a wine bottle’s neck. Similarly, waiter’s wine keys often suffer from double-hinged levers that fail to lock into position well, creating buckling that can cause you to lose your grip, or sometimes even chip the glass of the bottle lip. We looked for wine keys engineered for precision, that pierce the cork centrally, and leverage from the bottle’s mouth with authority, to open bottle after bottle without a hitch.
The Best Wine Openers: Reviews and Recommendations
Best Overall: Prestige Waiter’s Corkscrew by Coutale Sommelier
A classic tool, engineered to perfection. Coutale Sommelier
Why It Made The Cut: With a stainless-steel knife, a beautiful wooden handle, and grooved steel worm, this is a precisely crafted tool for wine connoisseurs.
- Materials: Stainless steel, wood
- Weight: 4 ounces
- Dimensions: 5 inches x 1.25 x 0.5 inches
- Built with solid stainless steel
- Wood handle looks beautiful
- Worm is grooved for extra friction
- More expensive than some
Sometimes quality is worth paying a little more for. The Prestige Corkscrew by Coutale Sommelier is a waiter’s corkscrew that’s perfectly tuned to the job. This French- designed sommelier’s corkscrew is both functional and elegant.
With a stainless-steel body inlaid with natural wood, the 4-ounce wine opener has a good heft in the hand. It uses a single piece of stainless steel for its serrated foil cutter. Similarly, the grooved worm is also made from one solid piece of steel. The groove in the worm adds friction and helps with easy cork extraction. Lastly, the spring-loaded double lever ensures reliable leverage for extraction.
Coutale Sommelier’s corkscrew is meant for waiters looking to impress their guests with smooth, immaculate wine service, and dinner hosts looking for an elegant wine tool that will open bottle after bottle. Coutale products come with a lifetime guarantee, so not only will this wine key outperform the cheap one you probably have buried in some kitchen drawer, but it’s meant to withstand years of use.
Best Budget: True Truetap Double-Hinged Waiter’s Corkscrew
A ubiquitous wine key that can be found in waiter’s aprons all over. True
Why It Made The Cut: This plastic and stainless steel wine key is rugged enough for long term use and affordable enough to tuck into an apron for nightly wine service.
- Materials: Stainless steel, plastic
- Weight: 2.5 ounces
- Dimensions: 4.75 x 1 x 0.5 inches
- Affordable enough to loan out and not worry
- Solid wine key that won’t break
- Comes in lots of colors
- The blade isn’t the sharpest
- The double-jointed lever doesn’t brace as sturdily as some and may need supporting
The True Truetap Double Hinged is such a classic of server’s stations all over America that no wine key best of list would be quite complete without it. This classic wine key uses a plastic handle equipped with stainless steel worm, lever, and knife. For a few dollars more, it’s also available with a stainless steel body.
A classic waiter’s wine key, the metal worm pierces the cork and the double-jointed lever allows you to ratchet the cork out of the bottle neck. While the blade isn’t as sharp as premium keys, and the worm isn’t grooved, it still offers solid performance that will see you through hundreds of bottles.
If you’re looking for a key you can leave on your bar cart, slip into an apron pocket, or forget in your pocketbook, Truetap is a perfect budget juncture of quality and affordability.
Best Winged Corkscrew: ZWILLING J.A. HENCKELS Sommelier Double-Lever Corkscrew
A true sommelier-class corkscrew. ZWILLING
Why It Made The Cut: This all stainless steel corkscrew is calibrated to hit the center of your cork every time.
- Materials: Stainless steel
- Weight: 11.68 ounces
- Dimensions: 7.87 x 2.76 x 1.38 inches
- Precise construction gives you a centrally piercing worm that won’t destroy your cork’s outer edges
- Handle doubles as a bottle opener
- Good longevity
Imagine a winged wine opener that doesn’t deviate off toward the edges of your wine bottle’s cork and grind into the glass of the bottle neck. The Sommelier Double-Lever Corkscrew by Zwilling is a German-engineered wonder of wine opening. Made of brushed stainless steel, this Zwilling wine opener is designed for precise bottle opening time after time. It uses a sharpened spindle worm with a central tip.
Double-lever wine openers feature a carriage that fits onto the lip of your wine bottle. A geared corkscrew is driven into the cork, raising the wings. The levered wings are then pressed down on both sides, driving the worm out and extracting the cork.
The Zwilling Double Lever is an exceptionally high-quality double lever that will last for years. However, it is expensive. If the Zwilling falls outside of your price point, consider True Twister, a cheaper bottle top wine opener from the makers of Truetap that uses the force exerted by your corkscrew to uncork your wine.
Best Electric: Secura Electric Wine Opener
A wine opener that takes the pressure off you. Secura
Why It Made The Cut: Not only is this electric wine opener reliable and effective, it’s also designed for international use.
- Materials: Stainless steel
- Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Dimensions: 12 x 2.7 x 7.5 inches
- 100-240V tolerance means you can use this opener all over the world
- Easy to use and reliable
- Not too pricey
- Likely won’t give you years of use
Corks transcend borders, and that’s why the Secura Electric Wine Opener’s variable power range is such a nice feature. With a power range ready for the hills of Tuscany, the arbors of Valencia, or the valleys of Aconcagua, this is an electric wine opener with a voltage tolerance that includes most any province in which wines are grown. Realistically most folks won’t be traveling the world with their electric wine key, but the feature does attest to the international use of this device.
With about 30 uncorkings per charge, the Secura simply fits to the top of a wine bottle. With the press of a button it drills into the cork and extracts it. Most people will need to use two hands for this process, but all in all it’s easy. The opener glows blue when it’s in use. But the light isn’t obtrusive or tacky, and is fainter in practice than its made to appear in the photos online.
If you’re looking for an easy electric wine opener that’s used all over the world, Secura does the job reliably. Our only gripe with the device is its lack of longevity. Since the components aren’t replaceable the device has a questionable life span that likely won’t exceed a year or two. However, with the cheap asking price, this isn’t such an issue.
Best Lever Opener: OXO Steel Vertical Lever Corkscrew
Efficiency and reliability in one. OXO
Why It Made The Cut: With a design that won’t hurt your hands with continued use, the vertical lever corkscrew is a tool made for opening bottle after bottle.
- Materials: Stainless steel, die-cast zinc, plastics
- Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Dimensions: 2.5 x 7.6 x 7.2 inches
- Extremely quick bottle opening
- Comes with a backup nonstick screw
- Built in foil cutter
- Might not last for years
- Isn’t reparable
The OXO Vertical Lever Corkscrew is a bar-ready wine opener that can quickly and easily uncorks bottle after bottle. With a mouth that easily grasps a bottle’s neck, the upper handle drives the screw into your wine bottle’s cork and then extracts it. The design makes for some of the easiest uncorking out there.
If you’re a bartender, cater-waiter, or you host large garden parties, then the prerogative is often wine service with speed. This device is perfectly suited for such events, as it allows you to easily open multiple bottles of wine a minute.
Sadly, this wine opener design isn’t the sturdiest out there. The OXO isn’t repairable by hand (beyond the swappable corkscrew) and is prone to breaking with years of use. With the affordable price point factored in, though, the lack of guaranteed longevity isn’t a fatal flaw. Keep in mind that even premium price lever corkscrews have the propensity to fail within the span of a couple years. If you’re looking for true longevity it might be worth it to steer toward a winged lever corkscrew model, or a waiter’s corkscrew for daily use, and keep your vertical lever corkscrew on hand for moments where you need to open a lot of bottles fast.
Things To Consider Before Purchasing A Wine Opener
Wine openers come in a few different constructions. The most common, classic wine keys, feature a corkscrew that unfolds from a wood, metal, or plastic handle. A two-tiered metal brace unfolds above the corkscrew, while a small blade unfolds from the back side. These keys allow you to use the metal brace and corkscrew in tandem to lever the cork out of the bottle. These are usually small enough to fit in a pocket, and agile enough to be used while standing and presenting a bottle.
Winged corkscrews use a metal brace that fits along the top of a bottle. Two wings work with a geared corkscrew. By pressing both wings down, the corkscrew extracts the cork. Electric and lever openers use similar methods, with alternative leverage systems. Most winged and lever corkscrews apply force downward in such a way that they’re best used on a bar or table. For those without good manual dexterity, or who have weak wrists, an electric wine opener can make a world of difference.
If you’re looking for an elegant wine opener for white napkin tableside service, a great waiter’s wine key will allow you to present, open, and smoothly serve tableside better than just about anything else. However, style and speed don’t necessarily go hand in hand. If you’re looking to quickly open lots of bottles, a lever or winged lever design might be better. Electric wine openers can also do wonders for high-volume events. Consider how you aim to serve and enjoy wine before you choose.
Great wine openers can be bought for under ten dollars and up into the hundreds. Before you shop for a wine opener, consider how much money you’re willing to spend.
Not all wine openers are designed to last forever. However, the simpler waiter’s wine keys and winged-lever wine openers generally last longer than more complex openers. If longevity is important to you, look for simpler openers with higher quality construction, like solid steel frames.
Q: What is the best type of wine opener?
With so many different wine openers on the market, it’s hard to say what the best type of design is. However, waiter’s wine keys and winged-lever wine keys tend to outlast some other types, and generally have the most versatility. Waiter’s wine keys tend to be the most “classic” wine keys out there.
Q: What’s the best wine opener for damaged cork?
The best wine openers for damaged or old cork are usually cork pullers, often accompanied by a precision worm. These models use two tongs with a precise corkscrew to ensure maximum control.
Q: Are electric wine openers as good?
Electric wine openers often do a great job at opening wines. They can take the strain off your wrist if you’re opening bottle after bottle. However, they may not last as long as a good waiter’s wine key or winged-lever wine opener.
Q: What is the easiest wine opener?
While twist-and-pull corkscrews are the simplest corkscrews, the force required to pull the cork from the bottle with no levers can cause accidents or uncomfortable optics. Thus electric wine openers that work with the press of a button or lever corkscrews make for the easiest opening.
With so many wine openers out there it can be hard to come to a decision on what to get. Lever corkscrews and electric corkscrews allow you to open bottles quickly and with little difficulty. However most won’t withstand years and years of use. Waiter’s wine keys require a little more dexterity but work flawlessly and often last a lifetime. For a no-nonsense winged corkscrew that works spectacularly and won’t damage your corks, the Sommelier Double Lever Corkscrew from Zwilling is our favorite. For a remarkably low price, the True TrueTap won’t let you down, even on the 200th bottle. However, the Prestige Corkscrew by Coutale Sommelier is our favorite overall pick for its solid steel hardware and gorgeous wood handle. It’s a corkscrew that’s meant to last (and look good) for a lifetime.