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The Oxo Steel Vertical Lever Opener features an ergonomic design that will uncork your bottle in seconds.
Whether you enjoy an occasional glass of wine at home or frequently host dinner parties, having a dependable wine bottle opener is an essential item for your bar.
With so many styles on the market (waiter’s friend, electric, lever, winged, and more), opening a bottle of wine should be seamless and quick, not challenging and messy. Whether you like a small compact opener for a picnic lunch, a high-tech gadget, or something in between, there’s a wine bottle opener for you.
Sommeliers and owners of The Guilty Grape, Nichelle and Nicole Nichols share some insight on selecting the best wine bottle opener. “Nothing can ruin the anticipation of opening up a delicious bottle of wine more than a wrestling match with a corkscrew,” they say. “When considering which wine opener is perfect for your home, ask yourself if it is reliable, well-crafted, if the grip is comfortable, and of course, the attractiveness on your bar cart.”
To find the best wine bottle openers, we considered the styles, prices, functionality, dimensions, and more to find the best wine bottle openers. In addition to Nichelle and Nicole Nicholes we also consulted Paula Kornell, principal of Kornell Wine Company.
Our top pick is the Oxo Steel Vertical Lever Opener. While a bit pricier than other options, it’s long-lasting, intuitive to use, and comfortable, so even novice wine drinkers (or at least novice wine openers) will make quick work of opening the bottle of vino.
OXO Vertical Corkscrew with Removable Foil Cutter
Why You Should Get It: This pick is a streamlined opener that removes the cork in two easy motions and works well for natural or synthetic corks.
Keep in Mind: A bit bulkier than others, this opener weighs in at more than a pound.
Oxo is known for making quality household products, and this lever-style wine bottle opener is no exception. It weighs over a pound and may feel a bit bulkier to some, but others will appreciate the ease and strength packed into the opener.
To use, simply expose the cork using the attached foil cutter (it hides away into the opener when not in use). Then place the opener over the cork with the handle up, and push the lever down. When you hear a distinct and helpful click, lift up the lever and the cork comes with it. To remove the cork, simply push the lever down again and then lift up and the cork will come out.
If somehow your pointed metal helix-shaped screw gets damaged or worn over time, the set comes with an extra one that is simple to swap in. This opener is uncomplicated and consistent, which is essential when you need to open multiple bottles of wine. It’s also comfortable to use since it has a non-slip grip. Because of its ergonomic design and ease of use, it’s the best overall wine opener.
Price at time of publish: $45
Product Details: Type: Lever opener | Dimensions: 2.5 x 7.6 x 7.2 inches | Weight: 1.6 pounds
IPOW Wing Corkscrew and Multifunctional Wine Beer Bottle Opener
Why You Should Get It: An inexpensive addition to a bar, the ergonomic anti-slip handles help keep a tight grip on the opener.
Keep in Mind: The sharp metal helix-shaped screw is easy to expose, so should be carefully stored if kids are present.
For an inexpensive addition to a bar cart, kitchen, vacation home, or picnic basket, this winged-style wine bottle opener is affordable and lightweight. Winged style openers can be a bit tricky for less experienced wine drinkers, while sommelier Nichelle Nichols thinks “the winged corkscrew is the most comfortable to hold and simplistic to use,” so it’s all a matter of personal preference and comfort level.
This version has ergonomic anti-slip handles that make it comfortable and simple to move. Made of solid zinc, this opener is sturdy and the heft helps it feel secure when opening wine bottles. Available in six colorways, there’s even a version with bright green grips to add a pop of color.
Just based on design, winged openers do require a bit more finesse, arm strength, and coordination. They aren’t totally foolproof, especially if you go into the cork at an odd angle, but it’s not hard to become proficient at using them. Do note, this opener does have a sharp corkscrew that’s not stored away within the holder, so if you have little ones around, it should remain out of reach.
Price at time of publish: $16
Product Details: Type: Winged corkscrew | Dimensions: 8 x 3 x 0.3 inches | Weight: 0.5 pounds
Languiele Aubrac Waiter’s Corkscrew
Why You Should Get It: Each piece is a unique quality gift that’s handmade in France.
Keep in Mind: The heirloom quality opener is on the expensive side and if not used often, the hinges can seem stiff.
A thoughtful and useful gift for the wine-lover in your life, this wine opener will certainly stand out on a bar cart or next to any special bottle of wine. Handmade in France near the village of Laguiole, each bottle opener is made by a single craftsman, resulting in a true heirloom quality piece of art.
The bottle opener comes in a special black wooden box that’s attractive enough to display. Housed within the box is the opener, which is made with a contoured handle crafted out of olivewood. The ultrastrong metal spine holds the twisted corkscrew, and a serrated foil cutter and built-in bottle opener can be opened from the flip side of the corkscrew.
Measuring less than 8 inches long and weighing 10 ounces, the opener is compact and lightweight enough to tote along on a picnic. If olivewood isn’t your preferred wood, this style opener comes in other wood options and stone options like turquoise. Each is special but will have a different price tag.
“Anything from Laguiole is my favorite,” says Kornell. “Laguiole is a village in France where this type of knife and wine opener is from. There are a range of beautiful wine openers made with wood handles that typically feature a bee on the spring.”
Price at time of publish: $160
Product Details: Type: Waiter’s friend opener | Dimensions: 7.87 x 6.69 x 1.65 inches | Weight: 10 ounces
Coravin Model Two Premium Wine Preservation System
Why You Should Get It: This opener allows you to pour wine without removing the cork.
Keep in Mind: This opener will not work for sparking wine or wines with synthetic corks.
If you like to taste multiple wines, have a collection of wines that you want to use sparingly, or are the only wine drinker in your house, a wine preserver could be the perfect addition to your life.
The Coravin Two Wine Preservation System works by not actually removing the cork, so you can pour as much or as little wine as you want without fully opening and uncorking the bottle. The preserver opener works by inserting a Teflon needle into the cork. Then, tip the bottle and pour wine by releasing the trigger on the opener. Once the opener and the needle are removed, the cork reseals naturally and is ready for next time.
Besides the higher price tag, the drawbacks are The Coravin will not work on sparkling wines, and bottles with synthetic corks won’t reseal, so make sure this pricey gadget is right for you.
This set comes with the wine preserver opener and two capsules filled with ultra-pure argon gas, which is what goes into the bottle when the wine comes out. Each capsule has the volume to accommodate 15 five-ounce pours, so eventually, you’ll need to purchase more capsules.
Price at time of publish: $330
Product Details: Type: Preserver | Dimensions: 2.5 x 4.25 x 8.25 inches | Weight: 10.9 ounces
Trudeau Maison Double Corkscrew
Best Waiter’s Friend
Why You Should Get It: Simple, lightweight, and compact, this pick is a great value.
Keep in Mind: Novices may need some time and practice to perfect the technique of this manual opener.
Lightweight and compact, a waiter’s friend's corkscrew is portable enough to tote anywhere, and added bonus—you’ll look like a pro when you use it successfully. That said, this type of opener does take some muscle and a bit of a learning curve to get right.
If you’re curious to try one, this widely available affordable pick is a perfect addition to your home bar, picnic basket, or kitchen gadget drawer. Made of stainless steel, the spiral screw features grooved metal that helps the helix insert smoothly into the cork. For removing the foil surrounding the label, the foldable serrated knife is small but effective; it folds back into the opener for safe storage, too.
We like that this waiter’s style corkscrew has a double lever system so you can move the opener on the bottle as you open the wine and reduce your effort by up to 50 percent. Be prepared to use a little muscle and after a few tries, you’ll look just like a professional waiter opening bottle after bottle.
Price at time of publish: $17
Product Details: Type: Waiter’s friend | Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 1 inches | Weight: 0.2 pounds
Rabbit Electric Corkscrew Wine Opener
Why You Should Get It: A versatile opener, this works on all cork types and has a built-in foil cutter.
Keep in Mind: One charge opens around 30 bottles of wine.
An electric wine bottle opener is an amazing gift and a helpful gadget to have. Made of brushed stainless steel, the gadget has a sleek, sophisticated look and is ideal especially for those who have issues using manual wine openers.
Beyond effortless to use, simply place the electric corkscrew over the cork—you don’t even have to push a button. The bottle opener starts upon contact and automatically pulls the cork out of the bottle and then automatically ejects the cork from the opener. There’s no muscle required.
The Rabbit opener works well on both natural and synthetic corks, which is an added bonus. Once charged, this electric opener can open around 30 bottles of wine on one charge. For added convenience, a built-in foil cutter makes this the total package. A micro USB wall charger is included so be sure you have a place in mind where this helpful tool can be (and stay) charged.
Price at time of publish: $59
Product Details: Type: Electric | Dimensions: 2 x 2 x 9.5 inches | Weight: 0.62 pounds
Rabbit Vertical Corkscrew
Why You Should Get It: Made with a sleek design, this includes a foil cutter and extra spiral helix.
Keep in Mind: The lever-style opener requires some hand strength to use properly.
Fans of the Rabbit brand of wine bottle openers may appreciate the sleek design upgrade given to this simple vertical lever-style corkscrew. A cinch to use, the opener comes with a foil cutter to remove the top foil layer. Once the cork is exposed, simply place the corkscrew over the cork, and pull the lever up. Then, pull it down and the cork will be removed within seconds.
The opener works on natural and synthetic corks, and the sleek design is no trouble to store on your bar cart or in your kitchen. The simple up-and-down movement eliminates the somewhat awkward twisting that can happen with other openers.
If and when you need it, this opener comes with an extra corkscrew spiral, but the opener is made to withstand pulling up to 20,000 wine bottle corks. As with any lever-style opener, some hand strength is required, but the ergonomic handle and non-slip grip make this a comfortable option with plenty of leverage to open any bottle without bulging your muscles.
Price at time of publish: $61
Product Details: Type: Lever | Dimensions: 2.5 x 5.5 x 6.25 inches | Weight: 1.2 pounds
Oster Cordless Electric Wine Bottle Opener with Foil Cutter
Best for Beginners
Why You Should Get It: The cordless opener has a push button activation, so it only works when you’re ready.
Keep in Mind: A single charge takes 6 to 8 hours, so plan ahead for a fully charged opener.
If you’re new to wine or a beginner wine opener, the Nichols sisters like electric openers. Uncomplicated to use, the electric wine opener does come with some must-do’s in order for it to work.
You must charge it before using it, and a single charge takes about 6 to 8 hours. Once charged, it can open about 30 wine bottles, but you’ll want to keep it charged so you aren’t stuck without a wine opener. A power light indicator on both the base and the opener will indicate that the opener is plugged in, charging, and fully charged.
The opener comes with a base and should be stored upright while charging. Because of how it’s stored, you should be prepared to dedicate some room on your counter or bar for this electric opener.
There’s a push button to open the wine (although you need to manually remove the foil prior to opening) with buttons to go up and down, which removes the cork from the bottle and then from the opener. While good for novices, two hands are definitely required—one for the opener and one to hold the bottle.
Price at time of publish: $30
Product Details: Type: Electric | Dimensions: 5.51 x 14.96 x 5.32 inches | Weight: 1 pound
W&P Picnic Knife
Why You Should Get It: Beyond just opening wine, this multi-tasking picnic tool has a serrated knife for picnic treats.
Keep in Mind: The knife should be hand-washed and dried after every use.
If you’ve packed the baguette, cheese, salami, and wine all in your picnic basket, don’t forget to reach for this multi-purpose tool. Measuring just 9 inches long, the well-designed tool includes a fold-away serrated knife, a fold-out twisted corkscrew for the wine, and a bottle opener for sodas, beer, or other beverages. Made of water-resistant hardwood, brass, and stainless steel, this trusty tool will make you a hero at any picnic.
From a wine bottle opening perspective, the simple corkscrew may be a bit challenging for wine bottle novices, but with some muscle and practice, you’ll be sure to wow the crowd at any picnic. When opening the wine, the helix-shaped corkscrew unfolds from the body of the knife. Using the shape of the helix, twist the corkscrew into the cork and then use leverage to pull it out.
There is no foil cutter included in the knife and using the serrated knife on the tool is not recommended, so either keep your eyes out for a wine with an easy-to-remove foil or bring a separate foil cutter. If you do use the knife for foodstuffs, make sure you unfold the knife and wash and dry it after every use.
Price at time of publish: $24
Product Details: Type: Waiter’s friend style| Dimensions: 9 x 2.5 x 1.25 inches | Weight: 9 ounces
Peugeot Salma Black Wine Opener
Why You Should Get It: A full set, this sleek opener comes with a stand that serves as a foil cutter.
Keep in Mind: The foil cutter is the stand, so even if you don’t want to display the opener, you’ll need to keep the tool close by.
Some corkscrew-style wine openers have lots of moving parts and can be pretty tricky to use. This sleek, minimalist design is simple to use and is made with a continuous turn corkscrew which proves to have less resistance.
To use this wine opener, use the included foil cutter that’s on the stand base to remove any foil covering the cork. Then, simply place the bottle opener on the bottleneck, squeeze, and turn the corkscrew to remove the cork.
We like that this type of bottle opener is simple, intuitive, and looks elegant on a bar cart. While the stand is a useful addition and a smart way to hide away the foil cutter, it doesn’t take up much room and can be easily put away if you don’t want to display the opener standing up. For a no-nonsense, mid-priced opener that does the job without lots of moving parts or bells and whistles, this is the best corkscrew wine opener.
Price at time of publish: $40
Product Details: Type: Manual corkscrew | Dimensions: 3.5 x 2.5 x 7.5 inches | Weight: 7 ounces
Quirky Verseur Multifunction Opener
Why You Should Get It: An innovative tool, this includes a pouring spout and a helpful stopper for half-finished bottles.
Keep in Mind: When the stopper is in use, the tool will look unbalanced.
With an affordable price tag, it's hard to believe that this well-named “Quirky” opener is actually a 4-in-1 wine tool. The Y-shaped opener comes with a foil cutter that’s hidden within the base. The body of the “Y” is the corkscrew, and the two prongs of the “Y” are a removable wine pouring spout and a removable wine stopper to store unfinished bottles.
The corkscrew is relatively straightforward to use. We like the added features and the heavy-duty metal, especially given the low price tag. If you plan to use the stopper to store a bottle of wine for another day, the wine opener will look a little unbalanced as one of the prongs of the “Y’ shape will be missing.
Wine pourers help make a smooth pour and prevent drips on the table (or any other area) where you’re drinking. This one doesn’t have a filter, so if you use the pourer, make sure all pieces of the foil wrapper are fully removed, and just know that any sediment within the bottle will still flow through the pourer.
Price at time of publish: $10
Product Details: Type: Corkscrew | Dimensions: 7 x 3.5 x 2 inches | Weight: 0.3 pounds
DeVine Ah So Cork Puller and Bottle Opener
Best Cork Puller
Why You Should Get It: Not only does this opener protect the cork from damage, but it comes with a sheath to protect the prongs making this a portable option.
Keep in Mind: Corkpullers require finesse and strength to use properly.
Some call the cork puller type of opener a tried and true method while others may find it an odd-looking tool. To use this opener, the two hard stainless steel prongs get wiggled between the glass bottle and cork. Once the prongs are fully inserted, manually twist the opener to remove the cork.
This type of wine bottle opener definitely takes some finesse and muscle strength, so beginners should not be trying it for the first time on their most expensive or sentimental bottle of wine. As an added bonus, the stainless steel opener has a beer bottle opener built into the body of the tool, so you’ll be prepared to open any type of adult beverage that comes your way.
We like that this opener comes with a metal sheath that not only protects the prongs but makes this small and affordable option perfect for wine on the go. While useful to safely store the opener, the sheath is heavily branded with a large “DeVine” logo on the side of the cover.
Along with not damaging the cork, this opener can also be used to re-cork the bottle by essentially doing the cork removal process in reverse.
Price at time of publish: $25
Product Details: Type: Cork puller | Dimensions: 5 x 3 x 1 inches | Weight: 0.24 pounds
The Bottom Line
The Oxo Steel Vertical Lever Opener is the best wine bottle opener because it’s intuitive to use and doesn’t require much strength or dexterity. For an even more foolproof option, the Oster Cordless Electric Wine Opener nearly does all the work for you.
What to Know About Wine Openers Before Shopping
Wine openers can vary in price from less than 10 dollars to a couple of hundred dollars. Price doesn’t necessarily translate to effectiveness as every wine bottle opener can open a bottle of wine.
Choose something that fits within your budget and lifestyle. If you only have a bottle of wine occasionally, you may not want an expensive bottle opener. However, if you are opening bottles of wine on a daily or weekly basis, it may be worth the splurge for a device that makes opening wine easier for you.
Electric or Manual
Electric openers are often foolproof tools but need to be charged in order to function and are often bigger and bulkier than manual openers. While they are great at-home options, an electric opener is less portable for a BYOB restaurant, picnic, or any other spot. Manual openers require a range of strength and finesse. Some are quite easy to use while others can be more finicky and require some muscle power.
Think about where you plan to store your wine opener. If it’s going to have a place on your bar cart, consider how big it is and if it fits. Some of the bigger openers or electric ones require charging and stand-up storage. Others, like a cork puller or waiter’s friend, are compact and can fit in a pocket, tote bag, or picnic basket.
There are a number of types of wine openers on the market. The most common styles are:
Waiter’s friend/Wine key/Waiter’s corkscrew: A compact opener that unfolds to reveal the screw. This type uses the lever and fulcrum method (and strength) to pop the cork.
Cork Puller: Shaped a bit like a key, two metal prongs surround the cork while being inserted in the bottle. A useful tool to preserve the cork or for very old wines, it requires some muscle and finesse.
Electric: A foolproof method of opening wine bottles, electric corkscrews need to be charged to function.
Lever: These types of corkscrews use the strength of the lever to reduce the need for pure muscle. They come in a wide range of shapes and sizes.
Twist and Pull: Sleek and simple, many twist and pull varieties do require arm strength so aren’t as popular as easier options.
Winged: To use, simply screw the corkscrew into the cork and the wings will rise. Push down on the wings to release the cork. These have become less popular as more modern openers are easier to use and safer to store.
Your Questions, Answered
How do you use a wine opener?
How you use an opener will depend on the type you’ve bought. If you’re trying a new style that you’re not familiar with, watching videos is always a helpful way to see an opener in action. Always remove the foil label and then use the opener to remove the cork. The Nichols sisters suggest the last step be “pour[ing] a small amount into your glass to check the taste, then pour [more] and enjoy.”
How much does a corkscrew wine opener cost?
Wine openers can range in cost from less than 10 dollars to more than a hundred dollars. Choose what works best for your needs, budget, storage, and lifestyle.
How big should a corkscrew wine opener be?
Wine openers vary in size from pocket-sized to much bigger electric wine openers. Bigger doesn’t always mean better, although smaller-size openers tend to require more arm strength than bigger lever or electric openers.
“People should consider what feels most comfortable in their own hands,” Kornell says. “There’s no point in having an opener you never want to use.”
Who We Are
This article was written by Maya Polton, an experienced freelance writer for Better Homes & Gardens who has written for a wide variety of publications. In looking at wine openers, she searched for products and brands that offer a variety of styles and sizes, affordable prices, and long-lasting materials. She also spoke with sommeliers, twin sisters, and Black business owners of The Guilty Grape, Nichelle and Nicole Nichols. Additional insights were provided by Paula Kornell, principal of Kornell Wine Company.