Finding a corkscrew or wine key that you vibe with can be difficult.
What’s the difference between the two tools? A corkscrew has two arms that lift and a top pull that twists, allowing leverage to help pull up the cork. A wine key, sometimes called a waiter’s corkscrew, has a small knife and uses a metal fulcrum positioned on the lip of the bottle to create leverage to lift the cork up and out.
A good wine key or corkscrew needs to be sharp enough to easily pierce through the cork, have a good grip and, above all, be easy to use. Often, poor quality corkscrews can damage corks, leaving little shards of wood in your glass, or can disintegrate your cork entirely, leaving you with little ability to open your wine.
If you’re in the market for a wine key or corkscrew, here are some favorites sold on Wine Enthusiast that we recommend.
1. Best Luxury Corkscrew:
L’Atelier du Vin Black Matte and Wood Lever Corkscrew
Handmade in France, this single lever corkscrew is highly rated for its effortless cork extractions and fine workmanship.
“This is the smoothest and strongest cork removal tool I’ve ever used,” says one customer David T. Crafted from a matte black coated metal with an ergonomic solid walnut wood handle, he adds that it “uses compound leverage to easily and quickly pull the cork and seems to improve with use.”
Available with personalization, it comes packaged in a stylish black gift box with a replacement worm to make an outstanding wine gift. It’s also available in chrome coated and wood.$170 (Not Personalized) $190 (Personalized) Wine Enthusiast
2. Best Waiter’s Style
Wine Enthusiast Wine-Dipped Oak Wood Executive Corkscrew
field_5e860b0163e91$49.95 (Not Personalized) $69.95 (Personalized) Wine Enthusiast
3. Best Tabletop Corkscrew:
Legacy Corkscrew with Black Marble Stand and Handle
A longstanding bestseller, the Legacy corkscrew is popular with wine lovers for its remarkably easy openings and antique-inspired design.
“[It] works effortlessly and looks great on top of the tasting table inside our wine cellar,” shares one customer in his review. Working on a single-lever system, a smooth-gliding nonstick coated worm easily pierces corks and quickly removes and releases them with a pull of the handle. The casing is made from a durable zinc metal alloy and embellished with a grapevine-relief pattern that makes a statement on any bar or countertop. “[It’s an] excellent conversation piece,” says customer Elaine T. “It has an industrial meets antique feel, and we just have fun using it!”$129.95 (Antique Bronze or Pewter Finish) $149.95 (Personalized) Wine Enthusiast
4. Best Budget Pick:
Retractable Foil Cutter Corkscrew
With an adjustable foil-cutter that accommodates any size bottle neck, this simple corkscrew is a top-pick for handiness and efficiency. “This corkscrew is a game changer” says George O., a customer who has worked in the restaurant business for over 45 years. “It removes the cork easily [and] leaves a smooth cut foil at the top of the neck, giving it a clean pour,” he shares. At $19.95, reviewers recommend it for gifting, entertaining and traveling. One customer shared, “[I] have one in every kitchen drawer plus in the glove boxes in our vehicles for picnics.”$19.95 Wine Enthusiast
5. Best for Opening Old Vintages:
L’Atelier du Vin Bilami Twin-Blade Corkscrew
“The twin blade corkscrew is an effective tool for opening older bottles of wine that may have delicate, sticky corks that can more easily crumble,” says Marshall Tilden III, DWS, CSW, chief education officer of Wine Enthusiast and head of Wine Enthusiast Academy.
First patented in 1949, the Bilami uncorks your wine by inserting two “spring steel” blades attached to a handle between the cork and the bottle’s neck, then slowly pulling and turning the blades and the cork together, removing the cork without damaging it. The twin blade can then reinserts the cork into bottle as if it were never touched. Made in France from a strong black metal. It’s ideal for wine connoisseurs who regularly enjoy older vintages.$30 Wine Enthusiast
6. Best Automatic:
Electric Blue 1 Automatic Wine Opener and Preserver Set
An electric corkscrew offers the easiest, fastest way to open a bottle, and is a great choice for wine drinkers lacking the dexterity and strength needed to use a manual corkscrew. This automatic opener is as easy as it gets. Just slip it onto the bottle neck and push down to uncork.
It also features an action window that glows in blue when in use. Sold as a set with a charging base, vacuum seals and an aerator pourer at just $59.95, it’s an impressive wine gadget and gift for any wine drinker. “You don’t have to have arthritis to enjoy [it],” says one customer. “Get one for yourself or a wine aficionado.”$59.95 Wine Enthusiast
7. Le Creuset Lever Style Corkscrew Set:
Le Creuset Lever Style Corkscrew Set
Lever corkscrews are less pocket-friendly than waiter’s or executive styles, but most can open a bottle of wine in just seconds. The mechanics on the Le Creuset are smooth and straightforward, painlessly removing even the most stubborn corks. Customers concur with five-star reviews, with one sharing: “The ease of operation over other lever corkscrews is exceptional.”$58.99 Wine Enthusiast
Why You Should Trust Us
All products featured here are independently selected by our team, which is comprised of experienced writers and wine tasters and overseen by editorial professionals at Wine Enthusiast headquarters. All ratings and reviews are performed blind in a controlled setting and reflect the parameters of our 100-point scale. Wine Enthusiast does not accept payment to conduct any product review, though we may earn a commission on purchases made through links on this site. Prices were accurate at the time of publication.
Last Updated: May 9, 2023