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The type of opener I typical use for wine bottles is the winged lever corkscrew type:

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The main problem I have with these is that they don't actually pull the cork all the way out. You have to lever out the last quarter of an inch. Also, there is the chance that you could crumble the cork into the wine.

The other main types seem to be the prong type, the hinged corkscrew, and the gas injection needle. I have not experimented with those. Theoretically the needle would seem to be best because there is no risk of crumble and it will force the cork out in one movement, assuming a big enough pumping handle, but not having actually tried one, I don't know if there are any hidden gotchas.

If we ignore cost and size as criteria, and consider only speed and convenience, what is the best type?

How do different types of wine bottle openers compare for speed and convenience (ignoring cost and size as criteria)?

  • That "winged" type is made to do that, leave the cork in the bottle a bit. It's so that you can par-open bottles, do them ahead of time without breaking the air seal. After pulling up, dip or run some water over the cork to let it firm up. When you're ready to serve it'll twist/pull out better. – Hebekiah Aug 27 '17 at 15:17
  • Best, IMO, is always opinion only and not definitively answerable. Even if opinion based answers or polling for opinions was OK, cost cannot be ignored as it is a valid criteria. Then, with the varieties of corking materials in use today, I would not even say I have a favorite myself, as I have been known to use push-in with corks I think may be prone to crumpling, wing for firmer natural cork and "wiggle blades" for synthetic. – dlb Aug 27 '17 at 19:02
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Simply look at what the vast majority of waiters at restaurants use. Speed and convenience is their top priority. They mainly use the hinged, "waiter's corkscrew". It is also the choice of most wine "geeks" I know. It's what I use. That, and an "ah so" cork puller for very old vintages/potentially damaged corks....With any corkscrew, some care has to be taken, depending on the bottle being opened.

(While I think this answers your question, the question may be flagged as opinion based.)

  • But what if they use it because it's easy to carry around without ever accidentally stabbing themselves, and because they open so much wine that they get a lot of practice to be good with it? What's convenient for them might not be as convenient for the OP. – Cascabel Sep 18 '17 at 21:07
  • Fair point. Maybe that speaks to the opinion based nature of this question. – moscafj Sep 18 '17 at 21:55
  • Perhaps, though I would say we should also generally be prepared to imagine what would work for a home cook rather than someone who does something 100x a day in a restaurant; we do it all the time mostly without realizing it on other questions. – Cascabel Sep 18 '17 at 21:58
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Google or Amazon "lever wine opener" and sort by best reviews. There is a "rabbit" type and other animal shape references that are quite good and have 2 different screws for natural and synthetic corks. They take the guess work out and cost around $30. Not cheap but good looking and effective. rabbit key

The other types take practice and knowledge of cork type. For half that price a really good "waiter" style with a hinged double fulcrum can be excellent (and easier to store, portable). Use the shorter fulcrum ledge to get it started and the other for final pull. waiter key

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