Did you know that the waiter’s corkscrew dates back to the late 18th century? Rev. Samuel Henshall patented the first model in 1795 in Britain. Of course, this tool has undergone some restyling since that time but the main purpose stayed the same.
The waiter’s corkscrew (also called waiter’s friend) is a compact multi-tool that lets you uncork bottles quickly and safely. This article takes a look at the best waiter’s corkscrew you can currently find, including both traditional models and more contemporary ones.
Best Waiter’s Corkscrew Comparison Chart
Best Waiter’s Corkscrew Reviews
OXO Steel Lever Corkscrew
The OXO steel corkscrew has an innovative design. Being a lever wine opener, the OXO is much bigger than the traditional waiter’s friend. However, this is not a deal-breaker if you consider the high-end design and great ease of use. Plus, using the OXO can be a great conversation starter.
This corkscrew measures 2.6 x 7.3 x 7.7 inches and it weighs 1.8 pounds. While this makes it quite a bit bigger and heavier than other wine keys, there is a silver lining. It comes with a special case that can double as storage, so if you are planning to use the corkscrew in a bar, it will easily fit the pull cart or tray. For home use, you’ll surely find a place for it in your kitchen cabinets.
In spite of its size, this opener is easy to use. The head is designed to fit any hand, big or small, and you won’t have to engage in a tug-of-war with the cork. All you need to do is pull up the lever, place the opener body on top of the bottle, pull the lever down, and then back up.
The OXO is made from premium materials. Its body is entirely made of stainless steel, which is one of the reasons for the added weight. There is a non-slip grip and the handle is made of die-cut zinc. The body incorporates a pull-out foil cutter that’s made of stainless steel.
The use of premium materials and innovative design come at a price. However, this OXO is truly built to last, so you are getting excellent value for the money.
- High-quality materials
- Easy to use
- Built-in foil cutter
- Comes in an elegant box
Heavy and large
Coutale Sommelier Waiter’s Corkscrew (Blackwood)
The Coutale Sommelier corkscrew is reminiscent of a family heirloom that was engineered to withstand heavy use. Though it’s a handy multi-tool, it retains the special elegance and style of a wine key.
The corkscrew handle and frame are stainless steel and the handle features a riveted Blackwood grip for better handling. There is also a dual lever that’s spring-loaded and patented by the owner of the French Clos La Coutale winery. There are only a handful of other waiter’s corkscrews that feature a proprietary patent, but that’s not all that’s impressive about this opener.
The grooved worm is one of the main highlights here. It’s crafted to make the uncorking easier and it can stand years of intensive use. The worm’s groves are there to create friction, so you get increased tension and a smooth uncorking.
A great waiter’s corkscrew wouldn’t be complete without a knife. The Coutale one is serrated to provide a clean and quick foil cut. Similar to other models, it also sports a regular bottle opener that’s integrated with the dual lever.
The Coutale wooden box shouldn’t be overlooked either. It’s made of pine and designed to resemble the wooden crates that house high-end wine.
As always, top quality and superior design come at a price. However, you are investing in a tool that’s likely to last a long time and always remain fashionable. What’s more, this waiter’s corkscrew comes with a lifetime guarantee.
- Patented dual-lever
- Serrated corkscrew worm
- Pinewood box
- Elegant design
- Lifetime guarantee
High price range
Coutale Sommelier Waiter’s Corkscrew (Naturalwood)
Coutale Sommelier needs little introduction in the world of premium corkscrews. From top-of-the-line materials to an appealing design, this wine key has everything you could ask for in the best waiter’s corkscrew. Keep reading to find out why.
This wine key belongs to the Coutale Sommelier Prestige collection and it’s available with four different grips — Naturalwood (in this review), Blackwood, Rosewood, and all stainless steel. It shouldn’t be hard to find that the one that matches your preferences — traditionalists will opt for Naturalwood, while the version with the stainless steel handle is perfect for more futuristic kitchens.
Aside from a variety of styles, this corkscrew also features a construction that’s hard to rival. Every element is fashioned from stainless steel. The natural wood comes from a hand-cut slab, and it provides a better grip and adds a nice rustic appeal to this model. As for the other functional elements, they are bound to exceed your expectations.
The small pull-out knife is serrated to cut through the foil with ease. Like most Coutale Sommelier corkscrews, this one sports a patented dual-lever that features a spring mechanism and a regular bottle opener. The corkscrew worm is also grooved which allows it to bite into the cork better and make pulling easier.
The Coutale Sommelier Naturalwood measures 0.5 x 1.2 x 5 inches and it weighs 4 ounces. This means that you can easily slip it into your pocket and have it with you wherever you go. Considering its durability, this is a good option for everyday use.
Note that the opener comes in a simple cardboard box. So if you wish to use it as a gift for a wine lover, it might be best to go for the option that comes in a wooden box.
- High-end brand
- Great structural integrity
- Four different grips available
Doesn’t come in a wooden box
Westmark Monopol Waiter’s Corkscrew
Monopol is another model that doesn’t match the traditional design of a wine key. However, this doesn’t make it less desirable or efficient. This German-made tool is a bell corkscrew that can act as a reliable wine opener for the years to come.
First of all, the Monopol waiter’s corkscrew is made of stainless steel and die-cast zinc. The construction looks and feels heavy-duty, which gives this opener a special industrial appeal. The corkscrew works great for synthetic and natural corks.
However, if you need to open an old bottle with a brittle cork, you might be better off with a different model. While the Monopol is durable and easy to use, it features an auger which is less than forgiving on dried-out old corks. On the other hand, this model comes with the special Monopol cutting thread that’s designed to pierce and cut into the cork and ensure there is no breakage.
When it comes to size and weight, the Westmark Monopol is among heavier and bigger models, which is to be expected because of the stainless steel and die-cast zinc combination. The dimensions are 1.4 x 2.7 x 5.9 inches and the tool weighs 6.4 ounces. Carrying it in your pocket might be cumbersome, but it does fit a waiter’s apron quite well.
For home use, you’ll easily find a place for it in the kitchen drawer. Plus, this model comes in a nicely decorated cardboard box, so it’s not a bad choice for a gift.
- Rugged design
- Stainless steel and die-cast zinc combination
- Suitable for commercial use
- Big and heavy
- A bit pricey
Le Creuset Waiter’s Corkscrew
This Le Creuset model sports a traditional wine key design and its structural elements resemble the well-known Coutale Sommelier corkscrew.
Like most waiter’s friends, this model has a two-step lever to remove the cork. Le Creuset also has a well-designed worm with a non-stick coating, allowing for a better grip and easier pulling. There is a regular bottle opener and a foil cutter included. Again, the foil cutter is a serrated knife that provides a clean cut.
As for the materials, each functional element is made of stainless steel, and you also get a wooden grip. It’s important to point out that this model is not dishwasher ready and it doesn’t come with a special box.
This corkscrew is priced similarly as the Coutale Sommelier, which might be too much for a lesser-known brand. On the bright side, the manufacturer stands behind the product’s quality with a 5-year warranty.
- Non-stick worm coating
- Stainless steel functional elements
Not dishwasher ready
Choosing the best waiter’s corkscrew depends on your needs and expectations. In terms of price, build quality, and durability, the OXO lever corkscrew wins by a landslide. Not only is it strong but this wine opener is also surprisingly easy to use.
If you wish for a more compact device, you won’t go wrong with either of the Coutale Sommelier models from this article. The attention to detail and top-notch engineering ensure that these waiter’s friends will last for decades.