It may be due to the increasing popularity of wine, but there are many more types of corkscrews available today than there were a couple of decades ago. All claim to make a difficult task easier and some just appear designed to look fancy. Although there have been some genuinely new and creative ideas when it comes to removing corks from wine bottles, the basic process today is the same as it has been for as long as corks have been used to seal wine bottles. In the end, the traditional method of removing corks from bottles remains one of the best.
Helix Corkscrews vs. Auger Corkscrews
One distinction among corkscrews is whether the screw (or worm — the metal part that is pushed down into the cork) is a helix type or an auger type. Both are spiral forms that you would get if you took a piece of wire and wound it evenly around a cylinder or tube, but their final shapes or patterns look distinct.
It's difficult to easily describe this difference, but it's easy to spot when you are looking at them from the side: whereas the helix just looks like a spiral, the auger looks more like a spiral staircase. A dead giveaway if that auger types end with the point exactly in the middle whereas the helix end with the point slightly off-center.
Many regard the helix type corkscrew to be superior to the auger type because it is a bit gentler on the cork, making it less likely that you'll break the cork when pulling it out of the wine bottle. So, if you have a choice, try to go with the helix corkscrew over an auger corkscrew.
- Waiter's Corkscrew
- Screwpull Corkscrews
- Ah-So, California's Two-Pronged Corkscrew
- Twin Lever, Wing-Type Corkscrew
Some corkscrews are better than others generally and some are better in certain situations. You should use whichever seems to work best for you personally, but you should also have more than one type in your wine "tool box" so that you'll be prepared for different situations.