Wine keys

Forgive me if this has been covered exhaustively in the past and if it’s a waste of space on the forum Joy but I’ve sustained an embarrassing number of injuries from the dull foil cutter on my wine key that I otherwise really like.

any suggestions for an ergonomic wine key with a really good foil cutter? I’m not gonna spend $100 on a pearl handled one with unicorn hairs inside. But I’m willing to spend a few extra $ to ensure my safety :) thanks!

  • For mass produced, I like the knife on the Murano keys. It's still a serrated knife, but rips a little less than the pulltaps. 

    Another option is to take whatever key with a terrible knife on it, grind and sharpen the knife, and you suddenly have a luxury pulltap. 

  • I had a thread last year regarding inexpensive well made wine keys.  A friend recommended Cartaillier Deluc.  These will set you back $25-$40 but they are legit.  they are all metal, look good, have a long and wide worm (many brands at this price point have short worms with a small diameter, which can result in broken corks), a well designed single lever design and a large blade that is available serrated and non serrated.  I have both and I prefer the non serrated (which i took to a knife sharpener), but the serrated version does do a better job than your average cheap serrated wine key.  They are made in France and I have been told that the worm is made by the same company that does Laguiole.  I tried about 10 different brands before settling on this.


  • I swear by the mid level (innovation model) Coutale, my wine director took one look at my raggedy looking foil cut and immediately handed me one of his extras

    the nicer ones have a jagged blade though.

  • I can’t keep my Coutale blade sharp. It’s great when I sharpen it, but a few foils in the Edge is just gone. How do you maintain yours? 

  • I did not have a Coutale, but the wine keys that I used had serrrated blades,  I used to grind down the serrations and sharpen the blade occasionally using one of these .  It's small and easy to use.  You can keep the serrations on the blade and still use this sharpener, but I found that with the serrations taken off it just takes a few quick swipes on the sharpener to make it nice and sharp again instead of sharpening each serration separately.

    After doing this for about five years, I switched to a Code 38.  I sharpen the blade using this same sharpener when it starts getting dull after about 9 or ten months of heavy use, and then I just replace the blade once a year or so, but that opens a whole 'nother discussion.


  • i'm not familiar with the innovation model specifically, but the 3 or 4 different coutales that I had, all had short worms with a thin diameter, and these would cause even slightly dry corks to crumble.  Maybe the innovation is different?

  • Thanks for everyone’s responses! I looked at code 38 but I’m not sure I can swing $300-$700 for a wine key right now. Hoping to spend no more than $50. Seems to be a debate over serrated vs non serrated 

  • basic pulltaps are THE ONLY wine key. That being said, not all are created equal. The key is finding a knife with the correct serration. Some are a little too jagged, and some are not jagged enough.  For some reason the knives are not manufactured very consistently but, for the most part they are all pretty solid. there are ways around it too. If your knife is a little too serrated, use it to cut everything (cardboard boxes etc..) for a couple days. Unless its way overly jagged that will usually dull it just enough to make perfect cuts. I own most every type of wine opener in existence ( 250 dollar laguiole, 650 dollar code 38 service model..etc..) they are all collecting dust. Ive put them all to the test. Nothing is faster or more efficient than pulltaps in my opinion. I order them directly from the factory in Barcelona, this way you know you are getting the real thing with all pulltaps parts instead of the cheapies you can find where people just buy the patented pulltaps lever and slap it on whatever garbage they want to. Side note: even from the factory these will run you about 7 bucks each. They dont last forever. The lever will wear and become loose, and the teflon coating on the auger will wear off. On the plus side, if you lose it its not a big deal. Just have another ready to go.  

    I dont work for pulltaps, im just a firm beliver. LOL 

  • I have a full proof method. Every few months I let someone borrow my wine key and it disappears into the ether. I then purchase a new one with a fresh shiny blade. Never fails.

  • Also mine has a serrated blade that seems to last a while

  • Im guessing you meant me and not keith hammond?  Coutale seems to make corkscrews for big brand wineries but can also be purchased on amazon. 

    I just found a Coutale innovation in my desk.  The knife is really good but the spiral portion of the worm is 4.5cm long, and a Laguiole is 5.5cm long. Cartaillier is also 5.5cm.  The diameter of the worm on  Laguiole/Cartaillier is just over 1cm, while the Coutale is just under .9cm.  Sounds minor but with a fragile cork, these differences make a huge difference if you don't have an ah so/Durand handy.

  •  If we're iffy about a cork we use the restaurant's Durand. I haven't personally had issue with coutale crumbling corks