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Grip the bottle, pull the lever, cork out. Screwpull corkscrews at prices ranging from 30 to over 200 euros utilise this principle. Matthias Stelzig tested what they are good for and how they differ in everyday use.

People were already using leverage to hunt mammoths, but only very late to pull corks. But this was a tedious endeavour for a long time: First pulling, twisting and screwing, and then the cork breaks off in the middle. This is what happened to Herbert Allen in the USA. Born in 1907 in poor circumstances on the edge of a Texan sawmill, he became a brilliant inventor. He was responsible for 389 patents. The American Patent Office declared him "Inventor of the Year" several times. Allen solved expensive problems in the oil industry or in jet engines with ground-breaking mechanical ideas and made a fortune in the process. As a result, he owned one of the best-stocked wine cellars in Texas.

He could not continue with the stone-age technology of the openers of the time. Around 1980, he invented the Screwpull corkscrew, for which he even applied for twelve patents. Simply move a lever back and forth and the cork is out. The patent expired, and because the technology works so simply, there are plenty of replicas. We have thoroughly tested four lever corkscrews ranging in price from 30 to over 200 euros in everyday use.

Le Creuset Leverpull LM250

Le Creuset started out as an innovative company. Armand Desaegher, a specialist in cast iron, and Octave Aubecq, an expert in enamel coatings, developed the first enamelled cast iron pots in 1925. The indestructible heavyweights became a trademark and are still produced today. Le Creuset also lays claim to the original "Screwpull": the company bought the world-famous brand of this name. Later, "Excalibur" was added, the extremely low-friction Teflon coating of the spindle.

The 205 euro Leverpull LM250 therefore fulfils its task with flying colours. Placed on the neck of the bottle, it is held in position with the tongs. Turn the lever and the Teflon-coated spindle drills straight into the cork without you having to twist your wrist. Pull the lever back again and the cork is quickly removed from the neck of the bottle. The design is stylish and timeless, and a capsule cutter is included. The model is also available in a plastic version for 115 euros.

Peugeot Baltaz

Peugeot enthuses that "all of the company's engineering expertise has gone into this creation with extremely precise mechanics." The innovation relates primarily to the cogwheel at the end of the lever. It has a large diameter, allowing more force to be achieved despite the slightly shorter lever. This makes the Baltaz (99 euros) somewhat more compact.

The ergonomic advantages take a back seat to the ingenious advantages. The handles have quite sharp edges on the inside and underside. This is uncomfortable to use and has an unpleasant effect in everyday life. However, the Baltaz has something over the other devices: it stands securely on three legs: the base of the body and the two tongs arms. This is worth mentioning because other corkscrews either have to be awkwardly placed in a stand or lie around on the table taking up space. Instead, the Baltaz looks pretty smart on the shelf in basalt grey metal with silicone applications and the company's lion logo. The Baltaz Dark made of black ABS plastic is slightly cheaper at a list price of 74.90 euros.

VacuVin Lever Corkscrew Horizontal

With its "passion for wine, Dutch design and social awareness", Dutch manufacturer Vacu Vin is a reliable supplier of wine accessories at fair prices. The corkscrew costs a mere 30 euros, so you can't complain. The handles and the rack and pinion mechanism are made of chrome-plated cast metal, the rest is made of matt black plastic and still cuts quite a good figure visually. Overall, however, the design of the opener has greater tolerances than the other models. The mechanism in the plastic housing wobbles a lot more than the metal models.

For months, we often used the Lever Crokscrew in everyday life, even under stress, when a lot of bottles had to be uncorked. After this test period, the opener seems even more wobbly than before - but it works perfectly. Respect: Despite some inaccuracies, you get a lot of opener for little money.

Atelier du vin Oeno Box Sommelier

The sommelier corkscrew from Atelier du Vin offers a little more luxury. The Screwpull version from the French luxury manufacturer weighs in at a whopping 1.75 kilos for 143 euros. The device is also considerably larger than the other models. It is made of die-cast zinc with a particularly fine, thick chrome-plated surface. All levers are slightly longer than those of its competitors. The pulling effect is therefore even better here. Some parts of the body are, surprisingly for us, made of plastic. But they are also thickly chrome-plated. Overall, the opener feels flattering and heavy in the hand and does its job precisely.

The beautiful, thick cardboard box from Atelier du Vin is more than just a gimmick: in addition to the corkscrew, there is a stainless steel drop catcher and an elegant punch card as well as a pocket-sized vintage guide with a rating of the most important French wine-growing regions up to 1977. There is also a table for pairing food and wine. The best thing, however, is the enclosed replacement spindle, which costs between 20 and 30 euros with other manufacturers. The name can also be engraved for an extra ten euros. More luxurious versions are the Oeno Motion Trésor with real wood handle for 230 euros and the Oeno Motion Nomad with leather case for 410 euros.


The lever technology works identically and well on all four openers. In some cases, the dimensions of the individual parts even match to the millimetre. The spindle can be purchased as a wearing part for each model and can be replaced without tools. The interesting thing is that the spindle of the inexpensive Vacu Vin can also be screwed into the Atelier du Vin premium opener without any problems. The pliers fit around any standard bottle neck - but at the same time you have four very different tools in your hand. The Screwpull is the original and has a timeless design. The Peugeot is the smart model with an extra point for the fact that it stands freely. Vacu Vin is the successful synthesis of value for money, functionality and aesthetics: reliable in everyday use, well designed and inexpensive. Atelier du Vin has improved the leverage somewhat and made the function a little more elegant. The "Sommelier" is quite heavy, but it requires the least force to open of all four devices. If you like that, you get a lot of pulling power for your money. Almost all manufacturers include a few accessories.

The prices quoted are the manufacturer's prices for private customers in Germany. Depending on the supplier and country, they are often much cheaper. It is therefore worth comparing.

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