From Season 2: Steak Frites
We have consistently preferred the lever-style design as the ultimate tool for removing the cork from a wine bottle, but this style is found in a wide price range. We gathered several contenders (ranging in price from $12.95 to $134.95) to see just how low in price you can go and still get great performance.
At a glance, nearly all of the models were virtually identical, with minor differences (as in plastic versus chrome), and all pulled out corks competently. What separated the great from the good, however, was lever length. The increased leverage (we like 6 1/2 inches or longer) means you need less brute strength to open the bottle; still, even the corkscrew with the shortest lever was workable.
We did especially like one innovative wine opener which had an ingenious slip-over sleeve design to help center the screw over the bottle opening—you squeeze the "trigger" to secure the bottle. This new feature streamlines an already speedy process, making this model our new "ultimate" choice. But at around $80, it's expensive.
We found a second model for half the price that comes with a display stand, bottle opener, foil cutter, and wax remover. Those extras aside, its heavy chrome crank and handles and sleek lever helped the spiral screw twist effortlessly through both plastic and cork, earning it the title of our top-rated moderately priced corkscrew.
Victorinox (formerly Victorinox Forschner) 6-inch Straight Boning Knife: Flexible
The nonslip grip and narrow, straight blade let testers remove the smallest bones with precision and complete comfort. Perfectly balanced with enough flexibility to maneuver around tight joints. The low price was a bonus.
|★ ★ ★||★ ★ ★||$19.95|
Wüsthof Classic Boning Knife
Hefty in weight, this knife was a solid performer when removing poultry bones, and the handle was easy to grip, even when covered in chicken fat. Piercing silver skin was a challenge since the tip wasnt sharp enough and the long narrow blade produced slightly jagged cuts.
|★ ★||★ ★ ★||$99.95|
|Recommended with Reservations|
Mundial Boning Knife: Flexible
The sharp tip performed well when removing silver skin, but it was too flexible when maneuvering around poultry joints, leaving testers feeling a lack of control. The heavy handle was slightly unbalanced and became slippery once covered in poultry fat.
|★ ★||★ ★||$19.95|
Shun Gokujo Filet Knife
Designed to replicate a samurai blade, this expensive knife was a disappointment. It struggled to pierce the silver skin, although long cuts were smooth and even. Minimal flexibility and extreme curve got in the way when maneuvering around joints. The smooth handle was hard to grip and slippery.
MAC Boning KnifeChef Series
The large, cumbersome handle reminded testers of an outdoors knife for fishing and hunting. The blade was too wide to maneuver around joints and it struggled to pierce silver skin. Unlike other knives, this boning knife could only slice in one direction, making intricate cuts around joints difficult.
Messermeister San Moritz Elite Flexible Boning Knife
The blade was so flexible it led to erratic cuttings; testers said the knife was hard to control. The blade was not sturdy enough to maneuver around joints and the lightweight handle felt flimsy and unbalanced.