I started waiting tables when I was 20, so I’ve been opening bottles of wine since before I could legally drink them. And for more than a decade, I was loyal to a style of wine opener called the waiter’s corkscrew. We’ve tested them, and they can be great. The trick is to find one with a long, nonstick-coated worm (that’s the spiral bit) and a hinged fulcrum (the metal arm you rest on the bottle’s neck) so you can get good leverage.
But they are not failproof. Even if you have the best waiter’s corkscrew, using it still requires a bit of finesse. You have to insert the worm into the center of the cork and take care to aim it straight down as you turn it. If the worm goes a little off-track, you can break or damage the cork and really struggle to remove it from the bottle. And that means wasted time, a lot of frustration, and perhaps some little bits of cork bobbing around in your glass.
Continuous-turn corkscrews, on the other hand, work as if by magic. It’s by far the easiest type of wine opener I’ve ever used.