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wine experts: purpose of tiny non-tweezers in corkscrew?
Old 08-12-2008, 01:14 PM   #1
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wine experts: purpose of tiny non-tweezers in corkscrew?

I Googled around but couldn't come up with anything that would help me ascertain the purpose behind a small thin folded metal strip that sits in a little slot inside the metal handle of a two-stage waiter's-type folding corkscrew I bought. The brand is Fackelmann but their web site doesn't show this model.

It's not part of the opening mechanism and is definitely made to be removed; in fact, it tends to slide out a bit -- annoying. At first glance, you might think it was a kind of tiny tweezer but the ends tend to diverge rather than come together; there's nothing at the apex but the fold of the metal. It's about 1/16" (2mm) wide and 1 1/2"-2" long.

I'm stumped! :confused:
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Old 08-12-2008, 01:19 PM   #2
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Foil cutter?
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Old 08-12-2008, 01:29 PM   #3
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Maybe its a Swiss Army corkscrew?

Is there a toothpick in there too?

Built in roach clip?

Maybe a picture would help?
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Old 08-12-2008, 01:44 PM   #4
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Does it look anything like this?
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Old 08-12-2008, 01:52 PM   #5
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Does it look anything like this?
That wouldn't make a very good roach clip...
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Old 08-12-2008, 01:54 PM   #6
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That wouldn't make a very good roach clip...
No roaches in my house.

It works very well for removing bottle corks without getting pieces of cork in the wine.
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Old 08-12-2008, 03:59 PM   #7
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I was hoping not to have to bother with photos... but I have a burning curiosity, so here are some quick crappy pix. There's a serrated foil cutter on the opposite arm, where the top rivet is in the side view. This thing is tiny!! 2mm wide!
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Old 08-12-2008, 04:12 PM   #8
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Looks almost like a cotter pin. Is there some other place you could slide those in on the corkscrew when its closed, say to prevent it from opening in your pocket?

Or maybe its the other way around, it slides in someplace to prevent the thing from flipping shut on you when you're using it to pull a cork?
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Old 08-12-2008, 04:33 PM   #9
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That wouldn't make a very good roach clip...
Actually, with the nice pic Ladelfina just posted, it looks like a great roach clip
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Old 08-12-2008, 04:59 PM   #10
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CFB: nice try, but a little too baroque. Any theoretical "cottering" would take place on the outside of the lever wing where this tweezer is housed. What it faces when closed is the open spiral of the corkscrew itself.*

Wouldn't work as a clip.. it's not "clippy". But maybe you could stab a roach with it.

* the structure is that of a regular folding lever corkscrew.. with this extra thingy!

basic aspect is similar to this.. (but with smaller foil knife hinged in the center):


The tweezer thingy is ensconced in the lever arm (on the right in the above pic). The lever arm has a slice in the metal, indented from the outside, that allows the tweezer to slide in from the inside (see my pix).
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Old 08-12-2008, 05:16 PM   #11
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Roach clips...what is this the 70s?
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Old 08-12-2008, 05:53 PM   #12
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Welcome Back Notmuchlonger
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Old 08-12-2008, 06:42 PM   #13
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Actually, with the nice pic Ladelfina just posted, it looks like a great roach clip
Looks a bit flimsy, but workable in a "pinch"...

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Roach clips...what is this the 70s?
Haven't you heard; the evil weed is so much more potent nowadays...

Please, please, don't bring back disco...
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Old 08-12-2008, 06:55 PM   #14
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Looks a bit flimsy, but workable in a "pinch"...



Haven't you heard; the evil weed is so much more potent nowadays...

Please, please, don't bring back disco...
To hell with disco!



OOP wrong one

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Old 08-12-2008, 07:15 PM   #15
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Does the head of the device look something like this?

Amazon.de: Fackelmann 49804 Korkenzieher: Küche & Haushalt

If so, it may be a spring for a missing part of the corkscrew head. Something you're supposed to push in for a shorter lever arm when needed, but which is out of the way for long-lever arm use?
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I know what it is
Old 08-12-2008, 09:35 PM   #16
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I know what it is

It called a "butler's cheater".

It is a cork remover. Gently slide the thin blades along each side of the cork, between the cork and bottle. Slide all the way around the cork to break the seal with the glass. Then tighten with fingers and slowly twist the cork - it slides out. This is the way to remove the cork without damaging it - and then replacing it without evidence.

This is a technique familiar to and used by wine stewards, waiters and butlers - remove the cork, pour out the wine, replace with a cheaper wine, then replace the cork. This is why when drinking a bottle at a restaurant the seal and foil should be cut in your presence.

Courtesy of my brother - smarter and more knowledgeable than I.

It also looks like an excellent roach clip - for any decade or generation.
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Old 08-12-2008, 09:52 PM   #17
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wow MichaelB, that is crafty.. !!!

very intriguing.. but I don't see how this particular version could really go all the way 'round (over) a cork or be managed by fingers even if one could get the thin blades on either side of the cork.

I'm hard pressed to imagine where one would get the purchase. You say "tighten with fingers" but the metal strip only can go about 1/2 way down either side the cork (when opened, with one end of the strip at either side of the cork, and the apex of the folded strip minimum 1/2" above the top of the cork.

How would you really grab hold of it? Sliding along and breaking a seal, maybe; extracting, it's very hard to envision.. seeing how truly tiny the strip is.

Maybe this is just a vestigial artifact of what you describe? But why would they still carry on incorporating it?

boh! no matter.. next bottle we open I will test it. I'll try to report back in a few days.
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Old 08-12-2008, 10:11 PM   #18
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The more I look, the more I think the head/fulcrum/whatever part looks like that of the Fackelmann 49804, except that Ladelfina's one is missing the recessed push-in thingy. I think the mystery strip of metal is a spring.

If so, the bad news is that you are missing part of your corkscrew. The good news is that you can feel free to throw that annoying spring away, since it is now useless. (Unless you can find the missing piece hiding in the back of a kitchen drawer...)




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Old 08-13-2008, 08:09 AM   #19
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Could be part of a spring mechanism as BPP points out.

It may also be the swiss army version of a butler's cheat. The cheat takes practice, and it's purpose is deceitful, so you never know.

Or they were nice enough to include portable tweezers - I dunno, in case you get a piece of cork stuck under the fingernail?
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Old 08-13-2008, 08:52 AM   #20
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I'm thinking that if you've been drinking and now have cork under your fingernails, perhaps tweezers arent your biggest concern?
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