How to open a wine bottle with pliers

Wondering how to open a corked wine bottle without a corkscrew? Don't worry. Here is a way around it with just a wood screw and a pair of pliers.

Wine was meant to make people happy. So, don’t let the lack of a corkscrew deny you the happiness. With just a simple hand tool, you can still pop out the stuck cork and enjoy your favorite wine. Just like you would if you had a corkscrew.

In this article, I take you through the 4 easy steps of how to open a wine bottle with pliers and a wood screw. You don’t need any extraordinary skill or talent to hack this. But if you have a screwdriver to drive the screw it would be nice but not a must.

Procedure for opening cork wine bottle with pliers and screw

Tools and supplies needed

  • Cocked wine bottle
  • Clean kitchen towel
  • Pliers with good gripping jaws (preferably locking pliers)
  • 2″ screw
  • Screwdriver (optional)

Step 1: Remove the wrap – Start by removing the foil paper wrap on the cork. Use a utility knife to cut the foil around the rim of the bottle and pull it out. This exposes the cork.

Step 2: Drive the screw into the wine bottle cork. You can use any screw with large grooves and a sharp end. The sharp end makes it easy to drive the screw and the large groves anchor the screw tightly into the bottle cork.

You can use a screwdriver to drive the screw deep into the cork. If you don’t have one, use the pliers. Simply grip the head of the screw tightly and turn the pliers clockwise until 2/4 of the screw is buried into the cork. In other words, leave about half an inch of the screw.

Step 3: Pull the screw out to remove the cork. If the screw is firmly anchored it will come off with the cork when you pull it out with a pair of pliers. You can use any type of pliers with good gripping jaws.

Personally, I prefer to use locking pliers because they offer the firmest grip. Also, I don’t have to keep squeezing the handles. Once locking pliers clamp onto something, they remain locked until the release lever is pushed to free up the jaws.

Before you pull the cork, wrap the neck of the bottle with the kitchen towel. The towel will provide a good hand grip while protecting the neck of the bottle from collapsing due to force.

Now grip the neck of the screw tightly with pliers and pull out the screw so that it comes out with the cork. You can use the hand that’s holding the bottle’s neck to pivot the pliers. The cork should come right off with the screw.

Step 4: Enjoy your wine. Pour some wine into the glass and drink to celebrate learning this new trick of opening wine bottles with a hand tool.


There are many other ways to open corked wine bottles without using a corkscrew but this my favorite method. Probably because it involves using pliers and I have plenty of them on my desk. You know I use pliers to do my daily task more than any other tool. So it feels somewhat natural to use them to open any bottle with a cork. But if pliers don’t work for you, you could use a hammer to pull out the screw and cork instead of pliers.

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Julio a.k.a Pliersman is the owner and creator of the Pliersman Website. A blog that informs and educates you about different types of pliers and their uses. Julio is a handy person and has used a variety of pliers including general-purpose and specialty pliers to accomplish tasks. He holds an electrical engineering degree and has previously worked as an O&M manager for minigrids where his love story with pliers and other tools began.