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Technically, you can use your key or a cheap plastic opener to crack a beer. While any practical bottle opener will get the job done, an upscale bottle opener will look good while doing it and more—some are even designed to keep the cap intact (calling all bottle cap collectors!). That said, once you’ve tried cracking a cold one with a stellar bottle opener, there’s no going back. For craft beers, cheap cold ones, or any other bottled beverages, the below openers will fuel your happy hour. Here are our expert picks for the best bottle openers to get those bottles cracking right now.
Best Overall: Thirsty Rhino Badak Bottle Opener and Pour Spout Remover
Rochelle Tougas, of Houston’s FM Kitchen & Bar, declares “I would have to say my favorite bar tool is a speed blade with a v-rod!” Lightweight, easy-to-use, and thin enough to slip into a pocket, this 7-inch opener has two ends: one for cracking open beer bottles and the other, for easily removing pour spouts from liquor bottles without getting your hands sticky. There’s a reason it’s beloved by working bartenders.
“I think for me the simplicity of the tool is what makes it my favorite; it is one of those things we all keep in our pocket but never really think too much about because it's our dependable staple tool.” Pick between a stainless steel brushed finish or a powder-coated finish. Both are made with heavy-duty 14-gauge 18/8 stainless steel.
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Best Budget: Kiseer Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Flat Bottle Opener
“For my money, the best bottle opener is the classic paddle opener,” says Dan Shapiro of the Artisanal Brewers Collective. “The slim design allows you to stick it in your pocket, and the hole on the opposite end lets it fit on a belt or at the end of a towel easily. Bartenders often call these 'speed openers' for a reason—you can work quickly with them. I prefer ones with longer holes for the cap, so when you're levering it open, the fulcrum point hits the end of the bottle cap rather than the middle, so it doesn't bend the cap as it opens it up.”
This six-piece set of speed openers is made of durable stainless steel to last through nights and nights of cracking bottles. They are simple, affordable and will get the job done.
Warren appreciates how flat these openers are, as they play double duty. “If you can find one with a flat enough edge, you can use it on both cans and bottles!”
Best for Home Bartenders: OXO Stainless Steel Bottle and Can Opener
Consider this another handy utensil to add to your kitchen drawer. One side of this tool has a pop-top bottle while the other is outfitted with a church-key style can opener for cracking cans of all sizes. Sharp edges and a pointed punch on the latter end open up cans with ease.
While the design of this 6-inch opener isn’t as compact as a paddle opener, the soft, non-slip cushion grip fits comfortably in your hand. And unlike a standard bottle opener, the sleek lines and soft curves give this tool a little style. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t lack quality—the durable and sturdy brushed stainless steel will hold up through years of happy hours. Plus, it’s dishwasher-safe for easy, breezy clean-up.
Best Resealable: Westmark Germany Hermetus Steel 3-in-1 Resealer Beer Bottle Opener
Done drinking for the day? Westmark’s signature opener is not only able to crack open a bottle, but the resealing function will place the cap tightly back on your beer. Simply flip the product to the rubber side, slide the product over the glass, add the lid, and it will lock in carbon dioxide and therefore, freshness.
If that wasn’t handy enough, the 3-in-1 tool not only opens and reseals bottles but features metal teeth that will tackle a twist-off top as well—perfect for pesky, hard-to-twist lids.
Crafted in Germany from high-quality tempered steel with a rubber surface and ergonomic handle, this quirky tool wipes clean with just soap and water. It’s an excellent gifting option for a suds-loving friend.
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Most Unique: Corkcicle Decapitator Bottle Opener
This is not your standard bottle opener. Fit this tubular device over a bottle cap and give it one good push. With one pump, the device will pull the cap off a bottle, making your beer ready to drink. Just one easy push and the tiny machine removes the cap, no fiddling or flailing. A handy magnet in the lid stores the bottle cap for disposal.
The device fits all standard bottle caps, including beer, sodas, kombuchas and oversized beers. While this may seem electronic, this product does not require batteries—just a little momentum. For those who love collecting beer caps, the Decapitator also keeps caps intact.
While this is a machine with a lot of wow-factor, the only drawback is the size. At roughly the size of an orange, Corkcicle’s Decapitator isn’t as compact as most beer openers and can be cumbersome to store.
Best Wall-Mounted: Wall-Mounted Bottle Opener with Magnet
For your kitchen, rec room, garage, or back patio, a bottle opener that mounts on a wall means you never have to scramble to find an opener. Plus, it’s thoughtfully angled specifically for optimal cap removal. A handy touch to this particular option is a magnet under the metal opener that collects caps when you’re done with them. The heavy-duty magnet can hold a dozen caps at once.
A vintage-style design features a cast iron opener that easily screws into any surface, with screws are included too!
Best for Bottle Cap Collectors: Wooden Bottle Opener
The cicerone experts behind The Open Bottle wasn’t quite happy with the quality of beer openers on the market. So they took matters into their own hands and constructed a bottle opener that met their needs. Specifically, the opener is designed to preserve bottle caps, so you have a memory of your favorite suds. “They're lightweight yet sturdy, and are uniquely designed to not bend bottle caps,” says certified cicerone Patrick Bisch. “If you collect bottle caps for projects as we do, it's perfect!”
The bottle opener is made with two different kinds of wood: red spruce wood on top, and aspen wood on the bottom, then finished with eco-friendly oil. At five inches, it’s smaller in size than most openers, but that means it can fit in smaller pockets or tinier purses.`
Best Keychain: Yeti Bottle Key + Molle Zinger Retractable Tool
The best bottle opener is always there when you need it. Tack this opener onto your belt or bag, and a retractable cord made with braided bomber cords will extend the bottle opener for easy use and maximum durability. Tack it onto your favorite cooler and you’re set for an al fresco happy hour. Plus, thanks to the cord, it’s always around when it’s time for a cold one.
This small beer wrench is crafted from ⅛ stainless steel and actually designed as a Class 2 lever. Simply explained, the beer opener is designed by engineers to give low-effort, maximum force to the fulcrum for minimum-effort cap removal.
Add on more tools to this chain, like flashlights, your house keys, or a Swiss Army Knife, so you’re always prepared for where your day takes you.
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Most Versatile: Vacu Vin Winged Opener
Wine, beer, and beyond: Vacu Vin’s winged corkscrew-slash-opener is a master tool for happy hour. Sturdy lever arms remove corks while on the flip side of the tool, a steel beer opener breezily pops caps off. Just as it pops off beer caps with ease, the winged corkscrews remove wine corks, or corks for bottle-fermented beers, with minimal physical effort thanks to a set of levers on either side of the worm. This is particularly handy as quirky large-format beers and craft options (particularly out of Belgium) are increasingly being closed with a cork.
Keep this on hand for your next group drink session. Whether your friends are drinking vino, cracking brews, or sipping sodas, this tool will take care of everything you need.
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Kate Dingwall is an experienced drinks writer. She has been writing about the bar and spirits world for five years but more importantly, she spent four years in college bartending at a country bar, where she opened many, many beers.