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9.09.2011

The Best Bottle Opener

Bottle cap collecting is totally awesome. They're small, colorful, unique, and—like little love notes carefully stowed away in a shoebox—the sole bearers of deliciously delicate memories, of Blonde Ales and Belgians once tasted, now gone. Check out our collection of commercial caps:
My love life, mounted on a magnetic board.
And now with custom caps, these memories can be all the more delicious. You probably want to preserve one from your order for posterity.

So how do you open a beer bottle without damaging the cap? The average opener bends the cap in the middle: a very unattractive result. So everyone's on the search for "The Perfect Bottle Opener." What does BottleMark recommend?

The simple answer: if you're homebrewing, use twist-off bottles! No opener required, and you get a undamaged cap every time. Only problem: twist-off bottles are really weak. A twist-off bottle has a thinner lip than a normal bottle (and bottle cappers grab onto the lip of the bottle with lots of force), so after two or three uses, the top will break off. Yikes!
DO NOT WANT!
Some homebrewers don't bother using them.

So...is there a way to preserve caps on normal bottles?
The best answer: The perfect bottle opener is the one that you have. Plus a quarter.

Here's the trick...
1. Place a coin on top of the cap (a US quarter is the ideal size). The coin transfers the pressure from the middle of the cap to the edged teeth of the cap, thus preserving the cap's shape.
2. Gently apply your bottle opener to two or three places on the cap. Gently, mind you! The cap should come off easily in your hand, without any violence, if you do it right. NOTE: If you apply your opener to one place only, you'll end up with a flared edge.
See the technique in action (both correctly and incorrectly performed) in this short video...



But if you've run out of change and the bottle's not a twist-off, try to find an opener without any sharp teeth to it (the wider, the better) and apply mild pressure all-round.

Some other cool bottle openers and techniques...
Klein bottle bottle opener
Mounted gargoyle opener (WANT!)
Key-style Churchkey, perfect for key chains. Lots of different versions available, from the ornamental to the disguised.
Ring opener
Credit Card sized opener
Winner for the most bizarre: Flipflops with an opener in the sole.
Winner for the most disturbing: The "Happy Man" Opener (who, from the looks of it, has more reason to be sad)
The "Sentol" opener, a most crazy contraption: push down on the bottle, and the cap pops off clean. Available @ bottlepal.com

Other people swear by using a simple BIC Lighter (cool video here).
Really. Just an average lighter.
And then of course, there's always your teeth.
The original bottle opener.
Clearly there's no end to the bottle openers out there. But as long as you have something and a quarter, your cap will come off clean!

Just...don't buy the happy man.

5 comments:

  1. I have found the bottle opener at the below link to be the least damaging opener when it comes to collecting caps. It does not always work the first time around but after a couple tries it is off and without damage!

    http://www.brookstone.com/bottle-opener-beer-soda-bottlecap?bkiid=SearchResults|CategoryProductList|645952p

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  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  3. I just saw your post, and I have a vested interest in quality bottle openers that don't mark up the bottle caps. For the longest time, I promoted the free openers hardware stores give you get to open your paint cans. They have a bottle opener on one end, they are free, and they do a good job of not marking the cap. But then I bought this one from etsy, and I'm in pure love:

    http://www.etsy.com/listing/60063841/forged-beer-bottle-opener-with-copper

    Not only is it beautiful, it takes the cap off in one pull with no marks. It's pricey when compared to free, but worth every penny and a great gift.

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  4. Holy Cow! I just learned a ton and linked to it.

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  5. In the summer when I feel too hot then I take a beer always. So I also need an opener with nice look and I think ring opener is better than other.

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