Monthly Archives: May 2014

The Magical Blomus Utilo Opener

Posted on by 0 comment

_MG_8693 blomus The Blomus Utilo bottle opener is simple, sleek and one of my favorite everyday openers. This stylish bottle opener is brushed stainless steel with a black plastic handle. It is 6.5 inches long and 1.8 ounces. The length provides excellent leverage and the lifter connects well. This product of German design makes for a consistent, reliable pop every time. If you’re looking for a touch of class to your bar or only want a single opener in the drawer, this is a great candidate. Wait – just one opener? what fun would that be?! _MG_8705 blomus Summary Does it open? It feels and operates like the perfect opener. Can it do anything else? It’s magical! Wave it like a wand to pull a beer out of a floppy hat. Overall rating: 5 Stars (5 / 5). This opener is a perfect touch of class to any bar or kitchen. References: Blomus Utilo Kapselheber _MG_8802 blomus

Category: Bottle Openers

One-Handed Bottle Opener

Posted on by 0 comment

_MG_8749 grab

Consider this. You find yourself in a backyard among a pack of dangerously thirsty drinkers. You are enjoying a refreshing Dos XX while you survey the chaos. Everyone has a bottle, but in this nightmare nobody can open it. The caps are screwed on too tight or they have dreaded imported bottles with no threading at all. Everyone soon realizes there is only one opener in the yard and you have it. Slowly, the pack turns to you and approaches as one, like a pack of hungry zombies. Or thirsty zombies. Do zombies get thirsty? Wait, I digress…

One by one they raise their bottles near your face. Claustrophobia sets in. What do you do?

Should you set your beer down to grab an opener and help these thirsty zombies? If you do, surely one of these desperate fiends will grab your tasty brew as their own! Or do you let them all collapse from thirst? That doesn’t seem right either.

Do you panic and flee the scene? Heavens no! Instead you reach in your pocket for your GrOpener one-handed bottle opener and the evening is saved!

_MG_8695 grab

The GrOpener (aka GrabOpener) is a one-handed bottle opener. It allows you to hang onto your beverage with one hand while popping open other bottles for your buddies. It is the creation of Mark Manger, an artist from Denver and delivers a clever design in a simple package.

Affixed to the underside is a magnet, which serves three purposes. The magnet helps line up the opener onto the bottle cap for a smooth open. Once popped, the cap sticks to the magnet for easy disposal. When the night is over, the magnet may also be used to store the GrOpener on your fridge, while it awaits its next mission.

_MG_8718 grab

To use, let the GrOpener hang in your hand, with your index finger in the hole and the middle finger on the trigger (back edge). Give a firm squeeze and the cap pops.

_MG_8721 grab

It fits comfortably in your hand and if used properly, it will be in perfect position as you grab your bottle. After many uses, a habit is formed where you can pop the cap in the act of grabbing and lifting your beer.

_MG_8726 grab  _MG_8717 grab

While the designer claims that it is made for even a grandmother to use, I found it did take a bit of practice to make it a routine opener. When I first received it, I did not find it intuitive and would forget how to operate the opener until I did a bit of fumbling. My first opens took a lot more focus and force than they do now. After using it several times, its use is second-nature and the squeeze grip feels natural and unforced.

The backside of the opener also acts as a tab lifter for opening cans. The design is minimal, sleek, and well suited for its purpose. It comes in several colors, some with industrial anodizing for scratch resistant finishes.


Does it open? There may be a slight learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, the opener works great. It has a nice novelty factor that will intrigue your guests, but be prepared to roll through a few bottles for demonstrations.

Can it do anything else? Let’s say for no apparent reason you stumble and fall face first in your front lawn. You drop your house key into a raging two-foot tall bed of fire ants. The GrOpener and its magnet can be used to fish the house key out of the swarm without risking a hand full of welts. That should add some peace of mind when navigating the front yard late at night.

Overall rating: 4 Stars (4 / 5). This opener has no glitter or shiny features, but delivers on its unique promise.

References: GrOpener

_MG_8767 grab

Editor’s Note: Many fire ants were mercilessly tortured and maimed during the shooting of this photo.

Category: Bottle Openers

The Belly of the Beast

Posted on by 0 comment

_MG_8683 whaleUpon encountering this cast iron wonder, my first impression was… what the hell?!

There is something inherently disturbing about the Whale Bottle Opener. Maybe it’s the imposing weight of the iron. Maybe it’s the shape of the ferocious whale. Or probably it’s the Mommie Dearest lipstick. Don’t leave this guy near any clothes hangers.

_MG_8684 whale  _MG_8687 whale

The Whale Bottle Opener is heavy cast iron with hand painted features (obviously!). It weighs a hefty 11.5 ounces and is 4.75 inches long. It fills the average grip.

The opener has been placed on the bottom of the whale, requiring it to be operated by feel rather than sight. The opening is big enough with a strong catch, so this has not been a big issue.

It’s debatable whether this opener’s primary goal is open bottles or just freak me out. As a bottle opener, it works well but not perfect. It often takes two pulls to pop the cap and will bend the cap with a distinct crease. But it looks terrifyingly awesome and does get the job done.

Is it ridiculous or ridiculously bad-ass? You must judge for yourself.

_MG_8690 whale



Does it open? It feels firm in the hand and does the trick.

Can it open anything else?  I would imagine it could crack a few skulls. If dropped into a sock it could be spun overhead and hurled like a sling. If dropped into a pillow case, it could also clear out the showers in the average prison brawl. If that sounds too violent, perhaps you’d prefer to roll it upside down and use it as a planter for your herb garden.

Overall rating: 3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5). This opener is strangely awesome to look at and does pop the caps with a couple tugs. It’s a worthy addition to any kitchen countertop.

References: Whale Bottle Opener

IMG_2677 whale


Category: Bottle Openers

The Mystery Wrench

Posted on by 0 comment

_MG_8697 wrench

There are many hazards to getting older. You have to stretch before running. You stop growing vertically and start growing horizontally. Hair grows in places where it doesn’t belong. But perhaps the worst is the sudden memory loss. I like to think I’m not so old that my brain is disintegrating, but here is a case where it has let me down.

Sometime in the last year or two I acquired one of my favorite openers. It’s a cast iron wrench bottle opener. It is perfectly weighted and feels strong and sturdy in my grip. It pops the cap with ease and never falters. But where did it come from? Was it a gift? Did I find it in a store? Did I order it from the internet? Did I find it on the street? Beats me – I couldn’t figure it out.

There are no markings on the opener and an internet search reveals no others like it. I wrestled with this for a few weeks trying to remember.

The mystery wrench weighs a nice 4.75 oz and is 6.5 inches long. It is well-balanced and feels like a piece from a good toolbox. The slotted opening fits firmly over the cap and opens without slipping. The backside can be used to pry off a cap and works successfully after a few tugs. It works, but doesn’t add a lot of value except perhaps in the case where a non-standard crown cap is being opened. I always use the slotted side.

_MG_8699 wrench

I was using the wrench to open my beer on the patio and then it hit me. Literally. I was splayed across the ground and woke with a knot on my head. After drinking the rest of my spilled beer to regain my wits, I looked at the wrench and remembered. World Market. I was probably buying some Dad’s Root Beer or some British chocolate bars when I found this opener. Searching the web, I found this as a discontinued and unlinked item on their site called a Tool Bottle Opener. The page said it was handcrafted by artisans in India. The same craftsmen who brought us sandalwood elephants, dancing cobras, and call centers. The Indians know their stuff and they made a fine bottle opener.

_MG_8731 wrench


Does it open? The opener feels great and works great. It’s a champ.

Can it open anything else?  As a wrench it isn’t functional at all. A good whack on the head might cure a case of amnesia or cause even more memory loss. From my experience, I think it’s best to dedicate it to beer bottles instead.

Overall rating: 5 Stars (5 / 5). This has been one of my favorites and my default go-to opener. I have no idea where it came from, but I’m glad it found me.

References: Tool Bottle Opener



Category: Bottle Openers

The Ultimate Refrigerator Magnets

Posted on by 1 comment


I have a refrigerator in my garage. It’s full size and dedicated to beverages.

Yes, I’m a high roller like that.

If you’re equally blessed to have a beer fridge, you know how inconvenient it can be to pull a cold beer for your patio guests, only to find you’ve left the opener in the kitchen. Herein lies the beauty of magnetic openers. One is always handy. And if you’re going to get a magnetic opener, you might as well go big time and get a beast like the stainless steel Bottle Opener Fridge Magnet by Suck UK. Pair that with the Magnetic Bottle Cap Catcher by Starr and you’ve got a fridge armed for any kind of evening.

Starr Magnet_MG_8371_magnets

The Fridge Magnet Bottle Opener is a large 4-3/4″ x 8″ with a sturdy grip on your refrigerator. I’ve had mine for years and have never seen the opener slip. The magnet on the back is rubber and promises to not scratch the surface of your appliance.

The Magnetic Bottle Cap Catcher is a marvel in both its simplicity and its performance. It’s a 1.5″ round magnet with a mounting screw that you could use to mount it on the wall. Mounted below the opener, the catcher pulls a falling cap like a tractor beam and holds it firm. The product claims to hold up to 20 caps at a time, so there’s no need to find the trash can after each open. I’ve seen it catch more. To remove a cap from the stack, you have to peel them off. The magnet has an impressive grip.


Mounted together, these dudes provide a nice one-two punch. The opener pops the cap every time and catcher never lets a falling cap hit the ground. I’ve heard a few knocks on the opener. The biggest seems to be its ability to stick. Perhaps there are quality control issues at the manufacturer, but I suspect the biggest variable is the surface of your refrigerator. Mine feels cemented to the fridge. The opener is also positioned at a rough angle. The beer is practically horizontal as you pop the cap and usually spits a bit of foam. If yours is mounted in a kitchen, this might be problematic. Since I could care less about my garage floor, I don’t pay any attention to this. Besides, I’ve just opened a beer and duty calls.


Does it open? The opener holds tight to the fridge and always pops the cap. The catcher never fumbles.

Can it open anything else?  The Cap Catcher could be used to open up the odds in a knife fight if positioned strategically around your body. I offered to paste a few of these on my shoulders and have my kids throw knives at me to see if the magnet would pull them away from my chest. The kids were afraid of hurting me and would not participate. I asked Emily to assist and she smiled a bit too enthusiastically. This made me nervous and I canceled the experiment.

Overall rating (opener): 4 Stars (4 / 5). This has been an old reliable opener for me. It spits a bit, but opens the bottle every time.

Overall rating (catcher): 5 Stars (5 / 5). There’s not much to this and if you can find your own super-magnet, it may equally do the trick. But this sucker works like a champ.

References: none

IMG_2667 magnet




Category: Bottle Openers

Tiki God Bottle Opener

Posted on by 1 comment

_MG_8648 tiki

No trip to the beach is complete without a trip to the souvenir shop. If you walk past the suntan lotion and sunglasses, go behind the shelves of towels, turn left at the bikini coffee mugs, you’ll see a shelf full of shot glasses. And somewhere just off to the right you’ll find an assortment of bottle openers. Some are shaped like sharks. Some look like flip flops. But if you’re in a particularly classy beach shop, you’ll find the tiki.

In March we visited Padre Island National Seashore and Port Aransas for our Texas spring break. When we visited Moby Dick’s, it didn’t take long to sort through the impressive kitch bazaar for me to locate the prize. The tiki god called out to me.

_MG_8642 tiki         _MG_8644 tiki

This opener from Beachcombers looks great. It literally stands 5-3/4 inches tall and weighs a smidge over 4 ounces. It feels balanced in the hand, although it could use a bit more weight to be truly satisfying. It is made of resin and I’d be skeptical that it could survive a full year of regular use without chipping. But let’s face it, nobody buys a bottle opener like this expecting to keep it in a tool chest.

As a tiki opener, I have high expectations. As we sat on the balcony and listened to the sea, I rubbed his nose before I popped the caps of my Shiner Blacks. I expected the gods to bathe us in sunshine the next day and treat us to free rum. Instead we got clouds and 40 mph winds.

_MG_8656 tiki

Clearly this is an opener to be respected and possibly feared. It continues to open bottles for me on the first pop every time, but I no longer rub its nose.


Does it open? With a decent grip, this opener does the trick.

Can it open anything else?  The skies. Fear the fury of the rum gods.

Overall rating: 3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5). This opener is not perfect, but it looks great and does its job. I’m concerned about its longevity and ability to hold onto its good looks, but only time will tell.

References: none


Category: Bottle Openers

Hand Forged Bottle Opener

Posted on by 0 comment


I’m a sucker for fine tools. Especially hand forged steel ones. Through pure luck, I stumbled upon the Hand Forge website and found this beautiful forged steel bottle opener, with a copper rivet and leather strap. Each piece is created individually on the anvil and finished by hand by Lyle Poulin. According to their site, the steel is heated to 2000 degrees when hammered into shape. Steering wheels get way hot here in the Texas summer… but surely those tap out at 200 degrees (it’s hard to judge as the nerve endings in my finger tips burn off by late June).

_MG_8391_forgedHand Forge offers a monogram option and promotes their products toward groomsmen gifts for weddings and other high tone occasions. I wanted mine naked for everyday use and am very pleased with the result.

The opener is about 4.5″ long and fits comfortably in my hand. It weighs a smidge under 3.5 oz (100g) and has a satisfying sturdiness to it. It pops the cap on the first attempt every time. The finish is great and looks like a work of art, while serving as a very practical tool. The fact that this is hand forged is both its highest merit and its lone shortcoming. Handcrafted products cost money to make and aren’t cheap. Whether or not this is worth the price tag depends on whether you’re a fanatic (like me), are buying a gift, or have some extra greenbacks lying around. For me, the opener is well worth it.



Hand Forge also sells this forged keychain bottle opener. Keychain openers are a unique breed as they’re intended to work in a pinch, but not usually effective for daily use. The primary reason is the simple fact that your keys will often get in the way. This opener is 1.5″ x 2″ and is very solid. It will usually pop the cap within two lifts with a full keyring. With its weight and size, I honestly don’t feel like the keys are in the way as with lighter, flimsier keychain openers. It’s also a good looking slug for any keyring and has become my grip for pulling keys out of my pocket.

It can be ordered with the shown design or plain.



Does it open?  Definitely. The full size opener is quite effective. The keychain opener is a little less effective due to its small size, but still works great.

Can it open anything else?  Let’s say you’re walking down an urban street after a long pub crawl and make a wrong turn into a dark alley. You find yourself cornered by thugs in ski masks. The odds are certainly stacked against you. But then you reach into your back pocket and find a Hand Forge bottle opener and slide the leather strap around your fingers. You swing the opener like a black jack to ward off the first attacker and your opportunity begins to open up. However, the other two thugs close in quickly and…

Nevermind, you’re safer staying home and using this to open bottles of beer.

Overall rating (full size opener): 5 Stars (5 / 5). This opener is finely crafted and is an impressive tool to grip and admire.

Overall rating (keychain opener): 4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5). The keychain opener is also very well made and easy on the eyes. It feels right on the keychain and works well. Keychain openers always have their limitations, but this must be near the top for this family of opener.

References: Hand Forge website



Category: Bottle Openers

Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag

Posted on by 0 comment



While waiting for a prescription to be filled, I roamed across the parking lot to a neighboring antique store. I found two awesome bottle openers. The cheap one was $65, so I had to pass. Who knew there was money in old bottle openers?

Although I struck out on openers, I did find this little leather bag. It looked like a good pouch to dump all the loose openers I have stuffing our kitchen drawers. The upside is it serves its purpose well and looks great. The downside is it is already full.




Category: Bottle Openers