When it comes to ease of use, lever wine openers that generally require very little exertion are consistently recommended by reviewers. Among lever styles, the Metrokane Rabbit (Est. $35) gets the most positive reviews and the highest scores. Designed with horizontal arms that you grip with one hand as you push the lever with the other, it features metal gears and comes in four colors. According to Metrokane, the original Rabbit was tested for 20,000 pulls by an independent laboratory. It has a 10-year warranty that's far longer than most corkscrews, and comes with a foil cutter and an extra spiral. A portion of sales of the pink version goes to breast cancer research.
The Metrokane Rabbit earns kudos from two About.com guides, Stacy Slinkard and Mariette Mifflin. Slinkard calls it the easiest, most consistent corkscrew on the market; Mifflin confirms Metrokane's claim that the Rabbit removes corks in three seconds and says the opener is well built. Anjali Athavaley of The Wall Street Journal includes it in a list of the top four easy-to-use corkscrews, saying the key to its simple operation is to grip the handles firmly.
Among Amazon.com users, the Metrokane Rabbit earns an average rating of 3.6 stars out of 5 from about 170 owners of the black model, and 3.9 stars out of 5 from more than 50 users who buy the silver version. Most agree that the opener is reliable, easy to use and easy to store, although some say it takes practice to get the hang of it. Some report breakage, however, and others say Metrokane's customer service could be more responsive.
For wine connoisseurs who prefer a more streamlined design, the Metrokane Vertical Rabbit ($35 ) also earns high ratings and good reviews. It works similarly to the original Rabbit except the opener is positioned atop the bottle. It also comes with a foil cutter and extra spiral, has a 10-year warranty and is available in three high-sheen colors. Metrokane plans to introduce updated red and gray versions in late summer/early fall 2013, but they carry the same model numbers as currently available products and there's no indication of any changes in features or performance.
The Metrokane Vertical Rabbit earns a recommendation in one professional, comparative review of wine openers that considers performance, design and ease of use, among other criteria. It also gets a nod from Bloomberg Businessweek's Jessie Scanlon, who praises its ease of use and sleek appearance. Among owners, the Metrokane Vertical gets 4.2 stars out of 5 from about 60 customers who post feedback about the gray model at Amazon.com, and 4.1 stars out of 5 from nearly 140 users who buy the red version. Most say the wine opener performs consistently well and is easy to use. However, some report breakage and one reviewer finds it bulky to store, although others say it fits easily in a drawer.