Gears. Levers. Error proofing. And why winged corkscrews are popular.
We are going to twist again with this nomnom! The corkscrew with its curly-wurly worm makes it easier for us to uncork a bottle of wine (read the science behind it in the 1-Minute NomNom “Screwed“).
Now let’s talk about the winged corkscrew – also called the angel or butterfly corkscrew – that many people like. The starting point is the same: We twist the handle at the top to rotate and embed the worm.
In the case of the winged corkscrew, the rotational movement also turns the gears at the shoulders of the corkscrew. These gears then lift the two levers on the side. When we are ready to pull out the cork, we simply press down on the levers and the embedded worm pulls out the cork smoothly. These levers are class-1 levers. Class-1 levers have the fulcrum in the middle, the force produced at one end and the force applied at the other end (see above). In this case, the distance between the force applied and the fulcrum is much longer than the distance between the force produced and the fulcrum, and the science goes by this equation:
(force applied) x (distance from fulcrum) =
(force produced) x (distance from fulcrum)
This means the force produced is much larger than the force applied. The winged corkscrew thus helps us use even less force than conventional corkscrews.
Moreover, the winged corkscrew has a central frame that fits comfortably over the top of wine bottles, guiding the worm straight down through the center of the cork. This makes it unlikely we will accidentally slant and skewer the cork apart. The design error-proofs the way we use the corkscrew.
The combination of these – less force needed and less likelihood of error – coupled with a pretty aesthetic, have made the winged corkscrew a popular choice.
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photos: in order – depositphotos/ikostudio; Zoooom