How to Use a Foil Cutter

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The simple foil cutter tool helps avoid jagged edges when opening wine.
The simple foil cutter tool helps avoid jagged edges when opening wine. (Image: wine bottle image by Albo from Fotolia.com)

Originally, a lead coating was applied to the tops of wine bottles to prevent rodents and insects from gnawing or boring through the corks. A knife was used to cut away the lead seal. Now, however, decorative foil is used to adorn the wine bottle neck since pests are not a major concern and lead is known to be toxic. A foil cutter makes it easy to remove the foil so that the bottle can be uncorked. A foil cutter is a small, circular plastic tool with cutting wheels inside that fits neatly over the top of the bottle.

Things You'll Need

  • Bottle of wine
  • Foil cutter

Place the foil cutter on the top of the wine bottle. Seat it so that the small wheels inside the foil cutter are both on the same plane and in the groove slightly below the lip of the bottle.

Close your hand over the foil cutter, enclosing the entire foil cutter in your palm. The open ends of the foil cutter should be near your wrist.

Squeeze the foil cutter by closing your fist around it. The open ends should come together, pressing the wheels of the cutter against the sides of the bottle.

Grasp the wine bottle with your other hand. Rotate the wine bottle under the foil cutter as you continue to squeeze it with your fist. Do not turn the cutter; turn the bottle. Rotate the bottle one complete turn.

Continue to squeeze the cutter together as you slowly peel it away from the top of the bottle. Continue holding the bottle steady with your other hand. A circular foil piece from the top of the wine bottle should peel off with the foil cutter.

Discard the foil circle and proceed with using a corkscrew to uncork the wine bottle.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure to squeeze the foil cutter together with constant pressure as you turn the bottle.
  • Make sure no jagged pieces of foil jut out from the wine bottle top. Pointed foil can cause cut fingers. Also, pouring wine over the cut foil edge can affect the flavor of the wine.
  • Do not use a foil cutter on a bottle of champagne. Use the twisted wire on the champagne bottle to remove its foil.

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