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September 5, 2012 8:40 AM   Subscribe

What is this tool used for?

Came across it while on vacation in Nova Scotia. It is kept in this holder

I'm at a loss as to what it's function might be. It's about the size of a pack of cards. The bladed tool part has Italy stamped on it and the wooden sheath has a made in Canada sticker on the back.

Any ideas?
posted by hector horace to Society & Culture (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Pulls out a wine cork.
posted by clorox at 8:42 AM on September 5, 2012 [3 favorites]

It's for pulling corks. Insert either side of cork and twist/pull.
posted by pipeski at 8:42 AM on September 5, 2012

thank you metafilter!

You solved a mystery that has baffled my in-laws for years in under a minute.
posted by hector horace at 8:48 AM on September 5, 2012

It works better than a cork screw because it doesn't damage the cork.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:58 AM on September 5, 2012

It's called an "ah so" because that's literally what most people say when they find this out (seriously).
posted by kcm at 9:15 AM on September 5, 2012 [5 favorites]

It's also known as a "butler's friend" because it can be used to remove a cork without leaving marks on the cork, meaning some wine could be consumed and the bottle refilled with something of a lesser quality and the cork replaced and no one would be the wiser.

Not sure anyone's ever actually done that but hey, I'm not on a first-name basis with any butlers or anything.
posted by komara at 11:55 AM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

Of course.

Finally a "What is this" question that I can answer and I happen upon the thread too late.
posted by InsanePenguin at 12:06 PM on September 5, 2012

There's a trick to it-- use the flexibility of the tongs to rock the handle (seriously, rock it 45-degrees either way if need be) while pushing the tongs into place on either side of the cork, so you're only pushing down one of them at a time. But this thing can also push in a slippery cork. Once the tongs are in, twist to remove.

It's no easy feat to get the cork back in, either, so don't believe everything you read about butlers.
posted by Sunburnt at 7:17 PM on September 5, 2012

Also, I found that with some bottles, the metal prongs will scrape the rim as you twist, chipping off tiny glass shards. So it may be sensible to check for this before the cork is all the way out.
posted by pipeski at 8:15 AM on September 6, 2012

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