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Everybody Needs A: Bottle Opener

Sorry, DuPont.

OK, it’s a humble beginning to the series of posts that purports to improve the quality of life of an academic researcher, but trust me, a bottle opener is a handy piece of kit to have. If you think about it, it does make sense: if there’s anything that chemists know how to do that’s not chemistry, it’s scrutinize the ‘ingredients’ list, and drink. Furthermore, beer tends to be the drink of choice at group, and departmental gathering, and I’m always one of the select few students who keeps a reliable opener on them. Frankly, I think a good bottle opener should be standard issue to incoming first years, and I’m appalled by their limited use. So if you don’t have one, it’s time to get one.

Don’t bother with promotional, plastic bottle openers. Like this one, from DuPont. Sure, they’ll serve their purpose for a while, but they will inevitably snap, leaving you feeling empty, and your beer full. And that’s no good for business.

Standard fare for friends back home.

You’re definitely going to want to invest in a metal, keychain mounted bottle-cap eviscerator. They come in many shapes, and sizes, ranging from the standard “alma matter” bottle opener, as seen on the right , to… well, Decaposaurus Rex over there on the left.

Standard fare for the totally rad.

The possibilities are really endless, and a good one only set you back a few bucks, and provide years of reliable, maintenance free service. I need to update my “Favorite Things” list, because my trusty bottle opener is used at least once a week around lab.

My implement? A metal Brooklyn Brewery bottle opener, acquired for free when they sponsored an event around Boston. Marvel at it’s perfection. Slim, flat, and small enough for easy keychain-ing and pocketability, combined with good length for excellent leverage and handling characteristics.


And there you have it, just in time to enjoy the weekend! Again, it’s a small triumph to acquire the perfect bottle opener, but it’s something that you do once, and it’s covered for the rest of time your in school. Stick it on your keys, and it will always be at your side.


  • Mar 4th 201117:03
    by Breanna Morris

    I’d like to suggest a very practical bottle opener. The flash-drive bottle opener combo. Not only can you open a beer but you can carry your thesis around with you at the same time. I’ve seen them in keychain form as well but this is the idea… http://www.thinkgeek.com/homeoffice/kitchen/e00f/?cpg=froogle

  • Mar 4th 201119:03
    by Sidechain Bob

    My postdoc actually suggests using a trusty carabiner. I don’t really know how he does it, but he seems pretty insistent.

  • Mar 7th 201105:03
    by chiraljones

    @sidechain: That’s really bridging into the realm of “things that aren’t bottle openers that can also open bottles”. Carabiners, lighters, wrenches, and really any other rigid object. It’s well beyond the scope of my work, but it warrants further investigation.

    @Breanna: WANT.

  • Jun 27th 201104:06
    by kevin

    Had mine on my keys for 15 years now and has opened thousands of bottles Brooklyn makes the best opener by far- got mine for free from a dlvry guy at a place I worked

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