January 2, 2013

Skil iXO Vivo Power Corkscrew - Review and Giveaway

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Skil has recently hit the scene with a drinking tool. The Skil power corkscrew has been available in Europe for a couple years now (see our original coverage here) and it's now available in the states. Bosch owns Skil and in Europe, green Bosch is their DIY brand (read: Skil), so in all likelihood, the two items are exactly the same. Skil sent us one to check out and we were pretty interested in it. If it has to do with wine drinking and it flew in Europe, it has to be good, right?

Right?

Turns out, maybe not so much.

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So it's a pretty complete set; you get the 4-volt driver, the corkscrew attachment, a foil cutter, a wine stopper, and even a set of five driver bits if you want to take some time out from getting sloshed to hang a few pictures or something.

To operate the item, just place the corkscrew head over the top of the wine bottle and activate the driver. Easy as that. Once the cork is out you can remove it from the tool by just putting it in reverse.

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To test this item, we brought it to a buddy's Christmas party and gave it an aggressive workout. How did it do? Not so well. It got a lot of laughs, but but they weren't, "ha, ha, this is awesome," it was more like, "ha, ha, this thing is ri-donk-ulous." It really strained pulling the corks out, leading us to believe that 4-volts just ain't enough power to get the job done. One tester cut his finger getting a cork out (probably more attributed to the BAC of the tester rather than the tool itself). At about 11pm, someone suggested that it should come with a holster.

We really wanted this to effortlessly pull out corks left and right. Using a power tool to open a wine bottle is a little....well....corny. It's kind of a gimmick. The sort of thing you do in front of the boys to get a laugh. But if this thing worked with a flawless zip and effortlessly tugged out each cork, we'd have something to work with. But it doesn't, so what we're left with really just boils down to an expensive gag gift. We wish that Skil had not only used a stronger tool, but that they also altered the design of the gun a little to make it less "construction-y." Drop the Skil red in favor of a sleek black on grey, reshape the handle a little so it's a step or two away from a standard drill. That sort of thing.

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We actually thought about this review for a while, mulling over the thought, "well, maybe we're missing the fact that this corkscrew comes attached to a pretty nice 4-volt driver...maybe this is a lighthearted way to package a tool." But we keep coming back to the fact that the corkscrew attachment doesn't work too well and we just can't get over it.

But the good news is that we're giving one of these away. To enter the contest, just leave a comment at this post saying whether or not you think this is a fair review. Feel free to rip us one too, we can take it and it won't affect whether or not you get chosen as the winner.

Or you can just buy one for $50 at Amazon

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at January 2, 2013 8:15 PM

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Recent Comments

It's a fair review....does anyone sell the cork opener as an accessory? I'm sure it would work like a charm w/a 12V driver.


Posted by: C Lopez at January 29, 2013 12:17 AM

I think it's fair. The best reviews are honest and based on someone actually trying out the product.


Posted by: Jennifer B. at January 10, 2013 2:40 PM

I think it's a fair review, based on the fact that it's a kit to open wine with a cordless screwdriver thrown in. I feel, however, that the review is incomplete because (1) you didn't test the screwdriver as a screwdriver - how well does it do in that aspect? and (2) you didn't test the opener with a unit that had more power to help determine if it was the openers design or the drivers lack of power that was the cause of the poor performance. I've been thinking of replacing my versa-pak screwdrivers with these and would like a review based on the real performance of the tool and not on somthing some clown in marketing thought up.
Note: I have a power corkscrew I received as a gift and it works fine on everything I've given it. I thought it would end up as garage-sale fodder but it works so well I would replace it if it broke and I couldn't fix it.


Posted by: Mike Shew at January 7, 2013 11:34 PM

Yup. Fair enough. Glad you're not just another advertiser like some 'reviewers'.


Posted by: Jim B at January 7, 2013 2:09 AM

I think this is a fair review because you have never steered me wrong with regard to other tools and products you have reviewed in the past, including this one.


Posted by: James J. O'Hara at January 7, 2013 1:43 AM

I'm a sucker for gadgets and like this unit (the euro Bosch green version looks even better) and appreciate this review. Seems like a great stocking stuffer and my wife got a good chuckle as i tried to sell her on picking one up.


Posted by: C Lopez at January 7, 2013 12:55 AM

I think you did a fair review of your experience with the unit after putting it to the test. I would have considered this to be a gag gift for tool people (although a pricey one) and wouldn't have given it a serious thought. If it's really meant to be used consistently in the kitchen, then a redesign to look less tool like would definitely help.


Posted by: Paul at January 3, 2013 8:11 PM

I think it is a fair review because people want to know your real experience with the product.


Posted by: Kelly D at January 3, 2013 4:09 PM

Seems like a fair review to me.


Posted by: Ryan B at January 3, 2013 3:40 PM

Also it looks like it is $29 at lowes.com, same price as the driver without the opener. If you are in the market for a 4v screwdriver it is free.


Posted by: Tom at January 3, 2013 11:29 AM

Seems fair. The thing is supposed to pull corks, if it can do that well go for it. Is it a standard 1/4" hex-drive so you can hook it up to other tools? An impact driver would be fast.

It takes me about 15 seconds to uncork a bottle of wine. I question the market for this. Maybe for people with arthritis?


Posted by: Tom at January 3, 2013 11:26 AM

seems ok i guess but would like to see a video on how it pulled corks


Posted by: douglas kwan at January 3, 2013 8:24 AM

I think it's fair review.


Posted by: Elis B. at January 3, 2013 2:09 AM

I think this is a fair review. After all, any tool must be judged primarily by its efficacy.


Posted by: D K at January 2, 2013 11:44 PM
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