Bottle openers are small tools that you probably own and use regularly, but chances are you don’t know how it ended up in your hand while you crack a cold one. You’d be surprised by the time and effort that goes into making just a single bottle opener!

While bottle openers come in a variety of different designs and shapes, most of them are relatively simple. Continue reading to learn all about how bottle openers are made for mass production and by hand!

What Are the Different Parts of a Bottle Opener?

There are three main parts to a bottle opener that makes it so useful: the tooth, fulcrum, and lever. A bottle opener is a tool that basically acts as a simple lever you use to remove the metal cap off a bottle. Each part plays an important role in the proper function of a bottle opener:

  • Tooth

    This is the part of a bottle opener that catches the underside of the cap. This part can also be called the lip.

  • Fulcrum

    The fulcrum exerts force across the bottle cap that will eventually help remove it.

  • Lever

    The part of the bottle opener you hold is the lever.

Generally, every bottle opener will have these three parts, but there are lots of variations in style, size, and shape. The most important part of a bottle opener is the tooth. Without it, there would be no way to pry the cap loose.

How is a Bottle Opener Made?

Bottle openers are made through mass production or they can be forged by hand. During mass production, bottle openers are made using a computer-controlled die cutter. This allows for large numbers openers to be made at once. Check out how a bottle opener is mass produced:

  1. Step 1

    A computer image of the bottle opener is uploaded and calibrated with the desired measurements and style.

  2. Step 2

    A set of drill bits controlled by the computer will be used to make the necessary cuts.

  3. Step 3

    A sheet of steel is placed onto the die cut machine.

  4. Step 4

    The die cutter begins to cut out the shape of the bottle opener.

  5. Step 5

    Once the general shape of the bottle opener has been cut, the die cutter then engraves the branding on one side.

  6. Step 6

    The metal sheet is placed in a mold and the excess metal is removed around it.

  7. Step 7

    Still in the mold, more detail is added to the fulcrum and the tooth. A logo can also be added to the other side at this time.

And there’s your finished product! On a large scale, the same process takes place on much bigger sheets of metal and hundreds of bottle openers are made at once using a die cutter with multiple drill heads.

How is a Bottle Opener Forged?

Forging is another way to make bottle openers. It is the process of shaping a metal object by heating it in a fire and then ham- mering it. While this method is not used for mass production, forged bottle openers are a popular hobby for people who enjoy custom shapes or hand-made openers. It is recommended that you take the proper safety precautions before forging, and that you use supervision of an expert if you haven’t mastered the skill.

Here are need the tools professional blacksmiths use to forge a bottle opener:

  • Piece of steel
  • Fire oven
  • Metal clamps
  • Die cutter or slot punch
  • 3 different size drifts (metal rods used to shape holes)
  • Piece of iron with different size holes cut into it, also known as a dial-a-hole
  • Hammer
  • Anvil

If you aren’t exactly sure what each tool looks like, check out this video to see them in action:

  1. Step 1

    Start with a piece of steel that is the same size you want your bottle opener to be. A popular size is a piece about 4” long and about 3⁄4” wide.

  2. Step 2

    Heat the steel until it is ready to be malleable.

  3. Step 3

    Use a steel die cutter to cut a small opening into the top of the piece of steel. This will be the start of the fulcrum and tooth. You can also use a tool called a slot punch if a die cutter is not avail- able.

  4. Step 4

    Use a dial-a-hole, or a sheet of iron with different size holes cut into it, to begin shaping the hole using a drift. Carefully increase the size of the hole and the size of the drift until it is large enough for a bottle.

  5. Step 5

    Hammer down the corners to round out the fulcrum.

  6. Step 6

    Once the fulcrum is rounded, use a drift to imprint a tooth.

  7. Step 7

    Shape the handle and the fulcrum to the desired style using a hammer.

  8. Step 8

    Polish the finished bottle opener with a rag and let cool before use.

DISCLAIMER: These steps are for entertainment purposes only, and metal forging should be left to professional blacksmiths only.

While forging is satisfying to watch, it is best left up to the professionals. Search for blacksmith classes offered near you for the opportunity to learn the skills to make your own bottle openers. Having the right tools and equipment is very important in order to be safe and successful!

This video shows you how bottle openers are forged from metal.

How Does a Bottle Opener Work?

You know a bottle opener is a simple lever, but what exactly does that have to do with the way it works In order to understand, we must dive into some physics (don’t worry, we’ll keep it simple).

When a bottle opener is in use, there are 3 forces acting on it. These 3 forces are:

  1. The force of your hand pulling up on the lever.
  2. The force of the cap as it pulls down on the tooth.
  3. The force of the fulcrum on the cap.

These three forces acting together ultimately lift off the cap. The harder you pull up on the handle, the more force gets placed on the tooth of the cap to pry it off. Other examples of simple levers include:


  • Pliers
  • Scissors
  • Crowbars
  • Wrenches
  • Paper punchers
  • Door handles

How Do You Use a Bottle Opener?

Now that you know how a bottle opener is made and how it works, the easy part is learning how to use one! Grab a bottle opener along with a soda or a beer and follow these 4 easy steps.

  1. Step 1

    Hold lever of the bottle opener in your dominant hand, and a bottle in the other.

  2. Step 2

    Wedge the tooth under the bottle cap, and rest the fulcrum on top Reply of the cap.

  3. Step 3

    Lift the lever upward while keeping a firm grip on the bottle to remove the cap.

  4. Step 4

    Discard the removed cap.

Tip: Metal bottle caps can be recycled, but if you toss them loose in your recycling bin, they can fall through the spaces of the conveyor belts at the recycling plant. To fix this problem, place your bottle caps inside an old soup can and crimp the top closed!

The Bottom Line

It’s safe to admit: Bottle openers are way cooler than you thought. Not only can they be mass-produced, but they can be forged by hand! Next time you reach for a bottle opener, appreciate the work and artistry that went into creating it.

About the author

Gianna Petan

Gianna is no stranger to all things promo products. Her background in research-based writing, linguistics, and advertising gives her an edge in blogging about the marketing industry.