We’ve got a box full of various gimmicks we receive from manufacturers, ranging from the ubiquitous screwdriver-based bottle opener to the AutoTape. But this is the first powered corkscrew we’ve ever seen, so we thought we’d share. We’d tell you all about the specs right here in the article lead, too, but hey — it’s a Skil iXO driver, just like any other Skil iXO. The “magic” (such that it is) happens in the accessory the ships with it.
Clearly inspired by Alton Brown’s cordless drill-powered pepper grinder (inset), Skil differentiates the 2354-10 “powered corkscrew” from the 2354-01 “iXO driver” by including what appears to be a standard corkscrew mounted in a cage and fitted with a hex-head to plug right into the driver.
Now before we start making fun of this — and yes, it’d be easy to make fun of it — consider this: Let’s say you want to buy something cutesy for a gift. You could choose the AutoTape, which (like the powered corkscrew) seems kinda nifty for about 15 minutes. But when it stops feeling nifty (or the battery dies), you’re left with pretty much a piece of junk. When you tire of the corkscrew, however, you’re left with an iXO driver, which is still a pretty damn handy little tool. And that’s pretty much the Toolmonger “gimmicky gift” rubric: Can the device in question be used for useful purposes when the gimmick wears off?
Then there’s the price. You (or gift buyers) will shell out around $50 for the -10 model, while the driver alone streets for more like $35-$40. Not to be left out, Robert Bosch also offers a Bosch-branded version that appears pretty much identical except for slight differences in color and plastic molding — and an $85 price tag. Granted, it does look a bit more spiffy, but the price hardly seems justified. Remember, we whole-heartedly recommend giving the gift of the driver alone, along with, say, a $15 gift card for whatever big box retailer your target recipient frequents. But if you must buy a gimmick, we’ve definitely seen worse than the Skil model.