With my first batch of wine I tried using a cheap corking tool with a soft mallet. One of the bottles ended up shattering and stabbing me in the hand. If you're going to be bottling wine, I would highly recommend getting a corker like this. It would have saved me a trip to the ER and some stitches if I had gotten this one in the first place. The unit didn't come with any instructions.
Even though I only do small batches, I decided to get this floor corker instead of a hand corker. I am very impressed with the quality, especially for the price. Assembly is just one screw to for the feet. I used it for 20 bottles (375 ml) with #9 synthetic corks. Soaking the corks doesn't seem to do anything special (plastic doesn't absorb water), but soaking or just dipping them in water resulted in a slightly deeper position in the bottle. Once you get the depth set, use a bit of blue Loctite thread locker to keep the thumbwheel from moving. If you are using half bottles, you need to use a soup can or something to between the pad and the bottle. I needed to wipe some grease on the rod that holds the pad. I suggest setting the bottle in place before the cork, so you can see that the bottle is aligned properly. BOTTOM LINE: I am very happy that I bought this.
I had pretty high expectations for this, having heard a lot about how this style floor corker is leaps and bounds better than hand corkers. For my first batch of mead, I wanted to do it right the first time so I skipped the hand corker and bought one of these. It far exceeded my already-high expectations. Build quality seems great, it's very heavy duty. It will likely outlive me, at this point, and I'm in my 30's. Not only did it make the bottling process incredibly easy, but the corking was the funnest part of the whole process. Highly recommend one of these.
This makes bottling so easy, I wish I would have just started with this instead of battling the hand corker.
Corker works great. Should of had it years ago............