Submitted by Frank Ellis, Fred Kincaid, Fred O’Leary and Joe Paradi

About the SCReW Decision Tree

The sheer inventiveness of corkscrew designers has posed many problems for those who aspire to a neat and tidy classification system.  There are two principles at work in the SCReW system:

1. Any aspect of the corkscrew that provides a mechanical advantage to removing the cork takes precedence over those which do not, e.g. the lever action of a HOOTCH-OWL takes precedence over Figural and Combination tool considerations – it is coded as L.
2. The “essence” of the corkscrew will normally be a deciding factor.

Rules have been devised to determine where “difficult-to-decide” examples are placed. But rules can become unwieldy for everyday use. From necessity was born the SCReW Decision Tree that you see below.

Grab a corkscrew you can’t quite figure out what it is and then follow the decision tree.  Just ask the questions and answer Yes/No as you go.  Do not skip or start part way down!  The problem with not starting at the beginning is that you will miss a nuance and then come to the wrong conclusion – pieces that find their classes towards the top of the tree may well drop into a class later on if you skipped the place where it should have been identified.  Now have fun! 

Click HERE for the printable Decision Tree – Keep it handy!