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Nov 18, 2009 10:10 AM

Garlic Press Recomendations

My beloved garlic press broke last night and I'm in need of a replacement. I've had it for so long that I can't even begin to guess the make. Anyone have any suggestions as to the best one out there? Thanks!

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    1. I cannot say which is the best garlic press. Mine is the Oxo SteeL garlic press and it works fine and solidly constructed. It also seem to have very nice review on as well, but that does not mean it is the best.

      1. This has one compartment for pressing garlic and another that produces thin slices:

        8 Replies
        1. re: ferret

          Out of 7 reviews, 2 reviewers had it break on them. Cast zinc is structurally very weak. A sturdy garlic press should be made from either steel or heavy cast aluminum, not zinc (and not plastic either).

          1. re: scott123

            That makes sense and yet the Kuhn Rikon above beat out several stainless steel models in the CI test. I assume the easy-squeeze mechanism must be very well designed to allow for the handle to be plastic.

            1. re: Becca Porter

              If you read the first review, the reviewer felt like it was just a matter of time before the plastic failed, and, for this reason, they recommended the all metal epicurean model.

              Looking at the photo, it does seem like a pretty novel design, but it still looks like the plastic handles are stressed a bit when you squeeze it. Another reviewer complained that the handles give a bit when you squeeze them. Over time, this 'give' will weaken the plastic.

              Depending on how often one uses a press, this might last for years. Imo, though, a garlic press should last for decades. This won't last that long. Not with a plastic handle that gives when you use it.

              1. re: scott123


                I think this depends on the cost too. The Kuhn Rikon easy squeeze costs $20, while the Kuhn RIkon Epicurean (stainless steel) costs ~$40.


                So it just really depends if a person use the garlic press often and if they think the stainless steel one will last two times longer.

            2. re: scott123

              I've owned one for a couple of years. No problems yet.

              1. re: ferret

                How often do you use it?

                Have you put any really large cloves of garlic in it?

                Zinc is cheap and easy to cast because of it's low melting point. It's brittleness, though, prevents it from being used in any setting where substantial torque is involved.

                1. re: scott123

                  Thanks for the unsolicited metallurgy tutorial. I use it pretty much weekly, I also make sure the clove and plunger are well-seated before squeezing. I don't discount the possibility that these have a higher failure rate due to the choice of materials, but that doesn't mean it's a bad product. I purchased it from a small local specialty shop that sells a good amount of these and uses them in cooking demos. It's a good item.

                  As an aside, I also have a number of citrus squeezers (2 larger ones and 1 lime-sized). I purchased the 2 larger ones at the same store on the same day. One has worked perfectly for years, the other's hinge snapped in two on the first squeeze. I replaced it with a similarly-sized cotter pin from Home Depot and it's worked fine since.

                  1. re: ferret

                    "Thanks for the unsolicited metallurgy tutorial."

                    You're welcome. It seemed like you were a little unaware of the structural qualities of zinc. I'm glad we cleared that up :)

                    "I don't discount the possibility that these have a higher failure rate due to the choice of materials, but that doesn't mean it's a bad product."

                    People with positive experiences tend not to post online reviews. That being said, 2 out of 7 reviews mentioning broken handles denotes much more than the 'possibility' that these have a higher failure rate. These do have a higher failure rate.

                    You got lucky and your press didn't break. That's good for you. That doesn't change the fact that this is not a structurally sound press.

          2. After many disappointments (and a large pile of unsatisfactory garlic presses), I have given up. I now use a Microplane grater.

            1 Reply
            1. re: tanuki soup

              Hi Soup,

              I have a microplane grater and it is great. I only use it to zest my lemon and lime. It is sharp (very) and high performance. The weakness is that it is a slow tool compared to a garlic press. Typically, I just mince my garlic using a knife, but that only work well if I have to mince 1-2 clovers. As I have recently taken up on Indian cooking which requires a lot of garlic at time, I realize it is very labor intensive to mince/chop large amount of garlic. I presume it will be the same problem with a microplane grater. I can go through 10-15 garlic clovers with a garlic press very fast.

              That being said, I find the garlic press a very specific and niche tool. Since I bought it for ~4-6 months, I have used only a few times, and only truly needed to use it once. Afterall, I don't usually use more than 2-3 clovers in one cooking session.

            2. I've been very happy with my Zyliss. They seem to have changed the design, but it still looks good. Most importantly to me, garlic doesn't pop out around the edges of the plunger, most of it goes through the press the first time around.

              9 Replies
              1. re: MikeG

                Does your Zyliss have a coating? My coating eventually peeled off... not good. That is why CI changed it's rec from Zyliss to the Kuhn Rikon I linked above...

                  1. re: MikeG

                    That is exactly what mine looked like...until the coating peeled off.

                    1. re: Becca Porter

                      Here is a picture. Now the garlic changes color. I assume it is a reaction with the bare metal.

                      1. re: Becca Porter

                        That's oxidized aluminum. It happens when you put aluminum utensils in the dishwasher. Once the coating came off, the press was/is no longer dishwasher safe. I would probably use a little fine grit sandpaper to clean it up, but there are other methods here:


                        Once it's clean, your garlic shouldn't change color.

                        1. re: scott123

                          Yeah, I am just gonna buy the Kuhn Rikon...

                          1. re: Becca Porter

                            Btw, I have had the Kuhn Rikon I mentioned above for a few weeks now, and it works/cleans perfectly. I highly recommend it.

                      2. re: Becca Porter

                        Hmm, mine must be older still than that model - it's bare, shiny metal. I've been assuming it's aluminum but after looking through the other posts, I guess it might be zinc? I don't know how to distinguish the two...

                        1. re: MikeG

                          Zinc is a little lighter than steel and aluminum will be 2/3rds lighter. If it has very little heft, it's probably aluminum.