As you might have already guessed from the recipes I've posted so far, my husband and I go through a lot of garlic.
Neither of us are fans of mincing garlic with a knife. The minced garlic in a jar isn't that fresh though I confess to using it before I was married just because it was easy. And grating it using a Microplane gets old fast when you have half a dozen cloves to get through.
My husband, Artis, had picked up the habit of using a garlic press so when he moved here, we did some research and decided to buy a new one here that hopefully didn't have the problems of his old one (separate cleaning thingie, small chamber). Unfortunately, the one we first went with broke at the hinge after only six months.
We quickly found out how difficult it is to pick a new press that wouldn't suffer from the same problem and remained affordable. ($40 for a press seems steep to me.) Eventually, we found and settled on the Royal VKB Garlic Crusher, designed by Ineke Hans.
There are no moving parts -- it's just a solid fluted 7.5" stainless steel rod. It takes a little more time to crush garlic cloves but it's easy to clean and fun to use. It's also efficient, leaving nothing uncrushed, provided you don't miss something. And the price is on par with the mid-range presses -- we paid about $20 on Amazon.
We received it a few days ago and immediately tested it out. The first reaction? "It really IS fun to use!"
It does take longer, but I don't think it's possible to break. It's fun to whack the clove and split the skin off easily then roll around on the clove. (I disavow any knowledge of any "vroom-vrooms" or "die you garlic fiend!" outbursts.)
What I like: Crushes very efficiently and releases more garlic juices than most presses. Easy to clean. No moving parts to break. Stainless steel.
What I don't: I keep forgetting to use this on a polypropylene cutting board (my wood board soaks up the juices). You have to clean the garlic pieces from the grooves (fingers work best) during and after crushing to get everything.
Biggest Drawback: If you're not a fan of garlic or dislike having garlic pieces/juices on your hands, this is not the tool for you.
Final Verdict: Definitely a product I'd recommend to anyone in the market for a garlic press.
Why am I writing this? Because of a dearth of reviews about this very interesting garlic crusher. It would have made our purchasing decision easier if we could have seen better pictures and read more about its use than we did. Last but not least, I think this is a very cool product that deserves a mention.