Do you need to juice lemons, but cant justify another kitchen gadget to clutter up your cupboards? Don’t worry, a lemon juicer is much simpler in design than a normal manual or electric fruit juicer. Luckily for us, citrus fruit appears almost to be “designed” to be juiced – lemons and limes consist of long parallel fibers which don’t mash into pulp like say apples or berries, which means all we need to do is SQUEEZE! Voila, pulp free juice!
If it is compact design you are after, maybe you don’t actually need a juicing press such as the Metrokane Juicer (the kind where you literally press the juice out of the fruit by squeezing) and could just make do with a very simple reaming tool instead. In the simplest form these are just cone shaped with long flutes or blunt blades running down the length. The idea is simply to push the cone into the half of lemon or lime, and push and twist it around. The force of the blades or flutes against the inside of the lemon will crush the juice out of the fruit, and it will run out. These things are really just a cone shape, attached to an ergonomic handle. You hold the half lemon in one hand, and push and twist the juicer or reamer into the fruit with the other hand. Of course you need to do this over a bowl to catch the juice, and preferably over the sink as well – the juice does sort of squirt and dribble everywhere, but for someone who only rarely has need for freshly squeezed juice this is by far the cheapest gadget you can buy.
Traditionally these simple lemon juicers were actually carved out of wood, and you can still get them, though it is usually for premium price. Plastic is always relatively cheap, but if you can, go for a slightly more expensive stainless steel or aluminum one. These not only last much longer (they will probably outlive you!) but are also more hygienic and there are no doubts about health issues regarding chemicals leaching into foodstuff. This sometimes is discussed especially with plastics and acidic foods, and citrus juice is very acidic indeed.
The down side of these very simple lemon juicers is that you do need fairly strong hands especially if you plan on doing any more than say one fruit.
However, for a tight budget or a small kitchen, these little hand held juicers are a great way to save, on space as well as money.