Pros: Compact, easy to use and it works!
As much as I love kitchen gadgets, I never thought I would need a cherry pitter, since we never ate them that often and it was very easy just to pop the fruit into my mouth and then spit out the pit into a napkin.
Things have changed in our household, however. We now have a three and a half year old daughter who will eat any fruit given to her, and cherries are one of her favorites. As it is a choking hazard, I would never dream of giving her an entire cherry to eat, in the hopes that she could figure out how to spit out the pit. After what seemed like hours of cutting cherries with a knife to remove the pits, we decided to look into purchasing a tool to assist with this procedure. We ended up with the Leifheit 7" Stainless Steel Cherry and Olive Pitter.
The Pitter is stainless steel with chrome plating and the packaging indicates that it is indeed dishwasher safe. There is a plastic band that slips over the two arms, holding them together for compact storage. The Pitter is all one piece and requires no assembly. The top has a metal rod to push the pit out and the bottom has a shallow well to sit the fruit in. The well is open on the bottom for the pit to fall through.
This gadget fits perfectly in my hand, with my thumb on the side with the prong (in a thumb rest) and the rest of my fingers on the underside (the side where the fruit sits). The picture on this page actually shows it upside down.
After placing the item you want to de-pit in the well, give a slight squeeze and out falls the pit. The cherry or olive remains in the Pitter, but somehow is not squashed. There is no cherry juice squirting around the kitchen and the cherry is basically intact, except for a hole through the center. This surprised me, as I expected the fruit to be flattened or smooshed by the machine. This is good if you want to use the de-pitted cherries to decorate a dessert.
The compact size of the Pitter makes it small enough to take along on a picnic or even outside in your own backyard so that you can enjoy fresh cherries at any time. It is also usable by left or right handed people.
Although I normally buy already pitted olives, the $10 I paid for this Leifheit Pitter has been a wise investment. I would say, "yes" we do need a cherry pitter in this household. We have already used it a number of times, and I am now more apt to purchase cherries for my children in the future since it is so easy to use.