Want To Know Which Juicer Is The Best Buy? So Did I!
Like a lot of people we’re looking for a robustly made juicer which will take a big variety of fruits and vegetables then turn them into awesome juice, with minimum loss of nutrients. Should be easy right?
It’s only fair to say at the outset, we’ll probably go the masticating slow juicer route again, we do a lot of juicing and over the years it costs in with the extra juice recovered.
Nevertheless, I’m taking a serious look at all the options and we’re very open to something more modern.
In an earlier post How To Compare Juicers, there’s a bunch of things to look for when you’re hunting out a new juicer so you might want to go here and have a read first.
How Do Centrifugal Juicers Work?
Centrifugal juicers are the original design. Born out of simple mechanical engineering – fruit and veggies go into the feeder chute to drop down and be chopped up.
Once shredded the bits are spun around in the basket at very high speed just like in a spin dryer, pushing them against clever sides which are made of strong but fine mesh. The juice is spun into the outer chamber and then out of the machine, leaving the pulp in the basket.
Frothy Is Not Good
There is however, a major drawback – reduced quality juice and for two reasons. Firstly the speed of spinning adds air into the pulp and juice resulting in the destruction of healthy enzymes, less health benefits and also the juice doesn’t keep anywhere as long as juice from a masticating type.
There’s also the issue of heat as the speed of centrifugal juicers can heat up the juice, though new machines are designed to mitigated this.
They don’t juice wheatgrass and don’t do much better with leafy greens either.
Should you be looking for a self feeding machine, well mostly they don’t need any pressure unless you’re forcing in chunks too big for the chute, so if you are going for one of these my advice is go for one with a wide chute, which most new models have anyway.
Flying Fruit Anyone?
Oh, and do be careful to cover the chute after adding soft fruit into a juicer with a powerful motor, or you’ll be enjoying a fruity face pack and scraping juice off the walls! Breville juicer users have gotten good at tossing in fruit and covering the chute real fast!
The speed of centrifugal juicers also contributes massively to the noise they make – these aren’t known for their quiet habits and if your apartment has thin walls, juice fast or at strategic times! However in their favor, being vertical they are economic with space on the counter.
Centrifugal Ejection Juicers eject the pulp which saves you time – the time it takes to stop the machine and recover it, then get going again.
Depending on the quality and age of your machine, this can actually make quite a difference in the morning when up against an implacable enemy, the clock.
What They Do Well
- Save time prepping produce
- Save kitchen counter space
- Save money initially – cheaper option than masticating juicers
- Produce great fresh fruit juice
- Clean up fast
What Sucks – Or Can
- Not flexible – won’t juice wheatgrass or greens
- Cost of juicing is more – less juice is extracted overall
- Reduced juice quality – all the bubbles are air and the juice can get warm
- Juice doesn’t keep long even in the fridge
- Use for juicing only
- Not usually self feeding
Who might find them ideal?
* Anyone on a tight budget who mainly wants fruit juice
* Newbies on their first juicy adventure
* People with little spare counter space
Best Centrifugal Juicers
With more than 1400 reviews and customer comments, anyone on a tight budget should check this Breville out.
At $99 this is fantastic value and has some great reviews from very happy customers who bought it with low expectations and have been delighted at the juice they get produced.
Comments are mainly positive other than to say the pulp is quite wet compared to other more expensive models and that the lack of a second speed makes juicing any green leaves a bit of a trial.
Most users say the machine is easy to break apart and easy to clean, a few don’t agree, so the jury is out on that one. However, for those new to juicing and looking for a budget starter, this is one to look over first.
The other I picked out in this price range is a Hamilton Beach 67601 Big Mouth Juicer currently on sale at $50.
Breville Juice Fountain Multi-Speed 900-Watt Juicer
Great for whole fruits like apples, pears or kiwis it excels with vegetables in the same way, whole carrots, beets, cabbage heads, squash etc.
Reviewers say it’s exceptionally well made, robust in use and very easy to clean, which at $199 you would expect.
Featuring a powerful motor with variable speeds for fast juicing the small downside is that the blades are close to the bottom of the feeder chute and with such a powerful motor, juice and pulp can be thrown back at you.
Having done a lot of reading on different models, this is a fault with these juicers generally it seems – but they are very popular and it hasn’t put anyone off.
Omega 4000 Stainless-Steel 1/3-HP Continuous Pulp-Ejection Juicer
There are few grumbles and a lot of compliments, basically a good machine for the money and easy to clean with a few quirky points.
Downsides include having to chop the produce – the chute may be described as wide but not wide enough!
One other issue you can’t ignore is the wetness of the pulp, indicating juice left behind.
Frankly this is the same issue with all lower priced juicers and the best way round it is to either put the pulp through again or pop it into some muslin and strain it. Or of course go up in price.
Best Juicer Buy For Under $100?
The Omega O2110 1/3-Horsepower Continuous Pulp-Ejection Juicer is very similar. Cheaper at only $99 which is fantastic value, it has a more powerful motor than the Omega 4000 and a 5 year warranty. Downsides are that it is very noisy, occasionally leaks a little and can stain, as all white parts can, but still a great value budget buy.
Also a great price is the Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juicer. Coming in at $50 this in an awesome deal and it has great reviews to back it up. One word of caution with budget models – they only tend to last a year or so rather than the twenty years you’ll generally get from a more expensive appliance.
Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite 1000-Watt
With more than 1000 reviews and some that really sing its praises plus another comparing it to a high end masticating juicer, the only downside is the tag.
Currently at Amazon with $100 off, the cost is still $299 so right up there at the higher end where you could buy a masticating type, if that were your preference.
As I don’t have this juicer, it’s better to read the reviews written by people who do, but on the whole folks who have it love it and there is nothing standing out as a problem or reason not to put this one on your list.
How Do Masticating Juicers Work?
There’s a big clue right there in the meaning of the word ‘masticating’ which is to crush, grind chew and reduce to a pulp – very descriptive of what a masticating juicer does. Also called slow juicer, because they are!
Using a single auger resembling a big screw, the auger is turned by the motor and as it turns, it squeezes juice out of fruit and vegetables by pressing the pulp up against a perforated screen, allowing the juice to filter away leaving dry pulp behind. Most models come with a selection of screens for different tasks.
Masticating Juicers come in both horizontal and vertical models, your choice really depends on work top space and personal preference. I always like the look of the horizontal machines – a bit space aged like K9, but you do have to work harder getting produce into it.
Speed Equals Noise – These Are Quieter
Operating at far lower RPM (about 80-100 RPM compared to 3,000-15,000 for centrifugal juicers) keeps masticating juicers much quieter than their cousins, so if noise is an issue, these would be your best bet and if you really want to cut the noise down consider the twin gear juicers – very efficient and quiet, but a bigger price tag – and not good with soft fruit which tends to clog up the screen with pulp.
Masticating juicers are going to give you a much better quality of juice when compared to a centrifugal juicer for two main reasons. Slower auger revolutions don’t break down the cell structure of plants, so you are preserving the nutrients and enzymes intact, rather than crushing the cells until separation and oxidation. Adding air destroys nutrients, plus of course the juice won’t keep for long.
Most vertical juicers are described as self feeding up to a point by means of gravity, but personally I haven’t found it easy – in fact with the Champion you need to put some muscle into it. There is no fast motor and blades to pull produce in, just a gently turning screw. Obviously the horizontal juicers don’t have gravity helping feed the fruit of vegetables in, so it may need more effort on your part.
What They Do Well
- Far lower RPM therefore they are far quieter
- You will get more juice per lb of produce
- The juice is higher quality with better nutritional value and will keep longer
- Horizontal or vertical juicer are the options
- The horizontal masticating juicer will best suit wheatgrass juicing in its purest form
- Vertical masticating style juicers will handle limited amounts of wheatgrass when mixed with other fruit or veggies
- Horizontal Juicers are a great choice for juicing your healthy leafy produce like Swiss chard and kale leaves.
- Very easy to use and clean up too
What Sucks – Or Can
- The price is higher than a centrifugal juicer, but still costs less than a twin geared juicer
- Depending on the model, they usually occupy more kitchen counter space
- Time – it takes longer to juice
Best Masticating Juicers
Omega J8006 Nutrition Center Juicer (steel) 800+ reviews
Super easy to clean in a matter of minutes and with an excellent first press juice return, it’s also quick to juice and produces commercial quality juice which will last very well in the fridge.
Note the only difference is that irritatingly, the stainless steel model is priced up from the white, which will stain. Other than that the 8004 and 8006 (pictured left) are the same juicer.
Breville BJS600XL Fountain Crush Masticating Slow Juicer
The Breville Fountain Crush is currently No 11 in the Amazon best seller list for juicers, with the Omega J8004 at No 10 so plenty of people are liking it and buying it.
Looked at on ratings, there really is only a feeler gauge between them. Price wise the Omega gets it on warranty length and price by about $65.
However, the Omega J8006 is No 8 on the list and exactly the same price, with a much lower warranty.
Right now Omega are sneaking into the lead – in my book anyway, though probably only on the warranty where Omega are streets ahead of all the others.
This is a heavy duty single auger low speed juicer which excels with wheatgrass and is aimed at those people getting into health and diet juicing.
I’m not one of them exactly, I dislike drinking vegetable juice – but we do juice then freeze a lot of leafy greens, kale and vegetables for making stock for stews and casseroles later in the winter, therefore a higher yield is better.
Outstanding reviews sing the praises of high juice yield, easy clean, low noise and a great 10 year warranty which always beats out the competition.
Solo Star ll
Made by the same makers of Green Star Juicers which are the Rolls Royce of juicers, I had great hopes in the Solo Star ll for the price.
Until I read the reviews. Too many problems and breakages to take a gamble – not least that you have to be quite precise in chopping veg or fruit to size or people report the screen breaking. For me anyway these reviews are a showstopper. Sorry Solo.
Triturating Or Twin Gear Juicers – Vegetables Veterans
We were given a Champion as a wedding present 20 years ago, now finally with the motor on its last legs, it needs replacing.
Horizontal in style with a slightly larger counter space requirement, twin gear juicers work by means of two gears (which look a bit like spark plugs), rotating against one another in an inward motion.
These grind and crush as they move, breaking open cell walls to release and extract juice.
They function at low revolutions – somewhere between 80 – 200 RPM, making them very quiet and very cool inside. More or less self feeding depending on what’s going into the feeder chute, firmer veg might need a little push and as always, alternate leafy greens with a cleansing carrot to push any reluctant produce through – celery benefits from a carrot to help it on its way.
The twin gear juicers make excellent juice from leafy greens and wheatgrass – though anyone passionate about it and wanting to juice a lot of wheatgrass might well be better off with a straightforward horizontal masticating juicer.
They cost more than either a centrifugal or masticating juicer, but if you are a serious juicer of vegetables and leafy greens with plenty of fibrous content, then this is most likely the type for you, added to which if you have a large family or juice a lot, overall they’ll save you money by getting way more juice out per lb of produce.
Champion Heavy Duty Commercial Juicer
As the Champion is the only twin juicer I’ve used, it wouldn’t be right to comment on the others listed below.
But I will say this. Having done this exercise for real, intending to update to a lighter smaller maybe faster masticating juicer – and having now read possibly 1000’s of reviews, we’re quite probably going to get this Champion Heavy Duty Commercial Juicer.
Why? Because for the price, performance and longevity, plus ease of cleaning and also importantly spare parts, I’m starting to think it can’t be beaten.
Right now which for us is the best buy juicer for home use, is between the Omega VRT350, which does fit the criteria of smaller and lighter to move around, or the Champion juicer pictured here – probably in Black to avoid staining.
Twin Gear Juicer Advantages
- Simply the best juice quality
- Flexible in functions
- Great with those leafy greens
- Juices wheatgrass
- Dramatically quieter
Twin Gear Juicer Disadvantages
- Takes up more counter space
- Forget juicing soft fruit*
- They cost more initially
*except the Green Star which comes with an attachment for soft fruit. Me? I’d toss it in the blender.
Twin Gear Juicers have a passionate fan base of people who have been knowledgably juicing for decades – these are the juicers they use. Having asked the PE department – a bunch of super fit nutrition crazy zealots what they use (don’t tell them I said that…), everyone has a different model or brand at home – but they all have a posh juicer and this is what they told me.
- Green Star Elite GSE-5000,
- Green Star Juicer 1000, 2000, or 3000,
- Green Star Gold Juicer GP-E1503,
- Green Star GS 3000 Deluxe Twin Gear Juice Extractor
- Super Angel All Stainless Steel Twin Gear Juicer- 5501
If someone gave me $2000 and said you’ve got to spend it on one of these, which would I buy? Good question. And I really don’t know – but it will come from this list.
Having got your juicer and exhausted the recipes in it, you’ll find more good ideas and inspiration at juicerecipes.com.
Happy juicing folks.