Juicer Buying Guide: juicer types, designs and features explained.

Centrifugal Juicers

These are the most common and affordable type of juicers on the market. They are also the fastest models – can extract juice in under a minute. They use a cutting disk with sharp blades that spin at very high speed (around 6,000 – 16,000 RPM) to shred fruits and vegetables.

centrifugal juicers

The fast spinning motion of the disk generates a centrifugal force which pushes the shredded produce against a mesh strainer to release the juice. Centrifugal juicers work best with thick, hard produce such as carrots, apples, cucumbers and bitter gourd.

They aren’t quite efficient at juicing leafy greens, wheatgrass, celery and herbs. The juice yield is low and the pulp usually comes out very wet.

Moreover, the high RPM often produces heat that oxidizes the juice faster, so not much of the nutrients are retained and the juice has a short shelf life. The other disadvantage is that they make a lot of noise and tend to produce foam due to their fast speed.

Masticating Juicers

 

Masticating juicers are also known as cold press or slow juicers and they normally come at a higher price point than centrifugal models.

They work using an auger which crushes and grinds the produce to a fine pulp and then presses it against a straining screen to squeeze out the juice. They are much slower than centrifugal models (auger rotates at around 40 – 80 RPM) but are more efficient at extracting juice.

These machines are effective in processing leafy greens and a wide variety of other vegetables and fruits (both hard and soft) including herbs and wheatgrass. They are also good for processing other food items like making nut butter from nuts. You can find the best masticating juicers for most nutritions here.

Another upside is that they produce juice of high quality that stays fresher for longer. There’s little to no heat produced due to the slower speed, so oxidation is minimal and more nutrients are retained. They also generate low noise thereby tend to be quieter than other juicers.

The major problem is that the auger is often susceptible to jamming, especially when grinding tough or fibrous produce like celery. Some models as well tend to leave a slightly higher amount of pulp in the juice.

The other downsides are; juicing takes longer, narrow chutes requiring slightly longer food preparation and they also tend to be heavier and larger than centrifugal juicers, taking up more counter space.

Masticating Juicers
Masticating Juicers
Twin-gear juicer
Twin-Gear Juicers

Twin-Gear Juicers

Twin-gear juicers are a high-end type of juicers. They are the most expensive but provide the most benefits. Often called triturating juicers, these too utilize the cold-press process but unlike masticating juicers, they have two interlocking gears.

The gears together crush and grind the produce between them and then press it against a straining screen to release the juice. They do a great job on wheatgrass, leafy greens, hard roots and tough, crunchy fruits. They handle herbs, vegetables, nuts and seeds well too.

The gears turn at a slower speed than masticating juicers thereby deliver very high yield. The juices produced are smooth and more-nutrient rich. If it’s maximum yield and high nutrient content you want from your produce, the twin-gear juicers would be the best option.

They’re, however, not efficient at juicing citrus fruits and some other soft fruits like banana and pineapple. Assembling and cleaning them is difficult too – they have lots of complex parts. They equally take very long to process juice and are often large and heavy.

Citrus Juicers

Citrus juicers come in two main types, manual and electric (motorized). Both use a reamer that’s cone-shaped to extract juice from citrus fruits.

For manual type, you press and twist the fruit halves on the reamer to squeeze out the juice. They are usually inexpensive and simple to use but take a bit more effort to get the juice out.  

Electric models, on the other hand, have a motor that spins the reamer very fast to squeeze the juice out of the flesh of the fruits. They are pretty fast and efficient than the manual models.

Moreover, some include a built-in container for collecting the juice and offer different sized cones for handling small (limes and lemons) and large (oranges) citrus fruits.

There’s no heat generated in both types during the process, so the quality of juice is maintained. They tend to be small and portable hence don’t take up much counter space.

However, they are not practical if you are looking to juice large quantities of citrus juice because most of them can only juice one half of particular citrus fruit at a time.

Horizontal Vs Vertical Juicers

Horizontal Vs Vertical Juicers​

Horizontal and vertical juicers are terms that are mostly associated with centrifugal and masticating juicers, and the main difference between them is the chamber designs. Due to the nature of the centrifugal juicing technology and centrifugal forces, all centrifugal juicers are normally vertical juicers while masticating juicers come in both horizontal and vertical designs.

The Difference

In horizontal masticating juicers, the auger is positioned horizontally in a cylindrical plastic container, known as a drum. Produce enters into the juicer via a vertical feeding chute – you push them down using a food pusher and then they are pulled into the drum by the rotating auger for processing.

In vertical masticating juicers, the auger is oriented vertically like the feeding chute in what’s called a juicing bowl instead of a drum. You put produce inside it and push them down with a food pusher where they get pulled into the juicing bowl by the rotating auger for processing.

The Pros and Cons

Horizontal masticating juicers can juice leafy greens such as wheatgrass well and usually have some additional attachments that offer extra juicing functions like mincing, making nut butter and pasta noodles.

Their major problems are; large footprints that take a lot of counter space, take a bit longer to process produce and require more prep work due to their narrow chute.

Vertical juicers have a small footprint and a more compact design making them a preferred choice if you have limited counter space. They juice hard and several soft produce well but perform poorly on leafy greens.  

They are faster hence ideal for daily juicing and most normally have a big chute. However, they tend to be tall, thereby sometimes may not fit underneath kitchen cabinets if they are low. They are also generally less versatile and somewhat difficult to assemble and clean.

What Features do the Best Juicers Have?

Convenient Design

Juicers come in different sizes, weights and designs, so you need to keep convenience in mind when making your decision. If you have limited kitchen space then you’ll want to go for compact juicers because they take up less space than bulky models and are easy to store.

Take note of the weight too. Some juicers are heavy (weighing over 10 pounds) hence difficult to move. You would want to consider a light unit that you can easily lift and move around without much hassle, especially if you’ll be using it often.

Additionally, you should ensure that the juicer you select has some sort of non-slip feet either fitted with rubber pads or suction cups. This will help provide stability during juicing as most juicers tend to move or shake when running, particularly when processing harder produce.

Durable Overall Construction

Durability is also an important aspect that you need to pay attention to. A juicer that’s solidly built and has good quality parts will last for years and cost little in the long run.

Look at the quality of the build and materials used in making the juicer. If you are after something for occasional use or juicing soft produce, a model made of a strong plastic will work well for you.

For heavy/bulk juicing or if you want a unit that can hold up for years, then consider getting a unit with a metallic exterior and internal parts that are made of sturdy plastic. Juicers made of metal like stainless steel tend to be sturdy and more durable than the rest.

In most cases, the durability of a juicer can also be reflected by the length of its warranty. The longer it is, the well-built the juicer would probably be, so make sure to check it out too.

Centrifugal and citrus juicers often come with warranties of 1 to 2 years, masticating juicers 2 to 10 years while twin-gears usually have longer warranty periods of up to 12 years.

Nutrient Retention and Juice Quality

This is the most important consideration when buying a juicer. If you are more concerned about your health, then it’s likely you may want a juicer that can produce nutrient-dense juice.

Models like centrifugal juicers don’t retain much nutrients since they operate at high speeds that creates heat which end up destroying most of the nutrients present in the juice.

Therefore, slow juicers are the best option if you are looking for high nutrient value because they operate at lower speeds resulting in minimum heat generation.

Multiple Speeds

Having multiple juicing speeds can be useful, particularly for centrifugal juicers or if you are planning to process a wide variety of produce.

Different fruits and vegetables give better yield when juiced at different speeds. High speed works best on firmer fruits and vegetables like carrots, apples and cucumbers while soft fruits and vegetables such as grapes, tomatoes and berries are handled much better at low speeds.

Thereby multiple speed options can allow you to obtain the most juice out of every produce, so look for a unit that offers both high and low-speed options.

Effective Pulp Separation

Some juicers don’t filter out the pulp from the juice as effective as others do which means you may have to sieve the juice again to remove the pulp that slips through. To avoid this, make sure you pick a unit that has a reliable strainer – one with tiny holes that can catch the finest pulp.

Some models come with a strainer that features two “straining components” – a large circular metal strainer component at the top and a small rectangular plastic strainer component placed at the bottom. These are ideal if you want smooth juice with little to no pulp in it.

Easy Pulp Ejection

The pulp ejection system is equally something you need to check out. In some models, the pulp gets collected in an internal container while in others it gets ejected outside the machine where it’s collected into a separate pulp container. 

Generally, the pulp ejection system doesn’t affect the juice quality, but if you’ll be juicing large quantities of produce at a time, a juicer that eliminates the pulp externally is the best option.

It will save you from the hassle of having to stop regularly to open the unit to empty the collected pulp which is the case with a juicer that features an internal pulp collector.

Wide Feeder Chute

The diameter of the feed chute will determine the size of produce that you can put into a juicer or rather the amount of prep work you will need to do prior to juicing.

A small feeder chute (1.5 – 2.5 inches wide) can only accommodate smaller produce like berries, grapes and plums. You will have to cut up most of the fruits and vegetables which is not only time-consuming but also means more prep work before you can start processing.

Therefore, a juicer with a wide feeding chute that can accommodate bigger items without pre-cutting is a better option since it will minimize your prep work and time.  A 3-inch wide chute or bigger than that would be ideal. 

Large Juice and Pulp Containers

Almost all juicers come with a juice and pulp collection container except for several models of manual citrus juicers. Check out the capacity/size of these containers.

Large juice and pulp containers (32 ounces or above) are preferable because you can juice lots of produce in one session without having to stop often to empty them. You want to ensure that it has a comfortable handle and pointed pouring spout for easy carrying and to prevent spillage.

Some containers also are equipped with froth separators, sieves or covers which are equally worth considering. If a juice container is not included, then check that the juice spout/outlet is positioned high enough on the unit to allow a decent-sized cup or jug to fit under it.

Easy to Set Up, Disassemble and Clean

Look for a juicer that’s simple to set up, take apart and clean. This will mainly depend on the number of parts it has. Overall, centrifugal and horizontal masticating juicers mostly have less parts hence are fairly easy to assemble.

Vertical and twin-gear units tend to have complex designs and more parts, making them harder and time-consuming to set up and take apart. Therefore, go for a unit with fewer parts which are removable for easy cleaning.

It’s even more convenient if you get one with dishwasher-safe components and comes with a cleaning brush for cleaning the blades and the filter (often gets clogged by fibrous produce).

What other convenient features should you look out for?

  • Reverse Function

A reverse function is a handy feature to consider, particularly for masticating juicers as their filters tend to clog and the augers are pretty prone to jamming when juicing fibrous fruits and veggies. It’s a feature that will help unjam the auger and ensure smooth operation. 

  •  Extra Attachments

Choosing a juicer that comes with added accessories like a smoothie attachment, sorbet maker or extra strainer would be of great advantage if you want to do some food processing. With these extra accessories, you would be able to extrude pasta, mince meat, or make nut butter.

  • Pulp Regulator

This is a nice addition to have in case you need some variation of juice pulpiness. It gives you the option to have more pulp in your juice, less pulp or no pulp at all. 

  •  Built-in Safety Features

Safety features are essential to consider if you have young children that will be using the juicer. Look for a unit with safety interlocks. These prevent it from starting if the feed chute lid is not closed or the parts are not assembled properly which in turn prevents unnecessary accidents.

Another safety feature to check out is the overload prevention function. It can help prolong the life of your juicer’s motor – it automatically shuts it off when it’s overloaded or begins to overheat.

Best Juicer Brands to Consider

Omega

Omega is one of the top five juicer brands on the market and has been around since 1985. The company offers a wide variety of juicers with prices ranging from mid ($100) to high ($700).

Omega juicer brand is famous for its masticating juicers. They have some of the highest quality horizontal and vertical slow juicers that have earned a good reputation for their high juice yield, and sturdy and durable build that’s backed by a long warranty. The company also makes twin-gear and centrifugal juicers.

Vertical and twin-gear units tend to have complex designs and more parts, making them harder and time-consuming to set up and take apart. Therefore, go for a unit with fewer parts which are removable for easy cleaning.

It’s even more convenient if you get one with dishwasher-safe components and comes with a cleaning brush for cleaning the blades and the filter (often gets clogged by fibrous produce).

Breville

Founded in 1932, Breville is yet another very popular home appliance manufacturer that makes juicers. The brand equally boasts of a great reputation for the quality and performance of their products.

Their speciality is centered around centrifugal juicers, but they also have several masticating and citrus juicer models. One of their signature products is the 800CPXL citrus juicer – it’s one of the best on the market, widely loved by citrus juice fans. Their juicers cost from $100 to $350.

Breville juicer brand is famous for its masticating juicers. They have some of the highest quality horizontal and vertical slow juicers that have earned a good reputation for their high juice yield, and sturdy and durable build that’s backed by a long warranty. The company also makes twin-gear and centrifugal juicers.

Vertical and twin-gear units tend to have complex designs and more parts, making them harder and time-consuming to set up and take apart. Therefore, go for a unit with fewer parts which are removable for easy cleaning.

It’s even more convenient if you get one with dishwasher-safe components and comes with a cleaning brush for cleaning the blades and the filter (often gets clogged by fibrous produce).

Kuvings

Like Breville, Kuvings is a popular multinational brand that has been around since 1978. The company is known for its cold press juicer models although they also make centrifugal juicers as well which get solid ratings.

The outstanding thing about their juicers is that they come with powerful motors, wide feed chutes and run at low noise levels. If avoiding noise is very important to you, Kuvings juicer is the best to consider. They sell high-end juicers with prices ranging from $200 to $2000.

Their speciality is centered around centrifugal juicers, but they also have several masticating and citrus juicer models. One of their signature products is the 800CPXL citrus juicer – it’s one of the best on the market, widely loved by citrus juice fans. Their juicers cost from $100 to $350.

The brand is famous for its masticating juicers. They have some of the highest quality horizontal and vertical slow juicers that have earned a good reputation for their high juice yield, and sturdy and durable build that’s backed by a long warranty. The company also makes twin-gear and centrifugal juicers.

Vertical and twin-gear units tend to have complex designs and more parts, making them harder and time-consuming to set up and take apart. Therefore, go for a unit with fewer parts which are removable for easy cleaning.

It’s even more convenient if you get one with dishwasher-safe components and comes with a cleaning brush for cleaning the blades and the filter (often gets clogged by fibrous produce).

Tribest

Tribest has very few varieties of juicers, but the ones available are certainly noteworthy, especially if you are looking for a durable twin-gear juicer. The Green Star juice extractors are their best-known models.

They utilize an advanced twin-gear mechanism which is capable of getting very high yield from different kinds of fruits and vegetables. Their juicers cost around $550 to $650, which is quite affordable compared to twin-gear juicers from other brands.

Hurom

Hurom offers a line of cold press juicers which fall on the higher price end but are undeniably some of the best on the market. They enjoy a lot of positive reviews and perform well at juicing most produce, although there are several complaints regarding their performance when it comes to juicing leafy greens. The cost of their juicers ranges from $200 to $800.

Hamilton Beach

This is a trusted American company that manufacturers home appliances from blenders to juicers. They have been on the market for more than a century and their juicers are popular for their affordable price and reliability. They usually feature a large feeding chute and can handle a wide variety of produce pretty well. Prices for their juicers range from $40 to $350.

Black+Decker

Black+Decker is a major brand that’s worth checking out if you are searching for a decent citrus juicer or a centrifugal model. The company’s juicers enjoy lots of positive reviews, especially their citrus models like the CJ625. Their centrifugal models also perform well. All their juicers come at highly affordable prices that range from $40 to $120.

MetroKane

MetroKane is a brand you can check out too if you are looking for a citrus juicer. The company offers several affordable and basic models that are fairly efficient at juicing citrus fruits although reviews are somewhat mixed – most users are satisfied with the juice yield they give, but there are complaints that their juicers tend to make a lot of mess.

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