How To Buy The Best Juicers Today
This juicer buyer’s guide will guide you step by step through the process.
There are several aspects to juicing. As you try to evaluate each juicer machine, you could assign a score that includes juicer features, juicer performance and their other characteristics.
Armed with the results, you can make informed decisions on which type of juicer, and within that category, which juicer model will suit your juicing needs most admirably.
Juicer Buyer’s Guide : Getting Started
Your pre-purchase assessment of the best juicer that matches your needs should include evaluations of
- ease of use,
- ease of cleaning,
- juicing efficiency,
- juice yield,
- time for food preparation,
- price and
- quality of juice
For instance, some buyers want a fast and efficient juicer, while others are looking for slow juicers that produce healthier juice.
Others just getting started with juicing may want a juicer that is easy to use.
Our juicer buyer’s guide is aimed at helping all types of buyers, and will guide you to make an informed and correct decision.
How To Buy A Juicer?
Now let’s begin to explore the various factors to consider while deciding upon the perfect juicer to match your needs.
We have divided this juicer buyer’s guide into 3 sections:
Juicer Testing Process
The juicer testing process in this Juicer Buyers Guide will take you through the steps to evaluate a new juicer before buying it.
You’ll learn about
- which factors matter most,
- how to assess if a particular juicer model or brand is good,
- and ultimately, whether or not YOU should buy it.
Many juicer reviews test machines using several pounds of fruits, greens and vegetables. Some put the juicers through dozens of tests to find the best juicer in various categories.
The Juicer Buyers Guide will show you how to assess each juicer by its ability to juice effectively. For this, you must look at things like
- The quantity and quality of juice extracted
- Time for preparing the produce (cutting, peeling, deseeding) before juicing
- Time taken to assemble and dismantle the juicer
- Difficulty level of putting parts together
- Time taken to clean up after use
- Difficulty of cleaning
- Durability and sturdiness
- Overall ease of use
- Juicer storage
- Value for your money
Only after rigorous testing and meticulous recording, along with extensive study of best juicer reviews, can you hope to zero in on the best juicer model.
This juicer buyers guide offers a checklist to avoid missing anything important.
Most comprehensive Juicer Buyer’s Guide on the web!
When you follow a systematic approach, you won’t struggle to choose the right juicer or become confused by the variety of detailed information available.
Factors And Categories Under Which Juicers Are Evaluated
You can apply the Juicer Buyers Guide process to as many different juicer models you like, across all juicer types and juicer brands.
This will help you reliably decide whether a particular type of juicer, brand or model is ideal for your unique needs.
That is exactly why we created this Juicer Buyers Guide.Pre-juicing Food Preparation
Food prep times are important in your choice of juicer.
In our rushed modern world, everyone is in a hurry. Nobody has the luxury of wasting precious time to prepare for juicing. If you are forced to spend a lot of time every day just getting produce ready for juicing, you might as well give up.
That’s why you should carefully look at variables that determine how long it will take to prep fruits and vegetables for juicing.
This will depend primarily upon:
- Feed chute size
- Type of juicer
- Type of produce
Feed Chute Size
Size of your juicer’s feed chute will determine the dimensions of produce that can go into the machine.
A large chute can accommodate smaller whole fruits while narrower chutes can only take them after being chopped, sliced or diced beforehand.
Centrifugal juicers typically have much larger feed chutes (3 inches in diameter, on average) than slow juicers (1.5-2.5 inches), which helps reduce cutting and feeding time.
But other than the chute’s size, the type of juicer also impacts the size of produce that can be fed into it.
The feed chute of a horizontal masticating juicer is vertical while the drum assembly is horizontal. The space between a juicer’s auger and inside wall of the drum is narrow. Only smaller produce size can fit into it.
A vertical masticating juicer has more space between the feed chute and juicing bowl because both are in the same plane. So it can take larger chunks of fruit and vegetables comfortably.
Food preparation time will therefore vary depending on the type of juicer, even though they both have feed chutes of a similar diameter.
Kind of Produce
A final factor that determines prep time is the nature of produce you’re trying to juice.
Different juicer types can take different sizes of produce. Radish and carrots can go directly into a vertical juicer’s feeding chute without having to be cut. But when juicing with a horizontal juicer, these vegetables might have to be cut into smaller pieces.
In the same way, celery can be fed into any feeding chute without trouble, but the long, fibrous stalks will twist around augers or gears of a slow juicer unless it is first chopped into tiny bits.
However, with a centrifugal juicer, celery will not cause any problems since it is quickly shredded by the fast rotating disk.
All of this influences prep time for juicing, which makes it a vital element of your juicer buyer’s guide.
If you’re looking to save time in preparing produce before juicing, centrifugal juicers are the best, followed by vertical masticating juicers.
The ones that require most effort – and therefore, time – for prep are the horizontal masticating and twin gear juicers.
Ease of Juicer Assembly
How can you assess if a juicer is easy to assemble before use?
You should look at
- the number of parts that needed to be put together
- the number of overall parts (some of which had to be assembled every time you juice, the others that are a one time affair)
- how long it takes a newbie to assemble versus more experienced users
- any additional parts not found in other juicers
- unique assembly challenges in each juicer (if any)
All juicer types can be a little difficult to put together.
It’s one reason why this is an important variable in the juicer buyers guide to help decide upon the relative merit of a particular juicer model.
- Overall, centrifugal and horizontal juicers are the easiest to assemble.
- Vertical masticating juicers are complex in design and are assembling them was harder.
- The twin gear juicer was most complex in design. It took the longest time to assemble, with the greatest number of parts to put together.
While rating juicer performance using a juicer buyers guide, you’ll often rely upon the results of juicing different types of produce.
This includes juicing soft fruits, hard vegetables, leafy greens, fibrous wheatgrass, and a combination of greens with soft and hard produce.
Each juicer should be assessed on how well it handles what is thrown at it.
Finally, the juicer performance is rated based on
- overall ability,
- amount of pulp in the juice, and
- how much residue was left after juicing ends
Selecting Types Produce To Juice
Similar quantities (in weight) of oranges, grapes and tomatoes are often used for soft produce in juicer performance testing.
Apples, carrots and celery are used as hard produce samples.
To test slow juicers, leafy greens like spinach and very hard to juice wheatgrass are considered the best substrate.
Juicers are evaluated based highest juice yield for each type of produce.
The goal of performance testing is to not only juice fastest, but to squeeze the most juice with optimal feeding.
So even when time to juice is shorter, or a juicer could work faster, if the yield isn’t high the performance ratings should suffer.
When centrifugal juicers are tested with soft produce, hard produce, and a combination of both, you can check the weight of the juice they yield.
You should also try juicing leafy greens (spinach) to see how well a juicer can handle them.
Most centrifugal juicers yield a lower output as compared to masticating juicers.
How To Measure Time To Juice
From the moment produce is picked up and fed into the feed chute, to the time the last piece is pushed down using the food pusher, can be taken as the time to juice.
Your juicer buyers guide process should follow this as an important scoring metric. It will often help decide if a juicer model is good or not.
Scoring on the basis of yields obtained for soft produce, hard produce, leafy greens, wheatgrass, or a combination of all three reveals that centrifugal juicers are best for oranges, carrots, celery and apples.
If you consider how pulp-free the juice was, along with overall performance ratings, slow juicers are best for extracting juice from grapes, spinach and wheatgrass.
Ease of Cleaning
Thoroughly clean a juicer by hand after each juicing test and see how much time it takes. This makes it easy to compare models and tell which ones are high-maintenance.
Your juicer buyer’s guide should factor this into any decision because it determines how long it takes to get the juicer ready for the next use.
Dishwashers aren’t always an option because some juicers have parts that are not dishwasher-friendly.
A particular factor that may affect this aspect of juicer evaluation is how difficult it is to clean strainers and mesh through which juice comes out.
This component needs to be cleaned thoroughly, as over time it can clog and become useless. With some juicer models, it also takes a lot of time and effort to do this well.
Ease of Cleaning Score
The ease of cleaning score is based on the following things:
- strainer/filter basket cleaning difficulty (if a juicer provides a brush designed for this purpose, give it a higher score)
- more parts that need cleaning should lower the score
- complexity of cleaning process – too many difficult, hard-to-reach nooks and niches to clean should ensure a lower score
- size, material and quality of parts that need cleaning (sturdy and good quality parts clean more easily, while low quality plastics stain easily)
- more dishwasher safe parts should lead to a higher score
- the longer it takes to clean all the parts, the lower the score
Pay Special Attention!
The strainer and filter baskets are often the most difficult parts to clean in any juicer.
The filter basket of centrifugal juicers are harder than the strainers of slow juicers. Some slow juicer strainers are easier to clean than others.
In one interesting juicer model, there are 48 corners that you’ll have to inspect and clean!
Even though the filter baskets of the centrifugal juicers are extremely clogged, many come equipped with brushes unique to the juicer filter basket. When a good quality brush is provided by the manufacturer, it is easy to clean..
Horizontal masticating juicers are generally the easiest to clean, followed by vertical masticating juicers. Centrifugal juicers are the worst in this aspect, primarily because it takes so long to clean the filter baskets of centrifugal juicers.
Twin gear juicers are the most difficult to clean and take the longest time.
On several juicer tests, the average time to clean was
- 3.8 minutes for centrifugal juicers
- 4.5 minutes for horizontal masticating juicers
- 5.5 minutes for vertical masticating juicers and
- 9 minutes for twin-gear slow juicer
Ease of Juicer Use
To determine ease of use you will rely upon all the factors we’ve just used to rate the different types of juicers:
- Difficulty level of assembling juicers
- Food prep times for each juicer type
- Ease of cleaning
- Ease of pushing produce through the feed chutes
While it is easier to push food through a centrifugal juicer and vertical masticating juicer, it takes quite an effort to do so with horizontal masticating juicers.
Another option is to cut or chop the produce into small enough pieces that it gets easily crushed and pulled by the auger without having to struggle with the food pusher.
When a juicer can be
- operated without needing undue preparatory efforts and
- doesn’t require much force to feed the produce into the feed chutes, and
- can be quickly and easily cleaned and made ready for the next juicing session
…then it is an easy to use juicer model.
Juicer dimensions and weight
Some juicers are compact, light and easy to move around.
Others are heavy and unwieldy.
Centrifugal juicers are, on average, 2 kilograms lighter than slow juicers. Some come with handles which makes moving easier.
Others are tall or deep, and require proportionately greater counter space in your kitchen.
All these factors will determine your buying decision because you only have limited space.
Controls, Power Cord, User Manual And Speed Settings
Visible, easily reached and well-labelled buttons on juicers make them easier to operate.
Those with reasonably long power cords allow greater flexibility. Slow juicers came with longer power cords of 5 feet or more while centrifugal juicers had power cords of just 4 feet.
Juicers that came along with good quality, informative, educational user manuals are more desirable. Breville juicers come with the best manuals.
Centrifugal juicers with fewer speed settings are simpler to operate. Having too many juicing settings only confuses matters for the user.
Vibration and movement
Some juicers shift and move while juicing. This makes juicing difficult.
Larger juice and pulp containers let you juice for longer without having to worry about emptying them often while you’re in the middle of juicing.
Other uses for juicers
While centrifugal juicers can only juice, slow horizontal juicers can do a lot more. They come with accessories to help homogenize food, mince meat, extrude pasta, make nut butter and more.
Vertical masticating juicers also are limited in their functionality unlike their horizontal counterparts.
Quality of Juicer
To assess juicer quality, look at the following factors
- Quality of build and materials used in making the juicer
- Juicer design and any flaws in it
- Brand reputation
- Consumer opinions and juicer reviews
- Customer support and after sales service
- Warranty period
Higher priced slow juicers are well-built with quality parts and come along with long warranties of 10 years or more. Centrifugal juicers are light weight, lower priced and come with warranties of 1-2 years.
Price vs Value
Is the price worth paying for a juicer of your choice?
Often a juicer’s price reflects its quality and durability.
Juicers that are solidly built, have good quality parts with long warranties, are easy to use and deliver exceptional performance are definitely worth the price.
In real terms, they cost very little over the long term. By contrast, the inexpensive juicer machines may frequently breakdown, need extra parts, or juice inefficiently. This will cost you more in the long run.
For example, let’s say you juice 100 pounds of oranges over the year and one juicer (which is more expensive) gives you more juice than the other every time.
Then when you calculate the price of all the extra juice you extracted from using the costlier machine, you’ll realize that the juicer actually saved you more money than the cheap juicer.
But you should know what produce you intend to juice.
That’s because even among the more expensive juicers, only some perform exceptionally well with specific kinds of produce. With other produce, their performance is only modest.
So pick your juicer based on what you plan to juice.
If a juicer offers versatility along with added accessories, then it’s a real advantage.
Some extra parts and accessories make juicing more convenient and easy. Things like an extra strainer, brush for cleaning, or excellent user manual can make life a lot easier for users.
A juicer which offers these extras should rank higher on your shortlist of potential candidates for best juicer.
Some juicers like the centrifugal juicer are noisy because they rotate at high speeds and process bigger food pieces, chopping and cutting them down into tiny bits and flinging them against the filters around the disk.
All this activity translates to a noisier operation.
Slow juicers, due to their nature of operation of slow rotation and crushing of produce, are rather quiet in comparison.
In the taste test, juice from slow juicers tastes better than of centrifugal juicers.
The reason is the nature of juicing in each device. In centrifugal juicers, the produce entraps air along with the juice as the juicer chops and moves it at high speeds.
On the other hand, this does not happen in slow juicing.
The juice from centrifugal juicers is also frothier for the same reason. Sincea centrifugal juicer chops everything (including pith of oranges, or grape seeds) into tiny bits, the juice might taste slightly bitter.
Again, this does not happen in a slow juicer. So juice quality and taste with a slow juicer is definitely better.
Juice from slow juicers is more homogenous without layering seen in juice from centrifugal juicers, when the extract is collected in a pitcher.
Recommended Best Juicers
These are the top-rated juicer machines in each of the different categories.
If you’re in a rush and don’t want to use the juicer buyers guide… but just want our recommended best juicers:
The Best Juicer suitable for Most People
Best Juicer for Maximum Juice Yield
Best Slow Juicer that’s also Most Affordable
Best Centrifugal Juicer
Best Slow Juicer Machine
Best Horizontal Masticating Juicer
Best Vertical Masticating Juicer Model
Types of Juicers
Juicer Buyers Guide : Learning About Juicers
Only when you know how each type of juicer works can you make the right decision about the type and model of juicer to buy.
There is a big difference in how each juicer type works.
Rushing into a hasty decision before carefully considering this factor will make your juicing unnecessarily painful – when a little preparation will make it effortless and even fun!
Introduction To The Different Juicer Types
Juicers are categorised mainly as fast juicers and slow juicers.
- Centrifugal Juicers
- Horizontal Masticating Juicers
- Vertical Masticating Juicers
- Twin Gear Juicers
- Hydraulic Press Juicers
- Manual juicers
Once you understand the differences between each type of juicer, you’ll be able to make the right juicer choice.
Juicer Buyers Guide : Centrifugal Juicers
In a centrifugal juicer, produce (fruit/vegetable/greens) is fed through a tube which opens at the top. This is called the feeding chute.
Either a food pusher is provided to push the produce through the chute, or gravity does the job. Food drops through the chute and enters the juicing chamber containing a rapidly rotating disc also known as the filter basket.
At the center of this filter basket is a flat rotating disc with sharp edges cut into it. This rapidly rotating flat center rapidly chops, slices, and shreds food that falls through the feeding chute into smaller pieces.
Juicing is aided by how produce is forcefully thrown against the curved edges of the filter basket which has tiny holes. The filter bowl that surrounds the filter basket collects juice that seeps through these holes.
A hole at one end of the filter bowl allows this collected liquid to flow out of the juicer into a glass or pitcher. The hole is the juicer outlet.
What happens to the dry residue of food being juiced?
It follows a different path entirely. The pulp is flung upwards by the rapidly rotating disk of the filter basket. This strikes the bottom of the juicer cover.
The curvature of the juicer cover forces the pulp downward at an angle away from the center of the rotating disk into a separate bowl next to the filter bowl called the pulp container.
To sum it up the centrifugal juicers contains –
- a food pusher,
- juicer cover,
- filter basket, which is a rotating disk that chops and slices food while rotating at 5000-15000 rpm to force juice through the holes in the fine mesh surrounding the disk,
- filter bowl that surrounds the filter basket, to collect and redirect the juice,
- motor base – the body of the juicer with its motor covered by a plastic shell,
- juice container and
- pulp container.
Pros of a Centrifugal Juicer
- Very fast in producing juice.
- High yield of juice.
- Very little preparation time required.
- Some centrifugal juicers take even whole fruits.
- Easy to assemble.
- Many parts are dishwasher safe.
- Very affordable with prices in the range $75-$100.
- Lighter in weight and easy to store.
Cons of a Centrifugal Juicer
- Only one function – that is juicing.
- Bad at juicing greens.
- It cannot juice wheatgrass.
- The mesh around the filter basket is difficult to clean.
- Unlike slow juicers these are not well-built.
- Warranties are not as long as in slow juicers
- Very noisy
- Lower quality of juice produced compared to slow juicers.
Juicer Buyers Guide : Slow Juicers or Masticating Juicers
Slow juicers, as the name suggests, are slower in their juice extraction process.
Among masticating juicers, there are two broad categories – horizontal juicers and vertical juicers.
Horizontal Masticating Juicers
The rotating auger sucks the food into the juicing drum while crushing and grinding it before pushing it against a strainer placed all around the drum.
The liquid juice is strained before it falls through the hole at the bottom of cylindrical drum where a container under the hole collects it.
The dry part of the food comes out through either a nozzle at the end of the cylinder, or cap attached to the end of the cylindrical drum.
The auger rotates slowly while it crushes and grinds the food at speeds of under 100 RPM. This is how a basic horizontal masticating juicer works.
Some horizontal juicers have an extra strainer at the bottom of the larger strainer. A few models have a nozzle attached to the end of drum to extrude dry pulp, while others have a cap.
Pros of Horizontal Masticating Juicers
- Can juice leafy greens and wheatgrass effectively
- Easier and quicker to clean.
- Very easy to put together.
- Very quiet in operation.
- Well-made and of good quality parts.
- Have long warranties of 10 years.
- Very versatile and can be used for other purposes such as making nut butters, baby food and pasta.
- Affordably priced in $300 range.
Cons of Horizontal Masticating Juicers
- Food preparation time is very long.
- Takes longer to juice.
- Needs quite a bit of force to push the food through.
Vertical Masticating Juicers
Just like in a horizontal juicer, food produce enters a vertical masticating juicer through a food chute and is pushed through using a food pusher.
But in the vertical juicer the produce enters a juicing bowl instead of the horizontal drum. There is a vertical auger.
Gravity alone is not enough to push the processed juice to drip down and out of the juicer. A spinning brush gathers juice from a strainer around the auger.
This spinning brush is placed around the auger through a gear mechanism. It allows the brush to rotate at the same speed as the auger.
A rotating auger crushes and grinds the produce. Juice squeezes through the strainer and sprays out. The spinning brush gathers and moves it to the bottom of the juicing bowl so it can exit the juicer.
The dry pulp stays between the auger and an inside wall of the juicing strainer as it is pulled down to bottom of the juicing bowl, where it also exits through an outlet at the bottom of the juicing bowl.
Pros of Vertical Masticating Juicers
- Leafy greens and wheatgrass can be juiced effectively
- Preparation time is much less than horizontal masticating juicers
- Quicker juicing time than slow juicers
- Effortless cleaning compared to centrifugal juicers
- Easier to use
- Food is pushed down the chute with less effort
- Good quality parts and construction.
- Long warranty.
- Very quiet operation.
- More compact to store.
Cons of Vertical Masticating Juicers
- Assembly is difficult compared to horizontal models
- Not as versatile as a horizontal juicer.
- Might not fit in under kitchen cabinets, as they are taller
Juicer Buyers Guide : Twin Gear Juicer
A twin gear juicer works just like a horizontal masticating juicer. A vertical feed chute food delivers food into the juicer in the middle of two rotating gears which crush and grind the food instead of an auger.
The liquid part is pushed through the strainer and falls through the hole at the bottom of drum and gets collected in a container.
Though the parts in a twin-gear juicer are different, they work very much like a horizontal juicer.
Just like the auger in a horiztonal masticating juicer, the twin gears pull food forward and then do the same job of crushing and grinding and squeezing out the juice.
The strainer might look different but its function is identical, letting only liquid pass through it. A nozzle at the end of the twin gear juicer assembly expels the dry part of the produce.
Pros of Twin Gear Juicers
- Efficiently juices all produce including greens and wheatgrass
- Very versatile
- Sturdy and durable, built with high quality parts
- Comes with a long warranty
- Quiet operation
Cons of Twin Gear Juicers
- Assembly is complex
- Prep times are long
- Requires stringent preparation of food
- Very slow juicing.
- Complex parts make cleaning very difficult.
- Heavy and difficult to move around.
- Needs force to push through the produce.
- More expensive than other juicers.
Hydraulic Press Juicer
The price variation is quite high and with only two models available there is really not much to do in terms of testing.
The Norwalk Model 280 priced at $2,500 juices in two steps. In the first step the hydraulic press cuts and grinds the produce. The helical cutter-grinder mechanism called triturator, situated inside the vertical tube, does this. Food is fed through this tube.
After the grinding and crushing the food at the midway point of the tube, produce enters a cloth bag attached to the bottom of the tube.
In the second step the produce in the bag is pressed.
For this you have to manually remove the bag from the bottom of the tube and place it on a rectangular steel bed.
When you hit a switch a metal cylinder pushes the bed with the food bag upwards where it meet another flat stainless steel piece. The tremendous force of the pressing pushes the juice out of the food and down the slope into a waiting juice collector.
Welles Juice Press
The other hydraulic juicer is the Welles or Peoples Juice Press.
This one doesn’t have a triturator and you should place cut food in a cloth bag and then keep it on a metal bed.
Like in the Norwalk model juice is extracted by the pressing of the produce between two metal beds – except that instead of electricity, it relies on human power. You press the lever down to crush and extract the juice.
As it uses no electricity this press has some benefits as it can be used in places with unreliable electrical supply.
But at the same time, this is also a disadvantage as it extracts less juice. That’s because electrical power can generate much more force than a human powered lever.
In a Welles hydraulic juicer the user cuts fruits, places the pieces in a bag, and keeps it on the steel platform.
Then push the lever down to press this platform against another placed above it. Continue to crank the lever to extract juice.
This is what makes the Welles hydraulic juicer an inefficient choice when compared to a Norwalk juicer which uses electrical power to extract the juice. The quantity of juice extracted is also more while using a Norwalk.
Pros of Hydraulic Press Juicers
- Norwalk juicer extracts maximum juice due to the method employed. Hence if juice yield is the only criteria and price is no bar, then a Norwalk juicer is a good choice.
- The Welles hydraulic juicer doesn’t use electricity. If you need to use a juicer in a place without, or with irregular electrical supply, the Welles is a reasonable option.
Cons of Hydraulic Press Juicers
- Price is a major drawback. Both the Norwalk 280 at $2500 and Welles at $400 are pricey compared to the other juicers in the market.
- They use cloth bags during the juicing process. This can be messy, difficult to clean, and add to your costs with frequent replacements being necessary.
- The juicers are large and unwieldy occupying a large area. They are tall and deep too.
- Some amount of prep time needed for both juicers.
- Juicing process is rather slow.
Juicer Buyers Guide : Manual juicers
Our grandparents used these hand operated manual juicers to make juice!
It takes quite a lot of effort and time to prepare the produce and extract juice. Users often buy manual juicers for nostalgia than efficiency.
The amount of juice yielded is low. You will waste too much produce and spend a lot of effort for very little juice.
Manual juicers are also not good at handling large amounts of produce. For instance, a manual citrus juicer can handle only one half of a fruit at a time.
Hopefully this juicer buyers guide helps you understand juicers and juicing better. If you follow the step by step process detailed above in the juicer buyers guide, you will be able to quickly zero in on your ideal juicer machine.
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