T he right tool for the right job. It’s a true statement, but what if you’re not sure about the tools? I’ve discovered that’s the case for many people who have recently learned about the benefits of juicing and decided to buy a juicer.
They know they need more of the essential nutrients found in raw fruits and vegetables. Also, they understand that extracting the juice is said to be one of the most efficient ways to get these nutrients.
But, what exactly is the best way to extract that juice? Head to the Amazon website and type “juicer” in the search bar. You’ll get results ranging from a hand-held citrus juice squeezer for a few bucks to twin gear masticating juice extractors costing nearly $800.
And because we live in an age where it’s better to buy professional-grade, you can purchase commercial juicers that will set you back from $6,000 to $10,000.
It’s not just the price that’s all over the place. There’s a confusing variety of juicer types. Some use centrifugal force. Others masticate. Then there are masticating juicers that do something called triturating.
If you’re just starting, your pathway to health by way of juicing is anything but apparent.
And let’s face it, manufacturers aren’t always all that helpful.
So, let’s see if we can navigate through this confusion by identifying the most common and popular juicers. Then we’ll look at what they do well, and what they don’t.
It’ll give you perspective and help you decide what’s important to you when it comes to choosing a juicer.
The most common types of juicers
One of the most confusing things about these juicers is that each of the most common and popular types can be named differently. A centrifugal juicer might also be called a fast juicer. A masticating juicer is often also called a cold press juicer.
There’s only one way to solve this mystery, and that’s to familiarize yourself with the different types of juicers by understanding the way they work. You’ll quickly realize that a cold press juicer and a slow juicer are just different ways of explaining the way a particular extraction method works.
You’ll find there are four basic types of juicers:
- Centrifugal juicers
- Masticating juicers
- Triturating juicers
- Citrus juicers
Centrifugal juicers – short and sweet
These are the fastest and most affordable motorized juicers. Sometimes referred to as fast juicers.
Centrifugal juicers – how it works in 15 seconds or less
A mesh chamber with sharp teeth rotates at high speed to shred material and separate juice.
Centrifugal juicers – the rest of what you need to know
It’s not difficult to understand why centrifugal juicers can also be called fast juicers. Many have rotation speeds that exceed 15,000 revolutions per minute (RPM). Fast has its drawbacks.
These juicers tend to be noisier than other types because of the speed of the rotating chamber. Centrifugal juicing does a satisfactory job of extracting juice from both hard and soft vegetables. It can struggle with leafy greens and very soft fruits.
The juicer’s blade array spins against a mesh filter, which separates the juice from solid material. The juice is delivered to one container, and the discarded pulp to another.
This extraction process is the most common, and there’s a wide array of manufacturers. They tend to be more affordable than other types of juicers because of the simple design. Juicing mechanism of a centrifugal juicer is that it spins really fast, causing a center of rotation.
Centrifugal juicers – the top thing people talk about
Efficiency may be sacrificed for speed. Friction is generated as the juicer’s blades slice through produce at tens of thousands of revolutions per minute. The centrifugal spinning also exposes the produce in the juicer’s chamber to air, and oxidation quickly occurs.
Both conditions are not suitable for the preservation of optimal nutritional levels in the extracted juice. Many vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables are known to be heat sensitive.
Many people who are serious about juicing believe that the centrifugal extraction process reduces the possible amount of nutrition in the juice because of the friction and oxidation. Discarded pulp has a higher moisture content than other types of juicing. Reviewers say centrifugal juicing provides a lower yield than other extraction processes.
Masticating juicers – short and sweet
They are a very efficient type of juicers, also called slow juicers.
Masticating juicers – how it works in 15 seconds or less
An auger resembling a screw pulls slowly in and crushes material, squeezing it against a screen to extract the juice. It can also operate as a food processor to make sorbets, nut butter, and nut milk.
Masticating juicers – the rest of what you need to know
People are more likely to refer to them as slow juicers or cold press juicers. “Masticating” just doesn’t roll off the tongue.
You may know that when we chew our food while eating, we are masticating. But our teeth do not move in a revolving fashion the way that the internal auger of this juicer operates. The width of the auger widens as the spiral ridges move to produce along the length of the juicer.
The finely masticated material is finally pushed through a screen, where the juice is separated before the remaining solid material (pulp) is discarded.
The juicing process happens slowly because the powerful electric motor turns the auger at an average of only 80 RPM. Compare that to the speed of tens of thousands of RPMs for a centrifugal juicer.
The slow extraction process yields more juice and higher nutritional quality. It’s a more efficient way to break down plant cells and membranes to release the nutrition they hold.
Masticating juicers – the top thing people talk about
There are two categories within this type of juicer, and you’ll have to make a decision about which kind makes the most sense for your use based on the differences.
Horizontal masticating juicers
You’ll find more of this type for sale, and they tend to be the most popular in terms of sales. They feature a single masticating auger, and most brands feature a variety of accessories that extend the appliance’s functionality.
What people like about horizontal configurations
- Generally agreed to produce the best yield
- Excels at juicing leafy greens
- Offers the best value for your money
- Warranties of 10 years or more
- Many models have food processing features. Make Nut oils, butter, or milk. Grind ice or coffee. Even make your own pasta noodles.
- Extracted juice has a longer shelf life
- They operate more quietly than other types of juicers
What people don’t like about horizontal configurations
- They can be slower than the vertical version
- They have small feed chutes, so you’ll spend more time preparing produce
- Many have more parts to clean compared to other types of juicers
- The efficient operation means that this type of juicer needs to be cleaned more often
Horizontal masticating juicers
This type of masticating juicer hasn’t been on the market very long. It was introduced around 2010, and its popularity has dramatically helped the juicing become more popular with the public. This configuration mimics the vertical feeding design found in centrifugal juicers. It has a greater masticating area. More produce can be juiced while still using the slower masticating process. It’s more efficient and more comfortable to use, but there are even fewer models from which to choose compared to the horizontal version.
What people like about vertical configurations
- Faster juice production time – but only compared to other types of masticating juicers
- Slightly more comfortable to use than horizontal models
- Assembles quicker than a horizontal version
- May be easier to clean
- Can take up less counter space
What people don’t like about vertical configurations
- Some models may produce less juice compared to horizontal configurations
- Are less effective with leafy greens
- Can be picky with stringy vegetables like celery
Twin Gear Triturating Juicers
Triturating juicer – short and sweet
Considered to be the best and most efficient way to extract juice from fruits and vegetables.
Triturating juicer – how it works in 15 seconds or less
Twin augers slowly rotate in tandem to crush, grind, and extract juice.pull in and crushes material, squeezing it against a screen to extract the juice. Accessories allow it to grind nuts, process baby food, and even make pasta noodles.
Triturating juicer – the rest of what you need to know
Imagine how much faster you could finish eating with an extra set of teeth. That’s the idea behind triturating juicers – which are often called twin gear juicers because it really does help you envision the process better.
Take a masticating juicer and add a second auger gear that works in tandem. Both auger gears rotate inward. The configuration allows it to release more phytochemicals from produce, so the resulting juice looks more rich and vibrant.
Triturating juicers – the top thing people talk about
These are generally considered to be the best juicers you can buy – and they have price tags to reflect the quality. Their power and efficiency make them a good match if you juice a lot of leafy greens and root vegetables. Many reviewers say you may be disappointed if you like to juice soft fruit such as pineapple or citrus.
The majority of those who like to juice wheatgrass believe this type of juicer is the best choice. It extracts more liquid from just about any produce, and the motor is a bit faster – up to 150 RPM.
You won’t find a compact version of this type of juicer, as they tend to be larger than most other kinds.
Citrus juicers – short and sweet
Extracts juice mostly from citrus fruit, but sometimes pomegranate.
Citrus juicers – how it works in 15 seconds or less
Manual or motorized physical action bursts the citrus pulp sacs to release juice.
Citrus juicers – the rest of what you need to know
This is definitely a specialized juicer. As you might expect from the name, it only juices grapefruits, lemons, limes, oranges, and sometimes pomegranates. The design is optimal at removing produce parts that can introduce bitterness to your juice.
Rather than masticate, the juicers apply pressure to burst pulp sacs to release liquid.
Citrus juicers – the top thing people talk about
Even though it’s a one-trick pony, meaning that it only juices a specific type of produce, nearly all models sold are very affordable. You can buy a manual juicer for around $10.
Overall, citrus juicers tend to be easier to clean.
Key Features: What to Look for When You Want to Buy a Juicer
Is it easy to use?
Let’s be fair about these appliances. They’re made to help you maintain a healthier lifestyle. We can’t take a pill instead of going to the gym. A juicer can’t do the job by itself, either. You have to operate it.
You may need to learn about things like pulp ejection systems and how to make sure your horizontal masticating juicer’s auger gear is locked in place.
- Pulp ejection systems: Some juicers use enclosed containers to capture the discarded solids. How much juicing will you do? You might not appreciate having to stop frequently and empty the collector. It might be a better idea to look for a juicer with an open ejector, rather than a collection container.
- The juice collector: Some models include a container for this while others assume you want to use your own. Spend some time looking at the juicer configurations to decide which design fits your preferences.
- The feeder chute opening: This is the part of the juicer where you insert the produce for juicing. You don’t get a choice of sizes, but some manufacturers offer bigger openings than others. The benefit is that you end up having to do less prep work by chopping things into smaller pieces. Be aware that the manufacturer selected the size of the chute opening to be compatible with the juicing process. The size helps to prevent the appliance from being overwhelmed or clogged – not to frustrate you.
- Convenient options: Some juicers feature suction cups that help to secure the appliance to the countertop. Others may supply you with a dust cover to help protect your juicer when it’s not in use. Do you want a retractable cord? None of these features are standard. It’ll be up to you to decide what you want and do the homework to see if a particular juicer model offers them.
Is it easy to clean?
Unless it’s a hand-operated citrus juicer, you may have to disassemble some parts of the appliance. You should do that each time it’s used.
Some juicers will have specific bins for the juice and pulp ejection, as well as filter screens and other components. The appliance itself may also need to be cleaned once these elements are removed. It’s easy to see why many online reviewers suggest that you look at what the manufacturer has to say about the cleaning process.
You’re not going to use it often if it’s difficult or takes too long to clean.
Some manufacturers make it easier by using dishwasher-safe parts. However, don’t assume that all pieces of your juicer can go in the dishwasher. You may void warranty coverage by putting some of the components in your dishwasher.
Use it if the manufacturer includes a cleaning brush. It will help you to clean areas of the juicer that are difficult to reach. The brush is designed to be effective without being too abrasive.
Is it versatile?
This is a loaded question. You might wonder what else a juicer should be required to do other than extract liquid from produce.
Versatility, in this case, can mean the juicer’s ability to process a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Generally, masticating juicers are more versatile. A centrifugal juicer may give you disappointing results with kale, spinach, herbs, and even wheatgrass.
Versatility also can mean extended functionality. Many masticating juicers – especially horizontal versions – feature accessories and additions that make it act as a food processor. So you might want to consider this type of juicer if you currently don’t have a food processor.
Does it provide you with a high yield?
Owners who leave reviews online tend to agree that some types of juicers are more efficient than others. This might be important to you. Pay attention to the estimated yields manufacturers say the juicer will provide. But remember to be objective and fair. Produce isn’t uniform. We’ve all heard it before, and it applies here. Results may vary.
Does it offer variable speed control?
This option allows you to adjust the juicer to provide optimal extraction. Just be aware that you’ll have to be reasonable in your expectations. A masticating juicer may offer variable speeds, but it will always be slower than a centrifugal juicer.
Is it sufficiently quiet during operation?
The last thing you want to do is wake up everybody in the morning because of your quest for a nutritional glass of juice. Masticating juicers generally tend to be quieter than centrifugal juicers. It’s possible to operate a masticating juicer and have a normal conversation.
Centrifugal juicers are louder – often rated between 81 and 88 decibels (dB). It might not be a problem if your kitchen is isolated.
Check online reviews to see what owners think about sound levels. It’s challenging to find a manufacturer who doesn’t offer this information, but it could be a red flag if you can’t find it.
Does it have a sufficient warranty?
Some of the more expensive juicers can set you back hundreds of dollars. A good warranty protects your investment. Here’s a warranty rule of thumb: A more extended warranty indicates a better quality product, and it means you’ll probably pay more for it.
Some low-end juicers offer a 1-year warranty. It’s common to find warranty protection of 5 to 7 years for juicers. Higher-quality juicers will offer warranty protection of 10 to 15 years. You get what you pay for.
Be aware that warranty coverage doesn’t apply equally to every component of your juicer. The motor may have different coverage than removable parts. It may also be possible to extend coverage by purchasing insurance.
You’ll likely recognize some brand names as you do your research. But some of the most popular juicers are made by manufacturers you may never have heard of. It’s because they specialize in making just this product.
You’ll find this brand in a variety of brick-and-mortar stores. Bella makes centrifugal and masticating versions.
Yes, the company that also makes power tools and lawn equipment. Their most popular juicers are for citrus.
This manufacturer offers mid- to high- priced juicers. You’ll find them at some department stores, and cooking specialty stores, as well as online.
They were one of the first to bring consumers the food processor. This well-known kitchen brand offers a full range of juicers.
He’s known as the “Juice Master,” and celebrity health coach endorses this brand. You’ve probably seen them on TV.
You might have one of their budget blenders. Hamilton Beach is known for low-priced kitchen appliances. The brand features HealthSmart and Big Mouth juice extractors. The latter gets its name because it can accommodate some larger fruits and veggies without pre-slicing. Sister company Proctor Silex also offers these appliances under their own name.
These juicers are at the upper end of the price spectrum. Hurom sticks to masticating juice extractors.
He’s gone, but his name lives on with a line of juicers. If you don’t recognize him, Jack LaLanne was a fitness whose television show ran for 34 years.
It’s a popular juicing brand with mid- to high-range prices.
German ingenuity gives us excellent cars and knives. This company also makes well-regarded juicers. They’ve been around since 1978.
Does juicing speed really matter?
No. The speed of a juicer determines the time it takes to process your ingredients.
Is it true that centrifugal juicers extract fewer nutrients?
Yes. Only because other extraction methods avoid the introduction of heat and oxidation. The lower amount of nutrients isn’t significant. The price difference between centrifugal and masticating juicers may be a more substantial factor in your decision than nutritional yield.
Which kind should I buy if I’m always in a rush?
Generally, centrifugal juicers are quicker to process produce. They also tend to have larger feeding chutes, so you may spend less time prepping. Just remember that this type of juicer tends to be less efficient after all. The quicker processing time can leave some liquid and nutrients behind in the discarded solids.
Can I use a juicer for extended periods?
This can be an option, but you should consider choosing a more durable juicer. Some manufacturers also offer safety protection. An overload sensor will shut off the machine if it determines the motor is no longer operating safely because of overheating. This type of protection will increase the cost of your juicer.
Your juicer takeaway
You’ve got plenty to think about if you’re just starting on your juicing journey. But here are some of the top things online reviewers say should be a part of your decision.
- A centrifugal juicer works best for hard fruits and vegetables.
- A masticating juicer offers the most efficient yield.
- A horizontal juicer takes up the most counter space.
- A twin gear or triturating juicer works best for wheatgrass or leafy greens.
- A masticating juicer is better for soft fruits and leafy greens.
Do you have any questions about how to choose a juicer? Let us know in the comments section below!