This guide will help if you want to know how to choose a juicer that meets the needs of your lifestyle. As someone who has been drinking fresh homemade fruit and vegetable drinks on a daily basis for nearly 10 years, and has used a number of different styles of juicers, I am confident that you will find this juicer buying guide useful.
Breville, Hamilton Beach, Omega and more…
In my own experience, I started off juicing with a budget centrifugal juicer. Currently the Black & Decker JE2200B is one of the cheapest options. This type of machine is a great way to help you to improve your diet without investing hundreds of dollars. Once you start to experience the health benefits that juicing brings, it’s then easier to justify purchasing a more expensive device such as a Breville Juice Fountain Elite or an Omega VRT350HD (both round about $400).
Where I suggest you start is to think about both the products on sale and your juicing needs at the same time. Different machines have their own strengths. As you discover more about the types of juicers on the market today, you should be thinking about whether their benefits would be of any use to you.
To give you an example, citrus juicers might be the best option if you want to make yourself an orange juice every day. They’re cheap and effective – but if you want to make juices from anything other than citrus fruits, this type of juicer would be the wrong choice. That’s a pretty obvious example. However, the same kind of analysis holds true when we look at the differences between the two main types of juicers: centrifugal and masticating machines.
What is a Centrifugal Juicer?
Centrifugal juicers are machines that operate at high speeds. The feeder chute sends produce down into the machine where it meets a filter basket spinning at speeds of anything between 2,000 – 13,000 RPM. Fruits and vegetables fed into this type of juicer are ripped apart when the come into contact with the cutting disc that forms the base of the filter basket. The disc has hundreds of tiny blades that pulp the fruits and vegetables. Then because of the high speed of the spinning filter basket, the liquid is extracted and the dry pulp ejected into the waste container.
What is a Masticating Juicer?
There are two kinds of masticating juicer available today, horizontal and vertical. Their juicing action is the same but there remain some differences. Horizontal masticating juicers offer the greatest versatility. With this type of unit you can make baby foods, nut butters and frozen deserts – as well as all kinds of fruit and vegetable juices. The vertical style doesn’t have these extra features and is primarily a juicer. That said, you can juice quicker with the vertical machines because of their wider feed chute and larger auger.
Masticating juicers work by chopping and grinding fruits and vegetables (between the auger and juicing screen) that are fed into them. Rather than thousands of RPMs, these machines usually operate at less than 100 RPM. I prefer these lower speeds. When I look at the juices made by these appliances, I notice that their color is richer than juices I make with centrifugal juicers.
Benefits/Weaknesses of a Centrifugal Juicer
- Wide feeder chute
- Quick preparation time
- Many low cost models
- Quick to clean
- Easy to use
- Doesn’t juice leafy green vegetables well
- Less efficient juice extraction than masticating juicers
- High speeds sometimes create frothy juices
Benefits/Weaknesses of a Masticating Juicer
- High yield of juice
- Better tasting juice (in my opinion)
- Less froth created than centrifugal juicers
- Can juice a wide range of fruits and vegetables, including leafy greens
- Regarded as “better” by most people who have been juicing for years (myself included)
- Not cheap
- Slower operating speed than centrifugal juicers
On a personal level, I now prefer masticating juicers over centrifugal ones. For me, making what I consider to be a higher quality juice is worth the extra time it takes to make it. The video above features three juicers, they are all high quality products: the Breville Juice Fountain Elite, the Omega VRT350HD and the Omega J8006. For many people, the best juicer is the vertical masticating style of machine. If you can afford it and don’t need the out and out speed offered by centrifugal juicers, it’s the one I’d recommend.