7 Types of Juicers – The Ultimate Buying Guide
You’ve decided to start juicing.
Congratulations on this BIG step!
Finally you’ll be on your way to better health in no time because you’ll be eating (in this case drinking) healthier food.
I’ll be discussing with you different the different types of juicers, how it works and enumerate the reasons why you should by that particular type of extractor.
This will give you a head start and will save you money because you will not buy something with features that you will not use.
I’ll explain everything to you in detail below.
If you’re serious about juicing you’ll need to invest in a good juice extractor.
The first question you’ll ask is what should I buy? What type of juicer?
That will depend on your lifestyle, budget and the type of produce you’ll want to use.
Though some people recommend that you use a blender, I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re serious because you’ll easy spend 5 to 10 minutes separating pulp from liquid and it can be messy, trust me I’ve been there and done that.
Many people new to juicing will always ask, what is the best juicer?
The short answer none.
There isn’t one in the market that’s a do-it-all type that will fit all your needs.
You’ll have to compromise and weigh in the pros and cons of each type before buying one.
How do Juicers Work?
In essence they do one thing alone – extract juice from fruit and vegetables by crushing or shredding them against a mesh filter separating pulp from the liquid content. There are 6 main types and each one will have their own pros and cons that we will discuss later on.
How does this impact your health?
Juicing gives you an alternative to eating whole fruits and vegetables because instead of eating them you drink them since the pulp already has been removed.
This allows you to consume more vegetables and fruit without overwhelming your gut with fiber but be careful not to put too much fruit in your juice.
This can be a source of excess fructose (found in fruit) that only gets metabolized by the liver.
An excess of it turns into fat so the more fruit you put in your juice the higher the chance you become overweight.
And possibly get diabetes because of the spike in fructose in your bloodstream.
Learn more about what to avoid in our juicing mistakes page.
What to look for?
Easy to Use (and Clean)
This has to be number one on your list.
If you’re someone who’s busy, the last thing you want is to spend 15 minutes chopping produce and another 15 minutes cleaning.
So the first thing you’ll need to look at is the feed chute, the bigger it is the better, this will require very little chopping.
In terms of speed, you’ll have to pick your battles a traditional juice extractor with the fast spinning blades will do the work faster in expense of juice quality – you cannot store it very long.
Slow juicers will take longer to make but it will be less oxidized because it uses a slow speed that does not suck in a lot of air which will result in a better tasting juice plus you can store it longer.
In terms of cleaning some types like the twin gear extractor will be more difficult to clean because there are simply more parts to clean.
A horizontal auger machine will be much easier to clean because it has fewer parts.
Some models allow you to clean it using a dishwasher which is a time saver but this is risky because the plastic parts might get brittle and deformed over time.
Make sure to scrub the strainer clean before putting it in a dishwasher.
Lastly, no matter what type you’ll buy, always make sure that there is a cleaning brush because this makes a world of difference in terms of cleaning time.
Before buying one make sure to set a budget so that you can weed out those out of the price range, this will save you a lot of time with regards to checking features, reviews, etc.
It’s tempting to buy cheap entry level machines because they don’t cost much but you’ll have to weigh the risk because often times these will break prematurely when you use it everyday.
Let’s say you buy a $40 extractor over a $100 extractor and it breaks after the warranty period, you’ll have to factor in downtime and the cost of the new machine.
Whereas if you buy a quality brand, you’ll have piece of mind that it will last for several years.
If you live in an area where your neighbors literally live next to you, the last thing you’ll want is to piss them off every morning with a loud juicer every morning. This is why you should know how much noise it produces. In every juicer I review, we will give you a heads up on how noisy or quite it actually is.
This in my opinion is overlooked by consumers because if you look at the best selling list in most online stores, Breville most of the time comes out on top but they only have a one year warranty.
If you’re spending over $100 it is an investment, you’d expect the warranty to be at least 2 years right? A long warranty guarantees that if it breaks you don’t have to spend money to have it repaired, the manufacturer has you covered.
The Big Three – Centrifugal vs Masticating vs Triurating
From the words of John Kohler, “centrifugal juicers work like a washing machine on a spin cycle”. Produce is inserted into a chute and a shredder plate at the bottom shreds produce and spins shredded pulp into the basket. The spinning motion much like that of a washing machine separates the juice from the pulp.
Since the shredder and pulp catcher is in the same area, it won’t hold a lot of pulp so if you’re the type who likes to prepare a lot of juice, the basket will fill up pretty quickly and may clog up which you’ll need to empty before prepping another batch.
- Great for people who will only juice for themselves
- Juices really fast – great if you can’t set aside time to pre-cut produce
- Does not take a lot of space
- Great for hard veggies like celery
- Can’t make larger batches
- Fills up pretty quickly
- Won’t extract a lot from leafy greens
- Oxidizes juice fast – you have to drink it within 15 minutes (unless you put it in a refrigerator)
- Very noisy
In principle this works similarly to a centrifugal juicer – a shredding plate shreds produce and the juice goes through a strainer out to a cup or container.
The difference is that this one has a hopper that catches all the pulp that’s ejected from the shredder, hence the term centrifugal ejection. This allows more juice to be extracted because pulp is disposed in a separate container – you don’t need to clean it as often to make a large batch of juice.
Centrifugal juicers use spinning shredding disks that rotate at least 6,000rpm, this creates a lot of noise and sucks in air which introduces oxygen to the juice. Air introduced to fresh juice oxidizes and kills the enzymes (this is the reason why we drink fresh juice) within 15 to 30 minutes which is why you’ll need to drink juice extracted from a centrifugal juicer almost immediately after preparing it.
- If you’re strapped for time and don’t have time to cut up produce, you’ll want to have this juicer because it’ll extract juice very fast
- Works great for hard vegetables like carrot or celery
- No need to pre-cut ingredients (applicable only for wide mouth juicers)
- Pulp catcher allows you to make large batches of juice
- Shallow learning curve
- Oxidizes juice pretty quickly
- Not very efficient on leafy greens
- Very noisy (there are some brands that won’t be as noisy)
- Takes up more space
Masticating or Slow juicer
These juicers use a slow rotating auger to crush fruit or vegetables against a stainless steel mesh screen at low rpm (80 to 100) so there is minimal oxidation. Juice flows through the mesh screen then dumped into a container, pulp goes out a separate exit point into another catcher.
Horizontal Single Auger
The auger in this juicer is laid out in a horizontal pattern. When produce is inserted on the top, the auger crushes it and juice flows down the bottom to a bowl or cup, pulp goes out at other end of the auger into a hopper.
Horizontal juicers will not require too much pre-cutting since the pulp ejector is wide and there is little risk of clogging. Also these types will make more than juice – it can grind coffee, peanuts and make pasta, something to consider if you’re into these types of food.
- Great for leafy greens, works great on wheatgrass
- Great yield
- Slow rpm does not oxidize juice
- No need to pre-cut leafy greens
- Juice can be stored for up to 72 hours
- Small feed chute requires more pre-cutting
- Takes a bit of time to extract juice
- Large footprint
- Produces a pulpy juice (you’ll need a strainer)
This is a newer design that’s relatively new in the market. In principle it works similarly to a horizontal auger juicer except for the placement of the auger which is vertical.
This allows it to have a smaller footprint, making this ideal for small home owners like myself. But because of the location of the pulp outlet and its narrowness, quite a bit of pre-cutting is needed, particularly for fibrous greens such as celery.
If you don’t chop it into smaller bits, it will clog.
- Works great for fruit and vegetables
- Larger feed chute (compared to a horizontal juicer) requires less pre-cutting
- Small footprint compared to a horizontal auger juicer
- Above average yield
- Steeper learning curve
- Fibrous greens HAVE to be pre-cut or else it’ll wrap around the auger or clog the pulp ejector port
- Produces a pulpy juice
- If you juice a lot of leafy greens, it will have a lot of foam
Twin Gear or Triurating
It uses two gears that interlock and looks similar to a car’s transmission gear. These gears shred then squeeze juice out of produce.
One downside is that it’ll take some force to push produce down the chute toward the gears. This type of juicer will work best with green leafy vegetables because the twin gear design will extract the most juice from these types of vegetables.
It will not work as well on wheatgrass since because wheatgrass is pretty dry and friction will create a great deal of foam, a work around for this is using a flax oil to lubricate the gears before feeding wheatgrass, this should lessen the foam and friction.
Dual gear juicers can also juice fruits but it will struggle with softer ones like pineapple and orange because it will need fibrous pulp like celery to push the softer pulp out.
These types of juicers can also make baby food, sorbets and peanut butter. These machines are heavy, usually around 24 pounds and will cost almost 2 or 3 times that of a masticating juicer.
John talks about the features of the Green Star Twin Gear Juicer
- Great yield because of the adjustable end cap
- Very good on leafy greens
- Juice can last up to 72 hours
- Effort is needed to shove produce through the feed chute
- Takes longer to clean because it has more parts
- There is slight learning curve involved in terms of assembling this (particularly the dual gears)
- Juicing leafy greens will produce lots of foam
Champion juicers are in a class on its own, though John Kohler calls it a true “masticating juicer”, I’ll disagree because if you base it the definition in Miriam and Webster, it says there that to masticate is to “soften or reduce by crushing or kneading”.
If you base it on that definition the Champion doesn’t really crush, it more of shreds produce using its stainless steel blades. Also it spins at around 1725 rpm which is quiet fast, I don’t think you’ll be able to chew that fast.
It will do great on hard and fibrous ingredients like carrot, beet and celery (you’ll need to pre-cut celery). It can’t do as good a job on leafy greens. In fact you’ll need an attachment to juice leafy greens but you’ll have to spend $70 on top of the cost of the champion juicer.
- Built like a tank
- Long 10 year warranty (blades only come 1 year warrant and the motor only has 3)
- Great for making sorbets
- Great to pair with a manual press juicer
- Some maintenance is needed – you need to lubricate the stainless steel shaft after every use
- Make have a tough time juicing leafy greens
- Fast spinning blades and oxidizes juice
Citrus juicers are specially made for juicing citrus fruits like orange, lemon and grapefruit. There are three types of citrus juicers depending on your need.
The first type is a manual juicer that’s also called a reamer that looks like this…
These are the cheapest citrus juicers but making a cup of orange juice can be messy.
The second type is similar to the first but it utilizes a motor that makes life a lot easier in terms of not having to manually push down on the reamer to extract juice, it is also a lot less messy.
The third type called a press manual citrus juicer that is mainly used for small citrus fruits like lemon or lime. It looks like this…
If you like to drink a lot of lemon water in the morning, this is the perfect juicer for you. It’s cheap, will extract a lot of juice and it is easy to clean. You’ll need to have exert some effort in squeezing this so if you have arthritis don’t buy this.
Dedicated wheatgrass juicers work much like a masticating juicer with a single auger that crushes or “chews” wheatgrass against a mesh screen then juice that’s extracted flows through the screen into a cup or jar. There are two types – the manual and electric.
Manual wheatgrass juicers use a hand cranked lever that requires arm strength to turn the auger.
Obviously the disadvantage of this is it’ll take longer to extract juice and your arm will get a good workout. Electric versions use electricity and will not require manual cranking.
Should I buy a dedicated one?
I would suggest buying one only if you want to have a shot of wheatgrass every day. The only advantage of this is that it can yield juice even with small amounts of wheatgrass. Horizontal auger juicers like the Omega 8004 or the Samson 9005 can also double as a wheatgrass juicer since even with a small handful of wheatgrass, juice will come out.
This is the granddaddy of them all. Press juicers extract the most liquid than any other juicer out there. Experts claim that these types of juicers produce the purest and best tasting juice out there with ZERO pulp and foam!
For a manual press extractor like the Wells Juice Press
The process is simple, first step is to shred any fruit or vegetable (you can shred them using the champion juicer) then place them in a linen bag. Step 2, take that bag into the mouth of a press juicer that then squeezes every drop of juice out. Since there is no mixing involved, there is no air inside the juice allowing for longer storage times in an airtight container.
For a Norwalk it the similar two-step process.
- Produce is shredded by a revolving cutter that rotates 3,450rpm into a linen cloth – this process is similar to a champion juicer
- Take the linen cloth and place it on a tray. A hydraulic press then squeezes shredded produce at over 6000Psi which is required to extract all the juice from vegetables.
Hydraulic press juicers are notoriously expensive – Norwalk juicers easily would go over $2,000. These are notoriously hard to clean but you’ll get the least oxidized juice that can be stored the longest. It also has other functions outside of juicing.
Here’s a demo on how it works
- Excellent yield
- Almost zero oxidation
- Juice extracted from these types of juicers will last the longest
- There no foam
- Can make baby food, sorbets and nut butter (if you’re using a Norwalk)
- Can grind ingredients like coffee and peanuts (if you’re using a Norwalk)
- Crazy expensive (for machines like the Norwalk)
- Hard to clean
- Steep learning curve
- Too many steps to extract a cup of juice
- High running cost – you’ll have to replace linen cloths over time
What is the best on the market?
The best juicer would depend on your needs but we’ve got recommendations for each of the type we discussed here (except for the press). Remember the best juice extractor is always the one that you will you everyday that will fit your needs and eventually help you gain better health because this is what its all about.