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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.
Learn the different types of juicers in this article
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.
It 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 I should buy?
What type of juicer?
That will depend on your lifestyle, budget and the type of fruits and vegetables 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 easily 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 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.
Juicers extract juice from fruits and vegetables by crushing or shredding them against a mesh filter, separating pulp from the liquid content.
There are six main types, and each one will have their pros and cons that we will discuss later on.
How does this impact your health?
Juicing gives you an alternative to eating fruits and veggies. Since the process removes the pulp, nutrient absorption is quicker.
It 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.
It is a source of excess fructose (in fruit) and the only organ that digests it is the liver. Excess fructose becomes fat and the more fruit you consume; there’s a higher risk of becoming 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?
Here are some guidelines on what to look in an extractor.
Consider this a checklist – the more checks, the better. It will also help you narrow down your options quickly. Before shopping for a juicer make sure to write this down on a piece of paper or excel file.
Easy to Use (and Clean)
This feature 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.
Bigger feed chute = less prep time
So the first thing you’ll need to look at is the feed chute, the bigger it is, the better, this will require minimal chopping.
Centrifugal vs. slow juicer
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 at the 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.
Twin gear juicer is challenging to clean
In terms of cleaning some types like the twin gear extractor will be more difficult to clean because there are just more parts to clean.
A horizontal auger juicer will be 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.
Don’t be cheap
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 these will break prematurely when you use it every day.
You’ll spend more in the long haul
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 peace of mind that it will last for several years.
If you live in an area where your neighbors live next to you, the last thing you’ll want is to piss them off every morning with a loud juicer every morning.
It 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 quiet it is.
In my opinion, a lot of folks overlook this part. If you look at a lot of popular juicers in online stores, Breville tops a lot of those lists. And yet it only has a 1-year warranty. I think that’s a result of clever marketing and the movie “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.”
I’m not against Breville. They make excellent products. I wish they would have a more extended warranty with the price they’re charging.
If you’re spending over $100 it is an investment, you’d expect the warranty to be at least two years right?
An extended warranty guarantees that if it breaks you don’t have to spend money to have it repaired, the manufacturer has you covered.
Extended warranties to the rescue
One workaround to short warranties would be purchasing extended warranties. Amazon sells such – up to 4 years depending on the brand and model. If you’re looking for extra peace of mind, then consider this.
The Big Three – Centrifugal vs. Masticating vs. Triturating
Here are the three main types of juicers. These three represents 80 to 90 percent of extractors you’ll see in the retail shop or online stores. The rest are specialty machines that target a more niche market.
And frankly if you’re starting out juicing, look at these three main types and ignore the rest for now.
There are two types of centrifugal juicers – a centrifugal and centrifugal ejection.
Also, there are two types of slow juicers – horizontal and vertical.
Just scroll down below to know the meaning of these terminologies.
From the words of John Kohler, “centrifugal juicers work like a washing machine on a spin cycle.”
As you feed produce through the chute, a fast spinning blade shreds it up.
Spins like a washing machine
The fast spinning motion (we’re talking thousands of rpm) then forces juice out of produce and separates it from the shredded 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 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 – shredding plate shreds produce and the juice goes through a strainer out to a cup or container.
A catch-can for pulp
The most significant difference is a centrifugal ejection extractor has a separate container to catch pulp. Hence the term centrifugal “ejection.” This feature allows it to make more juice without having to remove the excess pulp.
If you make a lot of juice, this will be the better option.
Centrifugal juicers use spinning shredding disks that rotate at least 6,000rpm. It creates a lot of noise and sucks in air which introduces oxygen to the juice.
When air goes inside fresh juice, the oxidation process begins, and it spoils faster. So really you cannot store juice from a centrifugal juicer for more than a day.
You’d have to drink it almost immediately to get most out of it in terms of nutrition.
- It is a great time saver because it’ll go through produce in seconds
- 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 (some brands won’t be as noisy)
- Takes up more space
Masticating or Slow Juicer
Slow juicers utilize a slow rotating auger to crush fruit or vegetable against a stainless steel mesh screen at low rpm (80 to 100). The slow speed means there will be very little oxidation as it does not suck air in.
Juice flows through the mesh screen then dumped into a container; pulp goes out a separate exit point into another catcher.
If you compare this to a centrifugal juicer, slow juicers (or masticating) are quieter. But it’ll take longer to extract juice because of the lower rpm.
Horizontal Single Auger
If you look at the auger, it on a horizontal pattern beside the motor.
When you feed produce, the auger crushes it, and juice drips down below a container. And excess pulp goes out of the ejector port perpendicular to where the juice flows.
Horizontal auger juicers do not require too much pre-cutting since there’s no restriction in the pulp ejection port. There will be little risk of clogging which makes it great for making lots of green juice.
These extractors are more versatile capable of grinding coffee beans, peanuts and can even make baby food.
- Great for leafy greens, works excellent on wheatgrass
- Great yield
- Slow rpm does not oxidize the juice
- No need to pre-cut leafy greens
- You can store juice longer (up to 72 hours)
- Small feed chute that require more chopping
- It takes a bit of time to extract juice
- Large footprint
- Produces a pulpy juice (you’ll need a strainer)
A horizontal auger juicer 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.
Smaller footprint versus a horizontal auger juicer
It allows it to have a smaller footprint, making this ideal for small homeowners like myself.
Unfortunately, manufacturers had to make a compromise to achieve this.
One of which is the pulp ejection port that has a sharp 90-degree angle.
So pre-cutting fibrous stuff like celery, collard greens, and spinach has to be done to prevent clogging.
If you don’t chop it into smaller bits, it will clog. And trust me, you don’t want that to happen because it’ll be a pain to clean up.
- Works great for fruit and vegetables
- It has a large feed chute that requires less chopping
- 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 Triturating
It uses two gears that interlock and looks similar to a car’s transmission gear. These gears shred then squeeze the juice out of produce.
You need to push
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 workaround for this is using flax oil to lubricate the gears before feeding wheatgrass, this should lessen the foam and friction.
Struggles with fruit
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
- You’ll need to exert effort when feeding product through the chute
- More parts means it will take longer to clean
- There is a slight learning curve involved in terms of assembling this (mainly the dual gears)
- Juicing leafy greens will produce lots of foam
The champion juicer is in a class of 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.”
It shreds and not crush
If you base it on that definition the Champion doesn’t crush, it more of shreds produce using its stainless steel blades.
Also, it spins at around 1725 rpm which is quite fast; I don’t think you’ll be able to chew that fast.
Great for stuff like carrot and celery
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.
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
- Extended 10-year warranty (blades only come 1-year warranty, and the motor only has 3)
- Great for making sorbets
- Great to pair with a manual press juicer
- You need to lubricate the stainless steel shaft after every use
- There is maintenance work
- Will have a tough time juicing leafy greens
- Fast spinning blades and oxidizes the juice
A citrus juicer is purpose-built for extracting juice from 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 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 great 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 exert some effort in squeezing this so if you have arthritis don’t buy this.
A wheatgrass juicer function like a masticating juicer that as a single auger that crushes or “chews” wheatgrass against a mesh screen. Juice then flows through a filter below to 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.
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.
A press juicer 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.
The 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.
- A revolving cutter (3,450 rpm) shreds any produce you put in – 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 would go over $2,000.
These are notoriously hard to clean, but you’ll get the least oxidized juice you can store 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 type of juicer?
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 USE every day.
For those just starting, you can go with any of these cheap juicers that cost less than $150 (some are less than $100!).
If you’re juicing lots of leafy greens, then I’d suggest you go with a horizontal auger juicer or a twin gear juicer.
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please hit me up on the comment section below.