Since 2009, I’ve been hosting monthly online Juice Fasting Programs. Juicers is one topic that comes up a lot! As you already know, there’s a lot to choose from – different prices, different machines, and I would say each juicer has it’s strengths and weaknesses.
When shopping for a juicer, it can get confusing, even overwhelming. There’s so many to choose from, especially if you are new to juicing.
In today’s article and video, I talk about my own experience of using different juicers over the last two decades, what I’ve used and what I recommend. I also explain the different types of juicers available, how they work, what they are best used for, and the pros and cons of each type of juicer. At the end of the article I also go over some of the questions you need to ask yourself before buying a juicer, and what to ask a sales person, so you clearly know what you’re looking for, and if what you are potentially buying really suits your needs.
If you are buying your first juicer
If you are new to juicing, and thinking about trying out juicing, one thing I recommend is looking into buying a used juicer. Surprisingly, you can find a top quality juicer for very little money, and you can potentially save hundreds of dollars!
It’s amazing how many people sell their juicers, and many of these juicers have never been used, or have been used just a handful of times. You can easily find used, lightly used, and discounted juicers on eBay, Craig’s List, local classifieds, and garage sales.
I recommend people buy used juicers when they are first starting out with juicing to make sure they will really use the juicer, and that it’s a worthwhile investment. How many kitchen appliances do people buy and never use? Plenty!
If you decide to buy a brand new juicer, and you’re completely new to juicing (and you aren’t 100% sure juicing is for you), you can always start off with buying a cheaper, inexpensive juicer, and later upgrade to a better quality one. This way you can get started, and later on you’ll have a better idea what type of juicer will best suit your needs.
The juicers I have used over the years
I started juicing about 20 years ago. At the time a friend of mine had given me his juicer he barely used. It was a cheap centrifugal juicer that worked ok. I ended up using the juicer for almost ten years until one of the parts broke, and it was too old to replace.
Even though it wasn’t the best juicer in the world, because I was using it almost every day, I learned the optimal way to use the machine and juice my fruits and vegetables. I learned what it was good at juicing, and what it wasn’t good at juicing. Over time, I also learned the best ways to prepare and cut-up my fruits and vegetables, and how to feed them into the machine to yield the most juice.
I have to say, since it was the first juicer I personally owned, I didn’t have anything to compare it to, and as long as it could produce juice, I was happy.
Then one day one of the parts broke, and I couldn’t replace it. Since I had been using the juicer for almost a decade, and using it almost every day, I knew I needed to get a new juicer. For me, a juicer is an essential appliance I don’t want to live without. At the time, I was also excited to upgrade my juicer as well!
I decided to buy a Champion Juicer. My mother had a Champion Juicer, and as a child she made juice with it. I had very fond memories of her juicer and I trusted how durable the machine is. What I liked about the Champion was it was a solid machine, I could juice large volumes of juice without it getting clogged up (great for juice fasting), easy clean-up, and the mouth of the juicer was large that I didn’t have to cut everything up into small pieces. A Champion Juicer is a masticating juicer, in my opinion, a step up form a centrifugal juicer.
What I didn’t like about the Champion Juicer was it didn’t juice greens very well. It’s not to say it couldn’t juice greens, it just wasn’t as efficient as other high quality juicers. It was better than a centrifugal juicer, but not the best. And like the centrifugal juicer, I couldn’t juice wheatgrass with it. (In recent years Champion has made a greens attachment that you can attach to the machine to be able to juice greens, but back when I had that juicer, that part wasn’t available).
I also found that the juicer could heat up quite easily, especially if I was juicing large volumes of juice at a time (more than a quart/litre).
I used my Champion Juicer for five years until I moved to Bali, Indonesia, from Montreal, Canada. When I moved overseas, I didn’t bring anything with me, so I had to purchase a new juicer.
The new juicer I bought was an Hurom Slow Juicer, which I have been using for the past 5 years. I’ve been really happy with the Hurom. Like the Champion Juicer, it’s a masticating juicer, but unlike the Champion, it can juice leafy greens, herbs, sprouts, and wheatgrass, and the machine never heats up when making large volumes of juice.
The Hurom Slow Juicer is also the most efficient at extracting the juice from fruits and vegetables out of all the juicers I have used and owned, thus far. You can tell how efficient a juicer is by the pulp that comes out of the juicer after extracting the juice. If the pulp is still wet, that means the juicer hasn’t extracted as much juice as it could. If it’s dry, that means the juicer has done a good job!
I will say the Hurom Slow Juicer makes great juice, but the machine itself isn’t as solid or durable like the Champion Juicer. The parts are much smaller, so it involves a little more effort to clean the juicer after using it. Also the mouth/feed of the juicer is smaller, narrower, so I do have to cut the fruits, vegetables, and greens into smaller pieces, and the juicer can get clogged or jammed easily.
Personally, I don’t mind the extra time and effort I have to put in to get a good quality juice, for me it’s worth it!
As you can see over the last 20 years, I’ve upgraded my juicers a few times. Most juicers are made to last a long time, and the higher the quality juicer you buy, the more likely they offer warrantees, replacement parts, and servicing.
Over the years I have definitely learned a lot about juicers, how they work, which ones are good for what, and the things you need to be aware of before buying a juicer. Below I’ve outlined everything you need to know, and what to ask when purchasing a juicer.
Knowing your options – the different types of juicers
Before purchasing a juicer, it’s important to know what your options are and the different types of machines available.
There are four different types of juicers:
- Centrifugal Juicers
- Masticating Juicers (single auger)
- Triturating Juicers (twin gear)
- Press (Hydraulic or Commercial)
These juicers are usually lower in cost. How the juicer works is in the centre of the juicer is a basket that is made out of a fine mesh screen and small blades or teeth on the inside of the basket/screen. When turned on, the basket spins at a high speed and the fruits and vegetables fed into the machine are shredded up and pushed through the screen to extract and separate the juice from the pulp/fiber.
- Lower cost juicer.
- Simple to use, clean, and easy to put together.
- Good as a starter juicer.
- Good at juicing carrots, beets, apples, pears, pineapple, melons, cucumbers, cabbage, celery, etc.
- Not always the most efficient at extracting all the juice from fruits and vegetables (depending on the machine, pulp can be quite wet after juicing).
- Some machines can clog up easily if juicing large quantities.
- Not good at juicing greens, herbs, sprouts, or soft fruit (mangos, papaya, peaches, apricot).
- Can’t juice wheatgrass.
- Can’t make nut butters.
These are mid-high end juicers. How the machine works is there’s a large auger in the centre of machine that as it turns – it twists, shreds, and breaks down the fiber of the fruits and vegetables, and presses the juice out through a screen. Some machines are designed that the auger rotates or spins at a high speed (like a Champion Juicer), or at a lower speed (like a Hurom Slow Juicer or Omega Vert). The slower the auger moves, the less air passing through, and therefore the less friction and oxidation, which means, less potential heating of the machine, and less loss of nutrients in the juice.
- More efficient at extracting juice than the centrifugal juicers.
- Machine can usually make nut butters.
- Replacement parts and servicing are easily available.
- Can juice most fruits and vegetables.
- More expensive than a centrifugal juicer.
- Not all machines can juice greens very well.
- Some machines can’t juice wheatgrass at all.
Triturating Juicers (Twin Gear Juicers)
The twin gear juicers are high end juicers, and best known for juicing green leafy vegetables and wheatgrass efficiently. How the machine works is the fruits and vegetables pass in between two small rotating gears which are breaking down the fibres and pressing the juice through a screen. This is a slower juicer, which prevents heating and oxidation of the juices, which in turn preserves the nutritional value of the juices.
- Most efficient at extracting juice from green leafy vegetables and wheatgrass.
- Replacement parts and servicing are easily available.
- Slower at extracting juice, therefore less oxidation and retains nutritional content of the juiced fruits and vegetables.
- Can make nut butters.
- Can juice most fruits, vegetables, and greens.
- Must cut fruits and vegetable into smaller pieces to juice.
- Slower at extracting juice than other types of juicers.
- Machines are made with smaller parts, therefore more difficult to clean.
- Known to not juice soft fruit so well.
Press Juicers (Hydraulic or Commercial Press)
If you’ve got a few thousand dollars to spend on a juicer, you can get a hydraulic or commercial press juicer! Out of all the juicers on the market, this type of juicer will extract the most juice out of the fruits, vegetables, and greens, and ensure that nothing is heated up, oxidized, or losing it’s nutritional value. How these types of machines work is the fruits and vegetables are cut up, and the juice is extracted through an actual press.
Recommended press juicer brand: Norwalk Juicer
- Highest quality juice extractors on the market.
- Makes commercial quality juices.
- Most efficient at extracting juice from fruits, vegetables, and greens without oxidation.
- Replacement parts and servicing are easily available.
- Some machines have lifetime warrantees.
- Can juice all fruits, vegetables, and greens.
- Can be difficult to use, and slow to extract juice.
- Machines can be time-consuming to set-up and clean.
Know what you are looking for
Now that you know all the different types of juicers available, there’s a few other things that are important to know before selecting a juicer to buy: it’s best to know what you’ll be using the juicer for, how often you’ll be using the machine, how much juice you’ll want to be making, will help you decide what juicer will best suit your needs.
What kind of juices will you be making?
Knowing what kinds of juices you’ll be making, and what you’ll most likely be juicing, will help you figure out which juicer is the best for you. Some people only like green juices and want to be juicing wheatgrass regularly – if that’s the case for you, you have to make sure the juicer is good at extracting juice from greens and wheatgrass (like a Green Star, Super Angel, Hurom Slow Juicer, Omega Vrt). Others don’t care so much for greens, and rather be drinking more vegetable and carrot juice, and therefore a centrifugal juicer or masticating juicer would be a better option.
How often and how much juice will you be making?
You need to ask yourself how often you’ll be juicing, and how much of a clean-up are you willing to do? Some people can’t be bothered with much of a clean up, and therefore they are better off getting a machine that is known to be easy to clean. For others, it might not matter if they need to spend an extra 5 minutes cleaning up, they want a good machine. Knowing how you are in the kitchen will ensure you buy a machine that is appropriate for your routine, and ensure that you enjoy juicing and you’ll use the machine regularly.
Will you ever be doing juice fasting?
If you plan to do juice fasting, you’ll need a machine that you can easily make a large quantity of juice with, that won’t clog up, or need to be cleaned out after making just 1-2 cups of juice. Masticating juicers are usually the best for making large quantities of juice. Twin gear juicers can make large quantities, but it might take longer to make. Centrifugal juicers can easily clog-up, and might need to be cleaned out while making larger quantities of juice.
What’s your budget? Short term, long term?
As I described in my own experience with juicing over the last two decades, I started off with a cheap juicer that was given to me, and over the years I upgraded. If you are on a tight budget, perhaps better to buy a cheaper juicer now, and upgrade later. If you’re not on a budget, but unsure if you want to be investing so much money in a juicer, you too can buy a cheaper juicer now, and upgrade later. You can also just buy a super awesome juicer now, take great care of it, and hopefully never have to upgrade or buy a new juicer again! Whatever works for you!
When buying a juicer, questions to ask the sales person:
– On a scale of 0-10, how good is the juicer?
– What is the warrantee? For how long? Can replacement parts be purchased if something breaks? If needed, can the machine be serviced?
– Can it juice green leafy vegetables?
– Can it juice wheatgrass?
– Can it juice soft fruit like apricots, mangos and papaya?
– Can it make nut butters?
– How easy is it to clean?
– Does it make juice fairly fast or slow?
– Can large quantities of juice be easily made at one time (more than a litre/quart)?
– Does the juicer clog up, or get jammed easily?
– How efficient is it at extracting juice? (is the pulp wet or dry?)
– Does the fruits, vegetables, and greens need to be prepared in a special way before putting them in the juicer (does everything need to be cut up into tiny pieces, or can large pieces be juiced?)
– Is the machine durable?
– On average, how long will this juicer last?
– Is this the best juicer for my budget?
And one last thing…
When you’ve decided on a juicer, before buying it, do an internet search of the brand and model. Nowadays there’s so many consumer reviews on the internet. This can also help to narrow down your search, and enable you to purchase the right machine for your needs.
Watch today’s video below to learn more about juicers, my own experience over the last 20 years using and buying different juicers, and a more thorough explanation of the different juicers available.
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