Shopping for a juicer can be a daunting task, as there are quite a few juicers out there to choose from. Stores such as Macy’s, Target, Wal-Mart, and even Bed Bath & Beyond offer ‘affordable’ type juicers that are meant more as a means of meeting a demand for juicers than in meeting the demands of juicers. Simply put, if you’re buying a juicer in a store, unless you’ve done your research, you’re likely getting a sub-par product. Certainly, there are exceptions to the rules, and many retailers have realized consumers are beginning to care as much about quality as price again. To get a better idea of what type of juicer may be best-suited for your needs, you’ll find a brief overview of the different juicer types below.
Noise level: The machinery inside of a juicer can be a little noisy at times, and that's problematic if you're planning on juicing early in the morning before work. You wouldn't, after all, want to wake up the rest of the family while juicing. In general, high-speed juicers with a centrifugal design are the noisiest, while masticating juicers are quieter.
The Hamilton Beach’s 3-inch chute was a breeze by comparison: We were able to drop in large apple halves and entire celery stalks without a problem. Most budget competitors we tested had an extremely narrow feed chute that required us to chop our apples into sixteenths to get them to fit — a process we’re reluctant to commit to for our daily juice.
Masticating juice extractors are also known as slow juicers because of their working mechanism that uses a slow rotating auger to crush the fruits against a stainless steel mesh at only 80-100 RPM. They do not shred or cut the fruits with blades like a centrifugal juicer, which makes them excellent for leafy greens as they get the best nutrients out of them at an extremely slow speed.
Some compact juicers collect the pulp in an internal basket, but most others eject the pulp outside of the machine into a container that is specifically sized for the juicer. We recommend purchasing a juice extractor that ejects the pulp externally– this allows you to make larger quantities of juice without having to take extra time to stop your juicer, open it up, and empty the basket. Once you get juicing, you don’t want to have to stop before you’re finished.
The Slowstar has a proprietary “Duoblade” auger, which has two cutting edges to chop and crush more with each rotation than single edges can. The motor uses a three-gear system that allows it to turn slowly but with plenty of torque; in our testing, we found that this translates to low-temperature juice with maximum yields from even low-moisture greens like kale.
Another important consideration is where you plan to store your juicer and how easily you’ll want to access it. While horizontal-masticating juicers can churn out high volumes of juice, you may not have space for them. Plus, they tend to weigh more so tend to be difficult to move from closet to counter. The small footprint of vertical juicers is ideal for smaller kitchens with limited counter space and can often tuck under cabinets. Lightweight centrifugal models are perfect if you need to move your juicer from storage space to counter. Just make sure whatever model you pick can handle the volume of juice you plan to make: smaller juicers equal smaller amounts of juice per batch.