There are several types of juicers to choose from (more on those in How we picked), and even within the same type, different machines don’t always handle soft fruits, hard roots, and leafy greens equally well. Ultimately, we found single-auger slow juicers to be the best all around, and our picks reflect that. But which one you choose may depend on what type of juice you want to make. Our top pick was the best all around, but our runner-up makes smoother green juice, and our budget pick is best for juicing hard roots and fruits like carrots and apples.
The gist: For those looking to get the most out of their leafy greens, the Lexen GP27 is the way to *manually* do just that. This juicer is the solution for those that don't want to lay out hundreds for an expensive masticating juicer, but also don't want to settle for a cheap, crummy manual model. As the folks at The Healthy Juicer say, this thing was designed to be "simple, mobile, versatile, and easy to clean." Simple is right. To use, just put a put a juice cup under the spout, place your greens into the chute, and start churning. Cleaning this thing is a breeze, since all you have to do is unscrew the parts, rinse them off in the sink, and boom—you're done. Thanks to its high juice-yield and cold-press technology, you can rest assured your greens will be nutrient-packed to the max.
All plastic parts (except for the motor base) remove for easy cleanup in the dishwasher. To clean the cutter/strainer, run water over the strainer basket and brush off excess fiber buildup or pulp. The pulp bin container can be emptied by turning the extractor OFF and removing it from the unit. For easy cleanup, place a plastic grocery bag in the pulp bin container to collect the pulp and once juicing is complete, simply discard.
How much are you really willing to spend? If you’re just planning on trying this healthy habit out first, then we recommend that you pick the most affordable ones on our list such as Breville JE98XL Juice Fountain Plus 850-Watt Juice Extractor, Juiceman JM400 Classic 2 Speed Juicer, and Hamilton Beach 67650A Big Mouth Pro Juice Extractor. If you’re a serious juicer with serious money to spend, we recommend you go with the Omega J8006 Nutrition Center masticating Dual-stage Juicer Juice Extractor.
Masticating juicers rely on direct mechanical force to chop and squeeze juice from fruits and vegetables. This method typically involves less power and lower temperatures and is regarded as the best juicing method by many. Masticating juicers are able to use less-powerful motors than other types of juicers because of the way they are designed. Less powerful motors mean less heat being put off. Many people believe that this reduction in heat helps to preserve the natural enzymes found in juice.
If you're serious about juicing, it's best to get a juicer that fits nicely on your kitchen counter so you can leave it out rather than having to haul it out of a cupboard. That means paying close attention to the dimensions and even the length of the electrical cord. You don't want to buy a juicer that looks great in your kitchen but doesn't have a cord that reaches the outlet.
There are other features which give you convenience. A juicer that has a large feeding tube, for instance, means you can put in large chunks, enabling you to skip the tedious chore of chopping your produce into small pieces. A large disposal spout is also a good feature as large spouts do not easily get clogged up and have the added advantage of producing a higher volume of juice.
Reasonable footprint: Juicers can be rather in-your-face appliances, depending on size and noise level. The small footprint of vertical juicers is ideal for smaller kitchens with limited counter space. The oval bases hover around 7 to 8 inches in diameter. You can tuck a vertical juicer into a corner quite easily, though they are generally tall (about 16 to 18 inches) and require cabinet clearance. Because horizontal juicers can hog a lot of space, we preferred vertical juicers.
The Tribest handled a constant stream of kale and supersoft grapes without gumming up or stalling out, unlike the Hurom Elite, which had to be thrown into reverse a couple of times. In 2015, the yield from one pound of greens and grapes was 12.15 ounces by weight, the highest yield of all the juicers we tested. When we put the Slowstar and the Omega VSJ843 (our runner-up) in a head-to-head 1-pound spinach challenge, the Slowstar produced exactly one ounce more juice than the VSJ843.
Low foam production: The foam that accumulates on top of your juice is a good indicator of how much air has been whipped into your juice by the machine, and more air exposure equals more oxidation. Oxidation is a controversial topic. As Harold McGee explains in On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, “Because juicing mixes together the contents of living cells, including active enzymes and various reactive and oxygen-sensitive substances, fresh juices are unstable and change rapidly.” So the prevailing theory among juicers is that if less oxygen is whipped into a juice, the valuable nutrients and enzymes remain more intact. But as Kohler told us, there’s not much peer-reviewed research on how or if oxidation affects the nutrient contents of your juice. “It’s all manufacturers’ data for the most part,” he said, “which I take with a grain of salt.” That said, we still prioritized machines that produced less foam, because at the very least, oxidation can cause your green juice to turn brown, and may lead to some muddy, off flavors.
The juicer's side has an indent that molds perfectly to the shape of the pitcher so you always know where to place it. The pitcher lid has an opening at the top that allows juice to drain from the juicer's nozzle directly into the pitcher. There is also a nifty piece of plastic that prevents any froth from making its way from the pitcher to your cup. In our testing, we found that this separator worked well to keep our juice froth-free so you could enjoy it right away. If you prefer froth in your juice, you can remove the separator.
The major disadvantages of this type of machine are the noise, heat, and oxidation resulted from their great speed. This oxidation can cause a loss in nutrients in the juice, thus reducing the juice quality and fridge life. Besides, while they’re good for thick, hard, crunchy fruits and veggies, these juicers are much less efficient in handling leafy greens.
We found vertical masticating juicers like the Tribest Slowstar to be easier to assemble, use, and clean than horizontal models with a sleek modern look for your countertop. Made by a company specializing in the wellness market; the Slowstar’s double bladed auger creates a double cut, doing twice as much work compared to a traditional auger while operating at a low hum. It has a generous feed tube that makes it easier to prep produce with no motor jams at all–even putting whole leaves and stems of kale directly into the juicer. The pulp from the Tribest Slowstar was also the driest of all the tests–this juicer machine squeezes every bit of juice from produce with high yields. We loved the slightly thicker results of the carrot-apple juice test but if you don’t care for pulpy juices this may not be the best model for you. The Slowstar also serves as a multi-purpose kitchen tool; an included Mincing Attachment lets you make sorbets, nut butters, and even cookie dough. It comes with a generous 10-year warranty and is our top vertical masticating choice to keep on the counter for juicing and other kitchen tasks.
The two most popular types of juicers are centrifugal juicers and masticating juicers. These different types of juicers utilize very different approaches in how they grind up fruits and vegetables. Both have advantages and disadvantages distinct to their design, and both have groups that feel one particular type of juicer is the best juicer. Before you proceed much further in looking for the best juicer possible, you should strongly consider your own personal juicing needs. For example, if you’re only ever going to be juicing lemons and oranges, you’ll likely be best served by buying a citrus juicer. If, on the other hand, you plan on juicing loads of Organic Wheat Grass, you’ll likely be best served by focusing your search on masticating juicers.
Warranty: No matter what kind of juicer you're getting, you want it to last. You should always get small appliances with some level of warranty, but normally the longer the warranty, the better. Not only does it show that a company is confident in its product, but it also means that if something does break, you won't have to shell out any extra cash.
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We were pleasantly surprised at how well the Hamilton Beach stacked up in taste testing, even against pricier cold-press models such as the KitchenAid (which featured sizeable chunks of celery in its juice. Many testers praised the smoothness of the Hamilton’s juice, noting that the Black & Decker and Oster were both grittier. You’ll get less juice and more foam than a top-performer like the Hurom, but the Hamilton Beach offers tasty results and a respectable performance for a much smaller price tag.
Twin gear triturating machines are usually the most expensive juicers offering the best juice yield. Twin gear juicers employ two metal counter rotating gears to crush the juicing fodder. The precise tolerance of the gears allows the juice to flow through the gap between the gears while the large pulpy matter passes along the top of the gears and is discharged.
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.
There are several other juicers in the market that warrant a look at. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to review them. You might want to check them out: Super Angel Pro Stainless Steel Juicer, Tribest Greenstar Elite GSE-5050 Jumbo Twin Gear Cold Press Juice Extractor, Green Power KPE1304 Twin Gear Juicer, VonShef Professional Powerful Wide Mouth Whole Fruit Juicer Machine 700W, and BLACK+DECKER JE2200B Fruit & Vegetable Juicer.
Masticating juicers are also very popular because they are able to handle more types of foods. For instance, nuts and frozen berries can be handles by most masticating juicers. If you like to juice green leafy vegetables or wheat grass, masticating juicers are likely to be the best option for you. These juicers are also referred to as slow juicers, meaning that many people regard them as producing juice at a slower rate. In all reality, masticating juicers produce juice just about as quickly as any other juicers, but their internal parts move more slowly. Slower moving parts usually mean less chance of breaking, and wider margins of error when trying difficult foods.