Easy to clean: We’ve found that all juicers have one thing in common—they’re a bit of a pain to clean. The parts aren’t dishwasher safe, so you have to clean the components by hand. And they have a lot of small nooks and crannies that can trap gunk. We looked for vertical juicers that come with specialized brushes to make cleaning easier, and considered horizontal models, like those from Omega, that are a little simpler to clean because the juicing screens aren’t as big.
Easy to use: In our experience, the size of a juicer’s feed tube makes the biggest difference when it comes to ease. The smaller the feed tube, the more time you need to prep your produce—kale needs to be cut into thinner, more manageable strips, large apples can’t be cut into simple wedges, and those fat carrots need to be quartered lengthwise instead of simply halved. During the course of a busy morning, those minutes can really add up, so we looked for juicers with larger tubes.
The commercial-grade Omega J8004 juicer does best with hard fruits and vegetables, and was more efficient than popular (and still great) juicers like the Breville Juice Fountain Plus we tested. It’s great for people on a budget with limited counter space. And with a 15-year warranty, the machine is built to last. In our tests, the J8004 extracted a fair amount of both green juice and carrot-apple juice, falling in the middle of the pack for both tests.
"This is an easy to use, easy to clean citrus juicer that I wish I had bought 25 years ago! It is versatile (will juice small fruit like limes or large fruit such as Meyer lemons and even relatively small grapefruit. There is an adjustment allowing a little or a large amount of pulp to go through with the juice. It is well made and requires only a small space for storage. I will be buying oranges by the bag to have fresh juice. Probably my favorite small appliance."
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.
The Omega VSJ843 features a dual-edged auger that looks almost identical to the auger on the Tribest Slowstar. The space on the underside of the auger is roomy, so wiping out packed solid vegetable matter with your finger is easy. In his video review of the Omega VSJ843, Kohler mentions that the Omega had a few stoppages as he juiced two pounds of carrots, but we didn’t experience that during our tests.
Traditionally, this is the most common type of juicer. These typically utilize a fast-spinning metal blade that spins against a mesh filter, separating juice from flesh via centrifugal force. The juice and pulp are then separated into different containers. The problem with centrifugal juicers is that the fast-spinning metal blade generates heat, which destroys some of the enzymes in the fruits and vegetables you're juicing. The heat also oxidizes those nutrients, rendering less nutritious juice than a cold-press juicer.
The flavor of the Tribest juice was as fresh and bright as any I’ve had at boutique juice bars, with a nice balance between the kale and the grapes. The hue was a vibrant green, like Technicolor in a glass. The foam was minimal, too, measuring half an inch above the top of the surface of the juice; lesser juicers had up to four inches of foam at the top. The Tribest also handled 21 ounces of hard and fibrous vegetables and fruits like a champ. In our 2015 testing, the carrot-apple-celery-ginger juice yield was 15.3 ounces, the second-best result of all the models tested.
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.