Single-auger juicers: An auger is like a big, threaded screw that pulls fruit or vegetables into the juicing chamber and presses the juice out. The auger can turn anywhere from 43 to 80 rpm, resulting in slowly produced, low-foam, low-temperature, high-volume, and nutrient-dense juice. Single-auger juicers can be oriented vertically or horizontally and are very versatile, good for greens and hard roots. Although vertical and horizontal juicers work on the same principle, vertical juicers have a smaller footprint and slightly larger yield. But vertical models are generally in the $300 to $400 range, so they’re not for the occasional juice drinker. They’re best suited for those who include fresh green juice as part of a daily routine and are concerned about low oxidation and maximum yield. And certain models, like our pick, have food-mincing and frozen-fruit-sorbet-making capabilities. All of our picks are single-auger juicers: the Tribest Slowstar and Omega VSJ843 are examples of vertical single-auger juicers, and the Omega J8004 is a horizontal single-auger juicer.
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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.
Also, we realize that $300-plus is a lot to spend on a small appliance, but we’ve found that paying a bit more for your machine up front is worth doing. Juicing is a costly habit no matter how you do it. Although the initial investment on our pick is high, you won’t be throwing money out with partially extracted, soggy pulp. You can also check eBay and Craigslist for used juicers, especially Omegas and Huroms, because they’ve been around a while. A lot of people sell their machines after realizing they’re not ready to give up the money, counter space, or time required to make juice regularly. You won’t be able to take advantage of the warranty, but you can get really good deals (and even resell yours if you get tired of it).
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.
Feeder tubes are the parts of juicers where the food is inserted. The larger your feeder tube, the more fruits, and vegetables you’ll be able to cram in at once. Some less-expensive juicers have tops that come off completely, similar to blenders. Juicers with feeder tubes also offer the advantage of being able to press the fruits and veggies into the juicer, helping to chop and grind them up.
Considering the 15-year warranty on the Omega J8004 model’s motor and parts, we think this is the best value juicer you can get compared with cheaper models with shorter warranties. Although its price is more palatable than the Tribest’s, there are some trade-offs. First, the J8004 is quite big, requiring a 16-by-7-inch space on the counter. It also isn’t great with softer, juicy fruits, which get gummy and block the juicer; you’ll need to alternate adding different types of produce when juicing with this machine to keep it running. And, as we mentioned earlier, its feed tube is an inch narrower than the Tribest’s, which makes a difference in how much prep work you need to do with vegetables. Because the J8004 is a budget machine, you’ll save about $150 up front, but you may lose some of those savings in juice left behind in the pulp you toss when juicing things like kale. Compared with the rest of the competition, however, we still think the J8004 extracts more juice from produce.
The Breville’s pulverizing power made short order of whole beets and carrots, and we cut apples in half to prep them ready for juicing. Other machines require much more prep time, as they can only manage hard produce in small pieces. We found the Breville can juice anything if it fits down the chute, and it does so very efficiently. It creates very little pulp and froth, so you know you’re getting the most out of your fruits and veggies. The included pitcher is tall, and its special juicer nozzle opening prevents juice dripping on your countertops. It also has an attached froth separator, which strains your juice for you. Its seven parts are easy to assemble, but only five are dishwasher safe.
If a significant portion of your calories are going to come from juice each day, mix up your produce. Go with veggie-heavy juices, using just a bit of fruit for sweetness. Alternate types of produce, and try something entirely new periodically. Farmers markets and ethnic grocery stores are great spots to find fruits and vegetables you’ve never tasted before.
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.
In our testing, we focused on making green juice from 8 ounces each of curly kale and green grapes. This test showed us how each machine handled both soft fruit and tough greens. Fibrous greens are hard to break down, and a high-quality juicer will squeeze more juice from leaves than cheaper models. Soft fruit, like seedless grapes, is a challenge for juicers for the opposite reason—it lacks the fiber that helps the juicer pull the fruit completely through the chamber, and can gum up the works.
Everyone from Wall Street bankers to Beyoncé is talking about juice cleanses, but registered dietitian Emily Braaten urged us to be wary: “There is no substantial scientific evidence to support the use of freshly squeezed juice for ‘cleansing’ purposes. Humans rely on the liver and the kidneys to separate out potentially toxic byproducts of metabolism.” The National Institutes of Health (NIH) point out that each of your kidneys “is made up of about a million filtering units” that remove about one to two quarts of waste and extra fluid a day via your urine. In other words, your body already has the whole detox thing covered.
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.
Of course, not everyone can consume a plate of fruits and vegetables. Drinking it may be easier. And this is where juicers come in. With the right juicer, you’ll easily be able to add all the nutrients you’ve been missing out on with your former diet. But with the market currently overflowing with options, how do you find the best one for you? Well, we’re here to help! Check out our picks of the best juicers this 2018.
Features: 700-watt motor operates at 20,000 RPM for maximum extraction Extra-large 3-inch centered feeding tube for juicing whole fruits and vegetables Removable parts for quick clean up Heavy-duty compact juice fountain with centered knife blade assembly Dishwasher-safe parts Includes 26-ounce (800ML) juice jug Two speeds perfect for juicing hard or soft fruits and vegetables (High juice rate) High speed for denser fruits and harder vegetables 20,000 RPM Low speed for leafy vegetables and soft fruit 16,000 RPM Safety locking arm prevents unsafe operation Stainless steel micro mesh filter basket Elegant 2-speed selector switch
Centrifugal (pronounced sin-tra-fue-gal) are the types of juicers that many people are most familiar with. These juicers have been popular for the longest time, and most closely resemble a blender. These juicers utilize a special kind of force called centrifugal force, which is closely related to things that rotate. Basically, it means that if you spin something around really fast, it’s going to move away from the point around which it is spinning. If you spin your arm around in circles quickly, you can feel your hand swelling. This is because the centrifugal force is acting on the fluids in your body, moving them away from your should—which is the center of rotation—and towards your hand. What this Newtonian tangent means, is that centrifugal juicers apply force to your fruits and vegetables by spinning around really fast!
Whereas the Omega J8004 is a commercial-quality machine, the Omega NC800 is designed for household use. When it came to green juice, the output was almost identical. The carrot juice was a different story, though. The NC800 yielded only 12.3 ounces. John Kohler at DiscountJuicers.com said that this machine put out 15 percent more juice than its predecessor, but we found that it actually put out 25 percent less carrot juice than the J8004. The nice feature of this juicer is that it boasts a larger feed tube than its predecessor, which makes prep a little easier.
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.
Not sure what to do with the leftover pulp? The leftover pulp is mostly fiber and cellulose, which like the juice, contains necessary vital nutrients for the daily diet. Any leftover pulp can be used in a variety of recipes, frothy drinks, casseroles or soups, as well as for garden composting. Thirsty for something other than juice? The HealthSmart® Juice Extractor can help children, teens and adults get their daily vitamin intake with the option of making soy, almond or rice milk. To start, soak one cup of soybeans, almonds or rice in four cups of water for 24 to 48 hours in the refrigerator, and then slowly pour one cup into the food chute. The liquid extracted from the soaked mixture is the "milk." For enhanced milk flavor, consider adding vanilla or honey.
The gist: For all of the citrus lovers out there, this Citrus Juicer from BLACK+DECKER is a little gem and comes with a super budget-friendly price tag. For those that are less interested in complicated concoctions and more interested in adding a fresh, citrusy treat to their day—this juicer is all you need. To use, just push your citrus fruit of choice onto the cone and let it get to work. The self-reversing cone ensures that you'll get the absolute most juice out of your fruits by switching directions mid-juice. The large capacity pitcher comes with convenient measurement marks and will make up to a quarter-gallon of juice. You can even adjust the amount of pulp you let into your juice using the Adjustable Pulp Control. The container also goes from a container to a pitcher—when done juicing, just tip your container, pour into a glass, and drink up.
We got more juice out of the Kuvings Centrifugal Juicer NJ-9500UB than any other machine we tested. All that remained was a small amount of pulp that felt relatively dry to the touch. The Kuvings did an excellent job extracting juice from hard and soft produce in virtually all our tests. Since getting juice is the whole point of a juicer, the Kuvings got top marks.
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.