The machine’s individual parts have smoother surfaces than those on the older Omega VRT400, making this machine easier to clean. While cleaning the unit, I didn’t need to use the included cleaning brush at all; I just hosed down the parts with the spray nozzle on my sink. Our top pick takes a bit more effort to clean because it has small dimples at the bottom of the juicing screen, requiring use of the included brush to release all pulp.
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.
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.
There are plenty of juicers available between $60 and $160. We tested ten products within this range and found more expensive juicers are not necessarily better. Perks like multiple speed settings, a long warranty and an included pitcher appeared at several different price points, as did the absence of accessories. We advise shopping the features instead of letting price alone guide you.
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.
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Though some buyers have complained about fussy assembly, I didn’t have any trouble taking the VSJ843 apart or putting it back together. None of the parts were fidgety or stuck to each other; everything locked into place and unlatched easily. The machine comes with a 15-year warranty on the motor and parts, which means you can juice with confidence for a very long time.
Be prepared to clean your juicer after every use. Bacteria love to feast on unpasteurized juices, so it’s important to clean your juicer every time you use it. And the sooner the better — the drier it gets, the harder pulp is to remove. During testing, we found that the strainer baskets and pulp spouts tended to need the most attention. So think about how often you’ll use your machine, what kind of fruits and vegetables you’ll be juicing (some leave more behind in your juicer than others), and how much time you’ll have to clean your machine.
The proportion of pulp to juice varies from fruit to fruit. Juicing avocados or bananas produces a puree rather than a juice. Form leafy vegetables into compact balls or rolls before inserting into food chute. All fruits with pits and large seeds, such as nectarines, peaches, apricots, plums and cherries must be pitted before juicing. Also, it is recommended that oranges, pineapples, melons and mangoes be peeled before placing in the unit to minimize impact on juice flavor. When juicing carrots, do not pack the food chute or allow pulp container to overfill, since this may prevent correct operation or damage to the unit. Place carrots in food chute one by one, and press down gently with food pusher to extract the maximum amount of juice every time. Be prepared to rinse individual parts after each use.
A "smoking motor" is usually caused from binding between the cutting unit clutch and the cutting assembly which connects to the motor. Unplug the blender and allow to cool. Once the blender is cool, check the cutting assembly (see the Use and Care instructions for your model for a parts diagram) to see if the blades "spin freely." Be careful, the blades are sharp. If the blades do not spin freely, the cutting unit needs to be replaced. Once the blender base (without container) is cool, plug it in and turn it on to see if it works properly. (If the unit was not turned off when the cutting unit locked, the motor could be damaged.)
When you feed the machine with fruits and veggies, it will first crush and slice them all up using its pocket recesses. Sinewy stuff like cabbage leaves or celery will be automatically cut short by the cutting teeth, a feature missing on many other juicers. This significantly reduces clogging and tangling (but if that ever happens, there’s a Reverse button to release the culprit).
In our tests, the Tribest Slowstar consistently outperformed its competitors, delivering high yields of delicious juices from a variety of fruits and vegetables with minimal effort. Compared with other juicers we tested, the Slowstar is quieter and less likely to jam, and it generates less foam. With an impressive 10-year warranty on the motor and parts, we think it’s a worthwhile investment for people who juice regularly.
Features: Two cones rotate both ways to squeeze every drop of juice from fruit! The small cone squeezes more juice from small fruits like oranges, lemons and limes, while the large cone is perfect for grapefruit. Adjustable pulp control lets you get the amount of pulp you want and built-in cord storage keeps the cord neat and out of the way. All parts are dishwasher-safe for fast and easy cleanup! Juicing Made Easy Clear-View Juice Container Easy-to-Read Measurements Easy-Pour Spout Storage Cover Cord Storage Built to Perform 2 Self-Reversing Cones Adjustable Pulp Control
Cuisinart’s CJE-1000 Die-Cast Juice Extractor is one of our top picks because it offers quite a lot of bang for your buck. For less than $150, you get a 3-inch feed chute, a BPA-free machine, a 2-liter pulp container, a safety locking mechanism, an anti-drip flow spout, a 1-liter juice pitcher, die-cast stainless steel housing, a 1000-watt motor, 5-speed control with LED lights, and wait for it… a 3-year warranty. Now, what other juicer offers all that?
In our tests, the Hamilton Beach juicer produced lots of juice for each of our three test recipes. It handled hard and soft produce well, though it could have processed the leafy greens slightly better. Even so, it produced a high juice yield compared to other products after straining away the froth. This juicer does leave a lot of pulp in your juice, which is great if you’re looking to up your fiber intake. Unlike some others, the Hamilton Beach doesn’t come with a pitcher to collect your juice. Its nozzle also points directly down, so find the right container to catch your juice and prevent spills.
The Cuisinart Juice Extractor CJE-1000 is one of the best juicers in our review. It is a powerful machine that produces a lot of juice with very little froth output. It is quieter than most other juicers, comes with a 1000 mL pitcher and includes a long three-year warranty. If your counter space is limited, this might not be the right fit for you, but the Cuisinart Juice Extractor makes delicious and nutritious pulp-free juice with very little produce preparation needed.
The gist: The Omega is the creme-de-la-creme of masticating (slow-speed) juicers. Since it processes at a slower speed, you won't miss out on any nutrients. You can juice anything from fruits and vegetables to leafy greens— but it doesn't stop there. The Omega will also turn nuts into nut butter (homemade peanut butter anyone?), grind coffee beans, make pasta, frozen desserts, baby food... to be honest, we're not sure there's much it can't do. Additionally, its slow speed method makes for a super quiet juicing experience.
Like all slow juicers, the Tribest doesn’t overheat the final product. Starting with room-temperature produce (around 72 degrees Fahrenheit), we never produced juice warmer than 85 ºF—similar to the results we achieved with the other single-auger juicers we tested. The juice had a small, but pleasant, amount of pulp. If you don’t like pulp, Tribest includes a stainless steel hand strainer to catch solid bits. The Tribest isn’t dishwasher safe, but is fairly easy to clean with practice—there are five parts to rinse and no sponge-shredding teeth anywhere. John Kohler of DiscountJuicers.com also cites the Tribest as one of his favorites.
Juicing isn’t for everyone. Registered dietitian Sylvia North warned us that “if you have a clinically diagnosed inflammatory bowel or kidney disease, some nutrients found in high concentrations in green juices may not be appropriate.” If you’re navigating any health challenges, it’s best to talk to your registered dietitian or doctor before you shop for a juicer.