How to Choose a Juicer

So you have decided to buy a new juicer. If this is your first one, congratulations are in order. This is one of the easiest and enjoyable ways to improve your health. If you have owned a juicing appliance before then you may already know the sort of machine you want. However, perhaps the suggestions contained within this juicer buying guide will reassure you that you’re making the right decision. Rather than talk about which specific juicer you should purchase, I simply want to discuss the most important points that you should consider to help you make up your mind. These are:

  • Price of juicer vs. your budget
  • Types of juice you want to make
  • Speed of use and ease of cleaning

There are other sites on the internet with a wider range of juicer reviews than I have here. So if none of the models that I discuss appeal to you then there are other websites that will be able to assist you. Let’s now look at the three points above in more detail.

Price of Juicer vs. Your Budget

battle of the juicers

You can really spend as much or as little as you want on a juicer. At the high end of the spectrum are appliances such as the Norwalk Juicer 275 which costs around $2,500 (two thousand five hundred dollars) through to much cheaper units for under $50. Cost is obviously an important factor to consider. What you really want is a juicer that does everything you need at a price you can afford. You do not have to spend a fortune to find the best juicer. At the same time, if you care too much about the purchase price, it is possible overlook they actual functionality that you require.

No one can tell you how much you should spend. I would suggest that you want to keep price in mind while you think about the following two points. Once you are clear on the types of drinks that you want to make, you’ll have a better idea about which sort of appliances meet your needs.

Types of Juice You Want to Make

This is perhaps the most important issue. Once you have the answer to this question, everything else begins to fall into place. Do you simply want to make fresh orange juice to have at breakfast time? In this case, a citrus juicer would be perfect. Not only is this the best juicer for the job, it is also going to be pretty cheap. A couple of popular models include the Tribest Citristar Electric Citrus Juicer or the even cheaper Oster 3186 Juice-n-Serve 27-Ounce Automatic Citrus Juicer.

If you need a more versatile juicing appliance the three main options open to you are either a centrifugal, masticating or twin gear model. Each of these appliances have particular strong points. For making things like carrot juice, apple juice or any drinks using primarily hard fruits and vegetables, a centrifugal unit makes a good option.

Where centrifugal juicers are weak though is where both masticating and twin gear units are stronger. To make green drinks which use leafy green vegetables as a main ingredient, the slower grinding, masticating juicer, and crushing, of the twin gear models, is more appropriate. Simply put, you get a higher juice yield. Masticating juicers such as the Omega J8006 can also be used to make shots of wheat grass. Both masticating and twin gear appliances can juice any kind of produce really. However they are slower and more expensive than the lower cost centrifugal juicers.

As you can see, each style of juicing appliance has its own strengths and weaknesses. It is not simply a case of one style being better than another. It all comes down to how you look at it and what you personally see as the most important factor(s).

Speed of Use and Ease of Cleaning

As you would expect, there are differences in this area too. Typically it is the juicers with fewer parts that are easier to assemble, use and clean. In general, citrus juicers and centrifugal juicers are both pretty quick. Part of this is because you don’t really have to cut up the produce that you want to juice into tiny pieces.

With citrus juicers, all that you have to do is cut however many oranges or grapefruits you want to juice, in two. Lots of centrifugal juicers these days, such as the cheap Breville BJE200XL have wide feed chutes. In fact, all Breville models have a 3″ wide hole at the top. This makes it real simple to feed in whole, or roughly chopped, ingredients. The Breville 800JEXL is made entirely of stainless steel.

Masticating and twin gear units on the other hand have smaller holes to push the produce through. The Omega VRT350HD can take more produce at a time than the horizontal style, but still not quite as much as centrifugal units. There is a trade off here though. Masticating and twin gear juicers are slower however they have a wider range of uses.

For me, the crux of the issue relates to the sort of juices that I want to make. Once you can answer this question, you will have a much better idea about which is the most appropriate style of juicer for you. On a personal level, I use a citrus juicer, a centrifugal juicer and a masticating juicer. I have nothing against twin gear juicers and I considered buying the Green Star GS-1000 but opted for the Omega VRT350HD masticating juicer simply because I wanted a vertical style masticating juicer – also, it was a bit cheaper.

Since I have a few different juicing appliances, I can simply use the most appropriate one for my needs of the day. If I had to choose just one, it would either be my Omega VRT350HD or Breville BJE510XL. Citrus juicers are nice but with a bit more effort, it is easy enough to make orange juice with either of these two machines. The Breville has speed and ease of use in its favor and it’s a bit cheaper too. The Omega, on the other hand, can handle anything you throw at it and it does make a better quality juice.

If I could only have one of these two, I would go for the Omega VRT350HD. I suppose it’s a bit like falling in love. There is something about this one that makes me like it more than any other. It is really cool how I can just drop things in the feed chute and there’s no real need to use the plunger. If you want a juicer for any occasion, and can afford it, this is the one I recommend.

On my site, I don’t have all that many juicer reviews as I only like to talk about machines that I have used myself. If I can encourage just one person to begin a juicing lifestyle I’ll feel like I have accomplished something.

Click here to view the current bestselling juicers on Amazon.

[Edit: I am glad to announce that the scope of this juicer review site is expanding. I have been speaking to friends, both on and offline, and am happy to report that they are beginning to send me reviews of juicers they own.]

39 Responses to “How to Choose a Juicer”

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  1. LK says:

    As a first time juicer buyer, this review is really helpful. Thank you for the tips!

  2. Barbara says:

    Looking for unit that juices and uses / mulches the pulp as well
    Priced under 300
    Thanks

  3. Cheryl says:

    Hi Barbara, Have a look at the Omega J8006 horizontal masticating juicer. It has many different functions and comes for a bit less than $300.

  4. Graham says:

    Hi I am looking for a juicer that is quick and easy to use and makes great juice without oxidation, I want to juice fruits and vegetables including the leafy stuff. I don’t really want to spend $2,500 on a norwalk and I think its too complicated anyway, but my budget can be quite flexible.

    Thank you for your responses
    Graham

    • Cheryl says:

      Hi Graham, I quite enjoyed watching how the Norwalk juicer works on Youtube. But it’s a bit outside my price range as well!

      Since you want to juice leafy greens as well, I’d say that a masticating juicer would probably suit you (http://www.applelaneinn.com/masticating-juicers/). These days, there’s a few different styles to consider which really comes down to personal preference. Do you want speed (vertical masticating juicer) or versatility (horizontal masticating juicer)?

  5. Henya says:

    Hi, we want to buy a juicer that will be used mostly for carrot juice. Something easier to clean is always better. And if possible around 100 dollars. Any recommendations?

  6. Jean says:

    Very informative! My parents have an old Omega (10+ yrs) so I’m going to buy them an Omega VRT350HD based strongly on your review. I hope it is a winner! One suggestion – how about adding the review date to your post above?

    • Cheryl says:

      Hi Jean,

      As your parents have found out for themselves, Omega juicers can last a very long time! Hopefully they’ll enjoy using their new one.

      I took your advice and asked my computer friend to help me include the dates I added the reviews to my site.

  7. Gareth says:

    I have been emailing Omega regarding warranty information for 6 months and have received no reply what so ever from them, they have completely ignored me, i should have a 15 year warranty but now it is worthless. Be aware of this company as the warranty offered by them is worthless.

    • Cheryl says:

      Hi Gareth,

      Thanks for sharing your experiences. I’ve never had the need to contact Omega regarding my juicer warranties. What happened to your machine?

      If emailing isn’t working, you could try giving them a call. There is a phone number and some website links that you could try, on this page http://www.applelaneinn.com/contact-information/

      Best of luck!

  8. Brian says:

    Hi, I am a complete novice at juicing. More than a novice. I know nothing… I’ve seen wheatgrass and I’ve tried carrot juice, but I know nothing. However, I saw an extended friend (you know, the type of person you watch on facebook, but don’t really know very well) have an amazing body transformation while continually posting about juicing. So, I am interested. I do not need to loose weight, I just like being healthy. Where do I begin? Obviously, I need a juicer. One that isn’t too cost inhibitive, but functional enough to thoroughly represent juicing. I need some sort of inspiring collection of recipes. And I need some general guidance/tips that I am too uneducated in the subject to even put together appropriate questions. Where do I begin?

    • Cheryl says:

      Hi Brian,

      It’s true that you don’t need to spend a fortune to get hold of a juicer. In a way, they’re like cars. The more you spend, the nicer model you can buy. But cheaper cars still get you from A to B. The Breville BJE200XL is a nice machine to start out with, high quality and less than $100. There are lots of juicing books available these days. Follow the ‘Juice Recipes’ link at the top of the page for some juicing ideas.

  9. Nic Langston says:

    Hi! My husband and I previously had a Jack LaLane juicer but now we’re looking for a juicer that can juice both carrots and leafy greens AND much of the pulp. We have a budget of up to $300-$400. Any suggestions?

    • Cheryl says:

      Hi Nic,

      My favorite all round juicer is the Omega VRT350HD. It’s within your price range :) I’d say you should compare vertical masticating juicers, like the Omega VRT, Hurom Slow Juicer, etc. with the older style horizontal masticating juicers.

  10. Nic Langston says:

    Also, does anyone know about the Healthmaster or Vitamix?

  11. R J Heath says:

    Do you have any information on the PRSJ600 Pro Slow Juicer from Native Juicer? It received very high marks on one review site and I wondered how it compared to your two favorites.

    • Cheryl says:

      I just had a look at the company website. It’s a vertical masticating juicer, like the Omega VRT350HD. I prefer the look of the Omega but the large handle on the PRSJ-600 will surely make it easier to move about. Why not give them a call and ask where their juicers are manufactured? They’re a U.S. company so I wonder if they manufacture in the U.S.

  12. John says:

    I have jack’s stainless juicer and have used and loved it for years. Now that the family drinks juice daily it takes hours of juicing to produce enough for the week, i freeze juice for later use. I was thinking of a mascticating juicer as my next purchase but i wanted speed comperable to a comerial centrifugal juicer, knowing centrifugal is much faster by nature. What do you suggust or should i just go with a comercial centrifugal juicer?

    • Cheryl says:

      Hi John, if speed is your number one concern then a centrifugal juicer may be your best option. The Breville Juice Fountain Elite is a solid machine. It does get rather noisy!

  13. amy says:

    Hi,
    Have to get one for my almost 21 year old daughter who wants to lose weight, get healthier, and is heading back to college; so needs ease, speed, and results! Needless to say, this may be a short lived adventure, but would like to get a great quality (I may inherit it!), least amount of hassle, not crazy expensive ($200. range) unit.
    Thanks,
    Amy

    • Cheryl says:

      Hi Amy,

      For speed I’d suggest you look at a centrifugal juicer. For $200, you can get something really nice, but to be honest, you might not have to spend that much at all :)

      Take a look at the Breville BJE200XL and see what you think.

  14. Melanie says:

    Hi there,
    How does the Vitamix make juices if it’s a blender? Would they just make all the ingredients into smoothies? I’ve heard really good things about it, but have never seen a demo in person. If it is better then any of the regular juicers, then I would part with the money. I’ve heard that the skins and pulp from fruits and veggies are full of nutrients that get wasted by regular juicers. I feel very unhealthy and tired all the time and need as much of the nutrients as I can get.
    Thank you so much for your opinion.

    • Cheryl says:

      Hi Melanie,

      Blenders are great for making smoothies. So you end up drinking the “whole food” (including all the fiber). Because of this, you actually need less produce each time you make a drink. So over the course of a year, you end up saving money on fruits and vegetables compared with juicing.

      Is a juicer or a blender better? That all depends upon the sorts of drinks you want to make, juice or smoothie?

  15. Ili Velez says:

    Hi,

    Can you tell me anything about the Champion Juicer. I am interested in juicing leafy greens. Also, is it ok to re-juice? Thank you.

    Ili

    • Cheryl says:

      Hi Ili,

      I don’t own the Champion Juicer myself. However my friend Julie has one. It does okay with leafy greens, although I think the Omega J8006 is better ;)

      I’m not sure what you mean by “re-juice”. Can you expand on that a bit?

  16. Laurie says:

    I’ve been reading this site with interest because I’d like to start juicing; mainly to lose weight but also for better health, more energy, etc. My budget is pretty flexible (but under $350 please!) and I want a juicer that I won’t have to worry about breaking or wearing out every 2 years. I plan to drink juice for 2 meals a day, at least for a month or so. I don’t think I’d drink juice more often than that unless I were sick. I definitely want to be able to juice leafy greens but also things like carrots & apples, with the occasional softer fruit like berries & plums.

    I have a friend who loves her Breville juice fountain but I’m terrified of the bad reviews due to breakage. I don’t mind spending a few minutes cleaning it and it would be great if at least some of the parts go could in the dishwasher. What would you recommend?

    • Cheryl says:

      Hi Laurie,

      Sounds like a vertical masticating juicer might interest you. They are around about the $350 mark. The Hurom Slow Juicer or the one I use, the Omega VRT350HD can both juice all the different produce you mention. $300 isn’t cheap, but at the same time, if you use it every day, it definitely works out as a good value purchase. Let me know how it goes :)

  17. Michele says:

    I realize you may get duplicate questions sometimes, so I apologize if this is one of them!

    Am in the market for a juicer for cucumbers, celery, possibly some other greens and maybe fruit. Would want the easiest to clean and if there’s one that’s “small” (I live alone and not a lot of room). I read about the various kinds but still not sure the type best for me – and of course budget is a consideration (but I know we get what we pay for!). I’ve never juiced before – do people want to separate the pulp because it comes out too thick? I know I like pulp in orange juice but wonder if juicing greens in the centrifugal kinds makes the juice thick – thanks!

    • Cheryl says:

      Hi Michele,

      If you can afford it, a vertical masticating juicer, e.g. Hurom Slow Juicer or Omega VRT350HD would be a good choice. Small footprint and can juice all the ingredients you mention, well. The only issue is the price…

  18. Sue says:

    I have never tried a juicer except for cirtus but want to do vegetables. I’m only making for myself and don’t have a lot to spend on one. Is there one for around $100. you think would meet my needs.

  19. Shana says:

    Hi,

    Thank you for all the valuable information re: juicers. I’m a beginner to juicing- I have a blender and like to make fruit/vegetable smoothies but would like to start juicing. I want to juice fruit and vegetables but my budget is around $100. It sounds like my best option is a centrifugal juicer, but am I losing any of the nutrients using this particular style?

    Thank you!

    Shana

    • Cheryl says:

      Hi Shana,

      Some people say that you lose nutrients with centrifugal juicers. That might be true. But I’m sure you get lots more nutrients than if you have a glass of water. Juicing is a great way to improve our health!

  20. You have a typo in your second to the last sentence. You typed “feel” and it should be “feed”

    Just an FYI as I would hope anyone would give me as well.

    Thank you, your site was helpful

  21. Debi says:

    Have you had any experience with the Health Master? What would you consider an “Emulsifier” compared to a “juicer”? Cost is in between and I need to purchase 2.

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