Choosing a right juicer can be very confusing, as there are so many models of juice extractors on the market. Do you know how to choose the one with the best value? Do you know which juice extractor suits you best? To answer these questions, first of all, you need to know the details of different types of juice extractors and their pros and cons, and what are they best suit for.
There are three main types of juice extractors on the market: centrifugal juicers, masticating juicers and twin-gear (triturating) juicers. Let’s explore each of them to help you decide which suits you best.
Centrifugal juicers: the most common and generally most affordable juice extractors on the market. A centrifugal juice extractor first grade the juice or vegetable into pulp, then uses centrifugal force to extract juice from the pulp at a very high RPM. They are great at juicing most fruits and vegetable and can do the job quickly and easily. Some centrifugal juice extractors have large feeding chuts which allow whole food to be juiced without needing the cut and preparation of food into small pieces. The price of centrifugal juicers vary from $60 to $300, depend on the materials of body (stainless or plastic) or other functions (auto ejection or non ejection; wide feed chut or normal chut).
Strengths: economical; the speed which a juicing job can be done; some model has a wide mouth which make the juicing more effective; easy to clean; compact; readily available on the market.
Weaknesses: some are not effective when juicing leafy greens, such as wheatgrass; juice produced are oxidized thus the shelf life of the juice are short; pulp generated are relatively wet means not very high yield compared with masticating and twin-gear juicers; noisy.
Best suit for: harder fruit or vegetables
Masticating juicers: use an auger with a blade that literally chews fruit and vegetables, break up the cell walls of the plant and extract juice with enzymes, vitamins and minerals. Masticating juice extractors operate at a slow speed to avoid making foams and heat, which means more nutrition in your glass. Compared with the juice produced by centrifugal juice extractors, juice from masticating juicers have longer shelf life as the food don’t expose to air, thus reduce oxidation. You can store your juice for a few days. Masticating juice extractors are very capable at juicing any fruit and vegetable, and can extract juice from leafy greens such as wheatgrass. Besides that, masticating juice extractors are more versatile. They can make baby foods, sauces, nut butter and fruit sorbets. Some even can grind coffee and make rice cakes!
Strengths: high yield; can handle most type of food, including leafy greens; offer higher nutritional value; less foam and heat, longer shelf life of juice; easy to clean; quite affordable; very quiet; can be used as food processor, nut butter maker, etc.
Weaknesses: slow; big in size; heavy; more expensive than centrifugal juicers.
Best suit for: most types of fruits and vegetables and leafy greens.
Upright masticating juicers: a new patented juice extractors with all the strengths of masticating juicers such as high yield, slow speed operation which offers higher nutritional value, but without the weaknesses of the size of traditional masticating juicers. The design of upright masticating juicer are more space-saving. With these juicers, the juice is first extracted through a crushing stage and, before the pulp is ejected, it is then squeezed during a second pressing stage; resulting in more juice, and extremely dry pulp.
Twin-gear (Triturating) Juicers: the most expensive juice extractors but provide the most benefits. As the name suggests, this type of juicer has two interlocking meshing gears which press food between them. Twin-gear juice extractors operate at even slower speed (RPM) which result in even less oxidation from foam and less destruction of nutrients from heat. Twin-gear juicers are the most efficient type of juicer available on the market, which can extract higher yields of juice from all kinds of fruits and vegetables, leafy greens and herbs. The pulp that comes out of twin gear juice extractors is the driest of all types of juice extractors. Considering its high yield and the wide range of produces, twin-gear juicers are ideal for raw food enthusiasts, juice bars, and spas, etc. Twin-gear juice extractor is more than a juicer, it can also make baby food, nut butters, fruit sorbets, and many include accessories for making rice cakes, pasta, bread sticks.
Strengths: highest yield; highest nutritional value; can juice from almost all kinds of produces; hardly any foam and pulp in the juice; very quiet; can be used as food processor, nut butter maker, etc.
Weaknesses: quite expensive; slow; big in size; heavy; not very easy to clean.
Best suit for: almost all kinds of products
Besides the above three main types of juice extractors, I listed below two special purpose juicers:
Citrus Juicers: as the name suggests, the citrus juicers is specially design for extracting juice from citrus fruit. You can find electric, manual and even handled citrus juicers on the market.
Strengths: very affordable; very easy to use and clean; quick and efficient in making citrus fruits juice.
Weaknesses: can only juice citrus fruits
Best suit for: oranges, pomegranates, grape fruits, limes or lemons
Wheatgrass juice extractors: if you are a wheatgrass lover, you might consider to buy a dedicated wheatgrass juice extractor for added yield and easier use. The wheatgrass juicers works like masticating juice extractors.
Strengths: efficient; easy to use and clean; quiet.
Weaknesses: can only juice wheatgrass; heavy; generally cost a bit
Best suit for: wheatgrass
Now that we have understood the basic types of the juice extractor, you need to consider the following things before buying a juice extractors:
- Your budget. You can find juice extractors selling at prices ranged from $10 to more than $2500. When choosing a juicer, you first need to make decision on how much you would like to spend. What you really need is a juicer that can do everything you need at an affordable price. No one can tell you how much you should spend, but please keep price in mind when considering the following factors. This will help you to find the juice extractor that best match your needs and budget.
- What types of juice do you want to make. This is the key issue for consideration. Do you just want to make orange juice at breakfast every morning? If so, you just need to buy a citrus juicer. It can do the job quickly and efficiently, and more importantly, it is pretty cheap. If you need a more versatile juice extractor, you should consider the three main types of juicers as listed above. Check the “Best suit for” area for each type, and you will sure find the one that meet your needs.
- Speed of the juicer. Generally speaking, juicers are divided into low speed juicers and high speed juicers. They are different in percentage yield, value of nutritions and shelf life of juice produced. Click here to read more on the difference between the two type of juice extractors.
Above are the three main issues that you need to consider before buying a juice extractor. Of course, there are other things you also need to check. Set out below are those that I can think of:
- Ease of use and clean.
- Horse power.
- Whether the juicer is noisy when operating.
- Availability of replacement parts.
My personal advice on your juicer buying:
You might save a few bucks when buying a cheap juice extractor, but in most cases, they cost you more than you think it in a long run. The reason varies from poor reliability, less productivity to juice quality and ease of use and clean. However, I’m not encouraging you to buy the most expensive juice extractors, especially when you are buying your first juicer. Just keep in mind your very needs and expectations and find the one with high quality and reasonable price. When juicing has become part of your daily life and you have known the juicers well, you may consider to invest more in juice extractors and in return receive a machine that will best suit your juicing life.