Deciding to embark on a juice journey is the easy part. Buying a juicer, on the other hand, can be quite a journey in itself. There are just so many juicers on the market and so many of them are great. How do you choose? How do you know what is the best juicer for you?
When you begin reading juicer reviews, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the various features and the pros and cons of each juicer.
And sure, all those points are important, but when trying to choose a juicer, there are only 5 things you really must know. And surprisingly, they have less to do with individual juicer features and everything to do with what you want.
Here are the 5 things you must know before buying a juicer…
#1. How much time can you spend on juicing?
just the produce prep can be time-consuming enough…
This is one of those questions that most people typically don’t even think to ask…until they notice just how much time goes into juicing on a daily basis.
Truth is – juicing can be time-consuming and this is a consideration you should take into account before purchasing a juicer.
But those aren’t your only options.
If you’re looking for a quick, easy-to-clean juicer that also produces high quality juice without heat, there are also masticating juicers that fit the bill. The Hurom Slow Juicer, for example, pretty much juices itself (the auger pulls in produce so you can spend your time chopping produce while the juicer does its thing) and it’s a breeze to clean since, well, it has a self-cleaning feature.
As for triturating or hydraulic press juicers – we wouldn’t recommend them unless you have at least half an hour to devote to juicing and you’re willing to put in the extra time for the highest quality juice.
But for those of us who’re a little short on time, here are the easiest to clean juicers!
#2. What will you be juicing?
Most of the best juicers juice everything. Triturating – or twin gear – juicers are particularly great for handling a wide variety of fruits and veggies.
These juicers are powerful, using twin gears which rotate inwards and interlock, crushing all produce that comes between them into a powerful pulp.
These are juicers that can easily handle even the most difficult parts of produce, such as guava seeds, watermelon rinds, and pineapple cores.
However – if you’re mostly planning on juicing a pretty narrow range of fruits and veggies, such a powerful juicer might be overkill.
Before buying a juicer, it’s a great idea to first determine the kinds of juice you’ll want to make. Will you be juicing mostly soft fruits? Then you might want to consider a blender rather than a juicer – or a juicer/blender like the Hurom Slow Juicer and Smoothie Maker.
Have you fallen in love with green juice and mainly plan to juice leafy greens? The best juicers for leafy greens are either manual juicers (most affordable) or masticating juicers.
Deciding what you plan on juicing is an important step in deciding your juicer.
#3. How soon can you drink the juice you make?
This sounds like a silly question, but it’s a very pertinent one in deciding which juicer to buy.
Not all juicers are made equal, at least in terms of how well they preserve the nutrients found in fresh produce.
Typically, centrifugal juicers – such as the Jack LaLanne juicer and most of the Breville juicers – produce some heat and friction when juicing which cause oxidation in the juicing process itself and compromise the freshness of the juice. Juices made with centrifugal juicers really should be consumed immediately.
If you know you can drink the juice you make immediately every time you juice – centrifugal juicers are an easy-to-use and easy-to-clean juicer type that might work really well for you.
On the other hand, if you want to juice a lot on a free day and store fresh juice for on-the-go drinking, you’ll do better with a masticating (single gear) or triturating (twin gear) juicer. Both are “cold press”, slow juicers that won’t damage your juice quality with heat.
Masticating juicers – such as the Omega 8005/8006 juicers – are slow juicers, producing little-to-no heat, which means less oxidation in the juicing process. Juices made with masticating juicers have a higher shelf life and can be stored for up to 48 hours. With some masticating juicers – i.e. most of the Omega models – the juice can be stored up to 72 hours.
Juices made with twin gear – or triturating – juicers are the highest quality and can retain their nutrient potency for up to 72 hours after juicing.
These juicers take longer to juice and a bit longer to clean up than centrifugal juicers, but in terms of time saved from storing juices…these are a better value.
Read more about different types of juicers and how they stack up!
#4. How important is quality?
Of course quality is important…but how much does it matter to you?
Is it worth the extra time and money investment? The various juicer types range in terms of the quality of juice produced.
Centrifugal juicers, as mentioned above, introduce oxidation in the juicing process. The juice can come out foamy and even a bit warm from the heat produced by the motor.
The lower-end centrifugal juicers also produce pulp that is more moist than the pulp produced by masticating (single gear) or triturating (twin gear) juicers, meaning you’re not getting all the juice out of the produce you’re using.
At the same time, these juicers tend to more widely available (found in most department stores), more affordable, and really convenient (fast juicing, fast clean-up). If you also like to add the pulp back into your juice, then the pulp issue isn’t much of an issue.
Masticating (single gear) and triturating (twin gear) juicers, on the other hand, produce a higher juice quality and higher juice yield, but they also take longer.
Masticating juicers don’t take so much longer to clean up, but the triturating juicers tend to have more parts and can take about double the amount of time to clean as a centrifugal juicer would take. These juicers are also slow in the juicing process. Yes, they will extract pretty much every drop of juice from the produce – leaving very dry pulp behind – but they do take their sweet time to do so.
Before buying a juicer, it’s good to consider what is most important to you. There’s no right answer – it’s just a matter of preference. If you really can not compromise on juice quality, juice yield, and dry pulp – then go for the masticating or triturating juicers.
On the other hand, if you’re short on time, then go for the juicer you know you’ll actually use. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how awesome your juicer is or how amazing the quality of the juice it produces, if you don’t have the time to use it. The most important thing is that you juice. Go for the juicer that suits you.
#5. Devils in the details…
These are the nitty gritty details in buying a juicer that you might want to consider before you purchase.
The first is noise – when do you juice? Do you live with other people who are sensitive to noise? Juicers with motors, such as centrifugal machines, tend to be on the noisier end.
Manual juicers, on the other hand, don’t really have much accompanying sounds – apart from heavy breathing on your part 😉 Masticating and triturating juicers are also rather silent. If you juice in the early mornings (or late at night), this might be a factor to consider.
Another detail is durability. How long are you planning to keep your juicer? Would you like a permanent kitchen fixture or do you plan on upgrading to a better model soon? Some juicers come with longer warranties than others. Omega juicers tend to have 10 to 15 year warranties. Champion juicers usually come with about the same insurance. Plus, Champion juicers last forever.
A good rule of thumb in assessing durability is, of course, the warranty on the machine as well as whether there is a motor or not. Centrifugal juicers have motors which run at high speeds and heat up the machine, contributing to its wear and tear. Slower juicers – such as the masticating or triturating juicers – don’t produce heat and tend to age more slowly and gracefully.