When it comes to choosing your first juicer, forget the brand and the reviews for a second and just focus on one thing: the types of juicers out there and how they stack up against each other.
Because when it comes to choosing the right juicer for your needs, knowing exactly what type of juicer to get will simplify everything. A quick Google search might make it seem like there are hundreds of juicers you have to compare and contrast but once you know the main types of juicers – there are only a handful of types – you’ll be well equipped to choose wisely and efficiently.
Why Does Knowing the Types of Juicers Matter?
Well, for starters – it makes the juicer choosing process much simpler by helping you understand the most crucial component that separates the multitude of juicers from each other.
But even more importantly – how a juicer makes juice contributes to important factors such as the nutrient density you can expect from your juices as well as how long the juice stays fresh. Different types of juicers will also determine the variety of produce you can juice, as well as vary in what you can use the juicer for – some are multifunctional and allow you to do things like make nut butters and even pasta.
Others are just juicers.
Of course, the type of juicer you end up choosing should be based on what you want to use the juicer for. As you read through the different types of juicers and how they compare to each other, keep in mind what you, specifically, are looking to do with your juicer.
We say this because it’s so easy to get distracted by all the bells and whistles of an awesome juicer (when all you want to do is make some apple juice) and end up buying something that’s overqualified to do the job you’re looking for.
Here is a quick summary of the various types of juicers and how they stack up against each other!
The 5 Main Types of Juicers
Here’s the thing: there seems to be a new juicer on the market everyday but when it comes to actual types of juicers, well, there’s only 5 different types. The difference lies entirely on how each type of juicer operates to extract the juice from different types of produce.
There’s pros and cons to each type of juicer and we’ll break it all down for you. So, without further ago, here are the main types of juicers. Let’s start with the most popular…
Centrifugal juicers are popular since they’re the most available (readily found in all department stores) and usually the most affordable of the electric juicers. You can get an excellent one for the same price as the Z-star manual juicer, despite the fact that these are electric (as in, no elbow grease required).
Centrifugal juicers are named for the way they work.
These juicers produce juice by using a cutting blade to first chop up the produce and then spin the produce at a very high speed, sort of like how a washing machine wrings out the water from wet clothes.
There is a strainer basket with little holes that allows the juice to pass through, while keeping the pulp behind.
This unique spinning system combined with the cutting blade is what differentiates this type of juicer from the other electric juicers, which grind, press, or squeeze the juice. And this is what gives this type of juicer its unique perks and drawbacks.
For example, there is only so much extraction that can happen from the rapid spinning action, which makes centrifugal juicers less efficient at extracting juice than single or twin gear juicers which grind every drop of juice from produce. At the same time, the rapid spinning also creates heat and friction that can oxidize the fresh juice, degrading the taste as well as compromising the quality of nutrients.
Still, it must be said that centrifugal juicers are easy to use and easy to clean – plus, they tend to be much faster at producing fresh juice than other electric juicer types. Want to go a little more in-depth on the pros and cons of centrifugal juicers?
What’s the Best Centrifugal Juicer?
If you’re going to get a centrifugal juicer, the Breville juicers are the best. And out of the Breville juicers, the Breville BJE200XL Juice Fountain Compact Chrome Extractor is the absolute best value.
It’s also one of the easiest to put together and take apart for easy cleaning. Plus, it’s quiet, fast, and has super convenient features like a wide feed chute that can take whole carrots and apples (no prep time :)).
MASTICATING (aka SLOW JUICERS)
Masticating juicers are relatively new to the juicer world. These juicers differentiate themselves by using a gear rather than a spinning action. Specifically, masticating juicers have a single gear or an auger with blades that basically crunches the fruit or veggies into pulp, releasing juice in the process.
This crunching process is a highly effective way of breaking down the hard, fibrous cell walls of fresh produce and produces a high juice yield and very dry pulp.
Unlike the centrifugal juicer, masticating juicers run at a much lower speed (so it takes longer) but the lower speed also produces little-to-no-heat and thus minimizes oxidation. That means your juices aren’t warm (like they tend to be with some centrifugal juicers), there’s no froth on your juices, and that most of the vital enzymes and nutrients in your juices are preserved from oxidation since the juicing process doesn’t disturb the cellular structure of the produce being juiced.
This is one of the most crucial differences between a single gear masticating juicer and a centrifugal juicer. The single gear chomps up the produce without heating any of the nutrients and this thorough break-down process does a great job of extracting every drop of juicy nutrient from the fibrous cell walls (while preserving them) so they can enter straight into your bloodstream when consumed. Single gear juicers leave very dry pulp.
In the centrifugal juicer, on the other hand, the produce is chopped up (by a cutting blade) and then spun – which is not as effective in extracting juices – and thus results in pretty moist pulp. The heat produced by the high-speed spinning also degrades some of the vital nutrients in the juice.
Want to learn more in-depth about the pros and cons of masticating juicers?
What’s the Best Masticating Juicer?
This is the best-loved masticating juicer and not just by me – it’s got over 1,000 reviews on Amazon with a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars.
It’s as “slow juicer” as it gets, working at 80 RPM to “squeeze” out heat-less, high quality juice. It’s also easy to clean and operates quietly.
Best part it that it’s great for greens, including wheatgrass, and it’s multi-functional so you can use it as a food processor, pasta extruder, homogenizer, and grinder.
TWIN GEAR JUICERS (aka TRITURATING)
The twin gear, triturating juicers are the champions of the juicer world – they are the top-of-the line, cream-of-the-crop among mainstream juicing machines.
These juicers extract fresh juice from produce using twin gears that interlock with each other while rotating inwards – crushing everything you put between them into a very dry pulp.
Triturating juicers operate at a very low speed, producing no heat and ensuring thorough juicing of all produce while simultaneously preventing air getting trapped in the juice and causing oxidation.
There is maximum preservation of nutrients and no foam on the juice.
These juicers are super versatile and can juice pretty much every type of fruit and vegetable – including hard, fibrous veggies such as celery and apples, as well as soft fruits and leafy greens. Actually, leafy greens juice particularly well in these juicers thanks to the high pressure exerted by the interlocking gears.
These juicers are ideal for someone for whom price is not an issue and who just wants a top-quality, versatile juicer that will do everything, and do it well. Find out full details about the pros and cons of twin gear juicers!
What’s the Best Twin Gear Juicer?
The Tribest Green Star is our top pick for triturating juicer for the simple fact that it is the best triturating juicer that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
It’s also one of the best overall juicers. Ever. As they say, it is the only juicer you’ll ever need. It does everything. It juices wheatgrass, sprouts, and all other leafy greens amazingly well. It makes nut butters. It makes sorbets. It even makes baby food.
And of course, it extracts extremely high juice yield of the best quality juice, making it our #1 pick for triturating juicers.
Are Twin Gear Juicers Worth the Money?
Twin gear, triturating juicers are undoubtedly the best there is. BUT that does not necessarily mean they will be the best for you. Given the price of these machines, I would only recommend them to people who are really serious about juicing, want the most versatile machine that produces the best juice possible, and want to take advantage of several of the other food-producing options that twin gear juicers provide.
Just as you wouldn’t buy a Hummer when all you plan on doing is driving to and from work on local roads, there’s no need to spring for a triturating juicer unless you really have use for it.
If you just want great juice everyday, opt for the more affordable single gear masticating juicer. If you juice religiously and want to transition into a raw foods sort of lifestyle and diet, then opt for a triturating juicer.
HYDRAULIC PRESS JUICERS
Hydraulic Press Juicers are not that well-known, but they unequivocally produce the best quality juices. These juicers use a two stage process to extract the maximum juice, nutrients, enzymes, vitamins and other wholesome substances from all your fruits and vegetables.
The first stage is trituration. This can be compared to what other juicers do in terms of chopping, grinding and shredding fresh produce. The resultant pulp is then placed in linen or cheesecloth bags or cloth-lined trays ready for the second stage: juice extraction.
The hydraulic press, which consists of two steel plates, clamps down on the pulp and exerts extreme pressure.
This pressure releases more juice than any other type of juicer mechanism. In addition, the juices are the most nutrient-rich. The proof lies in the pale dry pulp that is left behind in the press.
This two stage process can be time consuming, but it is certainly worth it if you are after quality juice.
Hydraulic press juicers are the most efficient, providing a higher yield of juice from fresh produce than any other juicer. Because the juice is not subjected to any heat or electricity, or much oxidation, the juice contains more enzymes than most juices and can be stored in a refrigerator for up to 3 days. As an added bonus, these juices are also incredibly flavorful and easy to digest.
Some of these juicers also perform a range of other functions, such as chopping salad ingredients and making nut butters and other food items. These juicers are quite heavy and you wouldn’t want to move them around your kitchen regularly. But that might not be such an issue if you consider the fact that it will negate the need for several other appliances with all the functions that it can perform.
If it sounds too good to be true, you might want to consider the cost. The main drawback is that hydraulic press juicers are incredibly expensive. However, if price is not an issue, then these machines are the ideal appliance for all serious juicers committed to leading a raw food lifestyle.
Do I Need a Hydraulic Press Juicer?
Hydraulic press juicers are in a class of their own…and it’s top-notch but not necessarily a class you need to partake in. These juicers (machines) produce the best quality juice, but they also require more time, effort, and money than the average juicer (person) needs to spend.
As such, hydraulic press juicers are most often recommended for those who are hardcore serious about living a raw food lifestyle as well as cancer patients who are following the Gerson therapy and looking for the highest quality juices modern machinery can provide.
And in case you’re interested and wondering what juicers are available in this category – well, no review of hydraulic press juicers would be complete without a mention of the aptly named Ultimate Norwalk Juicer. This is the cream of the crop when it comes to all juicers. Form inception it set the standard for hydraulic press juicers, and it retains this solid reputation to this day.
However, the price tag is not for the faint hearted. It currently retails for the equivalent of a used car. If you are an avid juicer and can’t settle than anything that’s less than the best, then you need look no further. This sleek stainless steel device comes in a range of colors and will last a lifetime (or two). Some will argue that the Norwalk is a worthwhile investment because you will get a higher yield of juice from your produce, and you will benefit from superior quality juices.
If you don’t want to compromise on the quality of your juices, but you simply can’t afford a Norwalk, then buying a separate hydraulic press is a great option. Basically, this means that you would use your regular juicer to produce the fruit and veggie pulp, and then you would transfer this pulp to your press.
A great option is the Samson Welles Juice Press (or People’s Press). It costs a lot less that the Norwalk, but it would still produce the same superior quality juices. If you’re a very committed juicer who must have the best and you’re willing to put in more time and effort for better juice quality – this is definitely the best option for you.
MANUAL JUICERS (aka HAND CRANKS)
Last but not least, we get to the humble manual juicer. As the name implies, manual juicers are operated by hand. They don’t require electricity – just elbow grease – and are relatively inexpensive and usually easier to clean than their electric counterparts.
The downside to manual juicers is the range of fruits and veggies that they can juice. Manual juicers are generally very basic tools that serve to squeeze the juice out of a fruit, much like you’d do by hand.
Most of the manual juicers on the market are either citrus juicers or wheatgrass juicers.
Citrus juicers can only juice various types of citrus fruits (and can’t juice the peels), but most manual wheatgrass juicers also do a pretty awesome job of juicing other produce as well – especially leafy greens.
Manual citrus juicers really vary in price. You can opt for a simple but very functional juicer such as MSC’s silicone citrus juicer for practically nothing. Or you can opt for a sleek manual press citrus juicer, for which the price range can go up to a few hundred dollars! Take, for example, this citrus juicer by Hamilton Beach on Amazon.
A huge advantage of manual wheatgrass juicers to citrus juicers is the wider variety of produce you can juice. The best wheatgrass juicers do a great job of juicing wheatgrass and other leafy greens as well as several other kinds of (hard) produce.
What’s the Best Manual Juicer?
The Z-Star is hands down the best manual juicer on the market, mainly because it’s basically a single auger, masticating type of juicer without the motor, which means the same process of extraction with no heat and better preservation of nutrients and enzymes.
It’s great with leafy greens and you can also juice harder produce like carrots, apples, ginger and even softer fruits like tomatoes.
Bonus? It weighs 6lbs and makes a good portable juicer as well!
Should I Get a Manual Juicer?
Manual juicers are a worthwhile investment if you’re looking to try out juicing and don’t want to invest too much since if juicing works out, you can opt for a more versatile juicer AND still keep the manual juicer as a traveling companion or for when you just want to juice leafy greens without taking a lot of time to clean up.
Actually, I’d recommend a manual juicer for pretty much everyone just starting out – they allow you to juice enough produce to make the healthiest kinds of juices (delicate leafy greens like wheatgrass, sprouts, arugula, etc as well as more “tough” veggies like cabbage) and they’re great for juicing hard produce like apples, carrots, and beets to add some sweetness to your green juices.
Masticating vs Centrifugal Juicer
Now that you’re well-versed in the various types of juicers, I’m going to take a moment to compare and offer my personal opinion on the masticating vs centrifugal juicer since these two types are the ones that most people are trying to decide between.
Pros and Cons of Masticating Juicers
I don’t like to play favorites, but yeah, single gear masticating juicers are my favorite and the first juicer types I recommend whenever friends or family ask for a juicer recommendation. Why? First of all, I find that these juicers provide the best overall value. They are a little more expensive than some centrifugal juicers – you can get a pretty good centrifugal juicer for around $100 – whereas a good single gear juicer can run you around $250. It’s a little more upfront investment, but you get it back.
On top of this, single gear juicers last forever. The warranties are super lengthy and if you ask anyone with, say, a Champion, they’ll tell you what a tank of a juicer those things are.
I also like the fact that single gear juicers don’t heat up my juice and produce no froth. In terms of nutrient content that’s being preserved, I think a single gear juicer does add up to better overall value, not to mention the taste is simply better.
Pros and Cons of Centrifugal Juicers
Some juicers don’t even recommend centrifugal juicers since they often produce more waste than other juicers and also cause the juice to oxidize faster. BUT – I think centrifugal juicers definitely have a place in the life of juicers who are really looking for an efficient juicer.
I mean, it’s great to have a wonderful juicer that produces really dry pulp and fresher-than-fresh juice, but if you don’t have the time to use it because it takes too long to juice and then to clean up…what’s the point?
Even if the centrifugal juicer doesn’t extract the full juice out of produce, it is fast, efficient, and really easy to use. It’s perfect for someone who does not have a lot of time to juice but still wants a fresh cup or two every once in awhile.
I do still use a centrifugal juicer sometimes when I know I can immediately down that glass of juice and I’m really running low on time, but if I plan on storing my juice for even a day or two, I will always opt for the masticating juicer. I know most juicers also do like to store their juice so they can take it on the go and for stored juice, masticating juicers are the way to go.
Masticating vs Centrifugal Juicer: The Verdict
Ultimately, it comes down to what is most important for you. To help you weigh things up, here’s how they fare:
- Price: Centrifugal is more affordable
- Time: Centrifugal juices faster
- Clean-up: Centrifugal juicers are a little quicker
- Juice quality: Masticating is better
- Juice efficiency: Masticating produces dryer pulp (more juice)