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The BEST Juicer, Is there one?
by John Kohler

Often times, we are asked, "which is the best juicer?".   Choosing a juicer is like a choosing an outfit to wear.   If your going swimming, you will wear a bathing suit.  If you are going to a formal occasion, you will wear an tuxedo.  Choosing a juicer is much the same.   You must match the juicer to what you intend to do with the juicer.  There are several "styles" of juicers available on the market today.  Some are better suited for juicing certain kinds of produce than others.  There is no "perfect" juicer that will perform every juicing operation with equal quality.   Please evaluate your needs carefully before purchasing an appliance.  This article is based on our experience, and is accurate as possible, if you have any questions, please visit the FAQ.

Before purchasing a juicer, you should ask yourself, what considerations are important to you, when making your choice?  Some factors you should take into consideration are:
  • ease of cleaning
  • noise level
  • speed of juicing
  • length of warranty
  • types of produce you will be juicing

One of the reasons why there is not a "perfect" juicer is because fruits and vegetables have vastly different properties.  The juicing method that is effective for one may not work while juicing the other.   Fruits, have soft cell walls, and therefore require a gentle extraction method.   Apples, pears, watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple are some of the fruits that can be juiced peel and all.  Citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, have a bitter outer rind, and juice from a "whole" orange would be too bitter to drink.   It also contains indigestible chemicals.  One solution is to grate away the outer rind (the orange coloring on the orange - it is best to leave the white "pith", as valuable nutrients are contained within the white area).  The more common method, is to slice the fruit in half, and then using a "reamer" style juicer or a citrus press to press out the juice.

* I always recommend people purchase organically grown produce whenever possible,  especially when juicing produce items, skin and all.

Vegetables on the other hand have fibrous, "tough" cell walls, requiring more aggressive mechanical juicing action than fruit.  Due to their low acid content, it is recommended that vegetable juices be consumed within 15 minutes of their preparation, since it has been demonstrated that enzyme activity in juice 30 minutes old is one-half that of freshly made juice.  When apple or carrot juice turns brown, it has oxidized. 

Juices that are not made fresh, and sold in the store that are bottled or canned will NEVER oxidize.  This is because the juice has been heated to deactivate all the enzymes.  The enzymes are one of the key reasons why making fresh juice with your juicer can be so beneficial. 

I will attempt to explain they various styles of juicers on the market today, how they work, and a brief overview of their advantages and disadvantages.

Centrifugal Juicers
The centrifugal juicer design is one of the oldest juicer designs.   This juicer uses a grater or shredder disc and a strainer basket with straight sides to hold the pulp in the machine.  The shredder disk is at the bottom of the basket, which revolves at a high speed (3600 rpm).  The produce is put into the top of the machine, and it pressed through a chute, hits the spinning shredder disc, while the produce is being shred, juice is released.  The basket spins at a high speed,  much like a washing machines spin cycle and force pushes the juice through the strainer basket,  and comes out of the front of the machine, and the pulp stays inside the machine.  Generally this style juicer can make 1-2 quarts before the juicer must be stopped, and the pulp must be removed before further juicing can take place.  This is not a continuous juicing appliance.  The two centrifugal juicers we sell are the Omega 1000 and Omega 9000.   These machines use stainless steel baskets and ball bearing induction type motors. The Omega 1000 offer a 10 year warranty, and the Omega 9000 offers a 15 year warranty.  This juicer is good  for juicing most fruits and vegetables.

Centrifugal Ejection Juicers
Made popular by the "Juiceman" Infomercial, the centrifugal ejection style juice is the next juicer we will be explaining.  This juicer operates much the same way as the centrifugal juicer above operates, except for the sides of the basket is slanted.   This allows for the basket to be "self-cleaning", so there is no need to stop the juicer and empty it out.  The pulp is ejected out of the machine, usually into a collection bin or basket, that can be lined with a plastic bag to collect the pulp, and then easily discarded. Due to the short contact time of the pulp in the basket, these juicers need to spin faster than the centrifugal juicer, at about 6300 rpm. This style juicer is the noisiest of all the juicers. The Omega 4000(15 year warranty) and  Lequip 110.5 (10 year warranty).  The latest development in the Centrifugal ejection category is the additon of a large feed chute which is 3" in diameter, which allows the user to juice without cutting the produce.  There are benefits and drawbacks to the large feed chute.  The units we offer with the large feed chute are: Lequip 215XL (10 year warranty) and the Omega BMJ330 Big Mouth Juicer (10 year warranty).  To read more about the advantages and drawbacks of the wide feed units, click here.   The centrifugal ejection juicers    are the easiest to use and easy to clean, and are fast.   They are good for juicing most fruits and vegetables. 

Masticating Juicer
The Champion Juicer, made by Plastaket, combines three operations into one. The Champion Juicer first grates, then masticates or chews the pulp to further break down the cell-wall structure, and then mechanically presses or squeezes the pulp to extract the juice. The Champion uses a powerful slow-turning motor and requires moderate strength to operate. It is definitely not a machine for a physically limited person. It can juice almost every type of vegetable efficiently, including leafy vegetables. By blocking off the juice spout (with the blank or solid plate), the Champion can be used as a homogenizer to make such foods as raw applesauce, tomato sauce and baby food. It can make peanut butter or other nut butters. It also makes wonderful ice cream-like desserts from raw frozen bananas and other fruits. By assembling the Champion without the blank or juicing screen, it can be used as a grater or to make shave ice.  The Champion's motor is manufactured by General Electric and its juicing parts are constructed of stainless steel and nylon; it has been manufactured since the 1950's. It is best for juicing most fruits and vegetables. Plastaket also manufacturers a more powerful version of the Champion juicer, its the Champion Commercial model.   The difference is that it has a bit more powerful motor and a stainless steel motor shaft.  The look of the machine is the same, as well as all the external parts.

Manual Press Juicer
The press style juicer squeezes the juice out of the produce by pressure. The press juice, its a two step process: first the produce must be shredded then it is pressed.   There are two style of juice presses.  One style uses leverage to squeeze the juice, while the other type uses a hydraulics.  The Ito Juice Press is a manual press that uses leverage to extract juice from produce.   It is made of all metal and is quite sturdy.   The Norwalk is an electric two step juicer that combines grating and pressing operations into one unit, with this machine, the vegetable or fruit was first grated by a revolving cutter into a linen clothlined tray, which was then placed into a motor-driven hydraulic press. Extremely high pressure was necessary to extract juice from vegetables (6,000 lbs. PSI), The hydraulic press produced a high- quality juice from both fruit and vegetables, but it was a difficult and time- consuming machine to use and to clean. In addition, the $2000.00 price tag is quite high for the average consumer.  A good substitution for the Norwalk juicer, would be to use the Champion Juicer as a grater, and then the Ito Juice Press, Welles press or K&K press, which are operated manually that squeeze the juice out of the produce.   Pressing causes the least oxidation of the juicing methods, and produces a pulp free juice, since the juice is strained through cheese cloth.  This type of juicer juices fruits (especially soft ones) better than other types of juicers.

Single Auger Juicers
This juicer produces juice by using a single auger that basically crushes the produce into the walls (or screen) of the juicer, and in the process extracts the juice.  It runs at a low RPM, so there is little oxidation.  The single auger style juicer has been on the market as a dedicated wheatgrass juicer for many, many years now.   Just recently, a new design of the machine allows the single auger style machine to juice wheatgrass as well as other vegetables and fruits.  There are several brands of single auger juicers.  The Samson 9001 (10 year warranty).  This new single auger machine juices wheatgrass about as well as a dedicated wheatgrass juicer and does an excellent job juicing leafy greens.  It will juice fruits and other vegetables about as well as the twin gear juicers (below).  We found that this type of machine was not as effective at juicing carrots, as the twin gear units. (read more about that here)  The  juice made with this machine tend to be really pulpy  and it is advised to use the strainer that is included.  Fruits and non leafy vegetables need to be cut into small "cubes" for best results when using this juicer.  We find that the single auger juicers, do not produce a high yield when juicing carrots, so if you want to juice alot of carrots, this is not the juicer for you.  For best results when using this machine, the hard and soft produce needs to be "alternated" when feeding into the juicer.   As with  the twin gear units below, this machine is not the greatest for juicing fruits. 

Dual Stage Single Auger Juicers
This juicer works like the single auger style juicer above, but upon the initial crushing of the produce, juice is directed through the stage one juicing screen into the juice cup. The crushed produce continues its way through the machine to the 2nd stage, where there is a finer holed screen to further obtain more juice.  With the single stage auger juicers (above), the juice is only produced in this second stage.   In our tests, this style juicer produced more juice and worked better than the single auger juicers. There are two brands that sell the dual stage single auger juicers.   Tribest offers the Solo Star and Solo Star II juicer (5 yr warranty) rand Omega offers the 8003 and 8005 model (10 yr warranty).  The Omega models are identical except for the color.   The 8003 is white, and the 8005 is a chrome color.  The new Omega 8004 and 8006 are the upgraded versions of the 8003 and 8005.   They include a 15 year warranty, as well as an 8x harder auger.  We found that this type of machine was more effective juicing than the single auger style juicer. (read a sample test here). We prefer the Omega 8003/8005 juicer since its easier to clean than the Solo Star.

Twin Gear Press
These juicers have two gears that basically press out the juice of the produce.   The screws turn at a low 90-110 rpm.  It is very similar to two gears in a automobile transmission that mesh together.  Basically, the produce is pushed (with some force) into the two gears, which first shreds, and then squeezes the produce.   These machines are best for juicing vegetables since these machines rely on the fibrous cell wall to push the pulp through the machine.  As a bonus,  these machines will also juice wheatgrass (Generally a separate wheatgrass juicer is required to juice wheatgrass).  The quality of the juice produced with these machines can be compared to the quality of the hydraulic press above.  These machines are not for the"faint" or "frail" hearted as some pressure is needed to feed the produce into the machine.  Machines in this category are the Green Power Juice Extractor, The Green Star Juice Extractor and the Samson Ultra Juicer.   These juicers truly give "the best of both worlds" but there is one drawback: the price.  They can be as much as two to three times the price of the Centrifugal or Mastication Juicers.   While these juicers are best for juicing vegetables, the Green Power and Green Star machines have a fruit attachment available to help it better juice fruits.  (We have successfully juiced hard apples, hard pears, watermelon with rind, and citrus successfully with these twin gear machines).  The Green Power, Green Star and Samson Ultra are also able to homogenize as the Champion above, and make raw apple sauce, delicious fruit sorbets, nut butters, baby food.   Included with the green power and green star is the pasta maker and mochi (Japanese rice cake) attachments. To read a head to head comparison of these style juicers, please see our article, twin gear showdown.

How loud are the juicers? 
The noise level of the juicers are all different.  A good rule of thumb: The faster a juicer turns (Revolutions Per Minute) or RPM, the louder the machine is.  Based on this, the Single Auger and Twin Gear Machines would be the quietest(operating at ~100 rpm) , followed by the Champion (~2700 rpm) ,then the centrifugal machines (~3600 rpm) , with the centrifugal ejection (~7200 rpm) machines being the loudest.  I have personally juiced with the Green Power while my roomate was sleeping, and it didn't bother them.  I would never try that with any of the other juicers, as they are much louder!  Read our article, "How loud is that Juicer in the Window" for the results of our juicer decibel testing.

Recommendations:
For people interested in juicing both fruits and vegetables with equal quality, the centrifugal juicers such as the Omega 1000 and Omega 9000 will work quite well. If citrus juice is also desired, both models feature an optional  auger-type citrus attachment. These juicers are not well suited to doing wheat grass or leafy vegetables. They need stalk-type vegetables or solid type fruits to work properly. Replaceable filter sheets make cleaning both the Omega 1000, Acme much easier. Please note: a dull shredder-cutting disk will cause erratic operation. It should be replaced at least every three years.

I find that my personal favorite, for fast, easy and quick juice making is the centrifugal ejection juicers. The Omega 4000, Nutrisource 1000, Lequip Model 221Lequip 110.5,  or the Juice Fountain are the easiest juicers to clean, get a good extraction from the produce.   They will juice most fruits (including the skin) and vegetables.

People who are primarily interested in vegetable juices should seriously consider the Omega 8003, Samson, Lequip Visor, Solo Star or  Champion Juicer. They were specifically designed to produce its highest quality juice from vegetables. The juice it produces from vegetables is darker, more concentrated, and contains less entrapped air than juice made with a centrifugal juicer. For this reason the juice has slightly longer shelf life.  The Champion juicer makes a rather pulpy fruit juice that borders on fruit sauce.

For people that want the highest quality juice, the twin gear press or the single auger machine is the machine for you.   They are more efficient (especially juicing leafy greens) than the other juicers mentioned.  Since they operate at a low RPM, it is the quietest of all the juicers, and due to the low rpm, the oxidation that occurs while juicing is minimized (this maximizes the nutritional value in the juice).  If you have the money, and you will be juicing mostly vegetables and some fruit.  (This is not the machine for you if you want to juice mostly fruit - it was designed to juice vegetables)  Another bonus is that it will also juice wheatgrass juice. The Omega 8003, Solo Star and the Samson are single auger juicers. The  Green Star, Green Power Juicer and Samson Ultra  are the twin gear juicers.  The Green Star and Green Power  with the fruit attachment will help it to juice some fruits, such as hard apples, hard pears, watermelon and citrus. These juicers are best for leafy greens, and are not recommend for people who want to juice mostly fruit.  If juicing a combo drink, juice the softest item first, followed by the harder item and alternate them. (ie: apples then carrots)  This is because the twin gear machine REQUIRES fiber (such as in veggies) to push the pulp through the machine, or it will back up.

For people who are interested in changing their lifestyle, and interested in the Living/Raw Food Diet, I would highly recommend either the Champion Juicer, Champion Commercial Juicer, the Omega 8003, Lequip Visor, Solo Star SamsonGreen Star, Green Power or Samson Ultra   juicers, due to the features besides juicing.  The homogenizing feature comes in VERY handy for making raw/living food recipes.  We personally like theOmega 8003 since it juices leafy greens and wheatgrass really well, and run at a lower RPM, as well as being more affordable than the Twin Gear juicers.

If you want to produce high quality wheatgrass juice,  a slow-turning manual-type juicer such as the Miracle  or Back to basics stainless steel produces the best quality. There are many motorized varieties of wheatgrass juicers such as the Miracle and Wheateena to make it easier to juice wheatgrass.  The can reccomend the multi-purpose Omega 8003, Lequip Visor, Solo Star or Samson for people that want to juice wheatgrass as well as other types of produce.

On a budget?  Please read our budget juicer article to learn about the juicers around $100. that will give you the most bang for the buck..

Be sure to take a look at all the other articles we offer about juicers before making your purchase.

We highly recommend watching the demonstration videos we have available so that you can become more educated about the machines, and see how they are used.

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