Before you can find the best juicer, you need to figure out which of the various types of juicers will work best for your needs. Comparing one type of juicer to another would be like comparing apples to . . . I don’t know, kale.
So, what are the different types of juicers?
There are, basically, 3 types of juicers that extract the juice from vegetables and fruit: Centrifugal, Masticating, Twin Gear (also known as Triturating.) And, just to confuse matters further, there’s even a fourth type of juicer that, technically, falls into the category of Blenders. There’s also a bunch of confusion terminology like “dual auger,””cold press,” “slow,” . . . it gets a little weird. But, don’t worry, I’m going to separate the juice from the pulp for you so it goes down nice and smooth. You’re welcome.
These are the most popular and most affordable juicers out there. They started gaining popularity back when Jack Lalanne, beloved health guru and human tugboat, started hocking his name-branded juicer on infomercials pretty much every Sunday. (Hey, there was nothing else to watch.)
Unfortunately, Jack’s juicer doesn’t rate high enough to be included on this site, but still we owe him a debt of gratitude for introducing us to the idea of drinking our veggies.
What centrifugal juicers do is separate the pulp from the juice by pressing the produce into the spinning blades. Using centrifugal force (hence the name), the lighter-weight pulp shoots off into the pulp container and out of your life, while the heavier-weight juice drips down through the mesh blade and into your pitcher. Basically, it’s magic.
What’s nice about centrifugal juicers, is that they juice very quickly and don’t cost that much to get started. But, there are some drawbacks. They’re not as good on leafy greens like Kale and spinach and won’t work for wheatgrass at all. Also, they supposedly don’t maintain as much of the nutrients due to the speed of the motor heating up the juice as it spins, causing the enzymes to start to breakdown. As a result, you have to glug the juice down quickly, before the nutrients disappear, causing widespread panic, which no one wants. Also, they don’t squeeze out as much juice as the masticating juicer, which ends up costing more in the long run.
A great example of a centrifugal juicer is the Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juice Extractor which is one of the most affordable and best reviewed juicers around. It even got a “best buy” from a very well-known consumer reporting agency whose name I’m not supposed to mention. (Oops! I think I just did.) I’ve used this juicer personally and, for the price, it does an amazing job. Some other examples of highly-rated centrifugal juicers are the Breville Juice Fountain Plus that has 5 speeds to adjust for softness and hardness of fruits and veggies, and the Breville Compact Juice Fountain, which has a 4.5 star rating on Amazon based on over 2,200 customer reviews!
Click here to see the full Guide to the Best Centrifugal Juicers.
Also known as slow juicers, masticating juicers use a single gear or auger breaks down the fiber and cells in your fruits and veggies and squeezes all the juice out of it. The word masticating, as you might remember from physiology, is the term for chewing. (Everyone laughed awkwardly when the teacher introduced that word.) Basically, it does all the chewing for you so you don’t have to exhaust your precious jaw muscles.
What’s awesome about masticating juicers is that they will work on all kinds of fruits and veggies including leafy greens and wheatgrass and supposedly get way more yield than their centrifugal counterparts. Some of these babies can even process nuts for nut butter and milks and some, even extrude pasta! Though, don’t get it for that reason.
The best reason to splurge on a masticating juicer, is the quality of the juice it produces. Because there’s very little heat generated in the process, less oxygen gets in and more of the nutritional value of the food is maintained. That means you can sip your juice nice and slowly (if you’re into that kind of thing) or even save it up to 72 hours without losing any nutrients.
The downside is that the prep time and juicing process takes longer, and masticating juicers tend to cost more upfront. On the other hand, you save money in the long run, because they squeeze out every drop of juice that you’re entitled to!
Some highly rated masticating juicers are the Omega Nutrition Center Juicer which does everything from juicing wheatgrass to making baby food and grinding coffee! (Hey, we can’t drink juice all the time.) This one comes with a 15 year warranty and is priced around $300. The Breville Fountain Crush is an upright masticating juicer that takes up less counter space and even leaves some of the fiber in to mix things up a little. It comes with a 10 year warranty and a similar price tag.
Check out the Guide to the Best Masticating Juicers to see the full list.
Twin Gear Juicers
Also known as triturating juicers, these types of juicers operate in much the same was as the masticating juicers, only with, that’s right, two gears instead of one. This process makes it more of a workhorse and gets even more liquid out of your fruits and veggies than the masticating juicer. It operates at a slow speed to avoid oxidation and keep those precious nutrients in tact. They also tend to operate more quietly than the other types of juicers. They can juice just about anything without breaking a sweat: kale, wheatgrass, beets, ginger and even herbs like parsley and cilantro.
They can even be used to make sherbets, nut butters, pasta and grind up grains to make breadsticks. (I know, weird.) The mostly highly reviewed models include the Super Angel All Stainless Steel Twin Gear Juicer and the Green Star Elite Jumbo Twin Gear Juice Extractor
The problem with triturating juicers, besides being hard to say, is that they are even more expensive than masticating juicers, anywhere from $400 to over $1,000 for a good one. (Gulp!) Also, prep time and juicing time takes longer, and they can be the hardest to clean.
Check out our Guide to the Best Triturating Juicers for the full list.
The name sort of says it all. But, as with all things, there always has to be some wiseguy who breaks the rules. Most of these, like the well-reviewed Z-Star Manual Juicer are hand-crank, so, although your jaw gets a break from chewing, your arm’s going to get a bit of a workout. These machines are, basically, dedicated to the job of juicing wheatgrass although some of them have to show off by doing other things like mincing meat, chopping garlic and milling grains (I’m looking at you Samson 6 in 1 Electric Wheatgrass Juicer!)
These are a more affordable option for juicing wheatgrass than masticating and triturating juicers and you can get a good one for around $100 – $150.
See the full list by clicking here: Guide to the Best Wheatgrass Juicers.
Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, Montel Williams shows up. Then suddenly everyone’s scratching their heads, “wait a minute, should I be juicing or blending?” There is considerable debate over the virtues of blending vs. juicing. Suffice it to say that there is room in the healthy diet for both. Although there are definite nutritional benefits to extracting the macronutrient-rich juice from the fiber, there are also benefits to leaving the fiber in. The trick is, to mix things up a little (no pun intended) and to get a powerful blender that can really break those fibers down. Two great examples of these are the Vitamix Professional 750 and the Vitamix CIA Professional Series, which are both highly rated and adored by their users for their ability to break down all kinds of produce including leafy greens for making green smoothies without choking on the green. You’ll find a more affordable, yet still highly reviewed option in the Ninja BL660 Professional Blender which continues to gain in popularity, not just for being “seen on TV,” but because people really like it.
For the full list, click here: The Best Blenders for Green Smoothies
|Best Centrifugal Juicers||Best Masticating Juicers||Best Twin Gear Triturating Juicers||Best Wheatgrass Juicers||Best Blenders|