What Is The Best Juicer To Buy?
Maybe you’re not a juicer fanatic. Fair enough. Many people prefer the convenience of pre-packaged juices. The best aspect of juicing is something that no commercially-prepared juice can provide: freshness.
Commercial companies do as good a job as possible to keep things from decaying. And, contrary to some of what you might have read, preservatives are safe. But the juice cannot be exactly the same as the fresh liquid you prepare for yourself.
When you use a juicer, you’re squeezing the liquid out of the fruit and vegetables right on the spot. All the vitamins and mineral compounds they contain have no time to degrade, as they would naturally over time (unless accompanied by preservatives). You get all the nutrients and nothing but the nutrients.
You can taste the difference. Have a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice you create yourself. Then wait a few minutes, rinse your mouth with water, and try an ounce or two of your favorite commercial OJ. Good as the second one might be, I’ll bet you’ll find you like the first one better.
That last statement becomes even more likely if you try this test over, say, a week’s period. You’ll soon find you lose a desire for all that processed sugar. You’ll find it too sweet, too heavy, and ‘just not right’.
Juicers come at all sizes, shapes, and prices. Some have features that are as impressive as a modern cell phone. As to convenience, well, from experience I can tell you that a good juicer is far from hard to use. There is a bit of clean up. Not my favorite part, I confess. But making the juice is a breeze.
You insert fruits and/or vegetables – anything from fresh cherries to huge apples or tomatoes – through a wide chute, then turn it on and press down. In most cases, you won’t have to pre-cut anything. It doesn’t get easier than that.
One thing they all have in common that I can no longer do without they create fresh, healthy, great-tasting juice. But, then, I’m a juicing fanatic. Maybe you are too and just don’t know it yet?
Best Centrifugal Juicers Reviews
1. Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite
Sometimes I get irritated at the needlessly high-tech sounding names of juicers. They’re not computers or cars, after all. You would think the Breville 800JEXL would inspire a similar reaction. But its also called the Juice Fountain Elite and boy does it deserves that title. This is one truly fine juicer.
The 800JEXL looks very high tech, so the typical mixture of numbers and letters fits it well. The stainless steel body and overall design make it look professional. Since it acts very professional, too, that’s a kind of synchrony I can support. But, like a great movie star, the value of the Juice Fountain Elite goes far beyond a name and a nice looking body.
Power and Speed
That high value starts with power, which the 800JEXL provides in quantity, a full 1000 watts. Among other things, that lets the modest-noise motor drive this juicer up to 13,000 rpm. Even the low-speed setting 6500 rpm is faster than many mid-range juicers.
Despite that high speed, this juicer is designed to transfer very little heat to the mix. That ensures that all the enzymes remain intact, aiding nutrient absorption.
Naturally, it won’t spin that fast with harder fruits and vegetables but it signals you can juice the entire range of anything you desire. The Fountain Elite will never bog down and it will always deliver a nice puree of the desired consistency.
One reason is the excellent titanium-plated cutting disc. Some other models use a kind of twin screw mechanism to grind fruits. That has its advantages but the screws can slow down and the opening plug up if not driven with enough power. A cutter eliminates that potential problem.
The fine design also means you never have to use body weight to get the ingredients inside. A gentle push is all that’s required even for the tough ones.
That may sound like sales hype but actual use shows it is just reality. Carrots, apples, pineapples, and more surrender without a struggle. Very fibrous celery is no problem at all. On low speed, oranges or grapes or watermelons turn to a mushy liquid in short order. You can produce an 8-ounce glass of apple juice in five seconds.
Size and Capacity
You can easily produce much more if you like. The Breville 800JEXL measures a whopping 17 high x 11 wide x 20 deep, big enough to hold securely a 1-liter (1.1 quarts) container. The pulp container will hold a full 3 liters (3.2 quarts). If you want to host a small party or make juice for the whole family, you don’t have to stand over the juicer for twenty minutes to do it.
Rapid production is aided by a circular 3-inch feed chute. You can stuff big vegetables and fruits into its maw without preparation. Have you ever stood beside a juicer and chopped apples or cucumbers for several minutes before starting? Then you know how convenient it is not to have to do this every time you want a healthy glass of juice.
Despite all that power and capacity, clean up is not a chore. All the parts are either easy to clean manually or dishwasher safe.
The exterior, as mentioned, is stainless steel. A quick wipe with a damp sponge keeps it looking good for years. That includes the stainless steel micro mesh filter that helps turn the toughest ingredients into mush. The titanium-plated cutting disk requires a little more effort but not much. Breville includes a cleaning brush to make it easier.
Naturally, the pulp container and juicing pitcher get the messiest but they are easily tossed into the dishwasher. Most of the time a rinse under hot water, if done soon after juicing, will take care of them.
The 800JEXL has a number of features to protect both you and the machine.
Built-in overload protection prevents overheating the motor. If you should accidentally place something inside that simply won’t crush (a small spoon, for instance) the motor will stop.
There’s a Locking Arm that will prevent you turning on the juicer without the cover securely in place. If like me, you’ve ever splattered juice all over the kitchen you’ll appreciate that. Hey, everyone is absent-minded sometimes.
Anyone worried about BPA (Bisphenol A, used in some plastics), rest assured the Fountain Juice Elite is BPA free. You never have to worry about any nasty chemicals leaching into your juice with this model.
Frankly, the 800JEXL is so good and carries a high enough price tag that it’s a little surprising the warranty is only 1 year.
Possibly that’s just a reflection of business reality today. So many companies are squeezed today they feel compelled to cut back anywhere they can. But with reliable parts and quality manufacturing like this, it shouldn’t be a big concern. If it is for you extended warranties are available.
The bottom line for a juicer apart from power and ease of use is how things taste, naturally. Some produce juice with a metallic flavor. Others are bland or even plasticky. Some generate oxidation. The defroster on the pitcher works well in conjunction with the quality parts to produce juice that tastes great.
Understandably, just saying that isn’t convincing. You have to try it. I think when you do you’ll agree with all those 2000+ positive reviews on Amazon. The Breville Juice Fountain Elite deserves them.
2. Breville BJE510XL Juice Fountain
Reviewers are supposed to be unprejudiced, to give readers nothing less (nor more) than the straight story about a product. I confess that when it comes to discussing the Breville Juice Fountain BJE510XL juicer that is really, really tough. If you love fresh, homemade juice, its hard not to get wildly enthusiastic about this model. Heres why.
900 Watt Smart Juicer
The BJE510XL juicer is sometimes called the Ikon. Understandable. This could easily become a standard in the industry, something iconic like the iPhone is in smartphones. Yeah, I know not everyone loves the iPhone but it is pretty iconic, even so.
The Juice Fountain is not the most powerful juicer on the market but at 900 watts its up there. Most are around 700 watts or less. You’ll rarely thinks you need more. The toughest fruits and vegetable pineapples, carrots, you name it practically melt in this unit.
There’ss a reason for that beyond pure power, though. The cutter slices fresh apples, pears, or anything else you put inside with ease. Fibrous celery has no chance against this baby.
The driving mechanism has a feature that, regrettably, is still not very common in juicers: smart control. A chip with embedded monitoring ability controls the cutting disc. For those times when you overstuff the juicer, it signals the unit to increase power to ensure smooth blending.
5 Speeds From 6500 to 12500 RPM
Of course, you don’t always juice only the toughest ingredients. Sometimes you want fresh grape juice, tomato juice, and so forth. Those things are pretty easy to puree. So, you don’t necessarily want the juicer to launch into them like the Terminator on a rampage. That’s where the BJE510XLs speed control comes into play.
Unlike the otherwise fine 800JEXL (the Juice Fountain Elite), this unit offers not just two speeds but five. That was my one hesitation about recommending the Elite and this model removes all doubt. Its also quite a bit less expensive (roughly $100, currently) so that’s an added bonus. The Elite has other things to recommend it but the BJE510XLs wide range from 12500 rpm down to 6500 rpm is very welcome.
The micromesh filter helps that reduction process along, too. Its stainless steel and the hole design ensures it extracts all the juice and all the vitamins and minerals any juicer can. The LCD panel on the front provides an effortless and idiot-proof means for selecting the desired speed.
Not only can you make juice easily no matter the ingredients, you can make a lot of it and quickly. The speed is taken care of by that powerful motor and blending system. The capacity is ample thanks to the large containers that quickly fit together onto the high-power base.
The juice jug is 1 liter (~34 oz) and the pulp container 3 liters (101 oz). If you want to mix juice for just yourself or a small party you needn’t stand over the juicer for 20 minutes.
But the holding capacity is only one albeit important way of measuring juicer size. The 3.3 diameter chute lets you insert all but the largest fruits or vegetables in without any pre-slicing.
It’s also nice that there’s a froth separator inside the detachable spout. Personally, I like a bit of froth but if you prefer your juice thicker or not topped, this model makes that easy. If you want the froth, it’s equally easy just to not use the spout.
Your pet peeves may be different but when I want juice I want it right away. Not having to prepare for using the juicer is my idea of ease of use.
Ease of use
Speaking of ease of use, the pushers design makes it practically effortless to feed this powerhouse. Among other niceties, it houses a blade inside to help keep ingredients stable and centered.
There’s a cleverly made molding with a groove that makes it impossible to insert incorrectly. Its made of really robust plastic so I never fear to break it. The sturdy, wide base of the juicer itself practically guarantees I won’t tip the whole unit over.
That isn’t likely, anyway, since the blade mechanism, high power, and overall design make even tough ingredients easy to feed. I never have to lean on the pusher; a gentle but firm pressure is plenty.
Most of the removable parts are dishwasher safe. If you’re a little nervous about them, or just want to apply some hand cleaning such as with the micromesh filter the others clean up pretty easily.
The box holds a cleaning tool that has both stiff bristles and a spatula-shaped end. That’s great for the filter, the inside of the pulp container, et al.
If the brush doesn’t do the job fully on the filter leaving a yellow stain behind from carrots, for instance, you are not stuck. A lemon juice rinse will usually clear that off of the stainless steel pretty quickly. The body is also stainless steel so a quick wipe with a damp cloth is all that’s ever needed.
One of the things I liked about the 800JEXL I like even more about the BJE510XL. The Fountain Elite has a Locking Arm that prevents accidentally starting the unit when all parts are not well secured. The one on this unit is even better.
Instead of a relatively thin curved rod its a band. It locks into place even easier and more securely. And the one on the Elite was just fine.
Like its cousin, the BJE510XL also incorporates Overload Protection. Anytime the sensors detect the motor overheating the unit will automatically shut off. That’s pretty rare but if you drop a spoon inside, or for any other reason the thing won’t spin, you don’t have to fear to wreck your juicer by accident.
The Breville Juice Fountain Multi-Speed (BJE510XL) might have just become my favorite juicer. Hard to be sure because there are several great ones around. But this one is in the top five on my list, certainly.
3. Breville JE98XL
If you’ve looked at juicers, especially some Breville models, you know they come in all sizes. But along with that range of power and capacity comes a range of prices. Some of them, fine units to be sure, are pretty pricey. So, hats off to Breville for making a mid-range model like the Juice Fountain Plus (JE98XL) that comes at a mid-range price. Yet, it still offers many of the features of the higher-end models.
One compromise made in the JE98XLs design was power. It’s just 850 watts, a chunk less than the Elite (1000 watts) or even the 900 watts Juice Fountain Multi-Speed. Even so, that’s far from weak; many mid-range models offer only 700 watts.
Beyond raw horsepower, this Breville model has several design features that ensure just about anything you put in gets well pureed.
One of the most important of those is the excellent cutting disc. This stainless steel version doesn’t quite match the titanium of the 800JEXL but it still chews up produce like crazy. The pulp comes out so dry on the first pass there’s never a need to do a second.
The chute and pusher help there, too. The 3-inch-wide mouth ensures you don’t have to pre-slice ingredients often. All but the largest apples fit without preparation. A pineapple will still need to be pre-cut, of course, but unless you include the skin (hey, some do!) that’s a given anyway.
Also, because of the pusher design (and the efficient cutting blade), you don’t have to strain a ligament forcing fruit or vegetables into the juicer. The weight of your hand is enough to keep things moving along. The unit itself measures roughly 13 1/5 x 16 1/2 x 18 1/5. Not enormous but plenty wide enough to be stable in any case when you push.
Breville made another compromise, but not a severe one, in the capacity. Breville’s high-end model offers a pulp container that holds 3.2 quarts (3 liters). This one tops out at 2.6 quarts (2.5 liters).
Does that matter to you? It depends on what you make most often. Personally, my husband and I find this volume is plenty. If you plan to have a small party and want to make as much as possible at once it might matter to you.
Interestingly, the juice jug is still 1.1 quart (1 liter), the same size as the other two models I mentioned above. So, with certain high-water ingredients oranges, tomatoes, and the like the lower capacity pulp container may make no difference whatever.
The cutting disc is surrounded by a special micromesh filter that extracts more juice than others. So, we’d be unlikely to have any issues with the container sizes.
Speed and Control
The compromise on speed settings is more likely to be an issue with some buyers.
The high speed 12,000 rpm is plenty (in conjunction with the powerful motor and good cutter) to tackle dense fruits and hard vegetables. In fact, for those soft fruits and leafy vegetables, you want the lower speed 6,500 rpm. But those are the only two options. The BJE510XL offers five and they do come in handy from time to time.
Still, you cant complain about the ease of use. The switch on the front clearly shows Low, Off, High so there’s never a reason to make a mistake. And I like the physical mechanism. Some of the fancy juicers emulate the soft-touch buttons of some microwaves or the even softer virtual screen pads of a smartphone. I like the tactile feedback you get here.
Like the other Breville juicers, the JE98XL is relatively easy to keep clean. I say relatively because let’s face it juicers make pulp and pulp are messy. Still, thanks to many of the parts being dishwasher safe it’s not as bad as it could be.
Breville recognizes that sometimes a hot-water rinse isn’t going to be enough. They thoughtfully included a stiff-bristle cleaning brush for those times. Youll need it from time to time because the mesh filter basket shouldn’t go into the dishwasher.
However, unlike some Breville models, the Juice Fountain Plus body is polymer plastic, not stainless steel. It will require a little more cleaning to keep looking new, though not much more.
Fortunately, this model incorporates the same safety features as the more expensive units.
The BPA-free parts will be appreciated by those who are concerned about that compound possibly leaching into the juice. Some experts insist there’s a real risk there; others assert that studies show no evidence of a health problem. One thing is for sure. No BPA means no possibility of contamination.
Personally, I’m more glad about the Locking Arm. I get distracted from time to time and a failsafe mechanism is highly appreciated. You cant start the JE98XL until you lock the rod into place over the top.
The Overload Protection is also nice. Its unlikely to be a problem, but if you accidentally drop a knife into the juicer and start it up the unit can jam. This juicer senses an issue like that and shuts off the motor before it can overheat.
The Breville Juice Fountain Plus (JE98XL) wouldn’t be my first choice for a juicer unless I was sensitive about price. In that case, I would give it a serious look. At this price currently under $150, you get a lot of high-end features at a very modest cost.
4. Cuisinart CJE-1000 Juice Extractor
I’ve been disappointed by Cuisinart products in the past. Sometimes, they’re just cheap, flimsy, or flat out don’t work well. That’s why I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the Cuisinart CJE-1000 Juice Extractor is such a fine product.
Design and Specs
The basic numbers of this juicer aren’t that inspiring. Its certainly decently made, having a die-cast base and stainless steel housing. The size is fine; it measures 14.9 x 9.4 x 16.5 inches. It weighs 15 lbs. But those are pretty close to standard and nothing to write home about.
Things start to look a little better when you see that the CJE-1000 includes a 2-liter pulp container. That’s on the larger side and very welcome to those of us who like to create healthy drinks for the whole family every morning. The juice pitcher is only 1-quart (a little less than 1 liter) but its certainly adequate.
Thankfully, the 3-inch wide chute makes it easy to load up the juicer without having to pre-cut any but the largest fruits and vegetables.
The Food Pusher feel sturdy and inserts into the unit smoothly yet firmly. It fits precisely. That means you won’t have to worry about leakage around the rim. It does represent one more part to remove and clean, the downside of any juicer. But as these things go that’s not a big burden. The filter basket is another well-made part.
Personally, I like a lot of foam in my freshly-created juice. Apparently, excess foam bothers a lot of users but its fine with me. For those juicer fans, the CJE-1000 offers a welcome solution with its foam-reducing filter basket.
Its sturdy and high quality. It’s also dishwasher safe. It is also adjustable so, if like me you prefer a little foam, you can set it for your personal taste.
1,000 Watt Motor 5 Speed Controls
Juicer fans will also be pleased to learn that the CJE-1000 offers plenty of power to squeeze the liquid out of the hardiest vegetables.
The unit houses a 1,000 watt motor with five speeds, from 7,000 rpm to 13,000 rpm. You can load carrots in this thing and rest easy knowing they’ll quickly be turned into something readily drinkable.
I’m not sure why Cuisinart felt the need to include a blue LED ring around the speed dial. I suppose on those mornings when you really don’t have your eyes fully open it would be useful, but other than that it is just for looks. I confess it does add a nice accent to the appliance.
Looks aside, I do like the dial. We’ve all gotten used to electronic buttons, cell phone touchscreens, and the like by now, but I’m old-fashioned. Not to mention, not so nimble-fingered as I use to be. I like a rotary dial. It fits well in the hand and is easy to set.
When you set it on the highest setting you can rest assured you’ll get the very dry pulp. I put that in scare quotes because, after all, the pulp is still a little wet after putting fruit through any juicer. That standard term for juicing enthusiasts is just a signal of how thoroughly a juicer extracts the liquid from the solid of the fruit or vegetable.
Heres another way in which I’m a little different, I guess. I like wet pulp! I like to add it to the drink so I get all the goodness from the fruits or vegetables I juice. But if you like to get the most out of your source and still discard the pulp, that’s easy here.
Maintenance and Clean Up
All juicers are a chore to clean. Still, some are better than others and Cuisinart has done as well as possible here to make the job less onerous.
The unlock and lift system makes disassemble as easy as possible. The adjustable anti-drip spout helps prevent drooling that would have to be rinsed away later. It also helps keep the counter clean. Thanks, Cuisinart! I hate wiping up after juicing.
Best of all, all the components that come into contact with fruits, vegetables, and the juice you produce from them are dishwasher safe. The motor housing, of course, is not but wiping the stainless steel housing is not a chore. The CJE-1000 is well-made so it doesn’t drip juice all over the place.
I personally prefer to rinse things out by hand right after making juice. I do it even before drinking, so there’s no time for the material to stain. And, I can relax and enjoy my juice at my leisure, but to each her own.
If you don’t have that habit, not to worry. Even after sitting in the dishwasher for a day these parts, like the Food Pusher and Pulp Container, will mostly clean up very well.
I qualify that point with mostly because they are plastic. Certain fruits or vegetables can definitely stain them over time if the parts are not rinsed right away. If that happens you can still recover the original look (at least to a high degree) with special cleansers or do-it-yourself solutions.
The CJE-1000 package includes a little cleaning brush. It won’t set your heart on fire no reason it should considering how easy it is these days to get any kind you want very cheaply but its a thoughtful addition. So many companies are cutting costs wherever they can today it is nice that Cuisinart included it.
I wouldn’t rate the Cuisinart CJE-1000 juicer as the best model on the market, even at this modest price. But the quality, size, features, and ease of use make it definitely a good deal.
5. Breville BJB840XL
The Breville Juice Blend (known otherwise by the less elegant name of BJB840XL) is exactly what it sounds like: a juicer and a blender in one. Within that accurate but bland description lies a much more interesting health product.
The basic specs of the BJB840XL fail to reveal just how good this juicer-blender is. For example, it comes with a 40 oz (1.2L) Juicer Jug and a 51 oz (1.5L) glass Blender Jug. The overall dimensions of the Juicer are (W x D x H) 15 1/4 x 7 3/4 x 17 and the Blender 8 x 7 1/4 x 18.
That total capacity isn’t as large as many similar products on the market, but that alone isn’t likely to turn off many buyers. People are used to 5-quart mixers and a large variety of other super-sized home products today but 1.2 liter is certainly ample.
The nice wide chute is something another matter. Its 3 neck is plenty. With such a large opening you don’t have to pre-cut those apples from the tree in back. You don’t have to force those lovely large garden tomatoes in uncut and make a mess all over the juicer.
Fortunately, the goodness doesn’t stop there. Titanium-reinforced cutting blades ensure that everything is well pureed. Yet, thanks to a stainless steel micro-mesh filter basket, you don’t have a ton of pulp in the juice, either.
The juicer-blender also sports something Breville calls Hemisphere Blade and Bowl Technology. Its designed to minimize food getting trapped where it doesn’t get juiced or blended.
I’m inclined to give them a pass on the marketing buzz phrase since it works so well. True, no electro-mechanical device today will get every particle. Food has a way of hiding from even the best mechanisms. Yet, this model overcomes that problem far better than any other competitor I know.
Motor and Speeds
Juicer. The juicer has five separate speeds, each one tailored for a particular kind of fruit or vegetable you want to purée.
- Setting 1 = 6,500 rpm
- Setting 2 = 8,100 rpm
- Setting 3 = 9,700 rpm
- Setting 4= 11,300 rpm
- Setting 5 = 13,000 rpm.
That last one simply has to be heard to be believed.
Beyond a dry list of numbers through what you notice when you use the machine is much more emotion inducing. I’ve had juicers that simply didn’t have the speed to take care of carrots. You won’t have that problem here.
One reason for the high-speed ability is a powerful motor: 1,200 watts. For comparison, the Breville BEM800XL stand mixer houses a 500-watt motor and that’s a substantial engine in a device that does a similar job.
Blender The blender portion is no featherweight in the features and power departments, either. It offers:
- Setting 1 = Mix
- Setting 2 = Chop
- Setting 3 = Blend
- Setting 4 = Liquify
- Setting 5 = Purée.
Some of those names might seem a little confusing at first, perhaps. I mean, since when does a blender chop? No matter. Others are accurate. When it says liquify you can depend on it.
If, for example, you’re like me and enjoy a good protein drink made from powder every day you might have been dissatisfied with the blend setting in the past. So many times you get clumps of wet mix sticking to the glass. You put this baby on liquify and you’ll never have that problem again.
That’s in part thanks to the blenders own powerful power plant: 750 watts. That may seem like a lot less than the juicer but this aspect doesn’t need as much power to do its job. Also, see the comparison to the BEM800XL mixer above, which it outdoes by 50%.
Maintenance and Clean Up
The blade assembly is likely never to need maintenance as long as you own the Juice Blend. Stainless steel and titanium alloys today are truly hard to dull or corrode. But, of course, there will be some cleanup.
Heres where I wish the BJB840XL were a little less effort. True, the glass jugs are nothing. Pop them in the dishwasher or just run under some hot water and you’re done. Ditto the dishwasher-safe food pusher, filter basket, and other parts.
But I do wish the whole thing were a little easier to disassemble. I wish that some places on the parts were less difficult to get to for cleaning by hand. Maybe it’s just me. I am pretty clumsy. Anyone with reasonable flexibility and half a brain should be able to take out the removable blade assembly without undue effort.
Still, I wish the whole process were less work for someone whos not quite as nimble-fingered as she used to be. The package does come with a blade removal tool that makes the job easier, admittedly.
Breville warns that the plastic parts can become discolored over time (and not much at that, judging from experience). It isn’t hard to head that off before it occurs, though. Washing everything right after use can slow it down tremendously. And, if it does happen, you can soak them in diluted lemon juice or use a commercial cleanser. Some such products are even designed specifically for juicers.
The package includes a nylon cleaning brush but I didn’t find it all that much help. Not a big issue, in my view, however. Brushes of all shapes and sizes are almost literally a dime a dozen these days. Still, nice of Breville to throw one in. With everyone cutting costs to the bone these days it is a thoughtful touch.
The Breville BJB840XL Juice Blend is among the higher priced units. But, for that money, you get the functionality of a blender and a juicer into one impressive machine. For those who are dedicated to making often their own healthy drinks, it would be hard to find its equal anywhere. I just wish it were a little easier to clean.
Best Masticating Juicers Reviews
1. Omega J8006 Nutrition Center
The Omega J8006 juicer operates by a different method than you may be familiar with. Unlike the majority of models out there, it is a masticating juicer. That means, rather than spinning and high speed to produce fresh juice, it grinds produce.
Should that matter to you? How well does it do that, anyway? Let’s find out.
Two-Stage Masticating Juicing Process
The Omega J8006 is a two-stage masticating juicer. That means that after the product is crushed the pulp is then squeezed before being ejected. That ensures you get every bit of goodness that can possibly be extracted. You can see that firsthand by just observing how dry the pulp is that’s produced.
The J8006 measures approx. 6 1/2 x 14 1/2 x 15 1/2 (W x D x H). If you look at these figures carefully and compare the dimensions to other popular juicers you’ll notice something odd. It is very small in one direction. Yes, like most masticating juicers, the J8006 is more horizontal than upright like centrifugal models.
That isn’t the most important aspect of a juicer but it does introduce a couple of things to consider. The size and shape influence how much counter space you have to devote to it. They also affect how easy the unit is to tip over. At 13 lbs, however, the J8006 isn’t so easy to tip even apart from the squat body.
On the downside, with that smaller size comes a smaller feed tube, in this case only 1.5 in diameter. Among other things, it means you’ll have to pre-slice apples and other large ingredients.
Personally, I dislike having to do that and tend to favor a centrifugal for the convenience factor. On the upside, a masticating model will tend to be more efficient at extracting. Juice carrots and you’ll see the difference for yourself.
The masticating design also generates a difference in sound volume. A centrifugal almost invariably will be much louder. The J8006 spins at only 80 rpm. Compared to even the slow speed on a centrifugal, which may be as low as 3,600 rpm, that’s a huge difference.
You might think that the difference in speed between a centrifugal and a masticating design would also produce a difference in extraction ability. Maybe, maybe not. I talked above about how a dual-stage system extracts juice with high efficiency. But there’s more to the story.
A good centrifugal model like the Breville BJE510XL will extract about all the liquid goodness in the ingredients. A good masticating model like the J8006 does, too. It just does it differently.
The J8006 has a single gear and auger that chew produce. That’s where the design gets its name. To masticate means to chew. The word comes to us from ancient Greek via Latin. There’s more here than a lesson in words, though. That method produces a number of practical effects.
Centrifugal juicers generate some heat during use. That heat can flow into the juice, eventually breaking down useful digestive enzymes. A slow grind eliminates that possibility almost entirely. That’s especially important for more delicate produce like spinach and other leafy greens.
That last point applies more widely than just to enzyme retention, though. Unless a centrifugal model has a low-speed setting, the more vigorous method can really be overkill on soft produce. Bananas and even tomatoes can just get destroyed by a centrifugal model, good as such units are in other ways.
The range of ingredients you can use is also wider than with the average centrifugal juicer. The J8006 does a fine job with such things as wheatgrass. You can even use this unit to create fresh peanut butter from nuts, grind coffee, or mince herbs grown in your own garden.
Low Froth Production
Like other masticating models, the J8006 has one other potential advantage: froth production, or rather the lack of it. A centrifugal will almost always create a lot. It is inevitable when you spin produce at high speed in the presence of air. That’s why good ones will incorporate a froth filter in the pouring spout.
No need for that in this Omega juicer. Slow grinding means little or no foam. Personally, I rather like frothy fresh juice but many rate a juicer by how well it overcomes that problem.
There’s more to this issue than a preference inconsistency, though. High-speed blending introduces the possibility of oxidizing the juice. You can see that, for example, if you juice apples.
You might have noticed that an apple without a skin will turn brown very quickly sitting in the air. That’s oxidation. Juicing moves even more air into contact with the produce and a higher speed does that more quickly than a slow speed. The slow speed method of this masticater means that’s much less likely.
Operating and Maintenance
The J8006 has a couple of interesting features not found on other models I’ve reviewed. One is the ability to reverse the auger. That lets you run the juicer backward in the rare event that something gets lodged inside.
On the flipside, the J8006 like most models who use this method is a bit harder to clean than most centrifugal juicers. Some places are simply harder to get at efficiently than the filter system of, say, a Breville BJE200X.
On the other hand, parsley and other produce can stick to the basket of a centrifugal like nobody’s business. That’s one reason that Breville includes a cleaning brush with many of their models. All in all, cleaning the feed chute, pulp container, and so forth isn’t that onerous. Rinsing well with hot water takes care of most of what little pulp is left behind.
Overall, the J8006 is very easy to take apart (for cleaning) and reassemble. There are only four main parts and it requires no particular mechanical expertise to do the job.
The Omega J8006 masticating juicer is compact and powerful enough to grind the toughest fruits, yet gentle enough to do fresh spinach. It even looks good in an interesting retro way. Recommended.
2. Omega Vert VRT350 Heavy Duty
The Omega Vert VRT350 is a rarity among juicers. It’s a masticating design yet at a glance you could easily mistake it for a centrifugal model. But the VRT350 has many more surprises in store.
Dual-Stage Masticating Juicing Process
The Omega VRT350 is a dual-stage masticating juicer. In this case, that means something a little different from the norm. This model crushes produce similar to other masticaters but it also squeezes in a second pressing step before the pulp is ejected.
It still qualifies because it doesn’t use the high-speed spinning that defines a centrifugal model. A third category might be useful. Until then, the usual one will do well enough. Even without opening it up to look at the mechanism there are several indicators of that.
One obvious clue is the speed; the VRT350 turns at a mere 80 rpm. Even on the lowest setting, an average centrifugal model will spin at 3,600 rpm or more. Many of the latest Breville units don’t go below 6,500 rpm.
Another sign is the power rating. The VRT350 offers only 150 watts. A mid-range centrifugal model will put out 700 watts. A high-end model might reach 1,000W. But with this design that power is plenty.
Looking at the case design you might never tell this is a masticator, though. It measures 7 wide x 8 1/2 deep i.e. a pretty narrow base compared to many centrifugal juicers. But its a full 15 1/2 high, making it clearly upright. Most masticating designs are more landscape and look fairly squat. A nice combination of counter space conservation and aesthetics.
You might also pick up the case to get a hint. The VRT350 tips the scales at a full 19 1/2 lbs, more than the average centrifugal model. It’s even a little heavy for a masticating model. Nice and stable but you probably won’t want to move it around much.
Of course, what counts is not the numbers but what the juicer does. Fortunately, this unusual Omega model offers plenty to like in that area.
One test I like to make is to soak a bunch of almonds then see how the juicer does when turning them into almond milk. The slow-speed/ample power of the VRT350 ensures this model passes that test with ease. That low speed helps produce fresh, nutritious juice in a few other ways, too.
Minimal Heat Build Up Oxidation
A pleasant side effect is the minimum of heat and oxidation produced. Unless they’re very carefully designed, high-speed juicers can transfer substantial heat to the liquid during extraction. That may degrade the juice, by degrading the enzymes that help you digest it.
The high speeds used by centrifugal models inevitably produce a lot of foam. Issues of preference aside, that signals the presence of a lot of air in the juice. More air means more oxidation when it’s stored. That tends to degrade the nutrients in the juice.
Since the VRT350 spins at only 80 rpm heat build-up and oxidation are virtually eliminated.
A nice side benefit is the noise level; with a masticating model, there’s almost always less, a lot less. Some centrifugal units sound like a low flying jet in your kitchen. The VRT350 produces nothing more than a non-irritating hum. It’s actually kind of peaceful.
That low noise has another side benefit. A masticating model typically takes longer to produce juice. A good centrifugal model like the Breville Juice Fountain can extract an 8-ounce glass of apple juice in five seconds. The VRT350 can take 30 sec or more. The time factor is probably negligible for most people but that shorter period of noise might be appreciated.
Wider Produce Selection
A masticating design gives the VRT350 another advantage: more ingredient options. The average centrifugal model can do a terrific job on apples, pineapples, celery, carrots, and other hard produce. But only a limited number have the gentle settings necessary to do well with spinach and other delicate produce.
The VRT350 can handle the softest tomatoes, bananas, and all manner of leafy greens the way they need to be treated. Even wheatgrass is a breeze.
2 Juicing Screens
In whatever category you put this model you can detect its masticating nature by observing the ultra-dry pulp. Omega complements that by offering two juicing screens in this model: fine and course.
If you like a bit of pulp in your fresh juice like I do you’ll appreciate that second option. Some juicer makers seem to think its a sin if they don’t filter out every tiny bit. But the fleshy pulp has value, too. Thank you, Omega.
This unit also houses an additional setting not found on too many juicers: Reverse. If you start juicing and discover that something simply won’t go through a hard bit of pineapple rind, kale stem fibers, or even a wooden spoon you can hit reverse to get it out. That protects the motor and aids in cleanup.
Speaking of cleanup, the VRT350 is easier to maintain than the average masticating juicer, thank heavens. There are several good models out there but most of them are a bear to clean. Juicing is messy. But Omega did about as good as possible here, next to getting someone else to do the dirty work.
There’s an AutoClean mechanism that wipes the screen off for you. You can pour hot water through the spout if you want. For those parts-staining carrot jobs, you can add a little lemon juice without harming anything. The oversized spout makes it easier to get a small brush inside for the truly stubborn stuff. Omega includes one in the package.
The auto eject design extrudes pulp, another welcome feature. It works alongside the Reverse mode to prevent clogging, too. It also makes cleanup and disposal a little easier.
Would the Omega VRT350 heavy duty juicer make my list of the top five? Hard to say. I’m partial to centrifugal models because I love the quick results and large feed chutes they offer. But there’s no denying that this masticating model has a lot to love.
Centrifugal vs Masticating Juicers – Which Type Is Better?
There are several basic types of juicers but most are either Centrifugal or Masticating style. What do those terms mean, and how do they compare? Which is better? Is it all, to offer a bad pun, a matter of taste? Let’s see.
The Essential Difference: Slice vs Grind
The centrifugal method spins produce at high speed. As ingredients pass a blade/teeth assembly they get sliced into ever smaller pieces. Within a few seconds, they become so small they’re essentially just pulp. As the produce shreds into smaller and smaller parts, the centrifugal motion pulls juice out of the pulp. At the same time, the puree flows through a series of small holes in a filter, separating the liquid from the flesh.
A masticating juicer, by contrast, lives up to its name, too. To masticate means to chew. Fresh juice ingredients are pressed down onto a pair of grinding teeth arranged to turn produce into a pulpy mash. Again, a filter separates the liquid from the pulp.
So what? Do those of us interested in nutrition and health have much reason to care how the juicer does its job? Most people won’t be designing machines, after all, and the price difference that once existed is now largely gone. Well, it turns out there are pros and cons to each method that can influence your choice of juicer.
The case design of a centrifugal juicer frequently differs a little from its masticating cousin, too. It’s commonly more upright. Masticators tend to be a little squatter.
Normally, you have little reason to care but if you’re concerned about stability you might be. Today, quality models the only type we recommend are heavy enough and/or wide enough that it’s not typically a big concern. Also, the product blends easily enough in a good model without big hand pressure that size is not an issue.
Masticaters tend to be more landscape oriented. A tube with an auger protrudes from the base. They do sometimes take up more counter space. Ingredients are still pushed to the top, though. So you don’t have to worry about any mess at least not any more than with a centrifugal model.
Pulp and Juice Quality
One key criterion could be how each method affects the resulting juice, of course. That is, does nutritional quality, taste, or even the physical substance differ depending on how its produced? Here, the answer is a little more complicated than I wish: yes and no.
Because of the high speed and friction of centrifugal models, there is the possibility of excess heat being transferred into the liquid. Apart from warming your drink when you might prefer it cool, that can affect the juices nutritional value at least that is what several resources claim.
Enzymes in natural juice help you digest it for maximum value. If those are heated they can be broken down, destroyed, and therefore useless. Think of what happens when you (over)cook an egg. The outer edges become crisp, dark, curled. That’s a sign that the protein of the white is getting altered in a big way.
Juice enzymes never reach that level of degradation; the effect is much less severe and more subtle. Something like that can only happen with juice that gets too much heat. Fortunately, todays quality juicers are designed to take that possibility into account and do an excellent job of preventing it.
For a more in-depth analysis and real testing and conclusions, read John Kohler’s article: The Truth about Heat, Oxidation and Juice Quality. Johns conclusion: All juicers change the temperature of newly created juice but all juicers produce fresh, live, juice that contains their full complement of enzymes.
In times past, masticating juicers were preferred by many because they were much better at extracting juice. That is, they generated more liquid from the same fruit or vegetable than a centrifugal model. You could see that by the dryer pulp they created along with the increase in liquid volume.
That’s far less often true than it used to be. Newer centrifugal designs do a superb job of extracting anything and everything an equivalent cost/quality masticating model would. The latest Breville line of centrifugal juicers is a good example.
There’s another important factor smart potential juicer buyers take into account: the product itself. That is, do you intend to use mostly hard ingredients like apples and carrots or do you most often prefer juice from tomatoes and soft, leafy greens?
You cant get around the fact that centrifugal machines spin at high speed. That’s what they’re supposed to do. But that high speed can be too hard on bananas, spinach, and the like. That said, here again, some centrifugal models have multiple speeds. Set the unit on low and you’re almost certain to get exactly what you like even with the softest of produce.
The Bottom Line
It’s easy to state the basic difference between a Centrifugal and a Masticating juicer: slice versus grind. So, which type of juicer do I recommend? In all honesty, that’s impossible to answer for a wide audience. Both have their strengths and limitations.
I love the slow, careful grind of a masticating juicer. I love how gentle it is on the flimsiest of produce. But I still prefer the speed, easy cleanup, and low counter space consumption of a centrifugal juicer.
And because it will almost invariably create more froth than a masticator. The difference is sometimes substantial. That high-speed cant help but add air to the mix. Personally, that’s not a big issue with me. I like it that way. Many do not, though. Luckily for those who care, many good centrifugal juicers have a froth separator built-into the pouring spout. Some are removable, so you can have it either way you like.
Some buyers prefer a masticating juicer because a few designs can do multiple duty. There are models out there that, in addition to making fresh juice, will extrude pasta, make breadsticks, and so forth. I prefer to use other devices made for that sort of thing such as a good breadmaker. But, to each her own.
Finally, on the topic of cost. Until recently, centrifugal juicers were typically much, much cheaper. That’s not quite the situation today. True, the truly low-price juicers on the market are almost invariably centrifugal-style units.
It’s simply cheaper for the manufacturer to make a model that spins fast than to produce one that grinds. But in the mid-range and, especially, among the most expensive models the price just isn’t a differentiator. You can find a $400+ model that is superb and uses either method.