So you’ve decided to take the plunge and buy your first juicer. After hearing about other people’s weight loss stories and watching Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, you’re resolved to make green juice a daily part of your regimen.
And you might even go on a juice fast. After all, good health doesn’t happen by itself.
If this describes you…..then congratulations! Taking a proactive step for your health is courageous and can mean facing up to a lot of daunting lifestyle changes. In the end it’s definitely worth it…..but that doesn’t make it any less scary when you’re starting out.
Juicing successfully is a fairly interprative and flexible experience with one exception: you have to get a good juicer. Somewhat obvious, but true.
What To Expect And How Much To Pay
In my opinion most juicers are pretty decent, but the best one will depend on your unique situation. If you’re just looking to do some occasional juicing then you can get away with spending less than $100, and maybe even less than $50.
If you’re looking to do it seriously and/or go on a juice fast then you need to be prepared to spend at least $150.
When searching for one here are the important details to consider.
Type of Juicer: Centrifugal or Masticating?
Most juicers can generally be classified into two types: masticating and centrifugal juicers. Here’s a quick breakdown on their differences:
- Masticating Juicers: Masticating juicers extract juice by “grinding” foods as opposed to rapidly slicing them up like a centrifugal juicer. Their openings are larger (see above), and due to the more rigorous nature of their juicing mechanism get more juice than other types. They’re particularly useful for juicing soft vegetables like greens and wheatgrass. They’re also more expensive, harder to clean up and less convenient to use. In my opinion masticating juicers are not the best choices for most people because of the convenience factor. For what they’re good at you can usually find a centrifugal juicer that has additional features that make them comparable. If you are going to get one anyways I’d recommend Omega juicers. They’re fairly easy to use, are high quality and have a fantastic warranty.
- Centrifugal Juicers: Centrifugal juicers require you to feed foods into a chute with a rotating blade at the bottom. They’re slightly less efficient at extracting juice than masticating juicers, don’t work as well on soft foods and make more noise. However they’re less expensive, easier to use, and easier to clean up on average. If you’re worried about the time and convenience involved in juicing then I’d recommend getting a centrifugal juicer. In my opinion this applies to about 85-90% of people who are thinking of buying one. From here on out I’m going to write my recommendations assuming a centrifugal juicer is best for you.
Obviously you want your juicer to extract as much juice as possible in the least amount of time. In general the size of the motor will have the biggest impact on how well your juicer accomplishes this goal. As you might guess, the larger the motor the more expensive the juicer.
Most juicers are either 400, 600, 700, 800, 850, 900, or 1000 watts in strength.
You can usually get a juicer with a 700 watt motor for less than $100 if you search hard enough and if you plan on being a casual user then this should be fine. Be aware that a juicer with a small motor is much more likely to wear down with extensive use and is not suitable for juice fasting or high volume juicing. I know from personal experience because I’ve broken several after trying to make them do too much! If you plan on being a high volume juicer then expect a juicer with less than an 800 watt motor to begin showing serious signs of wear and tear after about one year.
If you plan on going on a juice fast or juicing for many people then you’re better off getting a more expensive model with a bigger motor. And really, the bigger the better. Consider 800 watts a floor and try and go for a 900 or 1000 watt motor if your wallet can handle it.
If possible I’d recommend buying a centrifugal juicer with multiple speeds. Some juicers have 4 or 5 speed motors but a simple 2 speed motor with a “fast” and “slow” option should be enough. This is important because soft foods like watermelon, spinach, and other greens juice much better at lower centrifugal speeds than higher ones. If you’re planning on juicing a wide variety of foods and/or going on a fast then this feature is a must. Green foods are wonderful for detoxification and cleansing, and it’d be a shame if you had to exclude leafy greens from your juices!
The two cheapest juicers I know of that have this feature are the CuisinArt CJE-1000 5 speed juicer and the Breville JE98XL 850 Watt juicer. I’ve never used the Cuisin Art, but I’ve used Breville juicers before and they’re very good.
Chute Size and Cleanliness
Two other details you’ll want to account for when choosing a juicer is the size of the chute.
Heavy users should make sure the chute size is at least 3 inches, so shoving fruits and veggies into the machine is simple and requires as little chopping as possible.
Likewise, a dishwasher safe juicer is recommended for people who are concerned with convience (although I find rinsing one off with water as soon as you’re done will do the trick).
So with that being said, here are my recommendations for people in various situations.
For Someone on A Juice Fast or a Heavy User: The Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite. It’s got a 1000 watt motor, two speeds, and is a complete beast. $300 for the quality is not unreasonable. The only downside is its 1 year warranty. Other juicers at the same price level have longer ones.
Best Masticating Juicer: Omega J8005. My experience with these is less extensive than centrifugal juicers but they have an excellent reputation and outstanding warranties. This juicer is a good choice for someone thinking of buying the Breville 800 but prefers the benefits of a masticating juicer.
Best Juicer for $150: I like the Cuisinart CJE-1000. It has the features of a juicer that costs twice as much.
Best Juicer for less than $100: Breville BJE200XL. For this price it’s by far the most tried and true model.
Best Juicer for People With Teeny Budgets: Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juice Extractor 67650. For $65 it’s hard to beat a juicer with an 800 watt motor!