Juicing has become an incredibly popular way to get more fruits and vegetables into your diet. Drinking fresh, raw juice made at home lets you consume produce that you may not eat otherwise. It also allows you to take in a concentrated dose of nutrients.
Juicing requires having some type of juicing equipment. Juicers come in a wide range of prices, anywhere from $30 to $400 or more. This raises the question – is it worth spending more money on an expensive, high-end juicer? Or will a cheaper model do the job just as well?
How Juicers Work
To understand the potential benefits of an expensive juicer, it helps to first look at how juicers work and the different types available.
There are three main types of juicers:
- Centrifugal juicers: These are the most common and affordable models on the market. They shred produce using sharp blades and then spin it very fast to separate the juice from the pulp using centrifugal force.
- Masticating juicers: Also known as cold press or slow juicers. They crush and press produce to squeeze out the juice.
- Triturating juicers: The most high-end and expensive. They have twin gears that grind produce into a fine pulp to extract juice.
In general, more expensive juicers like triturating and some masticating models use a slower, more thorough process to extract juice. They tend to produce higher yields and drier pulp than centrifugal juicers.
Factors to Consider
Here are some key factors to consider when deciding between a budget-friendly centrifugal juicer versus a pricier masticating or triturating model:
The faster spinning and higher heat generation of centrifugal juicers may destroy some nutrients, especially oxidation-sensitive vitamins like C and enzymes. Masticating and triturating juicers retain more nutrients because they operate at slower speeds and don’t introduce as much heat.
Higher end juicers that thoroughly crush and press produce tend to result in a higher yield of juice per amount of produce. You’ll get more juice out of the same quantity of fruits and veggies.
Juice Shelf Life
The juice from masticating and triturating juicers can last up to 72 hours in the fridge compared to just 24 hours for juice from centrifugal juicers. The slower speed and lower oxidation makes juice stay fresh longer.
Masticating and triturating juicers can juice leafy greens like kale and wheatgrass that centrifugal models aren’t as efficient at processing. They can also juice herbs, sprouts and juicing greens that may fly through and get caught in the basket of centrifugal models.
Centrifugal machines eject pulp into an external container you have to empty. Masticating models continuously eject pulp into the same container as the juice, resulting in a thicker, pulpier juice, which some people prefer. Triturating juicers with twin gears leave behind the driest pulp.
Centrifugal juicers often operate at up to 13,000 RPMs, making them very noisy. Slow juicers have much quieter motors and are ideal if you want to juice early in the morning without waking the house.
Slow juicers often come with more parts and components so they can take a bit more time to fully take apart and clean. Centrifugal machines are often easier to clean with fewer parts.
Some higher end masticating and triturating juicers offer extra attachments so they can be used as a grinder or food processor. This adds more functionality and versatility in the kitchen.
The Best Juicer Types By Budget
Here is a breakdown of the best types of juicers to consider at different budget levels:
|Type of Juicer
|$100 – $200
|Budget masticating juicers
|$200 – $400
|High-end masticating juicers
|Triturating twin gear juicers
At the lowest budget, under $100, centrifugal juicers are the only decent option. In the $100-$200 range, you can start getting some entry level masticating juicers. From $200-$400 gets into good quality masticating and upper tier centrifugal models. And over $400 get into the premium triturating twin gear machines.
Centrifugal or Masticating Juicer on a Budget?
If you don’t want to spend more than $100-150, the better option is likely a centrifugal juicer. Look for one with at least 700 watts for optimal performance. Brands like Hamilton Beach, Breville, and Cuisinart offer decent, budget priced centrifugal juicers.
At the $100 level, masticating juicers often aren’t built as well and it’s better to stick with a nice centrifugal model. Going up to $150 will get you a basic masticating juicer like those made by Aicok or Mueller. These perform reasonably well for the price.
One exception is that you can sometimes find great deals or sales and get a high end masticating juicer, like those by Omega or Tribest, down in the $150 range, in which case it makes sense to grab one.
Is a High End Juicer Worth It?
Once you get up over the $200 price range, you can start considering some higher end, more expensive juicers. Are they actually worth the bigger investment?
Here are the main pros of higher end masticating and triturating juicers to consider:
- Extract up to 30% more juice from produce
- Retain more nutrients and enzymes
- Juice is less oxidized and lasts longer
- Handle leafy greens and wheatgrass more efficiently
- Run quieter for juicing any time
- Come with longer warranties, often 10-15 years
For most people juicing moderate amounts, a centrifugal juicer in the $100 range is fine. But for serious juicers or those who want maximum yield, nutrient quality, and juice shelf life, an expensive, high end juicer can be worth the investment.
Some top rated premium masticating models include the Omega J8006HDS, Tribest Slowstar, and Kuvings Slow Juicer. Excellent triturating twin gear models are the Super Angel Juicer, Tribest Greenstar Elite, and Samson Advanced.
What About Citrus Juicers?
One exception where inexpensive juicers make sense are for citrus fruits – oranges, grapefruits, lemons etc. You can get simple and very affordable citrus juicers that manually press and squeeze the juice from citrus. Models with clamp style presses start around $15. Motorized versions are available up to around $50.
Expensive masticating and triturating juicers are often not ideal for juicing citrus. You’ll get more efficiency and ability to process higher quantities using an inexpensive citrus specific juicer.
Pre-Owned and Refurbished Models
If you want a high end juicer but don’t have the budget for a brand new one, consider looking for pre-owned used models or manufacturer refurbished units. Sites like eBay and Craigslist often have good deals on used juicers that are often gently used. Amazon and brands like Omega sell factory reconditioned or refurbished returned models at nice discounts.
At the end of the day, what type of juicer is worth buying comes down to your budget and how serious you are about juicing. Occasional juicers will do fine with centrifugal models under $100. But frequent juicers can benefit from the advantages of higher end masticating and triturating juicers in the $300+ range if the budget allows. Compare the pros and cons and look for the best fit based on your needs and finances.