Juicing leafy greens like kale, spinach, and wheatgrass is a great way to pack concentrated nutrition into your diet. However, not all juicers can effectively extract juice from fibrous greens. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare the different types of juicers and help you determine which is best for juicing greens.
When shopping for a juicer, you’ll find there are generally four main types:
- Centrifugal juicers
- Masticating juicers
- Twin gear juicers
- Citrus juicers
Centrifugal and masticating juicers are the two most common types used for greens. Twin gear juicers work well too, but come at a higher price point. Citrus juicers are only designed for citrus fruits.
Below, we’ll compare centrifugal and masticating juicers in-depth. We’ll also discuss the pros and cons of twin gear juicers. By the end, you’ll know exactly what to look for to find the best juicer for leafy greens and other produce.
Centrifugal juicers are the most common and affordable type of juicer. They use a rapidly spinning blade to shred produce, then spin it at high speeds to separate the juice from the pulp using centrifugal force.
There are a few pros and cons to consider with centrifugal juicers:
- Fast juicing – Centrifugal models can juice most fruits and veggies in seconds.
- Affordable price point – Models start around $50-$100.
- Easy to use – Just drop ingredients in and juice comes out.
- Compact size – Great for small kitchens.
- Not ideal for greens – The high speed spinning does not effectively extract juice from leafy greens.
- Produces wet pulp – Centrifugal models leave more juice behind in pulp.
- Oxidizes juice – Exposure to air can degrade nutrients.
- Loud operation – The fast spinning creates noise.
While centrifugal juicers are affordable and fast, their high speeds aren’t quite right for juicing leafy greens. You’ll end up with a low yield of green juice, and wet pulp full of wasted nutrients.
Let’s look at how a centrifugal juicer performs juicing kale as an example:
|Kale Used||Juice Produced||% Yield|
|2 cups||3/4 cup||37%|
As you can see, nearly two-thirds of the kale gets wasted with a centrifugal juicer. For the best kale juice yield, a different style juicer is needed.
Masticating juicers, also known as cold press or slow juicers, crush and “chew” produce to extract juice. They operate at much slower speeds than centrifugal models, usually using an auger that squeezes and presses produce against a mesh screen.
Here are the main pros and cons of masticating juicers:
- Excellent for juicing greens – The slow crushing action gets high yields from greens.
- Minimal oxidation – Juice has a longer shelf life.
- Very dry pulp – More nutrients end up in the juice rather than wasted in the pulp.
- Quiet operation – Much quieter than centrifugal models.
- Slower juicing – Juicing takes 2-3x longer than centrifugal.
- Higher price – Models start around $200 and up.
- Trickier to clean – More parts and small mesh screens.
- Some produce needs to be cut – Fruits and veggies may need pre-chopping.
The slower crushing of masticating juicers is perfect for leaves, grasses, and herbs. Models like the Omega J8006 consistently produce high yields from all types of greens.
Let’s look at how the Omega J8006 performs juicing kale:
|Kale Used||Juice Produced||% Yield|
|2 cups||1.5 cups||75%|
The masticating Omega juicer produces double the amount of kale juice compared to the centrifugal juicer. If you regularly juice leafy greens, the higher yield and juice quality is worth the extra effort and cost.
Twin Gear Juicers
Twin gear juicers, also known as triturating juicers, use dual interlocking gears to crush and press produce. They operate at low speeds like masticating models, but feature twin augers for enhanced juicing performance.
Here are the main pros and cons of twin gear juicers:
- Maximum juice yields – Unrivaled performance for greens and wheatgrass.
- Very long-lasting – Durable constructon with 10+ year lifespan.
- Versatile – Can make nut butter, baby food, sorbet and more.
- Expensive investment – Models start at $400+.
- Larger size – Twice the size of other juicers.
- Trickier to use – Need to prep produce and alternate soft and hard.
- Longer juicing time – Can take 5-10+ minutes per juice.
For maximum extraction and yield from leafy greens, twin gear juicers are unmatched. The Super Angel Juicer is the gold standard, producing up to 30% more juice from greens compared to single auger models. The yield difference is most noticeable for wheatgrass, herbs, sprouts and leafy greens.
If you’re juicing greens daily and want to maximize nutrients, a twin gear model is the ultimate choice despite the high price and slower juicing. For most people’s moderate juicing needs however, a single gear masticating juicer provides excellent performance and value.
Masticating vs. Centrifugal Juicers for Greens
To summarize the key differences:
|Juicing Mechanism||Slowly chews and crushes||High speed shredding|
|Performance for Greens||Excellent||Poor|
|Juice Yield from Greens||60-80%||30-50%|
It’s clear that masticating juicers are better equipped for juicing greens. The slower crushing action gets higher yields, drier pulp, and superior juice quality.
Choosing the Best Masticating Juicer for Greens
Once you’ve decided on a masticating juicer, there are still differences between models to consider. Here are some key features to look for if greens make up a main part of your juicing:
- Dual stage auger – The auger has a crushing stage and pressing stage for maximum extraction.
- Powerful motor – Look for 1/3 to 1/2 HP for best performance juicing greens.
- Large feed chute – Fitting whole leaves reduces pre-chopping.
- Pulp control – Adjustable pulp screens allow customizing the wetness.
- Efficient at juicing wheatgrass – A bonus for hardcore greens fans.
Based on these criteria, here are our picks for the top masticating juicers for leafy greens:
|Tribest Slowstar||Dual stage auger, 200W motor, large chute|
|Omega NC800||Dual stage, 150W motor, adjustable pulp, excels at wheatgrass|
|SKG Q8||240W motor, large 3″ chute, 10 year warranty|
|Aicook KJ-K50||Affordable option good for basic green juicing|
The Tribest Slowstar and Omega NC800 stand out with their dual stage augers and wheatgrass juicing capabilities. The SKG Q8 is excellent if you want maximum motor power, while the Aicook KJ-K50 is a great budget model under $100.
Getting the Most Out of Your Greens
Once you’ve chosen the best juicer for greens, here are some final tips for getting the most out of your leafy and wheatgrass juicing:
- Roll leaves into tight balls before feeding into the juicer.
- Alternate greens with harder produce like carrots or apples.
- Drink green juices immediately for best nutrient retention.
- Save pulp and add to smoothies or compost.
- Grow your own wheatgrass at home for peak freshness.
Juicing leafy greens allows you to consume far more than you could eat whole. Choosing the right juicer maximizes the yield and nutrition you extract. With a quality masticating juicer, you can enjoy the best green juice for your health.
When it comes to juicing leafy greens like kale, spinach, herbs and wheatgrass, masticating juicers are the clear winner. Their slow crushing action gets up to 2x the juice yield compared to centrifugal models. Twin gear juicers can provide even higher yields, but come at a steep price.
Focus on finding a masticating juicer with a dual-stage auger, powerful motor, and large feed chute. Bonus features like pulp control and wheatgrass juicing capabilities also help maximize nutrients. Taking a few extra minutes to chew up greens with a masticating juicer ensures you get the best nutrient extraction compared to fast centrifugal juicing.