Are you in the market for a juicer, either as a newbie or a seasoned juicer who is looking for an appliance with more options? We’ve got you covered: we took the time to explain two different types of juicers: centrifugal juicers and masticating juicers, and the pros and cons of buying each. We recommend what type to get if you are looking primarily for a fruit juicer, or you are looking primarily for a vegetable juicer, then help you weigh the pros and cons of small and large juicers.
These are the most popular and available types of juicers that you are probably already familiar with. They use a blade to chop up the plant matter, then afterwards they spin the produce at a rapid speed, similar to a washing machine wringing out water from wet clothes.
The juice that has been extracted passes through a straining basket where you can catch it, while the pulp is neatly kept behind. The spinning system used with the cutting blade makes this appliance a centrifugal juicer, which separates it from other juicers that might press, grind or squeeze the juice out.
Advantages of a centrifugal juicer:
- Easiest to use, assemble, disassemble and clean
- Much faster at making fresh juice than other types of juicers
- Can typically handle bigger pieces of produce, making prep time a breeze
Disadvantages of a centrifugal juicer:
- Centrifugal systems are less efficient at extracting as much juice as possible for the produce
- The spinning of the system creates friction and heat which can oxidize the fresh juice – this can degrade the flavor of the juice and deplete the quality of nutrients you would expect to be in your juice
- These juicers don’t juice leafy greens or wheatgrass as well as other models. You still can juice leafy greens but at a much lower efficiency than say, a masticating juicer.
- Centrifugal juicers can only make juice while masticating juicers can make other things, like baby food or grind coffee beans.
- Centrifugal juicers are louder in general than masticating juicers, so think about when and where you plan to juice if you live with someone.
Masticating Juicers, also known as Slow Juicers or Cold Press Juicers, use a single auger or gear to chew up the fiber of plant matter. The cell walls of the produce are ground down. The pulp is crushed against a screen which squeezes the juice and separates the pulp. The pulp and juice exit through two different locations where they can be collected.
Advantages of a masticating juicer:
- Masticating juicers can essentially juice any type of plant matter, including leafy greens and wheatgrass.
- Juicing anything – not just leafy greens, results in a more efficient juice with dry pulp. The drier your pulp is, the more juice there has been that was extracted from your produce.
- These juicers also perform other tasks – like creating baby food, nut butter and frozen desserts. You can make pasta with some of these juicers, or have it work as a food processor that can chop vegetables. You can even use masticating juicers to grind coffee with too.
- The overall quality of juice is higher, because masticating juicers don’t heat up nearly as much as a centrifugal juicer would. The process used by the masticating juicer will ultimately retain more enzymes, nutrients and antioxidants of plant matter.
Disadvantages of a Masticating Juicer:
- The price range of a masticating juicer is much higher than that of a centrifugal juicer. It can be a financial commitment to newcomers or people who don’t plan to juice as much.
- It takes more energy to prepare your juice. The feed chute is smaller and these juicers work at a much lower rpm than a centrifugal juicer, so you will need to cut your food into appropriately sized pieces.
- It is longer to extract juice using a masticating juicer.
If your intention is to use your juicer for fruit juices only, your best bet might be a centrifugal juicer. You can enjoy its lower price, ease of use and quick juicing. However, if you are looking for a good vegetable juicer, look to a masticating juicer. While centrifugal juicers can be fed carrots or other types of vegetables, they encounter a lot of difficulty efficiently juicing leafy green vegetables and wheatgrass. You can buy a separate wheatgrass juicer, and roll your leafy green vegetables up into solid balls to juice more efficiently with a centrifugal juicer, but if your interest is in a vegetable juicer, your best bet is to buy a masticating juicer.
Small Juicers vs. Large Juicers
Small juicers would be suggested for people who are new to juicing, or people who know what they need in terms of space and are happy with a smaller sized juicer. Larger juicers would be recommended for people who drink fresh squeezed juice frequently. A smaller sized juicer would save space, while a larger sized juicer would produce more juice at once that could be stored in a separate container. If you like to experiment with different types of juice recipies and plan on drinking one juice at a time, maybe opt for the small juicer.
The Big Picture
No matter what drives your decision to buy a juicer, remember that the best juicer to buy is the one that you will use. If time, energy and money are limited, a centrifugal juicer might be your best bet. After all, if a centrifugal juicer, or a small juicer is all you can afford, that is still better than having no juicer at all and drinking processed store bought juices full of sugar and chemicals.
If you are looking for a vegetable juicer, or an appliance that can do more than just juice, opt for the masticating juicer. If juicing efficiency is a concern and you are ready to make the financial commitment, a masticating juicer might be for you.
Now that you know a little more about different types of juicers and have weighed the pros and cons, you can be more educated in your research about the perfect juicer for you. We recommend you look through one of our product guides, or start skimming through some of our reviews.