A Guide to Choosing a Juicer

Choosing the right juicer can be a very tough decision considering the amount of juicers on the market. The information we provide you with below should arm you with enough knowledge to choose a juice extractor suitable for your specific needs. Whilst one type of machine may be suitable for one person, another person may require something completely different.

Firstly, the juicers we feature on our website are selected on the basis of quality, ease of use and reliability and they are all serviced in the UK by reputable manufacturers or their agents. We do not sell cheap electrical juicers as the ones we have tested have generally been found to be of poor quality, difficult to clean or extremely unreliable and we tend to leave these to the high street stores to sell. With cheaper models, the motors and integral parts tend not to be as refined or well made as with the more expensive juicers which can result in your juicer making frequent trips to and from the warranty provider or ending up in the recycling bin - these factors can often be enough to turn the user off juicing for good! We hope that the reasons you have visited our website are because you are either serious about nutrition or simply looking for a more user friendly or reliable model.

There are a few different types of juice extractors out there, with them often being referred to as 'centrifugal juicers', 'masticating juicers' 'twin gear juicers' and 'citrus juicers'. We will attempt to explain further the different types of juicers below but firstly, we will cover how juicing works.


What is Juicing?

Juicing is the separation of the liquid (juice) from the fibre (often referred to as the pulp). The juicing process breaks down the cells of the produce which releases the liquids and a sieve like screen filters the juice in to one receptacle and the fibres are discarded in to a separate container.

Why would we want to do this - why not just eat the produce?

Removing the fibre from fruits, vegetables and herbs allows us to release the essential nutrients in liquid form, which otherwise would take a lot of time and chewing to eat. Liquid juice is also much easier for the body to absorb and digest. As we are now being encouraged to eat a bare minimum of 5 different portions of fruit and vegetables per day - juicing is an excellent way to get these nutrients in to our bodies, especially the foods that you never get round to eating with your everyday meals.

Apart from salads, most vegetables are cooked before being eaten in the western diet, unfortunately cooking foods destroys a significant proportion of the vitamins, minerals and enzymes contained in them as these essential nutrients are volatile to temperatures above 118ºF. Cooking also changes the atomic structure of the molecules - making it more difficult for the body to absorb and digest. Fruit and vegetables in their uncooked state are often referred to as 'Raw Foods' and there is now a large number of everyday people following a strict 'Raw Food' lifestyle. The use of natural 'Raw Foods' in treating cancer and other serious illnesses has proved successful where modern conventional medicine has failed.

Raw juice should be consumed by everyone but it is strongly recommended that juice be taken in moderation and should be made up from different food groups. A good indication of what nutrients are present in fruits and vegetables is clearly presented in the colour of the produce. Obviously, this is only a rough guide and anybody serious about nutrition should read as much as possible on the subject - there are various Nutrition Books and Juicing Books on our website on these subjects. Finally, drinking juice should never be considered a substitute for eating fruits and vegetables but should be looked on as an accompaniment to a good and varied diet.


Food Groups

Green Vegetables: Green juices cleanse the body of pollutants and have a rejuvenating effect. Made from a variety of green vegetables and herbs, green juices are rich in chlorophyll which helps to purify the blood, build red blood cells, detoxify and heal the body, and provide the body with fast energy. Green juices can be made with alfalfa sprouts, cabbage, kale, dandelion greens, spinach, parsley, watercress and any other green vegetables and herbs including wheatgrass. These juices can be very strong tasting and you may have to sweeten or dilute them, try adding fresh carrot and/or apple juice or simply dilute with filtered water. Although green juices have great health benefits, they should be consumed in moderation. Try drinking about 8 to 10 fluid ounces (250-300ml) a day.

Other Vegetables: Fresh vegetable juices are restorers and builders. They boost the immune system, remove acid wastes, and balance the metabolism. They also aid in the control of obesity by removing excess body fat. Among the most healthy and delicious of the vegetable juices are beet, cabbage, carrot, celery, cucumber, turnip. Carrot juice is probably the most popular of the juices and is packed with beta-carotene which is the vitamin A precursor that helps fight cancer. Carrots are the sweetest of the vegetables and their juice is not just delicious on its own but is great for mixing with other vegetables to increase their appeal. On the other hand, strong-flavoured vegetables like broccoli, white cabbage, celery, onions, parsley, rutabaga, and turnips, for instance - should be used in small amounts only. Garlic is also a great addition to vegetable drinks in small amounts. For the greatest health benefits, use many different vegetables when making your juices. That way, you will provide your body with a variety of important nutrients.

Fruits: Fruit juices help to cleanse the body and nourish it with important nutrients, including cancer fighting antioxidants. Although any fruit can be used, certain juices are particularly healthy and delicious compared to others. One favourite cleansing juice is watermelon - to make this refreshing drink, place watermelon with the rind into the juicer. Other delicious juices can be made with apples, berries, citrus fruits, kiwi, melons, pears or just about any fruit that you want to use. You can enjoy fruit juices at any time of the day and about 10 to 12 fluid ounces (300-350ml) per day is recommended.

Again we cannot stress enough that you should vary your intake of juice to include produce from all these food groups - try mixing these groups to come up with your own wonderful cocktails.


Types of Juicer

We will now explain the different types of juicers and their particular advantages and disadvantages.


Centrifugal Juicers (High-Speed)

These type of juicers work by using centrifugal force to extract the juice. The fruits and vegetables are pushed down a feed tube on to a flat grating blade which is spinning at anything up to 12,000 Revolutions Per Minute (RPM). The speed of the grater effectively shreds the produce as it touches it and the centrifugal force that is created underneath the blade sucks the liquid through tiny holes in the filter basket. Juice is dispensed into a receptacle and the fibre is discarded.

Pulp Ejection Systems: Some juicers utilise a Pulp Ejection system where the pulp is flung upwards and discarded into a separate container so that you can continue juicing large volumes before having to empty the waste basket. These models include the L'Equip XL juicer and the Sage Nujtri Juicer Plus.

Internal Storage Systems: Others machines have an internal collection basket to collect the pulp, this limits the amount of juice that can be produced to a couple of glasses before the basket has to be emptied. These models include the Magimix Le Duo XL juicer and the Waring Juice Extractor 6001X.


Whole Fruit Juicers: These machines have a wide mouthed feed tube which can usually fit a whole apple in without chopping it up first. Obviously, the benefit of not having to chop up the produce before feeding it through the machine is appealing to everyone but due to the wide opening, sometimes produce can bypass the blade without being juiced. The majority of these type of machines are supplied by instantly recognisable manufacturers and can be found in most high street stores. Unfortunately, when we have tested these brands we have found them to be built unnecessarily around huge 1000 watt motors which make them incredibly noisy and they have consistently failed under testing. We have hand picked a few whole fruit juicers that we believe offer better results than those on the high street and achieve this with motors that are far more economical and reliable - these include the L'Equip XL juicer, Magimix Le Duo XL juicer. We also sell the Sage Nutri Juicer Pro which is is the best machine of this type on the market.

Advantages: These juicers are generally very easy to use, quick at producing juice and the juice quality is good. They are a good entry-level choice of juicer to start with if you are not sure that you will continue juicing on a regular basis. Can generally produce between 1-2 litres of juice per minute.

Disadvantages: These juicers do whip in oxygen at high speed thus oxidising the juice; this accelerates the deterioration in the appearance of the juice and reduces its shelf-life. Juice produced from these types of juicers should be drank immediately - it cannot be stored successfully. This juicing process is not as effective when juicing leafy produce and therefore they are not recommended for juicing wheatgrass and other leafy greens such as spinach on a regular basis. Leafy greens can be fed through by screwing them up in to a ball and feeding through between firmer produce but the yield produces is nowhere near as good as that produced with a slow speed juicer. Also, at the lower price levels the pulp can be wet in comparison to slow speed juicers which indicate that not as much juice is being extracted. They can also be extremely noisy due to the motor and blade operating at high speed.


Masticating Juicers (Slow Speed)

These type of juicers utilise a slow speed extraction process of between 40 RPM and 160 RPM (depending on the juicer) to prevent oxygen affecting the juice. There are different types of masticating juicers that use different extraction methods. All electric masticating juicers with the exception of the Angel Juicer, can also produce smoothies, purees, salsas, sorbets, ice creams and more by using the included homogenising screen.

Single Auger Juicers: With these machines, all manner of produce can be juiced successfully including wheatgrass. The produce has to be chopped up and is then fed through the feed tube on to a large slow turning screw known as an auger. The auger crushes the produce and forces it through the filter screen thus separating the juice from the fibre. If you have ever used a mincer then you will have roughly seen how this type of juicer works. Juicers in this category can be slightly more expensive than the centrifugal type but do include more functionality over the high speed machines. Models include the manually operated Z-Star juicer, the budget electric Lexen GP62, the entry level L'Equip Omni and Samson 6 in 1. These types of juice extractors produce a slightly better yield of juice than high speed machines, especially with leafy greens and softer fruit and they are also whisper quiet in operation. There are now Dual-Stage single auger juicers which produce better results than the standard single auger juicers by juicing the produce twice, these include the entry level Omega 8005 juicer through to the best performing Omega Sana EUJ-606 juicer.

Advantages: Excellent quality juice as it has not been affected by oxygen. This allows most juices to be stored for up to 48 hours in a refrigerator with minimal loss of appearance or nutritional value. They come with extra attachments for making noodles and pasta and also a separate homogenising screen for making smoothies, purees, salsas, peanut butter and even truffles. Juice can be made in batches and, stored in an airtight container and taken to work or school - you are not tied to only drinking juice when you're at home. Juice can also be frozen with minimal loss of nutrients, so its a good way to utilise all the produce that usually gets thrown away. Due to the design of the feeding chamber, these juices pretty much self feed and very little effort is required on the users behalf to push the produce through. Suitable for those people with very little hand strength of if suffering from arthritis.

Disadvantages: It's a slower process compared to a centrifugal juicer, the obvious difference is in the RPM (average of 100 RPM compared to 10,000 RPM). Also, the produce needs to be chopped smaller to fit the smaller feed chute. Unfortunately, the slower speed is the price you have to pay to get the best quality juice. To get an idea of how long this process takes, it would take 5 minutes to produce 1 litre of juice.


The Champion juicer: The original masticating juicer has been around for over 50 years. It utilises a cutter that has tiny teeth running along it which shreds and chews the produce. It operates at 1,500 RPM so sits between a high speed and a slow speed juicer. It is a commercial grade juicer which you will find in bars and restaurants around the country. This is one of our best-selling juicers due to the fact that it is freakishly well built and will probably last a life-time.

Advantages: Especially good at chewing through harder produce like carrots and apples. Includes an extra screen for making smoothies, purees, salsas, peanut butter and even truffles. An optional screen for juicing softer fruits can be purchased from us separately and there is also an optional Grain Mill for milling your own flour and grinding coffee. This is an extremely robust machine. Its commercial capability means that it can be run for longer than other domestic models without giving it a breather. It also has a feed chute of 45mm which is one of the biggest in the professional range and copes with problem produce like Cox's apples better than others.

Disadvantages: Leafy greens have to be passed through in small amounts with harder produce. When juicing larger volumes of fibrous vegetables and greens, there can be a slight increase in temperature of the juice from friction. Refrigerating produce prior to use does alleviate this. However, providing you are happy to juice any greens with plenty of carrot and apple, this should never happen. The Champion juicer is not suitable for juicing wheatgrass.


Twin Gear Juicers: We believe these to be the most efficient juicers out there. They utilise two stainless steel cylindrical rollers that sit side by side. The produce is slowly drawn through a miniscule gap in the rollers and pulverised by sharp teeth. This process breaks the produce down more than any other and in turn produces the best quality juice and the highest yield of all the juicers we sell. We always recommend these juicers first if your budget allows. Different models have their own unique selling points but they all produce exceptional results. Models include the Green Star juicer and the top performing all Stainless Steel Angel juicer.

Advantages: The best quality juice you are going to get and has a 48 hour shelf-life. Although these type of juicers cost significantly more than the others, the savings made due to the gain in yield and nutritional value will pay for itself in the long-term. They have separate filter screens for juicing different types of produce and the build quality is excellent. Excellent at all leafy greens and wheatgrass.

Disadvantages: Depending on the machine, these are the slowest of the juicers. Also, due to the extraction process a certain amount of force is required to push the produce through the gears so may prove difficult for those people with very little hand strength or if suffering from arthritis. Soft fruits can be a problem unless you use a the dedicated coarse screen.


Most types of juicers will struggle with softer fruits like oranges, strawberry, pineapple, kiwi when compared with harder fruit and vegetables as the pulp is much stickier which can cause blockages in the filter screen. Also the yield from softer fruits isn't as good as it proves difficult to extract. The following juicers have a separate screen included or that can be purchased separately for juicing softer fruits - the Champion juicer, the Omega Sana EUJ-707 juicer, Green Star juicer and Angel juicer but in all honesty you are never going to achieve great results with soft fruits with any machine.


Citrus Juicers

These machines are dedicated to juicing oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes and even pomegranate. They are easier to use and produce better results than when using one of the above conventional juicers. Conventional juicers require you to peel the fruits first as the skin is horribly bitter tasting, whereas a dedicated citrus juicer only requires you to chop the fruit in half and place it on the reaming cone to extract the juice. There are motorised versions of the old glass style reamer that are found in most peoples kitchens, these are the easiest to use and produce proper juice with bits in! These include the reasonably priced Tribest CitriStar reamer and the beautiful commercial Santos Evolution citrus juicer for the serious OJ fan. Alternatively, there are mechanical manual citrus press like the best seeling OrangeX Olympus which requires the user to pull down on a lever which juices the half orange.


 All our juicers can be found here.