By Pat Crocker

You want to find a juicer brand that has as many of the features you want within your budget. Here are some features to consider before you make your final purchase decision.

Simplicity: Easy to assemble and use, easy to clean

If you want to enjoy health benefits from juicing, but you aren’t passionate, keeping it simple is the best route. If your juicer has only a few simple parts and is easy to use and clean, you’ll be motivated to use it more often.

Keeping the juicing machine on the counter is also essential to simplicity. A sleek, upright centrifugal machine takes up the least amount of space, is incredibly fast, and is easy to assemble and clean.

If you’re highly motivated or if you already own a fairly inexpensive juicer and you want to move up to a machine that juices grasses and extracts more juice and nutrients, the masticating or triturating juicers are a better choice.

Speed: High speed and variable speed

Masticating and triturating juicers have only one speed: slow and slower, respectively, which is a health advantage.

Some centrifugal juicer models come with variable speeds, which slow the blades of the spinning basket down for soft fruit and allow you to gradually increase the speed as you juice harder fruits and vegetables. The slower the basket spins, the more juice may be extracted from the fruit or vegetable, so this is a definite advantage of these types of machines.

Number and quality of nutrients extracted

Masticating or triturating juicers are generally thought to be better at extracting and preserving the nutrients. However, because you have to cut up the fruits and vegetables into very small pieces, depending on how long they sit out, they may lose nutrients to oxidation before they even hit the auger.

Efficiency

You’re making an investment, and you want to be sure that a juicing machine is efficient in doing the things that you consider to be important. If possible, get a live demonstration of the juicer in action. Consider the following:

  • The amount of juice extracted: Masticating or triturating juicers are thought to be better at extracting the juice, but my experience with a centrifugal juice machine (particularly with the Breville Juice Fountain Multi-Speed) is that the pulp is pretty dry if you use the variable speed function and don’t apply any pressure to the fruit or vegetable as it passes down the feed tube.

  • External pulp ejection: Unless you only ever plan to juice one serving at a time, this is a critical feature to any juicing machine. Masticating or triturating juicers continually expel the pulp, so this isn’t an issue. Some centrifugal juice machines don’t have a continual expulsion feature so you have to stop the machine in order to clean out the basket.

  • Yield of juice and dryness of pulp: If you can see a demonstration of the machines you’re interested in buying, you can measure the juice extracted from the same fruits or vegetables. Wet pulp is an indication that the machine is not effective in extracting a high yield of juice.

  • Size of the feed tube: Masticating or triturating and some brands of centrifugal juicers have a very small feed tube, which means the food must be cut into small pieces or leaves must be fed one by one into the machine. If you know you want a centrifugal juicer, be sure that the model you choose has a feed tube large enough to take a whole apple, orange, or cucumber.

    This feature makes the preparation easy because the food doesn’t require cutting and chopping. A good size for a centrifugal juicer is 3 inches or wider, whereas masticating juicers may have a wide funnel that feeds into the narrow feed tube, but you still have to cut the fruit or vegetables into smaller pieces.

  • Size of the pulp container: The larger the pulp bin, the more efficient the juicer is because you don’t need to stop and empty it when juicing large amounts of fruits or vegetables.

  • Multipurpose: Masticating or triturating juicers are able to grind coffee beans, spices, and nuts for nut butter, and can make baby food. If you plan to use all of these functions, the extra cost may be worth it.

Reliability

Like a car or boat or any other appliance, you want to have the luxury of using a juicer for a very long time in order to get the most from your ­investment. Consider the following:

  • Quality of the parts: The quality of the parts and the materials used are one indication of reliability. Stainless steel outperforms and outlasts plastic and is easier to clean. The other determining factor in assessing reliability is the size of the motor.

  • Motor size: It takes a considerable amount of power to rip through tough fibers of vegetables like beets and turnips, and a juicer with insufficient power will slow down or even burn out over time, so look for a juicer with the most powerful motor in your price range. A reliable motor size is 1.1 horsepower (Hp) or higher.

Noise

Some juice machines are extremely loud during use. Noise is a huge issue to some people, especially if they live with people who might be sleeping when they want to juice.

Warranty

Although most high-end juicers come with a seven-year motor warranty, some brands offer a ten-year or even 15-year motor warranty, which indicates the manufacturer’s confidence in the durability of the motor.