Juicers Vs Blenders
A Juicer extracts juice from your fruit / veggies leaving the fiber, peel pips etc... behind and giving you a thin juice drink. A blender will mash-up everything in the fruit/ veg giving you a thicker slush type drink.
If you want a whole fruit / veg drink then please go to the buying a blender page, if you are looking for juice drinks please read on.
There are 3 kinds of electrical juicer available, the type you choose depends on what you want your juicer for.
For quick juicing from mostly fruit & veg, but no leafy greens, wheatgrass, nuts beans or roots,then you need a centrifugal juicer.
You can get a lot of juice quickly and they are reasonably cheap.
If you want more juice from your fruit / veg, a higher quality drink and are going to be using leafy greens, wheatgrass, nuts, beans & roots. Then you need a masticating juicer.
These are more suited for the serious juice lover, are slower and more expensive.
If you are only looking for a juicer to give you a glass or 2 of orange juice and not other juice drinks then you need a Citrus Juicer, as, juicing citrus fruits in a standard juicer means peeling them, or else you will get the juice from the skin as well.
If you need a citrus juicer then jump to our Recommended Best Buy Citrus Juicers
Centrifugal Juicers :
These work by pushing your fruit / veg down a chute where it hits a rapidly spinning (up to 12000rpm) shredder.
The spinning force shreds the fruit / veg separating the juice from the pulp, flinging the pulp out as waste while the juice filters through to the collecting jug.
Because these use powerful motors and spin at a high-speed this makes these juicers quite noisy and the heat generated warms the juice, the shredding also exposes the fruit bits to air causing it to oxidize (this is what happens when you cut an apple and it turns brown).
The heat and oxidization degrades the juice meaning it cannot be stored for more than 5-7 hours and that's in a vacuum flask! A decent mid range centrifugal juicer will cost between £40 & £80. Our Recommended 'best of the best' the Phillips Avance will cost over £200.
We do have safety reservations about using these types of juicers, (see our Centrifugal Juicer best buy page), and would always advise spending extra for a Masticating Juicer, which we believe is a safer and far superior Juicing machine.
Masticating Juicers :
Sometimes called cold, cold press or slow juicers, work by pushing the fruit / veg onto large slowly revolving screw (auger ) which grinds and mashes the fruit / veg squeezing out the juice which runs off into a container and pushes the pulp out of a separate pipe.
They either use a single auger pressing against its housing or two augers turning against each other (twin auger type). Because they use a very slow motor ( can be as low as 30 rpm) they do not heat up the juice, meaning it can be stored for up to 48 hours without degrading.
Masticating juicers are versatile, some can be used as mincers, coffee grinders, making nut butters, for making pasta, ice cream and baby food.
These tend to be more expensive and a decent one can cost between £100 and £200, top quality Omega Juicers cost over £300 but they are guaranteed for 15 years, if you are a serious juicer we highly recommend one of the Omega range.
Hand operated Juicers :
Old-fashioned hand powered juice extractors are still available, not just the traditional orange squeezer type but a proper masticating juicer, which uses a handle for instead of a motor.
Slow maybe but great results and a certain sense of satisfaction from the DIY process. You will find them in our 'Manual Juicers section' They are usually described as Wheatgrass juicers but can handle most fruits and veg.
What to look for in a juicer :
These features will make your juicing experience a little better
Minimum 2 year guarantee : As with any appliance with a motor, you want to see the manufacturer show some faith in the product so the longer the guarantee period the better.
Look for an extended guarantee as standard, not a purchased extended warranty which is just like buying insurance for your appliance. Top model Omega Juicers are guaranteed for 15 years.
Safety lock lid: This means the juicer won't work unless the lid is clicked into place securely, if you see any Centrifugal Juicer on sale without one of these lids, please report it to trading standards immediately, it should not be sold without one.
Non-slip feet: Your juicer has a rotating motor inside, without non slip feet it will move around, if it hasn't got them then don't buy it. The feet will either be rubber pads or suction cups.
External waste container : Your juicer separates the fruit juice from the fruit pulp these come out of 2 separate nozzles on a masticating juicer, look for an external pulp waste bin on a Centrifugal Juicer.
Speed: A centrifugal juicer should have two speeds, slow for softer fruits like grapes, and a higher speed for harder fruits and vegetables. look for a reverse gear on a Masticating juicer, this can help to clear any blockages.
Jug with foam separator: If a jug is included with your juicer see if it has a foam separator. This is a plastic barrier which allows you to pour juice but holds back any foam. Also check if the spout is high enough to fit a glass under, that way you can juice straight into a glass without using a jug.
Drip Stop spout : This is supposed to stop those annoying drips onto your worktop after you've finished juicing. The most effective are the ones that flip upwards
Whole fruit chute: These are extra-large feeding tubes that can fit apples and other fruit whole. A juicer with a wide feeding tube will mean less time spent cutting up fruit and veg although it is still advisable to de-pip apples & pears and remove stones from fruit.
Plunger : You need something to safely push your fruit and veg into the juicer , a plunger should be supplied that has a rounded end to fit in the palm of your hand,so you can push hard veg firmly down without risk of slipping.
Never use your fingers to push fruit or veg into the juicer, unless you like blood & mangled flesh in your juice, and a whole lot of pain!
Soft-fruit disc: Centrifugal juicers do not juice soft fruit, like berries, well if at all. A soft fruit disc allows you to juice berries and make thicker smoothie-like drinks. Some masticating juicers also come with extra, wider, juicing sieves for making thicker drinks.
Citrus Press: We recommend getting a citrus juicer if you're just interested in orange juice, but if you do want to juice citrus fruit in your everyday juicer then some juicers have a citrus press attachment. You slice the fruit put it in the press and squeeze.
Take a look at our Recommended Best Buy Juicers, each has a short review on the product page