If you only juice citrus fruit every so often, a basic, electric citrus juicer like the Black & Decker CitrusMate Plus CJ625 could be all you need. This electric reamer definitely isn't perfect, but reviewers say it outperforms several more expensive models.
Overall, the Black & Decker CitrusMate Plus CJ625 comes highly recommended following most expert reviews, although it's usually tested against citrus juicers in a similar (low) price range, and in some cases it's tested against manual juicers. A Walmart.com reviewer sums up the general opinion among both experts and owners: "Low in cost. High in value." If you're not willing to accept the CitrusMate's limitations -- it's noisy and heats up when you juice large batches -- the more expensive and powerful Breville Die-Cast Citrus Press 800CPXL (*Est. $200) gets excellent feedback from both users and experts, and is a better choice for extensive juicing.
It's surprisingly effective. Testers with one expert reviewer like how completely the Black & Decker CJ625 squeezes juice out of lemons. They say this juicer can handle big projects, but is still simple enough to use for a single lemon. They also love the CJ625's adjustable pulp strainer, which lets you flip a switch to adjust how much pulp gets through. (Given how hotly some people contest the pulp versus no pulp issue, it's not much of a surprise that this feature is a hit.)
"This juicer works great," writes one owner on Amazon.com, who uses the CJ625 for a cup of orange juice when he's in the mood. Others agree, but warn that you need to "let it rest to cool off" periodically when juicing large quantities. We also found a few concerns that if you set the filter to strain out pulp too finely, some juice gets kept on top with the pulp.
Several Amazon.com reviewers point out that this juicer is relatively noisy (a common complaint with electric juice extractors of all stripes) and nobody disagrees, but most say they don't mind the noise too much.
Some issues, but it's still easier to use than a manual juicer. The CitrusMate Plus CJ625 doesn't take up a lot of counter space, and reviewers with one cooking-related publication praise it for its simple assembly and easy cleaning. It receives the highest marks given for ease of use in one comparative test. "My hand doesn't get sore at all after prolonged use," notes one Amazon.com reviewer who's very happy with her purchase. Others find it a little challenging to achieve the appropriate amount of pressure to activate this unit's motor, which automatically reverses periodically to extract the most juice possible.
Owners agree that the CJ625 is easy to disassemble and clean. "Pulp doesn't get stuck in the pulp filter when you're cleaning," writes one Amazon customer. The built-in, wrap-around cord storage in the base of the unit is one of its most popular features, with numerous reviewers reporting that they were delighted to discover it.
This simple juicer won't deliver commercial durability, but reviewers say it does pretty well. The Black & Decker CitrusMate Plus CJ625 receives the highest mark possible for construction in one comparative expert test -- quite a compliment for a plastic appliance. We did find a few complaints from owners that the juicer quit working after weeks or months of use, and a couple say the plastic components broke after a few months.
The CJ625 is backed by a one-year limited warranty. Those who did contact Black & Decker report friendly, helpful customer service. One Amazon.com reviewer, however, is incensed at being asked to send a check to cover shipping for the replacement. (She doesn't directly say whether the juicer was still under warranty or not, but does indicate that she'd only used it a few times.)
Overall, owners and experts alike indicate that this is a great value for the money -- you just have to be realistic about what you can get for $20. "It's not industrial, but it's great for the price," explains one Amazon.com owner. Users posting at Walmart.com agree, stating that it's a "good juicer for the money." However, if you're looking for a juicer that will withstand heavy use for years, the CitrusMate Plus CJ625 isn't your best bet.
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1. Cook's Illustrated Magazine
Very Good Cook's Illustrated tests the Black & Decker Citrus Juicer CJ525 (an earlier version of the CitrusMate Plus CJ625), along with seven manual juicers, to see how well they juice lemons. Overall, five models are recommended. A chart summarizes test results and judges' comments.
Review: Inexpensive Citrus Juicers, Editors of Cook's Illustrated, April 2009
2. Cook's Illustrated Magazine
Very Good Cook's Illustrated tests the Black & Decker CJ525 (an earlier version of the CitrusMate Plus CJ625) as part of a five-juicer roundup. Because the tested model differs only in looks from the newer version, this hands-on test still has value.
Review: Electric Citrus Juicers, Editors of Cook's Illustrated, July 2008
Very Good The Black & Decker Citrus Juicer Plus CJ625 has received 175 owner reviews at Amazon.com. Reviews here are decidedly mixed, though more are happy than not. The overall rating is 3.5 stars.
Review: Black & Decker CJ625 30-Watt 34-Ounce Citrus Juicer, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of October 2012
Very Good As a group, Walmart.com owners of the Black & Decker CitrusMate Plus CJ625 are happier than those at Amazon.com. Nearly 110 weigh in and grant the juicer a score of 4.4 out of 5 stars. More than 90 percent of owners here add that they would recommend the CJ625 to a friend.
Review: Black & Decker 1-Quart Citrus Mate Juicer, Contributors to Walmart.com, As of October 2012