Masticating juicers are a must for the serious juicer
If you're really serious about juicing -- especially if you're creating "green" drinks loaded with healthy veggie juices – you'll want to consider a masticating juicer. Unlike the vertical styling of a centrifugal juicer, masticating juicers usually have a horizontal design and use an auger to grind and break down food more thoroughly. The downside is that they take longer to crush food; in fact, for some, waiting 20 to 30 minutes for a glass of juice is a deal-breaker. However, some nutritionists feel that this slow grinding process is more effective for preserving nutrients from leafy greens like kale, spinach and other superfoods. Masticating juicers used to be prohibitively expensive, making them a luxury for all but the well-heeled, but they've come down significantly in price over the past couple of years.
The best masticating juicer we found is the (Est. $260). Reviewers rave about its ability to handle a wide range of vegetables, including spinach, kale, cucumbers, tomatoes and wheatgrass. Many owners say they can juice for hours at a time without the unit slowing, bogging down or heating up. Best of all, the Omega J8004 gets absolute top ratings for ease of disassembly and cleaning, with owners saying they just toss the components in the top rack of the dishwasher. Reviewers also appreciate its quiet operation and smaller footprint. It's larger than centrifugal juicers, but relatively small for a masticating juicer. The J8004 is highly versatile, too. In addition to juicing, it makes pasta, nut butters and specialty milks. It even grinds coffee.
The Omega J8004 has a white finish. If you prefer something a bit more upscale-looking, the (Est. $290) is the identical juicer in chrome and black and is also Real Simple's pick, after testing, as the best multi-function juicer. They praise its dry pulp and large yields, but note that the small feed tube means more prep work.
The top pick among masticating juicers at Wirecutter is the (Est. $350). In testing there, it yielded more juice than most other models, and performed well with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Real Simple includes it among their picks as well, naming it the best vertical multi-function juicer. They praise its good yields and its ability to handle even whole pieces of very tough stems and leaves.
However, the Tribest doesn't fare as well in testing at Consumer Reports and doesn't rise to Recommended status. Nor does it score as highly with owners -- there are also many fewer reviews of the Tribest than the J8004 and J8006. In addition to being far more expensive than the Omega, owners say it's very slow and not quite as intuitive to use as our Best Reviewed choice. Still, if you're not in a hurry and you need a versatile workhorse (it also makes nut butters, pates and sorbets), the Tribest may be worth considering. The Tribest is also very attractive, with a red and black finish.
Another Omega, the (Est. $400) is a great choice in this category if you primarily want to juice tough, leafy greens like kale. It's a runner up at Wirecutter. In testing there, the VSJ843 it was quiet and efficient, producing 25 percent more green juice than their top pick. At Real Simple it's named the juicer with the best juice quality, earning praise also for it's easy clean up.
Owners give the Omega VSJ843 high ratings as well, praising its great performance across a variety of different types of fruits and vegetables. We did see some reports of celery getting hung up, but aside from that, users say this is a sturdy, durable juicer. Customer service also gets kudos for its helpful service when something does go wrong -- or when advice is needed. Many also praise the Omega's small footprint compared to other auger-style juicers.