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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Small Appliances

Before you buy a juicer: Five things you need to know

Here are the five key things you need to consider before splurging on a juicer.

If you're in the market for a juicer, there a few important things you need to think about first. It's too easy to spend money on a juicer you'll never use. You might also end up stuck with a machine that's only truly good at tackling one specific task. To increase your chances of buying the right juicer, have a look at the five criteria below.

Decide how much you want to spend

Juicer prices range widely, with some budget models costing as little as $40 while other premium models demand close to $1,500. The $40 Black & Decker JE2400BD Juice Extractor and the $1,490 (approximately £1,040 or AU$2,050) Super Angel Twin Deluxe are examples of just how great a chasm can exist between an entry-level unit and those on the high end.

It goes without saying that these machines have vastly different capabilities and target customers. In the end, both devices are designed to fulfill the same primary purpose: extracting juice from fresh fruit and vegetables.

Figure out what type of juicer you need

A large part of why juicer prices can vary so greatly is that some handle only certain produce with success while others process fruit and vegetables (hard, soft, or leafy) equally well. This is why it's critical to know what kind of juice you'll be making regularly. For example, centrifugal juicers such as the $80 Hamilton Beach 67601A Juice Extractor and the $150 (about £105 or AU$205) Breville JE98XL Juice Fountain Plus are better at pulling liquid from oranges, apples and carrots than they are with tough, fibrous greens like kale and spinach.

Those who are hell-bent on green juice will have to shell out a little more for a cold-press juice extractor. The $199 (roughly £140 or AU$275) VonShef Premium Slow Masticating Juicer and the $300 (about £210 or AU$410) Omega J8006 Nutrition Center Juicer are built to provide just this sort of juicing performance.

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Think about the clean-up

Juicing produce -- essentially pulverizing or mashing fruit and vegetable matter to strain and collect moisture -- is messy business. There will always be loads of spent pulp left behind. That said, some juice extractors are easier to clean than others. For instance, the $100 (roughly £70 or AU$140) Breville JE200XL Compact Juice Fountain not only manages to be quite compact for a centrifugal juicer, its machine-washable parts make the appliance comparatively simple to clean as well. By contrast, the $100 VonShef 990w Professional Juicer uses components you have to wash by hand, which is quite a headache.

One or two speeds?

Most juicers offer a simple on-off switch. Others gadgets, such as the VonShef 990w Professional Juicer, have different modes for soft items like oranges (slow) and harder ingredients such as carrots and apples (fast). This increased control comes in handy if the majority of juices you enjoy are citrus-based drinks, but you would like to have the flexibility to juice leafy greens every so often.

A design you can live with

If you're committed to juicing, then chances are good you plan to make juice multiple times a week -- perhaps even daily. As such, you and your chosen machine will definitely be spending lots of quality time together. That's why it's very important to select an appliance with a look and feel you like.

Beyond keeping it clean, consider whether the size and weight of your juicer will be too much trouble to move around the kitchen. Some of these gadgets also come with suction cups for feet, which can quickly grow tiresome. Specifically, I found the VonShef 990w Professional Juicer heavy and a pain to lift, and its heavy-duty suction cups only compounded the problem. I prefer the cleverly crafted Breville JE200XL Compact Juice Fountain's design. This juicer is lighter and smaller, and it uses a conventional base rather than unwieldy suction cups.