From the surface, buying a juicer looks quick and simple as many people think that it is just about looking at the prices and comparing a few models. However, when it comes to making the actual buying decision things can get complicated.
But with that said, you will have a much easier time shopping if you know the types that you are looking for, and this in most instances means choosing between the masticating and centrifugal juicers.
The main difference between the two juicers is how they crush the ingredients to extract the juice. Here we explain these differences widely, but first, here are overviews of these juicer types.
Masticating Juicer Overview
Masticating juicers are also what is fondly referred to as the slow juicers, and they are the types that will use a single gear which is also known as an auger to crush the ingredients in pulp before squeezing out the juice.
This mastication process will breakdown the fruit and vegetable cell walls which means you are always left with a more nutritious juice and less pulp especially when compared to the centrifugal types.
Also, the juice that you get through the mastication process has a relatively longer shelf life which allows you to enjoy it at your own pace. Better yet, there will be more of it to go around as these juicers will deliver higher juice yields.
Although these juicers work slowly, they will still perform well with both hard and soft ingredients and can even juice green leafy vegetables, something that most centrifugal juicers would struggle to achieve.
Given the slower speeds, the grinding operation tends to be relatively quieter and heat buildup will also not occur as much as when using the centrifugal juicers.
However, many users might not like the slower juicing process and the fact that there will be more preparation required. Also, these juicers can be quite expensive.
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- Longer juice shelf-life
- Higher juice yields
- More ideal for leafy vegetables
- Quieter blending operation
- Can be quite pricey
- Slower juicing
- More preparation required
Centrifugal Juicer Overview
Centrifugal juicers are vertical kitchen appliances that look more like a regular blender, and they will feature a mesh chamber that is filled with toothed blades that shred and chop down the ingredients into smaller pieces. These blades spin at high speeds which then separates the juice from the pulp
Unlike the masticating juicer, the centrifugal juicer is designed to be a faster and more functional appliance, and it can spin its blade at speeds of up to 10,000 RPM. With these machines, you will hardly ever wait for more than a couple of minutes to get your glass of fresh juice.
Also, these juicers will have a larger feeding chute which allows you to feed them with larger ingredients like whole fruits without having to pre-cut them which reduces the preparation time and work required.
Overall, the juicers will come in a more compact and space-saving design. When it comes to the price, they will in many instances be more affordable than the masticating juicers.
But, these juicers come with their fair share of disadvantages because their fast-spinning blades will generate relatively more noise and heat and this extra heat can ruin the quality of juice you get. Worst yet, these juicers will produce much less juice than the masticating juicers.
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- Faster blending operation
- Great for beginners and casual juicers
- Often more affordable
- More compact and space-saving
- Most models are quite noisy
- Generates more heat which can reduce juice quality
- Lower juice yield
Functions and Uses
Juice extraction, food processing, and powder grinding
40 to 100 RPM
Over 1,000 RPM
Longer prep time
Higher with low foam
Moderate with more foam
Up to 72 hours
A few hours at most
Moderate to high
$100 to $1,500
$40 to $150
Masticating vs. Centrifugal Juicer
Both masticating and centrifugal juicers can make juice but they will do it differently, and the juice quality that you get will also differ. Hence, to make sure that you pick what works for you, it is important to understand these differences, and here is a more detailed breakdown of these differences,
1.Functions and Uses
On the face of it, these appliances will serve the same purpose which is to extract the juice from fruits and vegetables. But, besides using different techniques to do this, the juicers will also differ in their specific functions and uses.
The masticating juicers are the more versatile of the two and will hence be a great multipurpose appliance to have around.
While its core function is to extract juice, most masticating juicers are designed to work as food processors which means you can also use them to chop foods.
Some models will be good for pressing pasta, grinding nuts and even for grinding different foods into powder.
Also, besides juicing both hard and soft fruits and thick veggies, the masticating juicers will be ideal for juicing leafy vegetables and hence making them even more useful.
Centrifugal juicers, on the other hand, will not be very versatile because besides juicing fruits and vegetables or removing/reducing fiber from different foods, there is nothing much you can use them for.
When it comes to the produces that you can juice, these juicers also seem to lag a little because they only work best for thick vegetables and hard fruits and not for soft fruits and leafy green vegetables.
2. Typical Speeds
While the masticating juicer relies on a slow and efficient grinding mechanism, for the centrifugal types it is all about the speed.
A masticating juicer will operate at a small fraction of the speed that a typical centrifugal juicer will operate. Most models will typically have speeds of between 40 and 100 RPM which is meant to ensure they work with minimal noise and heat.
With the centrifugal juicers, on the other hand, even the most basic models that are not very powerful will provide speeds of around 1,000 RPM. But, with some models, you can get up to 10,000 RPM which ensures way much faster juicing than when using the masticating juicers, but the high speed also comes with its shortcomings such as noise and heat.
3. Prep Time
Because you might not always have a lot of time to spare for juicing, it is important to know how much prep time to expect from any juicer you buy.
Overall, the centrifugal juicers will be perfect when you need a quick glass of fresh fruit juice as they have little to no prep time. Given their larger feed chute, these juicers will not require you to first chop down your ingredients into small pieces. With these machines, you can even feed in whole carrots or apples which helps to speed up the job.
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But, when using the masticating juicers, you can expect relatively longer prep time as these machines will require you to first cut down the ingredients into smaller pieces. And this is because they only have one slow spinning blade that is not able to cut down larger pieces efficiently as it clogs easily, and the feed chute is also relatively smaller.
4. Juice Yield
The main reason why you buy these appliances is to make juice, and so the juice yield that they deliver matters a lot. Hence, you need to consider the actual yield that you get from either type when trying to make up your mind.
Despite being the slower of the two types, the masticating juicers will deliver higher juice yields than the centrifugal types. You can easily tell this when looking at the pulp that is left behind as it will be dryer.
Centrifugal juicers will leave behind wetter pulps which is an indication that they will not extract all the juice from the ingredients which means they deliver a relatively lower juice yield. But, in reality, the differences in juice yield between the juicers are often insignificant.
5. Juice Quality
You do not just want a juicer that produces a lot of juice because the quality of this juice also matters a lot. And the difference between the two juicers is quite clear for anyone that has used both before.
Masticating juicers come out at the top when it comes to juice quality. The juice that you get when using one will contain little foam and will not have a lot of tiny pulp pieces which is an indication that it will be purer.
Centrifugal juicers will deliver good enough juices but what you get will contain relatively more foam which indicates lower quality.
6. Juice Lifespan
It is always more convenient for most people to make more juice and keep it in the fridge for later consumption but with fresh fruit juices, this is not always easy given their shorter lifespan.
However, what you might not know is that the juicer type you use affects the lifespan, and so you need to know which makes more long-lasting juice if you prefer to make larger batches at a go.
When using the masticating juicers, you will not only get high-quality juice, but you also get a longer juice lifespan because it extracts the juice slowly without heating or oxidizing it too much. You can get anywhere between 36 and 72-hour lifespan with these juicers.
But, when using a centrifugal model, the best you can hope for is a few hours as these juicers heat and oxidize the juice more which gives it a shorter lifespan.
Most tools that run on motors will always be noisy when in operation, and the juicers are not an exception. Hence, whether you go for then masticating or centrifugal types, you will still end up with a noisy appliance.
However, given that these juicers work with different mechanisms, the noise level that you get when using them differs greatly.
Because of the centrifugal mechanism, the centrifugal juicers tend to be noisier and this mostly stems from the extra effort the motor has to put to deliver the high speeds.
With the slow movement of the blade and gear system on the masticating juicers, they will often be much quieter and with some models, you can hardly even notice they are running.
Ultimately your budget is what determines what juicer you buy because you can only get what you can afford. But given the significant difference in prices between these two juicers, the choice should be an easier one.
The more efficient masticating juicers that work with minimal noise and deliver higher juice yields will also be the more expensive of the two types. You can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $1,500 to get one of these juicers.
Centrifugal juicers are more budget-friendly. Most models will retail at between $40 and $150, and even if you want something a little more advanced from top brands like Breville, you will still not spend anything more than a few hundred bucks.
A juicer is a great appliance to have around for anyone that likes to enjoy some nice, fresh fruit or vegetable juice now and then.
And when you have to choose between the masticating and centrifugal juicer types, you only need to keep the differences highlighted above in mind. The differences will include things like the function, juice yield and quality, and their prices.
Using these differences for recommendations, the masticating juicers are perfect for the serious juicers and commercial users that value quality over everything else. Centrifugal juicers, on the other hand, are ideal for casual juicers, beginners and anyone else looking for a budget juicer.