Should I get a juicer?
Juicers are expensive machines that take up a lot of counter space; they're not for dabblers. But if you're already a juice enthusiast, you can offset the cost of boutique juice by making your own at home. If you drink green juice five times a week, even factoring in a little extra for electricity, the savings can add up to hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.
How we picked and tested
When selecting a juicer, the important things to look at are juice yield, ease of use, foam production (oxidation), and longevity. Slow juicers deliver better results than centrifugal models when it comes to juice yield and foam production. Models with a smaller footprint, like our top pick, the Tribest Slowstar, are great for people with limited kitchen space. Slow juicers also tend to be quieter. This might not be an issue for everyone, but if you make juice early in the morning while the house is asleep, noise might be something to consider. We also found that all of the juicers had one thing in common—they were a bit of a pain to clean. The parts aren't dishwasher safe, so you have to clean the components by hand.
Since 2013, we've put 17 juicers through two tests, noting ease of use, yield, foam production, flavor, ease of cleaning, and amount of prep required. First, we tested their ability with greens and soft fruit by making a kale-grape juice with 8 ounces each of curly kale and Thompson green grapes. We then tested each juicer for its ability to juice hard fruits and vegetables, using 8 ounces each of carrots and apples, 4 ounces of celery, and 1 ounce of ginger. All yields were measured by weight.
For the second year in a row, the Tribest Slowstar, a vertical single-auger, slow-press juicer, aced all of our tests. It yielded nearly the highest amount of green juice and hard-vegetable juice with low effort, experienced no motor jams, and generated minimal foam. This juicer is one of the most efficient with greens, ejecting very fine, dry, almost sawdust-like pulp after extraction. It has a generous feed tube opening that makes for quicker prep and easier juicing. The quiet machine is backed with a 10-year warranty that covers the motor and parts, one of the better guarantees among the juicers we tested.
The Tribest handled a constant stream of kale with supersoft grapes without gumming up or stalling out. Flavor was a good indicator of how much of the greens actually made it into the glass; juices that were sweeter had extracted less kale and more grape. The flavor of the Tribest juice was as fresh and bright as any we've had at boutique juice bars, with a nice balance between the kale and the grapes. The hue was a vibrant green, like Technicolor in a glass, with minimal foam. The Tribest also handled hard and fibrous vegetables and fruits like a champ.
The Omega VSJ843 turns at a very slow 43 rpm, the slowest of the machines we've tested, and it shows in the low-foam juices it produces in its very quiet operation. The VSJ843 produced 25 percent more green juice than even the high-yielding Tribest, so if you're interested in only smooth green juices, you might prefer it to our pick. However, for most people, its higher price, lower yields on carrot-apple juice, and lack of versatility make it a close runner-up.
The VSJ843 really improved on its predecessor, the VRT400, with almost pulp-free juices, offering the smoothest juice we've ever produced in a home kitchen. It made slightly less carrot-apple juice than the Slowstar, but it blew the Slowstar out of the water in our kale-grape test. The Omega VSJ843 comes with a 15-year warranty on motor and parts, so you can juice with confidence for a very long time.
The Omega J8004 is a quality machine and a favorite of our founder, Brian Lam. As he said in his original juicer guide, "It's more efficient at squeezing nutrients and liquid from leafy greens than the more popular (and admittedly great) Breville juicers. Compared to the Brevilles, some juice experts say you'll get nearly double the juice from the Omega. At about $260, the Omega costs slightly more than low-end juicers, but it offers better quality and taste, it's easy to clean and it's built to last a decade."
Though it's not the cheapest of the juicers we tested, the Omega J8004 represents the best value, especially considering the excellent 15-year warranty on the motor and parts. However, there are some trade-offs. First, it's quite big, requiring a 16-by-7-inch space on the counter. It also isn't great with softer, juicy fruits. Its feed tube is also an inch narrower than the Tribest's, which makes a difference in how much prep work you need to do with vegetables and fibrous fruits.
This guide may have been updated by Wirecutter. To see the current recommendation, please go here.
Note from Wirecutter: When readers choose to buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn affiliate commissions that support our work.