Centrifugal vs. Masticating Juicers: Everything You Need to Know about Juicing

Both centrifugal and masticating juicers offer tasty features that benefit a healthy lifestyle. From choosing the type of juicer to learning how long your freshly squeezed beverage will keep, our shopping guide is here to help you find the best juicer for your lifestyle.

BestReviews demonstrating the difference between centrifugal and masticating juicers

What's the Difference Between Centrifugal and Masticating Juicers?

The main difference between a centrifugal and masticating juicer is the way in which juice is extracted, which is discussed in greater detail below. A juicer is a handy kitchen tool, especially if your goal is to incorporate more fruits and veggies into your diet. If you're new to juicing, all electric juicers may seem the same, but you actually have an important decision to make: Should you get a centrifugal juicer or a masticating juicer?

The answer to this question depends on several factors, including the kinds of produce you want to juice, how much space you have in your kitchen, and how much time you're willing to spend setting up and cleaning your new juicer. But we've done all the heavy lifting, testing products and researching reviews, so you can find the best type of juicer to buy for your home.

The Top Three Juicers, According to BestReviews

Editor's Choice: Omega Juicer NC800 HDS Juicer Extractor and Nutrition Center

Bottom Line: A high-performing, versatile masticating juicer from one of the most respected manufacturers in the field.

Editor's Notes: Extremely easy to use and clean. Performs additional functions like making nut butters, extruding pasta, and grinding coffee. Feeding tube is somewhat small, so large produce must be chopped.

Next Best: Breville Juice Fountain Plus Juice Extractor

Bottom Line: An excellent centrifugal juicer from a highly trusted kitchen appliance brand.

Editor's Notes: Extracts juice in a highly efficient manner. Looks stylish, too. However, it doesn't provides as many speeds as other models.

Best Value: Hamilton Beach (67951) Masticating Juicer Slow Action

Bottom Line: A durable entry-level juicer with a budget-friendly price.

Editor's Notes: Easy to operate and clean. Extracts juice as effectively as some high-end models, though it doesn't have the same extra features. It can be pretty loud when in use, and it takes up significant countertop space.

How Do Centrifugal and Masticating Juicers Work?

First, let's take a look at the mechanics of juicers. Centrifugal and masticating juicers are both effective, but they work in different ways. A centrifugal juicer has a round cutting blade that rotates at a fairly high speed to cut fruit and veggies into extremely fine pieces. The pieces are then spun through the blades to extract the juice from the pulp. There's usually some type of mesh straining filter that prevents fruit and veggie bits from ending up in the juice.

A masticating juicer, also known as an auger-style or cold press juicer, usually uses a corkscrew-style auger to chop fruits and vegetables while pushing them upward at the same time. This design allows the juicer to get by with a less-powerful motor that operates more slowly and at a lower temperature than a centrifugal model. Plus, a masticating juicer is able to produce a higher volume of juice.

What Do You Want to Juice?

Carrot, mango, or pineapple juice—what's your preference? When choosing a juicer, start by asking yourself what you want to drink. If you've got a taste for hard fruits and veggies such as carrots, tomatoes, apples, berries, and citrus fruits, both centrifugal and masticating juicers would easily get the job done.

If you aim to incorporate soft fruits, leafy greens, sprouts, or herbs into your juice, however, a masticating juicer is a better choice. Masticating juicers can typically handle frozen fruits and veggies, too—centrifugal models can't. There are even some masticating juicers you can use to grind coffee beans and convert nuts into nut butter.

How Much Juice Do You Need?

How thirsty are you? In terms of yield, a masticating juicer usually produces more juice than a centrifugal model. So if you're juicing for two or more people, a masticating juicer could be ideal. Centrifugal juicers don't offer up as much juice, so they're better suited if you juice for two people or less.

How Much Space Do You Have?

If you make juice often, you'll probably want to keep your juicer out on the counter for easy access. You'll want to choose a model that fits your countertop, and this obviously depends on how large your kitchen is and how many other countertop appliances you have.

Centrifugal juicers tend to be compact, lightweight appliances that fit well in small spaces. Their vertical design allows them to have a smaller footprint, which helps you preserve some space for other appliances or food preparation.

Masticating juicers tend to be heavy and bulky. You may have a tougher time accommodating a masticating juicer if you have limited counter space or a small kitchen.

How Soon Do You Need Your Juice?

Are you one to juice and run? When choosing between a centrifugal and a masticating juicer, think about how fast you want your appliance to work. If you want to juice a hard fruit like an apple in less than a minute so you can get on with your day, a centrifugal juicer is probably the way to go. Masticating juicers aren't so fast, but their longer juicing process is very effective for soft fruits and leafy greens.

Keep in mind that faster juicing typically means a louder machine. A centrifugal juicer can be pretty noisy, so there's a chance you may disturb the rest of the family if you juice early in the morning. Since a masticating juicer uses slower speeds, these appliances are usually much quieter.

How Much Time Can You Devote to Setup and Cleanup?

If you want your juicer to be ready to go whenever you're in the mood for fresh juice, a model that's easy to set up and clean is ideal.

Masticating juicers tend to have more parts, and it may take more time to prepare a masticating juicer for action. Cleanup may also take longer, as there are more nooks and crannies in which pulp and residue can hide. However, there are some masticating juicers that are "self-cleaning" with built-in scrubbers that prevent pulp from clogging the machine.

Centrifugal juicers can be set up and cleaned easily because they have fewer parts. With this type of juicer, you can start juicing as soon as possible. And if the juicer has dishwasher-safe parts, you can save even more time.

How Long Do You Want Your Juice to Stay Fresh?

If you like to make juice in the morning for consumption later in the day, freshness could become an issue. In general, you should drink juice as soon as possible, but you can store it in an airtight container in your refrigerator for several hours.

Juice from a centrifugal juicer typically stays fresh for only about eight hours in the refrigerator. That's because the heat produced by the juicer causes the juice to oxidize more quickly. A masticating juicer generates much less heat, so the juice it produces can typically be stored in the refrigerator for up to 72 hours.

What's Your Budget?

As with any purchase, your budget can help you determine which type of juicer is the best fit for your kitchen.

Centrifugal juicers are usually the most affordable, ranging from $40 to $150. Masticating juicers typically cost between $150 to $1,500, depending on the number of features they offer. Those on the higher end of the range tend to be commercial-grade juicers.

What Are Must-Have Features in a Juicer?

So, what are the golden features you should look for when shopping? We recommend the following:

Variable speeds
A juicer with multiple speeds is ideal because soft fruits usually do better at lower speeds, and hard fruits are juiced more effectively at higher speeds. With a variable-speed appliance, you get the best of both worlds.

Clear container
Most juicers have some type of receptacle to collect the juice. Choose a model with a clear container so you can see just how much juice you've got.

Pulp regulator
Do you like lots of pulp in your juice? Some people do, but others want it all removed. Look for a juicer that allows you to vary the amount of pulp in your juice so you can tailor your beverage to your preferences—and the preferences of any guests you may have.

Generous pulp bin
Opt for a juicer with a large pulp bin or container, and you won't find yourself stopping the machine every few minutes to empty it.

Large feed chute
The larger the feed chute, the bigger you can cut your chunks of fruits and veggies for the juice. A juicer with a small chute takes more of your time overall because you need to cut the produce into smaller pieces to fit the machine.

Cord length
A juicer with a cord that's at least four feet long gives you more versatility in the kitchen. However, we strongly recommend a juicer with built-in cord storage. That way, you won't have to worry about the cord when you're not juicing.