If you’re about to get into juicing for the first time, you’re sure to have heard all about the virtues of cold-pressed juice!
This type of juice is all the rage in the health market today, and hardcore juicers swear by it. The easiest way to get your own fresh cold-pressed juice is by using a masticating juicer.
We love masticating machines for their efficiency, nutrition, and versatility with tricky produce like greens and roots that make centrifugal machines struggle.
However, they’re more expensive than centrifugal models, and some masticating models can be a real pain to use. If you’re new to juicing, it can be hard to tell which models will be easy to use, and which will be frustrating and discouraging.
We went looking for the most user-friendly, cost-effective masticating models on the market. We looked at expert reviews, juicing forums, and best-seller lists to figure out which ones were the most popular among people serious about juicing.
Then, we did extensive research on each model to compare specs, features, and reviews from previous buyers.
We’re confident that our recommendations are the 3 best masticating models on the market for people who are starting out with juicing!
Below, you’ll find full, in-depth reviews of all our recommendations. We’ll take you through everything you need to know about each model, and show you which is best for your lifestyle!
At the bottom of the page, we’ve put together a quick guide to shopping for your first masticating juicer.
A Quick Guide to Cold-Pressed/Slow-Pressed Juice
What’s the difference between ordinary juice and cold-pressed juice?
For one thing, cold-pressed juice is actually pressed. That means you get more juice than you would from spinning pulp in a centrifugal machine.
Cold-pressed juice is also more nutritious, since it’s not heated or oxidized by the juicing process. Cold-pressed juice contains many enzymes and micronutrients that can be degraded by the fast, volatile environment inside a centrifugal juicing chamber.
Cold-pressing your produce is the way to make sure you’re getting the best juice you possibly can, while getting more of it at the same time!
Don’t just believe the hype: see research on cold-pressed juice here!
Our Reviews of the Best Masticating Juicers
1. Omega J8006
The J8006 is Omega’s most popular model, and it’s Amazon’s #1 bestseller in the masticating category!
We think it makes an affordable, versatile choice for people who want a great machine that can also do other tasks around the kitchen. The J8006 works as a food processor, homogenizer, and much more!
The gear reduction system between the motor and the auger help keep speed to a minimum, and torque to a maximum. The result is a torque factor that equals 2HP! This means you’re getting all the power you need to crush produce, without heating or oxidizing your juice in the process.
The GE Ultem material used in the auger is designed to last 8X longer than other plastics. Previous buyers said it stays almost perfectly intact, even after a year or two of juicing! Since it turns at 80 RPM, it squeezes juice out of your produce without introducing any foam or heat.
The J8006 squeezes pulp twice. One of the smartest features of the Omega Nutrition Centers is that it crushes pulp in the chamber, then squeezes it again on the way out to make sure you don’t miss out on those lingering drops.
Online reviewers said the J8006 left them with drier pulp than they had gotten from their old machines. The efficiency factor of the Omega means you’ll be saving lots of money on your grocery bill!
The Nutrition Center is extremely versatile. In addition to being a powerful machine, it works as a food processor, mincer, homogenizer, grinder, and pasta maker! All the attachments you need are included in the box. You can use the J8006 to make nut butters, salsas, spaghetti, special spice and flour blends, and more. It’s a great choice for people who are new to juicing, but already make lots of homemade eats!
Its added versatility makes the J8006 a great bargain. It’s less expensive than many masticating models which just juice, with no additional features.
It’s covered by a 15-year warranty, one of the longest on the market!
Some previous buyers reported problems with the auger wobbling. This can cause some chipping and scraping, which damages the auger and the pulp screen. Omega has shipped out replacement augers to people who had the problem. Some other buyers also suggested workaround solutions online, to get the auger more firmly set in the drive chamber.
It’s all plastic. While the Omega has one of the longest warranties on the market, it doesn’t really inspire confidence like the Champion or other sturdier machines. We found that previous buyers who were careful to follow directions had fewer problems with plastic parts cracking under stress.
The feed chute is fairly small. That means you’ll have to put some time in to prep produce, and it means you can’t expect to juice all that quickly.
Omega doesn’t supply a lot of literature with their products. The J8006 just comes with basic product specs, no troubleshooting tips or starter recipes. While the setup and juicing procedures are pretty intuitive, we think this is a missed opportunity to reach out to people who are starting to juice for the first time.
The Champion has been a mainstay among serious juicing fans since the 1970s.
You can find lots of testimonials from previous buyers who have been using their original Champions since then! It’s a rugged, powerful masticating machine with sturdy, American build quality and a high reputation for quality.
We particularly like the Champion’s stainless steel cutting blades for making green juices. It makes a great indestructible first juicer that’s sure to be a lifetime product!
The Champion’s body and auger are made from a nylon composite. We like nylon more than plastic because it’s shatterproof. With all the high pressure building up inside the juicing chamber, even the best plastic parts can eventually crack. That’s not an issue with nylon. It’s also food-grade, whereas many plastic machines contain BPAs.
The auger itself is cast around a stainless steel driveshaft. This makes it much more stable than other augers on the market. Our favorite part is that the nylon is actually cast over the steel, so that the teeth are embedded in the nylon. That means they can’t break off under stress.
The motor is also extra durable. It’s built by GE, and uses a fully metal drive system. While many masticating juicers rely on gear systems for torque, the Champion provides more power up front, so it jams less frequently and has fewer breakable parts. It’s been updated for the 21st century with ball bearings at the front and rear. These reduce friction and pressure, keeping the motor happy and helping you juice smoothly.
We think it’s especially important to have a rugged juicer when you’re first getting started. While we’re sure you’ll follow instructions and learn from tips before you juice, we all make the occasional mistake. And, of course, there are always flukes. The Champion is a sure bet for standing up to years of wear and tear.
The Champion is one of the only juicers on the market to be made here in America. That means you’re supporting domestic industry, which is always a plus. It’s especially impressive given that the Champion isn’t any more expensive than the models that are made in China.
Of course, the best part of buying from an American company is the superior customer service. That’s especially important when you’re juicing for the first time. Previous buyers said that Champion was very helpful with advice and troubleshooting when they were starting out with their juicers.
In addition to great customer service, Champion also provides very impressive warranty coverage, at 12 years.
The best touch for us is the deluxe instructional guide and recipe book. It’s a welcome change from the sparse materials you get with an Omega!
It doesn’t have as many features as Omega’s Nutrition Center models. While the Champion comes with a basic homogenizer attachment, you won’t be able to make nut milks or grind spices or grains as easily as with the Omegas.
It isn’t a dual stage juicer. That means that while pulp comes out fairly dry, it’s not as dry as pulp from the Omega.
It’s very heavy. Obviously, that comes from the dense nylon construction and the heavy-duty motor. The weight is reassuring. However, this isn’t an appliance that you’ll want to be hauling out of storage every day.
3. Tribest Slowstar
The SlowStar is our favorite vertical masticating juicer. It’s ultra-slow, with a 47 RPM motor and a smart gear reduction system for high torque at low speeds. We love the SlowStar for its versatility. It’s one of the only vertical masticating juicers with a food processor function!
The double-edged auger is made out of GE’s Ultem compound, just like the augers in the Omega Nutrition Center juicers. It’s supposed to last 8X as long as traditional plastics. Since it runs vertically, it’s less likely to warp or develop wobble.
The auger design also helps keep produce moving through the feed chute. The upper blade feature actually pulls fruits and vegetables into the juicer, so you don’t have to push so hard.
The 200-watt motor uses a 3-stage gear reduction system to create lots of low-end heft. It creates a force equivalent to 9HP. That’s over 4X more powerful than the Omega juicers!
All of the plastic parts, including the housing and casing, are BPA-free. The collection containers are also BPA-free. Tribest has also used the Ultem compound in the ring around the pulp screen for added durability! That’s a big advantage over the J8006 for more health-conscious buyers.
It includes a mincing/food processor attachment to make nut butters, pate, sorbets, and more. The SlowStar is pretty rare among vertical masticating juicers for this extra function!
There’s an automatic feature which keeps the pulp screen clear as you juice. It works like windshield wipers on your car, and takes a lot of the hassle out of cleaning the pulp screen when you’re done juicing!
It’s very quiet.
Previous buyers said the Slowstar was very easy to clean. They recommended rinsing out pulp as soon as you’re done juicing, to prevent anything caking on.
It’s covered by a 10-year warranty.
It comes with all the accessories you need for juicing, like a cleaning brush, containers for pulp and juice, and a strainer.
Like other vertical masticating juicers, the feed chute is rather narrow. That means you’ll have to do more prep work than you’d have to do with a horizontal model.
When we were reading buyer reviews from a few years ago, we found that the older version of this model had some leakage problems. Tribest has since issued a new update with a special seal and revised spout design. Recent buyers said the problem is completely solved!
Top Triturating Juicers
Triturating juicers take the masticating format to a new level.
While masticating juicers “chew” fruits and vegetables by squeezing them between an auger and a screen, triturating juicers actually mimic the human jaw by forcing produce through two interlocking augers. The augers have corresponding teeth which help gnaw into greens and roots, just as your teeth do when you eat a salad.
These juicers are even more efficient, since they can crush pulp and make it more palatable. You’ll have more juice, and it’ll be richer, and less watery.
Juice from triturating juicers also has even better nutritional content, since these machines actually crush the cell walls of plant matter to make all those nutrients more easily available to your digestive system.
Our favorite triturating juicer for a first-timer is the Tribest Green Star Elite:
This triturating juicer uses twin, interlocking augers with a variety of cutting edges and recesses to completely masticate all your produce. The augers allow the Green Star to do even better than masticating juicers with leafy greens and wheatgrass!
They’re also made of stainless steel, so they’re much more durable and reliable than the plastic augers found in masticating models.
The Tribest has a few smart features that set it apart, including a nylon safety buffer between the auger and the motor, and a pressure adjustment knob for helping you choose the right setting for each type of produce.
You can also use it as a grinder, mincer, food processor, and homogenizer — just like with an Omega Nutrition Center.
The best part is the price. The Tribest is only $100 or so more than a nicer masticating juicer, and costs half what you’d pay for a Super Angel.
Which Slow Juicer is Right for You?
The Omega is the best bargain, in our book!
It’s the most versatile choice, since you can use it as so many kitchen appliances right out of the box. It’s the cheapest of the three, and has the longest warranty.
The Omega gives you a lot of bang for your buck, and gives you lots of room to try new things as you develop your own juicing routine!
The J8006 is our recommendation for people who want to be able to branch out and experiment as they venture into juicing.
The Champion is by far the most durable of our recommendations.
Since it’s so indestructible, people new to juicing won’t have to worry about making a few mistakes in their first juicing sessions.
It’s the best choice for people who want to juice lots of greens and roots, since it’s the only masticating juicer we could find with metal cutting blades.
It’s also your best bet for a juicer that can stand up to daily juicing over the years. We strongly recommend it to people who mainly want to juice, and want the most reliable option for a masticating juicer.
The Slowstar is the easiest of the three to use.
It’s our recommendation to people who want the nutritional benefits and long-term cost savings of a masticating juicer without all the hassle of a horizontal model.
It’s less work to use, and produces even more juice than the Champion or the J8006. However, it’s the most expensive of the three, and isn’t quite as versatile as the Omega.
What to Consider When Buying a Masticating Juicer
Set your juicing goals:
While masticating juicers are more versatile than centrifugal juicers, they still vary in terms of what kinds of produce each model can handle.
If you’re going to be making lots of green juice, with herbs, leafy greens, and stringy roots, we recommend a masticating juicer with cutting teeth, or a specific greens setting which gives you more pressure between the auger and the pulp screen. If you’re planning to juice more roots and hard produce, like carrots or apples, any masticating juicer will work just fine.
If you’re planning on juicing lots of produce every day, for friends, family, or the fridge, we strongly suggest getting a juicer that’s more heavy-duty, such as the Champion. You want to avoid as many plastic parts as you can.
Conversely, if you’re just juicing a glass for yourself in the morning, you won’t have to worry about durability with plastic parts.
Choose between vertical and horizontal models:
Horizontal masticating juicers are the most affordable option. They can cost a good $100 less than vertical models, and are more versatile around the kitchen. However, they take more grunt work to operate, and aren’t fantastic with greens.
Vertical masticating juicers are even more efficient, and are easier to use, since gravity and a spiral auger help pull produce into the feed chute. They’re also better at juicing greens and wheatgrass, thanks to the tighter fit of their juicing screens.
Consider your budget:
Masticating juicers can cost between $200 and $400. Horizontal models are generally $50 to $100 cheaper than a comparable vertical model. All of our recommendations are available for around $300-$350.
You can find more affordable masticating juicers by looking for an older version of the same model. For instance, the Omega J8004 has most of the same features as the J8006 we’ve recommended here, but is $100 cheaper. However, older models are more likely to have BPA plastics and weaker, wobblier augers.
Think about versatility and attachments:
Many masticating juicers can also be used as other kitchen appliances. You can find masticating juicers that serve as food processors, grinders, homogenizers, and more.
If you’re just looking to juice, we’d recommend spending your money where it counts, on a more powerful, solid juicer. However, if you’re at all interested in making other homemade foods (like nut butters, sauces, pasta, etc.) a masticating juicer with an attachment set is a good way to keep your options open and inspire you in the kitchen. The versatility also makes the cost of your new juice a bit more palatable!
If you’re not sure about the masticating juicers we’ve reviewed here, and want to see more models, take a look at Amazon’s best-selling masticating juicers here! For other types of juicers, visit Best Juicer Reviews.