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1. Very compact: It takes less counter/table space than a small plate. Most of the electrics (except the L’Equip mini and the Waring JEX 328) are major space hogs.
2. Very efficient: Masticating juicers extract more juice than the centrifugal models. Perhaps more importantly, they do a better job of crushing tough plant cell walls and releasing enzymes – think minced garlic versus chopped garlic. (Whether or how much added health benefits this results in, depends on what you juice. It’s hard to get good info on this, but plant enzymes typically help in breakdown and better absorption of nutrients.)
3. Cheap (Check out their Ebay listing – it’s $10 cheaper over there.) If you don’t want to drop upwards of $250 on an electric masticating juicer, or aren’t sure whether you’ll stick to it, this one’s worth a try.
4. Easy to clean
1. The hopper’s a bit small, which means you’ll be reloading frequently. This seems to be the trouble with masticating juicers in general (including the electrics), but the Z-star manual juicer (also available on amazon, though at twice the cost) has a somewhat bigger hopper.
UPDATE: see effort section below.
2. As I haven’t used this long enough, I can’t say how durable it is, though it seems very tough and well-made. (The auger tip and the surface it crushes against are both stainless steel, and all the rest is polycarbonate.)
Turning the handle: Effortless for leafy veggies, very little effort for carrots and firm veggies, provided you cut them into smaller pieces first. Don’t expect to be able to throw a whole carrot or radish in. The reviewer that claims that you need to be a weightlifter to turn this thing was funny, but wildly off the mark.
UPDATE: Curiously enough, on trying red cabbage, the juicer groans, esp. with largish pieces. I noticed that the juicing effort is quite sensitive to the size of the pieces – with smallish pieces, not only is less turning effort required, but the produce doesn’t need pushing either. This lets you feed and crank the handle at the same time, making the process faster.
All in all, though, this idiosyncracy counts as a negative point, and I’m lowering my rating to 4 stars.
UPDATE 2: When juicing cabbage, drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the chopped cabbage – this completely eliminates the groaning (which happens due to friction between the rubbery leaves and the juicer body).
Cleaning: better than the electrics in this department because of fewer parts and simpler design. Cleanup is a major part of juicing effort, so I count this as a pro.
Cutting: For firm veggies, you’ll have to cut them into smaller parts (no perfect julienne required; just a quick, sloppy chop would do.) Even so, this adds a little bit to the effort, so if you primarily want to juice firm veggies, you should look at an electric.
Setup: Very easy (again, from the simpler design).
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I just bought one of these and have to say that my expectations were pretty low. This is the second manual juicer I have bought and the first one was useless.
A few things I really like about this juicer:
1. It’s manual, which alot of people seem to be saying is a “con” of the juicer, but I think it’s awsome. You use no electricity, you can take it anywhere, and you even get a little arm excersize while using it. SO to those whimps who are complaining about the hand crank I say to you go out and spend your $250 on an electric one and quit bashing this great little unit! I mean seriously, it’s not like the company advertized that the juicer would crank ITSELF.
2. The juicer came with several extra parts. I was pleased to see that the juicer came with extra of the items most likely to wear out or break, such as bushings etc. I am an auto mechanic, so I don’t guess I am really qualified to say that it was “easy” to put together, but I had not trouble at all. There are instructions, as well as a dvd that DEMONSTRATES exactly how to put the thing together (not that I needed to use either of those). Pause it…slow motion…whatever you have to do to get this thing put together because I assure you it will be worth it.
3. Juice yield. I have to say that I just recently bought a hydraulic press juicer, which is supposed to have the highest yield of any juicer type, and when compared to this little unit I can guarantee I will be using my “healthyjuicer” more than I will that juice press. The amount of juice that this little thing extracts is amazing to me…my mom has one of the green power TWIN GEAR juicers, which are supposed to be the best all around electric juicer you can buy and I think that this little manual one has dryer pulp than what comes out of her $350+ juicer! I was also afraid that it would ONLY be good for wheatgrass and lettuce and stuff, but the first thing I did when I got it was run some carrots through there and it did great! Most other juicers are either good at leafy vegetables and not so good at harder vegetables or vice versa…this one seems to excel at both!
I just can’t say enough about this little juicer…the price, the weight, the ease of use and ease of cleaning are enough to offset ANY drawback that anyone has listed in these reviews. My motive for writing this review: I want LOTS of people to go out and buy these things so that the company continues to make them so that down the road when mine finally DOES wear out I will be able to get another one.
I use this juicer for juicing leafy greens and wheatgrass, and it performs outstandingly well. Assembly, cleaning, etc., are straightforward and quick. The product is very effectively designed and produces high quality green juices that are not exposed to heat and oxidation that can occur with high-speed, electric masticating juicers. I have a (pricy) Champion juicer that I use for juicing carrots, beets, etc., but for greens and grasses, this inexpensive little machine is definitely the way to go.
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