Cuisinart CCJ-500 Review

From $25 Best

Pros:

  • 3 choices for pulp control.
  • "Final spin" option gets the last bit of juice out of the pulp.
  • Dishwasher-safe parts and easy to clean in under a minute, users say.
  • Stable on countertop.
  • Compact enough to store easily.

Cons:

  • Spout is made of flimsy plastic and liable to break off, according to online reviews.
  • Inconvenient for making large quantities of juice, as pulp and seeds must be cleaned out periodically.
  • Pulp sometimes clogs the spout.
  • Some buyers report that it broke down after a short time.

Takeaway: The winning feature of this 25-watt electric reamer has to be the "final spin" option, which leaves no drop of juice unsqueezed, users report. In other words, users feel like they get their money's worth from the produce they buy for juicing. This Cuisinart juicer is easy to operate by simply pressing half a citrus fruit on the reamer. The reamer's universal size should fit any type of citrus, from limes to grapefruits. Many reviewers appreciate the ability to select how much pulp goes into the final product, which is a real differentiator.

Hamilton Beach 67602 Review

From $50 Best

Pros:

  • Powerful for the price.
  • Wide 3-inch chute.
  • Easy to clean; includes a cleaning brush and dishwasher-safe parts.
  • Easy to operate -- with 1 speed, it's just on-off.
  • Processes most fruits and hard vegetables very well, as long as they're cut into pieces, reviewers say.
  • Users report making at least 1 quart of juice before the pulp bin needs to be cleaned out.

Cons:

  • Not stable enough, according to some reviews -- tends to move around the countertop while running.
  • Doesn't extract all the juice on the first pass; some users put the pulp through again to get more.
  • No pitcher or carafe included.

Takeaway: This 800-watt centrifugal juice extractor is a great starter juicer, according to its fans. Ease of use is a big reason -- there is nothing to do but switch it on -- and price is another. The Hamilton Beach 67602 Big Mouth Juice Extractor performs fine with most fruits and vegetables but, like many centrifugal juicers, it has trouble extracting much juice from leafy greens. Both the manufacturer and users recommend putting a plastic bag in the pulp bin to ease cleanup.

Gourmia GJ750 Review

From $50 Best

Pros:

  • 2 speeds, one for fruits and one for hard vegetables.
  • Powerful enough to liquify hard fruits and vegetables like carrots or beets.
  • User-friendly for beginners.
  • Extracts most of the juice from fruits and vegetables -- even leafy greens, if they are packed tightly enough.
  • Can handle large pieces of produce.
  • Comes with a cleaning brush and carafe.

Cons:

  • Funnel housing and juice cup are made of thin plastic that could break easily.
  • Sometimes freezes when juicing hard root vegetables, reviewers warn.
  • Some users report that this model has a short lifespan.
  • Some buyers detect an awful odor out of the box.

Takeaway: Consumers starting out in the juicing world consider this 750-watt centrifugal extractor a good ally. Even some reviewers who have used expensive masticating juicers say it works very well. While the manufacturer says the Gourmia GJ750 Wide Mouth can handle whole fruits and vegetables, users suggest that cutting them in large chunks to make quick work of extraction.

Proctor Silex 66331 Review

From $14 Good

Pros:

  • 2 reamers, for handling both small citrus fruits like lemons and large ones like grapefruit.
  • Pulp control for people who prefer juice without pulp.
  • Very efficient at extracting juice, according to user reviews.
  • Compact and easy to store, yet holds a lot of juice.
  • Easy to take apart and wash.
  • Comes with a 34-ounce container.
  • Wirecutter's pick for best citrus juicer.

Cons:

  • On the noisy side, reviewers warn.
  • A bit underpowered for large quantities of bigger citrus fruits.
  • Some users report a lack of durability.

Takeaway: The Proctor Silex 66331 Alex's Lemonade Stand Citrus Juicer is as simple as can be. There is no setup; it's ready to go right out of the box, and juice dispenses directly into the attached container. Users say the machine is a snap to disassemble and clean; all the parts are dishwasher safe. The compact size makes it convenient to store even in a very small apartment kitchen. A dollar from every purchase goes to the Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, a charity for childhood cancer.

Black & Decker JE2400BD Review

From $30 Good

Pros:

  • Easily juices fruits and most hard vegetables.
  • Extremely affordable way to begin juicing.
  • Compact size makes it easy to pull out of a cabinet and doesn't take up a lot of counter space.
  • Dishwasher safe, and easy to clean manually.

Cons:

  • Small mouth; produce must be cut into small pieces before juicing.
  • Does not come with a juice container.
  • Some users complain that it's extremely noisy.
  • Some incidents of leakage and other breakdowns.

Takeaway: The 400-watt motor in this centrifugal juicer is strong enough to get most of the juice out of produce. It has one speed, which makes it simple for beginners to use -- just turn it on. Non-slip feet keep it steady. The Black & Decker JE2400BD 400-Watt Juice Extractor works extremely well for fruit but leaves vegetable juice behind, according to reviews. In CNET testing, it didn't stand out among centrifugal juicers for juicing leafy greens. The site's reviewer suggests alternating soft and hard foods to keep from clogging the mesh around the pulp container.

Brentwood JC-500 Review

From $41 Good

Pros:

  • 2 speeds, one for fruits and one for hard vegetables.
  • Comes with a pitcher that separates the foam from the juice.
  • Wide mouth means less time spent cutting up fruits and vegetables.
  • Easy to take apart for cleaning and put back together; moving parts are dishwasher safe.

Cons:

  • Some users say too much produce is left in the pulp, so they have to run it through twice.
  • Some reviewers have had problems with leakage.

Takeaway: Consumers who are not sure whether juicing is for them have found the Brentwood JC-500 Juice Extractor an affordable and easy way to start the practice. This 800-watt centrifugal juicer is fast and powerful, although it does not seem to extract all the possible juice from produce. Some users are fine with putting the pulp through the juicer a second time, when it comes out mostly dry, but others say that detracts from the ease of the process. While this model works well on fruits and hard vegetables, like many juice extractors, it produces very little juice from leafy greens.

Brentwood J-15 Review

From $13 Think Twice

Pros:

  • Works well for citrus fruits without seeds.
  • Reamer reverses direction to get maximum juice out of fruit.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Small, so it doesn't take up much room, and easy to store.
  • Comes with a 700 ml detachable pitcher.

Cons:

  • Flimsy construction; the plastic cracks easily and pieces don't fit together tightly, according to reviews.
  • Some users report that the motor dies unexpectedly.
  • Not big enough for grapefruit.

Takeaway: This 25-watt citrus juicer is fine for the price if it isn't used much, but it's not constructed well enough to go through an entire basket of oranges. Adding any pressure at all to the fruit can stop the reamer from spinning, users say, and this lightweight juicer has a tendency to jump around on the counter. There is only one reamer, which is too small for larger citrus fruits.

Black & Decker JE2200B Fruit and Vegetable Juice Extractor Review

From $30 Think Twice

Pros:

  • Small footprint ideal for condo or apartment kitchens.
  • Fast and easy to use.
  • Most parts are easy to clean.
  • Comes with a 300 ml juice collection cup.

Cons:

  • Too much waste -- a lot of juice gets discarded in the pulp, reviewers say.
  • Not powerful enough to juice a lot of produce without overheating.
  • Some users accuse the blade of dulling quickly.
  • Fruits and vegetables have to be cut into small pieces to fit through the mouth.

Takeaway: This 400-watt centrifugal juicer is not as powerful as most of our top picks, and it shows. Reviewers warn that it gets really hot when they try to put a lot of hard vegetables through it. The biggest issue, though, is that it doesn't make much juice -- a lot of pieces are left in the pulp container. It works well enough for the very low price, some users say, as long as expectations are not high.

Buying Guide

Choosing a Juicer

Juices have gone way beyond the standard supermarket jugs of orange and apple to combine all manner of fruits and vegetables, from carrots and cucumber to leafy greens and grapefruit. Fresh-made and bottled juices sell at a premium in virtually every coffee bar and convenience store. By making your own juices at home, you can save money and control the ingredients (store-bought juices are notorious for their high sugar content). As juicing has grown in popularity, the options for cheap juicers have also proliferated. While they may not be as powerful as their more expensive counterparts, low-priced models from manufacturers such as Hamilton Beach, Black & Decker, and Lexen make juicing at home a smart, healthful, and easy choice for many consumers.

The first step toward finding the best cheap juicer for your needs is to think about what kind of juice you want to make and how much effort you want to expend. Fruits, vegetables, and greens have vastly different properties that require distinct juicing methods and, in many cases, different equipment.

Citrus Juicers.

A citrus juicer specializes in lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruit, and there's certainly no shortage of reasonably priced models. If you prepare only a small amount of juice every once in a while, a manual citrus press or reamer may be all you need -- assuming you don't mind using a little elbow grease. Squeezing a pitcher of OJ for the family every morning this way isn't feasible, however. For that you'll need an electric juicer.

Based on our research, your best bet for a cheap electric citrus juicer is the Cuisinart CCJ-500 (starting at $25), followed by the Proctor Silex 66331, the "Alex's Lemonade Stand" model (starting at $14). The Brentwood J-15 (starting at $13) is similarly cheap but too small to accommodate grapefruit, and reviewers question the quality of the construction. Even the best cheap juicer probably isn't going to keep up if you have citrus trees in the backyard or need to supply a lemonade stand. For larger quantities of fruit, consider a commercial-grade manual citrus juicer such as the Jupiter Commercial Juice Press (starting at $88).

Masticating Juicers.

A masticating juicer works best on wheatgrass and other fibrous vegetables (such as spinach and lettuce) and roots (like beets and carrots). These low-speed juicers push produce through a barrel or chute, where a rotating, screw-like auger slowly kneads and "chews" the greens to extract the juice, sieving the liquid and leaving the pulp. Most electric masticating juicers are priced way beyond the Cheapism range. The top-selling (and best-reviewed) brands, which include Breville, Omega, and Champion, typically start at $200. One frugal solution is to opt for a manual wheatgrass juicer, such as the Lexen Healthy Juicer GP27 (starting at $53), which is recommended specifically for juicing greens.

Centrifugal Juice Extractors.

For any other vegetable or fruit combination, a centrifugal juicer or juice extractor does the trick. This type of machine uses spinning blades to shred the produce and centrifugal force to push the juice out from the center of rotation and separate it from the pulp. The juice drains into a small pitcher or a drinking glass, and the pulp collects in a separate receptacle. These juicers are fast and easy to use, particularly for beginners. They tend to be less expensive than masticating juicers but are not as effective at extracting juice from leafy greens.

Many centrifugal juicers from top brands start at the $100 mark; the cheapest Breville juicer, for example, is the compact BJE200XL (starting at $99.95). Still, good options do exist for $50 or less. The best cheap juice extractors we found are the Hamilton Beach 67602 (starting at $50) and the Gourmia GJ750 (starting at $48). Also on our list of top picks are the Brentwood Appliances JC-500 (starting at $41) and the Black & Decker JE2400BD (starting at $30), which we recommend over the Black & Decker JE2200B (starting at $30).

Ninja and Bullet 'Juicers.' Many people use Ninjas, Nutribullets, and Magic Bullets to make juice, but these high-speed blenders are not juicers. Although they liquefy produce, they don't extract just the juice. The output is thicker, more like a puree, because the pulp is left in. Blenders work well with bananas and avocados, which can't be used in juice extractors. Some people prefer the thick output from a blender, because the fiber in the pulp is nutritious. For those who prefer the smoother output from a true juicer, one option is to incorporate the leftover pulp into other foods, such as pancakes.

Features Comparison Buying Guide continues below table

(from $25.00)
Type Electric citrus reamer
Power 25 watts
Speeds N/A
Dishwasher-Safe Parts Yes
Warranty 3 years
(from $50.00)
Type Centrifugal extractor
Power 800 watts
Speeds 1
Dishwasher-Safe Parts Yes
Warranty 3 years
(from $50.00)
Type Centrifugal extractor
Power 750 watts
Speeds 2
Dishwasher-Safe Parts Yes
Warranty 1 year
(from $30.00)
Type Centrifugal extractor
Power 400 watts
Speeds 1
Dishwasher-Safe Parts Yes
Warranty 2 years
(from $41.00)
Type Centrifugal extractor
Power 800 watts
Speeds 2
Dishwasher-Safe Parts Yes
Warranty Not specified
(from $14.00)
Type Electric citrus reamer
Power 25 watts
Speeds N/A
Dishwasher-Safe Parts Yes
Warranty 1 year
(from $13.00)
Type Electric citrus reamer
Power 25 watts
Speeds N/A
Dishwasher-Safe Parts No
Warranty Not specified
(from $30.00)
Type Centrifugal extractor
Power 400 watts
Speeds 1
Dishwasher-Safe Parts Yes
Warranty 2 years
(from $100.00)
Type Centrifugal extractor
Power 700 watts
Speeds 1
Dishwasher-Safe Parts Yes
Warranty 1 year
(from $53.00)
Type Masticating extractor
Power Manual
Speeds N/A
Dishwasher-Safe Parts No
Warranty 1 year
(from $88.00)
Type Citrus press
Power Manual
Speeds N/A
Dishwasher-Safe Parts No
Warranty 1 year

Juicer Reviews: What We Considered

To make our picks, we scoured user reviews of juicers on the manufacturers' own websites and on retail websites including Amazon, Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, and Chefs Catalog, as well as expert advice from outlets such as Good Housekeeping. Juicer reviews focus mainly on the following criteria: how well and how quickly a juicer extracts juice; how durable the juicer is; and how easy the machine is to use and clean. They also comment on the design of the reamer or chute and the container and note crucial safety features.

Effectiveness and Efficiency.

The better a juicer is at extracting the goods, the more juice you get -- and the fewer fruits and vegetables you have to buy. Generally speaking, the drier the residual pulp, the higher the quantity of juice extracted. Users don't like seeing pulp that is too damp with juice afterward. They chastise cheap juicers that yield only small quantities of juice and gum up with pulp very quickly, calling them wasteful. Reviewers call special attention to the "final spin" feature on the Cuisinart CCJ-500 Pulp Control Citrus Juicer, which is designed to squeeze every last bit of juice from the fruit. Consumers also want juicers that can do the job quickly, without requiring the user to stop and scoop out accumulated pulp too often. The Hamilton Beach 67602 Big Mouth Juice Extractor fills the bill with a big pulp bin and powerful, fast performance. Reviewers repeatedly mention how dry the pulp is -- an indication of a highly efficient juicer.

Reamer/Chute Size.

Squeezing small limes and lemons with a cheap citrus juicer is not the same as squeezing large oranges and grapefruit. Some models come with two different size cones to fit the reamer. As for juice extractors, feed-chute sizes vary, so figure on doing some slicing and dicing beforehand to ensure fruits and vegetables will fit. The Hamilton Beach 67602 boasts an extra-wide 3-inch feed chute, but most cheap juicers have smaller chutes that require smaller pieces and more pre-juicing prep time. Many users mention this in reviews of the Black & Decker JE2200B, for example.

Containers.

Some juicers are sold without a juice container; a glass or bowl is meant to fit under the spout to collect the juice. Others save you from having to make a separate glass of juice for each person by offering relatively large pitchers. A clear container with measurements on the side lets you see how much juice you've squeezed, which is especially useful if you need it for a recipe. Centrifugal juicers often come with two separate containers -- one for the juice and one for the pulp. These either fit right into the juicer or sit underneath the ejection points. A too-small pulp container adds time to the juicing process, as users must pause to dump the pulp and start again.

Ease of Use.

If a juicer isn't easy to use, it won't be used at all -- a waste of money at any price. Many juicers require assembly and disassembly of multiple interlocking parts between uses. These parts should fit together tightly, without any gaps or wobbly bits, and be durable enough to withstand the repeated process of taking the juicer apart, washing the pieces, and putting them back together again.

Users and experts warn against electric juicers that vibrate so much that they "walk" across countertops while in use, which makes juicing difficult and much messier -- not to mention potentially hazardous. Our picks are not immune to this. User reviews on a couple of retail sites lament that the Cuisinart CCJ-500 "dances" too much on the counter. Still, reviewers praise its ability to extract juice and award it positive ratings overall.

Safety.

Juice extractors, because of their speed, sharp blades, and metal baskets, should have one indispensable safety feature: a locking mechanism (as you would find on a food processor) that prevents activation unless properly assembled and securely closed. If you come across a juicer that does not come with this feature, you might want to consider another model. Even with a heavier and stronger machine, make sure the unit is equipped with a no-slip grip to keep it from dancing and spinning while you juice; alternatively, you can place a cupboard liner under the juicer. This is especially useful with tall and narrow models, such as the Cuisinart CCJ-500, which have a tendency to tip over. The manual Lexen Healthy Juicer GP27 has a suction base and a metal clamp that can be used together or separately to attach to most any surface. The electric citrus juicers mentioned here have pressure-activated reamers, which allow the machine to activate only when the fruit is pressed firmly down onto the reamer.

Cleaning.

Keeping a juicer clean is an important maintenance step and makes an impression on users, who appreciate parts that are easy to wash and especially those that are dishwasher-safe. When users come across a machine that's difficult to clean, its online ratings suffer. All the electric juicers recommended here have parts that are dishwasher-safe after disassembly, making cleaning and de-gunking a snap. Still, an entire electric juicer cannot go in the dishwasher, so look for products with minimal gaps and hard-to-reach crevices, where juice can trickle and collect. The Hamilton Beach 67602 comes with a brush for cleaning any tough spots. The manual Lexen Healthy Juicer is hand-wash only, but its simple design makes cleaning easy.

Durability.

A juicer should feel substantial and be able to withstand the rigors of juicing, regardless of its price tag. Most budget juicers are made from plastic and have a few metal parts. The shells on some lower-cost models, including the Cuisinart CCJ-500, are a combination of plastic and stainless steel, and the motor is comparatively strong. Others, however, are relatively flimsy and may break on first use or after a small fall. All the juicers in this buying guide come with limited parts warranties of at least one year.

Additional Products We Considered

Lexen Manual Wheatgrass Juicer GP27 Review

From $53

Pros:

  • Grinds leafy greens very well; the resulting pulp is almost completely dry.
  • Simple to use, assemble, and disassemble.
  • Actually can be cleaned in 30 seconds, as the manufacturer claims.
  • Table clamp and suction base make it sturdy.
  • Some users say hand cranking is a good workout.

Cons:

  • Very small hopper; produce must be chopped into small pieces.
  • Can leak if not properly tightened.
  • Difficult to crank when grinding hard vegetables.
  • Not good for people with arthritis.

Takeaway: For juicing leafy greens without a hefty price tag, this manual masticating juicer does the trick. While it's not meant for fruits or hard vegetables, it can make juice out those, as well, although they must be cut up quite small and require a good bit of work with the hand crank. No reviewers seem to mind cranking this juicer by hand, and most consider it sturdy and durable.

Jupiter Commercial Juice Press Review

From $88

Pros:

  • Hefty and durable commercial-grade product.
  • Juice doesn't get any pith in it to sour the taste.
  • Works very well on pomegranates, reviewers say.
  • Faster and easier to use and clean than electric citrus juicers.
  • Suction cups on the base keep it from slipping.

Cons:

  • Doesn't come with different size cones for smaller fruits.
  • Heavy and difficult to move.
  • Can accommodate only a 4-inch container underneath.
  • Handle can fall and cause injury if it's not locked, some users warn.

Takeaway: Manual commercial juicers built to withstand frequent, heavy use are not just the province of delis and juice bars. People with citrus trees, or those who just like to juice a lot of fruit, find them easier to use than electric juicers, which need to be cleaned out frequently. Rather than employ the spinning motion of a reamer, this manual juicer works by applying 2,300 pounds per square inch of pressure to get every bit of juice out of the fruit. It's made from heavy-duty cast iron with a stainless steel strainer and basket.

Breville BJE200XL Compact Juice Fountain Review

From $100

Pros:

  • Comes with a 25-ounce juice container.
  • Fast and makes a lot of juice.
  • Easy to operate, take apart, clean, and put back together.
  • Comes with a combination cleaning brush and spatula for removing pulp, rinds, and seeds.
  • Does a fairly good job with leafy greens (reviewer tip: Wrap them around something hard, like a carrot or a piece of ginger).
  • Extracts just about all the juice from most fruits and vegetables.
  • The Good Housekeeping Institute's budget juicer pick.

Cons:

  • Not ideal for juicing leafy greens.
  • Can be messy; reviews describe little pieces of food flying out of the chute onto cabinetry if the pusher is not in place.
  • Small pulp catcher has to be emptied frequently.

Takeaway: This 700-watt centrifugal juicer is smaller than other Breville juicers but relatively inexpensive and highly rated. It works for smaller kitchens or people just dabbling in juicing. Although the mouth of the chute is large enough to accommodate large pieces of produce, users suggest that cutting smaller chunks results in more juice and drier pulp. They also report that the 14,000 RPM spinning speed quickly extracts the maximum amount of juice. Long-term users rave about this machine's durability, speed compared with a slow masticating juicer, and consistent, solid performance.