What’s New For Low Speed Masticating Juicers?
It’s a while since we published our definitive piece about the best performing slow juicers on the market, so we thought it about time to update our customers with our most recent premium choices. (Article Updated Nov 2020)
If you want to skip the TL;DR, these juicers below are equal best performers and we’ll go into further details about the subtler differences between the models in the rest of the article:
The Kuvings EVO820 The Kuvings C9500 The Nama Cold Press Juicer The Sana 808 The Omega VSJ
South Korea continues to squeeze out the rest of the world in cold press masticating juicer technology, with two factories still clearly standing out in terms of overall juicer performance. And, unfortunately, China continues to lead the world in producing second rate imitations of this juicer format. Nothing has changed there then. The Korean-made brands often come at a significantly higher price but there is no doubt that this initial outlay is easily more than recovered over the life of the juicer, when you take into account the cost of wasted ingredients with cheaper models from Chinese factories. What you usually get with low priced slow juicers is more pulp dumped into your juice, which gives a false impression of high juice yields. But we don’t like sludgy juice. So how can you tell which brands are likely to underperform? At the moment there are only a few brands available in the UK which originate from the world’s leading manufacturers, so by process of elimination you can more or less assume that all the rest are from China and therefore generally offer inferior performance.
The best slow juicer technology continues to be found in the ranges offered by Kuvings, Omega, Sana, Nama and Hurom. Omega has models from both of the leading factories, while Kuvings and Hurom are both own label brands of the top two factories. In our range we stock the Omega, Nama and Sana badged versions of the latest Hurom slow juicers, plus the full range from the Kuvings factory. As far as we are aware, the only other Korean-made vertical slow juicer in the UK is the Sage branded ‘Big Squeeze’, which we don’t stock because it uses old technology that has been surpassed by more recent models from the Kuvings factory.
Confused? There’s no need to be because in terms of juicing performance the top of the range models from both factories are virtually neck and neck on performance. That means they give almost identical very high juice yields, with minimal pulp getting through into the juice jug. So how do you choose? Well, there are slight differences in features and juicing styles that we went into last time, with a few new upgrades.
Since we last wrote about this topic, the actual end results from the best available slow juicers haven’t really changed. We think this could be because the design limitations of this juicer format have now been reached. So what we are seeing are incremental improvements in the experience of living with these juicers as the different brands try to win us over. Some of these improvements are genuine, while some others look more like marketing gimmicks.
In the race for new features Hurom have now produced a model that ‘self-feeds’ with a chopping blade contraption above the juicing parts replacing the standard feed chute. We think this feature is an example of designers ‘jumping the shark’ to produce an innovation that offers little or no advantage. First of all you still have to prep the ingredients for this ‘chopper hopper’ in any case, and for our money this system is inferior to standard feed chutes when it comes to juicing health-promoting leafy green ingredients. But other juicer design changes do offer genuine functional advantages, like the new safety conscious ‘flip gate lid’ available in the latest Kuvings range.
Extra large feed chutes on vertical slow juicers (also known as cold press juicers) were invented by the Kuvings factory and a version of this was available on one of last years winners, the Omega MMV. This large feed chute is one of the most plagiarised technologies found in Chinese slow juicers and in our experience you’ll do well to avoid all the examples from the land of copy products. The Kuvings/NUC versions are far superior and for many people this bigger feed option has become a must have feature on any juicer. While offering the greater convenience of reduced chopping of ingredients – with apples being able to be juiced whole – the straight versions of these larger chutes had to pass safety standards because they were wide enough for small hands. To avoid the possibility of injury the factories had to partly block the feed tube at the bottom with a protruding fin. This in turn meant that feeding whole apples required a firm push past this fin to get the fruit into the juicing mechanism (smaller ingredients could fall either side of the protrusion). The concept of the ‘self-feeding’ nature of vertical single auger juicers was slightly compromised by this, so Kuvings came up with the ‘flip gate lid’ concept.
The ‘flip gate’ is a hinged lid in the top of the feed chute that can swing ingredients – including whole fruit – down into the feed tube, while preventing fingers or hands getting anywhere near the business end of the juicing auger. For lighter ingredients like leafy greens that need a bit more help than gravity alone, you still get an integrated standard feed chute and food pusher too, offering the best of both worlds. Apart from offering this snazzy new feature, the new flagship EVO820 model from Kuvings also has a radically different style, with a luxurious leather look textured finish to the motor base and a range of new colour options. Kuvings also have the new ‘flip gate’ top available on their more affordable B8200 range. This deploys their first generation whole slow juicer technology which still offers a very strong performance, but with just a little more pulp getting into the juice.
If The Kuvings Evolution 820 is a little too expensive for your taste, then for very little compromise you will still get the same juicing performance from the older style large feed chute options in the Omega MMV and Kuvings C9500,
Many consumers are attracted to the idea of less time spent preparing ingredients, which is understandable but we are not talking huge time savings here. There’s also a little more cleaning time involved getting around the large feed chute types, so it’s swings and roundabouts. We’re still big fans of the small feed chute juicers from the Hurom factory and we find that the clean up time is a little quicker on these. The Omega VSJ843 has been around for a few years now but it’s still one of our strongest performers. The Sana 808 uses the same juicing technology and this is the European equivalent of the larger ‘Q’ version of the Omega VSJ. New to our list of top performers with smaller feed chutes is the Nama Cold Press Juicer. This was developed in co-operation with our favourite global Juicing Guru, Joe Cross, who has done more to promote the health benefits of juicing than anyone in the world. The main difference with this updated Hurom technology is the addition of a ‘pulp lever’ that allows texture adjustments in the end results, predominantly with the ‘smoothie screen’ in use for softer ingredients. This is possibly the best value choice as it comes with more accessories as standard. The Sana 828 uses the same Hurom technology as the Nama, making it another great choice.
If you’re still undecided, we understand why! Really there is not much to choose between these top of the range models so it comes down to personal preference. You may see others promoting a single juicer as the definitive best choice. We don’t like to pick favourites when there is no clear objective winner. Any of the above models represent the pinnacle of premium juicer design and there’s practically nothing in it performance wise. If we haven’t answered all your questions here, please do give us a call on 0 and we’ll try to point you in the right direction. Happy Juicing!