When looking online it’s easy to be confused by the different types of juicers, there’s juicers and juice extractors and multiple types of each type.
The difference between a juicer and a juice extractor is that a juicer is often manual and used specifically for citrus fruits. Meanwhile, a juice extractor is often electronic and is used for a range of fruits and vegetables, to separate the juice from the pulp.
In this article, I’ll explain in detail the different types and uses for both a juicer and a juice extractor so you can find the right piece of equipment for your kitchen.
What Is A Juicer?
A juicer is, in many ways, considered to be a low-tech equivalent of a juice extractor. Juicers are typically used for citrus fruits almost exclusively, and they can come in several forms: manual, atomic, or press.
A manual juicer is the type of kitchenware you might expect to find buried in the back of one of your cupboards. They are the cheapest type of juicer, as they’re fairly simple in the way they work: they’re essentially a spike with grooves to channel juice.
To juice a piece of fruit, you would press the orange half down on top of the juicer, and twist.
This would pulverize the inside of the piece of fruit enough that you would end up with, for example, orange juice, complete with pulp. Some manual juicers may include a strainer attachment which will separate the pulp and seeds from the juice, while others may not.
An atomic juicer works by the same concept as the other juicers on this list: by pressing a piece of fruit against a spike and agitating it.
The thing that separates this type of juicer from the rest of the pack is that the spike is typically driven by a motor, meaning that the spike can spin at high speed while the fruit is being pressed down with a force.
This can make juice-making easier, but it can also make your juice more bitter, as bitter oils from the skin are more likely to be released by a more aggressive juicing spike.
A press juicer is exactly what it sounds like: they’re a manual juicer which relies on you pulling a lever to press the piece of fruit down onto the spike.
These juicers have two key differences from the other types of juicers on the list: the force you can apply, and the twisting action. Because of the lever on these machines, you can apply much more force onto the fruit, which means that you may be able to get more juice out.
These machines also don’t involve any kind of twisting action, which may mean that you’re less likely to have bitter oils from the peel of your fruit leaching into your juice.
What Is A Juice Extractor?
A juice extractor is an appliance, typically electrical, which can extract juice from fruit and vegetables. The machines work by first chopping up the vegetables into small pieces, and then aggravating the pieces in order to remove the juice from them.
There are two main types of juice extractor; centrifugal, and masticating.
Centrifugal Juice Extractor
A centrifugal juice extractor, which is also sometimes known as a fast juice extractor, removes the juice from the chunks of fruit by spinning them at an incredibly high speed, about 12,000 rpm!
The spinning motion within the juice extractor means that the juice is separated from the chunks, and then poured into a container to be drunk, freshly squeezed.
The remaining pulp and seeds are considered waste, and are usually collected in another container to be discarded when cleaning the machine. A feature that sets this type of machine apart from masticating extractors is the larger feed chute.
These machines often have a serrated blade which spins at a high speed, so you can load in larger chunks of fruit, and they’ll be cut up by the rapidly spinning blades.
Masticating Juice Extractor
A masticating juice extractor works in a similar way to a centrifugal extractor – with a rotating drum – but the purpose of the rotation is different. The masticating extractors will use a slow rotating auger to crush the fruits against a sharp mesh, similar to a cheese grater.
They do this at a comparatively slow speed of 80-100 rpm. Because these types of juice extractors don’t shred or cut the fruits as a centrifugal extractor would, they can be better for leafy greens, as they will typically get the best nutrients out of them.
These machines do require a little more prep time, however: they typically have a smaller feed chute, which means that you may need to chop up your fruits and veg more thoroughly in order to juice them most efficiently.
What’s The Difference Between A Juicer And A Juice Extractor?
On the surface, it may seem that the difference between a juicer and a juice extractor is primarily that one is manual and one is electric. While this is often the case, they also differ in their method of juice preparation.
A juicer works on the principle of crushing and reaming the fruit, then allowing the juices to drain off into a separate container. A juicer may or may not contain a filter to separate the pulp and seeds from the juice.
A juice extractor works on either of two principles. A centrifugal extractor will chop and spin the fruit extremely quickly in order to separate the juice: as a washing machine does with clothes.
Conversely, a masticating extractor will slowly crush and grind the fruits with an auger. A juice extractor should always give you smooth juice, as their mechanism is based on separating the juice from the fruit.