|5 star :||
|( 2 )|
|4 star :||
|( 6 )|
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. If you 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 has a somewhat bigger hopper.
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, and 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.
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 (simpler design).
The horizontal type, like my 8004, is better for greens, a little easier to clean as it has less parts/surface area, and can make pasta, purees, nut butter, etc but its significantly slower than my KSJ due to the smaller feed chute, auger, etc. If you want to make lots of juice, juice mixtures, or like to juice fruit the KSJ is certainly worth the extra money over a horizontal type and a no-brainer over the older, more expensive Hurom/Omega design. I was using my horizontal machine 2-3 times/day for mixed juices - with the Silent Juicer I can make the same amount in one juicing but a strainer is required, unlike the horizontal machine which doesn't have enough pulp to make a difference to warrant a strainer. Some people think both horizontal and vertical machines need to be strained and my 8004 actually came with a strainer for the juice catch cup - you'll have to make the call but I favor strained juice with vertical auger juicers - its worth the extra step for the results!