Inexpensive Citrus Juicers

Published April 1, 2009. From Cook's Country.

A good juicer should extract maximum juice from a lemon with minimum mess.

Overview:

A good juicer should extract maximum juice from a lemon with minimum mess. It shouldn’t hurt your hands—or your budget. (While our top ranked model is the Breville Stainless Steel Juicer, it’s $149.95.) We bought a bushel of lemons and compared several styles of less-pricey lemon juicing tools, including our favorite budget-priced electric citrus juicer and seven manual juicers. Styles include simple sticklike reamers, squeeze-style juice presses, and reamers with built-in strainers and collecting cups. Nothing topped the electric model for extracting a lot of juice with no effort, but we did find manual models that measured up. Others made us sweat for just a few drops of juice—and one literally cracked to pieces in our hands.

A good juicer should extract maximum juice from a lemon with minimum mess. It shouldn’t hurt your hands—or your budget. (While our top ranked model is the Breville Stainless Steel Juicer, it’s $149.95.) We bought a bushel of lemons and compared several styles of less-pricey lemon juicing tools, including our favorite budget-priced electric citrus juicer and seven manual juicers. Styles include simple sticklike reamers, squeeze-style juice presses, and reamers with built-in strainers and collecting cups. Nothing topped the electric model for extracting a lot of juice with no effort, but we did find manual models that measured up. Others made us sweat for just a few drops of juice—and one literally cracked to pieces in our hands.

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  • Product Tested

    Results Key:

    Good ★ ★ ★ Fair ★ ★ Poor
  • Prices are subject to change.
  • Highly Recommended - Best Electric

    Black & Decker Citrus Juicer

    With no effort, lemons were completely squeezed of all their juice. As you pressed gently, the reamer rotated in both directions to clean out the fruit half, and an adjustable pulp screen kept out seeds and let you adjust the pulp level of the juice with a simple switch. Great for bigger jobs when you want a lot of juice, but easy enough to use for just one lemon. Simple to assemble and clean.

    • Ease of Use ★★★
    • Design/Construction ★★★
    • Juicing Effectiveness ★★★

    $19.99

    BUY NOW Amazon
  • Recommended - Best Manual

    AMCO Houseworks Enameled Lemon Squeezer

    Surprisingly easy to use—juice gushes out. Of the squeeze-style juice presses we tested, this was the most comfortable and effective, with curved handles and a well-shaped plunger. Squeezing the rounded handles didn’t hurt our hands like others of this style, and seeds were contained. It was also attractive, sporting a bright yellow finish, but hand-washing is best if you want to keep the paint from chipping. (We tested the paint and found it lead-free.)

    • Ease of Use ★★★
    • Design/Construction ★★
    • Juicing Effectiveness ★★★

    $5.69

    BUY NOW Amazon
  • Recommended

    OXO Good Grips Citrus Juicer, model 34781

    Nice and easy, this juicer removed all trace of juice in each lemon half with its sharp-edged, open-sided reamer. Seeds stayed out of the juice in the collection cup, which was easy to pour. Sturdily constructed. Has many parts, including a larger reamer that’s inverted beneath the lemon reamer and hangs into the collection cup, making it harder to clean than other manual juicers.

    • Ease of Use ★★★
    • Design/Construction ★★
    • Juicing Effectiveness ★★★

    $12.99

    BUY NOW Amazon
  • Recommended with Reservations

    Fox Run Craftsmen Wood Lemon Reamer, model 4165

    Lightweight, simple, classic design did the job and washed clean with ease, but its sharp tip was almost too rough, digging a hole in the bitter pith, which you don’t want in the juice. Reamer-style juicer has no way to contain seeds or pulp, requiring a separate strainer. But you can’t beat the price, and it takes up almost no space.

    • Ease of Use ★★
    • Design/Construction ★★
    • Juicing Effectiveness ★★

    $2.95

  • Recommended with Reservations

    Chef'n Juicester Citrus Juicer and Reamer, model JUC-380CI

    While it did a fair job of juicing lemons, this juicer was fussy to assemble and to disassemble for cleaning. Its beaker-shaped jar and narrow neck force you to tip the container far over to pour, letting seeds fall over the strainer and into the juice being poured unless you remove it first, empty seeds and pulp, then replace before pouring.

    • Ease of Use ★★
    • Design/Construction ★★
    • Juicing Effectiveness ★★

    $14.99

  • Not Recommended

    OXO Good Grips Lemon Reamer, model 28281

    Heavy and narrow, this metal reamer left a fair amount of juice in the lemon, and getting at it involved “a lot of wiggling.” Seeds and pulp cannot be removed without a separate strainer. Instructions warn that you need to wash and dry this metal tool right away after using or it will corrode from the acidic juice.

    • Ease of Use ★★
    • Design/Construction
    • Juicing Effectiveness ★★

    $8.99

  • Not Recommended

    Kitchen Aid Citrus Juicer, Cast Metal, model KG070CR

    This model is just too big and awkward. It hurt testers’ hands and was difficult to squeeze. Hard-edged handles were uncomfortable. The yield of juice was inadequate for the amount of effort required. Metal finish inside hopper was marred by citrus oil residue.

    • Ease of Use
    • Design/Construction
    • Juicing Effectiveness ★★

    $19.99

  • Not Recommended

    Norpro Stainless-Steel Citrus Juice Press, model 523

    Two copies of this juicer—the priciest in our lineup—actually broke in our hands as we used them, shearing off the connecting bolt as we squeezed. This happened after juicing just a few lemons. It was bulky and difficult to squeeze, and yielded too little juice. Metal finish was marred by citrus oil residue.

    • Ease of Use
    • Design/Construction
    • Juicing Effectiveness

    $28.40

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