People may incorrectly assume that a manual juicer is slow or too hard to use. As a matter of fact the opposite is true – a good manual juicer can be faster and easier to use, especially if you are processing wheat grass or smaller quantities of fruits and vegetables. There is no question that you will make a bigger volume of juice with an electric juicer, but if you want high performance from a compact and affordable package then a manual juicer (or hand juicer) is an option you can’t ignore.
Consider the following:
1. Manual juicer machines cost less to buy than electric juicer extractors do. Good hand juicers are still not cheap cheap, but the absence of motors and gear mechanisms makes them more affordable. A basic manual juicer constructed of plastics will cost as little as $40, while a high quality stainless steel juicer of a similar shape and size will be between $100 and $150. Compare this to a top end electric juicer like the Angel Juicer, which retails for about $1000USD!
As a side note, that when we say “plastic”, be wary of very cheap juicer machines: There is nothing wrong with Melamine Polycarbonate parts, they are incredibly hard wearing and allegedly non toxic, however, at least one commonly sold discount juicer uses PVC plastic components. PVC wears quickly and there are serious concerns about long term health impacts from ingestion of fine PVC particles.
2. Since all manual juicer machines use the masticating juicer principle (that is they slowly crush ingredients rather than shred them) they perform very well as wheat grass juicers. If you can juice wheat grass you can juice anything – the tough fibers in the grass require immense pressure, and will get jammed in most electric juicers. With a manual juicer you can make wheat grass juice and barley grass juice, both of which are commonly sold (at ridiculous prices) as juice detox products.
3. As mentioned above, manual juicers operate at very low speeds. This prevents the deterioration of nutrients, vitamins, and the denaturing of enzymes that can occur with many electric juicer machines. It is a known fact that faster juicing results in not only heating, but also incorporation of tiny air bubbles into the juice. This is what results in lower vitamin/ nutrient/ enzyme levels in commercially processed juice, or juice made with most electric juicers (the exception being electric masticating juicers like the Angel juicer or other twin gear juicers). Manual juicers preserve all of these beneficial compounds, and deliver all the original goodness of the fruits and vegetables.
4. Hard root vegetable like carrots and parsnip are easy to process with a manual juicer. Hard and crunchy products are in fact easier and faster to juice than soft ones. A manual juicer makes a great carrot juicer if you are into this delicious and healthy juice. Plus it just feels great crushing vegetables and seeing beautiful fresh juice come pouring out!
5. Now for an interesting one – did you know that a manual juicer can be used to make peanut butter, or even make cold pressed flax and linseed oil? Probably not! Thanks to the slow crushing mechanism of the hand juicer, you can use it to squeeze and process all manner of things. Most hand juicers and wheatgrass juicer machines (they are pretty similar) come with different attachments for, say, pureeing baby food or for extracting juice. Making your own nut butters at home is very healthy, and the same goes for cold pressed seed oils. Potentially this can save you a lot of money too – buying such “health” products from specialty shops is quite expensive. Lin seed and flax seed oil is extracted in exactly the same manner as juice. Load up the chute with fresh seed, and crank away. You may want to strain the seed oil through a cloth to remove tiny pieces of hull and germ.
In many ways a manual juicer machine is superior to an electric one – you have that incredible versatility, and at a lower cost. If the power goes off, or if you are living in an area where there is no electricity, an electric juicer is obviously going to be useless. And for those who have a survivalist streak, a manual juicer may even be a good addition to a survival kit…fresh juice contains a fantastic array of nutrients and vitamins, that artificial supplements simply can’t match.