Instead of talking about fresh foods and juices, I’m going to make today’s article a genuine long-term review of something in my own kitchen: My Lexsun single auger cold press juicer, which has just turned three years old and is still in active service.
This review can actually apply to several different juicers, as the Lexsun is sold under several names, the most common other one being the Samson juicer. Depending on where you buy it from it may be sold as the “LexSun cold press juicer” or “Lexsun single gear juicer” or something similar. I’ve looked at them all, and they are quite the same!
In a nutshell, I am really happy with how this juicer has and still does perform. For most of the three years I used the Lexsun on average 5 days of the week, making mainly my standard celery-carrot-ginger juice recipe with whatever else I have in the fridge. It’s been worked hard – each batch of juice I make is 5- 6 cups, usually consisting of 1 large bunch of celery, a 1kg bag of hard juicing carrots, and some ginger root at the least.
PRICE: I paid $450 for my Lexsun in July 2008 from a small local health food store. From what I can find, the retail price actually hasn’t changed much since then. Looking back, however, I could have saved at least $100 had I bought online.
CONSTRUCTION: The outer casing and entire juicer auger housing is made of high impact plastic. It’s clearly not going to be as tough as a steel juicer, but it isn’t too bad. The motor assembly of the machine is quite heavy, but the juicer mechanism is nice and light weight. It is good to clean. The only hassle is the mesh screen, but this is something all masticating juicers suffer from. The toothbrush sized brush Lexsun supply works very well though.
DURABILITY: I have broken two parts of my Lexsun single gear over the three years I have used it. The auger housing cracked after about 2 years, and shortly after, the end cap did the same. Given that I have worked the machine hard, always washed the parts in very hot water and have never been particularly careful with them, this is not actually too bad a record. The replacement plastic juicer parts (auger housing and end cap) are only about $25 apiece and are very easy to get from any supplier. I also replaced the auger recently for $30 – it is very solid and is in no danger of ever breaking, but being synthetic it does gradually wear at the edges and becomes less effective at grinding fiberous stuff like celery.
The motor/ gearbox assembly runs as good as new – no wonder they give it a 12 year warranty. I have managed to trip the overheat switch a couple of times when mucking around, but after a 10 minute cool down no problems. Note that to overheat I had the machine running for at least 45 minutes (a serious MEGA juicing session!).
It is also worth noting that on each occasion of breaking a plastic part, I was juicing really hard carrots – cutting them into smaller bits or just avoiding really tough foods would probably have prevented both breakages. If you hear creaking and cracking ease off a bit!
NOISE LEVEL: Compared to other juicers I have used the Lexsun is not very loud. All masticating (slow speed) juicers have a low pitched growl, which is no where near as offensive as the blender like howling of most centrifugal juicers. Under no load it’s about the same noise level as someone using a cordless drill at low speed…if that gives you some idea! Hard foods like carrot result in louder growling, while soft stuff just squishes through smoothly.
Note that juicing on a very firm surface reduces the heavy vibration and resulting rattle you can get from a low speed juicer.
SPEED: If you need a really fast juicer, honestly, a masticating juicer is not for you. All low speed juicers are, unsurprisingly, very slow compared to centrifugal juicers. The Lexsun is no slower than similarly sized single auger machines, but it takes me about 12 minutes to feed a bunch of celery, a bag of carrots, and a few apples through the Lexsun. Factoring in preparation (washing and cutting food) and clean up afterwards, it takes me at least 25 minutes to make a large 6 cup batch of juice.
Note that juicing speed depends on your ingredients. Juicing 3kg of hard carrots would get you at most 4 cups of juice, and would take ages, probably half an hour. Yet I can cram 2 bunches of crisp celery through the machine in 5 minutes, and get about 8 cups of juice.
EASE OF USE: The Lexsun is really simple. It only has three buttons (on, off, reverse) and all the plastic parts lock together quickly and easily. Cleaning is easy, apart from the mesh screen I have mentioned – this takes about a minute of hard scrubbing to clean of fibers.
MY VERDICT: I have no regrets about buying this juicer! I estimate that I have made 500 – 600 litres of juice with it over three years (average 4 litres per week x 3 years). For the minor repairs (total less than $100) the juicer is still going strong, and I see no reason why it should not keep running for many years to come.
For the price, I honestly feel the Lexsun is a great juice extractor. It’s clearly not in the same league as the Angel Juicer, but we are talking a quarter of the price too! The juicer is GREAT for celery, mild peppers, crunchy apples, melon, and anything else that is crisp and not too hard. It is OKAY for carrots (but cut them into halves or quarters) and other root vegetables, but go slowly. It is NOT good for mushy fruits like soft berries, pears or bananas! Just eat this stuff instead, as you will just get mushy sauce!
NEWER/ CURRENT MODELS: Since I purchased my Lexsun in 2008, a newer MK2 model has been released. The differences are very minimal, but include a slightly larger diameter auger, which I imagine would increase the performance and speed slightly. The brand-new price is still approximately $450 retail.
Finally, if you are on a tight budget, used models from 2008-2009 (like the one I own) can sometimes be found for about $200 on ebay. Given the availability of cheap replacement juicer parts for this machine, buying second hand is definitely a realistic option.
The juicer is GREAT for celery, mild peppers, crunchy apples, melon, and anything else that is crisp and not too hard. It is OKAY for carrots (but cut them into halves or quarters) and other root vegetables, but go slowly. It is NOT good for mushy fruits like soft berries, pears or bananas! Just eat this stuff instead, as you will just get mushy sauce!