Why would anyone want a manual juicer? Isn’t that slow, and old fashioned? There are several very good reasons to buy one actually, and most makers are constantly selling these machines alongside electric models. Manual juicer machines are always the masticating type, this means they use a slow “chewing” action to extract juice (masticating is the scientific term for chewing just so you know!). This is an important difference to the mechanism that high speed centrifugal machines use, because it doesn’t mix in lots of air bubbles. This is a big problem with high speed electric juicers: because they work so fast, they not only aerate the liquid (causing it to oxidize, go brown and go off) but also physically damage the structure of the enzymes found in living plant cells.
So yes – slower is in fact better as far as juicing is concerned! This is not to say that it takes ages to make a glass of juice. A popular juicer like the Lexen Healthy Juicer (now up to the MK3 model) will still make a glass of juice in around a minute – which is really not bad, when you take into account the fact that it is faster and easier to set up and clean than a bigger, electric model would be. A manual juicer like the Lexen can be easily carried with you on holidays as well.
The versatility of a manual juicer is also a big selling point for many people who buy one. High speed electric machines for example cannot be used to juice wheat grass, or similar dry fibrous ingredients like herbs or leaves. This is simply because these things are too dry, and require a grinding, crushing force to squeeze out any liquid at all. Manual juicer machines are absolutely ideal for juicing wheat grass – in fact many are sold as dedicated wheatgrass juicers. If you are into wheatgrass then you know that it is very potent and as such is usually drunk in small “shots” (about 30-40ml). Imagine using a big, electric machine just to make a little amount like that – it would barely seem worth setting up and cleaning. A manual juicer is far more convenient because it is small, compact, and quicker to disassemble and clean up.
Lastly there is the fact that a manual juicer is a lot cheaper than an electric one – always a good point! And without an electric motor and associated drive mechanism there is very little to go wrong over the life of the clever little gadget. Sometimes the way you live might even dictate that another electric appliance has no place in your kitchen, say if you live in a small studio apartment or just don’t want any more clutter in your house.
Manual juicers are NOT hard to use, all that is required is steady pressure, turning the handle continually as you feed in ingredients. You can still make all the same juicer recipes that you can with a regular power juicer, it just takes a bit of patience.