Whenever I buy a new appliance, I always try to be disciplined about the process with extensive research on the inter net and sources like Consumers Reports first. When I was looking to buy a juicer, I spent a lot of time reading reviews of juicers and it appeared that the Omega Juicer was the one that everyone seemed to like.
Recommend this product?
Those reviews were right on the mark!
There are three types of juicers available on the market: Centrifugal, Masticating and Triturating juicers (for more info search for "The different types of juicers" online). I'll just briefly summarize that article.
The most common (and least expensive) is the centrifugal type. These grind up your veggies and fruits and then spin the mixture at high velocity through a mesh basket. Juicing enthusiasts claim that the high speed damages the nutrients in the juice and this kind does not extract as much juice as the other two types of juices.
The next type is the low speed masticating juicer, where an auger grinds up material and forces it through a mesh screen. This Omega juicer is the masticating kind.
The Triturating juicers are the commercial variety, the large professional machines you may see in a juice bar. These are the most expensive kind of juicer but also perform the best, extracting the most juice.
I think a masticating juicer like the Omega Juicer hits the sweet spot in terms of performance and cost. The Omega Juicer does cost more than a cheap centrifugal juicer but it's worth the extra money. It's also far easier to clean than the other two kinds of juicers.
The construction of the juicer is very simple. Most of the bulk of the machine is the motor housing, with includes the on/off/reverse switch. It's trivial to put together (there are 5 parts to assemble), this takes perhaps 20 seconds to do. Sometimes the end cap is a little bit hard to remove after juicing so if you have extremely limited hand strength this may be a challenge for you.
The Omega Juicer 8006 comes with a LOT of parts. You can do more than just juice with it, you can also make pasta but I have not tried that. You get a little brush for cleaning the mesh screen and a plunger to push material down the throat of the unit.
Operating the unit is fun and easy. You just push veggies and fruits into the top with the plunger and juice and pulp come out from two locations into separate bowls. The bowls to catch the material and juice are included with the unit. Because the throat is long, it would be really difficult to catch a finger in the unit so I let my little 2 year old niece help me make carrot juice without worrying she would be hurt. Of course, you should always watch small children around the operation of any kitchen appliance.
Cleanup is a breeze. You just pull apart the auger, end cap, mesh screen, and throat, rinse them off, clean the mesh screen with the provided brush (takes 10 seconds), and throw everything in the top rack of your dish washer. Everything but the motor housing is dishwasher safe. Contrast that to many typical centrifugal juicers which can be a big pain to clean because the mesh screen has a much larger surface area and you have to manually remove the pulp from the mesh screen. This unit has already separated the pulp for you before you finish. You can even take the pulp and run it through the machine again if you wish, extracting even more juice. Note that because the unit does such a good job of extracing the pulp, it's easy to compost the pulp if you like doing that.
I read a few complaints of people having problems with the plastic auger cracking and shedding pieces of plastic. I have not seen this problem and I think if you don't add hard items such as nuts into the juicing process this is very unlikely to happen. All the plastic parts have a very high quality and sturdy feel. According to the Omega website, the Omega 8006 juicer auger is "made of a new GE-Ultem material, which is 8 times stronger than augers on other single auger juicers." I've used this unit about once or twice a week for a year and have zero problems so far.
Now for the most important part: what does the juice this unit makes taste like? One word: delicious! You can save money as well; for instance, a 5 pound bag of organic baby carrots costs me $5 at the local Costco. One pound of carrots makes about 1 1/2 glasses of fresh carrot juice. For a little extra kick add a few stalks of celery. People throw in wheat grass as well (centrifugal juicers don't juice wheat grass well) There is simply no comparison between freshly juiced vs. store bought, it's night and day.
Amount Paid (US$): 300.00