Top positive review
1,105 people found this helpful
Good for the money
on December 3, 2011
My wife and I have been using this juicer on a regular basis for a few months now, so we have good idea of what it can do. This is a good juicer for semi-regular use making quantities of a quart or less. We ask a lot of our juicer making four or five quarts at a time a couple of times a week. After about four months of regular use, we've noticed that the cutter/basket is getting a little dull, so we aren't getting as much juice from our produce, and it doesn't cut as quickly. The good news is that replacement baskets are only $12 on the Hamilton Beach website. This compares to around $50 to replace the Breville equivalent part. The bad news is that I just went to order a couple and they were out of stock, so I'm stuck with the dull one for now. For this reason I'm giving four stars instead of five. I may change that to three if they don't get the cutter/baskets back in stock soon. Update: The Hamilton Beach website now has them in stock. I ordered two and they were quickly delivered.
We've notice the following about using the unit: If you plan to do larger quantities, you might want to consider a more upscale unit. Depending on what you are juicing, you'll usually need to clean the cutter/basket to maintain efficiency after a quart or two. After that the screen tends to get clogged and you'll loose some juice into the pulp bin. Apples, cucumbers and the like do fine without clogging the screen, so I start with those. I'll do the carrots last since the pulp seals the little holes in the screen pretty quickly. Pineapple and ginger fibers seem to get caught in the cutting teeth, so I also do these at the end. The top also slowly fills up with pulp, and you'll need to clean it to keep going after a couple of quarts of juice making. Just pop the top and scoop it out (make sure the motor stops spinning before you remove the top); you can do a more thorough cleaning once you're done. Again, if you're just making a quart or two, none of this should be a problem.
Cleanup is fairly easy if you do it right after juicing. Most of the pulp rinses right off, but the cutter/basket takes a little scrubbing, and you want to be meticulous because once the pulp dries, it's really hard to remove.
Some folks have complained about the pulp in the juice. We actually enjoy the texture and prefer it this way. It seems like we're drinking something substantial. Just to be clear, it is still very much juice/liquid, it just contains some pulp too. We especially enjoy juicing a couple of beets into the mix for the flavor and the rich red color.
We make larger quantities of juice each time, because we don't have the time it takes to scrub and prepare the fruits and veggies every day, so we keep some in the fridge for the busy days. It's recommended that for maximum nutritional benefit you drink the juice right away, but it seems to keep and taste good for up to three days in the fridge. For folks that do daily juicing of smaller quantities, this unit should give good service at a very reasonable price.
Note: When I first plugged it in, I couldn't get it to turn on. After fooling around with it for a few minutes, I discovered that the top latch arms must be secured in very a specific way or it won't start. This is a safety measure to ensure that it won't start with the cutter/basket exposed. Now that I know what I'm doing it starts right up every time. Make absolutely sure that you have the top exactly in place before you send it back as DOA.