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I'm the type of person who does massive research before making a significant purchase. I had received a centrifugal juicer a couple years ago as a gift and it sits in my basement un-used because it is inefficient, a pain in the butt to clean and LOUD. It sounds like a jet engine winding up in my kitchen.

I recently watched the movie "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead." It's very inspirational for anyone considering a weight loss program. The star of the movie goes on a juice fasting diet with spectacular results. It was the impetus I needed to explore juicing again.

There are essentially 3 types of juicers:

-Centrifugal- like the Breville 800JEXL or Omega 9000
-Masticating- like this one and the horizontal Champion and Omega J8006
-Twin-gear- like the Green Power, Green Star and Super Angel

Wow... people are passionate about their juicers. What one person loves another person hates and they'll both give a long bullet list of their reasons why.

So in your quest to find a juicer, please take into consideration the fact that there is no one single perfect juicer... there simply isn't. Some people will want to juice mostly fruits and a particular juicer might do that better than a juicer that might excel at juicing greens. Some people hate any pulp at all in their juice while other people don't mind the pulp and in fact prefer the pulp for the fiber it provides. But even the $2500 Norwalk has issues not the least of which is price. So if your quest is to find the "perfect" $300-$400 juicer let me be the first to tell you that there is no such machine. Every machine will have its own set of pros and cons.

It's about compromise. It's about how much space do you have on your counter. How easy it is to use. It's about ease of cleaning (will you really want to spend 10-15 minutes, twice a day cleaning your juicer... some will take that long to clean.) Most machines will be mostly plastic and those that are not mostly plastic will be very expensive and not necessarily any better at juicing.

Each method has strengths and weaknesses. Here are some of my observations:

Centrifugal juicers have larger chutes which means you don't need to cut things up into such small pieces. That does reduce prep time somewhat. Centrifugal juicers are extremely loud. It can actually generate heat that supposedly can damage or otherwise reduce the quality of nutrients you obtain by juicing. Centrifugal juicers produce more foam since they inject more air into the juice. More air means faster oxidation... not good, Finally, clean up is a real chore with this type of juicer.

Twin-gear juicers are quiet and operate at a slow speed to chew up the foods you feed into the juicer. The chute is usually a lot smaller and you need to push the foods into the gears... really push. It is not gravity fed. Cleanup is more complicated and takes longer. Usually foam will be significantly less than when using a centrifugal juicer. Another advantage to this type of juicer is that you can also make sorbet and other things... so it is more of a multi-purpose machine. But it takes up a lot of counterspace...probably 2-3 times more space than the Omega VRT-350.

Then there is the masticating juicer. This is a slow speed, single drive juicer and in the case of the VRT350, it is vertical. The vetical design takes up much less counterspace and from a physics point of view, makes much more sense to me. Food does not need to be pushed in... in fact, gravity and the auger literally pull the foods into the juicer. Its powerful motor is able to juice wheat grass, something a centrifugal juicer has a real problem juicing (if at all.) The VRT350 is a slow speed juicer so it does not heat up the foods as they are being juiced. Clean up is a snap. Really. It takes me only 3-4 minutes tops to completely clean the entire juicer. You may get some foam, and the juice can contain more pulp. You can strain the juice to reduce the pulp content.

Operation of the VRT350HD juicer is very quiet. You can easily talk while juicing. I actually think it is fun to use. It cost a lot of money but I feel it was worth every penny I paid for it and maybe even more because of the health benefits I will get from it. The 10-year warranty is the assurance I needed to push me over the edge to get this. I use it a couple times a day and absolutely love it. No, it is not perfect. But as I said it's about compromise and I think the VRT350HD is a good compromise.

I buy organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible. Using organic lets me juice most things without having to peel the skins. Non-organic produce and fruit can have lots of nasty pesticide residue on the skin that must be peeled off before juicing. Peeling means more prep time and I try to minimize that as much as I can.

I really do like this juicer. I really feel like my research paid off and that I got the best juicer out there to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish. Of course, there are twin-gear juicers that have the ability to make sorbet, dough and other things like that, but I wanted this primarily for juicing. A good juicer leaves you with pulp that is very dry. That means that you're getting as much juice possible from the fruits and veggies you put into the machine. The pulp from the VRT350 is very dry particularly with certain things like carrots and apples. That's good.

Any juicer will have pros and cons. You have to weigh them for yourself and make the decision for yourself what to get. For me, ease of clean-up was important because if the juicer is a pain to clean, I won't use it. And if the juicer is too much work to use and by that I mean if I have to 'push' food into it rather than have the food literally pulled into it like with this VRT350HD, I won't be as apt to use it.

Speed of juicing is also important and this is somewhat faster than a twin-gear juicer such as a Green Power, Green Star or Super Angel.

Foam is bothersome to many people. Too much foam is bothersome to me. Depending on what you are juicing you may get more foam or less. I juiced a pineapple today and got some foam. It skimmed off easily and it was not a big deal but I have to admit that there was probably a little more foam than I would hope for. Still, it can be dealt with either by skimming or doing a bit of re-straining afterwards.

I will admit that fibrous things like pineapple and celery are more apt to clog the pulp ejector. This is an unfortunate event but not a deal killer given all the other positives. You remove the blockage and resume juicing. Make sure you cut up these types of food into smaller pieces and that will go a long way in helping to prevent clogging. Also learn about the technique of alternating the foods you put through the juicer so that it will work to unblock itself in many cases.

This is a wonderful appliance. It's not perfect but it has a great balance of performance, features and price that I find hits the sweet spot for me. It doesn't take up much space on my counter. And it looks cool.

Something to be aware of regarding the "10-year warranty." In fact, most of the parts of the juicer will not be covered under the 10-year warranty. I quote from the Omega website, "Specific parts of the equipment ... are considered to be consumable items, and therefore NOT subject to normal warranty as stated above. These items include but are not limited to: blender containers, cutting assemblies, knives, clutches, drive sockets, lids & measuring cups, dispenser bowls, stirrers, handles, lights, shelves, shelf clips, gaskets, sharpening stones, springs, knobs, dials, and decanters." For that I deduct a star.

Happy juicing!
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on January 13, 2018
After about 2 months of use, I can say this a pretty good. juicer. I have previously worn out a horizontal Omega juicer after about 10 years of daily use. Can't complain.

My impression is that this vertical model extracts nearly as well as the horizontal one but is less likely to need cleaning in order to finish a large batch. I recommend a pair of 9" straight hemostats for clearing jams, perhaps not the most common kitchen accessory.

Pluses: It is reasonably easy to clean and does a decent job on vegetables.
It will accept large pieces of softer materials. A whole carrot is likely to jam.
It will produce 32 to 48 oz of juice without stopping to clean.
Rotating screen wiper performs well.
Vertical format fits well on the countertop.
Pulp chute has a silicone rubber flapper valve which swivels out for cleaning.

Minuses: Veggies do need to be cut up: carrots to pencil size, fibrous stuff like celery in short pieces.
Because the grinding screw is shaped to accept large pieces, some material is always left unjuiced in the top of the screw.
The slot for pulp, and pulp chute, is tiny, about 1/8 x 1/2 inch, much smaller than the juice chute.
It jams up with fibrous material like pineapple or celery.
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on June 12, 2015
2 stars is "i dont like it," and 3 stars is "its ok." id give it 2.5 stars if i could. to prevent the machine from clogging and making tons of froth, you have to cut the fruit and veg into tiny pieces, and even then, things such as celery will clog the machine everytime. even if theres no frothing, there is way too much pulp. straining the juice from the froth and pulp is just an extra, time consuming and messy step. to get the best juice, with minimal froth, pulp, and clogging, it seems the food should be put through a food processor so it as small as possible before juicing. had i known these downfalls, i would not have purchased this machine :( i watched numerous utube vids about these common problems, but they cannot be eliminated. sorry omega, i tried, and i really wanted to love this machine. maybe your next version will be better and correct the all too common problems.
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on March 31, 2013
Seriously, I previously had a centrifuge juicer which was great back when but I got tired of it. Taste was fine, it was sorta loud, and cleaning all the different parts was endless and difficult. Never again until......

Saw a few adds for this juicer and those Korean videos of a similar juicer and felt this was the one to get. Amazon had the best price so one more go at the whole juice thing and.....

Ruined my life. Now I can't buy any processed fruit juice! Guh! I almost feel I gotta carry this thing around sometimes. So here's the scoop:

Masticating juicers are the way to go for taste. That auger is an awesome tool. You get the most out of your produce and it taste better than the centrifuge juicer. I say this from experience. Worth the money just for that. But there's more!

This sucker is Quiet. Like a loud hum. I think my desktop computer at work is louder. I wasn't expecting that. Here's the bigg kicker with this product!

The Cleaning is a breeze! I was shocked by this. First off, it feels like there are twice as many pieces to this machine than others but, all the pieces are super easy to clean. They even add a screen cleaning tool (an enlarged tooth brush which works great). This "Heavy Duty" product has a harder plastic screen for daily use but it cleans quick.

A fine product all in all. Worth the price!
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on April 25, 2015
Very simple,,, excellent motor... pretty easy to clean and does what it promises. May not be the best in class... but at the price, it is more that sufficient to do the job. I have seen the $2,000 machines and they are impressive... but not required for the average user. I would like to see a few of the plastic parts included as replacements as I know they will wear over time...just hope they are not too expensive when the time comes.
These make blenders look weak.... they provide a mechanism to do real juicing by eliminating the bulk that is not really needed. This is one of my attempts to eliminate sugar.. especially fructose from my diet. Sugar is the culprit in causing the metabolic related disease epidemics including cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, etc. Quitting processed foods and hence sugar intake should provide health benefits one should desire for themselves and their kids.
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on September 2, 2013
Once we decided to buy a juicer, I spent months doing the research - first figuring out what features I wanted on ours and then looking at the various models available - before I landed on the Omega VRT350. Everything I'd read had led me to the conclusion that the low-speed masticating style would give us the highest yield and best quality juice, and the Omega brand kept popping up as being the best of those available. We've been really impressed with this one. It wrings every last drop (EVERY. SINGLE. DROP.) of juice out of just about anything we put in there, and the proof of that is in the pale, practically odorless, dry pulp that gets pushed out on the pulp side. Despite all the power it applies to the job, the motor just goes and goes. We haven't had it slow down or start to smell hot yet, and we've really worked this thing. Of course, there are a few tricks that you pick up as you use it, for more efficient juicing (for example, leafy greens, like kale, juice better if you put them through with more solid items i.e. carrot hunks or apple slices), but we really do seem to be getting the maximum juice out of our fruits and veggies. And it's fantastically easy to clean - Omega designers did a great job on that - and it's easy to put back together after washing as well. We really do love this juicer.
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on April 4, 2014
So let preface by saying it was a lot easier to make this purchase when I checked the price one day about a month ago and the price had dropped to $250. Snagged it before some at Amazon realized they messed up! :)

I originally had a Champion Juicer and it worked, but it had/has two major flaws and a few smaller ones for me/my wife. First, it is a real pain to clean. The parts, mainly the screen never got really well clean unless you literally picked out the small veggie particles with your finger nails. Could have been the stuff we were juicing. But also, the "main body" needed to be cleaned as well. Second big flaw was it spins so fast, the juice was literally warm. As I understand it, this was why our juice never lasted more than about 36 hours. Other smaller things(just didn't realize it was an issue overall) were that the pulp came out pretty soggy, so it was not separating very well.
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on October 22, 2010
Ok, I hardly ever write reviews, but this juicer deserves the accolades I'm about to bestow upon it. I'm a heavy juicer, and go in fits and starts with heavy juicing and then no juicing. About a year or two ago I purchased the Omega 8003 juicer and have been happy with it. The main drawbacks to that juicer are its small diameter feed slot and the fact that you really have to "push" stuff along with the pusher. For the last couple of weeks I've been heavily juicing with that machine. My review is really from the perspective of what I'm coming from.

First, I did a lot of research on juicers (again). Although I looked at the Jack La Lane juicer which is a high speed juicer (and much cheaper), I found myself coming back to the slow speed for the same reasons that drove me to my original Omega 8003, namely, keeping the enzymes in tack, better taste (less watery) and a better yield (especially with organic fruit being so costly). It was taking me about 25 minutes to juice with the Omega 8003 including cleanup, which is a bit lengthy for a glass of juice. Now, in defense of the 8003, it does a really good job of juicing, pulp is dry and it makes a good juice. However, I tend to make really large glasses of juice (usually at least 24 oz) and it requires everything to be cut up into small enough pieces to fit in the small feeder. Apples take forever, and even feeding things like grapes you still have to push a few in, then mush it down, few more, mush it down etc etc. Process takes a while.

So my new VRT HD arrived today. Forget what HD stands for, but apparently the only difference is the strength of the inner filter/strainer, which I saw some reviews of cracking. I plan to work this thing like a mule, so I wanted the best.

Setup was super easy, all the parts were easy to figure out, never needed to read an instruction and I was off an juicing in minutes. I've done 4 juices today, so far using all fruits (apples, pineapple, carrots, grapes, pomegranate and kiwi). All I can say is WOW!!!

What I love so far: First and foremost, because its a vertical cylinder that masticates, I just drop in the fruit, say a carrot, and it grinds it right up. I can't cut off the tops fast enough. It just eats em right up. With the 8003, I have to jam and shove those things down into the screw. That alone is worth the price of admission. Just drop em in and watch em go. LOVE IT!! (can you tell I'm excited).

Everything else got chewed up just as well. I've used a lot of fleshy fruit today, and did have one issue on my second juice. My pineapple and grapes got clogged on the little outlet where the fiber ejects. I think that was my fault however because I think I got over zealous and excited. I slowed down my feed a bit on the subsequent juicing's and had zero issues.

Another feature I REALLY like is the self cleaning feature. A plastic thingy swirls around the outside of the screen/filter while your juicing and cleans the screen. In my 8003, grapes and other fleshy fruit really tend to clog the screen up, but I have had no issues all day. That screen comes out almost as clean as it went in.

I do get foam floating on top of my drink. I'd actually say a bit less than my 8003, which surprised me because in a web demo head to head with another 800? unit I watched on youtube it looked like the VRT produced a bit MORE foam, but this is not my experience. It's not a lot of foam, but I hate foam. Nothing that a quick skim with a spoon doesn't rectify. Pure tasty juice underneath.

Lastly, I was told in same said video that cleanup would take twice as long. I found that to be true for the first cleanup (not knowing what I was doing) but so far, my cleanup has maybe taken an additional minute. I find it quite simple actually, and once you figure out the pieces (not difficult), it actually seems little harder than my 8003.

All in all I absolutely LOVE this juicer. I can juice 24 or more ounces of juice, from opening the fridge door to putting the pieces back into the cabinet in under 10 minutes. The top feeder is so much wider which allows for much bigger pieces, which means a lot less cutting and preparation. Once it goes in, it self feeds, which means your not standing there mushing stuff down. Juice tastes great, fiber comes out reasonably dry, and clean up is simple enough.

It's only been a day, but what a great day its been.
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So my wife and I saw Joe Cross's "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" and were inspired to try a juicing fast. After MUCH research, we settled on this premium masticating juicer and are on day two of a two day trial all-juice fast. So far the Omega Vert has been a champ.

Small footprint, quiet running, surprisingly fast (chomps and munches through the veggies really quickly), mostly gravity fed (except for greens), very easy clean-up and very high quality juice.

Some tips: celery needs to be cut small so the long fibers do not get caught as much in the pulp tube. If you don't do this there is a small yellow silicon flap (that purposefully, partially, blocks the pulp exit tube) that will snag these long fibers and the tube will become partially restricted. This flap apparently forces the juicer to keep the pulp inside, and the Vert pressing the pulp, until virtually all the juice is extracted and does so very well.

The white silicon parts (wiper blades and the gasket at the bottom) will become orange with carrots. This doesn't affect them, but FYI.

This produces a pretty dry pulp so we are very happy with the quality of the juice; especially the greens. That said, there is a substantial amount of pulp in the juice, even with the fine screen. So don't expect that this will be a pulp-free/low pulp juice. It will force you to chew your juice (which you need to anyway to allow your saliva to start the digestive process) so this is not too bad a thing. But if you like less pulp, you will need to put it through a screen before consuming.

Overall, we are very happy with this juicer and would recommend it if you can afford it.
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on November 13, 2012
I have to say this is my first juicer and I'm not super experienced but I did a lot of research before deciding on this one. I took this out of the box, rinsed out the bits and started using it straight away. It's really simple to assemble and use. In my first concoction I juiced a beet, red cabbage, carrot, apple, and swiss chard. It juiced all of these things very nicely. I did slice the carrot as the manual suggests slicing harder veggies. The pulp was actually really dry and no juice flows into the pulp extractor at all... just pulp. My juice was great! I put it in a mason jar in the fridge and didn't drink it until the next day and it didn't even separate at all.
Cleaning up was actually really simple as well. There are only a handful of parts and they are all easy to pull out and if rinsed straight away it cleans up quick. Most things only needed a bit of sponging and the auger was the only thing thank even needed any scrubbing with the brush and even that was quick. The only thing that was tricky for me was getting the bowl off the juicer for cleaning... everything is so round and smooth it was a bit hard to get a good grip on it.
Also, for anyone who purchases this and is unsure what to do with the "gasket" under the bowl... leave it in during juicing so the juice doesn't come out through the pulp extractor, then remove for cleaning :)
I will update this post more after I've used it for a while but for now I am greatly pleased with the ability to juice leafy greens in addition to fruits and hard veggies. It's definitely worth the extra money.
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