Guide: Manual (Non-Electric) Juicers

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When many people think of juicers, the first thing that comes to mind is the type of juicer that extracts juices using a variety of technological solutions – be them crushing, spinning, slicing, or pressing. 

However, there is a type of juicer that is inexpensive, relies entirely on muscle power, and can produce variable quantities of juices that can either be used on their own or added to other juices or foods to enhance them. And that’s the manual juicer.

Where To Buy Manual Juicers?

One of the best benefits of a manual juicer is that they are regularly found in the kitchenware section of any major grocery or department store. As well, many online retailers, such as Amazon, will have entire sections of manual juicers for nearly any type of food juice processing. 

There are specialty shops and websites where manual juicers can be sourced, from the most inexpensive countertop citrus reamer to high-quality grass and food juicers that are designed for specialty uses.

What Are Manual Juicers Made For?

This question is both simple and complex to answer. The simple answer is that manual juicers are made for situations that do not require large quantities of juice, such as with wheatgrass mills or citrus reamers, or for those that prefer the manual touch to source their nutritious and beneficial juicers. 

The complex answer is that manual juicers can be much more precise in juice extraction and (in some cases) faster than automatic juicers. Another factor is when used correctly, such as with a citrus press, manual juicers can reduce food waste as well.

Citrus Juicers

Citrus Reamers

Citrus juicers come in a variety of styles depending on the intended use. The simplest of these are countertop citrus reamers, commonly made out of plastic, for extracting juice from fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges for recipes that only require a small amount of juice.

Citrus reamers work well for adding a tablespoon of lemon juice to a salad dressing recipe, for example. These are also relatively inexpensive and are almost guaranteed to be dishwasher safe for easy cleaning afterward. 

Citrus Presses

More advanced citrus juicers commonly include what are known as citrus presses. A citrus press is usually a stand that holds a citrus reamer with drainage holes throughout, with a manual level at the top that will press down with force on a citrus half. 

The reamer is most commonly either fixed at a height that will allow the glass to be put under the reamer, or be on an adjustable platform that will move the press arm as well. These presses are most commonly used for producing glasses of juice, such as orange juice to have immediately with a breakfast or brunch.

Manual Press

The most advanced type of manual citrus juicer is a manual press, which does not ream the citrus for juice as much as crushing the entire citrus in a pressure cylinder that has a very long lever used for crushing. While not commonly found in the average household, these juicers can be found in specialty shops or restaurants where fresh juice is a prominent feature. 

They are also made of much higher quality material and are commonly on the more expensive end of juicers, as they will also sometimes include mechanisms that will double or triple the amount of force the manual operator is applying via leverage and sometimes hydraulics.

Tips for Best Results

With a citrus reamer, to achieve maximum yield: first press the citrus half firmly against the reamer spike, and while maintaining that pressure when the spike reaches the rind, twist the citrus halfway to the left, and then halfway to the right. Many reamers have ridges on their spikes for exactly this purpose.

As often as possible, use fresh citrus, before wilting or discoloration begins to occur. The reason for this is twofold, as fresh juice obviously tastes better, yet also contains more nutritional content. As fruit sits, it decays slowly, and this decay uses up the nutritious elements of the citrus at an ever-increasing rate.

With citrus presses, after using the arm to press the citrus, before removing the citrus half, give it a quick twist on the reamer, to get those last few delicious drops of juice.

As with all things that come in contact with foods, keep your equipment clean. Plastic reamers are usually dishwasher safe, and stainless steel presses will usually have a quick disassembly feature that allows you to wash and clean all parts of the press

Wheatgrass Juicers

Manual juicers for wheatgrass are very commonly designed to only be used for wheatgrass and are therefore quite specialized. This can increase the cost to own one such juicer, with average prices ranging from $80 to $200 depending on which juicer you choose to go with. There are also two different types of wheatgrass juicers, which we will explore below.

Wheatgrass Mill

A wheatgrass mill is a very simplistic design, one that has been in use by mankind for millennia. The basic operation that wheatgrass will enter into the mill, where it will be ground between two fine stones that do not absorb liquids, milling the grass and producing wheatgrass juice

The difficulty with this type of juicer is that cleaning can be difficult, as the precision required for the millstones to be just far enough apart to not seize against each other often requires a fully enclosed milling area with no ease of disassembly. There may be access doors or holes where you can wash water through the mill. 

These types of juicers are not very common specifically because of the high maintenance required and are usually older than auger type juicers.

Wheatgrass Auger

A wheatgrass auger is far more common for home use. This juicer has the wheatgrass fed in through the top of the device, and the grass is “drilled” along the length of a tube, with the auger (the drill) pressing the grass against the sides of the tube before being either pressed up against a filter, or extracted at the end of the auger as food waste. 

The juice, pulled by gravity, then collects in a collection chamber underneath the auger or is extracted via a spout into an external container, such as a glass or bowl. To maximize juice extraction, most augers will come down to a point just before the waste hole at the end of the auger, as well as flattening as much as possible against the sides of the tube.

As well, auger type wheatgrass juicers are commonly extremely simple to disassemble, sometimes even as easy as turning a knob to unlock all the components, which makes for quick and easy cleanup. Many parts inside the juicer as well, such as the auger itself, the pressure tube, the handle, etc, are dishwasher safe and are durable enough to last through thousands of uses.

Tips for Best Results

Always use fresh wheatgrass. If you purchase your wheatgrass cut, use it as soon as possible. If you grow your own wheatgrass, cut a little less than you think you’ll need, as it can be surprising how much juice you can extract.

As always, keep your juicer as clean as possible. Residue and buildup can cause issues such as spoilage within the juicer, souring of juices, and if too much buildup occurs, it may even cause your juicer to jam.

Pros & Cons of Manual Juicers


  • Compared to many other types of juicers, relatively inexpensive
  • Usually small enough to fit into a kitchen drawer or store in a cupboard
  • Often very easy to clean, either with hand washing or using a dishwasher
  • No electricity required! You are the power unit
  • Unlimited juicing speeds. If you want to press your citrus or auger your wheatgrass slowly to extract as much juice as possible, you can. If you want to quickly press a couple of lemon halves against a reamer to have lemon juice for your fish and chips supper, slice, press, press, done.
  • Compared to most automatic models, inexpensive and easily replaceable due to low initial investment


  • Compared to automatic juicers, if making a large quantity of juice, will more than often be slower and require more effort
  • Some models (wheatgrass mills, primarily) can be challenging to clean and also be quite heavy, hence their very low market presence

Recommended Manual Juicers

Citrus Reamer: OXO Good Grips Double-Sided Citrus Juicer

oxo good grips manual citrus juicer

Get Your OXO Good Grips on Amazon

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We recommend the OXO Good Grips Double-Sided Citrus Juicer mainly because it contains absolutely all you need from a citrus reamer. Durable construction, a seed guard built-in, and reversible large (orange, grapefruit) and small (lemon, lime) reamers mean that you can juice a wide range of citrus with one juicer. 

As well, the included capture cup is made of durable plastic and can take quite a bit of pressure, easily enough to extract maximum juice. And to top it off, a rubberized soft grip ensures the juicer will not move as you extract.

Wheatgrass Auger: Lexen GP27 (The Original Healthy Juicer)

lexen gp27 manual wheat grass auger

Get Your Lexen GP27 on Amazon

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We recommend the Lexen GP27 juicer, as it shows that it was developed by juicers, for juicers. Compact, with a strong and easy to tighten clamp that also fits around obstacles, means that this juicer can travel with you if needed. Juicing while camping just became possible! 

It disassembles easily for maximum cleaning access and has a strong enough construction that not only does it extract wheatgrass juicer, it can also be used with soft leafy greens such as kale and spinach, should you want to add an extra kick to your morning juices.

Want to Learn About Other Types of Juicers?

Manual citrus juicers are just the beginning. If you can think of a fruit or vegetable, there’s probably a juicer out there that can juice it. Learn more about the different types of juicers to find the right juicer for you. 

Some of the links I post on this site are affiliate links. If you go through them to make a purchase, I will earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you). However, note that I’m recommending these products because of their quality and that I have good experience using them, not because of the commission to be made.

About Sara Ding

Sara Ding is the founder of She is a certified Wellness Health Coach, Nutritional Consultant and a Detox Specialist. She helps busy men and women identify their health issues at the root cause, in order to eliminate the problems for optimum physical/mental health and wellbeing.