The Norwalk Juicer is "the" top of the line juicer available on the market. In fact, it was the first.
Dr. Norman Walker a raw food and juice advocate, created the first juicing machine in 1934, which he named the Norwalk Triturator Hydraulic Press Juicer. Dr. Walker, who juiced daily with his machine, lived to be 99 years old keeping his health and mental faculties the entire time.
The Norwalk Juicer, also called the Ultimate Juicer, is a lifetime juicing machine. With a twelve year warranty and one piece solid metal construction it is designed to last for decades. It is manufactured in the U.S. in a small town in Arkansas and produces a signifigant amount more juice per pound than any of it's competitors, providing around a full pint out of only four juicing carrots.The Norwalk is a multi-purpose machine. In addition to fresh fruit and vegetable juice, it does difficult greens like wheatgrass, barley grass, parsley, spinach, alfalfa, broccoli, chard... any green you want. It also makes chopped salads, chops and butters nuts, frozen fruit sorbets and ice creams, baby food, geriatric food, and herb grinding. And yes, it also makes flour out of any grain.
It's the first juicer and the best. With over 75 years in production, research and development, the Norwalk Juicer takes the prize as best all around juice extractor.
The Norwalk Juicer has a two part process that takes a little getting used to, but is very convenient. First you push the produce through the housing shaft with the pusher. Then the cutter grinds the fruit and vegetables using the vortex triturator, which is a fancy word for a spiraling cutter grinder. This grinds the produce into very small pulpy pieces which are collected in a cloth bag.
Then the cloth bag is placed onto the hydraulic press. With a simple twist of a level, the hydraulic press is activated, producing 2,000 pounds of pressure to extract as much juice as possible from the produce.
A handy feature: you can save time by making pulp in the housing shaft at the same time the hydraulic press is operating. You can also press two bags at once, if you're making a lot of juice.
Clean up is surprisingly easy. All of the parts are very small, easy to remove and reattach, and made of stainless steel (except the pusher which is made of polycarobante). There are eight parts to clean: the filter bags, grid, grid holder, pusher, feed tray, housing shaft, cutter and the juice tray. They can be rinsed in the sink or run through the dishwasher.
After that it's a simple process to reattach the cutter and housing shaft and you're ready for next morning's juicing time.
The only drawback to the clean-up process is the cloth bags. They take a little more time to wash out than all of the other components combined.
Weight is an issue. A 58 pound machine is something to consider. It definitely needs to stay put on the kitchen counter. The good news for those who don't relish a heavy machine is that once the main machine body is in place on your countertop, there is no need to move it again. The other 8 removable components are all very lightweight.
The final rating for ease of use? We almost deducted a lime due to the weight, but the ease of use and clean-up is so incredible that we have to keep it at the max. The Norwalk Juicer gets our five lime rating for ease of use.
Performance? The Norwalk Juicer is a master at fruits and vegetables. It's triturating process easily handles the hardest vegetables, something that most of the under a $100 models struggle with. It also handles juicy fruits and citrus with ease. Simply skip the first trituration step, place the citrus or berries in the cloth bag, and put them in the hydraulic press. Many great juicers bog down on citrus, berries, and other very juicy fruits due to the low fiber content. It can bind them up. Since Norwalk juicers have the press feature this issue is eliminated completely.
Wheatgrass and greens are tricky however. Due to their low juice content, the large hole screen must be used or they must be combined with other more fibrous or juice-filled vegetables or fruits. It works like this: a piece of hard produce then several pieces of greens followed by another hard vegetable or juicy fruit followed by more greens. Why is the rotation process necessary? The machine will heat up if you try to juice only the greens. This is an issue only if you are planning on juicing greens exclusively. Once again, dedicated wheatgrass juicers handle the job best!
The Norwalk shines when it comes to juice yield. No other juicer on the market can compare. It produces approximately 50% more juice per pound of produce than most excellent juicer models in the $250-$400 range. It produces close to %100 more juice per pound of produce than the cheaper models. The pulp comes out of the hydraulic press looking like pale colored, crumbly wafer board. It's amazing. If you've juiced before you know that the pulp left from most models is moist and brightly colored. The hydraulic press method is the definitive method for maximum juice extraction. The Norwalk Juicer also has very little foam, and as a result avoids the oxidation factor that many other juicers experience. If you're planning on making large quantities of juice, the Norwalk may cost more up front, but end up saving you massive amounts of money in the long run.
How's the heat factor? With a juicer this expensive, you'd think there wouldn't be a heat issue, but there is. The grid screen that sits in the housing becomes clogged from thick vegetable fiber, specifically with greens, ginger and celery. As the grid clogs the grinder creates friction which in turn heats up the produce. The solutions are to rinse the grid screen and rotate greens and celery with other fruits and vegetables. For low-heat output, it doesn't perform as well as the much less expensive single gear and twin gear juicers that can often be found in the $250-$400 price range. Why is heat a problem? It compromises the enzymes and nutrients in the juice, destroying some of the health benefits. In our opinion the heat level is an issue, but not nearly as big of an issue as it is in the cheaper centrifugal models. By taking the precautions above, the heat disadvantage is removed.
The final tally for performance is a five lime rating. We'd give it ten limes if our ratings could go higher! It's only disadvantage for performance is the wheat grass and greens heating issue which can be avoided.
Norwalks are extremely durable. If you search user reviews on the internet, you won't find anyone talking about a burnt out Norwalk motor. Since it doesn't have many moving parts, there isn't much that can break on this machine.
There is some standard maintenance that will occur over time, just as any other juicer has, except it might be a little more intensive with the Norwalk. After many years you may find you need have your motor bearings or belt replaced or you may develop a hydraulic oil leak. The factory can send replacement parts and any small-engine repair shop can do the quick job for you if you're like us and not mechanically inclined.
All in all, the Norwalk is the most durable juicer available, even above the Champion 2000, which is saying a lot. With responsible use, a Norwalk can last more than thirty years. Yes, we just said thirty years!
The biggest issue folks run into after that long, is older model replacement parts are not available from the factory. The 230 series - 240 series replacement parts are very difficult, and if your machine uses the old-style round grids Norwalk is no longer manufacturing them. Model number 250 series and above will be much easier to find replacement parts for.
We give the Norwalk a five lime rating for durability.
If you are an avid juicer or are wanting to make dramatic health changes to your life the Norwalk Juicer is one of the best choices out there. It is long-lasting, produces the most juice of any other juicer model, and is surprisingly easy to use and to clean. This is a workhorse that can be in your life for the next quarter century and longer. The price is high, but there are ways around that. Check out how to buy a norwalk juicer at a huge discount.
However, if you know you'll be juicing tremendous quantities of greens by themselves with no other produce, or if you are very interested in getting the lowest heat output machine for maximum nutrient and enzyme retention the Norwalk Juicer isn't going to suit you well. You really need a a single gear, twin gear or dedicated greens juicer. Also, if you're just getting into juicing the Norwalk may be "overkill". Try out a less expensive model before diving in to the "best of the best".
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