- Obtains very good yields juicing oranges, apples, wheatgrass and a combination of produce all at the same time
- Doesn’t obtain exceptionally poor yields juicing any one particular type of produce
- Composed of mostly stain resistant parts
- Much more versatile than other juicers of the same type (vertical masticating) – comes with an entirely different housing for mincing/homogenizing
- Very well built with high quality parts
- Pulp has the tendency to accumulate in some of its parts more so than it does in the same parts of other juicers of the same type – makes it more difficult to clean
- Comes with a warranty that excludes coverage of most of the juicer’s most important parts
- Product registration is required within 10 days of purchase to validate the included warranty
- 1 Assembly
- 2 Food Preparation
- 3 Performance
- 4 Cleaning
- 5 Staining
- 6 Ease of Use
- 7 Versatility
- 8 Durability
- 9 Value
The Tribest Slowstar (model no. SW-2000-B or simply SW-2000) can be used as both a juicer and a mincer, but not at the same time. When using it for juicing you will need to assemble one set of parts and when using it as a mincer you will need to assemble a different set of parts. Let’s start with the parts required for juicing.
Juicing – Parts List
- Food pusher (plunger)
- Feeding chute assembly
- Juicing bowl (auger housing)
- Juice cap
- Spinning brush (pulp wiping assembly)
- Strainer (juicing screen)
- Main body
- Juice container
- Pulp container
The general terms we use for vertical masticating juicer parts are listed. If the manufacturer calls a certain part by a different name (in the user manual included with the juicer) it is listed in parentheses.
The feeding chute assembly consists of the hopper, the feeding chute, and the lid that covers the juicing bowl.
Mincing – Parts List
- Food pusher (plunger)
- Mincing feeding chute assembly (the mincer lid and hopper)
- Mincing bowl (auger housing for mincing)
- Main body
- Pulp container
The SW-2000-B is unique among the masticating juicers we tested, in that setting it up for mincing requires the use of an entirely different housing (mincing bowl) than what is required for juicing (juicing bowl). When setting up most other masticating juicers for mincing or homogenizing the same housing is used for both juicing and mincing. The only part that’s replaced on such juicers is the juicing screen. It’s normally replaced with a blank screen that’s exactly the same size and shape as but without the perforations present on the juicing screen. Otherwise, all parts are the same.
In contrast, when setting up the Slowstar for mincing, the juicing bowl (what the manufacturer calls the auger housing) is replaced with an entirely different part – a mincing bowl (what the manufacturer calls an auger housing for mincing). The mincing bowl is smaller than the juicing bowl and has only one spout through which processed foods exit the juicer, and so only one container is required to collect it. The spinning brush and strainer are also no longer required for assembly. Instead, only the auger and the bowl itself facilitate food processing. Finally, because the mincing bowl is smaller than the juicing bowl the same feeding chute assembly cannot be used. Instead, a smaller feeding chute assembly, also included with your purchase, is attached to the mincing bowl. The lid of this feeding chute assembly is a smaller diameter to accommodate the smaller diameter of the mincing bowl.
The juicing bowl (top left) next to the mincing bowl (bottom left) and the regular juicing bowl assembly (top right) next to the mincing feeding chute assembly (bottom right).
Extra Removable Parts
In addition to the parts listed above, several smaller but no less significant parts can be removed from those same parts for a more thorough cleaning of the juicer. Note that these smaller parts, while removable, do not absolutely have to be removed for proper cleaning, and if they are not removed do not have to be fully assembled every time you use the juicer for juicing. For this reason, we didn’t include them in the list of parts required for assembly above. We do list them now.
- Silicone blades
- Silicone pulp pressure plug
- Sealing ring
- Juice cap seal
The parts listed above are all made of silicone. Silicone is the material of choice because it’s both flexible and durable. Silicone’s flexibility allows these parts to function as they need to. Silicone’s durability allows these parts to function properly for the life of the juicer.
The Juicer’s Spinning Brush and its Silicone Blades
We’ve decided on a set of common terms for all of the parts that constitute the typical vertical masticating juicer. We’ve done so to allow for better continuity between different reviews of different models. If we were to refer to the juicer’s spinning brush as a “spinning brush” in one review and a “scraper wiper” in another, you wouldn’t be able to compare our discussion of this particular part nearly as easily as if we were to refer to this part simply as a “spinning brush” in both reviews, as we do.
That all being said, despite the fact that we’ve settled on calling this part a spinning brush, it really is a bit of a misnomer, at least in terms of describing the parts that make up the spinning brush. While it certainly does spin it really doesn’t brush or have any brushes. Instead, it has tiny little “wiper blades”. These are the silicone blades listed above.
The Slowstar’s spinning brush has only 2 blades, which is half as many blades as you’ll find on the Omega VSJ843Q’s spinning brush (it has 4 blades) and one less than you’ll find on the Breville BJS600XL’s spinning brush (it has 3 blades). 2 is, however, the most common number of blades among all of the vertical masticating juicers we tested. The Hurom, SKG, Omega VRT350, Gourmia, and VoShef all have spinning brushes that have only 2 blades.
The juicer’s spinning brush having less blades means that there are less blades to remove and clean (should you choose to remove them and clean them) but it also means that the spinning brush’s efficiency is slightly diminished. Thankfully, this reduced efficiency doesn’t affect the overall performance of the juicer (in terms of the yields it’s able to obtain). We discuss why this is so next.
The white plastic frame and red blades of the Slowstar’s spinning brush can be clearly seen in the photo above.
The spinning brush has two necessary functions and one nonessential function. First, it self-cleans the juicing bowl while the juicer is juicing. As the auger pushes produce through the juicing strainer the newly processed juice not only flows down the other side of the strainer but much of it squirts against the side of the juicing bowl. The blades on the spinning brush constantly wipe the inside walls of the juicing bowl clean. Second, the spinning brush moves juice through the juicing bowl. As juice accumulates on the bottom of the juicing bowl the spinning brush constantly moves that juice around the outside perimeter of the juicing bowl in a counterclockwise direction. Eventually, the juice gets to the only place where it can escape from the juicing bowl, the juice outlet. Without the spinning brush moving juice through the juicing bowl it would accumulate within the bowl which would require that you manually pick up the bowl after juicing to pour the accumulated juice out of bowl. The third and only non essential function of the spinning brush is to facilitate proper mixing of juice should you close the juice cap for the same purpose.
With all of these functions in mind, it’s easy to see how the number of blades present on the spinning brush really does not affect juicer performance. Even with less blades the spinning brush will still be able to wipe the side walls of the juicing bowl, it will still be able to move accumulated juice to the juice outlet, and it will still be able to mix juice should you want juice to accumulate inside the juicing bowl when closing the juice cap. Does the SW-2000-B’s spinning brush perform these functions slightly less efficiently than the VSJ843Q’s four bladed spinning brush? Absolutely. Does this affect overall juicer performance? Absolutely not.
The Silicone Pulp Pressure Plug
The pulp pressure plug is located at the bottom of or beneath the juicing bowl. Its primary function is to allow for proper cleaning of the juicing bowl’s pulp outlet. As you juice, most of the pulp generated during the process of juicing exits the juicer through the juicer’s pulp outlet. This pulp is collected in the pulp container. Unfortunately, not all of the pulp makes its way into the pulp container during the process of juicing. When you’re finished juicing you’ll see quite a bit of pulp at least momentarily stuck in the pulp outlet. To clean out this pulp you’ll need to use the hard edged end of the included cleaning brush to push the accumulated pulp out of the pulp outlet. The pulp pressure plug allows you to do so. Removing the plug turns the pulp outlet into a tunnel with two exits. The pulp is pushed from one exit (the part of the outlet where pulp normally comes out of) through the other exit (the part of the outlet that is plugged up by the pulp pressure plug while juicing).
The pulp pressure plug properly assembled for juicing (left) and unplugged for cleaning (right). Note that the juicing bowl is upside down in both photos above.
The pulp pressure plug is absolutely required for easy cleaning of the pulp outlet. Since the inside portion of the pulp outlet has to be closed off when juicing, the pulp outlet would otherwise have to be permanently closed off. If this were the case cleaning the pulp outlet would require you to pull pulp out of the pulp outlet using a specialized tool that would be able to fit into the outlet and be able to pull pulp out of the outlet in an efficient manner at the same time. Instead of including such a tool, manufacturers have chosen to implement a removable pulp pressure plug instead.
Cleaning the pulp outlet with the pulp pressure plug unplugged.
The plug itself is not easily removed from the juicing bowl. One end of the plug is certainly easily removable – the end that plugs into and out of the pulp outlet. But the other end, the end affixed to the juicing bowl, is attached with a screw. For this reason, you’ll rarely remove the entire plug from the juicing bowl for cleaning. In fact, you’ll probably never do so as long as the plug isn’t damaged. We certainly did not remove it at any time during our testing.
The Sealing Ring
The sealing ring acts as a seal between the juicing bowl and the motor base. Jutting out from the main body of the juicer is the metal arm that extends from the juicer’s motor. This metal arm fits into the bottom of the auger and turns it. The auger is assembled inside the juicing bowl while the metal arm extending from the main body is located outside the juicing bowl. The silicone sealing ring allows these two parts to fit together without allowing juice accumulating inside of the juicing bowl to leak out onto the motor base. The sealing ring is the red ring that fits into the very center of the juicing bowl. It can very easily be removed for cleaning, though we didn’t find it necessary to remove it at any time during our testing. The sealing ring is the red rubber ring at the center of the juicing bowl pictured above.
Juice Cap Seal
The Slowstar’s juice cap can easily be removed from the juice outlet on the juicing bowl. In addition, the juice cap seal on the inside of the cap can also be removed. This seal is necessary to prevent juice from leaking out of the juice outlet, should you close off the cap for juicing or cleaning. The juice cap seal is the grey rubber part attached to the juice cap shown in the photo above.
Assembling any masticating juicer for the first time can be a daunting task. If you’re a masticating juicer newbie and putting together your Slowstar for the first time you’ll definitely want to consult the included manual which shows the basics of proper assembly of the juicer. In the current discussion, our goal is to go over each of the steps involved in assembly in detail and point out any difficulties we experienced during assembly at the same time in order to show prospective buyers just what they’re up against when getting ready to juice using this particular juicer. In doing so, we’ll not only compare the Slowstar to other masticating juicers of the same type, other vertical masticating juicers, but we’ll also compare it to horizontal masticating juicers and at times, even centrifugal juicers.
The Slowstar took us just over 30 seconds to assemble from start to finish. Note that this time is possible only after plenty of experience assembling the juicer and only if everything goes exactly according to plan. In most cases you’ll have a little bit a trouble fitting one part into another, adjusting it back and forth more than we had to when we achieved the 30 second estimate given above. A more realistic time in which you’ll be able to fully assemble the juicer is closer to a minute or so – still not bad at all. How does this compare to other juicer types?
In perfect runs (with no hiccups, no fiddling around with different parts, etc.) assembly of a typical horizontal masticating juicer took us between 25 and 35 seconds, assembly of a typical vertical masticating juicer took us between 30 and 40 seconds, and assembly of a typical centrifugal juicer took us just over 20 seconds t. These times, once again, are not necessarily indicative of real world scenarios where assembly doesn’t always go perfectly from start to finish. That being said, in general, real world assembly times will follow the same order as we outlined above – vertical masticating juicers take a little bit longer to assemble than horizontal masticating juicers and both types of masticating juicers take a little bit longer than centrifugal juicers to assemble.
Comparing assembly time is an insufficient means by which to compare the actual difficulty of assembling each type of juicer. Much more instructive is comparing the actual ins and outs, the step by step process of assembling each type of juicer. For that, we encourage you to read our general buyer’s guide in which we compare the assembly requirements for each individual type of juicer. That being said, even more instructive is comparing the detailed breakdown of each individual model’s assembly. To do so you’ll have to look through the individual reviews of specific juicer models you might be thinking about buying. With that in mind, let’s get to breaking down the Slowstar’s assembly.
Assembly of any vertical masticating juicer can be broken down into 5 different steps. We’ll discuss each step in detail below. These steps are
- placing on and securing the juicing bowl to the main body of the juicer
- fitting together the juicing strainer and spinning brush
- placing the juicing strainer and spinning brush in the juicing bowl
- placing the auger in the juicing bowl
- placing on and securing the feeding chute assembly to the juicing bowl
- putting the juice container and pulp container along with the food pusher in positions where you’re ready to juice
Markers and Guides
Before we break down these phases in more detail below, we need to make an important note about the markers and guides that aid in the assembly of vertical masticating juicers. As we discuss in our general buyer’s guide, vertical masticating juicers are generally a little bit more difficult to assemble than horizontal masticating juicers and, in order to combat that difficulty, manufacturers have implemented certain useful guides and markers on the different parts that are required to assemble a vertical masticating juicer. These guides and markers make the assembly of the juicer much easier. Thus, how well their implementation is executed plays a large role in distinguishing between how difficult it is to assemble one vertical masticating juicer versus another.
The white dots that serve as markers and guides for properly assembling the juicing strainer/spinning brush into the juicing bowl can be seen very clearly in the photo above.
If you’re assembling the Slowstar for the very first time, the first step of assembly might end up being the most difficult part of the whole process. That’s because there are no markers or guides on the juicing bowl indicating how it should be secured to the main body of the juicer. Whether it’s by looking at any stock picture of the juicer or whether by intuition alone you’ll know that the juicing bowl is the first piece that’s fitted to the main body, but you won’t know how to fit it to the main body without at least a little bit of trial and error. On the main body itself there is a label that reads “Close” and “Open” with an arrow in between, but there’s nothing about the label’s location that would indicate that it’s there to show you how to fit the juicing bowl to the main body. The manual also doesn’t specify to look for this label.
The “Open/Close” label on the main body itself.
In any case, you’ll most likely have to rely on trial and error to fit the juicing bowl onto the main body by first placing it on the main body slightly off center with the handle on the juicing bowl slightly to your right (assuming the back of the main body is directly towards you) and then turning it clockwise to secure it with the handle on the juicing bowl pointing right towards you. After figuring out exactly what was required to secure the juicing bowl to the main body we didn’t have much trouble doing so. That being said, this step or phase definitely has a bit of a learning curve to it due to the fact that the juicing bowl and main body don’t have proper markers to aid assembly.
For comparison, the bottom of the Breville BJS600XL’s juicing bowl is clearly marked “ALIGN” with an arrow pointing the direction in which it needs to be turned to secure it. This “ALIGN” marking is easily matched with another “ALIGN” marking on the main body with an arrow and lock showing which way to turn the bowl to secure it. We’d certainly like to see these types of markings implemented on future iterations of the Slowstar line.
The second phase of assembly involves fitting the juicing strainer into the spinning brush. This step is carried out outside of the juicing bowl. The strainer has metal rings that fit concave in between a plastic mold. The inside part of the silicone blades of the spinning brush fit into these metal rings. The strainer has to be pushed all the way into the spinning brush as far as it will go. Eventually the top plastic ring of the spinning brush will come into contact with a plastic ring that extends out of the strainer. It is, however, the blades of the spinning brush fitting into the metal rings of the strainer which holds these two parts together.
This part of assembly is much the same on all of the vertical masticating juicers we tested. It takes a little bit of trial and error to fit the two parts together but there’s really not much that the manufacturer can do to make this step any easier.
Beginning to fit the strainer into the spinning brush (left) and both parts properly fitted together (right).
Once the strainer and spinning brush are properly fitted together they can be placed inside the juicing bowl. Together, they should fit into the juicing bowl quite easily with room to spare. The only concern here is to make sure that the teeth on the bottom ring of the spinning brush properly fit in between the gear teeth at the bottom of the juicing bowl. We didn’t have much of an issue doing so on most of the vertical masticating juicers we tested, including the SW-2000-B. This is because most have a clearly marked dot on the top edge of the strainer that matches with another clearly marked dot on the top edge of the juicing bowl. In the case of the Slowstar, there’s a large very easy to see white dot on the top edge of the strainer. Simply turn the strainer/spinning brush until it’s matched to the large white dot on the top edge of the juicing bowl. In this orientation the strainer/spinning brush is correctly fitted to the juicing bowl.
Step 1, 2, and 3 of assembly.
Next, the auger has to be properly seated inside of the juicing bowl. The bottom of the auger is hollowed with a female end that’s fitted to the male end of a metal arm that extends from the main body of the juicer through the center of the juicing bowl. The auger may need to be turned back and forth to seat it properly. You’ll know that it’s properly seated when the metal arm that extends out of the top of the auger is at the same height as the top of the juicing bowl, strainer, and spinning brush.
The next phase of assembly requires that the feeding chute assembly be secured to the juicing bowl. As in phase 3, you’ll be able to rely on clearly marked guides to help you do so properly. First, the juicing bowl has a large white dot on top of its handle (this is a different white dot than the one discussed in phase 3). Because the handle extends out from the juicing bowl itself the top of the handle isn’t obstructed as you place the feeding chute assembly over the juicing bowl – the aforementioned white dot is clearly visible throughout this step and even thereafter. Second, the feeding chute assembly has two different markings that will further aid in this part of assembly. Not only does it have a red dot, that you’ll intuitively know should be matched to the white dot on the top of the juicing bowl handle, but it also has the same “Open” and “Close” markings that are found on the back of the main body of the juicer that are there to help in phase 1 of assembly. The “Open” label has an arrow pointing right while the “Close” arrow has an arrow pointing left. By matching the two dots and by following the arrows next to the labels “Open” and “Close” you’ll find that this part of assembly might be the easiest of all. Simply place the feeding chute assembly on top of the juicing bowl with it slightly turned to the right. Then proceed to turn the whole assembly to the left (clockwise) until the white dot on the top of the juicing bowl handle matches the red dot on the back of the feeding chute assembly lid.
The feeding chute assembly properly assembled.
The final phase of assembly involves placing all other required parts necessary for juicing in proper position where you’re 100% ready to start juicing. To complete this step simply pull the pulp container under the pulp outlet and the juicing container under the juice outlet. Also make sure you have the food pusher ready nearby as you very well might need it, depending on the type of produce that you’re juicing.
Step 4 through 6 of assembly.
The SW-2000-B, like most other vertical masticating juicers we tested, is difficult to assemble for the uninitiated but fairly straightforward to assemble for those with experience doing so. Yes, the first few times you use the Slowstar you’ll be fumbling around with different parts trying your best to put it together in a reasonable amount of time. But, after three or four times of doing so, you’ll be assembling it like a pro. All of that being said, this model juicer still earns only a 4 out of 5 for assembly difficulty. At the end of the day it is still a vertical masticating juicer and because of this it is more complexly designed and therefore more difficult to assemble than centrifugal juicers and even horizontal masticating juicers.
With the juicer fully assembled the next step in preparing for juicing is to cut produce so that it will fit into the juicer’s feed chute. The Slowstar is among five vertical masticating juicers we tested that has a small bean shaped feeding chute. Among those same five juicers the Slowstar (SW-200-B) and the Omega VRT350 have the largest measured feed chutes – 1.5 inches at their widest point and 2.5 inches long. Other juicers of the same type have feeding chutes with the same length but with a lesser width between 1.25 and 1.375 inches. The two other vertical masticating juicers we tested have large circular feeding chutes approximately 3 inches in diameter.
A top down view of the Slowstar’s feeding chute.
The size of the juicer’s feeding chute is important because it is the most important factor dictating what size fruits and vegetables can be fed into the juicer. A larger feed chute allows for whole pieces of produce or produce that has been cut very little to be fed into the juicer while a smaller feed chute requires that most produce be cut down to size before being fed into the juicer.
In addition to chute size three other factors dictated how much we prepared (cut) the produce we juiced for testing. First, we took into account the prior experience we had gained from juicing with similar juicers. The Slowstar is a vertical masticating juicer and so we definitely took into account how we prepared produce for juicing with other juicers of the same type. Second, we considered the special characteristics of each fruit and vegetable that would be juiced. Most often, the only fruit or vegetable to consider was celery, which can very easily wrap around the auger of the juicer and thereby cause it to jam. For this reason, despite the fact that full length celery stalks can easily fit into even the smallest feeding chute, we cut celery into 2 to 1 inch pieces in preparation for juicing with most, if not all of the masticating juicers we tested.
The third and final factor, other than chute size, that dictated how much we would cut each fruit or vegetable for our juicing tests, was the food preparation guidelines outlined in each juicer’s manual (this relates to juicer type as described in our general buyer’s guide). The Slowstar’s manual doesn’t have much to say about food preparation but it does outline a few general guidelines. We’ll get to whether we stuck to those guidelines in a moment.
Food Preparation Results
The table below outlines just how small we had to cut each fruit and vegetable that we juiced (the size of cuts), exactly how long it took us (in seconds) to cut it when we cut it for the Slowstar, specifically (time to cut), and how long it took us to cut the same fruit or vegetable to the same size, on average, for all of the juicers we tested that required us to cut the fruit or vegetable to that size (average time to cut). This average time is the time we’ll use to compare how long it takes to prepare a specific fruit or vegetable for juicing as we continue with the review.
|Fruit/Veg.||Size of Cuts||Time to Cut||Avg. Time to Cut|
|Grapes||no cutting required|
|Carrots||no cutting required|
|Celery||1″ to 2″ pieces||54||66|
|Chute Size||1.5″ by 2.5″|
Carrots were cut depending on their size. Most were small enough to fit into the juicer’s feed chute without our having to cut them but one carrot did require us to cut it before feeding it into the juicer.
A Word of Caution About Our Test Data
We juiced seven different fruits and vegetables with each of the 14 slow juicers we tested for review. Each fruit and vegetable was juiced independently and then, as a final test, we juiced five different fruits and vegetables all at the same time. For the first seven tests we juiced 1 lb. of produce each time. We juiced 1 lb. of oranges, then 1 lb. of grapes, then 1 lb. of carrots, and so on and so forth. In order to achieve the 1 lb. weight requirement each time we had to use a slightly different number of each fruit or vegetable for each juicer we tested. This occurred because of the variation in the size of fruits and vegetables. Not all oranges are the same size and not all carrots are the same size, and so on and so forth. It might take seven carrots to get to 1 lb. or it might take ten. During our testing the number of carrots used to get to 1 lb. of carrots varied between five and eleven carrots. When we tested the Omega J8006 we only had to use five large carrots to get to 1 lb. When we tested the Slowstar, we had to use more than double – eleven small carrots to get to the 1 lb. requirement.
It’s important for us to make you, the reader, aware of this variance because it can have an impact on both preparation time and the time it takes to juice. This is one of the reasons why we use average times when comparing food preparation time between different juicers. It took almost two minutes to cut the 23 celery stalks juiced with the Champion while it took only 48 seconds to cut the 14 celery stalks to juice with the Hurom HU-100. Both juicers required that the celery be cut to exactly the same length pieces, and so we will say that it takes an average of 66 seconds to cut 1 lb. of celery to juice with either juicer. 66 seconds is the average time based on ten different juicers we tested that required the celery to be cut to this same size.
These same principals apply for assessing data relating to other fruits and vegetables and so we will always use and we also encourage you to use average times when comparing preparation time between multiple juicers.
Food Preparation Comparison to Other Tested Juicers
The SW-2000-B’s manual doesn’t give any specific instructions for preparing fruits for juicing, perhaps because they are the least difficult type of produce to juice. The manual only instructs that fruit should be cut to small enough pieces to fit into the juicer’s feed chute. We followed this advice and cut our 1 lb. of oranges into quarters – small enough to fit into the feed chute and large enough to not give us too much difficulty with the cutting process. Cutting 1 lb. of oranges took us about 24 seconds on average.
Most of the slow juicers we tested required that oranges be cut either to eighths or to quarters, depending on chute size. We already mentioned how cutting 1 lb. of oranges to quarters takes about 24 seconds. Cutting the same quantity of oranges to eighths took us, on average, more than twice as long –59 seconds. Thus, it’s a definite positive that the Slowstar is in the group of slow juicers that only require oranges to be cut to quarters.
The grapes we juiced were small enough to fit into even the smallest chute size juicers we tested. No cutting required here.
The Slowstar’s manual does specifically talk about preparing carrots for juicing. The manual states that carrots should be cut into halves or quarters prior to juicing. Our experience with other vertical masticating juicers was the driving force in our decision to act contrary to the manual’s instructions and not cut any carrots prior to juicing with the Slowstar.
Before testing the SW-2000-B we experimented with other vertical masticating juicers cutting carrots into smaller pieces and found that it had very little impact on overall juicer yield as compared to juicing the same quantity of carrots without cutting them. In addition, we found that the juicers we experimented with were able to juice full size carrots just as easily as carrots that had been cut into 1 or 2 inch pieces. Since less preparation time is always a good thing, not just to reduce the time it would take for us to test but also for you at home juicing for yourself and/or your family, we decided that we would juice full size carrots when juicing with any of the vertical masticating juicers we tested for review, including the Slowstar.
When it came to preparing celery for juicing, we did exactly the opposite of what we did when preparing carrots for juicing. Not only did we follow the manual’s direction this time, but we went even above and beyond what the manual says is required. The Slowstar’s manual instructs to cut stringy, fibrous produce such as celery or kale into pieces 4 to 5 inches long “for best juicing results”. It goes on to say that “for even better results” the pieces should be cut to a width of 1 inch which doesn’t really apply for the celery stalks we were juicing but certainly applies to celery leaves, kale, and similar produce.
In any case, we cut the celery we prepared for juicing with the Slowstar to 2 to 3 inch long pieces. We did so to absolutely make sure that the stringy, fibrous characteristics of the celery we were juicing wouldn’t cause any problems during our actual performance testing. We cut celery to the same size for 10 other slow juicers we tested. This process took us an average of 66 seconds.
Cutting celery before juicing it is something you will have to do with most slow juicers but is not a requirement for centrifugal juicers. Take this into consideration if you want to juice produce such as celery and are debating between purchasing a masticating and a centrifugal juicer.
The same manual instructions apply to apples as they did for oranges – both are fruits after all. Because the apples we used for testing were quite a bit larger than the oranges we used for testing and also because apples are much less flexible than oranges (think about fitting these two different types of fruit into the juicer’s feed chute) we had to cut the apples we used for juicing with the Slowstar even more so than we had to for oranges – we had to cut the apples to eighths.
The same had to be done, at a minimum, for most other slow juicers we tested. Only the Kuvings B6000S and SKG, both juicers with 3 inch diameter feed chutes, required less cutting and even they required some cutting – we had to cut apples into quarters to fit them into their 3 inch feed chutes. All other slow juicers required us to cut apples to eighths at a minimum (all other vertical masticating juicers included) with some requiring us to cut apples even further – down to 16 even 32 small pieces. Cutting apples to quarters took us 18 seconds on average, cutting them to eighths took us 46 seconds, and cutting them to sixteenths took us 99 seconds.
Cutting apples for juicing with the Slowstar.
Spinach and Wheatgrass
We didn’t have to cut any spinach because we bought it pre-cut and pre-washed from the store. The wheatgrass we used for our juicing tests was freshly cut but since we used the same length of grass for all of our tests there’s no difference in time in preparing wheatgrass for one juicer as compared to another.
Food Preparation Summary
Preparing produce for juicing with the Slow Star takes longer than it does for centrifugal or wide mouth masticating juicers, takes just as long as most other bean shape feed chute vertical masticating juicers, and takes quite a bit less time than horizontal masticating juicers and twin gear juicers. There’s nothing unique to the Slowstar that required us to prepare any fruit or vegetable in any unique way. The size of its feed chute is very similar to the size of the feed chutes of other vertical masticating juicers we tested, outside of the Kuvings B6000 and the SKG wide chute. Since feed chute size is the final judge and arbiter in determining what size fruits and vegetables fit into any particular juicer, food preparation time for the Slowstar followed suit with other juicers of the same type and with the same feed chute size. There were absolutely no surprises.
These tables, found in our general buyer’s guide, show the total time it took us to prepare fruits and vegetables for juicing with the Slowstar (using average time), and compares it to the total food preparation time of other vertical masticating juicers, horizontal masticating juicers, the only twin gear juicer we tested (the Green Star Elite), and top centrifugal juicers.
After assessing how quickly and easily we could assemble the Slowstar and the extent to which we needed to prepare produce for it, the next step was for us to test just how well the Slowstar could do what it was designed to do – to juice fruits and vegetables. We summarize our analysis of the Slowstar’s juicing performance further down below but before we do, let’s first take a quick look at all the different types of produce we juiced to test it.
Soft Produce Performance
We juiced both oranges and grapes to test how well the SW-2000-B could juice soft produce high in water content. First we juiced 1 lb. of oranges that we cut into quarters. Next, we juiced 1 lb. of grapes (no cutting required).
Hard Produce Performance
The first “hard produce” we tested was 1 lb. of carrots. We then juiced 1 lb. of celery followed by 1 lb. of apples.
Leafy Green and Wheatgrass Performance
To test leafy green performance we settled on juicing baby spinach as it was easy to come by, came pre-washed and pre-cut, and came pre-packaged in a 1 lb. container – the exact weight we needed for testing. The wheatgrass we juiced we obtained by freshly cutting it from 12 in. by 12 in. flats.
As a final test we juiced a combination of most of the fruits and vegetables we juiced for the first 7 tests. We alternated feeding each type of produce into the juicer in order to help maximize its efficiency.
Juicing Performance Summary and Score
As this data tabled in our general buyer’s guide shows, the Slowstar was an average to slightly above average performer in almost all of our juicing performance tests. It was an average performer in our grape, celery, spinach, and wheatgrass tests. And it was an above average performer in our orange, apple and combination performance tests. It was a below average performer only in our carrot juicing test (after sieve yield).
Measuring spinach juice after sieve yield.
The takeaway here is that the Slowstar is very good at juicing most types of produce, and while it isn’t exceptional at juicing any one type of produce in particular, it also isn’t terrible at juicing any one type of produce in particular. This type of middling performance stands in contrast to most other slow juicers we tested which tended to perform in extremes – good or bad depending on the type of produce that was being juiced. The Breville BJS600XL, for example, was an exceptional performer in our orange (the second best after sieve yield for oranges) and apple juicing tests (the very best out of juicer yield for apples) but it was an absolutely terrible performer in most other tests – worst at juicing celery and second worst at juicing spinach among the 14 slow juicers we tested.
The situation is thus as follows. If you plan on primarily juicing only one type of produce, we recommend you look elsewhere at other slow juicers we tested to find out which of them juice that type of produce you want to juice particularly well. If you plan on juicing primarily citrus fruits such as oranges, for example, we recommend that you take a look at the previously mentioned Breville BJS600XL. It’s a juicer that does juicing oranges very well.
However, if you do not plan on primarily juicing only one particular type of produce – if you plan on juicing a wide variety of produce –– the Slowstar is definitely an excellent choice. Again, while it doesn’t juice any one type of produce exceptionally well, it also doesn’t juice any one type of produce poorly. We give it an above average 4 out of 5 for juicing performance. It receives an above average mark mostly because, unlike most other juicers we tested, it didn’t garner terrible results in any of our tests.
A Few Words About Our Testing Methodology
Different Types of Yield Defined
In order to clean the Slowstar after juicing you’ll have to hand wash 8 different parts. Those parts are the juice and pulp containers, food pusher, feeding chute assembly, juicing bowl, auger, spinning brush, and strainer. Note that the 8 parts we just listed may be composed themselves of certain removable silicone parts (the spinning brush blades and sealing ring, for example) but we did not remove these parts for cleaning during testing. We did not do so because we did not feel that it was absolutely necessary to remove them to clean the juicer as well as it needed to be cleaned for testing (we also don’t feel that you will need to remove these parts to clean them each time you clean the juicer after juicing). In our experience, the spinning brush blades could be just as well be cleaned while they were still attached to the spinning brush. The sealing ring could be washed just as well while it was still in its place in the juicing bowl, and so on and so forth.
Without removing extra silicone parts and cleaning them separately and without taking into account the time it took us to disassemble all parts and fill up the test sink with warm soapy water, it took us about 5 minutes to clean the above mentioned parts from start to finish. This is just as long as it took us to clean the same parts composing all other vertical masticating juicers we tested. Horizontal masticating juicers are composed of slightly less difficult to clean parts and as such it took us only about 4 minutes on average to clean them (also not taking into account disassembly time). Centrifugal juicers are composed of slightly more difficult to clean parts (especially their filter baskets) and so it took us about 6 minutes on average to clean them. This makes cleaning vertical masticating juicers such as the Tribest Slowstar of average difficulty compared to the other major types of juicers we tested.
Almost all of the masticating juicers we tested came with some type of cleaning brush included for the sole purpose of facilitating easier cleaning of the juicer’s strainer. Most cleaning brushes feature the same design – bristles on one end and a thin tapered handle on the other. The Slowstar’s included cleaning brush is unique in that it has an extra set of bristles on the tip of the brush. This extra set of bristles is a nice bonus as it does make cleaning the juicing strainer easier than it would be without them.
The cleaning brush included with the Slowstar.
In addition to the included cleaning brush we also used a microfiber cloth to clean most parts.
We pre-washed all of the vertical masticating juicers we tested by running water through them after each test. After doing so we would then disassemble all parts. We started off the actual hands on cleaning of most parts by first placing them in a sink filled with warm soapy water. After leaving them in the sink to soak for even just a few seconds we would then wash them clean using a microfiber cloth. After washing them clean we would place them under the faucet under running water to rinse them. Most parts were then left to air dry while a few were immediately dried using a hand towel.
Some parts required more attention than the basic cleaning we discussed above. Those parts are discussed next.
In some of the vertical masticating juicers we tested we noticed varying amounts of pulp accumulation within the auger, juicing bowl, and strainer. We saw much more such accumulation with the Slowstar than with most other juicers of the same type that we tested. This pulp accumulation required that we push or pull it out of each part using the tapered handle of the included cleaning brush. Doing so did add to the overall difficulty of cleaning the Slowstar as compared to the other vertical masticating juicers that we tested.
The pulp outlet through which accumulated pulp should exit the juicer. Unfortunately, not all pulp makes its way through this outlet.
From a hypothetical standpoint, certain parts of the juicer are more susceptible to staining only because of the color of the material used for their construction. The most likely to stain fruits and vegetables are those rich in color such as carrots, roots, and spinach. If the parts composing the juicer contrast with the orange, red, or green pigments of such produce, they are much more likely to stain.
That being said, the parts composing the Slowstar that are most susceptible to staining are the spinning brush and juicing bowl. The spinning brush is constructed using a white plastic while the juicing bowl is constructed using a clear plastic. Both white and clear plastic is highly susceptible to staining because it stands in such stark contrast with the dark colors of the likely to stain produce we described above.
Other parts of the Slowstar are constructed using much more stain resistant materials (colors). All silicone parts are a burgundy color and so is the main base of the juicer. The auger is black and so is the juicing strainer’s frame. These darker colors are much less likely to stain because they do not contrast nearly as much with the orange, red, and green of the likely to stain produce we mentioned above.
Our own observations confirmed the hypotheses we outlined above. The parts that we saw stain the most were the spinning brush and juicing bowl. That being said, these parts never stained permanently during our testing. We were able to remove temporary stains by simply cleaning the parts repeatedly after certain tests (carrot and spinach juicing tests).
Dishwasher Safe Parts
The Slowstar’s manual very clearly states that all parts composing the juicer are NOT dishwasher safe.
Cleaning Summary and Overall Score
The Slowstar’s parts may not be dishwasher safe but such is the case for the vast majority of the slow juicers we tested (11 of the other 13 slow juicers we tested also do not have any dishwasher safe parts). As such, the juicer’s lack of dishwasher safe parts won’t detract from its score in the category. What does detract from its score is excessive pulp accumulation within its auger, juicing bowl, and strainer. There was more pulp accumulated in these parts (even after pre-washing) with the Slowstar than there was with most other vertical masticating juicers we tested. Positives for it in this category are its cleaning brush (with extra bristles) and the fact that most of its parts are constructed of stain resistant materials. The SW-2000-B earns a respectable 3.5 out of 5 for cleaning difficulty.
Ease of Use
In order to assess and score the ease of using any particular juicer we need to separate the initial difficulties of learning how to assemble it, prepare food for it, use it, and clean it from the continued difficulty of doing the same over time.
Initial Learning Curve
We’ve already discussed the initial difficulties of learning how to assemble the Slowstar, prepare food for it, and cleaning it earlier in this review. While we won’t discuss those same difficulties here, we will factor them into the overall score for the juicer in the ease of use category.
How Hard Is It to Push Produce into The Juicer?
Pushing produce into a vertical masticating juicer is very easy to do for reasons we describe in detail here. This stands in stark contrast to the difficulties associated with pushing produce into a horizontal masticating or twin gear juicer. Those difficulties are discussed at length here.
Other Design Choices and Features that Improve or Detract from Ease of Use
Weight and Carrying Handle
The Slowstar, fully assembled, weighs 14 lb. 4.2 oz. The body alone weighs 11 lb. 2.5 oz. The juicer is of average weight in both categories and as such its weight will neither boost (if it was much lighter and therefore easier to move around) nor detract (if it was much heavier than average and therefore more difficult to move around) from its score in the category.
Buttons and Controls
On the back of the main body of the juicer is a single switch that controls all juicer functions (of which there are only two – forward and reverse). The switch is clearly marked and labeled and easy to access.
The single switch that controls all juicer functions.
Juicer Movement, Power Cord Length
We didn’t observe any juicer movement during testing. Some juicers have the tendency to move around on the countertop (only by a few inches at most) during the juicing process. The Slowstar wasn’t one of them.
The SW-2000-B comes equipped with a 51.5-inch-long power cord. Its power cord is actually slightly shorter than what’s average for the slow juicers we tested. Most other slow juicers have a power cord between 60 and 70 inches in length. For more information regarding how power cord length effects the ease of using a juicer see the relevant section of our general buyer’s guide here.
The Slowstar’s 29-page manual is of above average quality. It’s not quite as comprehensive, complete, and as well illustrated as the manuals included with the Kuvings B6000 and Hurom HU-100SB (the best manuals we thumbed through for review), but it’s certainly of better quality and more complete than the manuals included with most Omega and (to a lesser extent) Breville juicers. The Slowstar’s manual at least touches on most important topics relating to proper assembly, disassembly, food preparation, and use and care of the juicer. The way in which it discusses these topics makes it easy for both new users to learn how to use and care for the juicer and for experienced users to reference certain parts of use and care that they may have forgotten over time.
Parts and Their Properties
Three of the many parts that compose a vertical masticating juicer make it more or less difficult to use. Those parts are the juice outlet cap, the juice container, and the pulp container.
Like most other vertical masticating juicers we tested, the Slowstar includes a removable juice cap that attaches to the juice spout of the juicing bowl. The juice cap was NOT included with earlier iterations of the Slowstar and so it isn’t mentioned in the juicer’s original manual. Instead of updating the included manual, Tribest instead includes a standalone pamphlet with the juicer that lists juice cap’s features and functionality (and how to clean it). These features include
- the ability to close the cap when switching juice containers
- the ability to mix juice within the juicing bowl
- the ability to pre-wash the juicer by pouring water into the feeding chute
A juice cap will always make a vertical masticating juicer easier to use for those reasons we listed above. It will never make it less easy to use.
The Slowstar’s juice outlet has a juice cap.
One of the benefits of a juicer having a juice cap is being able to mix juice within the juicing bowl (shown above).
The juicer’s included juice and pulp containers, on the other hand, may or may not make it easier to use depending on how small or large they are. When you juice a large quantity of produce, chances are that you’ll make more juice than what the juice container can hold. When the volume of juice extracted exceeds the volume of the juice container it needs to be emptied and replaced (placed back underneath the juice spout). Large containers make the juicer easier to use as large containers don’t need to be emptied and replaced as frequently as smaller containers do. The same principal applies to pulp. If the volume of pulp exceeds what the pulp container can hold then it needs to be emptied and replaced also.
The SW-2000-B’s included juice and pulp containers are both 36 oz. in volume. This volume is slightly larger than average for a juice container and slightly below average for a pulp container (compared to the 13 other slow juicers we tested).
The juice and pulp containers included with the Slowstar.
You can juice a lot of produce before having to empty and replace the Slowstar’s juice container.
Ease of Use Summary and Score
The Slowstar is slightly difficult to learn how to use but not very difficult to use once you’ve learned how to use it. It scores only average in most categories we outlined above when compared to the other vertical masticating juicers we tested. However, vertical masticating juicers, as a whole, are much easier to use than all other types of juicers we tested. As such, the Slowstar receives an above average 4 out of 5 for ease of use.
The Slowstar is a very versatile machine as it includes several bonus accessories that enable you to make much more than just juice. We’ve already discussed those accessories and how to setup the juicer to use them earlier in the review.
Build Quality and Materials
The SW-2000-B is constructed using mostly metal and plastic, the same as every other vertical masticating juicer on the market. Parts that come into contact with food are primarily made of plastic – the one exception being the juicing strainer which is made of plastic and stainless steel. The motor and associated parts are mostly made of metal.
The quality of the materials used to construct the Slowstar mirrors that of those materials used to construct similar parts on other high end slow juicers. Plastic parts are highly durable. Metal parts are as well. Those plastic parts that undergo the most stress during the actual juicing process are made of the thickest highest quality materials. The auger, for example, is made of a special type of plastic – ultem – that the manufacturer claims is 8 times stronger than regular plastics. Ultem is a proprietary polyetherimide (commonly shortened to PEI) thermoplastic that can withstand environments much more extreme (in terms of temperature, pressure, etc.) than those found inside of a juicer’s juicing bowl.
We very closely inspected all of the Slowstar’s parts to determine how well they are constructed compared to equivalent parts of other vertical masticating juicers.
Consumer reviews for the Slowstar are, for the most part, very positive. Among the 100s of consumer reviews we surveyed there are several negative reviews but most have nothing to do with the juicer’s durability.
Brand Reputation and Quality of Support
Tribest is widely known and well respected in the juicer community. They are most well-known for their twin gear juicer, the Green Star Elite. They first started manufacturing twin gear juicers in 1994, when they released the first iteration of the Green Star Elite, the Green Power Gold. It was not until 2003 when they released their first masticating juicer – the horizontal masticating Tribest Solostar – and not until 2013 when they released their first vertical masticating juicer – the Tribest Slowstar.
Note that at the time of the SW-2000-B’s release, vertical masticating juicers had already been on the market for well over 4 years. The Hurom HU-100 was the first such juicer released in the United States in July 2009. The Omega VRT 330 followed shortly after in August 2009. Thus, Tribest’s release of the Slowstar 4 years later in 2013 was much less the implementation of a pioneering original design and much more of an improvement of similar original designs implemented by Hurom and Omega in years past. The only original ideas that the Slowstar brought to the table were its double-edged auger (vs single edged augers on most other juicers of the same type) and a separate housing for mincing/homogenizing.
Probably because they have so much experience in the juicer industry, Tribest customer service is excellent. We found very little complaints regarding their customer support in the consumer reviews we surveyed.
The Slowstar comes with a 10-year warranty, but this warranty does NOT cover what Tribest considers to be certain “consumable” parts. The manual explicitly states that consumable parts “include but are not limited to” the auger, strainer, spinning brush, juice container, pulp container, cleaning brush, pulp pressure plug, sealing ring, and food pusher. In other words, the only parts that are covered are the feeding chute assembly, the juice cap, the juicing bowl, and the main body of the juicer (including the motor therein).
Another negative regarding the included warranty is the fact that Tribest absolutely requires that the included warranty card be filled out and returned to them within 10 days of purchase. If it is not returned within this 10-day grace period the warranty may not be honored.
Claiming Warranty Coverage
As we discussed above, Tribest has now been manufacturing juicers for well over two decades. All of their juicers are extremely popular, especially the Green Star Elite and Slowstar, and as such there’s absolutely no indication that the company will go away any time soon. You can rest assured that there is much greater chance of their being around to honor the included warranty than not. The only negative regarding claiming warranty coverage is the 10-day registration requirement we also discussed above.
Summary and Score
The SW-2000-B is very well built with very high quality materials. Its above average build quality and workmanship reflect its above average price. Consumer reviews confirm our own observations as there is little in the way of criticism of the juicer’s build quality in the consumer reviews we surveyed.
So far, so good, but things very quickly take a negative turn when we look at the juicer’s warranty. The Slowstar’s 10-year warranty is just as long as the warranty included with the Kuvings whole slow juicer, the Hurom HU-100, and the motor warranty included with the Breville Juice Fountain Crush. Omega warranties are slightly longer – the Omega VSJ843 comes with a staggering 15-year warranty. However, it is not the Slowstar’s warranty’s duration that is of any concern for us. Like we just mentioned, its warranty’s duration is similar to that of warranties included with most other vertical masticating juicers we tested. What is of much greater concern for us is what is excluded from the Slowstar’s warranty. We find it simply unacceptable for Tribest to exclude important parts such as the auger, strainer, etc. from the included warranty. In addition, we find it unacceptable for the manufacturer to require product registration for the included warranty to be honored. It is for these two reasons (warranty exclusions and product registration requirements) that we give the Slowstar a below average score in this category.
The Slowstar comes with an extra housing and feeding chute assembly that can be used for homogenizing/mincing. The only other extra part that is included that is not absolutely necessary for juicing is a sieve.
The sieve included with our purchase of the juicer.
The SW-2000-B retails for between $320 and $380, though it tends to be priced closer to the higher value ($380) most of the time. At this price point the Tribest is slightly more expensive than most horizontal vertical masticating juicers and slightly less expensive than most vertical masticating juicers on the market. Top rated horizontal units normally retail for around $300 while most vertical units are priced around $400.
Long Term Cost
Both the juicer’s durability and its included warranty impact the long term cost of owning it. That being said, what is by far the greatest factor impacting the long term cost of juicer ownership is the juicer’s performance. We go into great detail regarding this factor here. The gist of that write-up is the following: the greater the juicer’s performance (the higher its yields), the lower the cost of produce to make the same amount of juice. For example, if juicer A can make 10 oz. of juice out of 16 oz. of a particular fruit or vegetable while juicer B requires 32 oz. of the same fruit or vegetable to make the same amount of juice (10 oz.) then the cost of buying that fruit or vegetable for juicer A is obviously much less than it is for juicer B, assuming of course that the goal is to make a certain amount of juice (10 oz. in the example above). In other words, the cost of the 16 oz. of produce required to make 10 oz. of juice with juicer A is obviously much less than the cost of the 32 oz. of produce required to make the same amount of juice with juicer B. This is obviously an extreme example but the same principal applies with smaller margins. Recall that the Slowstar was an average performer in most of our juicing performance tests and therefore its value is only average with regard to its performance.
The Slowstar is very competitively priced for a vertical masticating juicer. However, its initial price only tells part of the story when it comes to its overall value. The other part of the “value story” is told by its long term cost of ownership. Long term costs associated with juicer ownership are dictated by the juicer’s durability, included warranty, and performance. While the Slowstar’s durability is excellent, its included warranty is not. And while it did perform above average in a few juicing performance categories, its performance was only average in most. We give the SW-2000-B only an average score of 3.5 out of 5 for value, despite its low initial cost compared to similar juicers.