- Easy to assemble
- Reasonably easy to use
- Requires just as much food preparation as other centrifugal juicers – very little
- Well below average performance test results except when juicing grapes
- Introduces a lot of pulp into the juice when juicing harder produce (does introduce less when juicing softer produce)
- Major performance issues – produce bounces around in its feed chute which is a safety concern on top of reducing the juicer’s performance and potentially its longevity
- Not a great value despite its low price because of major performance issues
- 1 Category Scores
- 2 Assembly
- 3 Food Preparation
- 4 Performance
- 5 Cleaning
- 6 Ease of Use
- 7 Versatility
- 8 Durability
- 9 Value and Recommendations
|Ease of Use||3.5|
All category scores are out of 5.
- Food pusher
- Juicer cover (with feed chute)
- Filter basket
- Filter bowl
- Motor base (main body)
- Juice container
- Pulp container
Assembly of the VonShef juicer involves exactly the same steps as those steps required for the assembly of most other centrifugal juicers on the market, with one exception. Most other centrifugal juicers come equipped with a safety locking arm. The safety locking arm is permanently attached to the main body of such juicers. This arm is rotated from an unlocked horizontal position to a locked vertical position during assembly. The arm is normally made of a tubular stainless steel. The tubular design of the arm allows it to fit over and hook into matching grooves on the front and back of the cover of the juicer. It is the downward force exhibited by the safety locking arm in its vertical locked position that keeps the cover and filter bowl of juicers that implement this design securely in place.
In lieu of using a safety locking arm to secure its filter bowl and cover in place the VonShef juicer uses two latches instead. These latches are permanently attached to the main body of the juicer, just like a safety locking arm is permanently attached to the main body of most other centrifugal juicers. There is one latch on the front of the VonShef juicer and one latch on the back of the juicer. Both latches get pulled up and over the juicer’s cover to secure it and the filter bowl in place.
This latch design was implemented on only four of the seventeen centrifugal juicers we tested for review – the VonShef, the highly rated Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Pro, the Juiceman JM250 and the Black and Decker JE2200B. The only thing all four of these juicers have in common, other than this latch design, is the fact that all four are budget juicers, retailing for about $50 US. Thus, it’s only reasonable for us to assume that manufacturers implement this design for no other reason other than to save in the cost of manufacturing. All of the higher end more expensive centrifugal juicers we tested come equipped with stainless steel safety locking arms which are generally more durable and do a better job securing the juicer’s parts in place.
The VonShef’s only unique design feature are the latches that secure its filter bowl and cover in place. These latches are not as durable (they are made of a lower quality material and work by a mechanism that is more susceptible to breaking over time) as the safety locking arms implemented on most other centrifugal juicers. They also do not work quite as well as safety locking arms in securing the juicer’s filter bowl and cover in place. But do they make assembly more difficult? Hardly. Sure, having to pull up and secure two different mechanisms (two latches) takes a little bit more time than having to pull up and secure only one (a single safety locking arm) but the time difference is extremely insignificant. Performing the former process (pulling up latches) is also more difficult than performing the latter process (pulling up a safety locking arm) but only by the narrowest of margins.
The VonShef juicer receives a 5 out of 5 for assembly difficulty. Having to secure its filter bowl and cover in place using latches does make it ever so slightly more difficult to assemble than most other centrifugal juicers we tested, but not enough so for us to feel justified even removing a fraction of a point from its perfect score in the category.
This juicer features a feeding chute 3 inches in diameter – the same diameter as the feeding chutes of most other centrifugal juicers we tested for review, including the five Breville centrifugal juicers we tested and seven other centrifugal juicers by other brands. When juicing with a slow juicer several different considerations need to be made when evaluating how much different types of produce need to be cut before they can be juiced – some of these considerations extend beyond simply considering the juicer’s feeding chute size and cutting produce to a size that will fit into its chute. For centrifugal juicers such as this VonShef juicer, the only consideration that needs to be made is whether the produce you want to juice will fit into the juicer’s feeding chute. If it won’t, cut it to a size that will fit. If it does, no cutting is required.
Looking down the VonShef’s feeding chute.
We juiced five different fruits and vegetables with the VonShef juicer to test its “juicing performance”. We’ll have more on the actual results of those tests in just a bit. For now, it’s important to note that we only needed to cut one of those five fruits and vegetables to fit it into the VonShef’s feeding chute. All four other fruits and vegetables required no cutting at all. We could juice them whole. The table below lists the particular fruits and vegetables we juiced and how much cutting was required before we could juice them with most centrifugal juicers we tested, including the Vonshef.
|Fruit/Veg.||Size of Cuts||Time to Cut||Avg. Time to Cut|
|Oranges||no cutting required|
|Grapes||no cutting required|
|Carrots||no cutting required|
|Celery||no cutting required|
|Chute Size||3″ diameter|
Note: the time above is in seconds. For a comparison of “time to cut” vs. “avg. time to cut” see here.
The VonShef juicer performed very poorly in most of our juicing performance tests. Most of its recorded yields were bottom three or bottom four results. Recall that we tested seventeen different centrifugal juicers; thus a bottom three result means that fourteen other juicers we tested garnered better results in most tests than the VonShef. This table found in our general buyer’s guide lists exact yields for the VonShef and all other centrifugal juicers we tested. Note how much less of a yield the VonShef was able to obtain in most tests.
We observed a unique phenomenon juicing with the VonShef – one that we didn’t observe with any other centrifugal juicer we tested. Produce fed into the juicer had a tendency to bounce around the inside of its chute.
A carrot fed into any other centrifugal juicer’s feeding chute remains in a stationary upright position as it’s pushed with a food pusher down the juicer’s chute and into the its rotating filter basket. Observe above how the carrot fed into the VonShef’s feeding chute bounces around the inside of the chute on its way down into the VonShef’s filter basket. Why did this phenomenon occur when juicing with the VonShef? We hypothesize that a few different things could have caused it. For one, it’s possible that the filter basket’s blades weren’t sharp enough to cut into the carrot with sufficient force to keep it in place as it was pushed down. A second theory is that the filter basket wasn’t spinning at a high enough velocity for the blades to properly cut into the carrot to keep it in place.
In any case, what caused this phenomenon isn’t nearly as important as what its implications are. And its implications are many. First, it makes for a much less smooth, more violent, almost frightening juicing experience. We were fearful that the carrot bouncing around the inside of the juicer’s plastic feeding chute might cause the cover or chute to crack and cause pieces of produce and/or pieces of plastic to become airborne and possibly cause injury while we were juicing. Second, this phenomenon, we feel, is very likely to reduce the longevity of the juicer. So much violence occurs with each piece of produce that is juiced that it cannot be good for the longevity of all of the parts involved in the juicing process. Outside of plastic parts cracking, it’s also possible that this phenomenon can cause other parts made of more durable materials (such as stainless steel) to break more easily and more quickly than they would otherwise.
The VonShef juicer’s body has a stainless steel finish. The stainless steel used for this finish is not of a high quality. In all of our testing, we found that there was a distinct difference in the difficulty of cleaning high quality stainless steel versus cleaning low quality stainless steel. For the most part, we found that the former was much easier to clean than the latter. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that we did not find the low grade stainless steel finish of the VonShef juicer easy to clean.
On the positive side of things, the juicer does come with a black plastic pulp container, food pusher, and filter bowl. The dark color of these parts make them highly stain resistant and easy to clean so that they actually look clean. Conversely, the juicer’s clear plastic cover is much less stain resistant. We also found it difficult to clean to such an extent that it actually looked like it was cleaned after washing and drying it (we noticed a lot of smudges on it after cleaning it). Note that the VonShef’s clear plastic cover is not uniquely stain susceptible or difficult to clean. We found most of the clear plastic covers of most of the centrifugal juicers we tested to be made of similarly low quality plastic that is susceptible to the same problems (stains, scratches, and smudges) as those of the VonShef’s clear plastic cover.
A problem that is unique to the VonShef is the following: we noticed pulp spraying out from underneath its cover while we were juicing with it. Now granted, it wasn’t much of a spray – more like a trickling. But it occurred nonetheless. And it required additional cleaning of the juicer’s main body and the kitchen countertop on which we juiced after we finished juicing.
One more additional note is that the cleaning brush included with the VonShef wasn’t of a very good quality. This made cleaning its filter basket more difficult than it would have been had a higher quality brush been included.
The cleaning brush included with the VonShef juicer.
Dishwasher Safe Parts
All of the VonShef’s parts are dishwasher safe, except for its body of course. For comparison, most parts of most other centrifugal juicers are also dishwasher safe. Some models have certain parts that aren’t. For example, the food pushers included with most Breville centrifugal juicers are not dishwasher safe. In any case, we do want to note that we did not clean the VonShef’s parts using a dishwasher when we tested it for review. We always washed all parts by hand, which is something that we recommend that consumers do as well for all of the reasons that we enumerate here.
Cleaning Summary and Overall Score
There are positives and negatives to the VonShef’s design, in terms of how they affect the ease with which the juicer can be cleaned. On the positive side of things, it has a black plastic filter bowl, pulp container, and food pusher. Black plastic is easy to clean and hides stains very well. On the negative side of things, the juicer’s body’s low quality stainless steel finish is difficult to clean and keep looking clean. The juicer also doesn’t make a very good seal between its filter bowl, cover, and pulp container which allows some pulp to spray out of the bottom of the cover. This creates an additional mess that needs to be dealt with every time the juicer is used. Weighing these positives and negatives and putting proper emphasis on each, the VonShef earns only a 2.5 out of 5 for cleaning difficulty.
Ease of Use
The VonShef is a two speed juicer. This means that each time the juicer is used it has to be set to either a low speed (by turning its knob to the setting marked “1”) or a high speed (by turning the knob to “2”). Which setting is used is dictated by the characteristics of the produce that is to be juiced. Softer fruits and vegetables should be juiced on the lower setting while harder produce should be juiced on the higher setting. By VonShef’s estimation, exactly what constitutes a “soft fruit” and what constitutes a “harder” fruit or vegetable is a determination that can be left up to the consumer. The user manual only states that the “low speed setting is suitable for juicing soft fruits and vegetables” and that the “high speed setting is suitable for juicing harder fruits and vegetables”. It does not list any examples of specific fruits and vegetables. In contrast, all Breville multi-speed juicers come with user manuals that include a detailed “speed selector” table. This table lists specific fruits and vegetables and which speed setting should be used for each.
We talk about why multi-speed functionality makes a juicer equipped with such functionality inherently difficult to use in other reviews such as this one. The VonShef juicer makes this difficulty even worse by not being more detailed and comprehensive in its coverage of proper speed selection in its user manual.
Weight, Power Cord Length, Juice and Pulp Containers
The VonShef juicer, fully assembled weighs exactly 7 lb. 11.3 oz. The body alone weighs only 5 lb. 6.8 oz. Both of these measurements are below average compared to most other centrifugal juicers we tested for review. This makes the VonShef juicer one of the lighter juicers we tested.
The VonShef’s power cord was measured to be 46 inches long. Compare this length to 41 inches – the average power cord length in the centrifugal juicer category.
The VonShef’s pulp container was measured to have a volume of 64 oz. While not as large as the pulp containers included with higher end Breville juicers, 64 oz. is still a decent volume compared to those pulp containers included with most other centrifugal juicers we tested. The VonShef’s juice container was measured to have a volume of 36 oz. Again, while not as large of a volume as the volume of those juice containers included with most Breville juicers, this volume is of comparable size to most other juice containers of most other centrifugal juicers we tested, and most other such juicers on the market. Of particular note is the fact that the juice container included with the VonShef has gradations marked only in milliliters, not in ounces. Most other juice containers of most other centrifugal juicers we tested have gradations marked in either millimeters and ounces or only in ounces.
Ease of Use Summary and Score
The Von Shef’s score in this category is determined by more than just those qualities we discussed above. We also take into consideration assembly difficulty, cleaning difficulty, and the overall ease of juicing with the juicer (feeding produce into its chute, etc.) when determining this score. That being said, the VonShef receives an average 3.5 out of 5 for ease of use.
See here for general comments regarding centrifugal juicer versatility and why we give most centrifugal juicers the same 3 out of 5 score in this category.
Build Quality and Materials
The VonShef juicer is definitely made of lower quality materials and parts than most of the more expensive more highly rated centrifugal juicers we tested. Right out of the box we immediately noticed that the plastic parts composing the juicer were made of a very low quality plastic and that its stainless steel parts (its finish and its filter basket) were made of a low grade stainless steel.
The VonShef’s filter basket on the left and a Breville centrifugal juicer’s filter basket on the right.
Brand Reputation, Quality of Support, and Warranty
The back of the juicer’s user manual states that “VonShef is a registered trademark of Designer Habitat Ltd.” and that the juicer is made in China. It also lists a website: www.vonshef.co.uk. This website lists a UK phone number as the only means of contact. There is no email or physical address listed anywhere on the site. Digging a little bit deeper we found that designerhabitat.co.uk redirects to domubrands.com. The “About” page of domubrands.com states that the company is “based in the heart of Manchester (UK)”. The “Contact” page of the same site does list a physical address in the UK and the same UK phone number as is listed on vonshef.co.uk. The same page also lists a support email, although it’s unclear as to whether this email is intended for product support, specifically, or not.
We feel it’s reasonable to conclude from the above, that VonShef is nothing more than a brand owned by Domu Brands, which was formerly known as Designer Habitat Ltd. Domu Brands is based in the United Kingdom. The company appears to brand (mostly) made in China products based on their use in the home. Kitchen products are branded “VonShef”, home and garden products are branded “VonHaus”, makeup and jewelry products are branded “Beautify”, fitness products are branded “Gold Coast”, and pet related products are branded “Milo & Misty”.
The juicer we tested for this review came with a 1-year warranty. The warranty doesn’t make any peculiar exclusions, but it does state that in order to make a warranty claim, consumers will have to re-package and return the juicer in “its original colour box”. This is a unique requirement that we did not find listed in the warranty terms for any of the other juicers we tested for review. Note this 1-year warranty can be extended, likely to 2 years. The “Warranty” page at VonShef.com contains an online form that can be filled out to register the juicer after you purchase it. At the top of the page it is states that “All products come with a standard 1-year manufacturer’s warranty” but that “You can now register for an extended warranty for free”. Exactly by how many months or years the warranty is extended by after registration is completed isn’t stated anywhere on the page. Although we feel it’s safe to assume that it’s extended by 1 year (so that the warranty is 2 years long in total) as certain retail sites online state that the juicer comes with a 2-year warranty.
Summary and Score
We write about how we feel about made in China branded products, relatively unknown companies, and their relatively unknown brands in our review for the Dash, Big Boss, and Bella juicer, respectively. Dash is the “kitchen brand” for a company called Storebound. Big Boss is the kitchen brand for a company called Emson. Bella is the kitchen brand for a company called Sensio. The relationship between the VonShef brand and Domu Brands is the same as the relationship between Dash and Storebound. Vonshef is nothing more than a name and so is Dash, Big Boss, and Bella. The difference between the latter three brands and VonShef, is that products branded Dash, Big Boss, and Bella are regularly found at brick and mortar retail stores. VonShef juicers and other kitchen products, likely because Domu Brands is based out of the UK, are not. They are, at least at the time of the writing of this review, only available at online retail outlets and stores.
At the time of our reviews for Dash, Big Boss, Bella, and VonShef juicers, we had never heard of any of these brands or companies before. That is because all of them are relatively new and as of the writing of each review, unproven. We wouldn’t feel comfortable purchasing a product from any of these companies if only because of their unproven track record. There’s no history of their products being reliable and durable. And there’s no telling whether they will even exist in the one or two years after you make your purchase of their products and could want to claim a warranty through them. Add in the fact that the VonShef juicer is of particularly low quality (in terms of the materials used for its construction) from the get-go, and the fact that certain performance issues give us great concern about the longevity of many of its parts and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this juicer receives the lowest score possible in the category – a 2 out of 5.
Value and Recommendations
The Vonshef is a very tempting option among all of the centrifugal juicer options available, if only because of its very low price. It normally retails for anywhere between $50 and $60. Most similarly priced juicers (including the aforementioned Bella, Big Boss, and Dash juicers) have many of the same problems as the VonShef – they’re built using low quality parts and materials, the brand behind them has an unproven track record, and they offer lackluster performance (in terms of the yields they produced in our performance tests). The one exception at this price point is the Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Pro. It’s not quite the high quality juicer that more expensive options are, but it offers a reasonable amount of durability and well above average performance – and normally at less than $60. If you’re able to spend a bit more our overall recommendation in the centrifugal juicer category is the Breville Juice Fountain Compact. We talk about all of the reasons we recommend the Compact in great detail in its review and in our general buyer’s guide.