When it comes to juicing, most people think they have two options: a manual juicer—ending up with more hand cramps than a 12-year old with his first internet connection—or a full-on fruit and vegetable swallowing, juice-bar quality machine.

But if what you’re looking to do is simply extract fresh juice from citrus there’s another breed of juicer that’s electric, but not overkill. Behold, the Cuisinart Pulp Control Citrus Juicer. The machine features a citrus reamer at the top which, when an orange or grapefruit is pressed down on it, activates a motor that spins and quickly juices your citrus, spitting it out via a tiny spout at the bottom of the machine. Twist the reamer on this particular model and its slits click open, half-open and closed depending on whether you enjoy your juice clear or chewy.

Positive (+)
In practice the Pulp Control Juicer performs its sole function quite well. I juiced oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes. When I pressed their halves down with the included plastic cap into the reamer, the motor kicked in, dug through the fruit’s flesh and a stream of fresh juice shot forth from the spout and into my glass. There are no buttons – simply plug the machine in, press your fruit down and that’s it. It took around three or four oranges to make an entire glass of juice, but the machine did the work in a quarter of the time of a manual juicer. The adjustable reamer is an interesting addition, as the vents did provide the correct amount of pulp when they were clicked into the proper positions.

Negative (-)
For a machine that serves a single purpose, the Pulp Control Citrus Juicer is a bit on the husky side (it stands a little more than a foot tall and nearly seven inches wide) and its motor is rather loud, too, grunting and groaning as though it were doing more than spinning a reamer. I also wish the reamer was a bit larger (it’s a stretch for larger grapefruits) and that its vents clicked open and closed in a smoother fashion.

Verdict
Consider the Cuisinart Pulp Control Citrus Juicer the weatherman of kitchen appliances — it serves a single function and sometimes you’re not really sure if it’s really all that useful. I wondered if I’d really use the appliance often enough for it to warrant the cabinet space, and I wasn’t entirely sure. But if you’re looking for a simple citrus juicer that is better than a manual and not as overkill as a larger model, then it’s a solid choice. It’s priced right, too. [$30; cuisinart.com]


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