The main difference between juicers and blenders is the consistency of the food or juice that each small appliance produces. While it may be assumed that a juicer is just a fancy, more expensive blender, juicers and blenders actually perform different functions. A juicer does not blend. A blender can pulverize foods, making them easier for hand juicing later, but it cannot make juice.
Blenders are more versatile than juicers and can be used for a number of purposes. A blender typically looks like a pitcher with a removable blade in the bottom. This removable bottom locks onto an electric base that has buttons or knobs which control the rotation or speed of the whirling blades. Manually tapping the control buttons of a blender is known as pulsing and can be used for making chunky salsas. Medium power can be used to make baby food or smoothies. High power, with occasional stops to hand stir, can even blend ice for cocktails such as frozen margaritas.
Juicers basically perform one function — making juice. They perform this function quickly and efficiently. Juicers use a blade similar to a cheese grater to shred fruits and vegetables into tiny bits. These bits are then spun to removes the liquid from the pulp. This action is similar to the way a washing machine spins to pull water out of clothing.
Juicing results in two products: juice and pulp. The juice trickles out of the spout of the juicer, and the pulp is collected in some sort of bin. While juicers may be marketed toward the health conscience consumer, it is important to note that juicing removes the fiber from fruits and vegetables, thereby removing one of the most beneficial parts of the fruits and vegetables.
Juicers and blenders differ greatly in ease of cleaning. Blenders can often be cleaned by simply rinsing with hot water. Depending on the use, thorough cleaning of a blender may even be achieved without removing the blades. Juicers, on the other hand, must be disassembled for cleaning after each use. Tiny bits of fruit or vegetable pulp are commonly stuck in the machine, requiring brushing and rinsing to remove. If not removed right away, these bits of food become difficult to scrub away, and the components of the juicer will have to be soaked in hot water to loosen them for proper cleaning, which can be an important consideration when buying juicers and blenders.