Which model Angel Juicer is best?

There is often some uncertainty as to what differences there are between models of Angel Juicers. All models are exactly the same in size and design and differ in only two ways:

  • automatic reverse for the 7500 and 8500S models (manual for the 5500), and;
  • 316 grade stainless steel gears, extractor housing, and housing cover for the 8500S (304 for the 5500 and 7500).

The 5500 model is the strongest and most reliable of the three available, with less functions being performed on the circuit board and a stronger steel on the screen and gears. It is durable and without compromise when juicing vegetables, leafy greens and firm fruits. A manual reverse function can be operated if the machine becomes congested. It is made entirely from grade 304 stainless steel, which is the most common form of stainless steel used around the world and stronger than grade 316.

The 7500 model is designed with an automatic reverse function, which senses blockages caused by overloading and automatically reverses in an effort to remove the congestion. Made entirely from 304 grade stainless steel.

The 8500S model also has the automatic reverse function, but the grinding gears, extraction housing and cover plate are made from grade 316 stainless steel. The body of this model is made from grade 304 stainless steel.

304 is the most commonly used food grade stainless steel; it is used in kitchen, food, dairy, brewing, hospital and sanitation applications.

316 is the second most commonly used food grade stainless steel, with the same uses as 304, but has better corrosion resistance because it contains the element molybdenum and has a higher percentage of nickel than 304. As such, it is often utilised in coastal regions and outdoor areas.

It is often assumed that grade 316 stainless steel is of greater quality than grade 304, however, this is not necessarily the case. Grade 316 stainless steel is more expensive to manufacture and is sometimes referred to as surgical grade steel due its biomedical applications. In a kitchen environment, grade 304 stainless steel usually suffices.

Because of the ability of grade 304 stainless steel to withstand the corrosive action of various acids found in fruits, meats, milk and vegetables, it is more often than not used for sinks, tabletops, coffee urns, stoves, refrigerators, milk and cream dispensers, and steam tables. Grade 304 stainless steel is also better for cooking utensils because of their constant use.

A more in-depth look and our opinion

When we’re asked to compare the three models, we begin with the reverse function. This is a function that should, if the juicer is being used correctly, be used only very infrequently. All three models, when congestion is sensed, will beep and shut off the motor to prevent further congestion and blockage. From there, either you press and hold the manual reverse button (as in the 5500) or otherwise the automatic reverse will kick in (as in the 7500 and 8500S), which performs a reverse-forward-reverse function to clear the blockage on its own. Our main concern with the automatic reverse function is that it runs off an additional circuit on the main circuit board, and the problem with this is that these are the weak point of any product. Should the circuit running the automatic reverse fail, the juicer is unusable until a new mainboard is installed. Now, circuits don’t fail all that often, but in our experience, the automatic reverse circuit is much more susceptible than any of the other circuits, meaning we’ve seen a higher failure rate for both 7500 and 8500S juicers.

The other aspect is, of course, the grade of steel, which is most often the difference used to market the 8500S as a superior unit.

The difference between 304 and 316 grade stainless steels is 316 has a slightly higher nickel content (10% in 316 vs 8% in 304), but it also has molybdenum added to the mix (2% molybdenum in 316 steel reduces the chromium content from 18% in 304 to 16% in 316).

The molybdenum content is usually the focus when comparing the two grades, as it is the primary element that gives 316 stainless steel greater corrosion resistance. The problem we’ve found is that many people don’t quite understand what this extra corrosion resistance is resisting, especially since the 8500S is often marketed as simply having better corrosion resistance than the 5500 and 7500 models. This isn’t untrue, but it’s also not entirely accurate in a kitchen environment.

When we talk about stainless steel, the ‘stainless’ part of the name suggests it won’t discolour or oxidise like regular steel does. The element that makes steel ‘stainless’ is the chromium, and this is how stainless steel becomes corrosion resistant and ensures it doesn’t rust when exposed to water or moisture in the air. Stainless steel made with chromium gives it a stable surface film of chromium oxide, which is stronger the more chromium is present in the mix. This oxide film is what creates the ‘stainless’ surface and is also self-repairing (to a degree).

The nickel content can offer further corrosion resistance in certain applications, but it’s added more for the fact that it makes the steel easier to form and weld, as well as making the steel non-magnetic.

Now we get to the molybdenum. Although most commonly marketed as giving grade 316 stainless steel greater corrosion resistance, it’s important to note it is a specific type of corrosion resistance, not a general or overall improvement. Molybdenum serves to provide greater resistance to chemical corrodents, such as sea water and brine (strictly speaking, salt is a chemical compound). This means grade 316 stainless steel is often seen in outdoor applications, especially in coastal regions, where salt corrosion can be a real problem. It is also used for medical tools (304 is also medical grade).

Since a kitchen appliance will not be subjected to the rigorous standards required in a medical environment, people focus on the corrosion aspect. As above, this is important in an outdoor situation, where the salt in the air can settle and remain on surfaces. The difference is, outdoors, no one is taking care of or cleaning any of the stainless steel, and without any protection like an appliance in a house, the salt is allowed to build up on the surface, causing rust. In a kitchen, it would be hard to see this kind of build-up, especially if the juicer is stored in a cupboard or kept even remotely clean on a benchtop, even more if it is getting any use at all. The front juicing section of the juicer is what’s being used and cleaned each time the juicer is used, meaning salt would never have a chance to build up on the surface as it does outside. Rather, it is the body of the juicer that sits as potentially the more vulnerable section, but it’s the body that remains grade 304.

If a kitchen appliance in a coastal kitchen was going to be susceptible to salt corrosion, one would see stainless steel pots and pans rusting much more frequently. Yes, it can and does happen, but when the whole juicer isn’t made of the corrosion resistant steel, this really won’t help in any way.

In all, the change from 304 to 316 grade stainless steel wasn’t made in order to offer better corrosion resistance. If this was the case, the whole juicer would have been switched to 316.

From our own research and understanding, grade 304 stainless steel is actually more resistant to the natural acids found in found. It is also considered just a little bit harder, and therefore stronger, than grade 316.