The Omega VRT350 is an upright slow juicer, also known as a masticating juicer. On paper, it is the ideal choice if you want the upright, space saving looks of a centrifugal juicer, and the nutrient preserving, high yield of a masticating juicer. But how does it fare in real life? I take a closer look in my Omega VRT350 review.
Note: The Omega VRT350 is also known as the Omega VRT350 HD (or Heavy Duty).
The first stop in my Omega VRT350 Review is the most obvious advantage…
+ Space Saving
The Omega VRT350 has a small footprint. At 6.5″ x 9″ (and 15.75″ height), it will fit nicely into a small kitchen. Compared to the Omega 8004 / 8006 which has a footprint of 14.5″ x 6.5″ + the protruding auger, this is a significant saving.
+ Quicker to Prepare
The Omega VRT350 has a larger feed chute – at about 2.25″ x 1.25″ in a curved ‘bean’ shape, vs. about a 1.5″ diameter circle for the 8006. This means that fruit and vegetables won’t need to be cut as much for the VRT350 than for the 8006. However, produce with long fibres, such as celery, will still need to be cut into pieces so that the long fibres don’t wrap around, and clog, the slowly rotating auger.
+ Less Effort
Most produce is pulled through the auger with no assistance from you (e.g. carrots, cucumber, large leafs). This means you won’t need to stand over it with the plastic pusher, putting your weight on everything to push it through. You’ll only need to use the pusher for small pieces of produce, or to unjam things when they get stuck.
Tip: Let the machine work at its own pace. Don’t force things which are already being pulled through, otherwise you will clog the auger.
+ Better for Hard Fibers
This juicer is better than the Omega 8006 for hard fiber produce like carrots and celery, squeezing out more juice. How? It has a tight flap at the pulp ejection port. This builds tension, keeping the pulp in for longer and squeezing it drier. Once a sufficient volume of pulp has built up, it will work its way out of the port.
Like the 8006, this is suitable for early morning / late night juicing.
+ 10 Year Warranty
In my Omega VRT350 review, I found it to have a lot of moving parts. And in my opinion, the more moving parts, the more that can break. However this concern is answered by Omega who guarantee the machine for 10 years. While the warranty is longer on the 8006 (at 15 years), it is still sufficient.
And just like the 8006, it is made by Omega, a market leading brand who have been around forever. They are more likely to be around in 10 years to honor the warranty, rather than some company who have only been around for a year. This is very reassuring, and, in my opinion, a key point in my Omega VRT350 review.
Next in my Omega VRT350 review I will cover the disadvantages:
– Not Ideal for Leafy Greens ALONE
If you’re juicing only wheatgrass or leafy greens or sprouts, you will find less of a yield than with the 8006. It will tend to gum up around the auger, reducing the amount of produce which is juiced.
In my opinion, this is because of the pulp ejection flap. Because leafs are light, it simply doesn’t have enough ‘weight’ to push through the flap, so instead it just clogs up around the auger.
But if you drink your leafy greens, wheatgrass or sprouts with other things (carrots, apples, pears, celery etc.), then this is not a problem at all. If you rotate your produce (e.g. a piece of apple, small handful of leaves, piece of carrot, handful of wheatgrass, few pieces of celery, handful of sprouts etc.), then this problem disappears completely as the harder fibers add enough mass to keep it moving through the system. Enough mass to build the tension which wrings the pulp out drier, before it pushes itself through the ejection flap.
– Longer to Clean
The Omega VRT350 takes about 4 minutes to clean, whereas the 8006 takes about 2.
Omega VRT350 Review: Conclusion
And now for the question you’ve been thinking throughout: “Is this the juicer for me?”
If you’re planning on juicing leafy greens, wheatgrass or sprouts ALONE, this is not the machine for you. At this price range the Omega 8006 does a better job.
In my opinion though, these will only apply to the minority. While wheatgrass, kale and sprouts are exceptionally nutritionally dense, they are also exceptionally hard to drink. The taste is just awful. This is why recipes almost always contain produce for taste (carrots, beetroot, apples, pears etc.) because then it’s a joy to drink.
If you’re someone who absolutely despises cleaning up, then this probably isn’t for you either. Considering its 4 minute clean up time, you’d be better off (again) with the Omega 8006. There’s no use in having the smallest masticating juicer if it just sits in your kitchen unused because it takes longer to clean.
If you have arthritis, this machine is perfect for you since you will hardly need to push produce into the auger.
If you want to juice leafy greens with other produce, this machine is for you.
If you have little space in your kitchen, the Omega VRT350 is the juicer for you.