Electric citrus juicers are great, especially if you like making big batches of lemonade or fresh-squeezed orange juice, but they’re impractical for recipes that call for just a couple of lemons or limes. That’s when a simple manual juicer comes in handy. It’s the sort of unassuming kitchen tool that you’ll find yourself reaching for again and again, for salad dressings, for cocktails, for baking, or for adding that critical hit of acid to whatever you might be cooking for dinner.
But there are good manual juicers, and there are bad manual juicers. Good ones will quickly extract more juice than you can by hand, and automatically strain out the pulp and seeds. Bad ones can take just as long, or longer, to juice a piece of fruit as your bare hands, and are just as messy. But, with so many models on the market, how do you tell the good from the bad? I put a whole bunch of top-rated citrus juicers to the test. Many hours, several hundred fruits, several gallons of juice, and two tired wrists later, here’s what I came up with.