Help! Which Press Should I Choose? Our Buyer's Guide

Having your own fruit press can potentially be a very fun and worthwhile investment, especially if you have access to your own apples or indeed other fruit. It’s a great way of using up large quantities of fruit and there’s nothing quite like homemade cider, wine or fruit juice!

Deciding on which press to go for, however, will be your first hurdle to jump. As you’ve probably already noticed, you’re not exactly limited in choice, so with that in mind, here we’ll take a look at some of the basic things to consider.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Press

1. Apples or Soft Fruit?

The type of fruit you intend on pressing will largely be what determines which press you should go for. If you only plan on pressing soft fruit and in small quantities, then obviously a little press will be perfectly adequate. For producing larger quantities of wine, however, you may want to opt for a press with a larger tub simply so you can press more grapes at a time. See the Homesteader Press without Grinder here.

If you’re planning on producing cider and thus pressing apples, you’ll obviously want a bigger tub, but you may also consider getting a press with an apple grinder attached, as seen in our apple cider press range. The advantage to using one of these presses is that they can be used for both apples and other fruit.

Obviously it’s important to choose the right press initially as some presses won’t be suitable for certain fruit but with that in mind, the best option is to go for an apple press or large fruit press, as they will be strong enough to press apples as well as softer fruit if you choose to. A grinder is a good extra to have for apples, but isn’t necessary (you’ll just have to crush the apples into a pulp by hand) and can always be purchased separately at a later date. Please see our individual apple grinders.

attachable grinder

2. The Tub Size of the Press

Following on from above, the type of fruit you intend on pressing and the quantity you intend on producing will be the main determining factors of what size tub you get. As you can imagine, if you have a lot of apples to use then it would be worth getting a press with a bigger tub (maybe even a double-tub press like the American Harvester) and on the other hand, if you only intend on producing a small amount of juice from soft fruit, a small table-top press would be perfectly adequate.

Bigger presses are ideal for those with access to a lot of fruit, maybe even their own orchard, whereas smaller presses are obviously designed for the more modest hobbyist.

3. The Brand / Manufacturer

As with any product, some brands are better than others. The main thing to consider here is that obviously going for a trusted brand with a good reputation will likely serve you well. Here at Simply Cider Presses, we only carry presses from trusted, high quality manufacturers so you can rest assured that any press you buy from us is designed well and built to last. Our brands include Happy Valley Ranch, Jaffrey, Weston and The Yakima Press Company.

It also plays true for the most part with fruit presses that you get what you pay for. Of course, you may wish to build your own press if you’re that way inclined and wish to save money, but following a good press design and using high quality components will be just as important as going for a good brand. You can see our build-your-own kits including plans here: single-tub kit and double-tub kit. We also offer the occasional Happy Valley Ranch coupon as well as other special promotions, giving you the chance to save some money on a high quality, pre-constructed traditional press.

Here Would Be Our Recommendations

Best For Apple Pressing: Definitely consider a sturdy model with a grinder attached, like the PioneerHomesteader (with Grinder) or American Harvester. These will offer you the flexibility of grinding apples and other hard fruit, whilst also being suitable for soft fruit.

Best For Soft Fruit Pressing: For only grapes and other soft fruit for wine pressing, forgo an apple grinder with something like the standard Homesteader. A grinder can be added at a later date if needed.

Best For Very Small-Scale Pressing: A more affordable model such as the Weston will meet your needs, or even a simple table-top model such as the Yakima.

In Conclusion

As you can see, deciding on the right press to go for largely comes down to common sense, but it’s certainly worthwhile to give it some thought and not just go for the first press that catches your eye. As mentioned previously, a good option for a lot of people is to go for a sturdy press that can be used for both apples and soft fruit. This way you’re not just limited to soft fruit. Any of our apple presses with attached grinders meet this requirement.

Opting for a press designed for apples would simply mean you get an apple grinder attached but you can always purchase a grinder separately at a later date, should you decide you want to add one to a wine press, or even want one at all. Either way, it’s nice to be able to experiment with pressing both apples, grapes and other kinds of fruit, or at least have the option of doing so.

Hopefully this guide has given you a bit of guidance and perhaps pushed you in the direction of certain presses that would be most suitable for your personal situation. Your best bet would be to browse our entire range and see what stands out, and of course, just get in touch if you need a helping hand!

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