Packing and Assembly: My Philips Masticating Juicer arrived very carefully packed and each piece was in its own plastic bag. It was all inside a formed egg-crate type container to keep everything safe from any bumps or jarring. I was impressed with how well it was packed. The “Quick start up guide” assembly instructions were slightly confusing. Step 3 did not show which direction to insert the filter basket but there were better assembly images in the back of the “Always here to help you” booklet. Also, Step 4 and Step 5 looked alike to me in the Quick Start Guide (so I thought it was just a different viewpoint of the same step at first,) but I realized that Step 4 was showing how to insert a piece onto the front end and Step 5 was showing how to insert a similarly-shaped piece onto the back end. After that, it was quite easy to assemble. The assembly instructions in the back of the booklet are much more detailed and easier to figure out than the Quick Start Guide.
Food Preparation: Regarding the preparation of the fruit for my first use of the machine, I removed the banana peel, the stem of the apple, the stem on the grapes, and the pit of the nectarine. I did not remove the skin from the apple, nectarine or grapes and I did not remove the green leaves from the tops of the strawberries. All of that ended up in the pulp container so it was not necessary to remove it. I also cut up the pieces into sizes that would fit into the feeding tube.
Using the Juicer: The machine comes with a pusher to push the food down through the feeding tube. After feeding all of the fruit that I wished to add, I turned off the machine and pressed the pre-clean button to get the last of the juice into the collection container. (The collection container is a quart-sized acrylic container with measurements on the side. The rubber/plastic lid can fit on the container two ways. One way completely seals the container and the other way allows you to use the pour spout with a pulp filter that is built into the lid. ) If you don't wish to use the collection container, you could use any cup, glass, goblet, or bowl as long as it fits under the spout.
For my first attempt at juicing with this juicer, I added one each of a banana, nectarine, and apple, plus a large handful of strawberries, a small handful of red grapes, and enough fresh pineapple to bring the amount up to about a quart. All of my fruit was freshly purchased and not yet cold, but we were anxious to taste it, so we all immediately enjoyed a delicious glass of juice. I made another quart using the same recipe and put it in the refrigerator after juicing it and it was even better after it got cold. It was amazing to me to see how dry the parts of skin and pulp were that fell into the pulp container. After seeing the contents of the pulp container, I realized how thoroughly this juicer was working.
When you have finished juicing, there is a drip-stop button to push to keep extra drips from falling on the table or counter-top after you remove the collection container. However, the spout of my juicer already had some thick drips waiting to fall so pressing this button wouldn’t have kept the table clean unless I wiped the end of the juicer first. But it does prevent any additional drips from forming.
Cleaning: It was very easy to disassemble the parts that needed to be cleaned. After doing that, I rinsed everything to remove the juice and some of the pulp. Even though these parts are dish-washer safe, I hand-washed the pieces with dish soap and laid them on a drying mat to dry.
Safety: The instructions tell you to unplug the unit before assembly or disassembly. Also, the unit will not work if the parts are not properly assembled. This was not an issue with me, since it was easy to assemble it properly.
Footprint: The juicer is narrow (4.33 inches/11cm) and does not take up too much counter space. Also, because of its narrow size, I could easily fit it in the cabinet space without having to rearrange much.