Updated: May 9, 2015
Blender Reviews:No kitchen is complete without a blender. These small kitchen appliances are irreplaceable when it comes to making mixed drinks and cocktails, milkshakes, smoothies, or for chopping up cooking ingredients. The old standard counter-top blenders are still the most popular. New names have emerged in this growing category - Ninja, Vitamix, and Blendtec. I grew up with Oster and Cuisinart but in the latest findings from Consumer Reports those names aren't even in the top 10 rankings. Do you really need to spend $450 on the newest Vitamix blender to get the best results. Per CR, you can still spend less than $100 on other brands and get very similar results. We set out to find which blenders perform the best and hold up to all the claims listed by their manufacturers. Expert opinions from Consumer Reports, Popular Mechanics, Good Housekeeping, and Cooks Illustrated led us to the findings below. Keep reading to see which top rated blenders made our list.
Choosing a Blender - Some of the key features that any consumer should be looking for in a blender are things like - the ability to crush ice, make purees, produce icy drinks (Margaritas), or perhaps heat up soups. Yes, both the Blendtec and VitaMix claim their spinning blades are so fast they can heat soup or coffee. Not sure that is what I would want from a blender, but they are capable. Plastic vs glass container? I prefer the sturdy, yet heavier glass containers for my blenders, but the plastic ones hold up just fine. How about noise levels? My kids hate it when the blender is one. The Ninja and Breville scored ok for noise levels and most others are just 'noisy'. What about long term durability? The 10 winners from CR showed excellent durability, but that is not based on years of use (only on ice crush tests). We say you need to scour the Amazon.com reviews for certain brands and see what owners have written online. Many say the KitchenAid brands develop cracks and leaks. Even the Waring Pro that I bought was considered suspectible to leaks, although I have yet to see any in 3 years of use. Also, consider how easy the unit will be to clean. Most are dishwashwer safe (containers and lids) - many people still handwash their blenders though. Are they easy to store? Most fit nicely in cupboards or kitchen cabinets and many fit just nicely on your countertop. Price? The Ninja was the cheapest we could find with excellent ratings ($50) while the BlendTec is over $450. After reading all the reviews I would say something in the $100 or less range should be fine. Blender Reviews - Cook's Illustrated tested models from Hamilton Beach, KitchenAid, Waring Pro, Oster, and 5 others. Consumer Reports tested 65 blenders (the most extensive we could find) and came up with 10 winners. Popular Mechanics only did a 5 blender test, but they included a nice video comparison on their website. The results vary from expert to expert which tells you that there is no clear winner for a category like this. We typically go to Amazon.com to see what consumers are saying about these products. Ultimately we feel that owners can give you the best advice on how these machines run and how reliable they are. Oster has some of the most popular models on Amazon while the Ninja Master Prep Professional scores the highest when it comes to performance and price combined. Consumer Reports pretty much agreed with all the reviews we found on Amazon.com. Sure, you can buy the high end blenders from Breville or Waring Pro, but it's probably not necessary given that the Ninja does all that they do and for much cheaper. RECOMMENDED - We suggest that you browse the best selling blenders online here.