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A blender is more than it used to be. Shop around, and you’ll find that the once-simple appliance has transformed into kitchen workhorse that moonlights as a food processor, ice cream maker, grain miller, and more. Some models even come in weird shapes and boast confusing features. So, what’s really worth your money?
Reading: best blenders for smoothies 2019
To make sense of it all, we’ve broken down all the best blenders on the market into four main categories: pro-style, affordable, personal, and immersion. Some models, like our favorite pro-style blender, the Breville Super Q, are versatile hybrid machines that cross between categories.
If you’re ready to start mixing, blending, crushing, milling, and whipping your way toward better food and drinks, these blenders will help.
1. The best pro-style blender: Breville Super Q Blender
A supercharged and super-quiet version of our previous winner from Breville, the Super Q is everything we look for in a professional-grade blender. From mixing liquids to finely milling almonds, this blender handled each task we threw at it with ease. It’s also a shape-shifter—the Super Q easily adapts into a food processor, ice cream maker, and personal blender with the addition of presets and included attachments.
The 12-speed Breville wowed us with its 68 oz. jar and sleek, intuitive design. Our fingers floated naturally to every button and knob, and the five included presets proved foolproof. That’s because they’re written out in words—there’s no need to decode any hieroglyphics or use trial-and-error. There’s even a distinction between making “smoothies” and “green smoothies.” The included 24 oz. travel cup is perfect for people who want to make their smoothies and go. We also loved the digital display that features a timer and precise setting controls.
If you’re looking for a quiet alternative to the typical whirring blender, the Super Q is a solid option—while it still makes noise when crushing ice and chopping up tough ingredients, the motor is noticeably quieter than that of every other model we tested. One thing we don’t love? The Super Q has a massive base that will take up some sizable real estate on your countertop. But if you’re looking for a quality, do-it-all blender that can replace multiple small kitchen appliances (and costs less than equivalent machines from Vitamix), this Breville is your best bet.
See more of the best pro-style blenders we tested and reviewed.
Get the Breville Super Q Blender on Amazon for $499.95
2. The best affordable blender: KitchenAid 5-Speed Diamond Blender
The KitchenAid KSB1575 Diamond blender is absolutely the best affordable blender we’ve tested. Frequently on sale for around a hundred dollars (depending on color), this five-speed model did exceptionally well in our chopping and mixing tests. It obliterated ice cubes into a fine slush, made creamy nut butter, and liquefied fruit and yogurt into a delicious smoothie.
Our testers liked the easy-to-read and intuitive controls, and each button has enough resistance that you shouldn’t worry about accidentally engaging the wrong setting. The components are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning, and KitchenAid’s five-year warranty is almost as good as the seven years offered by Vitamix.
The KitchenAid Diamond comes with a 60-oz. BPA-free jar, and is available in over 15 colors, including Boysenberry, Tangerine, Espresso, and the classic Empire Red.
See more of the best affordable blenders we tested and reviewed.
Get the KitchenAid 5-Speed Diamond Blender on Amazon for $109.99
3. The best personal blender: Ninja Fit
While it was a close race to the top, Ninja’s most basic model of their Nutri-Ninja, the Fit, ultimately earned its place as our favorite personal blender. It’s the Goldilocks of the category: not too big and powerful, not too small and weak, but just right. We were impressed by its speed and strength when whipping up fruit smoothies, which turned out smooth as can be, and its 700-watt motor’s relatively low noise level while grinding away.
While the blender’s design isn’t visually stunning, it’s black-and-silver base is sleek and unassuming and, most importantly, small and light enough to easily be stored away. The blender’s 16-oz. containers with measurement marks are similarly sleek and perfectly transportable (they come with tight travel lids!) for on-the-go sipping. The Fit requires users to hold the container down or use the “pulse” method while blending, but this precaution works to prevent motor burn-out and means the blender will last longer than many of its counterparts. It’s so fast, you might not even notice.
As a proud owner of the Fit for almost two years, I can attest to its capabilities throughout daily use (and misuse). I’ve used it to mix up smoothies and shakes, blend butternut squash soup, whip up salad dressing and dips, and even grind granulated sugar into powdered sugar. While I don’t recommend that last one, the Nutri-Ninja Fit has taken everything I’ve thrown at it in stride. If you’re looking for a multi-purpose personal blender that’s portable and powerful in equal measure, this is your guy.
See more of the best personal blenders we tested and reviewed.
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Get the Ninja Fit Blender on Amazon for $49.99
4. The best immersion blender: Breville Control Grip BSB510XL
Our highest-performing immersion blender in both the first and second round of testing, this Breville can do everything but cook your meal for you. Its shallow, bell-shaped blending head has a unique design that prevents it from suctioning to the bottom of blending cups, as well as a non-scratch base that won’t damage metal pots. Its wand is also long and sturdy, but not so heavy you’ll want to give up halfway through your task due to a sore arm. Backed by a 15-speed, 280-watt motor, these parts are a match made in blender heaven.
While the Breville blender wows on its own, its attachments are impressive bonus items that helped it breeze through our testing. The whisk attachment was perfect for whipping cream, and the food processor attachment quickly chopped pine nuts, garlic, and more for minimal-effort pesto. When it came time to make smoothies in its 42-ounce blending jug, I was pleasantly surprised to escape splatter-free. The jug also houses the blender’s 25-ounce chopping bowl for easy storage.
If you’re looking for a high-quality immersion blender with all the bells and whistles, this Breville was made for you. It can chop, whip, and emulsify without causing you to break a sweat, so it might just become your go-to kitchen gadget.
See more of the best immersion blenders we tested and reviewed.
Get the Breville BSB510XL Control Grip Immersion Blender on Amazon for $85
5. The best value Vitamix: A reburbished Vitamix 5300
Vitamix is a well-known name in blenders for a reason: Customers rave about the build quality and robustness of these American-made blenders. The 5200 series is one of Vitamix’s most popular and affordable blenders, but the 5300 series offers a more powerful 2.2-hp motor and a lower height that fits underneath cabinets.
We think the 5300 series’ $529 MSRP is a little too high. But if you buy one through the Vitamix Certified Reconditioned blender program, you can get the superior 5300 for under $300—even less than a new 5200 series. That’s what earned it our Best Value pick.
Vitamix says its reconditioned blenders are returned to original factory condition by the manufacturer, and come with a five-year warranty. Pair that level of manufacturer support with the powerful motor and incredibly low price, and you’ve got a fantastic deal on your hands.
Get the Vitamix 5300 Blender (Renewed) on Amazon for $249.95
6. The best budget blender: Kenmore 40708
Our budget pick, the Kenmore 40708, can be found for around $30 on sale. This simple, 6-speed blender may not feel as substantial as some others we tested, but it gets the job done.
For instance, this little blender made a yogurt smoothie faster than any of its competitors. Crushing ice was no problem, although it did struggle in our chopping tests compared to more expensive models.
However, our biggest complaint was this Kenmore’s lid, which was surprisingly difficult to remove. Still, given how well it actually blended, that’s a minor inconvenience we’re willing to tolerate. You get three colors to choose from, plus a two-year replacement warranty.
Get the Kenmore 40708 Blender on Amazon for $43.99
7. The best blender for smoothies: Magic Bullet Blender 11-Piece Set
If you’re on the hunt for a basic personal blender that will provide your daily smoothie/health shake and nothing else, consider the classic, oft-imitated Magic Bullet. Fast, simple, and very transportable, the Magic Bullet is designed with busy people in mind. While it only has a 250-watt motor, it’s strong enough to handle frozen fruit and most other ingredients with the appropriate amount of liquid added to the blending container.
Throughout testing, the Magic Bullet produced some of the silkiest smoothies with the least fuss. Thanks to their cylindrical shape (no crevices!), its blending containers were also a breeze to clean. Unlike the Nutri-Ninja, the Magic Bullet can also be turned on and remain on without being held down, an appealing convenience. This blender belonged to one of my housemates, and I used it to make smoothies most days for a full year. For the price, wattage, and functionality, you won’t find anything better.
Get the Magic Bullet Blender 11-Piece Set on Amazon for $33.67
8. The best value immersion blender: Braun MultiQuick 5 MQ505
While the base model doesn’t come with all the bonus attachments of the Breville Control Grip, the Braun Multiquick Hand Blender is a strong contender for the crown at a much lower price, making it our pick for best value. This two-speed, 300-watt blender was the fastest we tested at whipping cream and emulsifying oil into mayo, as well as one of the best at evenly blending a green smoothie.
Throughout testing, the Braun’s rippled blending head impressed us with its speed and ability to pull in ingredients without suctioning to the bottom of the blending container. Unfortunately, the head’s depth also caused it to trap sticky foods like garlic and chopped nuts, which meant it took more effort than usual to make pesto—but the final result was as smooth as can be. This Braun also has a shorter wand than many of its competitors, making it more difficult to use in deep pots, but easier to wield and store.
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Ultimately, Braun’s hand blender is a reliable, high-performing gadget that’s more than capable of helping you around the kitchen. It comes with a blending container and whipping attachment that will get you far, but if you’re really interested in a food processor attachment at a comparable price, consider buying the Braun MQ725, the next model up from this one—or check out the 4-in-1 blender from xProject.
Get the Braun MultiQuick 5 MQ505 on Amazon for $42.86
How We Tested
I’m Cassidy Olsen, Reviewed’s kitchen editor and former star employee of the first organic juice bar and cafe in Toms River, New Jersey. Well, “star” is probably a stretch—but I did work summers from ages 17 to 19 at this shop around the corner from my house, where I used professional-grade juicers and blenders to make smoothies and other drinks on a daily basis. When I wasn’t carefully crafting the store playlist or sneaking free baked goods from the counter, I was actually learning quite a lot about how these machines work.
Today, I continue to expand my knowledge by testing small kitchen appliances for Reviewed, including the best personal blenders and best immersion blenders. I have perosnally tested every product in this roundup except for the KitchenAid Diamond Blender, which was selected as our winner by former staff writer Matthew Zahnzinger.
With each category of blender on this list, we devised different tests and criteria for judging their performance.
Professional blenders need to handle everything from mixing and blending to crushing and milling, so we put our contenders through a range of tests to prove their worth. First, chopping—how well can the blender chop up chocolate candy, frozen strawberries, and hard almonds? Next, a mixing test determines how quickly and evenly the blender can blend two different colors of yogurt. The final two tests pose greater challenges, requiring the blenders to crush ice, mix fruit smoothies, and mill almonds into water to make smooth almond milk.
We used similar tests for the best affordable blenders, though we took into consideration that many of them aren’t designed for chopping solids like a food processor.
Personal blenders are primarily designed to make single servings of smoothies and shakes, so that’s where we focused our testing for that category. We ran each blender through two main tests—mixing brightly colored yogurt and blending up a strawberry-banana smoothie. The yogurt test was used as a visual indicator of mixing capabilities, demonstrating the blades’ reach within the container and how quickly the blender could mix distinct red and blue yogurt into a purple union. The smoothie test was exactly what it sounds like—how well can this blender whip up a fruit smoothie?
And for immersion blenders, we tasked each with making three main foods: whipped cream, mayonnaise, and pesto. For each of these tests, we used the proper blender attachments—whisk for whipped cream, food processor for pesto—when available.
In addition to all the data gathered from these tests, we also considered more subjective features, including the look and feel of the blenders, the intuitiveness of their controls, and how easy they were to clean. We also considered price, features, size, durability, warranty, and more when making our final rankings.
Personal Blender, Immersion Blender, or Full-Sized Blender?
If you’re not already a kitchenware connoisseur, you’re probably wondering, “Why are there so many types of blenders? Are they actually that different? Do I need to own every single one?!”
The answer to that last question is no, you don’t necessarily need all three. When it comes down to it, they all use the same mechanics to blend, mix, and pulverize food and drinks into whatever form you choose—but choosing which blender for your kitchen will make life a lot easier.
Full-sized blenders are great for making icy cocktails, health smoothies, milkshakes, and other drinks for more than one person at a time. High-end models, like our favorites from Breville and Vitamix, can also be used to make soups, dips, nut butters, and other tricky foods. These blenders are the ideal choice for larger households, people who like to entertain, and people who are very serious about cooking. They provide unparalleled power and speed that you won’t find in other blenders, which is the reason most models cost anywhere from $200 to $700.
Personal blenders, however, are ideal for individuals or couples who rarely need to blend a lot at once—they’ve exploded in popularity since everyone started juicing and making healthy smoothies for those post-gym vitamins. They’re easier to store, clean, and transport than full-sized blenders and their containers are ideal for on-the-go sipping. They’re also cheaper and less powerful, so they likely won’t stand the test of time the way full-sized blenders will. If you’re looking for a quick blending solution and don’t need to make a lot of anything at once, you can probably forgo a full-sized blender in favor of a personal one.
More and more companies are now launching “hybrid” blenders, which are compatible with both full-sized and personal blending containers. These are great for multi-person households that want things both ways.
Immersion blenders are the odd-one-out, but they’re incredibly useful and very versatile. Also called hand blenders, their wand construction and lack of fixed blending containers make them portable, simple, and perfect for hot foods. They often come with food processor and whipping attachments that make them true multi-use tools. I’ve used mine to make pesto, whip up homemade mayo and whipped cream, and blend butternut squash soup.
If you’re like me and enjoy cooking but aren’t trying to feed a family or outfit a full kitchen, an immersion blender and a hand blender can help you cover all your blending bases without taking up too much room. But if you’re serious about cooking and regularly serve more than two people, a pro-style blender is the right choice.
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
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