It seems that everyone is blending smoothies these days as people are trying to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into a healthy diet. Owning a quality blender in your kitchen will not only help in producing fresh smoothies but you can blend drinks, make salsa, crush ice, and much more with todays modern blenders. There are dozens of websites with reviews on all the latest blenders and we read up on all the top sellers to see just which blenders performed the best. We like reading the owner reviews on Amazon.com to see what real people have to say and not just follow all the laboratory findings from manufacturers. The Wall Street Journal and Good Housekeeping have done reviews on blenders and come up with their winners, although their testing is not as thorough as that done by Consumer Reports (CR).
CR did a recent blender test with 31 blenders and ran them through a bunch of tests to find out which ones live up to expectations. They made frozen drinks, smoothies, crushed iced, and pureed vegetables. Almost all blenders will make smoothies just fine as CR reported but not all crushed ice (many failed). In all the reports we read online or in magazines about blenders, there is little difference between the $400 models and the less expensive products. For an extra $300 you can get better food processing ability, but for basic blending needs, the sub $100 blenders did a pretty good job. Most blenders capacities range from 5 to 8 cups and speed variations were Cuisinart with just 3 all the way up to 16 on the Blendtec. Most people prefer a glass jar for blending although some of the higher priced blenders offer a plastic jar instead which is more easily damaged by scratches. All are noisy, so you can't avoid the 30 to 60 seconds of ear numbing blending. In terms of convenience, I prefer a blender that has dishwasher safe parts since trying to hand clean around blades is not very fun. It was surprising to me that the most expensive Vita-Mix 5000 did not have dishwasher safe parts. I own the Braun PowerMax MX2050 (after seeing it score well in reviews) and it hasn't let me down at all. Other budget models rate fairly high too like the Oster Counterforms ($80). We did see that the George Foreman Brainstorm was listed on several sites but no one gave it any terrific feedback, so we will leave it off our list of "best buys" for now. Kitchen Aid blenders have always been more expensive than other brands but their durability is questioned by some. Other top blender brands are Breville, Oster, Villaware, Waring, Hamilton Beach, and Blendtec. You can view all the best selling blenders on Amazon here.
RECOMMENDED Oster has been around for decades and I grew up with one of their blenders in my family. Oster consistently rates right up near the top in ratings of blenders. The Oster 4093 Classic Beehive Blender ($60) remains a top seller and customers have mostly good things to say about it. The Oster blender has a 500 watt motor which will blend, chop, grind, grate or crush ice. There are only 2 speeds, but the low-speed pulse function lets you still have some control. The glass container holds 40 ounces and is dishwasher safe. The chrome color make this a classic for any kitchen. It's been a top seller on Amazon for years and owners say it's a "whirl of a blender" and "blends as promised". You can't beat it for the price. BUY IT HERE.
Best Value Blender:
RECOMMENDED - An even more popular yet cheaper blender is the Braun PowerMax MX2050 ($50) which also gets excellent reviews not only from customers but from Consumer Reports in their latest survey on blenders. The Braun blender has a 525 watt motor with a 58 ounce capacity. The glass jar lets you pour from 3 different positions, the parts are dishwasher safe, and there are 5 speeds plus a pulse setting. The stainless steel blade will crush ice almost as effectively as the high price models. Customers rave about this blender saying "it's worth the money" and "best value blender I've ever bought". You can purchase it online at Amazon.com or in department stores like Sears or Target. Browse the most popular blenders on Amazon.com here.
RECOMMENDED Commercial blenders are not what everyone needs in their home, but for people that entertain alot with house parties having a professional quality blender in the kitchen can be a life saver. The Waring 7011S blender is a top rated commercial blender, but we recommend the Vita-Mix 1300 TurboBlend 4500 ($350) with it's recent rating by Consumer Reports. It scores #1 in several sites in making icy drinks and for durability, you get a 5 year warranty on this model (most others only offer a 1 year warranty). The manufacturer stands by their product and it appears from expert tests that the Vita-Mix 1300 blender performs up to its claims. The drawbacks to this blender are that it can run noisy, the parts are not dishwasher safe, and it doesn't include a pulse function. The high performance blender will also prepare things like nut butters and frozen treats. It has an 8 cup capacity and features 2 speed controls on the motor. RECOMMENDED - Another excellent product is the Blendtec Home TB-621-BHM The Professional's Choice 1500-Watt Total Blender - commercial quality blender. This countertop blender has 1500 watts of power with a 3HP direct drive motor. There are preprogrammed blending cycles, a digital touchpad with controls, and auto shutoff. The 2 prong stainless steel blade spins up to 29,000 rpm and crushes ice without a problem. The blending jar holds 32 ounces and is square shaped. You get a 3 year motor base warranty and a 1 year warranty on the jar. The blade and coupling have a lifetime warranty. View all the $200+ commercial blenders here.