Blender Reviews and Buying Advice

A good blender is an essential part of any kitchen, whether you’re making smoothies and margaritas or pureeing summer tomatoes from the garden for homemade marinara. Despite the popularity of food processors and hand/immersion mixers, blenders are still the best choice for crushing ice, whipping up a smoothie or other frozen drink and pureeing soups. Use this blender buying guide to help you find the best blender for all of your culinary tasks.

Durability

When you’re researching blenders, pay special attention to what materials the base and gear assembly are made of. Blenders with these components made of plastic and tend to get lower marks for durability. Stainless steel and other metal-based blenders hold up better over time.

What kind of jar the blender comes with (plastic, glass, polycarbonate or metal) also contributes to how long your blender will be of good service. Above all, pay attention to the warranty that comes with your blender just as you would with a more expensive purchase. Some manufacturers may offer only six months, while others offer up to six years of protection. Lastly, while many blenders are advertised as dishwasher-safe, delicate parts, like rubber gaskets, tend to break down more quickly. We recommend washing by hand as much as possible.

Power

Not all blenders are created equal and the way manufacturers advertise this is with wattage claims. Countertop blender wattage can range from 300 to 1,500 watts, but this isn’t as important as they’d have you think. While it’s true that the more wattage a blender has, the better it can work with hard substances like ice or large quantities of nuts, if you won’t be using your blender for those things, you don’t need to pay for the extra power.

For regular daily use, a blender with 300 to 600 watts should be fine. Similarly, blender speed options run the gamut from 2 to 16, but before you go spending the extra $50 for a fancy model with as many gears as Lance Armstrong’s bike, some experts say that any more than three speeds is overkill. Regardless of how many speeds you think you want to have, you’ll probably want your blender to come with a pulse button. The short bursts of speed and power it delivers aren’t just for ice crushing anymore. Pulsing gives you more control over the ingredients you’re working with and ensures you don’t over-process.

Blender Jars

Blender jars are usually made of one of four different materials: plastic, glass, polycarbonate and metal. Plastic jars are the least-expensive option and their lightweight design makes them easy to handle when full. However, they’re prone to scratches over time and may retain food odors. A good choice if all you’re going to use the blender for is pesto, but if you’ll be using the blender for a variety of recipes you’ll want to consider other materials.

Glass jars are the heaviest and thus the most stable blender jars, a big advantage when it comes to evaluating durability over time. The only caveat is if you drop it and it breaks, you’re out a blender jar. Glass jars are more scratch-resistant than plastic and won’t retain odors or strong flavors.

The newest blender jars are made from polycarbonate, and manufacturers claim they’re shatterproof. That’s an advantage over glass blender jars, especially in a busy kitchen, but polycarbonate jars are so new that there’s little information as to how well they hold up over time. We’re not convinced that new means better, but if you want to try the latest and greatest in blender technology, you may be interested in blenders with polycarbonate jars.

Lastly, stainless steel and other metal jars offer the benefits of being lighter weight and more durable than glass or plastic. You’ll pay extra for these benefits, so if sleek, shiny blender jars are catching your eye (or match your other appliances), keep in mind that you can’t see through metal when you’re blending, which makes checking for uneven mixing a challenge.

Regardless of which blender jar type you choose, you’ll want to make sure it’s also the right size and shape for what you’ll be doing. If you’re making anything in large batches, the more capacity the blender jar offers, the better. Jars that are tapered (tall and deep) are designed to funnel ingredients toward the blender blades for more even blending. Consider what you’ll use the blender for most often and make your decision accordingly.

Noise

No question – blenders are noisy. Typically, the more power a blender has, the louder it’s going to be when running (another reason not to choose a blender for wattage alone). If you think you’ve found the perfect blender and you’re hovering over the “buy now” button, take a few minutes to read user reviews to see what they say about noise and keep in mind that noise a relative thing if only 1 out of 10 users says it sounds like it’s breaking the sound barrier, you’re probably okay. Blender noise may seem like a minor point, but it could make a difference in how often you’ll actually use your blender.

Ease of cleaning

How easy it is to clean your blender will definitely affect how you feel about and actually use your blender.

Entry-level blenders come with switch or dial controls that contribute to ease of use but not necessarily ease of cleaning spills and grime may collect around the buttons or even in the switches. Touchpad controls are easy to clean but are usually only available on higher-end models, and some users find them more difficult to control than traditional buttons or switches, but we think the ease of cleaning makes it a wash. Removable blades also make for easy cleaning, but blenders that feature these may be more prone to leaks than their non-removable counterparts. Is there a clear winner here? It’s a matter of preference more than anything else.

What Helps to Make a Terrific Blender

A kitchen cannot be complete without a blender. Many people use blenders when they are on a diet. They are perfect for making a vitamin packed drink. Homemade soups are also a favorite for people with blenders. For those who have never purchased one before, it can be very hard to figure out which model to buy. While there are so many features, most are not needed. Only the basic functions matter to most people.

High Durability

Just like most household items, some models are better than others. Depending on the model, some break very easily. Some cheaper models are made of cheap parts. While there are a few that work well, there are also some that break very fast. Stainless steel models, however, last an extremely long time. They can cost a pretty penny, but they are worth it in the long run.

It is also important to pay attention to what kind of blender jar is included. Many people love the clear plastic or glass models, but they scratch much easier than their alternatives. This can lead to eventual cracking or breaking. Also, the warranty is very important. Some offer warranties of only six months and some extend for many years. The problem with short warranties is that they often expire right when a blender breaks. Typically, after six months of use breaking occurs.

Watts Make a Big Difference

Depending on the type of blender and the model, wattage can range greatly. A person can expect their blenders to have 300 – 1500 watts of blending power. Typically, the more wattage will mean a high price. However, they are also much more powerful. If a person does not plan to blender hard substances, such as ice, too often or in large quantities, than a lower wattage model might work perfectly. However, if the price difference is negligible, it is always better to purchase a higher wattage model.

Speed is also another important factor. This allows the chopping process to occur in a much more controlled manner. Speed settings also come in handy when blending up fruits. The heat generated from the blades will strip some of the nutrients out of these types of foods. Pulsing is also another features that allows you to distribute the power evenly. Some foods are better if they are blender just a little. Pulsing will make this process much easier.

Cleanup Up

Everyone is busy these days. Having an easy to clean blender is very accommodating. Even the outside should be taken into cleaning consideration. Blenders with knobs are usually a tad more difficult to clean than those with touch pads, but it will be a very minimal time difference. The blades themselves are the most difficult piece to clean. Some jars are dishwasher safe, which allows for extremely easy cleaning. Removable blades are also desirable because getting in-between static blades if often difficult.

Different models come in different sizes and speeds. While some are great for moderate use, others are made to withstand years of blending. The biggest factor on a blender’s longevity is how often they are used. If a person needs to have a little extra power and utilizes blenders often, a higher-end model might be the best option. Blender reviews are perfect for those who do not know which model is the best to choose. People can stay within their budget and find an ideal model when they read reviews.

Professional and Commercial Blenders

Professional blenders can drastically change whatever you want to put in them. And, as anyone who has seen the YouTube video’s “will it blend?” can testify too, they truly can blend everything from iPod’s to marbles.

Why anyone would want to blend marbles, much less and iPod’s is anyone’s guess but it does get a few points across swiftly. These blenders work fast and efficiently and they are nearly indestructible. And if you can get it in the blender, it will blend it. Several companies make a great blender.

Some popular brand names include Vitamix, Blendtec, Waring-Commercial, and Kitchen aid. The price of blenders varies. Professional blenders are used in restaurants, bars, hotels and catering companies. These are often called commercial blenders because their price usually ranges from $300-$600 and average households are usually not willing to put that much money into a blender for personal use.

But sometimes people who blend find they love to use them, and do so often, and see the price as a good investment so they buy the commercial blenders instead of the household version. The professional blender will allow you to make smoothies much faster and the consistency will be noticeably smoother and, best of all, the blender will last longer. They are expensive but well worth it. Ice will blend quick and easy.

These machines have a powerful force that will make you blink as you see it blend efficiently and quickly everything you put in it. Another reason to buy a commercial blender is their longevity. They last, and last.

Most come with a warranty that ranges from 5 to 10 years, depending of the company. Sometimes these extended warranties cost a bit extra. The Vitamix blender comes with a great warranty for seven years. But there is an option for you to extend that warranty to ten years for an extra $75.

Commercial blenders have much better warranties because they are sold primarily for business use, and business owners usually demand the security these warranties offer. So when looking for a blender to buy read the warranties closely and make your decision. Once you start blending you will soon find yourself wanting to blend everything!