A solid blender makes all the difference in the kitchen. A go-to for sauces, smoothies, purees, and other meal needs, a quality blender can help whip, pulverize, and portion the necessary ingredients for your next entree. It should also do so quietly and efficiently. High-end or budget, you can find the perfect blender for your needs. From the personal models, which whip up small batches in a to-go cup, to versatile all-around units, there’s something for everyone on our list. But make sure you know the differences between blenders and food processors before you buy.
Blendtec Designer Series
The best overall
Sure, there are fancier blenders out there, but few people want or need to spend their entire paycheck on a glorified smoothie and protein shake machine. Thankfully, Blendtec’s Designer Series offers a ton of awesome features and add-ons. The Designer’s custom, carbon-steel bearings keep the motor running quietly and efficiently, reducing wear and tear so you won’t have to get a replacement anytime soon. Cold-forged, stainless-steel blades with vertical wingtips whip around at dizzying speed, and the digital display features a timer to tell you exactly how long your blend will take.
Blendtec’s unique Wildside jar prevents thicker blends from getting clumped up at the bottom, while capacitive, ultra-responsive touch controls allow you to adjust speeds on the fly with a mere touch of your finger. The Designer — this version, anyway — is also fairly compact, so it should fit underneath most wall-mounted cabinets, even with the jar attached. It even comes with a handy-dandy cookbook.
Breville Super Q Blender
The best quiet blender
Breville is known for its sleek, high-tech products, and the Super Q Blender is no exception. It sports an attractive exterior, an 1,800-watt motor (some models have a 2,400-watt motor), and a blade that can reach 186 mph (300 mph for higher-tier models) without breaking a sweat. Somehow, it can do all that while still being one of the quietest blenders on our list.
The extra-easy controls include 12-speed settings and “texture” controls for creating various concoctions (your own butter, for example), and several one-touch programs for smoothies, soups, crushing ice, and other common tasks. If you opt for the vacuum pump accessory, it will make your drink creations with better textures, brighter colors, and fresher flavor profiles. We also found the blender and parts easy to clean.
The kit that comes with the Breville Q is also ideal for all kinds of personal uses. There is a personal mug that you can use as a blender cup to mix in favorite ingredients for a quick smoothie, plus a variety of tamping and cleaning tools — and an intelligent base that is smart enough to know what receptacle you’re using and adjusts itself accordingly.
Ninja Master Prep Professional
The best budget blender
Ninja’s Master Prep Professional is cool, compact, and cost-conscious — great for college students or those who just don’t want to splurge on a blender. The 450-watt power pod holds up to 48 ounces of material, and the 40-ounce food processing bowl is perfect for dicing veggies or making chunky dips and sauces. There’s also a 16-ounce chopping bowl for salads. Convenient storage lids snap onto the Master Prep’s chambers for safe refrigeration, and all the containers are both BPA-free and dishwasher safe. This isn’t a heavy-duty blender, so don’t buy it expecting to puree root vegetables or blend for several minutes on end, but it’s an excellent value for those that just want the occasional milkshake or hummus spread.
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Vitamix Professional 750
The best high-end blender
Unfortunately, top-of-the-line appliances often command a top-of-the-line price. Vitamix is one of the world’s most respected blender manufacturers, and the Professional 750 is just about the best of the best. The 64-ounce jar is big enough to hold several smoothies’ worth of ingredients at once, and the blender has several pre-programmed settings for different purposes, all of which can be adjusted for speed (the dial runs from 1 to 10). Sound-dampening technology also ensures that the 750 won’t blow your eardrums out during use, and the self-cleaning feature is a godsend; simply drop in some water and dish soap, run the sucker for a minute, and it will be ready for whatever comes next. The 750 even includes a seven-year warranty, but it’s unlikely you’ll need it given the device’s durability.
Magic Bullet NutriBullet
The best personal blender
Maybe you don’t want to sacrifice counter space for your new blender, or you don’t need to make complex recipes for multiple people. Maybe you just want a capable blender that can whip up a smoothie in a couple of seconds before you walk out the door in the morning.
The Magic Bullet is a hassle-free contraption that can satisfy your basic blending needs. While 250 watts may not sound like much, this very capable blender can whip up insanely good batches of hummus, creams, juices, and sauces alongside your typical fruit smoothie. Clean-up is as easy as rinsing the pitcher with soap and water, and the blender also comes with a couple of extra cups, so you can take your drinks to go.
Ninja Mega Kitchen System
The most versatile blender
Maybe you don’t want to choose between a blender and a food processor. If so, look no further than Ninja’s Mega Kitchen System, which includes a massive, 72-ounce pitcher, a food processor bowl, and two 16-ounce blend cups, which all fit onto the 1,500-watt blend base (not simultaneously).
Whether you’re looking to chop vegetables, make salad dressing, or pulverize ingredients for soup purees, the Ninja can do it in a matter of seconds. Its immense power (2 horsepower to be exact) more than compensates for the scandalous noise it makes as you pump out a few frozen margaritas in record time. The individual blend cups mean it’s easy to clean, but if you have a big party to feed, the pitcher is large enough to handle that. Plus, it can even make cookie dough.
Mueller Austria Immersion Hand Blender
The best hand blender
For those that are hand-blend or die, this 500-watt immersion hand blender is all about manual control of your sauces and spreads. Featuring an ergonomic grip handle, you can blend through several batches of ingredients without those awful hand-cramps. The blender sports two main speeds, with up to eight different variable adjustments for each of the two presets. The stainless-steel S blade is perfect for dicing and mincing through whatever you throw at it, and the copper-encased motor will keep your Mueller going for up to three times longer than standard hand-blenders. The Mueller blender is ideal for cooks whose culinary aspirations do not include a massive blender. This blender works wonders when combining a small list of ingredients from simple recipes. In the case of the Mueller Austria, less is more.