Our Test Kitchen's Favorite Blenders

Our test kitchen ran 20 through the wringer, pulverizing ice and turning raw veggies and frozen fruit into liquid gold. Biggest takeaway: To get great results, you might have to bend your budget a bit. But these five models offer a tasty return on your investment.
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blender with fruit smoothie

1. Power Player

vitamix s55 blender

If you’re looking to join the cult of Vitamix, you’re gonna shell out some cash. But the small-scale S55, which comes with a tamper and a to-go cup, can hang with the brand’s higher-priced pro models. It aced our ice-crushing test and blitzed beets and carrots into pulp-free juice. Smooth nut butter was no biggie, either. Vitamix S55, $450, vitamix.com

2. Big Rig

black and decker performance fusionblade blender

Want to make a huge batch of bisque? The Performance FusionBlade Blender was a top performer by all of our testers’ standards, and with a 64-ounce pitcher, it’s the fastest way to puree a lot of soup or make Mudslides for a crowd. Black & Decker Performance FusionBlade Blender, $100, blackanddeckerappliances.com

3. Space Saver

magicbullet nutribullet pro 900 blender

Our test kitchen loved the straightforward MagicBullet NutriBullet Pro 900. No buttons or dials here—just screw the blade to the jar like a lid (24- and 32-ounce sizes are included), then flip the whole thing over and twist onto the base for one-speed whirling. MagicBullet NutriBullet Pro 900, $100, bedbathandbeyond.com

4. Ice Breaker

crux 7-speed blender

The Crux 7-Speed Blender “crushed ice like a champ,” said our tester—just five seconds for a pitcher full of fluffy shavings! Along with party drinks, this unit can tackle smoothies and soups and features a self-clean cycle for a little help after a crazy night. Crux 7-Speed Blender, $90, macys.com

5. Quiet Type

hamilton beach peak power blender

The Professional 1500 Watt Peak Power Quiet Blender has a noise-dampening shield that fits over its blending jug, so morning smoothie making emits only a “light whir,” according to one tester. The 4-cup-capacity container is on the smaller side, but the dial offers lots of control over blending speed. Hamilton Beach Professional 1500 Watt Peak Power Quiet Blender, $150, hamiltonbeach.com

Good to know!

The order you put your ingredients in the blender matters. First liquids, then solids. Add ice last. Start on a low setting, then build up speed.