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KitchenAid Diamond 5-Speed Review
Price: $160 List | $102.95 at Amazon
Pros: Great price, excellent at crushing ice
Cons: Not terribly convenient to use, substandard green smoothie skills
Bottom line: The best blender you can get for the price, the KitchenAid does well across the board
Performing quite well across all of our rating metrics, the KitchenAid Diamond 5-Speed is the best value out of any of the blenders that we reviewed. This product held its own with other appliances that cost substantially more. This blender crushes ice with ease, makes decent smoothies, and even grates parmesan cheese. However, we did melt the plastic gear off of the bottom of the pitcher when attempting to puree nut butter and had to send in the blender to get a replacement. This is still a great product at an even better price, as long as you aren't planning on running it for a long period of time
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The KitchenAid Diamond scored a few points behind the Vitamix 5200, though it did match its performance in our Ice metric. However, the KitchenAid does retail for about a third of the price of the 5200, making it a substantially better value. The Diamond did outperform the Oster VERSA Pro and costs substantially less, making it a way better choice. However, the Oster did successfully blend nut butter — something that the Diamond can't claim.
To find out which blender came out on top and crushed the competition, we bought the top blenders available on the market today and pitted them head-to-head. We scored the performance of each product in our five weighted rating metrics — Smoothies, Ice, Convenience, Grinding, and Pureeing — with our analysis of the KitchenAid below.
The most important of our rating metrics, our set of smoothie assessments take credit for 30% of the total score, as many people are looking at getting a blender exclusively for smoothies. We used four different recipes to test each blender, evaluating and ranking the performance of each model at mixing up a fruit and oat, a green, and a berry smoothie, as well as an Oreo malt. The KitchenAid Diamond delivered a decent performance, earning a 6 out of 10 for its showing. The chart below shows how this performance stacks up against the rest of the products in the group.
We weren't terribly impressed with the performance of the KitchenAid when tasked with making a green smoothie.
The finished product wasn't completely blended, with a varying flavor profile throughout the drink. The texture was a little on the thick side and the sieve caught plenty of the greens after we finished blending it.
Performance improved in our berry smoothie test, with a substantially more drinkable beverage produced.
However, there were a moderate amount of berry seeds that didn't get pulverized in the sieve after we strained the finished product.
The performance of the KitchenAid continued to improve, making a solid fruit and oat smoothie. The final smoothie was a little on the grainier side, but was still perfectly drinkable — on par with the Cuisinart Hurricane Pro, our Editors' Choice award winner.
The Diamond delivered a similar performance in our Oreo malt challenge, producing a drinkable beverage, but one that felt a little gritty, due to the Oreos being insufficiently blended. It also took a little bit of cajoling on our part to get the blender to actually blend, forcing us to scrape the sides of the pitcher a few times. However, the Diamond did produce a much better malt than the Simple Blend 100 and was about the same quality as the Oster VERSA Pro.
For our next metric, we graded the blenders on their performance in two test: crushing ice only and blending a margarita. The Diamond did very well in this metric, worth 20% of the total score, earning a 9 out of 10 for its performance. The following chart shows how the KitchenAid stacked up against the rest of its peers in this metric.
The Diamond did a fantastic job at crushing ice alone when following the manufacturer's instructions. It took less than 15 seconds for this product to totally obliterate the ice.
This blender also did an excellent job at blending a margarita, but performed just slightly inferior to the drinks produced by the trio of Vitamix brand blenders and the Cuisinart. The finished beverage was just a tiny bit coarser than the perfectly smooth drink made by those top-of-the-line blenders.
We weighted our next metric, Convenience, on par with our Ice metric, both taking credit for 20% of the overall score. For this metric, we based the score on how easy each product was to use and clean and deducted points if it was a hassle or ever gave us cause for frustration. The Diamond delivered an average showing, earning it a 5 out of 10 for its efforts. The chart belows shows which blenders are more convenient than the KitchenAid to use and which ones are a huge hassle.
The KitchenAid is dishwasher-safe, with the pitcher, lid, and blades all set for automatic washing. This is quite a good thing, as washing the Diamond by hand isn't the easiest task in the world. There is a lip around the top that can accumulate food and is a little harder to clean and a narrower pitcher that can give you some minor difficulties.
You also need to spread out the components to dry, as there isn't really adequate ventilation for it to dry out while placed back on the base.
The Diamond doesn't really have any presets besides "Crush Ice", but all of the buttons are clearly labeled with text. Finally, the lid isn't particularly difficult to remove, unlike the Oster VERSA or the Hurricane Pro.
Taking responsibility for 15% of the total score, our Pureeing metric consisted of three tests: nut butter, tomato soup, and heating. As mentioned above, the Diamond didn't do well at all making nut butter, but delivered an acceptable performance in the other tests, earning it an overall score of 6 out of 10 in this metric. The chart below shows how the Diamond compared to the rest of the bunch.
While the KitchenAid did end up breaking in our nut butter test, it actually made a spread that wasn't half bad before the plastic drive gear melted. It was definitely on the thicker side and was still quite grainy, but was definitely superior to the product produced by the Nutri Ninja. However, we definitely wouldn't recommend trying to make nut butter in this blender, as it did force us to replace it.
The KitchenAid handled pureeing tomato soup much better, making a smooth mixture that almost entirely passed through a sieve.
The blender did warm up the soup, but not enough to serve, with the soup only hitting a temperature of a little over 105°F.
Taking credit for the remaining 15% of the score, our Grinding metric again consisted of three tests: grating parmesan cheese, grinding cornmeal, and making powdered sugar. The Diamond finished out our testing process with a solid performance, meriting a 7 out of 10 for its results. The following chart shows how this score compares to the rest of the blenders in the group.
The Diamond delivered a stellar performance, matching that of the Cuisinart Hurricane Pro when it came to grating parmesan cheese, creating a finely-ground, fluffy mixture that is perfect for a shaker. This model also made powdered sugar without issue, though it wasn't quite as fine as the Cuisinart Hurricane Pro or the Vitamix models.
The KitchenAid also did very well at grinding cornmeal, with about 75 % of the finished product passing through the sieve.
Earning the Best Buy award, the KitchenAid Diamond 5-Speed is hands-down, the best value that you can get.
We would strongly recommend the Diamond to anyway who wants a premium blender but is shopping on a budget. While it definitely isn't the best overall, it costs significantly less and does a pretty good job holding its own against blenders that cost hundreds of dollars more.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer
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