Reviews You Can Rely On

Blendtec Total Classic Review

A more reasonable price tag and time-tested durability make this top-of-the-line blender a great investment
gearlab tested logo
Blendtec Total Classic Review (Simple, reliable, and long-lasting, the Blendtec Total Classic is our top choice for a workhorse blender.)
Simple, reliable, and long-lasting, the Blendtec Total Classic is our top choice for a workhorse blender.
Credit: Natalie Kafader
Price:  $400 List
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Manufacturer:   Blendtec
By Genaveve Bradshaw and Aaron Rice  ⋅  Jun 4, 2024
87
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 16
  • Smoothies - 30% 8.9
  • Convenience - 25% 8.0
  • Ice - 20% 9.7
  • Pureeing - 15% 8.8
  • Grinding - 10% 7.9

Our Verdict

If you're looking for a workhorse blender built to last, look no further than the Blendtec Total Classic. This small but mighty blender earns our nod for its longevity — one of our tester's personal models has blended more than 1,000 smoothies and shows no signs of stopping. The powerful, 1560-watt motor base pairs with a patent square pitcher anchored by thick, blunted blades. This unique design pulverizes ingredients into smooth, evenly-textured frozen beverages and purees hearty recipes, like nut butter, to creamy perfection. Even though it doesn't perform quite as well during non-traditional tasks — like making soup and grinding parmesan cheese — compared to the more expensive blenders we tested, the price point of the Total Classic makes it an approachable option for a premium blender. See how it compares to the competition in our review of the best blenders.
REASONS TO BUY
Exceptional performance for the price
User-friendly presets
Time-tested durability
REASONS TO AVOID
Blunt blades aren't great for milling
Tricky to air dry
No cord wrap

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $400 List
$379.95 at Amazon
$290 List
$299.99 at Amazon
$130 List
$146.95 at Amazon
$300 List
$248.98 at Amazon
$100 List
$79.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
87
78
71
66
64
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Bottom Line A reasonably priced blender that is built to lastFor the frozen beverage fan, this simple, retro-styled blender offers plenty of capabilityConvenient and affordable, this blender is the perfect balance of price and performanceThis blender doubles as a juicer for those who like multi-use kitchen appliancesA solid option for blending frozen beverages, without the same versatility as more expensive blenders
Rating Categories Blendtec Total Classic KitchenAid K400 Nutribullet Combo Breville the 3X Blu... Ninja Professional...
Smoothies (30%)
8.9
7.1
7.5
7.2
6.2
Convenience (25%)
8.0
7.4
6.7
7.5
6.3
Ice (20%)
9.7
10.0
6.6
6.4
8.1
Pureeing (15%)
8.8
6.8
7.4
4.2
5.6
Grinding (10%)
7.9
8.1
7.9
6.2
4.9
Specs Blendtec Total Classic KitchenAid K400 Nutribullet Combo Breville the 3X Blu... Ninja Professional...
Model Number ES3 KSB4027KG NBC-12A BJB615SHY1BUS1 BL610
Power Peak 3.0 HP Peak 1.5 HP Peak 1.6 HP 1.3 HP Peak 1.3 HP
Pitcher Capacity 32 oz 56 oz 64 oz 68 oz 72 oz
Presets Yes, 6: Smoothie, Batters, Hot Soup, Whole Juice, Ice Cream, Mixed Drinks Yes, 4
-Ice Crush
-Icy Drink
-Smoothie
-Clean
-5 speed settings
Yes, 2: Extract, Pulse, 3 speed settings Yes, 4: Smoothie, Pulse / Ice Crush, Auto Clean, Frozen Cocktail Yes, 1: Pulse, 3 speed settings
Measured Dimensions (base with pitcher) 15.3" x 8" x 7" 17" x 9" x 9" 17" x 7" x 9.5" 18.2" x 9.5" x 7.5"
(when set up as a blender)
18" x 10.5" x 7.5"
Dishwasher Safe Pitcher; top rack only Yes Yes All parts except for the motor base and tamper Yes
Accessories Yes
-Manual with recipes
No Yes
-32oz Cup with blade attachment
-24oz Cup with blade attachment
-2 To-Go lids
-Tamper
-Recipe book
Yes
  • Pulp bin
  • Cleaning Brush
  • Juicer attachment
No
Digital Timer Yes No No Yes No
Meant for Heating? Yes No No No No
Cord Length 2.9 ft 3.5 ft 2.5 ft 3.5 ft 2.8 ft
Wattage 1560 watts 1200 watts 1200 watts 1000 watts 1000 watts
Measured Decibels for Standard Smoothie 84 77.2 83.7 84.1 84.1
Measured Soup Temperature 129 125 145 74 73

Our Analysis and Test Results

Blendtec is known for its commercial-grade blenders, and the Total Classic offers the same professional-level performance for home kitchens. A unique feature of this powerful, 1560-watt blender is the intentionally blunted blades, which are incredibly effective and particularly easy to clean. This blender features six presets — Smoothie, Ice Cream, Whole Juice, Hot Soup, Ice Crush, and Batters — as well as 10 speeds and a pulse button. The easy-to-read LCD includes a countdown timer and, interestingly, keeps track of the total number of cycles (just in case you're interested in tracking your smoothie consumption!)

Performance Comparison


Whether it's non-traditional tasks like grinding or blending up pitchers of frozen beverages, the Total Classic is up for all of the tough tasks you throw its way.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

Smoothies


This Blendtec blender truly is a total classic — our personal blender at home has logged well over 1000 smoothies and shows no signs of slowing down. It takes a few seconds for the Total Classic to get going, particularly with heartier recipes. But once it generates the vortex needed to swirl and mix ingredients, there really is no stopping this powerful blender. The unique, blunted blades appear to pulverize ingredients, generating more pourable smoothies than its direct competitors. The only downside to the lack of sharp or serrated blades is that it doesn't always slice through the smallest fruit seeds. But that's a small price to pay for exceptional smoothie quality.


We used the 60-second Smoothie preset to mix a basic, frozen-berry smoothie, which was delicious with a very uniform consistency. We used the same setting to blend an Oreo milkshake, which was thick and creamy, though it carried the undertones of melted ice cream. We concluded that this must be the result of friction heat generated by the blunted blades, which slightly melt frozen ingredients, though not to the detriment of quality or taste. We also expected that this blade design might result in a louder blender. However, with an average reading of 84 decibels on the Smoothie setting, the Total Classic is no louder than other, comparably powerful blenders.


Don't be fooled by the oversized appearance of Blendtec's patent FourSide jar; we learned the hard way that if the pitcher is overfilled past 32 ounces, the Total Classic will require mixing or two blend cycles to get the job done. But if you follow manufacturer recommendations, this blender excels at mixing thicker smoothies. The green shakes we made required no mixing or tamping, and in 60 seconds, the Total Classic turned out a satisfyingly consistent green smoothie with zero ingredient separation.

blendtec total classic - compared to the blenders we tested, the total classic is fairly...
Compared to the blenders we tested, the Total Classic is fairly standard regarding noise output. Although the readings are slightly lower than average, it's still reasonably loud.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw

This blender also made easy work of our notoriously thick fruit, nut, and oat breakfast smoothie. Showing its affinity for blending hefty recipes, this smoothie was much more beverage-like than we expected, though we were a bit surprised to find two fully unblended strawberries in the mix. This result is notable and impressive, considering that this same recipe was so thick from other blenders that we needed to eat the smoothie with a spoon.

blendtec total classic - the oversized mouth of the jug makes it easy to load the total...
The oversized mouth of the jug makes it easy to load the Total Classic down with fresh ingredients. Just make sure you stick closely to the recommended capacity to avoid overloading this small but mighty blender.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw

Convenience


The Total Classic is a lesson in elegant design — where less is more — in the sense that compared to other premium blenders, this model looks much more simplistic. A tidy design, from the interface to the breakdown of components for cleaning, makes for a very user-friendly blender. The variety offered by the six presets — Smoothie, Whole Juice, Ice Cream, Ice Crush, Hot Soup, and Batters — is a clear indication of this blender's utilitarian nature, making the Total Classic a convenient one-stop-shop as a substitute for other appliances.


In addition to the presets, this blender's manual settings include ten speeds and a pulse feature. All of the buttons are labeled with icons, and while the plus, minus, and pulse “sinus wave” images are ubiquitous, it may take a few uses with the user manual in hand to memorize the other icons. The simple LCD readout includes a countdown timer for each preset cycle, and we particularly enjoy that it includes a counter to track how many smoothies you've made.

blendtec total classic - this blender includes a counter that indicates how many smoothies...
This blender includes a counter that indicates how many smoothies you've made upon startup. The icon-labeled buttons are easy to distinguish once you know which setting each one represents.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

One thing we greatly appreciate about the Total Classic is the lid design. Even though it's a gasket-style, the pressure change generated by the blender never causes it to suction to the pitcher — it's always incredibly easy to pull off, and unlike other lids of this style, it never results in splashback. The Total Classic, in general, is notably easy to clean. Although the parts can only be put on the top rack of a dishwasher, we prefer to pair some warm, soapy water with one of the presets as an unofficial cleaning cycle. If you are to handwash this blender, the square base of the pitcher doesn't have any awkward nooks and crannies to clean, and the intentionally blunted blades ensure you won't accidentally slice your finger.

blendtec total classic - the blades on the total classic are unlike other blenders: thick and...
The blades on the Total Classic are unlike other blenders: thick and blunted; they combine with the powerful motor base to pulverize ingredients to near perfection.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

Ice


Blendtec's marketing material specifically references the Total Classic's ability to “turn ice to snow in mere seconds,” and it's true. The high-powered, 1560-watt motor and thick, blunted blades are a formidable combination — the blade design almost reminds us of the blades you'd find on a professional deck mower. But we're not mowing grass; we're blending ice, and the Total Classic evenly crushed a cup of ice cubs into a powder snow.


We used the aptly iconed Ice Crush preset (indicated with a mixed drink icon) to mix a batch of frozen margaritas. Perhaps due to its more minimal container maximum, the Total Classic was fast, mixing the blended margaritas in only 35 seconds. Although the drinks weren't the pinnacle of perfection we experienced with other high-end blenders, they were pretty darn close, with a remarkably creamy texture.

The Mixed Drinks (or Ice Crush) setting does a fantastic job of making small batches of blended margaritas.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

Pureeing


As we noted with its smoothie performance, the Total Classic is a workhorse when it comes to blending hearty recipes, so it should come as no surprise that it does a fantastic job of pureeing nut butter. However, it was quite the journey to eventually achieve the super smooth, deliciously creamy nut butter we eventually turned out. Initially, this blender was overwhelmed and shut itself down out of preservation and continued to do so periodically throughout the nine-minute process. But with the right amount of oil, the Total Classic generated a powerful vortex that blew through the nuts, turning them into fan-favorite nut butter for its flavor and consistency.


The Hot Soup preset lasts for three minutes, and in order to effectively blend the fresh ingredients in our homemade tomato soup, we needed to run the Total Classic for two cycles. The result was an impressively smooth puree, evenly seasoned with a velvety texture. We were surprised, however, that the soup only reached a maximum temperature of 129°F, even after a six-minute cycle. Although the soup may have come up to a servable temperature after running a third cycle, we were a bit disappointed that the combination of blunted blades and squared-off jar didn't generate more friction and wasn't able to heat our soup as quickly as Blendtec claims.

blendtec total classic - although it wasn't quite as hot as we had hoped, the homemade tomato...
Although it wasn't quite as hot as we had hoped, the homemade tomato soup was one of the most consistently pureed of any blender we tested.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw

Grinding


Similarly, because of Blendtec's marketing claims that this blender is “especially good for grinding grains,” we were a bit disappointed in the Total Classic's performance in this metric. It certainly did an above-average job of grinding regular crystal sugar into a fluffy powdered sugar and pulverized parmesan into a perfectly powdery, fine-grained blend. However, this blender did a particularly poor job of milling corn flour.


Unlike other premium blenders we tested, the Total Classic doesn't include an actual grind preset, so we opted for the closest choice, which seemed to be the Whole Juice preset. Although there weren't any actual kernels remaining after the 65-second cycle, there were plenty of larger chunks that did not sift through the sieve. Like the small seeds of berries, it appears that the blunted blades of this blender simply don't do a very good job of breaking down tiny particles — which, we admit, is a bit counterintuitive, considering its ability to process crystal into powdered sugar.

Based on other tests, we were a bit surprised that the Total Classic didn't do a better job of milling corn flour.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

Should You Buy the Blendtec Total Classic?


While our assessments of this blender's ability to puree and grind may appear hypercritical, the Blendtec Total Classic is, without a doubt, an impressive blender worthy of your investment. Its top-tier performance in blending frozen beverages is only comparable to other premium models that cost hundreds of dollars more. While it doesn't excel at non-traditional tasks like these other blenders, it is more than serviceable as a versatile appliance. Considering the time-tested durability of this heavy-duty blender, the Total Classic is our top choice for longevity.

What Other Blenders Should You Consider?


At the same price point, the Total Classic should be compared directly against another fan favorite among our test team, the Cuisinart Hurricane Pro 3.5. The Hurricane Pro slightly edges out the Total Classic in terms of convenience, but there are slight tradeoffs relative to processing capabilities. Another favorite workhorse blender is the Vitamix Explorian E310, though the slight savings come at the cost of presets. If the price point of any of these blenders is a bit unwieldy, consider the Nutribullet Combo, a more affordable yet still quite impressive blender.

blendtec total classic - our own personal blentec has logged well over one thousand...
Our own personal Blentec has logged well over one thousand smoothies; a true testament to this blender's longevity!
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw

Genaveve Bradshaw and Aaron Rice