Nutri Ninja DUO Blender Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
To find out which blender came out on top, we bought the best models available today and pitted them against each other in our head-to-head reviewing process to pick our winners. We rated each blender in five weighted metrics — Smoothies, Convenience, Grinding, Pureeing, and Ice — with the Ninja's results elaborated on in the following sections.
By far the most important of our rating metrics, our set of smoothie tests take credit for 30% of the total score for each blender. We used four different drinks to rank and score these kitchen appliances, judging the quality of an Oreo shake, green smoothie, berry smoothie, and a hearty fruit and oat smoothie produced by each blender to determine scores.
The Nutri Ninja didn't particularly impress, but we noted that it did exceptionally better with the personal blender cups vs. the main pitcher. However, the smoothies created with the personal blender cups were not factored into the scores.
This blender started off with an average performance when mixing up a healthy green smoothie.
The texture of the smoothie was a little on the watery side, with an inconsistent flavor profile throughout. This smoothie just didn't taste as good as the drinks produced from the top-notch blenders, like the Vitamix 5200. There were also flakes of veggies throughout, with plenty of material caught when we strained the sieve.
This product did quite well at blending an Oreo malt, though the texture was grainier than the malts created by the higher-end blenders. Unfortunately, the performance of the Nutri Ninja dropped severely in our fruit smoothie tests.
The berry smoothie was of very poor quality, lacking the smooth texture of the top blenders and failing to obliterate the seeds, with plenty caught in the sieve.
In the fruit and oat smoothie assessment, the Nutri Ninja delivered one of the worst scores of the entire group. The finished drink was exceptionally chunky and practically undrinkable, with odd chunks interspersed throughout. However, the performance was much better when we tried this test again with one of the personal blender cups.
A pair of tests comprise our Ice metric, worth 20% of the overall score. We ranked and scored each appliance on how well it could crush ice alone and its prowess at blending the perfect margarita. The Ninja actually did very well here. This model did an excellent job at crushing ice, pulverizing a full pitcher in less than 15 seconds without any struggle.
The Ninja also did quite a good job at blending a margarita, creating a drink with a consistent slushy texture.
However, there were a few chunks of ice that didn't fully get crushed interspersed throughout.
Equivalent to Ice, our Convenience metric also merited 20% of the total score. We judged how easy it was to use and operate each blender, scoring attributes such as how easy it was to clean each blender, whether or not it is dishwasher safe, and if there are preset functions. The Nutri Ninja DUO scored reasonably well.
This blender's lid, pitcher, and blades are all dishwasher-safe, and the lid and pitcher aren't too much work to clean manually. However, the three tiers of blades are quite difficult to clean by hand and are the perfect recipe for cutting your hand if you aren't careful.
You also need to be sure to properly dry all the pieces of this blender, as there is practically no ventilation on the base and the underside of the pitcher definitely has the potential for growing mold if put away wet.
This model has a digital timer and a handful of preset functions.
These are clearly labeled with text, making it a breeze to use them. The lid is very easy to remove from the pitcher, and this blender is on the quieter side, only measuring in at 84.9 dBa in our test, compared to closer to 90 dBa for the loudest models.
Taking credit for 15% of the total score, our Pureeing metric tested how well these products could make almond butter, mix tomato soup, and heat it. Unfortunately, this metric proved to be a difficult one for the Nutri Ninja, with a relatively poor performance.
This kitchen appliance did a poor job of mixing almonds into a smooth and creamy spread, instead creating an extremely undesirable thick and grainy mixture. This blender did somewhat better when pureeing the soup, but not by much, leaving whole garlic cloves intact at the end of its Auto-iQ puree cycle. It also didn't really heat the soup; it only reached a temperature of about 78°F.
For our final rating metric, we evaluated how each blender did when tasked with grating hard parmesan cheese, grinding corn kernels into corn flour, and creating powdered sugar. The Nutri Ninja again did quite poorly here.
This blender failed to achieve a fine grind when making powdered sugar, leaving plenty of intact granulated sugar behind. However, none of the sugar burned or melted into the blades. This grated parmesan this blender produced was middle-of-the-road. It was relatively evenly grated, but it wasn't the finest blend, and there were some residual large chunks.
The Ninja Blender DUO finished out with a relatively poor showing, only milling about 10% of the corn kernels to the point where they would pass through the sieve.
Should You Buy the Nutri Ninja DUO Blender?
The Nutri Ninja didn't do particularly well in most metrics and definitely wasn't one of our favorites. However, we have to admit that the personal smoothie cups are an extremely fast and easy way to grab a smoothie to go, and created better smoothies than the blender's large pitcher. If you generally only use a blender for personal smoothies, you may enjoy this model.
What Other Blenders Should You Consider?
For an affordable blender that scores much higher across the board than the Ninja DUO, take a look at the NutriBullet Blender. This model excels with smoothies, pureeing, and ice and is much cheaper than the premium models. If you have the money to spend, however, we recommend the Cuisinart Hurricane Pro or the even pricier Vitamix A2500 Ascent Series, which is sure to tackle anything you toss its way.