After comparing over 120 different blenders, we bought the 12 most promising models currently on the market and tested them head-to-head to see which one is truly the best. We rated and scored every aspect of these kitchen appliances, comparing their blending skills with everything from smoothies to soup. On top of the typical tasks for these products, we also scored their performance when it came to mixing nut butter, milling corn mean, and grating hard cheese, as well as looking at the ease of use and convenience of cleaning each machine. Check out the full review below to see which blender topped them all, which is the best budget buy, and which smoothie maker reigned supreme.
The Best Blenders of 2019
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|Pros||Fantastic smoothies, great at crushing ice, silky-smooth purees||Excellent at crushing ice, perfect at pureeing, superb at smoothies||Great at grinding, fantastic for smoothies, crushes ice with ease||Great blended drinks, excellent at pureeing, solid at making nut butter||Fantastic at crushing ice, very convenient, great value|
|Cons||Blade showed signs of wear and tear||Pricey||Not the most convenient to use, expensive||No presets, digital timer||Motor felt underpowered for pureeing nut butter|
|Bottom Line||Tying for the top score, the Hurricane Pro is one of the best you can get, though the blade showed damage quicker than others||This burly blender tied for the top score overall but comes at a premium price||This top-of-the-line blender did exceptionally well in our tests, but there are less expensive model that performed comparably||This budget blender holds its own with the top-tier products fairly well||If you are searching for a solid blender on a budget, then the Ninja Chef should be your first choice|
|Rating Categories||Cuisinart...||Vitamix A2500...||Vitamix Pro 750||NutriBullet...||Ninja Chef...|
|Specs||Cuisinart...||Vitamix A2500...||Vitamix Pro 750||NutriBullet...||Ninja Chef...|
|Power||Peak 3.5 HP||Peak 2.2 HP||Peak 2.2 HP||1.6 HP||Peak 2 HP|
|DImensions||10.05" x 8.50" x 17.55"||11" x 8" x 17"||17.5" x 9.4" x 7.7"||16.5" x 9.8" x 7.5"||17.99" x 9.72" x 8.46"|
|Jar size||64 oz||64 oz||64 oz||64 oz||72 oz (64 oz max liquid capacity)|
|Dishwasher safe||Yes||Yes||No||Pitcher; top rack only||Yes|
Best for Smoothies and Blended Drinks
Cuisinart Hurricane Pro
Tying with the Vitamix A2500 for the top score of the entire bunch, the Hurricane Pro merited an Editors' Choice Award and the title of Best Overall Blender for its stellar performance. This model makes silky-smooth smoothies and magnificently mixed margaritas. In addition to fantastic beverages, this blender easily accomplishes other tasks as well, grating hard cheese and milling flour or cornmeal without any signs of a struggle. It made velvety-smooth tomato soup and even heated it enough to serve right out of the pitcher. This top-of-the-line product is convenient to use and excels across the board and would make an excellent addition to your current lineup of kitchen appliances, even costing significantly less than our other Editors' Choice award winner.
However, we did notice some minor signs of wear and tear on the blade after our admittedly intense testing process. This should only factor into your decision if you are planning on frequently doing tasks that are hard on the blade, like milling cornmeal, crushing ice without liquid, or making nut butter.
Read review: Cuisinart Hurricane Pro
Best for Heavy-Duty Blending Tasks
Vitamix A2500 Ascent Series
Tying with the Hurricane Pro for the top spot, the Vitamix A2500 Ascent Series is a premium product that excelled in the bulk of our tests, including the most difficult ones, like crushing ice or milling flour. This model does a fantastic job at pureeing soup, even getting it piping hot and ready to serve in the process. On top of all that, the blades on this burly blender showed practically zero signs of wear and tear after our testing, making this product an excellent choice if you are looking to use your blender daily.
Unfortunately, this product is definitely on the pricey side, costing a few hundred dollars more than our other Editors' Choice award winner, the Cuisinart Hurricane Pro. The Vitamix A2500 can handle everything you throw at it and is one of the best you can get when it comes to blenders.
Read review: Vitamix A2500 Ascent Series
Best Bang for the Buck
Ninja Chef High-Speed Blender
If the price tag of those top models is well outside your budget and giving you cause for concern, then you should consider the NutriBullet ZNBF30400Z. This budget blender surprised us with its excellent performance, holding its own against other models that cost significantly more. It made excellent smoothies and blended beverages and even excelled in some of the more difficult blending tasks, like pureeing nut butter or grating hard cheeses. The NutriBullet even heated the soup in our test to serving temperature while it was being blended — something only the most powerful blenders can do.
However, we did find that the budget price of the NutriBullet includes some concessions, as this blender is a bit less convenient and user-friendly to operate. It lacks any automatic preset cycles for different blending tasks and doesn't have a digital timer, so you have to play it by ear a bit until you get used to how long to blend for on the different power cycles. It also can be a little hard to clean under the blade but these issues are thoroughly overshadowed by the cost savings of this product over the top tier models, earning it the Best Buy Award.
Read review: NutriBullet ZNBF30400Z
Why You Should Trust Us?
To help you find the perfect product for all of your blending needs, we bought all the blenders in this review --so you don't have to. We also won't ever accept any free or sample products to review at TechGearLab, so you can be sure that our reviews and scores are completely unbiased and we have no financial incentive to rank one product over another. Our blender review team is made up of Austin Palmer and David Wise . Both have had extensive experience testing and reviewing kitchen appliances, having tested and reviewed dozens and dozens of food processors, microwaves, vacuum sealers, juicers, and many others. They also bring their expertise to this review as well, both being avid home chefs as well.
We put these appliances through a rigorous series of side-by-side tests to find the winners, totaling over a dozen different evaluations. We made the same smoothie and blended beverage recipe in each product, then had a panel of judges taste the drinks without knowing which blender made them and score the flavor, texture, and consistency. We also used each blender for less common tasks, such as milling flour and making nut butter. These tasks are much more taxing for these products and truly pushed them to their limits — even damaging some of the blenders permanently! Finally, we also awarded points based on the interface and ease of cleaning.
Related: How We Tested Blenders
Analysis and Test Results
Our tests were divided up among five rating metrics — Smoothies, Ice, Convenience, Pureeing, and Grinding — each metric's contribution to the overall score, weighted based on its importance. The following sections detail the results of our tests — which blenders did well and which ones got shredded by the competition.
Related: Buying Advice for Blenders
Right off the bat, you will notice that all of the premium blenders come at a premium price that will set you back a hefty amount. Examples of this include the Vitamix A2500 or the Cuisinart Hurricane Pro, which both cost hundreds of dollars. However, don't despair if the idea of spending a few hundred bucks on a kitchen appliance is causing you to panic. The NutriBullet ZNBF30400Z is an all-around excellent blender that held its own with the Hurricane Pro and the A2500 in the majority of our tests, all while retailing for less than half the price. It has plenty of power for making nut butter, grating hard cheeses, and milling cornmeal or flour but it isn't quite as easy to use. Regardless, it still is a fantastic value option if you are shopping on a budget.
Our most important rating metric — Smoothies — takes credit for the largest portion of the overall score at 30%. Many users only use their blenders for smoothies and should take particular note of this metric. To assess the performance of each product, we looked up several popular smoothie recipes, then picked four to make in each blender. These were a green smoothie, fruit & oat, berry, and an Oreo malt. We followed the manufacturer's recommended instructions for blending a smoothie for each machine and had a panel of judges rank and score the consistency and texture of each beverage produced.
Tying for the top score, the Cuisinart Hurricane Pro, Vitamix A2500 Ascent Series, Vitamix Pro 750, and the Vitamix 5200 all earned a 9 out of 10 for their top-notch performance.
This quartet of blenders all did exceptionally well in the green smoothie test, making a silky-smooth beverage that had no flakes or chunks of unblended vegetables. The finished drink poured right through a mesh sieve as well.
The Cuisinart Hurricane matched this performance using its "Green Smoothie" button, though it did take about 35 seconds longer than the Vitamix brand models. These products all carried their excellent performances into our berry smoothie test, though the Cuisinart did perform just a slight bit worse than the Vitamix models. The A2500 and the 5200 did the best, completely obliterating all of the fruit, as well as the seeds. The Vitamix Pro 750 destroyed all of the seeds, but it still had a few residual pieces of strawberry that remained unblended.
The Cuisinart Hurricane struggled a little when it came to blending up the berry seeds, leaving significantly more than the trio of Vitamix models. This was using the "Fruit Smoothie" setting, which runs for about 45 seconds.
Our next test was a fruit and oat smoothie — a surprisingly difficult task, as there wasn't any liquid in the recipe, only strawberries, bananas, almonds, yogurt, oats, and maple syrup, per the recipe. The Vitamix 5200 did the best of the group, but it took a decent amount of time for the mixture to resemble a smoothie and a decent amount of coaxing with the tamper to get it to blend. The final mixture was consistent, but it was a little on the grainy side. Following the 5200, the Cuisinart Hurricane Pro blended the next best smoothie. It was relatively smooth and gave us no major issue when blending it, but it was slightly grainier than the berry smoothie it produced and the fruit and oat smoothie made by the Vitamix 5200.
The A2500 and the Pro 750 both struggled a bit with the fruit & oat smoothie, much to our surprise. The resultant drinks produced by both products weren't overly grainy and decently smooth but had a non-trivial amount of unblended almond chunks dispersed throughout, which caused them to receive lower marks from our smoothie judges.
For our final smoothie assessment, we evaluated each product on how well it made an Oreo malt. The Vitamix Pro 750, Vitamix A2500, and the Cuisinart Hurricane Pro all delivered a flawless performance, creating a perfect malt without any effort on our part. The Vitamix 5200 did well, but took a little bit of effort on our part to get it blending in the first place and left some small clumps of ice cream unblended. However, it was still an excellent malt.
Right on the heels of this top group of blenders, the NutriBullet ZNBF30400Z and the Ninja Chef both merited an 8 out of 10 for its excellent showing in our smoothie test. The NutriBullet did an excellent job of making all four of the drinks in this metric, particularly with the green smoothie. It chewed through all of the spinach and kale in about a minute on its high setting, only failing to liquefy a small chunk of leaves. The finished drink had a great texture and taste, with only a little foam. The ZNBF30400Z performed similarly with the berry smoothie, producing another excellent drink but it did have some noticeable seed particles that didn't get completely crushed up.
This product continued to do well with the fruit & oat smoothie and the Oreo malt, even though its performance did drop with the fruit & oat smoothie — one of our more difficult smoothie recipes. It did leave some unblended ingredients on the side of the pitcher but the blended part came out quite well, if not a little on the grainy side. The malt was completely blended but did require a little encouragement to get started.
The Ninja Chefmade short work of both the green smoothie and the berry smoothie tests, producing drinks that were only a barely noticeable bit worse than those produced by the top products. The green smoothie had just a tiny bit more texture to it and there were some residual seeds in the berry smoothie.
The Ninja Chef also did quite well with the fruit and oat smoothie, though there were some leftover oats stuck to the side of the pitcher that didn't get blended. It didn't struggle with the reduced amount of liquid in this recipe and didn't noticeably warm the smoothie at all, as the Blendtec did. It finished out this metric with an almost perfect showing at making the Oreo malt, creating a blended drink that had only had a barely perceptible increase in graininess compared to the top models from Vitamix or Cuisinart.
Following the Ninja Chef and the NutriBullet, the Cleanblend Commercial, and the Blendtec Designer 650 all received a 7 out of 10 for their respectable showing when it came to making smoothies.
This Blendtec did a decent job at making a green smoothie, easily demolishing the kale and other hard-to-blend greenery. However, the final drink wasn't quite as homogenous as the Ninja Chef or top Vitamix models, a bit more watery with interspersed amounts of leafy texture.
It did roughly the same with the berry smoothie, producing a drink that was a little on the thinner side and didn't obliterate the seeds, leading to a slightly seedier taste if you drank the unsifted smoothie. The performance dropped a little with the fruit and oat smoothie, with the Blendtec being far from our favorite. While it did do an admirable job at blending the ingredients and only missing a few oats that stuck to the side of the pitcher, it warmed up the smoothie much more than other products, making it a bit weird to drink.
Finally, the Blendtec delivered another lackluster performance with the Oreo malt, doing too good of a job of blending it and liquefying the ice cream, on both the ice cream and on the smoothie setting.
The Cleanblend did far better than the Blendtec with the fruit and oat smoothie recipe. It needed a bit more help getting started, but it blended everything without too much issue and didn't heat the mixture at all. However, the resulting beverage was just a bit more grainy in texture than the top Vitamix models.
It also did very well with the Oreo malt, blending a super smooth drink that was only a tiny bit grainier than the perfect drink. However, the Cleanblend also required a little help at the start to get it blending the malt properly.
The performance of the Cleanblend dropped a bit with the berry smoothie and the green smoothie, doing quite a bit worse than the Blendtec. The Cleanblend left behind even more berry seeds and skins, giving an exceptionally fibrous and seedy taste to the unfiltered version of this drink. The green smoothie was a similar story, with the final drink being almost chewable and a few chunks of pineapple escaping the blade entirely.
Next, the KitchenAid Diamond 5-Speed earned a 6 out of 10 for its smoothie score. This model started with a slightly subpar green smoothie. It was a little flaky from the kale and the mixture wasn't blended thoroughly enough, causing the taste to vary wildly as you drank the smoothie. Besides, we also had to stop and shake the jar a few times to get it to blend. Performance did improve when it came to the berry smoothie challenge, with a substantially better-blended product, but it could not crush up the seeds completely, leaving a moderate amount behind — enough to be noticeable detraction while drinking the smoothie.
The Diamond did surprisingly well with the fruit and oat smoothie, matching the performance of the Cuisinart Hurricane Pro. The Diamond's smoothie was relatively smooth, but there were plenty of small particles that gave it a somewhat grainy texture overall. For the final smoothie, the Diamond didn't impress, tying with the Oster VERSA Pro in our Oreo malt assessment. The final malt made by the Diamond felt very gritty and it took a fair bit of effort on our part to get the mixture to start blending.
Rounding out the back of the pack, the Oster Versa Pro, the Oster Simple Blend, and the Nutri Ninja all earned a 4 out of 10 for their mediocre showing in our smoothie showdown. Of this trio, the Oster Versa Pro did the best at the green smoothie, though it still wasn't very impressive. It was the most smoothie-like of this group, but it still was pretty chunky and hard to drink.
The Nutri Ninja was next, creating a watery concoction with plenty of flecks in it. The Oster Simple Blend 100 performed the worst, creating a green mixture that was very watery with intermittent chunks throughout. This lead to a pretty horrible tasting drink — one that we would even hesitate to call a smoothie. However, the Simple Blend 100 performed the best of this trio at making a berry smoothie. It didn't do a great job, leaving plenty of seeds intact and took a decent amount of shaking to get it to blend, but it was still better than the Nutri Ninja and the Oster VERSA Pro.
The Nutri Ninja also left a ton of seeds and berry skins behind, so there were plenty of chunks and small particles while you were drinking the smoothie.
The Oster VERSA did the worst, leaving whole strawberries throughout and could not even blend it enough to achieve a uniform color, with streaks of white from the yogurt throughout.
The Oster Simple Blend also did the best in this group with the fruit and oat recipe, creating a barely passable beverage. We had to intervene multiple times and scrape the mixture down and the final product was very chunky. We even ran it for an additional amount of time past its preset and it couldn't even come close to the Vitamixs or the Cuisinart. The Versa Pro did even worse, leaving plenty of unblended strawberries and nuts. The final mixture was excessively thick, even after we ran the smoothie cycle an additional two times to try and thin it down. The Nutri Ninja delivered an abysmal performance, creating a mixture that was hardly blended at all, with the blades just spraying things around.
However, it did quite well with the Oreo malt, matching the performance of the Vitamix 5200 and creating a smooth and creamy shake. The VERSA Pro did an alright job, only requiring minimal intervention on our part to scrape the pitcher and leaving a scoop of ice cream unblended. The Simple Blend did the worse, failing to adequately blend the cookies and taking a ton of effort on our part to get it to blend effectively.
Ranking next in importance behind our Smoothie metric, our Ice metric is responsible for 20% of the total score for each appliance. This metric consisted of two tests: crushing ice and blending a margarita.
Again the Cuisinart Hurricane Pro, Vitamix A2500, and the Vitamix Pro 750 came out ahead of the pack but this time was joined by the NutriBullet ZNBF30400Z, with all four of these models earning top scores for their phenomenal performances. Each of these products crushed the ice cubes in 15 seconds or less, with none exhibiting the slightest sign of a struggle.
These top-notch kitchen appliances also did amazingly well at creating a blended margarita, making essentially a perfect frosty beverage. All the ingredients were well combined and the texture with the crushed ice was exactly what we wanted from a blended cocktail when following the manufacturers' recommended setting for blend time and power for each product.
Finishing behind this group, the Blendtec Designer, the Ninja Chef, the Vitamix 5200, and the KitchenAid Diamond all followed, each earning a 9 out of 10 for their performance.
All four of these products crushed it when it came to crushing ice, pulverizing the entire pitcher in less than 15 seconds. However, both the Blendtec and the Ninjadid leave a handful of larger pieces of ice that didn't get totally crushed.
Moving on to our margarita challenge, these blenders again all did quite well — though not quite as well as the top group. The KitchenAid produced a great margarita, rather than excellent, and wasn't quite as smooth as the Vitamix A2500 or the Cuisinart. The Vitamix 5200 created a drink that was of comparable quality to the KitchenAid but struggled a bit more when it came to blending it, requiring us to stop and shake the pitcher and pulse it until it was more thoroughly liquefied.
The Blendtec and the Ninja Chef both blended the margarita extremely easily, liquefying the ingredients very quickly without any additional effort on our part. However, the final drink wasn't quite as smooth as that created by the top appliances, being a bit more grainy with larger chunks of ice.
Next, the Cleanblend Commercial Blender, the Oster VERSA Pro , and the Nutri Ninja each earned an 8 out of 10 for their good performance. The VERSA created a decent margarita, but there were still small chunks of ice dispersed throughout the beverage. It also successfully crushed ice, but it struggles a bit.
The Nutri Ninja effortlessly crushed the ice but didn't create a very consistent margarita. The texture of the beverage was fine, but there were a decent number of unblended chunks of ice randomly spread throughout the drink.
The Cleanblend did a bit better at crushing ice than the VERSA Pro, but not quite as proficient as the Nutri Ninja, as we still had to pulse this product to get it to feed the ice and not just bounce around. However, we did like that the Cleanblend had plenty of power and didn't slow down at all when cutting through the ice cubes.
The Cleanblend also did well in our margarita test, crushing up the ice extremely well and thoroughly liquefying all of the ingredients — almost more than we would have wanted. However, the Cleanblend didn't make the most uniform tasting batch of margaritas, as the vortex created by the blades doesn't seem as strong as some of the other appliances.
Rounding out the back of the pack, the Oster Simple Blend 100 earned a 2 out of 10 for its abysmal showing in our ice tests. It did alright at crushing ice, only leaving a single large cube whole. However, it was our margarita test where the Simple Blend performed exceptionally poorly, failing to fully blend the margarita and forcing us to stop the test early as the base started smoking.
Tying with our Ice metric in terms of significance, our Convenience metric also takes credit for 20% of the total score. This metric evaluated how much work it was to actually use each product, with scores based on the difficulty of hand-washing each model, whether or not it was dishwasher safe, how easy it is to remove the lid, and whether or not the pitcher would dry when left on the base, as well as the quality of the presets on the machine and the labeling for them.
Tying for the top spot, the Cuisinart Hurricane Pro, the Ninja Chef High-Speed, and the Vitamix A2500 Ascent Series all earned a 7 out of 10 for their exceptional performances.
The Ninja Chef, the Cuisinart, and the Vitamix are all completely dishwasher-safe, with their lids, blades, and pitchers rated for automatic washing. On the other hand, the Blendtec's lid isn't suitable for the dishwasher and its pitcher must be placed on the top rack — making it more suitable for cleaning manually.
Luckily, the Blendtec's roomy pitcher is also very easy to clean manually, and the blades aren't as sharp as other products, making it much harder to get cut inadvertently.
The Vitamix A2500 is also very easy to clean manually, whereas the design of the blades on the Cuisinart can provide a bit of difficulty when cleaning by hand. The pitchers of all of these products do dry quite effectively when placed on the motor base, allowing you to forego placing the parts on a drying rack after washing.
The Ninja Chef is a little more difficult to clean by hand, as it can get a bit cramped to clean around the blades at the base of the pitcher. Additionally, there isn't adequate ventilation to dry properly if placed back on the base, so it should probably be dried on a towel or dish rack.
The lid on the A2500 is exceptionally easy to remove, much better than the lid on the Hurricane Pro which gave us the occasional difficulty. However, the presets on the Cuisinart are far superior and better labeled than the A2500.
The Blendtec has a decent set of presets at Batters, Ice Crush, Smoothie, Ice Cream, Whole Juice, and Soups, but it can't match the 11 different functions the Ninja Chef has.
Next, the NutriBullet ZNBF30400Z, the Cleanblend, the Vitamix Pro 750, the Oster Simple Blend 100, and the Nutri Ninja all earned a 6 out of 10 for their results in this metric. The NutriBullet, the Cleanblend, the Oster, and the Nutri Ninja all have lids, blades, and pitchers that are all dishwasher-safe, whereas the Vitamix Pro 750 is hand wash only.
However, this isn't much of an issue, as the Pro 750 is one of the easiest models to wash by hand, with a large pitcher and plenty of room around the blades to adequately clean. The Simple Blend is a little more work to manually wash, forcing you to disassemble the product first or face an almost impossible task. The Cleanblend is just a tiny bit more work to wash by hand, as it can be a little cramped, but there are no problem areas that trap food.
It's a good thing the Nutri Ninja is dishwasher-safe, as it is a huge hassle to clean, with food getting stuck in the drive mechanism and the set of triple blades usually demanding a blood sacrifice from your hand during the cleaning process.
The ZNBF30400Z isn't too much work to wash by hand, as it has a decently wide-mouth pitcher, but we did notice that food trapped under the blade can be difficult to clean and is easy to overlook. The Oster, the NutriBullet, and the Nutri Ninja all need to be dried thoroughly with all of the pieces laid out to prevent it from becoming a moldy mess, but you can get away with putting the Pro 750 or the Cleanblend back on their bases at an angle to suitably dry out.
The Simple Blend, the NutriBullet ZNBF30400Z and the Cleanblend all lack a digital timer or any preset functions, requiring you to manually pick a power level and blending time, which hurt their scores in this metric a bit. Both the Nutri Ninja and the Pro 750 have a decent set of presets that are clearly marked and have a digital timer as well.
Next, the Vitamix 5200, the KitchenAid Diamond, and the Oster VERSA Pro all earned a 5 out of 10 when it came to convenience, all delivering a relatively mediocre performance. The KitchenAid is dishwasher safe, but the 5200 and the Oster Versa Pro are limited to hand wash only. None of these models are too much work to clean manually, with the KitchenAid being slightly more work than the other two, but still significantly easier than the Nutri Ninja to clean by hand.
The Oster VERSA has plenty of room to dry out after washing on the base and you could get away with it for the other two, but it's cutting it close. It would be much better to dry the other two models spread out on a dish rack or mat.
The 5200 and the KitchenAid don't have any preset functions or a digital timer, but the VERSA Pro does have a set of presets, though it does lack a digital timer.
Our next round of tests focused on how proficient each blender is at pureeing, which constitutes 15% of the final score for each kitchen appliance. In this metric, we made a blended nut butter with almonds and peanuts and a pureed tomato soup in each product to score their performance. Additionally, we also awarded additional points if they were able to heat the soup while it was being pureed — a hallmark trait of high-powered blenders.
Receiving the best score possible, the Cuisinart Hurricane Pro, Vitamix A2500, the NutriBullet ZNBF30400Z, and the Vitamix Pro 750 all earned a 10 out of 10 for their perfect performance when it came to pureeing. The Pro 750 and the A2500 both produced a nice and creamy spread after about 8 minutes of operation. The Hurricane Pro also took about 8 minutes to finish, but the final product produced by the Hurricane was slightly grainier than the nut butter produced by the Vitamix model. However, it was still excellent overall.
The ZNBF30400Z required just a tiny nudge to get going but didn't struggle at all once we added a tiny splash of oil. It also took about 8 minutes to create some almond and peanut butter and the resultant spread was smooth and creamy, with an almost perfect texture.
The A2500, the ZNBF30400Z, and the Hurricane smashed our soup test, each earning perfect scores. These appliances produced a uniform soup that poured right through a fine-mesh sieve like it was water. The Pro 750 performed just a little bit worse than the other three products. It still did an overall excellent job but the sieve did catch a few unblended chunks when we poured the Pro 750's soup through it. We were also impressed that all four of these blenders were able to heat the soup to a serving temperature while pureeing it, with the soup measuring just over 150°F after blending.
The Ninja Chef, the Blendtec, and the Vitamix 5200 all followed when it came to pureeing, each meriting an 8 out of 10 for their excellent results. However, each had a few deficiencies that kept them out out of the top-tier.
The 5200 didn't do particularly well at creating nut butter, failing to achieve the creamy texture the other Vitamix models did. Additionally, the motor and base of the 5200 got warm enough to cause concern during this evaluation. We took a break to give the motor a chance to cool and added some additional oil, but it still didn't produce as nice of a finished product as the top models. This model did do very well in the soup test, matching the performance of the Pro 750.
The Blendtec Designer did fine at making nut butter, though the finished product is a tiny bit grainier than what was made by the top products. It also very thoroughly mixed up the soup — though it was a little on the thick side — and heated it to a piping hot 157°F.
The Ninja Chef also made decent nut butter but struggled considerably in the process. It seemingly overheated and wouldn't restart until we gave it sufficient time to cool down and the motor sounded like it was struggling quite a bit, so we would recommend against making nut butter frequently if you want to prolong the life of your appliance. It did much better at mixing the soup but only heated it to a lukewarm 134°F.
Next up, the Oster VERSA Pro merited a 7 out of 10 for its efforts. This appliance successfully made almond butter that was of comparable quality to the A2500, but it took substantially longer and the motor got quite hot in the process. We ended up giving it a rest, adding extra oil, and slowing the motor down towards the end, but the final product was quite smooth and creamy. The soup created by the VERSA was substantially thicker than the previous models, requiring us to force it through the sieve and leaving substantially more residue. It also didn't quite heat the soup enough, only getting it to just over 80°F.
Right behind the VERSA, the KitchenAid Diamond and the Cleanblend Commercial both earned a 6 out of 10. The Diamond 5-Speed did well at pureeing the soup — though it did a substandard job at heating it — and essentially failed the almond butter assessment. The plastic gear actually melted off, rendering the product inoperable, and forced us to get a replacement model to continue testing. Needless to say, we would not recommend this product for making nut butter.
The Cleanblend did much better than the Diamond at mixing up some almond butter, as it successfully made a pitcher without melting. However, it did take a little help on our part to get it started initially and the resulting spread was a little more chalky than we usually would have preferred.
The Cleanblend Commercial can't match the performance of the KitchenAid Diamond when it came to pureeing some tomato soup. The Cleanblend's soup had far more unblended bits of tomato and garlic and didn't pour through a sieve close to as well. However, the Cleanblend did do slightly better at heating the soup than the Diamond but it wasn't close to acceptable serving temperature unless you like your soup on the tepid side.
Finishing at the back of the pack, the Nutri Ninja and the Oster Simple Blend 100 earned a 3 out of 10 for their performance. The butter produced by the Nutri Ninja was very thick and incredibly grainy, but it at least resembled a spread, even though it had a long way to go. The Simple Blend failed completely, getting extremely hot and started to smell like burning rubber and plastic, forcing us to abort the test. This pair did an average job at pureeing the soup, though both failed to heat it above 85°F.
Accounting for the final 15% of the score, our Grinding metric offered some of the most difficult tasks for these products. To determine the scores, we made powdered sugar and cornmeal, as well as shredded hard parmesan cheese to see what these products really could do.
In a bit of an upset, the Vitamix Pro 750 took home the top score, earning a 9 out of 10. This model made extremely fine powdered sugar and cornmeal, with 99% or so of the finished product making it through the sieve. It also did very well at grinding up the parmesan cheese, though it wasn't quite the best, being slightly coarser than the ground cheese produced by the Hurricane.
Next, the Hurricane Pro, the Ninja Chef, the Vitamix A2500, the Vitamix 5200, and the VERSA Pro all tied for the runner-up position, earning an 8 out of 10 for their showing. The Ninja Chef, the 5200 and the A2500 all produced very fine powdered sugar — equivalent to the Pro 750. The mixture made by the VERSA was just a little grainier, knocking down its score slightly. The powdered sugar made by the Hurricane Pro matched that of the Vitamix's but took much longer than the manufacturer's recommended time to achieve that consistency.
In the parmesan cheese challenge, the Hurricane Pro did the best of the entire group, creating the most finely ground and grated cheese, with the VERSA Pro tying with the Vitamix Pro 750 in performance. The 5200 and the A2500 created a product that was slightly coarser than the Pro 750 or the VERSA. The Ninja Chef was about the same as the 5200 or the A2500 in terms of coarseness, but also left a few larger ungrated pieces at the bottom of the pitcher.
The A2500, Hurricane Pro, Vitamix 5200, and the VERSA all performed about the same at grinding popcorn into cornmeal, with about 95% of the finished product passing through the sieve, compared to the 99% of the Vitamix Pro 750. The Ninja Chef matched the Pro 750, with 99% of the cornmeal passing through the sieve.
Performing slightly worse than the top-tier models, the KitchenAid Diamond, the NutriBullet ZNBF30400Z, and the Blendtec Designer all earned a 7 out of 10 for their good performance in our grinding assessments. The KitchenAid appliance did about average at powdered sugar and milling cornmeal, with about 75% of the cornflour passing through the sieve without issue. However, this model did do an excellent job at grinding parmesan cheese, almost matching the performance of the Hurricane Pro.
The Blendtec did the opposite, performing very well when it came to milling flour or creating powdered sugar, but rather mediocre when it came to grating parmesan cheese. Over 95% of the milled popcorn passed through the sieve and the granulated sugar was completely obliterated, leaving only light and fluffy powder behind. However, the grated cheese was much coarser than the others and there were plenty of larger pieces left behind.
The NutriBullet ZNBF30400Z did a little worse than the Blendtec at creating powdered sugar but did outperform the KitchenAid Diamond. Most of the sugar was reduced to a fine and fluffy mixture that poured through a sieve easily but there was a fair amount of granulated sugar remaining even after a full minute of blending. Results flipped when it came to grating hard parmesan cheese, with the ZNBF30400Z scoring lower than the KitchenAid Diamond and above the Blendtec Designer. The ZNBF30400Z struggled a bit at the start but did well once it got going. It reduced most of the parmesan to a fine powder but again had a handful of larger chunks that evade the blades for the most part. Unfortunately, the ZNBF30400Z didn't do too well at grinding corn kernels into cornmeal, with about 25% of the mix being unable to pass through a sieve after blending.
The Cleanblend Commercial came next, earning a 6 out of 10 when it came to its grinding performance. This product did an excellent job of turning granulated sugar into powdered sugar. After 60 seconds of blending, the Cleanblend reduced almost all of the granules to powder.
It also did fairly well milling the corn kernel into cornmeal, but pretty far from the best. There were a decent amount of larger fragments that couldn't make it through the strainer and the final cornmeal wasn't quite as uniform as what was produced by the top products. The Cleanblend finished out with a less than stellar set of results when it came to grating parmesan cheese. Tons of large chunks weren't blended at all and a huge spectrum of different sized pieces after the Cleanblend was done blending.
Finishing last in this metric, both the Nutri Ninja and the Oster Simple Blend 100 earned a 3 out of 10 for their poor performance. These models left plenty of granulated sugar behind when we made powdered sugar and less than 15% of the cornflour they ground passed through the sieve. This pair did alright at grinding parmesan cheese, but the final mixture was very coarse, with plenty of unground chunks interspersed.
You should now have a pretty good idea of which blender is the best bet for your kitchen, whether you are looking for a top-tier model that can do it all or a budget option that can handle your daily smoothie without too much suffering. While it can be daunting to pick the perfect blender with the enormous spread of prices and features, we are here to help and hopefully, this review has accomplished that.
— Austin Palmer, David Wise, and Jenna Ammerman