Best for Smoothies and Blended Drinks
Cuisinart Hurricane Pro
: 3.5 HP | Jar Size
: 64 oz.
Excellent at pureeing
Crushes ice with ease
Blades showed signs of wear
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 up 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 Full Review: Cuisinart Hurricane Pro
Best for Heavy-Duty Blending Tasks
Vitamix A2500 Ascent Series
: 2.2 HP | Jar Size
: 64 oz.
No sign of wear
Makes excellent nut butter
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 at the conclusion of our testing, making this product an excellent choice if you are looking to use your blender on a daily basis.
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 definitely one of the best you can get when it comes to blenders.
Read Full Review: Vitamix A2500 Ascent Series
Best Value Option
Ninja Chef High-Speed Blender
: 2 HP | Jar Size
: 72 oz. (64 oz. max liquid capacity)
Fantastic frozen drinks
Great smoothie performance
Struggles at making nut butter
If the price tag of the premium products is giving you cause to panic, look no further than the Ninja Chef. While it did score slightly worse than the Hurricane Pro or the Vitamix A2500 when it came to making smoothies or frozen drinks, the difference is barely noticeable and the Ninja Chef costs hundreds of dollars less. It is extremely convenient and easy to clean and you can even purchase personal smoothie cups to make it even more convenient.
Unfortunately, this model did struggle with pureeing nut butter. It actually produced a very high-quality finished product, but did overheat in our tests and needed a break, leading us to fear that it wouldn't last terribly long if you made nut butter on a very frequent basis. However, if you are looking to save some money and mainly stick to smoothies or other easier to blend items, then the Ninja Chef is a phenomenal choice.
Read Full Review: Ninja Chef High-Speed Blender
We tested each blender with the same amount of food regardless of pitcher size.
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 own personal expertise to this review, 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 identical 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 Ninja Chef blender, our Best Buy Award winner, pretty much holds its own with the top products, doing an excellent job at making stellar smoothies and refreshing blended beverages, all while costing quite a bit less. It doesn't have the most power for tasks like pureeing nut butter, but it still should be fine for most people. If you are on the tightest budgetary constraints, then you may want to consider the KitchenAid Diamond, our other Best Buy Award winner. It might not be the most convenient to use or be able to match the silky-smooth smoothies of the Vitamix, but it sells for significantly less.
Making a great smoothie is a key trait for any blender.
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 and 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.
All four of these blenders did an excellent job when it came to making a Green smoothie. All of the Vitamix blenders performed about the same, creating a velvety smooth concoction that had no discernible flakes or chunks and poured right through the sieve.
The green smoothie poured effortlessly through the sieve.
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 Pro 750 makes easy work of all the berry seeds.
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 really 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 tamper use 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.
Our fruit, oat, and nut smoothie was difficult for some of the blenders to handle.
Surprisingly, the Vitamix A2500 Ascent Series and the Pro 750 struggled a bit with this test, both producing smoothies that were only slightly above average. Both of these models created decently smooth drinks, but there were plenty of almond chunks interspersed throughout, dropping their scores.
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 Ninja Chef earned an 8 out of 10 for its excellent showing in our smoothie test. This blender made 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 only left a small amount of greenery partially unblended.
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, the Cleanblend Commercial and the Blendtec Designer 650 both 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.
The green smoothie came out alright, but it was a little on the watery side.
It did roughly the same with the berry smoothie, producing a drink that was a little on the thinner side and didn't totally 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 actually 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 totally 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 up the mixture at all. However, the resulting beverage was just a bit more grainy in texture than the top Vitamix models.
Prepped up for the fruit and nut smoothie challenge.
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 Cleanblend made above average smoothies.
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 off 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. In addition, 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.
Though the Diamond left behind seeds, it is nothing compared to the Nutri Ninja Duo which probably left every seed unblended.
The Diamond actually 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 Versa Pro did not do well at breaking down the cell walls of the kale.
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.
Like the Ninja Duo many seeds escaped the blades.
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.
Most of the seeds from the berries are still intact.
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.
The Hurricane Pro was a top performer for making frozen drinks.
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. Needless to say, this was one of our favorite metrics of the whole review.
Again the Cuisinart Hurricane Pro, Vitamix A2500, and the Vitamix Pro 750 came out ahead of the pack, with all three models tying for the top spot with a phenomenal score of 10 out of 10. All three of these products crushed a full pitcher of ice in about 15 seconds, showing absolutely no signs of a struggle.
The A2500 makes efficient work of ice and frozen drinks.
This trio of top-notch products also performed exceptionally well at blending a margarita, creating essentially a perfect frosty beverage. All three of these created an ultra-smooth, perfectly blended concoction following the manufacturer's recommendations — usually less than two minutes of blending.
The Pro 750 does an excellent job blending up frozen drinks into a velvety smooth texture.
Finishing behind this group, the Blendtec Designer, the Ninja Chef, the Vitamix 5200, and the KitchenAid Diamond all tied for the second-place position, each earning a 9 out of 10 for their performance.
All four of these products absolutely 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 margarita that was great, 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 actually 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.
The Ninja did very well in this set of tests, crushing ice with ease.
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 definitely struggles a bit.
Making quick work of ice needing to utilize the pulse button.
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 didn't quite crush the competition but it did very well.
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.
The Cuisinart is quite convenient to use.
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.
This product isn't dishwasher-safe but is very easy to wash by hand.
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 really 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 A2500 has a nice digital display and what we feel is all the presets that you need.
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.
This appliance is one of the more convenient products to use.
Tying for second place in this metric, the Cleanblend, the Vitamix Pro 750, the Oster Simple Blend 100, and the Nutri Ninja all earned a 6 out of 10 for their performance. The Cleanblend, the Oster, and the Nutri Ninja 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 not problem areas that trap food.
The Cleanblend is also dishwasher safe.
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.
Hand washing this blade can be disastrous.
The Oster and the Nutri Ninja both 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 and the Cleanblend both lack a digital timer or any preset functions, hurting their convenience scores slightly. 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 narrow pitcher of the Diamond makes it more difficult to clean by hand.
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.
Gearing up to make some tomato soup.
Next, in terms of significance, our Pureeing metric takes credit for 15% of the total score. To rank the performance of these appliances, we made a nut butter with almonds and peanuts and pureed tomato soup, as well as evaluating how well each product could actually heat up the soup.
Receiving the best score possible, the Cuisinart Hurricane Pro, Vitamix A2500, 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 powerful motor easily churned these nuts into butter.
The A2500 and the Hurricane smashed our soup test, both earning perfect scores. These appliances produced a uniform soup that poured right through a sieve. The Pro 750 still did an excellent job, but left some residual debris in the sieve after it pureed the soup. For the final test, all three of these models received perfect marks, each heating the soup up to over 150°F.
Some blenders can actually heat up your soup (if blended for long enough, about 5-6 minutes) as you puree.
Finishing behind this trio of top performers, the Blendtec Designer, the Ninja Chef, and the Vitamix 5200 all earned an 8 out of 10 for their fantastic performance.
The 5200 didn't do particularly well at creating nut butter, failing to achieve the creamy texture the other Vitamix models did and getting concerningly warm in the process. 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 up 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 up 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 up 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 had a really grainy nut butter.
The Cleanblend doesn't do as well as the Diamond 5-Speed at pureeing the soup, mixing up a batch of tomato soup that had far more pulp and didn't pour through the strainer as well. The Cleanblend did do a better job at heating up the soup, but it still never quite got it to serving temperature, leaving it quite lukewarm.
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.
Quickly grate up your favorite cheeses.
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.
Worst (left) to best (right) in our corn flour test.
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 actually 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, the KitchenAid Diamond and the Blendtec Designer both earned a 7 out of 10 for its grinding performance. 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 Diamond had above average performance in our grinding metric.
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 Cleanblend Commercial came next, earning a 6 out of 10 when it came to its grinding performance. This product did an absolutely excellent job at turning granulated sugar into powdered sugar. After 60 seconds of blending, the Cleanblend reduced almost all of the granules to powder.
This model really ground up the granules.
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. There were tons of large chunks that weren't blended at all and a huge spectrum of different sized pieces after the Cleanblend was done blending.
The Cleanblend wasn't super effective at grinding up parmesan.
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 corn flour 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.
At this point, you — hopefully — have a pretty good idea of which of these appliances is the perfect fit for your kitchen and your budget, whether you are looking for a top-of-the-line, premium product that can blend anything or a budget option that won't shred your budget.