$350.85 at Amazon
$498.37 at Amazon
$598.99 at Amazon
$99.99 at Amazon
$138.95 at Amazon
|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||We think it's hard to go wrong with this kitchen appliance if you want the best of the best for your blending needs||This product is one of the best blenders available, handling everything we threw at it||While this blender did match our award winners in terms of performance, it does retail for a price that is significantly higher||If you are shopping on a budget, it’s hard to go wrong with the Nutribullet ZNBF30400Z||If you are looking for a budget blender that makes fantastic frozen drinks and superb smoothies, look no further than the Ninja|
|Rating Categories||Cuisinart...||Vitamix A2500...||Vitamix Pro 750||NutriBullet...||Ninja Chef...|
|Specs||Cuisinart...||Vitamix A2500...||Vitamix Pro 750||NutriBullet...||Ninja Chef...|
|Model Number||CBT-2000||A2500||750||ZNBF30400Z||CT805, CT810, CT815|
|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 was the best overall blender. This model makes magnificently mixed margaritas and silky-smooth smoothies. In addition to delicious beverages, this blender easily powers through other tasks like grating hard cheese or milling flour and cornmeal without any trouble. It pureed velvety-smooth tomato soup and even heated it enough to serve right out of the pitcher. This top-of-the-line product is convenient and excels across the board. It would make an excellent addition to any kitchen appliance lineup.
However, after our admittedly intense testing process, we did notice some minor signs of wear and tear on the blade. This should only be a concern if you plan to frequently do tasks that are hard on the blade, such as milling cornmeal, crushing ice without liquid, or making nut butter.
Read review: Cuisinart Hurricane Pro
Best for Heavy-Duty Blending
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 and milling flour. This model does a fantastic job at pureeing soup, and it can even warm it up to piping hot, ready to serve. On top of all that, the blades on this burly blender showed practically zero signs of wear after our testing, so if you're planning to use your blender daily, it should make an excellent choice.
Unfortunately, with a price tag that's a few hundred dollars more than our other top scorer, the Cuisinart Hurricane Pro, this product is definitely on the expensive side. However, the Vitamix A2500 is one of the absolute best when it comes to blenders and can handle everything you throw at it.
Read review: Vitamix A2500 Ascent Series
Best Bang for the Buck
If the price tag of the top models is well outside your budget, then it's worth checking out the NutriBullet ZNBF30400Z. We were surprised by the excellent performance from this budget blender, holding its own against other models that cost significantly more. It makes excellent smoothies, blended beverages, and even excelled in some of the more difficult blending tasks, such as pureeing nut butter and grating hard cheeses. The NutriBullet can even heat soup to serving temperature while it's blending — something only the most powerful blenders can do.
We did discover, however, that the budget price of the NutriBullet comes with some compromises. 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'll have to play it by ear until you get used to how long it takes to blend on the different power cycles. We also think it's a little difficult to clean under the blade. However, we found that these issues were overshadowed by the cost savings from this product over the top tier models.
Read review: NutriBullet ZNBF30400Z
Best for Daily Smoothie Drinkers
Nutri Ninja Ninja Blender DUO with Auto-iQ
If you are a daily smoothie drinker, then the Ninja Blender DUO could be a great choice for you. This appliance doesn't top the charts when it comes to overall performance, but it's certainly a good option if you're routinely making blended drinks for one. Multiple personal cups are included that make it easy to whip up a to-go breakfast smoothie in the morning. The triple blade also does an excellent job crushing ice for blended drinks in its main pitcher, and it's not too much of a hassle to clean.
Although we were huge fans of the smoothies this appliance made in its personal smoothie cups, when we used the large pitcher, we weren't impressed with the results. We found the texture to be very inconsistent and many of our recipes came out worse than when we used other products. Despite this disappointment, if you're making smoothies regularly, it's hard to overlook the added convenience of the personal cups.
Read review: Nutri Ninja Ninja Blender DUO with Auto-iQ
Why You Should Trust Us
Here at TechGearLab, we refuse to review any free or sample products, so you can be sure that our ratings and conclusions are unbiased. We bought all of the models in this review to help you find the perfect solution for all of your blending needs. Our blender review team is made up of Austin Palmer and David Wise . Both have extensive experience testing and reviewing kitchen appliances, including previous work with food processors, microwaves, vacuum sealers, juicers, and many others. They also bring their expertise as avid home chefs to this review.
We put these appliances through a rigorous series of more than a dozen side-by-side tests to find the winners. We used the same smoothie and blended beverage recipes in each product, then had a panel of judges taste the drinks without knowing which blender made them, scoring them on texture, consistency, and flavor. We also used each blender for less common, but more difficult tasks, including milling flour and making nut butter. These tasks are much more taxing for a blender and truly pushed them to their limits — even destroying some of them permanently! Finally, we also awarded points based on the display interface and how easy they are to clean.
Related: How We Tested Blenders
Analysis and Test Results
Our tests were divided into five rating metrics: Smoothies, Ice, Convenience, Pureeing, and Grinding. Each metric's contribution to the overall score is weighted based on how important we believe it is for blending performance. The following sections detail the results of our tests, where we note which blenders did well and which ones got shredded by the competition.
Related: Buying Advice for Blenders
You will probably notice right off the bat that all of the premium blenders come at correspondingly premium prices that could set you back a hefty amount. Examples of these include the Vitamix A2500 and the Cuisinart Hurricane Pro. However, if the idea of spending a few hundred bucks on a kitchen appliance inspires panic, don't be discouraged. The NutriBullet ZNBF30400Z is an all-around excellent blender that retails for less than half the price, and it held its own against the Hurricane Pro and the A2500 in the majority of our tests. It has plenty of power for making nut butter, grating hard cheeses, and milling cornmeal and flour. Its primary drawback is that it isn't quite as easy to use, but if you are shopping on a budget, it's still is a fantastic value option.
Our most important rating metric — Smoothies — composes the largest portion of the overall score at 30%. To assess the performance of each product, we picked four popular smoothie recipes to make in each blender. These were a green smoothie, berry, fruit & oat, and an Oreo malt. We followed the manufacturer's recommended instructions for blending a smoothie for each machine and had a panel of judges score the consistency and texture of each beverage that we mixed up.
Tying for the top score and earning a 9 out of 10 were the Cuisinart Hurricane Pro, Vitamix A2500 Ascent Series, Vitamix Pro 750, and the Vitamix 5200.
This quartet of blenders all did exceptionally well in the green smoothie test, producing a silky-smooth beverage with no unblended flakes or chunks. The finished drinks all poured right through a mesh sieve as well.
The Cuisinart Hurricane matched this performance using its "Green Smoothie" button. However, 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 not only the fruit but the seeds as well. The Vitamix Pro 750 destroyed all of the seeds but left 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, which was a surprisingly difficult task because there wasn't any liquid in the recipe, only strawberries, bananas, almonds, yogurt, oats, and maple syrup. The Vitamix 5200 performed the best, but it took a long 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. The Cuisinart Hurricane Pro blended the next best smoothie. It was relatively smooth and gave us no major issue in the process, but it was slightly grainier than the berry smoothie it produced and was inferior to the fruit and oat smoothie made by the Vitamix 5200.
The fruit and oat smoothie proved to be a challenge for both the Vitamix A2500 and the Pro 750. It was surprising to see the amount of whole almond chunks that both drinks had, earning them a lower score from our panel of taste testers. However, we appreciated that the rest of the drink had a fairly smooth texture and wasn't overly grainy.
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 additional effort on our part. The Vitamix 5200 also did well, but it took some nudging to get it blending at the beginning. It also left some small clumps of ice cream unblended, but it was still an excellent malt.
In a second performance tier, the NutriBullet ZNBF30400Z and the Ninja Chef both merit an 8 out of 10. The NutriBullet did an excellent job of making all four of the drinks in this metric, particularly with the green smoothie. On its high setting, it chewed through all the spinach and kale in about a minute, only failing to liquefy a small clump of leaves. The finished drink had a great texture and taste, with hardly any foam. The ZNBF30400Z performed similarly with the berry smoothie, creating its own excellent drink with only a few noticeable seed particles that weren't completely crushed up.
This product continued to do well with the fruit and oat smoothie and the Oreo malt, even though its performance did drop with the fruit and oat smoothie — our most difficult smoothie recipe. Although it did leave some unblended ingredients on the side of the pitcher, the blended part came out quite well, if not a little on the grainy side. The malt was completely blended but required 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 barely less desirable than those produced by the top products. The green smoothie had just a tiny bit more texture, and some residual seeds were left 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 seem to struggle with the reduced amount of liquid in this recipe, and unlike the Blendtec, it didn't noticeably warm the smoothie at all. It finished out this metric with an almost perfect showing at making the Oreo malt, creating a blended drink that had only had slightly more graininess than the Vitamix and Cuisinart.
Following the Ninja Chef and the NutriBullet, the Cleanblend Commercial, and the Blendtec Designer 650 each received a 7 out of 10 for their respectable smoothie showing.
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 consistent as the Ninja Chef or top Vitamix models. Instead, it was a bit more watery with a slightly leafy texture.
It did roughly the same with the berry smoothie; when drinking a smoothie that was unsifted, it produced a drink that was a little on the thinner side with a seedier taste. The performance dropped a little with the fruit and oat smoothie, with the Blendtec being far from our favorite. Although it did do an admirable job blending the ingredients and only a few oats that were stuck to the side were missed, it was less appealing to drink because the smoothie was warmed up much more than from the other products.
Finally, the Blendtec delivered another lackluster performance when we tried both the ice cream and the smoothie setting, doing too good of a job blending the Oreo malt, liquefying the ice cream.
The Cleanblend did far better than the Blendtec with the fruit and oat smoothie recipe. Although it needed a bit more help to get started, it ultimately blended everything without too much issue, and the mixture wasn't heated at all. However, the result was a beverage grainier in texture than the top Vitamix models.
The Cleanblend 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, it 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, delivering results that were a bit worse than the Blendtec. The Cleanblend left behind even more berry seeds and skins, lending an exceptionally fibrous and seedy taste to the unfiltered drink. The green smoothie was a similar story, with a few chunks of pineapple escaping the blade, making the final drink on the verge of chewable.
Next, the KitchenAid Diamond 5-Speed earned a 6 out of 10. This model started with a slightly subpar green smoothie. The mixture just didn't blend thoroughly enough, and little flecks of kale were left behind, causing the taste to vary widely between gulps. To get it to blend, we also had to stop and shake the basin a few times. Performance improved when it came to the berry smoothie challenge, delivering a substantially better-blended product. It still could not crush up the seeds completely, which left enough to be noticeable 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 overall there was a bit of a grainy texture from unblended small particles. For the final smoothie with our Oreo malt assessment, the Diamond didn't impress, tying with the Oster VERSA Pro. It took a good amount of effort on our part to get the mixture to start blending, and disappointingly, the final malt felt very gritty.
At the back of the pack, the Oster Versa Pro and the Nutri Ninja each earned a 4 out of 10 for their mediocre showing in the smoothie showdown. Of this duo, the Oster Versa Pro did the best at the green smoothie, although it still wasn't very impressive. Even though it was the most smoothie-like of this group, ultimately, it was hard to drink due to its chunkiness.
The Nutri Ninja was next, creating a watery concoction filled with plenty of flecks.
The final product of the Nutri Ninja also left a ton of seeds and berry skins intact, with plenty of chunks and small particles left behind.
The Oster VERSA did the worst, leaving whole strawberries throughout. It also couldn't blend it enough to achieve a uniform color, leaving streaks of white yogurt throughout.
Also struggling with the fruit and oat recipe was the Versa Pro, leaving plenty of unblended strawberries and nuts. The final mixture was excessively thick, even after we ran the smoothie cycle two extra times in an attempt to try and thin it down. The Nutri Ninja delivered an abysmal performance, creating a barely blended mixture, with the blades just spraying ingredients around.
On the plus side, 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 Ice metric accounts for 20% of the final score for each product. Here we compare how well each machine could crush ice and the quality of a blended margarita made by each one.
Once again, the Cuisinart Hurricane Pro, Vitamix A2500, and the Vitamix Pro 750 came out ahead of the pack, but this time they were joined by the NutriBullet ZNBF30400Z. All four of these models earned top scores for their phenomenal performances. None of these products exhibited the slightest sign of a struggle and all crushed the ice cubes in 15 seconds or less.
These top-notch kitchen appliances also did amazingly well at creating a blended margarita, making a delightfully frosty beverage. We followed the manufacturers' recommended setting for blend time and power for each product, and all of the ingredients were well combined, giving us the texture we wanted from a blended cocktail.
Finishing behind this group and each earning a 9 out of 10, are the Blendtec Designer, the Ninja Chef, the Vitamix 5200, and the KitchenAid Diamond.
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 Ninja did leave a handful of larger ice pieces that didn't get crushed all the way.
In our margarita challenge, these blenders again all did quite well — though not quite as well as the top group. The KitchenAid produced a great (but not excellent) margarita — it just wasn't quite as smooth as the Cuisinart or the Vitamix A2500. The Vitamix 5200 created a drink that was comparable in quality to the KitchenAid but struggled a bit more when it came to blending it. Instead, it required us to stop, shake the pitcher and pulse it until things were more thoroughly liquefied.
The Ninja Chef and the Blendtec both blended the margarita extremely easily, liquefying the ingredients very quickly and requiring no additional effort on our part. The final drink, however, wasn't quite as smooth as the ones created by the top appliances.
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 margarita created by the VERSA was decent, but small chunks of ice were still dispersed throughout the beverage. It also managed to successfully crush ice by itself, although it struggled a bit.
The Nutri Ninja effortlessly crushed ice but didn't create a very consistent margarita. The texture of the beverage was okay, but there were a decent number of unblended chunks of ice unevenly distributed throughout the drink.
The Cleanblend did a bit better at crushing ice than the VERSA Pro but proved to be less proficient than the Nutri Ninja. This was demonstrated by the additional pulsing required to get it to feed the ice rather than just bouncing it 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 batch of margaritas made by the Cleanblend wasn't the most uniform in taste, and we noted that the vortex created by the blades doesn't seem as strong as some of the other appliances.
The Convenience metric comprises 20% of the total score. We evaluated how much work it took to 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 their labeling.
Tying for the top spot, the Cuisinart Hurricane Pro, the Ninja Chef High-Speed, and the Vitamix A2500 Ascent Series all had exceptional performances earning a 7 out of 10.
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 was more suitable for cleaning by hand since the lid isn't dishwasher friendly and its pitcher must be placed on the top rack.
Luckily, the pitcher on the Blendtec's is also very easy to clean manually, and the blades aren't as sharp as some of the other products.
The Vitamix A2500 is also very easy to clean by hand, 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 skip the drying rack after washing.
The Ninja Chef is a little more difficult to clean by hand, especially 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 would probably be best to dry 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. However, the presets on the Cuisinart are far superior and better labeled than the A2500.
The Blendtec has a decent set of presets with Batters, Ice Crush, Smoothie, Ice Cream, Whole Juice, and Soups — but it can't match the 11 different functions of the Ninja Chef.
Next, the NutriBullet ZNBF30400Z, the Cleanblend, the Vitamix Pro 750, and the Nutri Ninja all earn a 6 out of 10. The NutriBullet, the Cleanblend, and the Nutri Ninja all have dishwasher-safe lids, blades, and pitchers, whereas the Vitamix Pro 750 is hand wash only.
However, since the Pro 750 is one of the easiest models to wash by hand, this isn't much of an issue. It has a large pitcher with plenty of room to adequately clean around the blades. The Cleanblend has a few more nooks, making it just a bit more work to wash by hand.
It is a good thing the Nutri Ninja is dishwasher-safe, as it is a huge hassle to clean. Food gets stuck in the drive mechanism and the set of triple blades, which usually results in a blood sacrifice from your hand during the cleaning process.
The ZNBF30400Z isn't too much work to wash by hand since it has a reasonably wide-mouth pitcher, but we noticed that food gets trapped under the blade, which can easily be overlooked. The NutriBullet and the Nutri Ninja each need to be dried thoroughly with all of the pieces laid out to prevent them from becoming a moldy mess; however, you can get away with putting the Pro 750 and the Cleanblend back on their bases at an angle to suitably dry out.
The metric scores of the NutriBullet ZNBF30400Z and the Cleanblend were hurt due to the lack of a digital timer or any preset functions, requiring you to manually pick a power level and blending time. 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 earn a mediocre 5 out of 10 for convenience. 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 if you had to, but it's not ideal; it would be much better to dry them on a dish rack or mat.
The 5200 and the KitchenAid don't have any preset functions or a digital timer. The VERSA Pro lacks a digital timer but does have presets.
Pureeing performance 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. Additionally, we also awarded points if machines 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 pureeing performance. 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.
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 resulting 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. 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 could heat the soup to a serving temperature while pureeing it, with the soup measuring 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. However, each had a few deficiencies that kept them 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 give us pause during the test. 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 the top products produced. It also very thoroughly mixed up the soup — though it was a little on the thick side. It also heated it to a piping hot 157°F.
The Ninja Chef also made decent nut butter, but the process was quite the struggle. It seemingly overheated and wouldn't restart until we gave it sufficient time to cool down. 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.
The VERSA Pro followed, earning a 7 out of 10 for a solid performance. This product created some top-notch almond butter that was almost identical to the finished product created by the top-tier appliances, but it did take the VERSA quite a bit longer to get there. The motor also got much warmer than we really would have liked in the process — enough that we paused to give it a chance to cool off and added a tiny bit of oil to the mixture to make it a little easier partway through. Unfortunately, it didn't do very well in the soup test, making a tomato soup that was much thicker than the others, enough that it almost could be considered a tomato stew instead of a soup. It also failed to warm up the soup to serving temperatures while mixing like other high-powered blenders could, only heating it to a just over room temperature 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 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 almond butter; however, it did take a little help on our part to get it started, and the resulting spread was chalky.
The Cleanblend Commercial can't match the performance of the KitchenAid Diamond when it comes 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 nearly as well. However, the Cleanblend did do slightly better at heating the soup than the Diamond though it wasn't hot by any means.
Finishing at the back of the pack, the Nutri Ninja earned a 3 out of 10. The nut butter it produced was very thick and incredibly grainy, but at least resembled a spread, even though there was a long way to go. It did an average job at pureeing the soup, though it 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 models 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, remaining slightly coarser than the ground cheese produced by the Hurricane.
The Hurricane Pro, the VERSA Pro, the Ninja Chef, the Vitamix A2500, and the Vitamix 5200 all earned an 8 out of 10. 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, which knocked down its score slightly. The powdered sugar made by the Hurricane Pro matched 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 grated cheese, with the VERSA Pro tying the Vitamix Pro 750. 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 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% for 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. This model, however, did an excellent job at grinding parmesan cheese, nearly matching the performance of the Hurricane Pro.
The Blendtec did the opposite, performing very well when it came to milling flour and creating powdered sugar, but came up short when 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 making powdered sugar but outperformed the KitchenAid Diamond. Most of the sugar was reduced to a fine and fluffy powder 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 evaded the blades. Unfortunately, the ZNBF30400Z didn't do so well at grinding corn kernels into cornmeal, with only about 25% of the blended mix failing to pass through a sieve.
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 wouldn't pass 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, and a huge spectrum of different sized pieces were left after the Cleanblend was done blending.
Delivering the worst performances of the entire group in our grinding metric, the Nutri Ninja merited a 3 out of 10. When we tried to make powdered sugar, it left behind tons of granulated sugar, even after we left it running for significant amounts of time. It also did poorly at milling corn kernels, with more than three-fourths of the milled corn remaining too large to pass through a sieve after blending. It redeemed itself slightly when it came to grating hard parmesan cheese, producing a coarse but acceptable grated result. Some larger chunks, however, completely escaped the blades.
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, we hope you now feel confident to select a blender that fits your needs and budget. Although the enormous spread of prices and features can make picking the perfect blender a seemingly dauntless task, we are here to help, and hopefully, this review has accomplished that.
— Austin Palmer and David Wise