Best Blender of 2021
$399.95 at Amazon
Check Price at Amazon
$592.90 at Amazon
$96.94 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
The Hurricane Pro was the best overall blender, tying with the Vitamix A2500 for the top score of the entire bunch. This model makes silky-smooth smoothies and magnificently mixed margaritas. In addition to delicious beverages, this blender easily powers through other tasks like milling flour and cornmeal or grating hard cheese 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, we did notice some minor signs of wear and tear on the blade after our admittedly intense testing process. This should only be a concern if you plan to frequently do tasks that are hard on the blade, such as crushing ice without liquid, milling cornmeal, 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 milling flour and crushing ice. 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 top models' price tags are well outside your budget, then it's worth checking out the NutriBullet ZNBF30400Z. We were surprised by this budget blender's excellent performance, holding its own against other models that cost significantly more. It makes excellent blended beverages and smoothies, and even excelled in some of the more difficult blending tasks, such as grating hard cheeses and pureeing nut butter. The NutriBullet can even heat soup to serving temperature while it's blending — something only the most powerful blenders can do.
However, we discovered that the budget price of the NutriBullet comes with some compromises. This blender is a bit less user-friendly and convenient to operate. It doesn't have a digital timer and lacks any automatic preset cycles for different blending tasks, 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 these issues to be forgivable due to the cost savings this product offers over the top tier models.
Read review: NutriBullet ZNBF30400Z
Best for the Tightest of Budgets
Hamilton Beach 58148A
If you are shopping for a blender on the absolute tightest of budgets, then we think the Hamilton Beach 58148A is a fantastic choice. This blender is usually one of the cheapest options on the market by far and actually holds its own quite well against some of the premium models. It delivered solid results when it came to making smoothies and blended drinks — even making smooth and creamy almond and peanut butter without too much trouble. It's overall simple and easy to use, and cleanup is a breeze with a pitcher, blade, and lid that are all dishwasher-safe.
However, this lower power blender does struggle a bit with some of the harder tasks. It didn't really manage to powder sugar, mill corn kernels, or grate parmesan cheese, even with additional time allotted. It also doesn't have any timed presets, and the lid can be a bit hard to remove, but if you are shopping on a tight budget, we think this appliance is hard to beat.
Read review: Hamilton Beach 58148A
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 is certainly a good option if you're routinely making blended drinks for one, but it doesn't top the charts when it comes to overall performance. Multiple personal cups are included that make it easy to whip up a to-go breakfast smoothie in the morning. The triple-blade in its main pitcher also does an excellent job crushing ice for blended drinks, 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, we weren't impressed with the results when we used the large pitcher. Many of our recipes came out worse than when we used other products, and we found the texture to be very inconsistent. Despite this disappointment, it's hard to overlook the personal cups' added convenience if you're making smoothies regularly.
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 Cuisinart Hurricane Pro and the Vitamix A2500. However, don't be discouraged if the idea of spending a few hundred bucks on a kitchen appliance inspires panic. The NutriBullet ZNBF30400Z is an excellent all-around blender that retails for less than half the price, and it held its own in the majority of our tests against the A2500 and the Hurricane Pro. It has plenty of power for grating hard cheeses, making nut butter, and milling cornmeal and flour. Its primary drawback is that it isn't quite as easy to use, but it's still a fantastic value option if you are shopping and trying to maximize your budget. If you are trying to spend as little as possible, then the Hamilton Beach 58148A is by far our top recommendation. Though it struggles with some of the more difficult tasks, it still does a great job with typical blender tasks, and costs a mere fraction of the price of the premium models.
Our most important rating metric — Smoothies — composes the largest portion of the overall score at 30%. We picked four popular smoothie recipes to make in each blender to assess the performance of each product. 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 chunks or flakes. The finished drinks all poured right through a mesh sieve.
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 unblended strawberry.
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 while 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 almonds, strawberries, bananas, oats, yogurt, 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 a little on the grainy side, but consistent. 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 Pro 750 and the Vitamix A2500. It was surprising to see the number of whole almond chunks that both drinks had, earning them a lower score from our taste test panel. However, we appreciated that the rest of the drink wasn't overly grainy and had a fairly smooth texture.
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 at the beginning, it took some nudging to get it blending. 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 creating all four of the drinks in this metric, particularly 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 hardly any foam with a great texture and taste. 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 Chef made short work of both the berry smoothie and the green smoothie tests, producing only barely less desirable drinks than those produced by the top products. Some residual seeds were left in the berry smoothie, and the green smoothie had just a tiny bit more texture.
The Ninja Chef also did quite well with the fruit and oat smoothie, though some oats didn't get blended and were stuck to the side of the pitcher. 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 Cuisinart and Vitamix.
Following the NutriBullet and the Ninja Chef, 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 had a slightly leafy texture and was a bit more watery.
It did roughly the same with the berry smoothie; when drinking a smoothie that was unsifted, it produced a drink with a seedier taste that was a little on the thinner side. The performance dropped slightly with the fruit and oat smoothie, with the Blendtec being far from our favorite. Although it did an admirable job blending the ingredients and only a few oats stuck to the side were missed, the smoothie was warmed up much more than from the other products, making it less appealing to drink.
Finally, the Blendtec delivered another lackluster performance when we tried both the smoothie and the ice cream 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, to get it blending the malt properly, it required a little help at the start.
The Cleanblend's performance dropped slightly with the berry and green smoothies, delivering results that were a bit worse than the Blendtec. The Cleanblend left behind even more berry seeds and skins, lending an exceptionally seedy and fibrous taste to the unfiltered drink. The green smoothie was a similar story, making the final drink on the verge of chewable due to a few pineapple chunks that escaped the blade.
Next, the KitchenAid Diamond 5-Speed and the Hamilton Beach 58148A both earned a 6 out of 10 for their just above-average performance. The KitchenAid Diamond 5-Speed got off to a bit of a rocky start 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. We also had to stop and shake the basin a few times to get it to blend. Performance improved in 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 were quite a bit of unblended small particles creating a grainy texture. For the final smoothie with our Oreo malt assessment, the Diamond didn't impress. 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.
The Hamilton Beach 58148A did a little better than the KitchenAid Diamond 5-Speed with the green smoothie. It did manage to fully blend the drink, but there was plenty of pulp and larger kale flakes that made it a little grainy. It did about the same with the berry smoothie, leaving plenty of unblended skins and seeds intact.
Performance dropped a bit with the fruit and oat smoothie, with plenty of assistance on our part required to jump start the blending process. This blender also missed a significant amount of oats and produced a less smooth smoothie than some of the others. However, it finished out with a strong performance with the Oreo malt, creating an excellent beverage after about 60 seconds of blending. The narrow neck of the pitcher did cause some of the cookies to jam, requiring a slight assist to free them.
At the back of the pack, the Nutri Ninja and the Oster Versa Pro each earned a 4 out of 10 for their mediocre showing in the smoothie showdown. Of this duo, the Oster Versa Pro produced the best green smoothie, although it still wasn't very impressive. Even though it was the most smoothie-like of this group, it was ultimately hard to drink due to its chunkiness.
The Nutri Ninja was next, creating a watery concoction filled with plenty of flecks.
The Nutri Ninja's final product also left a ton of berry skins and seeds intact, with plenty of small particles and chunks 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 as well.
Also struggling with the fruit and oat recipe was the Versa Pro, leaving plenty of unblended nuts and strawberries. Even after we ran the smoothie cycle two extra times in an attempt to try and thin it down, the final mixture was excessively thick. 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, leaving a scoop of ice cream unblended and only requiring minimal intervention on our part to scrape the pitcher.
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, crushing the ice cubes in 15 seconds or less, and none exhibited the slightest sign of a struggle.
These top-notch kitchen appliances also did amazingly well at creating a delightfully frosty blended margarita. 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 expect 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. In less than 15 seconds, they pulverized the entire pitcher. However, both the Blendtec and the Ninja left 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 Vitamix A2500 or the Cuisinart. The Vitamix 5200 created a comparable drink in quality to the KitchenAid but struggled a bit more when it came to blending it. Instead, it required us to stop, pulse it, and shake the pitcher until things were more thoroughly liquefied.
The Ninja Chef and the Blendtec both blended the margarita extremely easily, requiring no additional effort on our part and liquefying the ingredients very quickly. However, the final drink 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. Although it struggled a bit, it also managed to crush ice by itself successfully.
The Nutri Ninja effortlessly crushed ice but didn't create a very consistent margarita. The beverage's texture 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 didn't slow down at all and had plenty of power when cutting through the ice cubes.
The Cleanblend also did well in our margarita test, crushing up the ice extremely well — almost more than we would have wanted, and thoroughly liquefying all of the ingredients. However, we noted that the vortex created by the blades doesn't seem as strong as some of the other appliances, and the batch of margaritas made by the Cleanblend wasn't the most uniform in taste.
The Hamilton Beach 58148A finished out the back of the group in this metric. It struggled to crush the ice, as the base of the pitcher would block up and keep ice cubes at the top from reaching the blades. However, it did much better in the margarita test, blending a solid beverage. The texture wasn't quite as smooth as the top products, but we think it definitely produced a more than drinkable cocktail.
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. We also assessed 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. These models are all completely dishwasher-safe, with their blades, lids, and pitchers rated for automatic washing. The Blendtec, on the other hand, was more suitable for cleaning by hand since its pitcher must be placed on the top rack, and the lid isn't dishwasher friendly.
Luckily, the blades aren't as sharp as some of the other products, and the pitcher on the Blendtec's is also very easy to clean manually.
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 allow you to skip the drying rack after washing by drying quite effectively when placed on the motor base.
The Ninja Chef is a little more difficult to clean by hand, especially around the blades at the base of the pitcher. Additionally, it would probably be best to dry on a towel or dish rack because there isn't adequate ventilation to dry properly if placed back on the base.
The lid on the A2500 is exceptionally easy to remove, much better than the lid on the Hurricane Pro. However, the Cuisinart presets are better labeled and far superior to the A2500.
The Blendtec has a decent set of presets with Batters, Smoothie, Ice Crush, Whole Juice, Ice Cream, 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, the Hamilton Beach 58148A, and the Nutri Ninja all earn a 6 out of 10. The majority of this group has dishwasher-safe lids, blades, and pitchers, except for the Vitamix Pro 750, which is hand wash only. However, this isn't much of an issue since it's one of the easiest models to wash by hand. 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 set of triple blades and the drive mechanism, which usually results in a blood sacrifice from your hand during the cleaning process.
The ZNBF30400Z has a reasonably wide-mouth pitcher, so it isn't too much work to wash by hand, 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 to suitably dry out at an angle.
The scores of the NutriBullet ZNBF30400Z, the Hamilton Beach 58148A, and the Cleanblend were hurt due to their lack of a digital timer or any preset functions, requiring you to manually pick a blending time and power level. Both the Nutri Ninja and the Pro 750 have a decent set of presets and the digital timer and are clearly marked.
Next, the KitchenAid Diamond, the Vitamix 5200, 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 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. While you could get away with it for the other two if you had to, it's not ideal. It would be much better to dry them on a dish mat or rack.
The 5200 and the KitchenAid don't have any preset functions or a digital timer. The VERSA Pro does have presets but lacks a digital timer.
Pureeing performance constitutes 15% of the final score for each kitchen appliance. We made a pureed tomato soup and a blended nut butter with almonds and peanuts in this metric. 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 peanut and almond 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. The sieve did catch a few unblended chunks when we poured the Pro 750's soup through it, but still did an overall excellent job. We were also impressed that all four of these blenders could heat the soup to a serving temperature while pureeing, 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 5200's motor and base 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 and heated it to a piping hot 157°F, though it was a little on the thick side.
The Ninja Chef also made decent nut butter, but the process was quite a 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 your appliance's life. 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 of 80°F.
Right behind the VERSA, the KitchenAid Diamond, the Hamilton Beach 58148A, and the Cleanblend Commercial all 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 heated the soup better than the Diamond, though it wasn't hot by any means.
The Hamilton Beach 58148A thoroughly impressed us in the nut butter metric, delivering a solid performance. It created a smooth and creamy spread after 8 minutes with only minimal help to get it started. Even better, it didn't require any extra oil. However, it did struggle a bit more with the tomato soup. The finished product was very chunky, and it failed to heat up to serving temperature.
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 slightly coarser product 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. However, this model 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 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 remained after the Cleanblend was done blending.
The Nutri Ninja and Hamilton Beach 58148A delivered the worst performances of the bunch in our grinding metric. When we tried to make powdered sugar, they both left behind tons of granulated sugar, even after we left them running for significant amounts of time. They 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, with the Hamilton Beach 58148A doing just a bit better than the Nutri Ninja. The Nutri Ninja did redeem 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. The Hamilton Beach 58148A did even worse, with the bulk of the cheese remaining intact.
Whether you are looking for a top-tier model that can do it all or a budget option that can handle your daily smoothie with ease, 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