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The Best Blenders of 2020

Friday May 22, 2020
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We evaluated over 120 different blenders, then bought the 12 best models available in 2020 in our quest to find the cream of the crop. We tested and compared every aspect of these products by making smoothies, milling flour, grating hard cheeses, and mixing soups and nut butters, as well as scoring the convenience and ease of cleaning of each appliance. Read on to see which blender bested them all, which is the best bargain buy, and which made the best blended margarita of them all.


Top 12 Product Ratings

Displaying 1 - 5 of 12
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Best for Smoothies and Blended Drinks


Cuisinart Hurricane Pro


Editors' Choice Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

$240.00
(40% off)
at Amazon
See It

88
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Smoothies 9
  • Ice 10
  • Convenience 7
  • Pureeing 10
  • Grinding 8
Peak Power: 3.5 HP | Jar Size: 64 oz.
Silkiest smoothies
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 merits an Editors' Choice Award and the title of Best Overall Blender. 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 and cornmeal without any trouble. It made velvety-smooth tomato soup and even heated it enough to serve right out of the pitcher. This top-of-the-line product is convenient and excels across the board. It would make an excellent addition to a standard lineup of kitchen appliances, even costing significantly less than our other Editors' Choice Award winner.

However, we did notice some minor signs of wear and tear on the blade after our admittedly intense testing process. This should only factor into your decision if you are planning on frequently doing tasks that are hard on the blade, like milling cornmeal, crushing ice without liquid, or making nut butter.

Read review: Cuisinart Hurricane Pro

Best for Heavy-Duty Blending


Vitamix A2500 Ascent Series


Editors' Choice Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

$499.95
(4% off)
at Amazon
See It

88
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Smoothies 9
  • Ice 10
  • Convenience 7
  • Pureeing 10
  • Grinding 8
Peak Power: 2.2 HP | Jar Size: 64 oz.
Dishwasher safe
No sign of wear
Makes excellent nut butter
Pricey

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, 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 after our testing, making it an excellent choice if you are looking to use your blender daily.

Unfortunately, this product is definitely on the pricey side, costing a few hundred dollars more than our other Editors' Choice Award winner, the Cuisinart Hurricane Pro. The Vitamix A2500 can handle everything you throw at it and is one of the best you can get when it comes to blenders.

Read review: Vitamix A2500 Ascent Series

Best Bang for the Buck


NutriBullet ZNBF30400Z


Best Buy Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

$99.99
at Amazon
See It

82
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Smoothies 8
  • Ice 10
  • Convenience 6
  • Pureeing 10
  • Grinding 7
Peak Power: 1.61 HP | Jar Size: 64 oz.
Fantastic at pureeing
Heats soups
Great at crushing ice and blended drinks
No presets or timers
Can be more difficult to clean

If the price tag of those top models is well outside your budget, then you should consider the NutriBullet ZNBF30400Z. This budget blender surprised us with its excellent performance, holding its own against other models that cost significantly more. It made excellent smoothies, blended beverages, and even excelled in some of the more difficult blending tasks, like pureeing nut butter or grating hard cheeses. The NutriBullet even heated the soup in our test to serving temperature while it was being blended — something only the most powerful blenders can do.

However, we did find that the budget price of the NutriBullet includes some concessions. This blender is a bit less convenient and user-friendly to operate. It lacks any automatic preset cycles for different blending tasks and doesn't have a digital timer, so you have to play it by ear until you get used to how long it takes to blend on the different power cycles. It can also be a little difficult to clean under the blade but these issues are thoroughly overshadowed by the cost savings of this product over the top tier models, earning it a Best Buy Award.

Read review: NutriBullet ZNBF30400Z

Best for Daily Smoothie Drinkers


Nutri Ninja Ninja Blender DUO with Auto-iQ


Top Pick Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

$159.99
(20% off)
at Amazon
See It

49
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Smoothies 4
  • Ice 8
  • Convenience 6
  • Pureeing 3
  • Grinding 3
Peak Power: 2.0 HP| Jar Size: 72 oz.
Fantastic at crushing ice
Personal smoothie cups are very convenient
Most parts are dishwasher-safe
The main pitcher didn't make the best smoothies
The triple blade can be hard to clean by hand

If you drink smoothies daily, then the Ninja Blender DUO is a great option to consider. While this appliance doesn't top the charts when it comes to overall performance, this model is a great choice if you are routinely making blended drinks for one. It includes multiple personal cups that make it easy to whip up a breakfast smoothie to go in the morning. It also does an excellent job of crushing ice and making blended drinks in its main pitcher with the triple blade and isn't too much of a hassle to clean.

However, while we were impressed with the smoothies this appliance made in its personal smoothie cups, we weren't huge fans of the final product when we used the larger pitcher. We found the texture to be very inconsistent and many of our recipes came out worse than when we used other products. Despite this, it's hard to overlook the added convenience of the personal cups if you are making smoothies on a regular basis.

Read review: Nutri Ninja Ninja Blender DUO with Auto-iQ


We tested each blender with the same amount of food regardless of pitcher size.
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 of the models in this review at full retail price. 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. Our blender review team is made up of Austin Palmer and David Wise . Both have had extensive experience testing and reviewing kitchen appliances, having tested and reviewed dozens and dozens of food processors, microwaves, vacuum sealers, juicers, and many others. They also bring their expertise as avid home chefs to this review as well.

We put these appliances through a rigorous series of side-by-side tests to find the winners, with over a dozen different experiments. We made the same smoothie and blended beverage recipe in each product, then had a panel of judges taste the drinks without knowing which blender made them, scoring texture, consistency, and flavor. We also used each blender for less common, but difficult tasks, like 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 how easy they are to clean.

Related: How We Tested Blenders

Analysis and Test Results


Our tests were divided up into five rating metrics — Smoothies, Ice, Convenience, Pureeing, and Grinding — with each metric's contribution to the overall score weighted based on its importance. The following sections detail the results of our tests, noting which blenders did well and which ones got shredded by the competition.

Related: Buying Advice for Blenders


Value


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 and the Cuisinart Hurricane Pro. However, if the idea of spending a few hundred bucks on a kitchen appliance is causing you to panic, don't despair. The NutriBullet ZNBF30400Z is an all-around excellent blender that held its own against the Hurricane Pro and the A2500 in the majority of our tests, all while retailing for less than half the price. It has plenty of power for making nut butter, grating hard cheeses, and milling cornmeal and flour. Its primary drawback is that it isn't quite as easy to use but it still is a fantastic value option if you are shopping on a budget.

Making a great smoothie is a key trait for any blender.
Making a great smoothie is a key trait for any blender.

Smoothies


Our most important rating metric — Smoothies — composes the largest portion of the overall score at 30%. To assess the performance of each product, we looked up several popular smoothie recipes, then picked four to make in each blender. These were a green smoothie, fruit & oat, berry, and an Oreo malt. We followed the manufacturer's recommended instructions for blending a smoothie for each machine and had a panel of judges rank and score the consistency and texture of each beverage that we mixed up.


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.

This quartet of blenders all did exceptionally well in the green smoothie test, making a silky-smooth beverage that had no unblended flakes or chunks. The finished drink poured right through a mesh sieve as well.

The green smoothie poured effortlessly 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 not only the fruit but the seeds as well. 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 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 any liquid in the recipe, only strawberries, bananas, almonds, yogurt, oats, and maple syrup, per the recipe. The Vitamix 5200 did the best of the group, but it took a decent amount of time for the mixture to resemble a smoothie and a decent amount of coaxing with the tamper to get it to blend. The final mixture was consistent, but it was a little on the grainy side. 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.

Our fruit  oat  and nut smoothie was difficult for some of the blenders to handle.
Our fruit, oat, and nut smoothie was difficult for some of the blenders to handle.

The fruit and oat smoothie proved to be a challenge for both the Vitamix A2500 and the Pro 750. Both drinks had a surprising amount of whole almond chunks, earning them a lower score from our panel of taste testers. However, we did appreciate 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 did well, but took some nudging to get it blending in the first place. It also left some small clumps of ice cream unblended in the final product 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. It chewed through all of the spinach and kale in about a minute on its high setting, only failing to liquefy a small chunk of leaves. The finished drink had a great texture and taste, with only a little foam. The ZNBF30400Z performed similarly with the berry smoothie, producing another excellent drink with only a few noticeable seed particles that didn't get completely crushed up.

The NutriBullet made short work of some frozen berries.
The NutriBullet made short work of some frozen berries.

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 — one of our more difficult smoothie recipes. It did leave some unblended ingredients on the side of the pitcher but the blended part came out quite well, if not a little on the grainy side. The malt was completely blended but did require a little encouragement to get started.

It took a little persuasion to get going but the ZNBF30400Z eventually made a great malt.
It took a little persuasion to get going but the ZNBF30400Z eventually made a great malt.

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 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 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, unlike the Blendtec. 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 all 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 homogenous as the Ninja Chef or top Vitamix models; it was a bit more watery with a slightly leafy texture.

The green smoothie came out alright  but it was a little on the watery side.
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 with a 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 missed a few oats that stuck to the side of the pitcher, it warmed up the smoothie much more than other products, making it less appealing to drink.

Finally, the Blendtec delivered another lackluster performance with the Oreo malt, doing too good of a job of blending it and liquefying the ice cream, on both the ice cream and on the smoothie setting.

The Cleanblend did far better than the Blendtec with the fruit and oat smoothie recipe. It needed a bit more help getting started, but ultimately blended everything without too much issue and didn't heat the mixture at all. However, the resulting beverage was grainier in texture than the top Vitamix models.

Prepped up for the fruit and nut smoothie challenge.
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 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 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.

The Cleanblend made a very chewy smoothie.
The Cleanblend made a very chewy smoothie.

Next, the KitchenAid Diamond 5-Speed earned a 6 out of 10. This model started with a slightly subpar green smoothie. It was a little flaky from the kale and the mixture wasn't blended thoroughly enough, causing the taste to vary widely between gulps. We also had to stop and shake the basin 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 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.
Though the Diamond left behind seeds, it is nothing compared to the Nutri Ninja Duo which probably left every seed unblended.

The Diamond did surprisingly well with the fruit and oat smoothie, matching the performance of the Cuisinart Hurricane Pro. The Diamond's smoothie was relatively smooth, but there were plenty of small particles that gave it a somewhat grainy texture overall. For the final smoothie, the Diamond didn't impress, tying with the Oster VERSA Pro in our Oreo malt assessment. The final malt made by the Diamond felt very gritty and it took a fair bit of effort on our part to get the mixture to start blending.

At 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 was ultimately pretty chunky and hard to drink.

The Versa Pro did not do well at breaking down the cell walls of the kale.
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 fantastic job — leaving plenty of seeds intact — and it 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.
Like the Ninja Duo many seeds escaped the blades.

The Nutri Ninja also left a ton of seeds and berry skins intact, so there were plenty of chunks and small particles in the final product.

Most of the seeds from the berries are still intact.
Most of the seeds from the berries are still intact.

The Oster VERSA did the worst, leaving whole strawberries throughout. It also couldn't 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, but still created only 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 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 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 Simple Blend fared the worst, 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.
The Hurricane Pro was a top performer for making frozen drinks.

Ice


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.


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, with all four of these models earning top scores for their phenomenal performances. Each of these products crushed the ice cubes in 15 seconds or less, with none exhibiting the slightest sign of a struggle.

The A2500 makes efficient work of ice and frozen drinks.
The A2500 makes efficient work of ice and frozen drinks.

These top-notch kitchen appliances also did amazingly well at creating a blended margarita, making a delightfully frosty beverage. All the ingredients were well combined and the texture with the crushed ice was exactly what we wanted from a blended cocktail when following the manufacturers' recommended setting for blend time and power for each product.

The Pro 750 does an excellent job blending up frozen drinks into a velvety smooth texture.
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 followed, each earning a 9 out of 10.

All four of these products crushed it when it came to crushing ice, pulverizing the entire pitcher in less than 15 seconds. However, both the Blendtec and the Ninjadid leave a handful of larger pieces of ice that didn't get totally crushed.

Moving on to our margarita challenge, these blenders again all did quite well — though not quite as well as the top group. The KitchenAid produced a great (but not excellent) margarita — it just wasn't quite as smooth as the Vitamix A2500 or the Cuisinart. The Vitamix 5200 created a drink that was of comparable quality to the KitchenAid but struggled a bit more when it came to blending it, requiring us to stop, 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 the ones created by the top appliances.

The Ninja did very well in this set of tests  crushing ice with ease.
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 struggled a but, but did also manage to successfully crush ice.

Making quick work of ice needing to utilize the pulse button.
Making quick work of ice needing to utilize the pulse button.

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 that were unevenly distributed throughout the drink.

The Cleanblend did a bit better at crushing ice than the VERSA Pro, but proved not to be quite as proficient as the Nutri Ninja, as evidenced by the additional pulsing required 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 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, and we noted that the vortex created by the blades doesn't seem as strong as some of the other appliances.

Rounding out the bottom of the bunch, the Oster Simple Blend 100 earns 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 abort the mission when the base started smoking.

The Cuisinart is quite convenient to use.
The Cuisinart is quite convenient to use.

Convenience


The Convenience metric comprises 20% of the total score. We evaluated how much work it actually 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 earn 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 by hand.

This product isn't dishwasher-safe but is very easy to wash by hand.
This product isn't dishwasher-safe but is very easy to wash by hand.

Luckily, the Blendtec's capacious pitcher is also very easy to clean manually, and the blades aren't as sharp as 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 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. 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 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.
This appliance is one of the more convenient products to use.

Next, the NutriBullet ZNBF30400Z, the Cleanblend, the Vitamix Pro 750, the Oster Simple Blend 100, and the Nutri Ninja all earn a 6 out of 10. The NutriBullet, the Cleanblend, the Oster, and the Nutri Ninja all have lids, blades, and pitchers that are 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, since it requires disassembling the product first (or otherwise facing an almost impossible task). The Cleanblend is just a tiny bit more work to wash by hand, as it has a few more nooks.

The Cleanblend is also dishwasher safe.
The Cleanblend is also dishwasher safe.

It is 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.
Hand washing this blade can be disastrous.

The ZNBF30400Z isn't too much work to wash by hand since it has a reasonably wide-mouth pitcher, but we did notice that food trapped under the blade can be difficult to clean and is easy to overlook. The Oster, the NutriBullet, and the Nutri Ninja all need to be dried thoroughly with all of the pieces laid out to prevent 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 Simple Blend, the NutriBullet ZNBF30400Z and the Cleanblend all lack a digital timer or any preset functions, requiring you to manually pick a power level and blending time, which hurt their scores in this metric. 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.

The ZNBF30400Z doesn't have any preset settings for different blending tasks.
The ZNBF30400Z doesn't have any preset settings for different blending tasks.

Next, the Vitamix 5200, the KitchenAid Diamond, and the Oster VERSA Pro all earn a 5 out of 10 for convenience, all delivering a pedestrian 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 if you had to but it's not ideal; it would be much better to dry them on a dish rack or mat.

The narrow pitcher of the Diamond makes it more difficult to clean by hand.
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. The VERSA Pro lacks a digital timer but does have presets.

Gearing up to make some tomato soup.
Gearing up to make some tomato soup.

Pureeing


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 powerful motor easily churned these nuts into butter.
The powerful motor easily churned these nuts into butter.

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 were able to heat the soup to a serving temperature while pureeing it, with the soup measuring over 150°F after blending.

Some blenders can actually heat up your soup (if blended for long enough  about 5-6 minutes) as you puree.
Some blenders can actually heat up your soup (if blended for long enough, about 5-6 minutes) as you puree.

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 struggled considerably in the process. It seemingly overheated and wouldn't restart until we gave it sufficient time to cool down and the motor sounded like it was struggling quite a bit, so we would recommend against making nut butter frequently if you want to prolong the life of your appliance. It did much better at mixing the soup but only heated it to a lukewarm 134°F.

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 part way 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 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 almond butter, however, it did take a little help on our part to get it started and the resulting spread was chalky.

The Cleanblend had a really grainy nut butter.
The Cleanblend had a really grainy nut butter.

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 definitely wasn't hot.

Finishing at the back of the pack, the Nutri Ninja and the Oster Simple Blend 100 earned a 3 out of 10. The nut butter produced by the Nutri Ninja was very thick and incredibly grainy, but 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.
Quickly grate up your favorite cheeses.

Grinding


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 really 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.

Worst (left) to best (right) in our corn flour test.
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. 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 that of the Vitamix's but took much longer than the manufacturer's recommended time to achieve that consistency.

In the parmesan cheese challenge, the Hurricane Pro did the best of the entire group, creating the most finely grated cheese, with the VERSA Pro tying with 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 also left a few larger ungrated pieces at the bottom of the pitcher.

The A2500, Hurricane Pro, Vitamix 5200, and the VERSA all performed about the same at grinding popcorn into cornmeal, with about 95% of the finished product passing through the sieve, compared to the 99% of the Vitamix Pro 750. The Ninja Chef matched the Pro 750, with 99% of the cornmeal passing through the sieve.

Performing slightly worse than the top-tier models, the KitchenAid Diamond, the NutriBullet ZNBF30400Z, and the Blendtec Designer all earned a 7 out of 10 for their good performance in our grinding assessments. The KitchenAid appliance did about average at powdered sugar and milling cornmeal, with about 75% of the cornflour passing through the sieve without issue. However, this model did do an excellent job at grinding parmesan cheese, almost matching the performance of the Hurricane Pro.

The Diamond had above average performance in our grinding metric.
The Diamond had above average performance in our grinding metric.

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.

This model really ground up the granules.
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. Tons of large chunks 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.
The Cleanblend wasn't super effective at grinding up parmesan.

Delivering the worst performances of the entire group in our grinding metric, both the Simple Blend 100 and the Nutri Ninja merited a 3 out of 10. They left behind tons of granulated sugar when we tried to make powdered sugar, even after we left them running for significant amounts of time. This pair 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. They did redeem themselves slightly when it came to grating hard parmesan cheese, producing a coarse but acceptable grated cheese. However, there were some larger chunks that completely escaped the blades as well.

Conclusion


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 are confident in selecting a blender that fits your needs and your budget. While it can be daunting to pick the perfect blender with the enormous spread of prices and features, we are here to help and hopefully, this review has accomplished that.


Austin Palmer and David Wise