Buying Guide: Blender

Blender is a useful tool as it serves for variable duties, from making morning smoothies, velvety soups, easy sorbet ice creams, baby foods, home-made mayonnaises, nut butters or fulfilling culinary tasks for like-a-chef effects.

Blender Buying Guide

Type of Blender

Classically, blenders can be categorized in 3 types by usage: countertop, personal (or single-serve) and immersion blenders. However, when we’re talking about blenders, most of us means ‘countertop blender’ than other types. So, this buying guide furthers on countertop blenders, which are separated into 3 types by price.

High-Performance Blender

Most high-end blenders are high-performance blenders (or commercial grade) as they offer reliably powerful motor that can create obviously better and faster results.
  • High: more than 1.5 to 3 or 1,000 watts*.
  • For heavy-duty tasks. Silky-smooth results. No flaky ice or fibers.
  • Durable and long warranty.
  • Expensive: $300 to $750*.
Mid-Price Blender

This is a good option by compromising performance, quality, and price for home cooks to have impressive results.
  • Mixed: from 550 to 1,600 watts.
  • For home tasks. The performance varies by motor power. Normally, nice but can’t compare to high-end ones.
  • Moderate lifetime.
  • Medium: $100 to $300*.
Low-Price Blender

These blenders are used for normal kitchen tasks or blending soft ingredient, but can’t crushing ices or hard grinding.
  • Low: Less than 600 watts*.
  • For normal home tasks and soft blending.
  • Low to moderate lifetime.
  • Low: under $100*.

* Roughly estimated value.

Cost to Pay

Blenders today cost with wide price ranges, from $30 to nearly $1,000. However, buying a high-end model sometimes doesn’t mean nonsense as most of them (like Vitamix, Blendtec or Breville) comes with distinguished blending quality. They can beautifully serve everyday velvet smoothies like a café do, even for nuts and bolts ingredients for many years. Moreover, they offer superior durability and longer warranty.

Know Before Buying:

  • Power. The horsepower or wattage may roughly tell how powerful the blenders are but don’t mean everything. The higher horsepower blenders sometimes don’t mean superior performance since efficiency of motor is much more important. Moreover, the whole design, such as jar or blades, can make the difference, as well.

  • Jars Design. According to Serious Eats, the shape of jars can help create good vortex that makes faster and more efficient blending, as well as easier to clean and pour.

    Tall Jar
    Tall Jar
    Traditional, tall, and narrow jars (like Vitamix 5200) produce the most active vortex that drag down ingredients into spinning blades below. This creates not only faster and effective blending, also less splashing messy residuals to cleanup later.
    Wide Jar
    Wide Jar
    Extra wide, square jars (like Blendtec) create strong ‘spinning-around’ vortex effect that is excellent for hard ingredient pulverizing and ice crushing. However, they also make tons of splashing and not very suit for delicate work, such as making mayonnaise.

  • Easy to Clean. Most blenders todays come with plastic containers, which are lightweight and less chance to break than glass containers. However, plastic jars can develop stains and make dull after times of uses. So, look for ones that are easy to clean, or have self-cleaner feature, if possible.

  • Stable Base. Good blenders shouldn’t ‘walk’ or feel too much instable when operating for both blending efficiency and safety.

  • Control Panel. Blenders these days comes with both analog and touchpad, the best one is up to your preferences. Typically, analog control is easy to control speed and long-time maintenance whereas digital pad makes easy for set-and-forget pre-set functions and cleanup.

  • Storage. Some models, such as Vitamix 5200, have tall jars (tall-profile) so they can’t fit space between cabinets and countertop, which are mostly less than 18” tall. If your space is limit, pick one that has low-profile jar or less than 17” tall, instead.

  • Warranty. As with any products, good blenders should have long warranty as being a rough indication of how long the manufacturers expect them to last. Typically, high-performance blenders carry 7 to 10 years, mid-price ones might have 2 to 5 years, while budget some might be covered for only a year or none.

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