Regular blender or high-performance super blender? If you're right into your blending and looking for versatility, a high-powered blender ticks all the boxes. If you're only interested in blending soft foods and making the odd smoothie, a regular blender at a fraction of the price might be more up your alley.
Our kitchen lab puts both types to the test, along with personal blenders designed to blend single-serve beverages.
With 30+ years of experience our home economist Fiona Mair knows her way around a kitchen and has endless knowledge about kitchen appliances. Fiona and our test coordinator Chantelle Dart go from testing large appliances like ovens and cooktops to smaller benchtop appliances like hand mixers.
What makes us choose one blender over another? As with most of our product testing, our aim is to test the most popular models on the market and what you're most likely to see in the retailers. We survey manufacturers to find out about their range of models, we check market sales information and we also check for any member requests to test specific models. From this information we put together a final list that goes to our buyers. They then head out to the retailers and purchase each product, just as a normal consumer would. We do this so we can be sure the products are the same as any consumer would find them and not 'tweaked' in any way.
How we test
Blenders come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and price points, from high-performance blenders like Vitamix that can cost more than $1000 through to cheap $30 Kmart blenders. Personal 'single-serve' blenders from Nutribullet and Nutri Ninja are also available.
Fiona and Chantelle conduct a range of performance tests on all blenders, including personal single-serve blenders that let you create a healthy snack on the run:
- Blending a soft food: We assess how evenly they blend.
- Ice: We assess the blender's ability to crush ice.
- Kale: We process kale to assess the blender's ability to process this tough green leafy vegetable.
We also conduct a number of tests depending on the blender's core function including:
- Chop carrots: We assess standard blenders' ability to chop carrots in a uniform manner, without leaving large chunks behind or conversely turning them into puree.
- Green smoothie: For personal blenders, we process fruit and vegetables and then put the smoothie through a fine sieve to see how well the blender has processed them.
- Nut butter and sorbet: High-performance blenders are more versatile than regular blenders so we conduct the following extra tests on these products.
We also test the following functions on high-performance blenders, if it claims to be able to perform them:
- Blending and heating a raw vegetable soup
- Pizza dough
- Dry milling nuts
- Parmesan cheese
Ease of use
Fiona and Chantelle check the general comfort of each blender, assessing weight, chute size (if applicable), how well it sits on the bench and how easy it is to remove material from around the blade. They also assess how easy the controls are to use and how easy it is to clean the unit. Personal blenders are also rated on how easy it is to travel with the cup and assemble and disassemble the cup.
We've previously analysed the nutritional analysis of personal blenders (as well as juicers). Our results show little difference between models, so we don't conduct this anymore.
The overall score is made up of:
- Performance (60%)
- Ease of use (40%)
We maintain a kitchen lab that is up to date with the latest reference machines and calibrated measurement tools for our testers to bring you the right results.
Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.