The Ninja Professional is our low-budget pick because it feels and operates like a blender two to three times its price, coming in just under $100 (and often even less on sale). It has a sleek design and simple functionality that looks and feels, well…professional. There are only four settings plus a power button, making it a machine that’s easy to operate but still versatile. The stacked blades may look gimmicky, but they’re actually very effective. In fact, out of all the blenders we tested, it is the only one that was able to crush ice into an even texture, beating out even higher-end models. And anything that can make a margarita just as well as it can make a smoothie is a winner in our book.
We blended everything from ice cubes to nut butters to hummus, and in all the taste tests and user surveys, the Ninja emerged victorious. It excels at smoothies: Whether you’re using frozen or fresh ingredients, everything gets mixed smoothly, evenly, quickly, and with ease. This is likely because the Ninja has the most powerful motor you’ll find in the market in this price range. It operates at 1000 watts, which translates to 1.34 horsepower. (Editor’s note: A blender’s horsepower can be determined by multiplying the wattage by 0.00134; this number reflects the actual operating horsepower of a blender, which can be different to the peak horsepower rating — the burst of power when you first start the machine up — often in a product’s description. For comparison: Considering that the high-end Vitamix E310 runs on 1440 watts or 1.92 horsepower, that’s pretty impressive!)