Ninja Professional Blender Hamilton Beach Professional 1800W Vitamix E310 Explorian

The Best Blenders

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Ninja Professional Blender

  • Excels at ice and smoothies
  • Easy to clean and operate
  • Secure lid and jar
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Hamilton Beach Professional 1800W

  • Useful settings make blending a breeze
  • Powerful motor blends quickly and easily
  • Does nearly everything a premium blender can
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Vitamix E310 Explorian

  • Excels at everything, even blending dry goods
  • Compact size fits in most kitchens
  • Quality construction, five-year warranty
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A good blender is a worthy investment, one that’ll come in handy for a variety of drinks and dishes, from smoothies to baby food to margaritas. We tested the most highly rated blenders — judging them on horsepower, blade design, presets, accessories, user-friendliness, and cleanup — to find the ones that totally crushed it. Whatever your blending needs, we’ve got just the machine for you and your budget.


Ninja Professional Blender

Starting from $88.99

The Details

Size: 10.6” x 8.2” x 15.8”

Weighs 9.51 pounds

1000 Wattage

1.34 Horsepower

64 oz. Max Liquid Capacity

Four Blend Settings



What / Who It's Best For

  • Cocktail enthusiasts
  • Smoothie lovers
  • First-time or beginner blender users

Why We Love It

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!)

Best Blenders Ninja blade

Don’t be intimidated by the extra blades — this blender is designed to make operations as easy and safe as possible. It is the only blender we tested with a locking lid and a locking jar (some have one, but not both features). The blender won’t start unless everything is locked into place. There are arrows and labels that guide the user step by step on how to assemble and disassemble the parts. It’s also one of the only ones we tested that has a pour spout, which might seem like a minor feature, but it actually makes things considerably less messy when trying to pour a smoothie into a to-go cup.

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When it comes to cleaning up, it couldn’t be simpler: You can completely remove the blades and just wash the jar on its own. Of all the models we reviewed, the Ninja is the only one with removable blades, and we found it considerably easier to hand wash and dry than other models because we weren’t in fear of slicing our hands on the blades (the blades themselves do require delicate handling, but we found that a soak in some soapy water followed by a quick rinse does the trick). The blades, jar, and lid are also dishwasher-safe. All these features make the Ninja Professional an excellent beginner model for someone who’s just getting into the blending scene.

Best Blenders Ninja chute

At $89.99, the Ninja Professional falls on the higher end of the <$100 range. If the price tag is still beyond your budget, it’s worth noting that our runner-up, the Oster Heritage (the only blender with a glass jar), is $51 and also performed admirably in taste tests. And if you’re a single-blender-user household, this $25 Oster is a solid favorite of our Tasty editors for smaller jobs. But overall, the Ninja scored higher in horsepower and user-friendliness, making it our ultimate choice. Lest you need further convincing, we’re not the only ones who love it: This model is a solid customer favorite, with tons of five-star reviews across big-box retailers from Amazon to Walmart to Target.

User Reviews

"WOW, it blends like a freaking boss! It blended everything (avocado, spinach, bananas, blueberries, ice, other gross stuff) in seconds. No longer will I have to retreat to my spoon arsenal to get everything blended. This sucker blends like a champ, and I love the pour spout — no green gross sad spinach stains on my counter. HOORAY! If you make smoothies and don't want to shell out big money, this blender is for you! For the money, it's a great deal!"
— 27Dresses From Amazon
"This one has chopped ice perfectly, blended fruits together into a delicious smoothie, and 'shredded' spinach to the point where it was unrecognizable. The layered blades make the blender push the items up and down so I don't have to — it does the work itself. My smoothie is done in minutes. I have been recommending this to my friends and family!"
— JoGee From Target
"I love making smoothies and blew through two regular blenders within four months, so I needed a heavy-duty blender. This Ninja Professional Blender fits the bill perfectly. It's easy to use and chops ice and fruit with no problem. I love this Ninja because it's simple, i.e., it has easy to read buttons without all of the nuances of some of the more expensive models. I highly recommend the Ninja Professional if you're looking for a classic, up-to-date blender that'll power through ice, fruit, and whatever else you throw at it."
— SmoothieGirl From Walmart


Champion ice crusher


Hamilton Beach Professional 1800W

Starting from $249.99

The Details

Size: 7.9" x 11.9" x 13.5" inches

Weighs 8.8 Pounds

1800 Wattage

2.4 Horsepower

64 oz. Max liquid capacity

1-10 Speed Dial, Pulse Button



What / Who It's Best For

  • People who use their blender more than once a day
  • Champion multitaskers
  • New parents who want to make baby food

Why We Love It

The Hamilton Beach Professional doesn’t just do one thing well — it can pretty much tackle anything you throw at it. Smoothies? No problem. It’ll even pulverize hardier greens like kale. Hummus? Of course. It made the best hummus in our taste test. And guess what? It also won in the carrot-puree category, so it’s a great choice for new parents who want to make baby food at home.

We think the precise settings (smoothie, ice crush, puree) do indeed lend themselves to the best results for whatever you’re blending. Just dump in the ingredients, hit the right button, and the machine knows exactly how long to blend. You can even track the countdown on the LED screen. This smart blender is perfect for busy people getting ready in the morning. Once you hit the button, you can just leave it, go do something else, and the blender will stop automatically once it’s done. We think it’s the best mid-range blender because, in most respects, it’s as good as a $300+ model (lacking just a few special functions like the ability to make soup from scratch, like the Vitamix can) but retails for a little more than half the cost.

Best Blenders Hamilton Beach blade

Small details and features make this blender feel high-end. The jar is made of Tritan plastic, a material much more durable and shatter-resistant than regular plastic or glass. It has an extremely powerful motor, which runs on 1800 watts/2.4 horsepower, so whatever you’re blending will be blended fast. And you don’t have to worry about it burning out, since the motor is thermal protected to prevent overheating. The tamper helps to move things along when ingredients get stuck (this happens to the best of blenders). It has a clean setting — just add warm water and a couple drops of detergent, hit the button, and the blender will rinse itself out (this method works on most blenders, but having a specific preset is convenient because the time is set). For a more thorough cleaning, you can throw the lid, jar, and tamper into the dishwasher. And when it’s not on the highest setting (or blending ice cubes), this machine is relatively quiet compared to others we tested.

Another bonus is Hamilton Professional’s five-year limited warranty. While most blenders have a one- to two-year warranty — meaning if anything’s wrong with it after a couple of years, you’re SOL — with this one, if there are any defects in material or workmanship within five years (not including normal wear and tear), they’ll fix or replace it for you. You’ll have to pay for the shipping (unlike the Vitamix’s warranty, which covers two-way shipping), but it’s still a pretty good deal.

Best Blenders Hamilton Beach dial

The runner-up in this price category is the Cuisinart Hurricane Blender, which isn’t quite as good as the Hamilton Beach at pureeing, but excels on all other fronts. At $149.99, it’s also a tad easier on the wallet. One thing to note: There are two different models of the Hamilton Beach Professional 1800W Blender. The one we tested, the more expensive option, has added presets and an LED display. The base model has the same horsepower, container, 1-10 speed dial (which gives you precise control over blending speed), and a five-year limited warranty, but it is significantly cheaper at $179.99. If you like this blender and don’t need the presets and LED display, it may be a good idea to go for the basic model and save yourself those dollars bills.

User Reviews

"I've been using this for smoothies daily for a few months and really like it. I realized it was costly and hoped it was worth it. It is so different from ordinary blenders — I like the smoothie setting not only for smoothies, but to make my own Frappuccinos. The program cycles it on and off a few times then goes to high speed. This ensures the ice/frozen fruit chunks get fully broken down and turned into uniform bits. Trying to make a Frappuccino with an ordinary blender leaves me with a cold watery/icy drink. Not with this — it fully blends amazingly well. You'll save a lot over buying Starbucks with this!"
— reader and maker From Amazon
"Since I got it, I have used it at least once a day, sometimes two to three times a day making smoothies. It has lots of power, handles ice with no problem, and cleans easily. I definitely recommend it. Yes, it was pricey but you get what you pay for."
— T Mc From Amazon
"This blender is perfect for pureeing vegetables — they come out smooth and creamy. We are very happy with the power and reasonably quiet performance."
— Satisfied User From Amazon

Hamilton Beach

Overachieving mid-range workhorse


Vitamix E310 Explorian

Starting from $306.97

The Details

Size: 11" x 8” x 18” inches

Weighs 11.5 pounds

Aircraft-grade stainless steel blades

48 oz. Max liquid capacity

1440 Wattage

1.92 Horsepower

1-10 Speed Dial, Pulse Switch



Five-Year Warranty for Full Machine

What / Who It's Best For

  • Seasoned home chefs
  • People who want to make everything from scratch
  • People with special dietary needs

Why We Love It

If you’re looking for a blender to whip up great smoothies and purees only, then we’ll stop you now: You probably don’t need a Vitamix. But if you want to use a variety of ingredients to make a bunch of different foods from scratch, then no other machine does it better.

Best Blenders Vitamix

When you drop a small fortune on an appliance, you expect it to wow you — and that’s exactly what the Vitamix E310 Explorian Blender does. It blends rice into flour in a matter of seconds, no joke. It turns raw almonds into a smooth and spreadable paste. It’s not just the result of a strong motor and hardened stainless steel blades put to work — the blender jar is specifically designed to create a vortex, which folds ingredients back to the blades for faster, smoother blends. This is what helped push the Vitamix way ahead of the Blendtec, another popular high-end blender we tested. When blending almonds, the Blendtec, with its rectangular jar and flat blades, flung the almond bits to the walls, where they remained stuck. (Note: We found the Blendtec to be better at pureeing; in fact, it made the best puree of all the machines we tested). A blade scraper is also included with the Vitamix, which came in handy for cleaning off sticky nut butter.

Rice Flour and Almost Paste

There’s no doubt that the Vitamix Explorian can make a great smoothie, but it can also make hot soups from scratch. Almost any blender can puree ingredients into a soup if you pre-cook the ingredients, but powerful machines like a Vitamix or Blendtec can turn cold or room-temperature ingredients into a steaming hot soup (within 10 minutes) using the friction of the blades (for example, the blades in a Blendtec spin over 300 miles per hour). But don’t worry about the motor overheating in this process — there’s built-in overload protection, and the motor is also designed to operate as efficiently and cooly as possible. The control panel is simple but allows for nuanced control over blending speed, which comes in handy for making things like mayonnaise. Because it’s so versatile and durable, it’s a great choice for those with special dietary needs (like dairy- or gluten-free diets) and those who need to make special recipes at home on a daily basis.

We chose the Explorian because it’s the most accessible Vitamix model, meaning it has all the perks of a Vitamix machine at a more palatable price point (you’d be hard-pressed to find another model under $400, though the 5200 can sometimes dip to slightly under that on sale). The Explorian comes with a fairly compact 48-ounce container, so it’s great for a single person, a couple, or a small family to use. It’s also shorter, which means it can fit under most cabinets. However, if you do at some point want to switch to a larger (or smaller) container, you can always purchase an add-on container from Amazon, because all Vitamix containers and bases are compatible with each other.

Best Blenders Vitamix blade

One major perk of buying a Vitamix machine is its five-year, full machine warranty that covers all parts of the blender (base, container, lid, and tamper). Vitamix will not only repair or replace any malfunctioning parts that resulted from defects in material or workmanship, they also cover problems that result from normal wear and tear with ordinary household use! Additionally, the machine comes with a one-year accessory warranty that covers small things like the blade scraper and tamper holder — plus, you won’t have to pay for shipping.

Reviewers have noted that this machine doubles as a food processor and can make things like salsa, pesto, sorbet, cashew cream, and dips. Some even use it to grind coffee beans and mix batter and dough. It’s truly a do-it-all powerhouse that performs the duties of several different appliances, and for that reason, it’s our top pick for a high-end blender.

User Reviews

"The holy grail blender, y'all. I grew up with a Vitamix (big, tall, classic model) and since being on my own, I have really missed it. I tried food processors (because they're cheaper), less expensive blenders, immersion blenders, etc. Nothing came close to what a Vitamix can do. If you're wondering if it's worth the price, I would give a resounding YES. It's so supportive of a healthy diet (smoothies, soups, scratch-made dips and salsas, nut milks and butters, etc.), and it's stupid easy to use AND clean. What sold me ultimately was 1) the smaller size (the classic ones are larger), and 2) I thought about how much I spend (or would like to spend) at my local smoothie/juice bar. A 16 oz. smoothie costs a ridiculous $8-9, and a juice at least that much, if not more. If I could afford it, I would have gotten one daily. So, this Vitamix pays for itself in about a month."
— lovespuppies From Amazon
"Bought this about a month ago. Love it so far! A big reason I bought this model was because it was a little cheaper and I read quite a few reviews that said it fit under the kitchen cabinets (which it does). Yes, it's a little loud when you crank it up to 10, but I think that's to be expected with a powerful motor. So far, I've used it for grinding coffee beans, making bulletproof coffee every morning, a smoothie every afternoon, and yesterday I riced some cauliflower in it for a recipe. It comes with a tamper to push things down if needed and that has worked great. I'm looking forward to shredding chicken, doing pancake batter, and making two-ingredient bagels and pizza dough from Weight Watchers in it to see how those work. I'm also looking forward to donating my previous cheap blender, my coffee grinder, and hand blender. I've already gotten rid of my food processor. This appliance may cost more, but it can do SO many things, I believe it's totally worth it."
— Kathy From Amazon
"Could not be more in love with a blender. This absolutely pulverizes everything I throw in! Perfect for smoothies, hot soups, homemade cashew cream, sorbet, etc. It really makes eating dairy-free a breeze. The pitcher size is also perfect; with a larger size, I'd have to make larger batches of whatever I'm making for it to blend properly. So glad I made the purchase."
— THX1138 From Amazon


Do-it-all powerhouse