There are a lot of reasons to invest in high-powered countertop blenders. Perhaps you need regular access to healthy vegetable and fruit smoothies, or you just want something to help with day-to-day meal preparation. In any case, picking the right blender is crucial as this choice directly affects your long-term experience with it. But, what makes a blender right for you? Let’s find out.
The capacity of the pitcher/jar is the first major factor to consider when looking for a countertop blender, and it is measured in oz. The largest capacity for home blenders hovers around the 60 oz mark, while the smallest ones go as low as 24 oz with a large number of varied options in between these two extremes. There are some blenders smaller than 24 oz, but they’re usually designed to be portable and have subpar performance and durability.
If you’re unsure about the exact capacity you need, get a blender that comes with multiple pitchers of different sizes like 60, 36, and 24 oz. This will ensure that you have a perfectly sized blending jar for almost any occasion.
There are two key factors that collectively determine the performance of a countertop blender. The first of these factors is the raw performance of the motor. This can easily be assessed by a wattage measurement and is often in the 800-1000 watts range for quality blenders. Some high-power blenders can go as high as 1200 watts, but anything above that is usually overkilled for home use. On the other hand, blenders below the 600 watts mark don’t have enough power to tackle hard ingredients like ice effectively.
The second, and arguably more important, factor in blender performance is its blades. Their thickness, sharpness, shape, and rigidity are all directly linked to their overall blending ability. Ideally, you want your blender blades to be thick and sharp and have an angled design to take full advantage of gravity when blending.
The ideal material for a blender is metal. It is ultra-strong, can be cleaned with ease, and can also handle a few drops without cracking or falling apart. However, metal blenders are getting more and more uncommon due to their high cost and heavy weight – leaving plastic as your only viable option. Unfortunately, the long-term quality of plastic can vary drastically between manufacturers and blender models. An easy way to account for this is to read customer reviews. If you see too many complaints about weak plastic housing, move on to the next available option.
The two popular material options for blender pitchers are plastic and glass, and they’re both equally viable.
Glass pitchers are extremely strong when it comes to the actual blending action. They will not break or even show scratches from even the hardest ingredient. You can also blend super-hot dishes in them without any issues. Plus, they’re super easy to clean and are mostly dishwasher safe. The only major issue with glass pitchers is that they will shatter if you accidentally drop them from counter height. Their heavy weight can be a minor inconvenience as well in 50+ oz options.
Plastic pitchers, on the other hand, are super durable and shatter-resistant. Most high-quality plastic jars can survive counter-high drops without a single crack. But, these pitchers are also susceptible to scratching over time. Some of them aren’t compatible with dishwashers either.
Cost is the last major factor to consider before finalizing your purchasing decision. On one side of the spectrum are countertop blenders that cost anywhere between $30 and $50. These are perfectly suitable for most homes, and some of them even have variable speed controls. On the other end are the premium, professional-grade options that go for anywhere between $250 and $350. Their super long lifespans and lineup of useful features like automatic pulse chopping make them worth the high price. Between these two extremes is the sweet spot of blenders with a price tag of $100-$150.
The BL610 countertop blender from Ninja offers the perfect mixture of long-lasting durability, exceptional performance, useful features, and an affordable price. Its large 72 oz plastic pitcher can handle even the toughest ingredients with ease. In fact, the blades are sharp enough to transform solid ice into snow within seconds. These blades are also super effective against other ingredients, crushing everything down to a fine paste/powder. Combine this industry-leading performance with an easy-to-use design, and its spot as the No. 1 countertop blender becomes apparent.
Under the right circumstances, a countertop blender might be used multiple times every day for years. This much use will put a lot of strain on its components, but the classic original blender from Blendtec can handle it with ease. Each component of this blender is extremely durable, with its thick 80% steel forged blades being a prime example. Even the otherwise looked-over elements like the start and stop buttons are high-end. All of these individual elements then come together to give this blender a life span of a decade or more, depending on your use.
The explorian countertop blender from Vitamix offers professional-level performance, features, and durability in a relatively small home-sized package. Its variable speed setting allows you to create everything from the smoothest purees to chinky salad dressings. Plus, the aircraft-grade stainless steel blades ensure that you get consistent results with every use. You can even blend hot recipes like soup or chili without any issues, thanks to its advanced thermal protection system. Once you’re done using this blender for the day, clean it completely by pouring in some hot water and a touch of dish soap and spinning it for 30 seconds.
High-powered and high-quality countertop blenders can go for hundreds of dollars, but you don’t have to spend that much to get a decent blending experience. Case in point, the 58148A from Hamilton Beach. The best part about this amazing value proposition is that it does not come at the cost of some essential feature. In other words, this blender is still super high-powered with consistent blades and a durable motor, despite its lower price. It even includes quality of life features like a lid with a built-in spout and easy-to-press buttons.
This blender from NutriBullet unlocks the full potential of countertop blenders in an affordable and relatively compact package. The biggest jar in this combo has a maximum capacity of 64 oz and comes with a vented lid cap for efficient ingredient addition. Then there are the smaller 32 oz and 24 oz jars that come with additional go-to lids. So, you can make a smoothie and just take it with you immediately, without much hassle. The motor driving all these jars is plenty impressive on its own, with a peak power of 1200 watts (higher than any other blender on this list).