Why you'll love it: True to its name, the Calphalon Auto-Speed Blender automatically senses the correct speed for the ingredients you’re blending and can be used for smoothies, dips, and milkshakes.
The Calphalon Auto-Speed Blender has four preset functions, 10 adjustable speeds, and a 1,100-watt motor that automatically senses the thickness of your ingredients. It applies the power necessary so all the manual guess-work is taken out of blending, making it convenient to use and resulting in a great final product whether you’re making a smoothie or a salsa.
Having tested this blender myself, I can personally attest to how well it works. Call me a creature of habit, but my morning smoothie is an almost daily ritual — one that’s been going on for close to eight years now — so a high-quality blender I can count on is a must.
I put the Calphalon Auto-Speed through its paces, and it’s held up well to daily use, resulting in thick, silky smoothies. I can tell you firsthand how unpleasant it is to encounter an unexpected spinach leaf or chunk of banana in a poorly blended smoothie, but that hasn’t happened once since I’ve started using this blender.
The Calphalon Auto-Speed can do much more than make smoothies, which makes it a great multi-purpose tool to have on your kitchen counter. The pulse feature allows for food prep and chopping — and results in a great salsa. There are also four preset functions for dips, milkshakes, frozen drinks, and smoothies as well as adjustable speeds for more hands-on control.
I especially like the addition of the reverse pulse button which helps pull the ingredients further down into the blade if necessary to prevent any jams and resulting in a smooth blend. The 6-point stainless steel blades are both durable and easy to clean thanks to the way they’re angled.
Each part of the blender that attaches to the base is also dishwasher safe for further convenience. I’ve cleaned each of these parts in our own dishwasher multiple times with no issue.
With such a powerful motor, this blender is much quieter than I expected. It’s by no means silent, but it’s much less deafening than others I’ve used in the past, making it a little less grating to listen to in the morning if you’re a breakfast smoothie fanatic like myself.
When blending, you can either use the 2-Liter pitcher for larger quantities, or the convenient 25-ounce Blend-N-Go Jar for single serving sized smoothies and drinks. While I liked using the Blend-N-Go Jar for smaller serving sizes, I did find the drinking lid that comes with it slightly awkward to use. It prevented any spills, but the attached cap sometimes was more of a nuisance than anything else.
For this reason, I often used one of my own containers for drinking, but still liked to use the Blend-N-Go jar when blending smoothies and drinks for the simple fact that it meant a smaller container to clean.
As far as quality and ease of use go, I was not disappointed. The lids to both the pitcher and the jar seal tightly, and I had no issues with any splatter or leaking while blending. The blade attachment fits easily onto the base, and removes just as easily when you’re finished blending.
While this blender is on the expensive side, if it’s a tool you know you’ll be using often, it’s a worthwhile investment that you’ll be able to rely on for durability, great results, and ease of use. Presets and speeds are controlled by a dial on the front that’s clearly labeled, and you can start, pause, pulse and reverse pulse at the push of a button.
The easy to read digital interface is also a nice touch, showing you how long you’ve been blending, or counting down to the finish if you choose to use one of the preset functions.
Pros: 1,100-watt motor that automatically senses ingredients and adjusts for best results, four preset functions, 10 adjustable speeds, easy to clean, features durable stainless steel blades, comes with a Bend-N-Go jar for added convenience
Cons: On the expensive side, lid that goes with smoothie cup is slightly awkward to use
Why you'll love it: The affordable Ninja Professional Blender delivers plenty of power to crush ice and blend a variety of ingredients to create perfect smoothies every time.
If you’re looking to create great-tasting smoothies at home, you’ll want a blender with plenty of power to ensure the ingredients are well mixed and delivered at the desired texture. The Ninja Professional Blender has the features needed to pulverize ice and create the highest quality smoothies possible.
It boats 1,100 watts of power with three speeds, a pulse setting, and a single-serve function. Ninja also includes two 16-ounce to-go cups so you can take your breakfast smoothie with you. The blender's 72-ounce pitcher is a good size and it has a form-fitting lid and a nice big handle.
The Ninja blender does a great job with all kinds of blending needs, including crushing and pureeing for smoothies, according to the Healthy But Smart review. It's the perfect versatile blender for people who don't want to spend $300 on our top pick but still need a powerful blender.
In its review, Easy Healthy Smoothie says this blender makes perfect smoothies and it's very affordable, considering the power it offers. One Amazon reviewer agreed, explaining that even though the blender is limited to 1,100 watts of power, it still performs as well as more expensive blenders.
Another Amazon customer says you’ll save twice with the Ninja BL660 because it's affordable and you won't have to pay for smoothies anymore.
As for downsides, the Kitchen Gear Pro says the Ninja blender is difficult to take apart and clean, in large part because of the sharpness of the blades. The lid also has some crevasses that are tough to clean properly. But otherwise, this is a great blender for $100.
Pros: Perfect option for creating smoothies at home, blender sold at a good price point, offers many different kinds of blending options, works to crush ice, blends many kinds of foods successfully
Cons: Unit’s lid can be difficult to clean, blades are sharp when you take blender apart for cleaning
We know $600 is a lot to spend on a blender, or anything, really. But if you want the most consistent consistency, and you use your blender on a daily basis, it's easily justified. When you go to a smoothie shop, you're probably paying well over $5 per drink, and if you do so even two or three times a week, that adds up (I'm a writer, so I'll let you do your own math).
The Vitamix 750 is a professional-grade blender built to last the better part of a decade, and Vitamix's 7-year warranty is enough to attest to that. Sure, you may have some 20-year-old anvil of a thing living on your counter that still works, more or less, but I'll bet your smoothies turn out to be laden with large, neglected chunks of your chosen fruits. I'll also bet it's not the prettiest thing in your kitchen, either.
Do you need to spend so much on a blender? No, but if you're willing to spend even $200, you might find that blender cutting out on you within a couple of years, no matter how shiny and stainless-steel-clad it may be.
For those that use their blender only every so often but still demand perfection, the Vitamix 5200 is of comparable quality, just with a less technical interface and no automatic drive for setting your blender to smoothie mode and walking away. But on the other hand, if you're running a smoothie shop or a cafe or B&B with a juicer, it's hard to ignore reasons for the automatic feature.
Although you certainly can spend hundreds of dollars on a blender, you don't have to if you only want an occasional smoothie, soup, or blended dessert. The KitchenAid 5-Speed Blender costs less than $100 when you get it on sale, and only $100 when it's normal price. I've owned one for several years, and it's still going strong.
The Die Cast Metal Base is sturdy, so it doesn't shake as it blends, which is something that a lot of cheap blenders tend to do. Although it's not as powerful as many of the blenders in our guide, the KitchenAid has a perfectly capable motor that helps the stainless steel blades blend just about anything with little effort.
KitchenAid's Intelli-Speed Motor Control tech ensures that ingredients are blended equally. The 56-ounce BPA-Free pitcher is easy to clean, as is the two-piece lid. Years of use haven't harmed the sturdy plastic pitcher or the lid, which still fits snugly.
Most buyers on Amazon love this blender, too, though some say they received defective units. Expert reviewers praise the KitchenAid blender, too, citing its low price as the main attraction. CNET and Good House Keeping were impressed with it, and Wirecutter also recommends it as the best budget blender. — Malarie Gokey
Pros: Sturdy, affordable, makes good smoothies, decent motor, five speeds
Cons: Still more than $70, not as powerful as others
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