The 5 Best Blenders of 2018 (Unbiased Guide to Pick One You’ll Need)

Are you looking to figure out how to find the best blender for any task in your kitchen?

You've come to the right place.

My goal is to use my 10+ years of experience to help you find the right blender for any and all of your needs.

In this guide, expect to find...

  • My top blender picks for 2018 (and why I picked them).
  • What makes a good blender in the first place?
  • The best blenders for a variety of given tasks. 
  • The pros and cons of my top picks.

Let's begin, shall we?


Best Blender Picks for 2018

In case you don’t have time to read the full article – here’s a brief summary of the blenders that were selected and why...

Updated 5/30/2018

Vitamix 5300 Blender
NutriBullet Pro - 13-Piece High-Speed Blender/Mixer System with Hardcover Recipe Book Included (900 Watts)
Blendtec Total Classic Original Blender with Wildside+ Jar (96 oz), Commercial-Grade Power, 6 Pre-programmed Cycles, 10-speeds, Black (Certified Refurbished)
Nutri Ninja Blender/Food Processor with 1500-Watt Auto-iQ Base, 72oz Pitcher, 64oz Processor Bowl, (2) 16oz Smoothie Cups, Dough Blade and More (BL770)
Vitamix A3500 Ascent Series Smart Blender, Programmable w/Built-in Wireless Connectivity, Professional-Grade, Graphite

The 5300 can blend anything you've ever dreamed of.

The tamper makes it so that you never have to interrupt blending cycles to catch all the ingredients.

Buying refurbished gets you a more affordable price with a 5 year warranty that's rock solid.

This little blender is perfect for making single serve smoothies, small sauce batches and much more.

It has a shorter warranty and less power than the luxury brands, but is more than enough for the average person.

This blender delivers the best bang for your buck.

Tons of power, a huge jar and a solid 3-year warranty. There's nothing that the Total Blender can't do, especially if you decide to get a Twister Jar with it.

With all it's different accessories, the Ninja Total Kitchen system is the most versatile on the list.

Blend fruits, nuts and seeds in the smaller cups for a smoothie on the go.

Or use the processor bowl to make nut butter. The possibilities are endless.

The latest in blending technology with a 10-year warranty.

If you can afford it, this blender is an absolute dream.

You can access tons of pre-programmed blending cycles via your smartphone and also have the option to sync it up with a food scale and smaller Vitamix containers (sold separately).

Vitamix 5300 Blender

The 5300 can blend anything you've ever dreamed of.

The tamper makes it so that you never have to interrupt blending cycles to catch all the ingredients.

Buying refurbished gets you a more affordable price with a 5 year warranty that's rock solid.

Budget Pick
NutriBullet Pro - 13-Piece High-Speed Blender/Mixer System with Hardcover Recipe Book Included (900 Watts)

This little blender is perfect for making single serve smoothies, small sauce batches and much more.

It has a shorter warranty and less power than the luxury brands, but is more than enough for the average person.

Blendtec Total Classic Original Blender with Wildside+ Jar (96 oz), Commercial-Grade Power, 6 Pre-programmed Cycles, 10-speeds, Black (Certified Refurbished)

This blender delivers the best bang for your buck.

Tons of power, a huge jar and a solid 3-year warranty. There's nothing that the Total Blender can't do, especially if you decide to get a Twister Jar with it.

Nutri Ninja Blender/Food Processor with 1500-Watt Auto-iQ Base, 72oz Pitcher, 64oz Processor Bowl, (2) 16oz Smoothie Cups, Dough Blade and More (BL770)

With all it's different accessories, the Ninja Total Kitchen system is the most versatile on the list.

Blend fruits, nuts and seeds in the smaller cups for a smoothie on the go.

Or use the processor bowl to make nut butter. The possibilities are endless.

Best of the Best
Vitamix A3500 Ascent Series Smart Blender, Programmable w/Built-in Wireless Connectivity, Professional-Grade, Graphite

The latest in blending technology with a 10-year warranty.

If you can afford it, this blender is an absolute dream.

You can access tons of pre-programmed blending cycles via your smartphone and also have the option to sync it up with a food scale and smaller Vitamix containers (sold separately).

Last update on 2018-08-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API



Why You Should Trust Me

Well, I blend stuff. A lot.

I don't remember the last time a day went by where I didn't use my blender to make a smoothie, vegan cheese sauce, hummus, or something else.

I've also used and/or owned a ton of blender brands - including the ones on this list.

In fact, I have a YouTube channel where you can catch me doing all sorts of blender tests, recipes and other fun stuff.

Be sure to click the link or picture above to check it out and subscribe! 

I'm confident you'll find it useful!


What Makes a Good Blender?

When it comes down to a blender performing well, there are three major criteria that I look for...

A Power Enough Motor to Pulverize Foods with Dull Blades

This one is self-explanatory, but often overlooked. Many old-style blenders rely on sharp blades to break down ingredients rather than a solid motor. When these blades dull, so does the performance of the blender. All of the blenders on this list don't rely on sharp blades to get the job done -- even the Nutribullet Pro 900.

Keeps Ingredients Moving Towards the Blades

Even with a powerful motor, you still need to form a "vortex" with the ingredients to keep them moving towards the blades. 

This is usually done one of three ways...

Variable Speed Dial: Starting off slow and increasing the speed helps ingredients "catch" and start collapsing on each other.

Photo of a variable speed dial on my Vitamix.

Tamper: In the case of the Vitamix, you can use the tamper to push things into the blades if they won't catch. This is one of the few blenders with that luxury, which is part of the reason that I love Vitamix so much.

Adjusting Between Blending Cycles: In the case of the Nutribullet or any of the smaller blender, you simply have to stop and readjust the ingredients if you can't form a vortex right away. It's not a huge deal since it's so easy to take the cup off and shake things around a bit.

In the photo below, I formed a vortex in the Nutribullet by doing just that.

Related Article: Best Personal Blender Picks 2018

Okay, so now that you know about the important attributes, let's talk about some blending tasks that you might want to do...


What's the Best Blender for Smoothies?

Smoothies are a broad term, so the answer is that "it depends".

If you're going to be making extremely thick smoothies or smoothie bowls with lots of frozen fruit and ice, then the Vitamix is your best bet.

With the tamper, you'll be able to make a smoothie as thick as your heart desires without worrying about having to stop blending to re-adjust ingredients.

For example, I made this banana ice cream smoothie bowl in my Vitamix without ever having to stop blending to readjust...

Here's an example of a banana ice cream smoothie bowl I made in my Vitamix.

Don't get me wrong, the other blenders on this list are great at making smoothies as well, but you just need to add a little bit more liquid to get things moving.

If you prefer thinner smoothies you can easily sip through a straw, you probably won't even notice.

The other thing to consider is the serving size of the smoothie you'll be making.

If I'm making a smoothie for just myself, I find the Nutribullet or Ninja to be a bit more convenient. I can drink it straight out of the blending cup and even attach a handle to bring it on the go.

But for multiple people, the larger jar of a Vitamix is essential.


What's the Best Blender for Making Nut Butters?

If you want to make almond butter, peanut butter, cashew butter, walnut butter or something else, you’re going to want a powerful blender with a heat resistant jar.

In my opinion, The Blendtec Total Blender with the addition of a Twister Jar is your best bet, it’s probably the best blending tool for making nut butter today. The only downside is that you need to buy it separately.

See video below to see the Twister Jar in action.

You can certainly go with a Vitamix, but they recommend that you add oil to get the best result possible.

Having made nut butter in the Vitamix several times without oil I always found it kind of annoying. It's doable, but always takes quite a while.

The Twister Jar can do it easier and with much less hassle.


What's the Best Blender for Almond Milk

Unlike nut butter, almond milk is actually a pretty easy task in any blender. Because you're soaking the almonds and blending with lots of water, they turn to pulp pretty easily, even with a lower horsepower model like the Nutribullet.

But if you want to make a decent amount of almond milk to enjoy over the course of the week, you'll want to have a blender with a big jar.

For that reason, I think the Total Blender is the best choice for almond milk.

Not only does it have the a huge jar, but it has the most powerful motor which means that the almonds won't require as much soaking.

Don't forget, you'll also need a nut milk bag to remove the pulp after blending, otherwise you'll end up with chunky almond milk.


What's the Best Blender for Chopping Ice or Crushing Ice Cubes?

Based on some recent tests I did, the Blendtec Total Blender was the absolute best at chopping ice and crushing ice cubes (see video below).

The Vitamix can certainly do it as well, but if you have a Classic Jar, the snow and ice can get jammed up because the container is quite narrow at the bottom.

While the Nutribullet can certainly crush ice, it's not something that I would personally recommend. There have been reported cases of the blades breaking and it's simply not what the blender was designed for.

Please note: The 5300 is a wide base jar, but this is an important thing to note if you decide on  a different Vitamix like the 5200. See full review on the Vitamix 5300 here.


What's the Best Blender for Margaritas?

Because your typical margaritas don't require that much ice in relation to liquid, any of the blenders on this list are a good pick -- even the Nutribullet.

Between the tequila, moscato, triple sec and lime juice - you'll have more than enough liquid to dampen the impact that the frozen ice will have on the blades and the motor.

Of course, consider portion size and think about splurging on a blender with a bigger jar if you love to entertain.


What's the Best Blender for Frozen Fruit?

All of the blenders on this list can handle frozen fruit, but it's just a matter of how much fruit in relation to liquid you're attempting to blend.

In the Vitamix, it's quite easy to turn 100% frozen fruit into strawberry or banana ice cream with the ice of the tamper. 

In the recipe video below, you can see how I turned frozen strawberries and cherries into extremely thick fruit-based ice cream, using the tiniest splash of soy milk.

Other blenders, like the Blendtec and the Nutribullet require a bit more finesse.

Unless you're using the Twister Jar on the Blendtec, you'll likely have to stop blending and push the frozen fruit back towards the blades.

Without a device or added liquid to keep things moving, you'll often find that frozen fruit gets caught on the side of the jar or blending cup.

Also Read: Yonanas Review


What's the Best Blender for Chopping Vegetables?

Because of their variable speed settings, either the Vitamix or Blendtec are going to be best for chopping vegetables.

It's important to be able to put the blades on a low speed as to not end up turning the vegetables into a puree. Texture control is everything.

They also have big jars, which is ideal for chopping up things like cauliflower rice using the "wet chop" method (see video below).

For dry chopping, I personally feel like the tamper on the Vitamix makes things a bit easier than a Blendtec, though.

Having the ability to gently push the food into the blades while it's running on low makes chopping vegetables really easy.


What's the Best Blender for Liquefying Kale?

Any of the blenders on this list (the Vitamix, Blendtec and even the Nutribullet Pro 900) are all great at liquefying kale.

In fact, if you look at the recipe video below that I did, you'll see that I was able to completely make a smooth blend out of kale, beets, cherries and ginger in the Nutribullet.

Pretty impressive, right?

You absolutely do not need a powerful blender to liquefy kale, but it's extremely important that you have dull blades and the ability to form a vortex.

Sharp blades will simply "chop" kale, leaving little chunks leftover in your smoothie. I've experienced this with the tall Ninja blenders that have the 6-tier blades (Although the Nutri-Ninja does fine since it creates a vortex rather than chops).

Related Article: Compare Ninja Blenders


What's the Best Blender for Hummus?

While any of these blenders can handle hummus quite easily, the one you should pick should be determined by how much you want to make.

You should also consider one of our top immersion blenders.

If you're making it for one or two people, then the Nutribullet would is far more convenient. It's annoying to make 16 oz of hummus in big jar like a Vitamix or Blendtec, but the smaller Nutribullet cups are the ideal size.


What's the Best Blender for Making Hot Soup?

If you want to use your blender to make hot soup, you need to go with something that has a vented jar. That means you'll want to pick one of the Vitamix or Blendtec models.

Not only do they have enough power to create enough friction to heat the soup right in the jar, but they have vented lids and heat resistant jars that allow you to do it safely.

If you're on a really tight budget, you can also consider getting the Nutribullet Rx which has a soup jar that serves the same purpose.

However, because it's so close in price to a refurbished Blendtec Total Blender I would recommend going with the Total Blender if you're going to make hot soup.

It's bigger, more powerful and you get a longer warranty.


What's the Best Blender for Cashew Cream?

Because you're going to be soaking the cashews, making cashew cream doesn't require a top of the line blender.

If the nuts have been soaked for a few hours or overnight, they're going to be super soft and able to be pulverized into a cream even if you don't have a lot of power.

The advantage to having more power is that you won't require as much soaking time.

But if you have a small budget, don't worry!

Most blenders on the market (including the ones on this list) will do the job just fine.

See Also: Nutribullet vs. Ninja


What's the Best Blender for Juicing?

Almost any of the blenders on this list make whole juice with pulp quite easily. I've even used the less powerful Nutribullet to make carrot juice and it performed just as well as the Vitamix in terms of breaking down the carrots (see video below).

But it just depends on how much juice you want to make. 

Are you going to be prepping lots of juice in advance? Grab one of the Vitamix or Blendtec models here because they have a much bigger jar.

If you plan on only doing single servings and don't want to spend a lot then the Nutribullet is more than enough.

Please Note: There's no blender on the market that can make smooth juice without the help of a fine mesh strainer or a nut milk bag. After blending, you need a way separate the pulp from the juice


What's the Best Blender for Vegans?

I've been vegan for over 3 years now, I can confidently say that the Vitamix has my recommendation. Making good vegan cuisine often requires making sauces, purees, thick vegan cheeses, etc.

For me in my kitchen, there's just nothing that the Vitamix can't do the tamper ensures that my ingredients never get jammed up.

Plus, the peace of mind from the long warranty cannot be beat.

Sure, I do pull out my Nutribullet often because of convenience, but if I had to pick only one blender, it would be the Vitamix.

But again, I'm sure you'll be happy with any of the models listed here.

Just consider the pros and cons that I've written about and your specific needs.


What's the Best Blender for The Money?

At the time of writing this guide, the refubished Blendtec Total Blender is by far the best value for the money.

As you probably know by now, Blendtec's can handle nearly any blending job with ease: smoothies, hot soups, batters, nice creams, ice crushing, etc.

You can usually find it for under $200 which is rare for a blender that has so much power (3 peak HP) and a 3-year warranty.

If you're on a budget, but still want a top of the line blender then it's my top recommendation.


My 2018 Best Blender Picks Reviewed

Now that you've got a full understanding of what to look for in a blender, let's explore our top models...

Any Vitamix  is going to be an obvious winner, but the Vitamix 5300 (similar to the Vitamix 6500) stands out from the crowd for several reasons. Some of these reasons are exclusive to the Vitamix brand, but others are particular to this model.

The first reason we think this blender is great for vegans is because of its hot soup function. Yes, you can make soup from hot to cold, directly in this blender, without using a stove. There are also a bunch of raw vegan food soups to make! Either way, it's super easy with this machine.

Because Vitamix models are so powerful, they have the ability to enough friction inside the jar to heat things up.  Additionally, the jars are designed for proper ventilation so that things aren't going to explode while you do it.

The second reason we love this blender is because of its tamper. Like we mentioned earlier, because you can push things into the blades, you'll be able to make sure nothing gets stuck to the sides when you're making your hummus or acai bowls.​

You can even drink nut milk straight after blending, because the pulp gets so finely broken down.​

Thirdly, the Vitamix 5300 is an absolute power blender. You'll be able to liquefy nuts without soaking and blend almost any plant-based raw food to a smooth puree.

Finally, making nice cream (banana ice cream) is a breeze as you can do it with little to no liquid. Push the bananas into the blades with the tamper, wait for the vortex, and enjoy!​

We like the refurbished models because they can generally be found cheaper than a new one. New units come with a 7 year warranty, but you still get 5 years with the refurbished.

Pros

  • Can make hot soup right in the jar because of its powerful motor. You can also make delicious raw food purees with little to no noticeable pulp.
  • The included tamper makes sure that fruits, veggies, and legumes keep coming in contact in the blades without getting stuck.
  • Powerful enough to make smooth vegan cheese  and plant milks without necessarily having to soak the nuts.
  • Is capable of cleaning itself simply by blending with warm water and dish soap.
  • Variable speed control knob makes it easy to create a vortex.
  • Low profile container makes it easier to fit under a cabinet than some other Vitamix models.
  • Variable speed knob and pulse function for complete control over your blend.

Cons

  • As with all counter-top blenders, it has a large footprint. Given its size and weight, you'll want to leave it on your counter.
  • May not be affordable for some people, but worthwhile if you can swing it!

​This is one of the best machines from the the Magic Bullet family in our opinion.

While the Nutribullet Pro 900 isn't as powerful as the first blender on this list, we think its a great single-serve blender and a viable Vitamix alternative. It's a well-designed personal blender that can handle all of the essential vegan tasks if you show it a little love.

Here's what we mean:

When it comes to making​ hummus, smoothie bowls, and nut milks this blender can do it all. We know because we actually make all these things in the Nutribullet 900 on a regular basis.

However, because its not as powerful as a Vitamix or other counter-top blender​ there are a few things that we do to make it perform like one.

​When it comes to smoothie bowls, there's not really much to say.  You'll need to use a bit of plant-based milk to get the blend started since there's no tamper and a weaker motor, but you'd be surprised how little it takes and how smooth and creamy the final product comes out.

And although it goes without saying, quick shakes with vegan protein powder are a breeze with this type of blender.​

Nice cream is not ideal to make in this blender if you're not using any liquid. However, throw in just a splash of soy milk and you'll be able to make a thick and smooth blend.​ 

If we're making a vegan cheese sauce, simply soaking the cashews for 30 minutes to an hour beforehand makes the process a whole lot easier. It can still come out good if you don't soak them, but you may find that they aren't fully liquefied.​

The one limitation is that you can't make hot soup as there's no ventilation and the blender wasn't designed for that function. You can however make a smooth blend and then heat it up on the stove after. If you're interested in a bullet that can make soup.

Let's also not forget that the blades attach to the jar for each blending job. This makes the entire blender super easy to clean without the use of a clean function.

Finally, this blender is likely to be more budget friendly than some of the others on this list. Although it only comes with a one year warranty, it's not too bad considering the typical price of the Pro 900.​

Pros

  • This blender has the power and design to do all do vegan cheese, smoothie bowls, green smoothies, and much more.
  • 900 Watts of power makes it much stronger than the original Magic Bullet type of blenders.
  • It's easy to store and carry. Ideal for someone who has limited space or wants to bring it on a trip.
  • ​The blending cups that it comes with double as cups to drink out of.
  • Comes with a bunch of accessories that enhance the experience should you choose to drink out of it.
  • Blender is easy to clean as the blades detach between blending cycles.

Cons

  • Doesn't have the raw power of some of the counter-top blenders. Works better with more liquid and nuts liquefy better if full soaked.
  • Not designed to make hot soup directly in the blender. You can make the soup then heat it on the stove.
  • Only comes with a one year warranty, but may be justified for its price range.

Blendtec blenders are kind of thought of as the Vitamix rival in the blender world. Having used both brands, it's honestly hard to pick a favorite.

The thing that makes Blendtec Total Blender stand out is its raw power. It has a 3-peak horsepower motor which is actually greater than that of the Vitamix.

Despite its power and well-designed Wildside jar, there are still situations where having a tamper is useful. Sometimes your ingredients simply won't make it to the blades. 

That's why the Blendtec's Twister Jar is great. Some might argue that it's superior to the tamper, but we aren't going to take sides.​ 

The only problem with the Twister Jar is that it is sold separately. 

This Blendtec has a bunch of other features that aren't available in the earlier models of the Vitamix namely in the form of pre-programmed settings. Pre-programmed settings aren't required to make an awesome smoothie, hummus, or nice cream. However, they do come in handy, especially if you're in a rush.

Say you're making a green smoothie in the morning. Simply throw all the ingredients in and press the smoothie button. During the cycle, you can do other tasks while the smoothie is being blended.

The Blendtec also has a hot soup setting which means that it can also perform this awesome function.

You also have the option of operating the blender with the variable speed buttons as well as the pulse button. This allows you to create a powerful vortex by cranking it up slowly or do some quick mincing/chopping using a brief pulse.

Finally, as a refurbished blender, it comes with a 3-year warranty. You can get a new Blendtec blenders with a 7-year warranty, but it simply depends on your budget and risk tolerance.

Pros

  • Comes with a large amount of raw power, ensures that you can liquefy even the toughest ingredients.
  • Can use the Twister Jar to perform the same function as a tamper and it really excels at making nut butters.
  • Powerful enough to clean itself with warm water and blending, but the jar and blade design makes it easy to clean under the blades if you have to.
  • Comes with a three year manufacturer's warranty which is excellent for a refurbished blender. Can get a new one for a 7-year warranty.
  • The variable speed and pulse option allow you to do quick chops, similar to a food processor.

Cons

  • The "tampering" device (Twister Jar) for this blender is sold separately.
  • You're going to want to keep it on the counter being that it is not all that compact.

If you don't have any sort of budget, then the Vitamix Ascent A3500 is my top recommendation.

While it's certainly not required that you get a machine as high-end as this one, there are a few reasons that I think it's worth every penny.

  • Warranty: The Ascent A3500 comes with a 10-year warranty which is absolutely insane. For comparison, the Nutribullet Pro 900 and Nutribullet Rx both have 1-year warranties. There's very few products you'll buy that are guaranteed to work for such a long period of time.
  • Container Options with Self Detect: While not included with the purchase, you have the option of getting a small food processor bowl, a to-go cup or several other Vitamix containers that use Self Detect Technology. In short, the blender will adjust to the cup size and adjust itself as needed.
  • Timer and Pre-Programmed Settings: If you want to blend the same recipes consistently day in and day out, these two features can be a big help. You can even access pre-programmed cycles and recipes on your phone and connect it via Bluetooth with the Vitamix App. It also comes with five settings right on the blender interface.
  • Tamper: As with all the Vitamix machines, the tamper ensures that nothing gets stuck while you're blending.

Pros

  • One of the longest warranties in the household blender industry.
  • The latest and greatest and technology - allows syncing with the Perfect Blend Smart Scale and Vitamix App for consistent measurements and blending times.
  • Can make hot soup.

Cons

  • A huge upfront investment.
  • Different container sizes sold separately.

The Ninja Mega Kitchen System made it to the list for two reasons: affordability and versatility.

If you don't own a food processor and want the ability to serve small and large groups of people, it's an extremely solid option.

You can use the to-go cups for your morning smoothie, the large pitcher to make a sauce for your family and the food processing bowl with to whip up some vegan cookie dough!

Pros

  • A great value if you consider all the accessories.
  • Big pitcher gives you the option for large servings while the smaller to-go cups mean you can take smoothies on the go.
  • Food processor container good at nut butters and for chopping vegetables.
  • Generally affordable.

Cons

  • Shorter warranty than the big blender brands.
  • 6-Tier blade system isn't that great at pulverizing (but the smaller cups are fine).
  • Not designed for hot soup.

So What Blender Should You Buy?

Now that you understand all of the essential criteria for getting a blender, the final choice is up to you.

If you want a blender that's up for almost any task, small or large, go for one of the Vitamixes or a Blendtec. It's totally worth it if you have the money to invest upfront.

But if you're a single person on a budget and simply want to make some smaller smoothies and sauces go for the Nutribullet.

Pick the Ninja Mega Kitchen System if you want a bit more versatility.

Best of luck and happy blending!

Best Blenders 2018 | Best Blenders for Smoothies | Best Blenders for the Money | Best Blenders to Buy | Best Blenders on a Budget | Best Blender Brands | Ninja | Nutribullet | Vitamix | Personal Blenders | Kitchen Gadgets #kitchenproducts #kitchengadgets #thrivecuisine

1 thought on “The 5 Best Blenders of 2018 (Unbiased Guide to Pick One You’ll Need)

  1. Thanks for putting this list together! I found it really helpful to know that I don’t have to spend a bunch of money on an expensive blender if I don’t like my smoothies that thick in the first place.

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