Blenders come and go, but blending is forever. If you’ve been eyeing up a new blender, you know exactly what you want it for – the best models let you do everything that you can dream of, from crushing ice and making frozen desserts to green smoothies to nut butters to soups. The models in this list are all capable of doing those things, but some come with extra features that elevate them above the rest. So if you’re looking for the best blenders of 2017, look no further: they’re here, and they’re ready to work.
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A great blender has a couple of key traits: power, great build quality, durability, and an excellent warranty. The top blenders have these plus a couple more: beautiful design, pre-programmed settings, and variable speed control. If you want a blender that’s going to do everything you ask of it, you need something with all of these settings – you need something that can create nut butter without a sweat, while sitting beautifully on your counter, for years and years. And you need to know that if anything should happen to your machine the company will be there to have your back. You need to be assured that you’re buying quality.
All of the models in this line-up have the traits of a great blender, but only a few have the qualities of a top blender. Most are let down by reliability problems or missing features. While all have high-powered engines – it’s never going to be a top blender without that – there are other factors that go into a truly great machine.
One of the most important of these is pre-programmed settings, which are found only in top machines and make them so much easier to use than their manual counterparts. If you’re making a smoothie every morning, it saves so much time to be able to press a button and walk away, leaving the blender to do the work. If you’re constantly making soups, you don’t have to control the blend yourself. If you’re after a top machine, it should know what to do.
With that said, a top blender should also let you control it manually – to a great extent. Rather than the on-off system of lower-tier blenders, top-tier products should have variable speed control so that you can make sure your blades are running at exactly the right speed. No more guesswork. Some of the models in this list are missing this crucial function.
High Powered Blenders Make Soups Easy Without Much Chopping
Great design is also an important component. This may not seem relevant to you – who cares about what a blender looks like? – but if you consider that this machine is going to be sitting on your countertop day in, day out, it’s important to consider what it’s going to look like. In addition, some of these models are tall and bulky, so if you’re living in a smaller space they aren’t going to be able to fit in. The best models on this list are compact in size, sturdy enough to hold steady during intense blending, and attractive to boot. If you’re going to buy a blender, and you want a top pick, why shouldn’t these design elements come into it?
Warranties and build quality go hand-in-hand – if your product has great build quality, the company is likely to support it with a longer warranty. There’s a reason that top-performing brands like Vitamix have such long warranties – the company knows that they’ve built quality, and they’re willing to show it. If you’re looking for a great blender, you want something that’s going to perform for years and years of heavy use without complaining or giving out. You also want to be supported by a company that’s going to give you great service when you need it most.
The Vitamix 750 is considered the “gold standard” of the Vitamix range, which itself is known as the “gold standard” of blender brands. When it comes to picking a top blender for 2017, it’s hard to go past an endorsement like that – and I have no intention of doing so.
The 750 is powerful, attractive, and reliable, with the best features on the market: a tamper (which can be useful for making things that don't need to be pulvarized like hummus, pre-programmed settings, a shorter container, and a long warranty. It’s truly a top-of-the-range machine capable of handling anything you may want to throw at it.
The only prohibitive factor about the 750 is the expense– it is typically quite expensive (prices vary), so unless you have a fair amount of money to spend on a blender, you might consider looking at some of the other models on this list.
The Designer Series Blender is a member of Blendtec’s new range of blenders, which are supposed to be an improvement on Classic models in functionality and design. The Designer Series Blender has been quoted as being a ‘Swiss army knife’ in blender design – it’s supposed to do everything you may want it to do.
It has greatly improved design over previous Blendtec models, and also features an improved airflow system to keep the motor cooler. It has the company’s signature five-sided Wildside container and six pre-programmed cycles, the most of any model on this list, including an inbuilt cleaning cycle. The interface is also attractive; unlike other models, it has a touch-screen interface that’s both attractive and easy to clean.
It's somewhat surprising to have a Hamilton Beach model in this list, because the brand has long been known for providing basic blending at very low prices – they have not typically tried to compete with Vitamix and Blendtec for power or quality.
This changes with the Professional Quiet Shield Blender. It comes with most of the great settings of higher-tier models at a normally much more affordable price point - although prices do change. It features four pre-programmed cycles, including a self-cleaning cycle, a tamper, and a noise-reducing removable shield that makes it one of the quietest blenders on this list. It’s also an attractive design – and there are no reports of poor durability that we could find or other issues, so it’s an excellent pick.
The Vitamix 6300 is another one of Vitamix’s top models. It’s a massively effective machine, and can blend through everything from nuts to ice to the smallest strawberry seeds to make sure your blend is always smooth.
Its specs are impressive, and the 6300 comes with almost everything you could want in a blender. It has a powerful motor, a beautiful design, four color options (depending on where you shop), three pre-programmed cycles, a tamper, a shorter container, and a long warranty (make sure you check with retailer as warranties my vary). There are only two areas in which it may not be considered the top blender: it still may be fairly expensive for someone with a low budget, and it does not feature an inbuilt cleaning cycle. However, it may still appeal to people who don’t have quite a large enough budget to justify a more expensive unit, but still want a truly incredible blender.
The Total Blender was Blendtec’s best-selling blender for many years, largely due to its many features and generally a lower price point than competitor Vitamix (although prices can vary). The Total Blender has its primary focus on pre-programmed settings, so it’s ideal for someone who wants their blender to do most of the work.
It comes with six pre-programmed settings, the most of any blender in this list, and also has the highest horsepower. Like the other Blendtec model, it features the company’s signature Wildside container – a flat-sided, five-sided design that’s meant to create a better blending technique without the use of a tamper. However, users have reported occasional blending difficulties without a tamper, and there have also been reports of the container’s seal liquefying and leaking into the blend. You should investigate these claims further if you’re keen on this blender – Blendtec’s a great company for responding to complaints, so it’s likely that the problem has been resolved.
This is the only Breville model on the list, primarily because the company has rarely branched out into the high-performing blender market. The Boss is their bold step forward, and it’s a great first step.
It comes with many of the best traits of Vitamix and Blendtec models, but for a much more attainable price: five pre-programmed settings, including an inbuilt cleaning cycle, a seven-year limited manufacturer's warranty, and variable speed control. In addition, this model comes with a tamper to help you make your creations, and Breville’s great build quality.
The main way in which this model is let down is in its design – the appearance of this blender leaves much to be desired, and the container is too small to fit under the kitchen cabinet, so you’ll be stuck moving it around if you want to use it.
Everyone knows Jamba Juice, but how many people know that the brand also has an appliances range? This is the only Jamba model on this list, and it comes with a range of features that are common to many of the blenders on this list.
It does not come with any pre-programmed settings, which could be inconvenient if you’re someone who doesn’t want to stand over your blender watching it work, but it does come with a noise-blocking shield that makes it the quietest blender on this list. Many reviewers have said that the blender is genuinely quiet, enough so that it won’t make other people up in the house. If you’re a morning smoothie person, that could be very important.
The 5300 tends to be of the cheaper models in the Vitamix range (prices vary), and as a result it comes with a reduced set of features compared to the other Vitamix models – and many of the other models in this list.
Whether or not you’re keen on spending extra money on a machine that can do less than the other models on this list simply because it’s a Vitamix. If you’re set on a Vitamix, but you don’t have the budget for one of the other models, I’d recommend this machine for you – it has all the great Vitamix basics, like excellent durability, performance, and a long warranty, and also benefits from later-stage Vitamix perks like a noise-reducing case and an inbuilt cooling system to keep the motor stable.
The Nutri Ninja Duo is one of the more interesting blenders in this line-up, because you can use both a regular blender container and single-serve blender cups on the same base. If you’re serving a single blend, this means it’s easier than ever to create it, and you don’t have to wash up a whole bunch of different containers.
Ninja is known to require a whole assortment of different accessories to create different outcomes, so whether or not this system appeals to you will determine whether you buy into it. Unlike Vitamix or Blendtec, which are all-in-one machines designed to do everything, Ninja models need you to exchange parts.
This model is the most stripped-back on the list, with few of the advanced features of other models. It also has the shortest warranty (may vary by retailer). As a result, it tends to be of the more affordable options – however, this does not mean that it suffers from poor build quality, as there are very few reports of failures for this model.
The Ultima is one of Ninja’s most popular models, and for good reason. It’s one of their higher-tier blenders, which sacrifices raw affordability (prices may fluctuate) for excellent specs, great power, and variable speed control.
One of the hallmarks of the Ninja brand is their design style – rather than buying one container and one base, which is typical for the other brands on this list, Ninja sells an assortment of accessories that you must swap out to get different results. If this isn’t a problem for you, the Ultima is a great pick – it’s powerful, effective, and most likely affordable.
The main downside to Ninja products is their limited warranty – unlike many of the other blenders on this list, they are typically only 12- or 24-month warranties. This is problematic, especially because there have been reports of durability issues for the Ultima – so if you experience these, it’s unlikely warranty will cover you.
It’s very hard to recommend a single best blender for 2017, because it depends so heavily on your budget and what you’re looking for. In the end, I could only narrow it down to three: the Vitamix Professional 750, the Blendtec Designer Series Blender, and the Hamilton Beach Professional Quiet Shield Blender.
The main difference between each of these models comes down to your budget (so you'll have to compare them at the time of purchase); they’re each an exceptional blender, powerful and reliable, with useful settings and all the bells and whistles. They’re all beautifully designed, all fit under the kitchen cabinet, all have pre-programmed cycles and inbuilt cleaning cycles, all have variable speed control, and all make the most of long warranties.
I’m hesitant to call the 750 the best blender of the year simply because it In terms of performance and reliability, it comes out above both of the others – but just in case it ends up being too expensive at the time of purchase, we have two back ups. It’s for that reason that I included the Blendtec and the Hamilton Beach models – both are so similar in terms of specs that it’s almost impossible to tell between them.
If a tamper’s important for you, choose the Vitamix or the Hamilton Beach. If you want color options, go for the Blendtec. If you’re opposed to a sound shield, or you need a handle for your container, go for a Vitamix or a Blendtec. If you’re on a budget, the Hamilton Beach may be the better option depending on current prices. These models are so close in so many ways that they’re all blender of the year – take your pick.
If you're still stuck and can't decide on a new blender for the new year, don't worry. We've done tons of individual reviews as well as broken down blenders by particular function. Check out some of our articles below to get even more in-depth!