The Ninja Ultima Blender Plus BL830 is a powerful, versatile machine that challenges more expensive models for performance – and does so well. Its innovative design elements and great price point make it a brilliant option for anyone looking for a high-performing machine on a budget, but its 2 year warranty falls a bit short of some of the competition . That being said, if you're not prepared to fork over a ton of money up front for one of the really high end blenders, this unit might be just what you need to get the job done.
Overall Thrive Cuisine Rating: 4.4
Ease of Blending
Like many other top-tier blenders, the Ninja Ultima Blender comes with a variable speed dial; this one features 10 manual settings, so you can customize the exact speed of your blender’s blades for whatever product you are creating. It also comes with a pulse function, very useful for when creating dry products like flours, when over-mixing changes their composition.
The Ninja Ultima Blender also comes with two sets of blades, one of which is removable for reduced cleaning when blending something that doesn’t need too much power. For blends that do need more power, both sets of blades can be used, and they are designed to rotate at different speeds to blend items more quickly and efficiently.
This model’s 72-oz container is both BPA-free and dishwasher safe, so it can be put into your dishwasher for easy clean-up.
One of the major features of the Ninja Ultimate Blender is the accessories that it comes with. While these may seem burdensome compared to the all-in-one nature of comparative high-quality blenders like those from Vitamix or Blendtec, they do come with some advantages. In addition to the large blending container, this model also comes with a smaller container that can be inserted onto the same base for use as a personal blender. Just add the included lids to these smaller 16-oz containers to take your single-serve smoothie on the go with you; there’s no need to use an entire large container, wash the whole thing, and decant your drink into another cup to take with you. You can do it all in one.
The Ninja brand is not known for its build quality in the way that Vitamix or Blendtec are, but there are very few reported issues with poor quality for this model. The blades are made of stainless steel, while the base and container are both of durable plastic. The container is BPA-free.
Unfortunately, this model only comes with a two-year warranty. While this is a year longer than most blender warranties, it is significantly shorter than that of higher-tier products from Vitamix or Blendtec, which typically extend for 7-10 years. Given this, it can only be surmised that Ninja does not have the confidence in its products’ build quality that other brands do – this isn’t to say that the Ultima Blender is likely to fail, just that it may be more inclined to do so than other brands. If longevity is important for you in a blender, keep this in mind.
The design of the Ninja Ultima Blender is attractive enough, considering the price (price varies*). It comes only in a black/silver scheme, and the interface is fairly old-school, with a classic switch and dial layout rather than more modern buttons. While this may be beneficial in that switches and dials are more reliable than flat-push buttons, they are also harder to clean, and typically require more attention should spillages occur.
One of the best design elements of this blender, which puts it above the pack, is the addition of single-serve containers that can be inserted into the same base. As mentioned above, this makes it much easier to use for making a single drink than blenders that only offer one large container, and is a useful benefit that makes it easier to customize your machine for your uses.
The Ninja Ultima Blender is a powerful machine, at 2.5-peak horsepower – on par with many Blendtec models and greater than Vitamix’s 5200 maximum 2.2-peak horsepower. This increased motor strength means that the Ultima can blend through anything you may want to throw at it – nuts, ice, seeds – without a problem and without taxing the engine, ensuring a potentially longer lifespan.
It also ensures that this model is loud – which it is. Unlike other brands, which have included sound-tamping cases, the Ninja Ultima Blender is one of the noisier machines for its strength. However, considering that reduced sound also often comes with reduced blending efficiency, this seems like a fair compromise to make – especially because this model’s horsepower means it doesn’t need long to blend anything.
This machine is quite easy to use – it has a single switch and a single dial – and its inbuilt ‘single serving’ setting, for smaller containers, makes it a breeze for that purpose.
The Ninja Ultima Blender is Perfect for Smoothies
Where it is let down is in the absence of pre-programmed settings, an installment on higher-tier machines that mean you can simply push a button and let the blender do all the work of creating a blend for you. This machine must be operated manually. This is by no means a laborious effort, but if you’re making the same thing every day – a smoothie every morning, for example – you’ll be spending much longer on it than you would if the ability to make it came in-built.
Cleaning is also very easy with this machine. Because it has no pre-programmed settings, it also does not benefit from an inbuilt ‘cleaning’ cycle, but this is offset by the dishwasher-safe nature of the containers and the easily-removable blades, which make cleaning easier than in other machines.
The recommended cleaning method is to add detergent and warm water to the container, then let it run for 10 seconds; after that, simply air-dry. Please see manufacturer instructions for full directions.
As mentioned, the warranty for this machine is only two years, which raises questions about its reliability. One of the primary reasons to buy a more expensive blender is for the assurance that it won’t give out during a crucial time – there could be nothing more frustrating than losing the ability to blend soup when you’ve got a table-full of people waiting for it.
Because the warranty on this machine is so short, and because it does not feature the in-built cooling fan that many other brands boast, the reliability of this machine cannot be assured. Reviews are mixed; in any case, it does not have the guaranteed reliability of Vitamix or Blendtec machines, and you should keep this in mind.
The Vitamix 7500 is a simple, attractive model with great horsepower and the brand’s signature reliability. Like the Ultima, it does not come with any pre-programmed settings and has a variable 10-speed dial; unlike the Ultima, it has a more attractive design, a few color options (may vary by retailer), has a better-shaped container to fit under your kitchen cabinets and has a sound-proofing case.
While the 7500 has all of this, it misses out in two areas compared to the Ultima: it has a slightly weaker motor, at 2.2-peak horsepower compared to the Ultima’s 2.5-peak, but is still designed well enough to blend anything in a superb fashion especially with the tamper.
Whether the durability of the Vitamix range (7+ Year Warranties) and its design elements are enough to sway you to this top of the line product will depend on your budget and personal preferences.
The Blendtec 475 is probably Blendtec’s closest model to the Ninja Ultima Blender – it shares comparatively similar specs, although with some differences.
The 475 has slightly increased 3-peak horsepower, a pre-programmed smoothie cycle for that early-morning rush, and has slightly improved design elements on the Ultima, with a flat push-button interface and LED display. However, it only has three manual speed settings compared to the Ultima’s variable 10-speed dial, the reduced functionality of which would be annoying when trying to perfect the texture of a spread. It also is potentially harder to clean, and does not come with the single-serve containers that make the Ultima such a great option for taking drinks on the go.
The Vitamix 5200 is the brand’s entry-level product, and that makes it the most similar to the Ninja Ultima Blender in terms of its cost.
Both feature a pulse setting, a variable 10-speed dial, and a large, tall container. The Ultima is more powerful, at 2.5-peak horsepower, and it comes with single-serve blending containers and a slightly easier cleaning regime. The Vitamix has a much longer warranty, a more attractive design, and two color options that we were able to locate.
This Vitamix is simple, powerful, and reliable and versatile enough to do pretty much anything with the tamper and guaranteed to last you for years and years to come.
We also did a full review on the 5200 which might be worth checking out.
Hey! I’m Michelle and I write product reviews for ThriveCuisine.com. I’m always preparing healthy / plant based foods and I’ve developed a knack for helping people get the best bang for their buck.