best blender for crushing ice

The Best Blender for Crushing Ice and Frozen Drinks

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Into slushies? Mad on margaritas? Feel like making snow cones for your kids all summer? There are plenty of reasons why you might be into crushing ice, and the good news is that a ton of blenders cater for this need. If you’re looking for something to help you decide which to pick, read on: this round-up has the inside scoop on the best blenders for crushing ice.

**Click any of the links above to read customer reviews on Amazon or continue reading for our full comprehensive guide.

Why are these best blenders for ice?

These blenders have been chosen as being top ice-crushing blenders for a couple of reasons: powerful motors, reliable brand reputations, and dedicated ice-crush features.

Keep in mind that any Vitamix unit is going to be perfect for crushing ice as well (and we're vary fond of their blenders), but we've intentionally left them off this list for the sake of giving people different high quality options at different price points.

Crushing ice is an intensive process for most blenders, and requires a lot of motor strength. As a result, the blenders on this list all have motors with peak horsepower above 1.5, which ensures they’re at the top end of the motor strength range. The more powerful the motor, the more quickly and effectively it can crush ice, and the less damage the motor will take while doing it – meaning that the blender is likely to last longer.

Reliable brand reputations are also important. It’s one thing to have a blender that will crush ice for a week; it’s something completely different to have one that will crush ice for five years. Brand reputation is something sturdy and reliable that you can stake your money on; if a brand has a loyal customer base, their products are likely to stand the test of time. If you’re looking to buy a blender to crush ice, you want it to be able to do just that – for years.

Finally, these blenders all have dedicated ice-crush features. This is a time-saving measure; if you’re planning on crushing ice regularly, it’s much easier to push a button and let the blender do the work than have to hover, making sure your blender doesn’t just turn it to water. You can get perfect crushed ice, every time, with a pre-programmed setting. Plus, most of the models on this list come with other pre-programmed settings too, so if you want to use your blender for more than just ice, you can.

What are the differences between the models?

There are quite a few differences between the models, given that their only similarities are powerful motors, brand reliability, and ice crush features.

ice crushing blenders

Turn These Cubes Into Crushed Smooth Ice - Fast!

Some have more powerful motors than others – the Hurricane Pro has over twice the power of the Nutri Ninja Duo – while some have variable speed dials. Some have more pre-programmed settings than others. They also have a variety of warranties backing them which are worth considering.

Appearance differs, as does container size, and price. However, all of them are a great choice for crushing ice if the model fits your budget and you like its appearance.

The Hamilton Beach Professional Quiet Shield Blender is a great model with a price point that’s typically very achievable. It has the best specs of the models on this list, but the Hamilton Beach name is not typically known in the blender world as Blendtec or Vitamix models, so that might be a consideration you’d like to look into.

It has 2.4-peak horsepower, an attractive design, and a removable sound shield to make your ice crushing potentially the quietest on this list. It has a dial that allows you to choose from 10 speeds and four pre-programmed settings – smoothie, ice crush, puree, and clean – that provide basic pre-programming functions. It’s also dishwasher safe and comes with a five-year limited warranty.

The only apparent problem with this model is that the container lacks a handle, which is likely to become inconvenient if you’re pouring ice into glasses and have to hold the container with both hands. Whether or not this is enough to dissuade you from this model, given its many other benefits, is up to you. This is certainly a powerful model that may suit front-of-house environments where quiet is needed.

PROS

  • Attractive design
  • Variable 10-speed dial
  • Four pre-programmed settings
  • Removable noise-reducing shield
  • Inbuilt cleaning cycle
  • Inbuilt cooling cycle
  • Tamper
  • Dishwasher-safe components
  • Five-year limited warranty
  • Good build quality

CONS

  • No container handle

The Blendtec Total Blender is an excellent blender for all sorts of things, and one of Blendtec’s top-selling models. It doesn’t have a variable speed dial, but it does have the choice of ten different speeds in button form. It also has six pre-programmed settings, a whopping 3-peak horsepower to obliterate ice, and good build quality.

This model is ideal if you prefer to use your blender for pre-programmed cycles. It has six – smoothie, batters, hot soup, whole juice, ice cream (to make some awesome ice cream, for instance), and ice crush – so you can easily make anything you’d like with the push of a button. If you’re planning on making the same sorts of things over and over, this model is recommended above the others because this is its focus; it’s also the most powerful in this list, so likely to have greater longevity with years of ice crushing than other models.

Make sure you're getting this unit from an authorized retailer to get the full Blendtec 7 Year Warranty.

PROS

  • 3-peak horsepower
  • Wildside container
  • Six pre-programmed settings
  • Three color options (may vary by retailer)
  • Good build quality
  • Long Warranty

CONS

  • No noise-reducing technology
  • No inbuilt cleaning cycle

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The Hurricane Pro is a very effective machine. It has 3.5-peak horsepower, the highest on this list by far, and more than twice as powerful as the Nutri Ninja Duo that’s to follow. As a result, when it comes to crushing ice, it’s going to be very effective – not only will it work quickly and powerfully, but it also won’t tax the motor too much, so you’re likely to have a motor that will last you a long time.

It also comes with a variable dial that can reach up to 25000RPM, the choice of four other pre-programmed settings including for smoothies, soups and cleaning, and a three-year warranty (found at the manufacturer’s website here).

Because this model lacks some of the benefits of other models, it’s just a good, effective machine capable of powerfully crushing ice.

PROS

  • 3.5-peak horsepower
  • Variable speed dial
  • Five pre-programmed settings
  • Inbuilt cleaning cycle
  • Great build quality

CONS

  • No noise-reducing technology
  • Three-year warranty

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The Boss is an effective, powerful model that comes with a 2-peak horsepower motor, a 12-speed dial, and five pre-programmed settings. It does have quite a long warranty as well, a 7-year limited one is stated by the manufacturer. 

It does come with a tamper, which is very useful if you’re trying to stop blockages when blending, and an LCD display that shows how long the ice crush function has to go. This model is definitely a good option for crushing ice – it’s not the most powerful model in this list, though.

PROS

  • Variable 12-speed dial
  • Five pre-programmed settings
  • Inbuilt cleaning cycle
  • Tamper
  • Good build quality
  • Long Limited Warranty

CONS

  • Unattractive design (opinion)
  • No noise-reducing technology

The Nutri Ninja Duo is the only model in this list that comes with the option of using a single-serve container on the same motor body as the regular container meaning it can be used as a personal blender. This is a great benefit, and one of the reasons that Ninja is such a popular brand. If you only need enough ice for a single daiquiri, for example, you only need to make exactly that much – and as the single-serve cups are dishwasher-safe, clean-up is easy.

This model doesn’t come with a variable speed dial, but three manual speeds that can be accessed by pushing buttons. It also doesn’t have a dedicated ice crushing function, but instead a setting for ‘frozen drinks’, so how it performs without much liquid is unknown.

It also has the lowest motor strength on this list, at only 1.7-peak horsepower. As a result, its motor is likely to give out earlier than other models with continued heavy use, such as crushing ice. It’s for this reason that it’s at the bottom of the list; after all, if you’re buying a blender especially for ice-crushing, you want something that’s going to be able to do it effectively for years.

PROS

  • Four pre-programmed settings
  • Good build quality
  • Single serve option
  • Lots of other functions

CONS

  • No noise-reducing technology
  • No inbuilt cleaning cycle

So which is the best?

The top model in this list is hard to pick, but upon consideration it has to be the Hamilton Beach Professional This model is powerful, quiet, and easy-to-use with an inbuilt cleaning cycle and dishwasher-safe components. Its motor is strong enough to crush ice and the five-year limited warranty means that you can keep using it for years. Its only flaw is the lack of its container handle – but if this isn’t a problem for you then go for it!

About the Author Michelle B

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.

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