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You don't have to spend a lot of money to get a decent blender.
The absolute best full-sized blenders in Consumer Reports' lab tests are from Vitamix, but those models sell for $450 to $650, making the small appliance a big-ticket item.
"You can still buy a solid blender for $100 or less that should last for years—if you pick a reliable brand," says Cindy Fisher, the tester who runs our blender lab.
The trade-off? These inexpensive models usually don't have the powerful motors and versatility of high-end blenders, so they won't be great at making nut butters and pulverizing seeds while making smoothies, for example.
Below are six full-sized blenders, listed in alphabetical order, that typically go for $100 or less and earn ratings of either Good or Very Good for predicted reliability. (This rating estimates the likelihood that newly purchased models from a given brand will break or experience problems within the first four years.)
Braun PureMix Power JB7350
Braun full-sized blenders earn a Good rating in predicted reliability, which is average across all blender brands. The 1,000-watt Braun PureMix Power JB7350 does an impressive job making icy drinks and puréeing, meaning you can expect this blender to make pretty good smoothies. The glass jar holds 7 cups.
Cuisinart Velocity CBT-600GRY
This 600-watt blender is a great buy, especially if you're mostly puréeing fruits and vegetables for baby food. It scores a Very Good rating in that test. It doesn't do quite as well in the smoothie test, but this model should be more than enough for most tasks, so long as you're not crushing ice on the regular. Cuisinart earns a Good rating for reliability, which is about average for blender brands.
GoWISE GW22502 1450W High-Speed
A large, 8-cup jar will hold enough soup to satisfy a crowd. The 1,450-watt blender also makes great smoothies. It's just not the best when it comes to crushing ice, garnering a middling Good in that test. We don't yet have enough data to rate GoWise for reliability or owner satisfaction.
Instant Pot Ace Multi Use
The 600-watt Instant Pot Ace Multi-Use blender earns an Excellent rating in our icy-drinks tests, so expect smoothies with a smooth, consistent texture, though it's better at blending bananas and other soft fruits than puréeing carrots and apples. There are settings for blending milk made of nuts, rice, or soy, and one for blending and cooking hot soup. We made a cannellini cauliflower soup in about 25 minutes following an Instant Pot recipe, and it turned out nice and hot thanks to the blender's 700-watt built-in heater. The container is glass. We don't yet have enough data to rate Instant Pot for reliability or owner satisfaction.
Ninja Master Prep Professional QB1004
Ninja rates Excellent as a brand in predicted reliability, according to our member survey. The 450-watt Ninja Master Prep Professional QB1004 turns out ice similar in texture to a snow cone. The removable blade makes cleanup easy. Swap out the blender container for its food-chopper jar and the versatile Ninja does an impressive job chopping onions and nuts, and grating cheese. The plastic container holds 6 cups.
Oster 800 Series BLSTKH-GMO-000
The 500-watt Oster 800 Series BLSTKH-GMO-000 earns a Very Good rating in our puréeing tests, serving up fairly smooth smoothies and soups with tiny bits in the mix. Many of the blenders in our ratings have a plastic container, but the Oster has a 6-cup glass jar. That means it's heavier and more prone to breaking than plastic, but it doesn't absorb odors and stains the way plastic does. Oster is the only blender brand in our ratings to snag a Very Good rating for reliability (better than most).
For all the test results and more choices, see our blender ratings.
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