Best blenders

Last reviewed: August 2011

More blenders are mixing it up. Some are adding chopping, juicing, food-processing, and even soup-making to their usual menu of margaritas and smoothies.

Our tests of 46 models served up some winners that handle several tasks for as little as $60. But some multitasking blenders and one from a celebrity chef could put a damper on your next poolside soirée.

Fine blending and more

2 Ninja, $60, delivered the smooth, consistent icy drinks a good blender should. That infomercial model also topped our food-chopper Ratings (available to subscribers) and puréed and grated nearly as well as the $450 1 Vitamix. Paying $200 for the 9 Cuisinart buys superb puréeing and grating, plus there's a built-in heater that lets you cook soups right in the blender.

Fresh juice for less

Both A6 Breville and A10 West Bend include a separate bowl, blade, and basket for juicing fruits and vegetables. More speeds and slightly smoother blending helped the Breville score higher overall. But when it came to juice, the West Bend offers more capacity for about $300 less.

Combos that didn't cut it

The DeLonghi 3-in-1 DFP-950, $300, and Wolfgang Puck WPBLFP50, $90, have a separate bowl and blade so that they can double as food processors. But subpar performance as blenders put both low in our scores; the Wolfgang Puck was dead last overall. Two samples of the Puck failed during regular testing and two more failed during our durability test.

Simply a blender

5 KitchenAid and 11 Ninja are impressive blender-only performers at a moderate $100. Making small batches? Then consider 8 Cuisinart, $70, strictly for its fine blending. Its chopping mode was uneven and noisy.