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Best Blenders for $100 or Less From Consumer Reports' Tests

Instant Pot, Ninja, and Oster are worth a look

Woman blending fruits

You don't have to spend a lot of money to get a good blender.

The best full-size 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. 

"But 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—the ability to make nut butters and pulverize seeds for smoothies, for example.  

Our blender lab whirs year-round, as testers evaluate new spins on blenders. We put each through a battery of tests, including evaluations of ice crushing, durability, convenience, and noise level.

If you're into smoothies, know that our tests for icy drinks and pureeing vegetables indicate which blenders turn out drinks with a smooth, consistent texture, without stringy greens. 

Below, five full-size blenders, in alphabetical (not rank) order that typically go for $100 or less. Four rate Very Good in predicted brand reliability, based on our survey from CR members about their experiences with 33,624 blenders purchased between 2007 and 2017. (Instant Pot is new to the blender category, so we do not have brand reliability data yet.)

Check our full blender ratings for all the test results and more options, including personal blenders. 

Go to Consumer Reports' 2018 Holiday Central for updates on deals, expert product reviews, insider tips on shopping, and much more.

1
Instant Pot Ace Multi Use
Instant Pot Ace Multi Use

    Instant Pot Ace Multi Use

    Instant Pot made it big with its multi-cooker and has since expanded its product line to include the 600-watt Instant Pot Ace Multi-Use blender. It earns an Excellent rating in our icy-drinks tests, so expect smoothies with a smooth, consistent texture, especially when blending bananas and other soft fruits (it has a harder time pureeing carrots and apples). The container is glass, and 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 the soup turned out nice and hot, thanks to the blender's 700-watt built-in heater.

    2
    Ninja Master Prep Professional QB1004
    Ninja Master Prep Professional QB1004

      Ninja Master Prep Professional QB1004

      Ninja rates Excellent as a brand in owner satisfaction, according to our member survey. The 450-watt Ninja Master Prep Professional QB1004 turns out ice similar in texture to a snow cone. The plastic container holds six cups, and 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.

      3
      Ninja Professional NJ600
      Ninja Professional NJ600

        Ninja Professional NJ600

        The 1,000-watt Ninja Professional NJ600 is a CR Best Buy, combining impressive performance and an appealing price. It rates Excellent in our convenience tests, in part because the removable blade makes it easy to clean this 9-cup plastic jar. And if you plan on making baby food, this blender does a nice job pureeing fruits and vegetables.  

        4
        Oster Classic Series with Food Processor BPMT02-SSF-000
        Oster Classic Series with Food...

          Oster Classic Series with Food...

          The 600-watt Oster Classic Series BPMT02-SSF-000 garners an Excellent rating in our durability tests, in which each blender is made to crush ice 45 times over a two-day period. The 6-cup container is glass, and even though the model name has "food processor" in it, this blender comes with a food chopper container that you attach to the base. Heads-up: It's less impressive as a food chopper than it is as a blender.

          5
          Oster 800 Series BLSTKH-GMO-000
          Oster 800 Series BLSTKH-GMO-000

            Oster 800 Series BLSTKH-GMO-000

            The 500-watt Oster 800 Series BLSTKH-GMO-000 earns a Very Good rating in our pureeing tests, serving up fairly smooth smoothies and soups, with tiny bits in the mix. Many of the lower-priced 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.  

             

            For all the test results, and more choices, see our blender ratings

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            Kimberly Janeway

            For years I've covered the increasing water and energy efficiency of washers and what it means to consumers, along with innovations in a variety of products, and whether manufacturers deliver on their promises. What I'm really trying to do is to help consumers, and consumers help me by posting comments and posing questions. So thanks!