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Blenders used to be a relatively simple kitchen gadget to purchase. Some models may have looked nicer than others or offered more speeds, but overall they generally functioned the same. That's not the case anymore, though: From personal blenders to immersion blenders to high-performance blenders, today's shoppers are faced with a slew of options. We rounded up the best models in every category to help you choose the right product for your specific blending needs.
You want: A personal blender for basic smoothies
The blender for you: Hamilton Beach Single-Serve Blender With Travel Lid ($15, amazon.com)
If you need a blender that can quickly whip up single-serve smoothies, this model is your best bet. It's inexpensive and has a BPA-free 13-ounce jar that doubles as a travel cup (both are dishwasher safe). And the 175-watt motor lets you blend fruit, vegetables, and ice with ease. It only has one speed, but you won't need more than that for simple smoothies.
You want: A personal blender for more complicated smoothies
The blender for you: NutriBullet Pro ($117, amazon.com)
Stepping up your smoothie game to include seeds, green stems, fruit peels, or ginger means you need a higher-powered gadget like this one. With its 900-watt motor, there's hardly anything this little blender can't pulverize. Also handy: When you want to take your smoothie to go, simply flip the 32-ounce cup upside down and swap lids to get an instantly portable container.
You want: The best of the best
The blender for you: Vitamix 5200 Standard ($450, amazon.com)
The word "Vitamix" has become synonymous with high-performance blenders in the same way that "Kleenex" is associated with tissues. It's easy to see why: On this standard model, the BPA-free 64-ounce container boasts powerful aircraft-grade stainless steel blades. It has high and low speeds and a dial that goes from one to 10 within either speed, so you have loads of control. And the "high" speed is seriously fast: On that setting, the blades generate enough heat to turn cold ingredients into hot soup in just six minutes.
You want: A high-performance blender
The blender for you: Electrolux Masterpiece Blender ($300, hsn.com)
With four blending options, three speeds, and a power-burst button, this appliance offers more controls than most models. The titanium-coated blades are stronger than stainless steel, and both the jar and blades have a unique five-degree tilt, which helps achieve a more consistent blend. Another bonus: It's surprisingly quiet when in use.
You want: A standard blender that can do it all
The blender for you: Kitchen Aid 5-Speed Classic Blender ($50, amazon.com)
This model has "classic" in its name for a reason. It boasts all the features you'd expect from a high-quality appliance, including stainless steel blades, a BPA-free and dishwasher-safe 56-ounce pitcher, and five speeds to do everything from chop ice to blend soups, and a pulse mode for exceptional control. It also has a few extras that make it special. A "soft start" function prevents splatters, and the blade speed auto-adjusts to match the density of the food as it changes during blending.
You want: A value-oriented standard blender
The blender for you: Oster 10-Speed Blender ($35, amazon.com)
This blender is a fantastic value. Stainless-steel blades and a powerful motor easily crush ice and blend smoothies, soups, dips, and more. The five-cup glass pitcher is dishwasher safe, and it has a pulse feature along with 10 speeds for added control. The all-metal connecting parts add impressive durability.
You want: To blend creamy soups and sauces
The blender for you: OXO On Illuminating Digital Immersion Blender ($90, amazon.com)
If you've ever tried to puree a hot soup in a traditional blender, then you know what an arduous process it is to transfer the liquid from the pot to the pitcher and back. An immersion blender solves that problem by pureeing food in the container in which it's being prepped. This OXO model features six speeds, and you can say goodbye to countertop splatters thanks to a nifty slow-start feature. Other perks include nonslip grip that makes the device easy to hold even with wet hands, and a nylon head that won't scratch your cookware. Also cool: It has an LED headlight, so you can see what's going on inside the bowl as you blend (in other words, no more surprise chunks!).
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