Home > Kitchen > Blenders > Best Blenders

Best Blenders

By: Kelly Burgess on November 20, 2017

The best basic blenders

For a blender that is considered mid-priced, but performs like a high-end appliance, look no further than the Oster Versa Pro Performance Blender (Est. $200). Experts and owners say it works just as well as pricier blenders in almost every task. It's a great choice, testing indicates, for those who want a heavy-duty blender, but don't want to pay upwards of $400.

The Oster Versa gets high scores from experts in comparison testing for a variety of tasks, from making nut flours and butters to blending consistency for pesto, soups, sauces and smoothies -- although it won't make quite as creamy of a smoothie as a high-end blender. In testing at Wirecutter the Versa didn't "achieve the absolute smoothest textures," but they go on to say that the grainer texture wouldn't be noticeable unless you were doing a side-by-side taste test using a high-end blender. Good Housekeeping named the Versa as one of the blest blenders they tested, "smashing through coffee beans, pureeing soup, and churning out thick and creamy milkshakes in practically no time."

Owners agree with the experts' assessment and are, if anything even more laudatory, saying the Versa handles tough greens like kale and spinach used in spinach and soup with ease. A few say it bogged down on heavier ingredients, like broccoli, and some say that, when faced with those tough veggies, they notice a burning smell, something Wirecutter testers experienced as well. While this issue does not seem to affect performance (and there are few reports of the motor actually overheating), if you blend a lot of super heavy-duty foods, we'd suggest you visit our section on heavy-duty blenders and consider an upgrade. The Versa does include a tamper to help process thicker, heavier items, but it's a bit flimsy, reviewers say.

The Oster Versa is super easy to use, with intuitive controls that take much of the guesswork out of deciding which setting to use for which job. There are three presets -- for smoothies, soups and dips/spreads. There's also a variable speed dial to adjust the blending speed during the manual or pulse cycles, and that's very popular with those who like to customize their blends. The jar is not dishwasher safe, but is reported as easy to clean -- just blend a bit of dish soap in hot water and rinse.

The 64-ounce capacity on the Oster is plenty generous, most note, although be sure you fill it at least 25 percent full for optimal performance, according to Wirecutter. In spite of the above-noted "burning smell" complaints, the Versa gets pretty good ratings for durability, better than most blenders in this price class.

The Oster Versa has 1,400 watts of power, but it also comes in a less-powerful (1,100 watts), less expensive version, the Oster Versa BLSTVB-103 (Est. $110). In addition to a 64-ounce blending jar, the Versa BLSTVB-103 includes two smoothie "blend and go" cups and a 5-cup food processor. In the only professional review we spotted for the Versa BLSTVB-103, at CNET, it earns a rating of 3.5 stars out of five, with an overall score of 7.6 out of 10. While they say it performs well, they also note that, "Managing its many accessories is confusing and tedious, and a lot of the plastic pieces are flimsy." Still, CNET notes that once you get past the learning curve, it blends as well as pricier machines.

Owners are equally pleased, with most saying it's plenty powerful for general blending needs. They do say you need to stick to less-challenging tasks, though, and use plenty of liquid -- and occasionally take the lid off and give everything a stir. Still, for the price and features, most are completely satisfied.

Breville makes a solid choice in this category as well. The Breville BBL605XL Hemisphere Control Blender (Est. $170) gets ratings that are very close to that of the Versa, earning top scores for a variety of blending tasks. The BBL605XL even passed what reviewer Katie Pilkington at CNET calls "the torture test," seeing if it could pulverize a block of cold cheddar cheese into a usable texture.

The Breville BBL605XL has five speeds and three presets -- including a very popular "smoothie" button that makes a perfect smoothie in less than one minute. All parts are dishwasher safe, and the hemispherical shape of the jar (which gives this blender its name) keeps food from getting stuck and makes it easy to empty. This blender is also reported to be an extremely attractive appliance. It's available in brushed silver, black and red. At 16.5 inches tall, the Hemisphere Control blender might not fit under every counter, but, at 7 inches by 8 inches, it's not a space hog otherwise. The 48 ounce capacity jug is BPA free.

An inexpensive countertop blender might be all you need

Not everyone needs a pricey blender to adequately fulfill the needs of an everyday kitchen. For the average person who just wants a general-use blender and isn't particularly interested in frequent blending or heavy-duty tasks, we recommend the KitchenAid KSB1570ER (Est. $75). It's the budget pick at Wirecutter, where it's found to be a "good, all-purpose machine" However, in that test, it produces thicker textures, so may not be the best choice for emulsions or items that you'd like more finely chopped. Still, owners give it very high marks, and say it's very solid and is plenty powerful enough even for challenging jobs like crushing ice. A few don't like the plastic pitcher, however.

Recently Updated
Blenders buying guide

What every best Blenders has:

  • A tight-fitting lid.
  • A pour spout
  • A stable base.

Read More »

Learn More »