Personal Blender Reviews
We spent over 35 hours crushing kale, blending berries, juicing and smoothing our way through a variety of fruits and vegetables to give you the best and most comprehensive information to make your blender buying decision worth it. We think that Nutri Bullet Pro 900 offers the best overall combination of pricing and power, all while taking up very little space on your kitchen counter.
Personal Blender Buying Guide
What Features Are Important
Choosing a personal blender or smoothie maker can be daunting because who knows what wattage will make a difference? Why isn’t your blender enough? What’s a chopping blade? A personal blender is going to give you a quick way to handle a small job or get that on-the-go drink that you might be spending a small fortune on at the juice or smoothie bar at the gym or as you dash out the door starting your day. And using a full-size blender often leaves you with excess drink, and isn’t as efficient for what you want to get done, in the time you want to do it. When looking for a personal blender, the motor wattage is a suitable place to start because you should have the power to liquefy what you’re mixing. And the foods we often want in our nutritional drinks are fibrous like kale, lemon peel, apples, ginger…which can make for a pulpy drink if not done right. Additionally, if a motor must work too hard, it can overheat – and heat up the drink as well. Warm green juice anyone? No thank you.
If you are only mixing up yogurts and protein powders, a less powerful motor will probably suffice. However, you’d be surprised at what other things you care about once you have your smoothie/personal blender in hand – don’t assume less wattage is enough to keep you happy. Next, you’ll want to look at the blade and cup or jar assembly. We recommend going with a model that does not have a built-in blade in the blending cup. We did test one model like this, and it felt a little odd to drink out of a cup while staring down at a blade. Will you be taking your drink on the go? Do you have a travel mug or cup or do you need yours to fit into your car cup holder? If you need a to-go cup, make sure that the lid provided is the kind that you like to drink from in a travel mug. We know, these things seem minor now, but can be frustrating after the purchase.
When choosing a personal blender, you’re looking for something that will save you time in two ways, first, eliminating the need to stop in the morning for your daily juice or smoothie, and second, giving you minimal prep and cleanup time in the process. With your (likely) on the go lifestyle, you have limited time and space, so looking for a powerful and small size product will top your list of what to look at in features offered and design. While their motors don’t compete with a full-size blender, you do want something that will crush smaller bits of ice and frozen fruit. If you’re looking for a product that will take on larger size cubes regularly, or assist with other culinary feats like heating and puree soups or sauces, you’ll want to consider one of the full-size blenders that are available on the market.
Like a lot of products, some manufacturers entice you with add-on products and features like a chopping blade, additional blending jars, additional travel lids, and cups and jars of varying sizes. Will you be chopping nuts, grinding coffee and making your homemade spice powders with your personal blender? If so, these are features you may want to include.
One feature that we didn’t even think about until we were using the blenders was a measurement indicator on the outside of the blending jar. While it’s good to have, some of the models just had a haphazard indicator on there that seemed like it was there for looks, not function.
How We Selected
Whether it’s a meal replacement, a sweet treat during the day, or a way to get more fruits and vegetables into our diets, smoothies are the way to go for nourishment and a daily part of many people’s lives. When you purchase one of these personal blenders, you will want one that’s durable, powerful, and easy to use. Because this isn’t a full-size blender and likely being used for one thing, we considered size to be a key factor. We looked for small models that contained a travel mug and a secure lid for commuters and people on the go.
With the basis of most smoothies being either fibrous vegetables or frozen fruit, we knew the ones that we selected for testing would have to have a powerful motor and work quickly without having to re-blend.
We also looked to other customers who had recently purchased smoothie makers or personal blenders for insight into their experiences. What did they like and dislike, and would they buy the same model again?
This process allowed us to take in the thousands of choices of manufacturers and models down to seven. We searched based on research within Consumer Reports, online buying guides, customer reviews from existing purchases, and then chose models that had high power, simple options, and a to-go cup. These are the blenders that we chose based on the criteria we know you’ll want to have when making your morning (or post workout, or afternoon, or evening) shake.
We knew that with the ease of use comes the hands-free option, which we made sure was a feature on each model. Because the personal blender is in general designed for one purpose, and that’s making a smoothie, we didn’t worry about multi-speed or additional functionality with the models. And finally, knowing that high power will take care of crushing ice and frozen fruit, we didn’t think it was necessary to look for models with multiple blending modes or choices.
Each of the choices come with a travel or to-go lid since we are usually on the move with our liquid meal, and we tested their ability to fit into a car holder as well.
How We Tested
To make sure that these blenders could handle the variety of fresh and frozen foods people most often blend, we made sure that we blended a variety of different items in each one of our test models. We tested ease of use, how well the seal held with the blending jar, and tests for noise and wattage.
For the consistency test, we did a 45-second blend on high for each machine and added a mixture of ingredients that was the same for each model. While our blend may not be tasty, it would show us how a blender would work with a variety of ingredients. Those items included ¼ of old fashioned oats, two apple wedges with the skin on, a handful of curly kale with the fibrous stems, three ice cubes, seven almonds, and 1 cup of water.
We then followed up by pouring the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to see the pulp and larger pieces that remained whole or that were not pureed, as well as looking at the overall consistency of the blend. Those recipes that we used for testing will follow this review.
We tested wattage while blending – it always starts out higher then decreases as the blending becomes easier for the machine. Below are the results. The EverKing produced the most watts.
EverKing – Most Powerful in Watts
Noise Level Test
We measured the noise level of each blender fro 12 inches away. The following measurements are in decibels. Keep in mind that every 3 decibels the noise level doubles.
Magic Bullet – Quietest
Hamilton Beach – Quietest
Opening Size Test
We also measured the diameter of each blender. See the picture below. The Cuisinart had the smallest opening at 2.75 inches while the EverKing had the largest at 4 inches.
What We Liked
The affordability of these personal blenders makes adding one to your kitchen a smart choice and a fantastic way to save money and time. You’ll offset the cost by making your smoothies, and allow yourself to try new combinations – and even new foods, at a fraction of the cost you would spend by purchasing the same thing at a juice or smoothie bar.
Consider these an ideal gift for a college student or someone living an on the go lifestyle, because not only do they take up minimal space, but they provide a way to obtain nutrition on the go. And yes, even a cocktail or two, but only after you get that nutrition!
What We Didn’t Like
Each of the models brought features that were pluses and minuses, but ideally, we want high power, small storage, and quick results – with minimal cleanup. However, it wasn’t easy to find all those qualities in one product, and the market can be confusing.
Cleanup and storage can be frustrating, with exposed blades and components that need hand washed. We found that one of the easiest and most thorough ways to clean your blender is to take the blending cup, immediately rinse it after using anhd then add some water and a drop of dish soap, then re-blend! Voila – you’ve created a mini dishwasher! Even if you don’t do the soap blend right away, do a quick rinse because the plant fibers and natural sugars can make for a sticky situation!
Recipes Used in Testing
We wanted to make two separate types of drinks, one being a green juice and the other being a fruit based smoothie. These recipes gave us a good idea of how each machine could handle the most commonly blended items.
- a handful of kale
- a handful of spinach
- ¼ cup cucumber
- ½ apple cored and cut into quarters
- One medium celery stalk
- a handful of parsley
- 1” piece of ginger
- ½ of a lemon (with rind)
- 1 cup coconut water
- Five ice cubes
Blend ingredients together and enjoy!
- One tsp of manuka honey or regular honey(we recommend a good manuka)
- One tsp coconut oil
- ¼ cup of frozen blueberries
- ¼ cup of frozen strawberries
- 1 cup almond milk (may also use soy, flax, or any other kind of nut milk)
- ¼ cup oatmeal
- ¼ almonds
Blend ingredients together and garnish with fresh mint!
A personal blender is a great tool if you know it’s capabilities and you are looking for something to fit your on the go needs. Consider these an ideal gift for a college student or someone living on the go, because not only do they take up minimal space, but they provide a way to obtain nutrition on the go. And yes, even a cocktail or two after you get that nutrition!