Best & Worst Blenders

A great blender can add variety to your diet-letting you whip up smoothies and icy drinks, puree soups, and even make ice cream.

But Consumer Reports ShopSmart wanted to know if you have to pay a lot to get a great one. Testers just sized up blenders costing anywhere from 40 dollars all the way up to 600.

When it comes to blenders...everyone is getting in on the action.

Consumer Reports tested more than 50. Along with the usual Cuisinarts and KitchenAids, testers evaluated Food Network star Sandra Lee's 45-dollar blender, the 60-dollar Ninja, and the 130-dollar blender from Bon Appetit.

On the high end, Consumer Reports also sized up a Blendtec and two Vitamix blenders.

Dan DiClerico of Consumer Reports says, "Blenders are one of those appliances that can do a bunch of different tasks, but performance varies, so we really put them through their paces."

Testers crush ice and run the blenders for 20 seconds to see how uniform and snow-like the end results are.

They also puree soup.

And make pina coladas.

This Bon Appetit blender didn't deliver on frozen drinks. There were chunks of ice left.

But far worse-Sandra Lee's blender. It could barely crush ice.

And there were whole ice cubes left in the pina coladas.

DiClerico says, "This model had the lowest overall score out of every tested model."

As for the 450 and 600 dollar Vitamix blenders-both did an excellent job in all of Consumer Reports' tests.

DiClerico says, "People are really passionate about these blenders, but you don't need to spend that much to get a really great blender."

The super-versatile 60-dollar Ninja Master Prep Professional aced the tests, too.

Consumer Reports also recommends the 100-dollar KitchenAid modle number KSB565. While it wasn't as good at pureeing as the Ninja blender, it offers a glass container instead of plastic, five speeds, and sleek touchpad controls.

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