Splendid Blenders For Icy Drinks

Nothing beats the heat like a frozen drink or fruit smoothie. That is-if you've got the right blender. Consumer Reports just tested 65 blenders.

In the heat of the summer, smoothies are always a hit.

The staff at one shop says having the right blender allows them to whip up people's favorite combos quickly and easily.

Looking for smoothie-store results at home?

That's where Consumer Reports weighs in.

Dan DiClerico of Consumer Reports says, "A good blender is great to have. It can do a ton of things, but making smooth icy drinks is definitely the toughest."

Consumer Reports tested pro-style blenders, like the 400-dollar Vitamix, and the 300-dollar L'Equip, as well as less-expensive blenders from KtichenAid and Ninja Master Prep Professional.

Ice crushing is one measure of performance. Consumer Reports also uses ice to test durability.

Testers found a serious problem with the Calphalon blender. During durability tests, a piece of the blade broke off.

DiClerico says, "Can you imagine 'drinking' one of these, or worse yet, swallowing it?"

Consumer Reports tested two more of the Calphalon blenders and the blade broke every time. Therefore Consumer Reports has judged the Calphalon XL9 Speed Blender a Don't Buy: Safety Risk.

Another test-whipping up pina coladas. Some of the blenders left behind chunks of ice. But others did a much better job.

The 400-dollar Vitamix aced the tests, but so did the Ninja Master Prep Professional for just 60 dollars.

And the Ninja comes with smaller chopping and processing bowls, too.

So there's no need to leave home in order to enjoy a great fruit smoothie.

Consumer Reports doesn't know of any injuries from the Calphalon blender.

However, it has notified the Consumer Product Safety Commission, as well as the manufacturer. Calphalon says it will thoroughly investigate the matter.

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