How we tested
We pitted our favorite moderately priced blender against two new upscale appliances. After putting the three machines through their paces, we found one absurdly turbo-charged, turning a smoothie into thin juice. Worse, it couldn’t perform the main function required of a blender (crushing ice), as its extreme speed and power made no difference when ice got trapped out of reach. As for the other upscale blender (an update of a model we recommended in 2002), it aced our crushing, blending, and mixing tests. A low setting on the dial transformed chickpeas into creamy hummus in seconds; with a quick turn, it burst full speed ahead, pulverizing frozen fruit into perfect, lump-free smoothies. If your blender is in constant use, our winner is a great investment. But for most of us, the best of the cheaper blenders will do just fine.