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Avleen M.
Avleen M.Sep 15, 2020

Blenders Buying Guide

From blending smoothies and soups to making protein balls and nut butters, a good blender is crucial for many kitchen tasks. Whether you’re seeking a smoothie blender to complement your active lifestyle, a standard benchtop blender or a high-performance blender to be your sous-chef, we’ll help you find the best blender on the market for you.

Blenders

Should I buy a blender or food processor?

Blenders are best for liquefying ingredients, for example, blending strawberries, milk, and ice cream to make a milkshake. Other common ways you would use a blender include making smoothies, purees and soups.

Food processors are designed for dicing and chopping ingredients to prepare food. For example, a food processor helps prepare a pie crust by chopping up graham crackers. If you’re looking to make dips, peanut butter, breadcrumbs, or dice vegetables for salsa, a food processor is a better choice.

If you’re planning to use your new kitchen appliance frequently for both purposes , there are cross-over models. You can buy a blender for food processing, and some food processors have handy blender attachments.

Should I buy a countertop blender or stick blender?

A stick blender, also known as an immersion or hand blender, is a blender you hold as you blend foods inside a pot or a pan.

It’s great for smaller blending jobs such as pureeing vegetables to make soup, making baby food or even making smoothies inside the provided beaker. With their smaller blades and cheaper price point, stick blenders provide quantities suited to one person.

A countertop blender works better if you need your food to be super smooth without any chunks. These blenders use more power and larger blades to blend harder food. They're also easier to operate than stick blenders, as you only have to hit a button instead of control them manually.

Types of Blenders

Personal Blenders

Also called single-serve blenders due to their small volume, these handy blenders come with a detachable blending bottle you can drink from. Just pop a lid on and head out with a healthy smoothie for breakfast-on-the-go. They’re also great (perhaps for later on in the day!) for making cocktails.

You can also buy portable personal blenders, which are great for maintaining a nutritious diet while travelling.

These are affordable, cheap blenders, and don’t take up much storage space due to their compact build. Many models come with multiple bottles, so you can make smoothies for more than one person in individual bottles.

However, they usually hold around 700ml of liquid, making them time consuming if you frequently blend high quantities.

Standard blenders

These are your typical, everyday countertop blenders. Standard blenders have a jug capacity of up to 2 litres, allowing you to add a higher volume of food.

This makes them a better option than personal blenders if you’re blending ingredients for a family or household. You won’t have to cut your ingredients as fine as you would with a personal, blender either, saving time.

Standard blenders sit at the low-medium price point, usually selling from anywhere between $50-300.

Scroll down to browse some of the top rated cheap blenders and standard blenders in this price range.

High-speed blenders

Also known as super blenders, these commercial-grade blenders are designed for premium results at home. These heavy-duty models make smoother pureed foods and soups than a standard blender. Thanks to their powerful and durable engines, they’ll also blend harder or coarser foods, such as nuts, leafy greens, grains and ice.

While these blenders can be quite dear, ranging from $600-$1500, there are good yet affordable high-speed blenders on the market. While Vitamix is probably the most well-known option, Breville and KitchenAid have models, along with other brands.

An all-in-one kitchen appliance is another great option if you want to blend as well as chop, mince, grind and cook (and more).

Vacuum Blenders

These blenders are designed to remove the oxygen from inside the blending jug before operation. The aim is to prevent oxidisation so that blended ingredients can retain their nutritional value.

While vacuum blenders are still relatively new (invented in 2013), reviews of vacuum blenders from ProductReview.com.au included reports of creamier smoothies with less foam, better taste, less separation of ingredients and an ability to stay fresher for longer.

Factors to consider when buying a blender

Blender Materials

Glass or plastic blending jug: Most blender jugs are made from either plastic or glass. Both are scratch resistant and safe for making contact with food.

There are pros and cons of both. A glass jug won't become stained or retain food smells, whereas a plastic jug wll. However a glass jug is also heavier than plastic, and will break if dropped onto a hard floor.

Make sure to choose either a model with BPA-free plastic. Or if you are opting for a glass blender, select one designed with tempered or strengthened glass, which is fortified against high temperatures.

Blades: Steel is the strongest, most resilient material for blender blades, as well as a blender's base, lid and handle. Wide blades direct contents back down to the blade. This helps prevent food traps, making the blender easier to clean after use.

Also look for removable blades and dishwasher safe parts so you don’t have to waste time hand washing after each use.

Speed Settings

Blender speeds vary, with more affordable models having a ‘low’’high’ and ‘pulse’ options. As blenders become more powerful (and more expensive), the number of speed settings usually increase. Some models offer speed settings from 1-12, and others up to 16.

Generally, you’ll only need 16 settings if you're a kitchen afficiando using your blender multiple times daily. For most people, three speed settings should be the minimum, while ten are more than enough.

Number of Watts

A blender’s wattage should be displayed on the package or in the product specifications. It indicates how powerful a blender is – the higher the watts, the more powerful the blender.

Make sure to choose a blender that’s right for your purposes. If the wattage is too high, you’ll waste money and functionality. Too low, and you can quickly wear your blender out. Many reviewers report that they experienced issues with their lower-end blenders within 8-12 months, after using it for tasks requiring more power, like grinding nuts.

As a rough guide, here is the correct wattage to look out for:

  • 350-500 watts: Suitable if you’re strictly putting soft or already-cooked foods in your blender. The lower end is also the right wattage for a hand blender (which can start at 200 watts).
  • 500-800 watts: The right wattage for standard countertop blenders, used for tasks like making smoothies and milkshakes.
  • 800-1500: Powerful enough to handle blending tougher foods, such as harder vegetables and nuts.

Also keep in mind that a higher number of watts includes a more powerful motor, which can also increase noise levels.

Appearance

If you’re buying a blender that will be on display on your countertop, looks can play a part in your blender selection process. For example, if your kitchen features the sleek aesthetic of brushed steel or, you might want a blender that matches. Or you could select a sophisticated black blender that goes with everything.

If you’re not too fussed about appearance, you’re renting, or you’re looking for a single-serve blender that will mostly live under the counter, a plastic jug is the stronger option.

A number of reviewers on ProductReview.com.au reported concerns over their blender’s rubber feet staining their countertop after extended use. To avoid buying replacement feet, consider placing a cloth or other benchtop-friendly barrier underneath your blender's feet, to stop them marking your countertop. Alternatively, always clean under the blender and put the blender away after use to avoid staining.

Noise Level

All blenders will generate a certain amount of noise, but consider how much you can handle with your living circumstances. For example, if you’ll mostly use your blender to make smoothies after your early morning jog, you probably don’t want an extra noisy blender that wakes up everyone else in your household.

The main advantage of buying in-store is to listen to the noise a blender produces - this is something you can't do online. Other than noise issues and being able to inspect the glass jug for cracks before leaving the store, reviewers don’t mention any significant differences buying online vs in-store.

There you have it - everything you need to make a better buying decision on your new blender. Once you’re up to the stage of comparing different models and brands, read through our blender reviews to help you find the best blender to buy in Australia for you.