The best pro-style blendersBy Lauren Hitchings
High-performance blenders are the newest must-have accessories for modern home chefs. Unlike more affordable models, these blenders have the kind of powerful motors, long warranties, and sturdy build quality that restaurants demand. They're designed to tackle smoothies, nut butters, soups, sauces, and crushed ice. Our favorite pro-style blender, the Breville Boss Super Blender (available at Amazon for $356.45), is more than up to those tasks.
But pro-style blenders don't come cheap. With so many different options on the market, we decided to find out which ones are worth the money. So we mixed fruits and yogurts, chopped almonds, made nut butters, crushed ice, measured sound output, examined control panels, and timed how long it took each blender to perform common tasks.
If you choose one of our winners, you'll be getting one of the best blenders money can buy. And if you want a more reasonably priced model for occasional use, check out our guide to the Best Affordable Blenders
Updated October 23, 2017
Breville Boss Super Blender
Breville Boss Super BlenderBest Overall
The Breville Boss Super Blender is the boss for a reason: It can do it all. From mixing liquids to chopping almonds, we couldn't find fault in this Breville's performance. At under $400 on sale, we also think it's a good value. That's what landed it in our top spot as best overall.
The 12-speed, 2-hp Breville wowed us with its 68 oz. jar and sleek, intuitive design. Our fingers floated naturally to every button and knob, and the five included presets proved foolproof. That's because they’re written out in words—there's no need to decode any hieroglyphics or use trial-and-error. There’s even a distinction between making “smoothies” and “green smoothies.” Of course, we decided to test out this feature with some thick stalks of kale, and the Super Blender liquified it in true hero form.
Other blenders were faster than this Breville, and some even did a better job on individual tasks. But if you're looking for a blender that can do a variety of jobs well and don't want to spend over $500, you'd do well to check out the Boss.
Vitamix 5300best value
Vitamix is a well-known name in blenders for a reason: Customers rave about the build quality and robustness of these American-made blenders. The 5200 series is one of Vitamix's most popular and affordable blenders, but the 5300 series offers a more powerful 2.2-hp motor and a lower height that fits underneath cabinets.
We think the 5300 series' $529 MSRP is a little too high. But if you buy one through the Vitamix Certified Reconditioned blender program, you can get the superior 5300 for just $300—even less than a new 5200 series. That's what earned it our Best Value pick.
Vitamix says its reconditioned blenders are returned to original factory condition by the manufacturer, and come with a five-year warranty. Pair that level of manufacturer support with the powerful motor and incredibly low price, and you’ve got a fantastic deal on your hands.
The Vitamix 780 is the company's flagship, with looks that will impress your guests as much as its performance impressed our testers.
The 2.2-hp 780 is part of the updated G-Series, and—unlike the more affordable but otherwise identical 750—is controlled with a touchscreen. Aside from the increased price, the main downside of this interface was less-sensitive control. It was sometimes difficult to select the right setting, and—for a blender as expensive as this one—we demand perfection.
Performance-wise, its sharpened blades also had trouble pulverizing ice, but it blew us away when we used for chopping. It quickly ground nuts and other hard ingredients into fine powder, and liquified kale with ease. And of course, its perfectly tuned smoothie preset left us only the silkiest sips.
Vitamix Pro Series 750
Vitamix Pro Series 750
The Vitamix 750 is essentially the same machine as the 780, but with manual controls and a lower price. We think it ultimately offers a greater level of control and feedback. If you care more about function than fashion and are looking to save an easy $220, then the Vitamix 750 is definitely the better buy. If you don't need the presets found on the 750, you should check out the Vitamix 7500—an otherwise-identical blender that's $70 cheaper than the 750.
The popular 5200 series is a "classic" Vitamix blender. Part of the company's older C-series, the 5200 is sturdy and more affordable than other models wearing a Vitamix badge.
Simple and stripped down, it comes with no presets, a 2-hp motor, and a 64 oz. jar. It's nearly as powerful and offers the same range of control as the Next-Generation 5300 or G-series 780 machines we tested. Still, at $449 new and $299 refurbished, we think a refurbished 5300 is a better buy.
That's largely because the 5200's design is narrower and taller than Vitamix's newer blenders, and it comes with a 3 inch blade instead of a 4 inch blade. That's good for small batches, but you'll need to use the tamper more often when blending larger loads. What’s more of an issue is the added height: Unless you have a whopping 20.5 inches between your countertop and your upper kitchen cabinets, this lanky model won’t fit.
KitchenAid Pro Line
KitchenAid Pro Line
KitchenAid made our pick for the best affordable blender, so we were excited to see how well its higher-end Pro Line model did in our tests. We tested the top-of-the-line KSB8270BK, which retails for $599 and comes with a "thermal control" jar. KitchenAid says it can keep soups warm.
This U.S.-made blender is truly an impressive machine. We appreciated its heavy base and well-suctioned lid, and it did a great job blending smoothies and other liquids, too.
But we were decidedly unimpressed with how poorly it chopped almonds and ice. Other gripes: Its 56 oz. jar is smaller than the competition, its controls took us a long time to master, and it costs $100 more than our top pick.
Blendtec Total Blender
Where To Buy$399.99 Amazon Buy
Blendtec Total Blender
With its powerful 3.0-hp motor, the Blendtec Total Blender is a powerhouse—and it showed in our testing. The simple, square jar is easy to clean, and its shape is ideal for mixing liquids—driving them to the bottom quickly and with very little splatter up the walls.
In practice, it did a great job crushing ice. While every other blender we tested had trouble with that task, the Blendtec gave us shaved ice as fluffy as snow. If frozen treats and cocktails are your top priority, the Blendtec Total Blender is really the best option.
The Blendtec’s duller blades, however, didn’t perform as well when it came to finely chopping up ingredients, and the smoothie setting left us with something to chew on—specifically, bits of kale that didn't dissolve. If you're a health nut, best pass the Blendtec by.
The Torrent is truly an unusual product. Instead of a physical coupling between the blender's blades and its motor, it uses high-powered magnets to make a touchless connection. Its unusual design is available in three different colors, and it comes with a seven-year limited warranty.
However, after using it, we still prefer a more conventional blender. The Torrent did a great job chopping and mixing, but the user experience ultimately proved to be more frustrating than futuristic. The mechanism that locks and unlocks the jar into place felt stiff and unwieldy, and—because of how it's designed—the Torrent is the only blender we tested that doesn't let you take off the lid while the jar is in place. That's bad news if you want to add ingredients mid-blend.
At about $400 on sale, it's priced to compete with conventional blenders. Unless you're all about early adoption of new tech, though, we suggest sticking with a more traditional design.
Cuisinart Hurricane Pro
Cuisinart Hurricane ProAvoid
The Cuisinart Hurricane Pro is by no means a bad blender, but with a price point that’s on par with our Best Overall winner, this machine looks mediocre in comparison. It initially gained our favor for its sleek, intuitive design that offered a few straightforward presets, and a range of control usually reserved for the biggest budgets. As our testing progressed, however, we began to see past its shiny exterior.
While its smoothie preset chopped kale on par with the highest ranked Vitamix blenders, this Cuisinart fell short in both mixing fruits and yogurts. Worse, it completely tanked on tougher tasks like crushing ice and frozen berries. For the price, we expected a lot more.