We updated this guide with the Vitamix A3500, our new Best Overall, replacing our previous winner, the Breville Super Q Blender.
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 Vitamix Ascent Series A3500(available at Amazon for $579.16), 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 recommendations for this guide, 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.
Here are the best pro-style blenders we tested ranked, in order:
Vitamix Ascent Series A3500 Blender
Breville Super Q Blender
Vitamix 750 Pro Series
KitchenAid Pro Line
Blendtec Total Blender
Cuisinart Hurricane Pro
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Vitamix Ascent A3500
How We Tested Pro-Style Blenders
Personal Blender, Immersion Blender, or Full-Sized Blender?
If you’re looking to invest in a versatile blender that will last you years, the 2.2-horsepower Vitamix A3500 is the best pro-style blender we’ve tested. In addition to making the smoothest smoothies during testing, the A3500 churned out the silkiest almond butters, blended the creamiest squash soup, and milled grains to the finest texture.
Unlike its predecessors, the A3500 features a touchscreen instead of switches. We like how responsive the touchscreen is—even a drop of water can turn it on. We also appreciate how intuitive the controls are. In the center of the touchscreen is a knob that lets you choose the intensity of the blend, or choose from the five presets shown above the knob: Smoothie, Sorbet, Soup, Spreads, and Self-Clean.
It’s packed with all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a high-end blender, plus bluetooth-connectivity that links this gadget to your phone. You can browse recipes, take advantage of additional presets (Baby Food, Ice Cream, Nut Milk) in the app, and make shopping lists for future blends. The inclusion of a notch on the front of the pitcher makes it pour more easily as the liquid content will first take a quick stop when flowing into the notch, and then pour freely.
Additionally, the timer feature allows users to walk away when blending a soup or queso, which may take a bit longer than other tasks. The timer is programmable, too, so you can customize the time needed and let it do its job. This model offers a 10-year warranty, which is the longest warranty Vitamix offers.
The only thing we didn’t like was how loud it can be. However, it’s the fastest blender we’ve tested, taking less than half the time of other blenders to make butternut squash soup during testing, so we think the noise is worth the superior results.
I'm Valerie, Reviewed's senior staff writer on the kitchen team. I've tested a range of kitchen gadgets from espresso machines to juicers since joining Reviewed. I tested the third round of pro-style blenders in this list.
And I’m Cassidy Olsen, Reviewed’s former kitchen editor and former star employee of the first organic juice bar and cafe in Toms River, New Jersey. Well, “star” is probably a stretch—but I did work summers from ages 17 to 19 at this shop around the corner from my house, where I used professional-grade juicers and blenders to make smoothies and other drinks on a daily basis. When I wasn’t carefully crafting the store playlist or sneaking free baked goods from the counter, I was actually learning quite a lot about how these machines work.
Today, we continue to expand our knowledge by testing small kitchen appliances for Reviewed, including the best affordable blenders and the best personal blenders. We’ve tackled product testing for this roundup with a similar approach, backed by prior experience and a trust in the data. Lauren Hitchings tested and wrote for our original round-up in 2016, and much of her language and research is also used throughout this piece.
Professional blenders need to handle everything from mixing and blending to crushing and milling, so we put our contenders through a range of tests to prove their worth. First, chopping—how well can the blender chop up chocolate candy, frozen strawberries, and hard almonds? Next, a mixing test determines how quickly and evenly the blender can blend two different colors of yogurt. The final two tests pose greater challenges, requiring the blenders to crush ice, mix fruit smoothies, and mill almonds into water to make smooth almond milk.
In addition to all the data gathered from these tests, we also considered more subjective features, including the look and feel of the blenders, the intuitiveness of their controls, and how easy they are to clean. We also considered price, features, size, durability, warranty, and more when making our final ranking, which was initially published in 2016 and overhauled in 2019.
Personal Blender, Immersion Blender, or Full-Sized Blender?
While this ranking focuses on full-sized, pro-style blenders, there's also your personal blenders and immersion blenders to consider. If you're not already a kitchenware connoisseur, you're probably wondering, "Why are there so many types of blenders? Are they actually that different? Do I need to own every single one?!"
The answer to that last question is no, you don't necessarily need all three. When it comes down to it, they all use the same mechanics to blend, mix, and pulverize food and drinks into whatever form you choose—but choosing which blender for your kitchen will make life a lot easier.
Full-sized blenders are great for making icy cocktails, health smoothies, milkshakes, and other drinks for more than one person at a time. High-end models, like our favorites from Breville and Vitamix in this round-up, can also be used to make soups, dips, nut butters, and other tricky foods. These blenders are the ideal choice for larger households, people who like to entertain, and people who are very serious about cooking. They provide unparalleled power and speed that you won’t find in other blenders, which is the reason most models cost anywhere from $200 to $700.
Personal blenders, however, are ideal for individuals or couples who rarely need to blend a lot at once—they've exploded in popularity since everyone started juicing and making healthy smoothies for those post-gym vitamins. They're easier to store, clean, and transport than full-sized blenders and their containers are ideal for on-the-go sipping. They’re also cheaper and less powerful, so they likely won’t stand the test of time the way full-sized blenders will. If you're looking for a quick blending solution and don't need to make a lot of anything at once, you can probably forgo a full-sized blender in favor of a personal one.
More and more companies are now launching “hybrid” blenders, which are compatible with both full-sized and personal blending containers. These are great for multi-person households that want things both ways.
Immersion blenders are the odd-one-out, but they're incredibly useful and very versatile. Also called hand blenders, their wand construction and lack of fixed blending containers make them portable, simple, and perfect for hot foods. They often come with food processor and whipping attachments that make them true multi-use tools. I’ve used mine to make pesto, whip up homemade mayo and whipped cream, and blend butternut squash soup.
If you're like me and enjoy cooking but aren't trying to feed a family or outfit a full kitchen, an immersion blender and a hand blender can help you cover all your blending bases without taking up too much room. But if you’re serious about cooking and regularly serve more than two people, a pro-style blender is the right choice.
Other Pro-Style Blenders We Tested
Breville Super Q Blender
A supercharged and super-quiet version of our previous winner from Breville, the Super Q is everything we look for in a professional-grade blender. From mixing liquids to finely milling almonds, this blender handled each task we threw at it with ease. It's also a shape-shifter—the Super Q easily adapts into a food processor, ice cream maker, and personal blender with the addition of presets and included attachments.
The 12-speed Breville wowed us with its 68 oz. jar and the 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.” The included 24 oz. travel cup is perfect for people who want to make their smoothies and go. We also loved the digital display that features a timer and precise setting controls.
If you're looking for a quiet alternative to the typical whirring blender, the Super Q is a solid option—while it still makes noise when crushing ice and chopping up tough ingredients, the motor is noticeably quieter than that of every other model we tested. One thing we don't love? The Super Q has a massive base that will take up some sizable real estate on your countertop. But if you're looking for a quality, do-it-all blender that can replace multiple small kitchen appliances (and costs less than equivalent machines from Vitamix), this Breville is your best bet.
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 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 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.
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.
The Cuisinart Hurricane Pro is by no means a bad blender, but with such a high price point, this machine looks mediocre in comparison to others on our list. It initially gained 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.
Cassidy covered all things cooking as the kitchen editor for Reviewed from 2018 to 2020. An experimental home chef with a healthy distrust of recipes, Cassidy lives by the "Ratatouille" philosophy that, with a few techniques and key tools, anyone can cook. She's produced in-depth reviews and guides on everything from meal kits to stand mixers and the right way to cook an egg.
Valerie Li Stack is a senior staff writer for Kitchen & Cooking. She is an experienced home cook with a passion for experimenting with the cuisines of countries she's visited. Driven by an interest in food science, Valerie approaches the culinary scene with a firm grasp of cooking processes and extensive knowledge of ingredients. She believes food speaks to all people regardless of language and cultural background.
Our team is here for one purpose: to help you buy the best stuff and love what you own. Our writers, editors, and lab technicians obsess over the products we cover to make sure you're confident and satisfied. Have a different opinion about something we recommend? Email us and we'll compare notes.