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Best Blenders 2016: Our Top Picks

A health-conscience individual may see a blender as an easy way to make a nutritious kale smoothie, while a socialite may see it as a gateway to glorious margaritas. A chef-in-training, on the other hand, might see a blender as a tool to make homemade hummus, nut butters, pizza dough, or ice cream. Basically, the best blender for you depends on how you plan to use it. Whether you’re looking to make fresh smoothies for the whole family, a personal post-workout breakfast, or something else entirely, here are some of the best blenders available today. Few tools in your culinary cabinet will prove quite as useful in the long run.

Related: Perfect blend is a scale that makes for a more precise smoothie

The Best

Vitamix 5200 ($450)

Vitamix 5200 Series

Vitamix may not brag about its blender’s ability to pulverize electronics, but it’s not like you’re going to go dipping your chips into an iPad puree. This device is capable of making everything from margaritas to ice cream to nut butter and has what is often referred to as a cult-like following. This blender has variable speed control, allowing you to adjust the speed at any time during the blending process and giving you full control over the resulting texture. Its blades whip around fast enough that you can even make piping-hot soup in about six minutes, no stove necessary. Vitamix also offers more feature-filled blenders, such as the Professional Series 750, but the Vitamix 5200 is more than enough for the average person. There’s even a full cookbook available for the blender, which is good, because you’ll have to use it a lot to justify its hefty price tag.

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The Rest

For a budget — KitchenAid 5-Speed Diamond Blender ($100+)

KitchenAide 5-Speed Diamond Blender

You don’t need to break the bank for a nice, capable blender. The KitchenAid 5-speed Diamond Blender provides plenty of power, a large pitcher, and a host of features that are designed to tackle most culinary tasks at a fraction of the cost. It is on the larger side with its 60-ounce shatter-, scratch-, and stain-resistant pitcher, but it shouldn’t be too hard find a model that will look good on your kitchen counter given the base comes in a variety colors (i.e., tangerine, watermelon, espresso).While this blender is cheap compared to some of the other products on our list, it doesn’t skimp on features. It works at five different speeds — Stir, Chop, Mix, Puree, and Liquefy — which can all be used in pulse mode. The blender also has a feature that will crush ice and a “soft start” feature, which ensures that the ingredients stay in the blender and off your kitchen walls.

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Amazon Home Depot KitchenAid

For the family — Ninja Ultima Blender ($245+)

Ninja Ultima Blender+

The Ninja Ultima Blender Bl810 is one of the larger blenders on the market, mostly due to its 72-ounce pitcher. Of course, size isn’t the only thing the Ultima has going for it. This blender packs a powerful punch with its 1,500-watt motor, which sends the internal blades spinning at 24,000 revolutions per minute. While these high-spinning blades can certainly cut through most common kitchen ingredients, the Ninja Ultima uses dual-stage blending, which renders it capable of crushing tougher objects, such as whole fruits and ice. The Ninja Ultima Blender BL810 is big, powerful, and versatile. While the enormous pitcher is perfect for creating purees, dips, and juices, you can also use the Ninja Cup to make personal smoothies.

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Amazon Newegg Sears

For you — Magic Bullet NutriBullet ($59+)

Nutribullet by Magic Bullet

Maybe you don’t want to sacrifice counter space for your new blender. Maybe you don’t need to make complex recipes for multiple people. Maybe you just want a capable blender that can whip up a smoothie in a couple of seconds before you walk out the door in the morning. The Nutribullet by Magic Bullet is a hassle-free contraption that can satisfy your basic blending needs. The Nutribullet certainly isn’t the most powerful blender on our list, but with its 600-watt motor and blade design (four blades with two below), this compact device is capable of making hummus, creams, juices, and sauces alongside your your typical fruit smoothie. The blender also comes with a couple extra cups, so you can take your drinks to go.

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Amazon Walmart

For blending anything — Blendtech Designer 675 ($550+)

Blendtech Designer Series

Every blender in Blendtech’s Designer Series is capable of blending just about anything. No, seriously. Anything. An iPhone? Yep. An entire fish? No problem. Some toy cars? Sure thing. (Don’t try this at home, though.) With an eight-speed, touch-capacitive slider and a 1,675-watt motor, the Blendtech Designer 675 can blend pulverize just about anything unlucky enough to fall into its so-called “Wildside” jar. Although the Blendtech Designer 675 is capable of destroying any number of objects, it can also be used to create butters, batters, purees, and creams. The blender comes with five pre-programmed cycles — Smoothie, Frozen Treats, Whole Juice, Hot Soup, and Clean — as well as an “Add 10” button that allows you to add 10-second intervals to your blend cycles. Read the full review

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Amazon Macy’s Sears