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Do you need the best blender for crushing ice and making frozen drinks? You know, the one that boasts enough power to produce a pitcher full of margaritas? Or maybe you’re tired of chunky smoothies or icy cocktails that just don’t have the right consistency. If the answer is yes to any of the aforementioned, then you’re probably in the market for an upgrade to your old clunky blender.
To help you achieve a higher level of icy drinks, we purchased the top 20 blenders for crushing ice and tested them out in our own kitchens, measuring blend consistency, motor power, and pitcher capacity, among other important features. After we had finally drunk our fill of green smoothies and milkshakes, it was easy to pick the Ninja Professional BL660 as the best blender of all the options we tested. With a powerful motor and impressive Total Crushing blade assembly, this blender is perfect for tough blending jobs. Keep reading to learn more about this unit and other top-rated blenders.
Ninja is making a name for itself in the blending world with its powerful blenders at more affordable prices. Rather than spend $400+ on Blendtec or Vitamix, you can spend less than $100 on the Ninja Pro BL660. While it may not offer as many flashy features as the high-end blenders, you better believe this blender can crush ice and other hard ingredients like it’s nobody’s business.
Related: If you have kids, you may want to check the best blender pureeing food
The BL660 features a super powerful, 1100-watt motor and a unique, “Total Crushing” 6-blade assembly. These blades are specifically designed to pulverize ice for smoothies and other frozen drinks. Just be careful while handling these blades because they are extra sharp. One of the most disappointing aspects of the Ninja Pro blender is its limited and short warranty. With only 1 year of coverage, you’re getting much less protection than with other brands. All in all, you shouldn’t have to use this warranty since the blender itself is built to last. It may be the new best blender for green smoothies.
When you buy a budget blender for crushing ice, you should expect to lose out on some of the features of higher-end models, but the Hamilton Beach Wave Crusher keeps up with the rest of the blenders on our list. Yes, the motor isn’t as powerful at only 700 watts, but we didn’t notice any detriment to its blending abilities, especially when it came to crushing ice. The Wave Crusher was able to make smoothies just as well as anything else we tested. However, it does have a smaller blade assembly than other blenders, which often translates to longer blending times with whole ingredients.
Related: Take a quick look at the best blenders hot liquids
The Wave Crusher gives you a whopping 14 different speed and blending settings for the most versatility and customization on our list. A large number of speed settings certainly helps greatly to make sure the specific food in the food processor gets blended well and efficiently. It also features a unique lid that can act as a measuring cup and pouring spout all in one, something we found to be very convenient. In the end, the Hamilton Beach Wave Crusher offers plenty of power and functionality, especially considering the price, which makes it a great choice for those who don’t want to spend much.
With 1000 watts of blending power, Ninja’s proprietary “Total Crushing” technology, and a 72 oz. total capacity, the Ninja Pro BL610 countertop blender is the perfect fit for families who love to enjoy frozen treats together. The super-sharp blades slice through ice, and other frozen ingredients with ease, and the large pitcher ensures you can make as much as possible to please the crowds. Also, check out the best blenders under $100.
We were also really impressed with the BL610’s built-in safety features that prevent you from using the blender unless both the pitcher and lid are locked into place. Ninja recognizes that its super-sharp Total Crushing blade assembly can cause some damage and has done everything it can to prevent injuries from happening. We were a little disappointed with the pitcher’s durability, though. It feels cheap, and many users have complained about premature cracking and chipping. However, this is something small to overlook when compared to the overall versatility and sheer capacity the Ninja Professional BL610 offers.
The Oster Pro 1200 blender performs best when blending smaller amounts for single servings. You get a to-go cup included in the box that you can simply attach to the blender, blend your drink, and go without needing to pour it into a separate container. The blender also features 7 different “smart” settings, which are just pre-set options for different blending applications. These settings were pretty decent, but we found it took the Oster Pro a little longer to chop up green smoothies to a consistency we liked.
The blender didn’t struggle at all when crushing ice, though, which is something we expected with a strong 1200-watt motor providing more than enough ice-crushing power. It is efficient in blending ice and frozen fruit, with the ability to use a blender and food processor interchangeably. After we were done blending, we were a little disappointed that the blender was specifically not self-cleaning. Instead, Oster instructs you to hand wash any remaining liquids and then pop the pitcher, blade assembly, and lid into the dishwasher. While we were grateful the entire assembly is dishwasher safe, we would still have preferred to see self-cleaning capability, if just for the added convenience for people on the go. You might also like the best immersion blender.
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High-end, high-powered blenders for crushing ice are usually extra expensive, with prices ranging from $300 and $400. The AICOK BL1192 offers a very similar feature set to blenders like the Vitamix and Blendtec, without charging you an arm and a leg. With an incredibly powerful motor (1400 watts) for rigorous ice crushing, and an extra-large pitcher capacity (70 oz.), you’ll be blending tons of smoothies, milkshakes, and other foods with ease. Also, check out the best electric kettle for your tea.
The blender features stainless steel blades for extra durability, which makes crushing ice extra easy. You even get self-cleaning functionality with this blender, something you typically only see at premium prices. Simply add a drop of dish soap and water, then turn the blender on to clean it. With such a large capacity, this feature is invaluable. All the positive feedback on the power and durability of the food processing ability of this blender helps this product stand out from the rest. Unfortunately, with such a powerful motor, you can expect some noisy blend sessions, especially at high speeds. And the size of the blender means you’ll need to be creative with storage. In the end, though, these drawbacks are small when compared to the power and functionality you get with the AICOK BL1192
We throw some ice in a blender! No, really, the way to find the best blender for crushing ice cubes is to actually use ice cubes and see how well they blend up. Hands-on testing is one of the most useful ways to pick blenders for specific tasks like ice blender recipes. However, looking at specific features like the type of blade and the power of the motor can also offer valuable clues. That said, we’ve used both of our picks and tested them extensively with ice to see how they perform. Both are able to produce velvety smoothies or all the way to “shave ice” (aka snow cones) like consistency. Although, you might want to see what the difference is between a grinder vs a blender, especially if you’re unsure of which blender to buy, like a Vitamix or a Hamilton Beach blender.
Ice is pretty rough on blenders, especially if you’re looking for a great blender for margaritas. So first and foremost, you’ll want something built tough as nails. Second, many of today’s blenders don’t have the power to tear through the ice, converting it into a snow-like consistency or breaking it down too little for ice-cold beverages. The blenders we picked are bar none the best at converting ice into the size you need it, thanks to their powerful motors, ultra-tough jars, and super strong blades. In addition to ice, being able to blend foods helps you reduce your share of plastic waste and other waste, too, with plastic bags, cardboard, plastic bottles, etc. No longer will you have to buy pre-cooked packaged foods and drinks that come in an assortment of plastic bags, plastic bottles, or boxes. By collecting all your ingredients and then making the food or drink at home yourself with your food processor, you can contribute to conserving and protecting the environment.
Noise and Performance
Look, there’s a lot of great blenders out there. If the prices of our top models are just too much for you, take a look at other popular models like the Ninja Master QB1004 or the Oster BRLY07-B. There’s a broad range of prices on quality blenders out there, so you can definitely find a great option at a suitable price point. You shouldn’t feel forced to spend more money than you want!
On the other hand, if you want to collect more information before making a decision, then take a look at our analysis of Blendtec vs. Vitamix to get a closer look. Or, if you’re more interested in chopping veggies instead of ice, we’ve also got data on the best blender for green smoothies. And, as always, keep an eye on our news section to learn more about the latest high-tech blenders hitting the market, like the impressive KitchenAid Torrent.