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 drank 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 Ninja blender and the other 4 top picks.
- 1 Top 5 Best Blenders for Crushing Ice Compared
- 2 How We Choose The Best Blender For Pulverizing Ice into Snow
- 3 Why You Should Buy
- 4 Key Features for a Good Blender for Crushing Ice
- 5 Mistakes to Avoid
- 6 What Else You Should Think About
Top 5 Best Blenders for Crushing Ice Compared
#1 Ninja Professional BL660 – Top Pick/Best Ninja BlenderWHY WE LIKE IT: The Ninja Professional BL660 features the company’s proprietary Total Crushing Technology, powered by an impressive 1100-watt motor, for pulverizing ice in seconds.
Ninja is making a name for itself in the blending world with it’s 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.
The BL660 features a super powerful, 1100-watt motor and 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. At only 1 year of coverage, you’re getting much less protection that with other brands. All in all, though you shouldn’t have to use this warranty since the blender itself is built to last.
#2 Hamilton Beach Wave Crusher – Honorable Mention/Best BudgetWHY WE LIKE IT: As you can probably tell from the design, the Homall S-Racer office chair is made for gamers, and for good reason! It offers extra ergonomic features and comprehensive adjustability so you can spend hours on end in the chair without getting uncomfortable.
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 translated to longer blending times with whole ingredients.
The Wave Crusher gives you a whopping 14 different speed and blending settings for the most versatility and customization on our list. It also features a unique lid that can act as 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.
#3 Ninja Professional BL610 – Best Large CapacityWHY WE LIKE IT: It shouldn’t be any surprise that we’re featuring another Ninja blender on our list with its Total Crushing technology and extra sharp blades. This blender also features a large capacity and is super simple to use.
With 1000 watts of blending power, Ninja’s proprietary “Total Crushing” technology and a 72 oz. total capacity, the Ninja Pro BL610 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.
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 their 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 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.
#4 Oster Pro 1200 – Best PersonalWHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re looking for a small blender that can quickly whip up some single-serve smoothies and green drinks before you dash off to your day, then the Oster Pro 1200 is the blender for you.
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 into a separate container. The blender also features a 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. After we were done blending, we were a little disappointed that blender is 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.
#5 AICOK BL1192 – Best ValueWHY WE LIKE IT: You may not have heard of AICOK, but their BL11092 blender features the most powerful motor on our list and offers a ton of premium options for an incredibly low price.
High-end, high-powered blenders for crushing ice are usually extra expensive, with prices ranging into $300 and $400. The AICOK BL1192 offers a very similar feature set to blenders like the Vitamix and Blendtec, without chargin you an arm and a leg. With an incredibly powerful motor (1400 watts) and extra-large pitcher capacity (70 oz.), you’ll be blending tons of smoothies, milkshakes and other foods with ease.
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 with 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. Unfortunately, with such a powerful motor, you can expect for some noisy blend sessions, especially at high speeds. And the size of the blender means you’ll need to creative with storage. In the end, though, these drawbacks are small when compared to the power and functionality you get with the AICOK BL1192
How We Choose The Best Blender For Pulverizing Ice into Snow
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.
Why You Should Buy
Ice is pretty rough on blenders, so first and foremost you’ll want something built tough as nails. Second, many of today’s blenders don’t have the power needed to tear through ice, converting it either 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.
Key Features for a Good Blender for Crushing Ice
- The last thing you want is for your blender to get jammed up or refuse to crush ice down to the particle size that you need for your smoothie or mojito. That means paying close attention to the horsepower and how powerful the motor really is. Of course, horsepower doesn’t tell you everything, but it’s a good metric for looking at just how powerful a blender can be. The average 2HP blender can usual handle anything, but for real ice performance look for more power. The wattage is also a good correlation.
- Strong, durable blades are a must when looking for a great ice blender. Ice can be tough to chomp down on, and blades may wear down more easily if you make a lot of smoothies. Look for blunted blades made from stainless steel, and preferably molded with strong, single-piece components that reduce wear while increasing durability.
- Not all blenders have crushing, smoothie or ice-breaker settings, and not all need to. But if there’s a particular mode or pulse option that’s designed to deal with ice, that’s a big plus – it makes your setting decisions a lot easier, and shows confidence on the part of the manufacturer. Note that most of our top picks have a setting or switch that is noted for its ice-crushing capabilities.
Noise and Performance
- Crushing ice is always going to be loud, and there’s nothing you can do about it. But some blenders are noisier and take much long than others. This is an important consider for families, offices, and other situations where a quieter blender is the better pick. If you have concerns in this area, see if you can test the blender in person or check out YouTube videos to gauge how loud it might be in your house.
- No one likes a blender that churns all the lower-level ice into snow while leaving the top layer of ice just floating there. The large containers that we favor in the list help take care of this problem, but tampers are also a good solution to look for on your next model.
Mistakes to Avoid
- Ignoring the Motor
Don’t assume that every motor handles ice in the same way, or that any motor can cut it. If you get a weak blender, then it’s going to struggle to deal with a pitcher full of ice and it will quickly wear out. Heavy-duty models may save you grief and money in the long run.
- Worrying Too Much About Settings
Yes, an ice setting is nice, but crushing ice is a simple and very visual activity. Don’t worry obsessively about settings affecting your smoothies or other ice recipes – you can usually find a way to make them work.
- Going Too Small
Unless you really like making a lot of icy smoothies just for yourself or an S.O., you, you’ll want to pick a bigger container. Most icy-oriented recipes call for a lot of ice to be used at a party or gathering. You need a pitcher large enough to handle it.
- Picking the Sharpest Blades
Sharp blades are great for certain kinds of slicing…otherwise, you don’t really need them. They will just get dull and damaged trying to deal with all the ice. Instead, pick blunter, stronger blades suited for crushing.
What Else You Should Think About
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. 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 on eye on our news section to learn more about the latest high-tech blenders hitting the market, like the impressive KitchenAid Torrent.