Types of Blenders

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Updated September 29, 2022

If you are new to the world of mixing stuff together, you may want to learn about the many types of blenders. The best blenders, after all, come in a wide variety of designs to suit different purposes. So what are the different blender types, and what should you consider before making a purchase? Keep reading to find out.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Blenders have come a long way in a short time, as countertop models used to be the only game in town.
  • Nowadays, you can choose from kitchen blenders, personal blenders, travel blenders, variable speed blenders, and more.
  • Commercial blenders are also an option, though they are expensive, difficult to clean, and bulky.

Blender Types Explained

When learning what to look for in a good blender, you tend to notice a lot of variety. In short, the world of blenders does not lack variety if you are wondering what to use instead of an immersion blender. Some blenders excel at smoothies, and others at making juice if you compare a juicer to a blender.

Insider Tip

Clean and maintain your blender according to the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid mold and other issues.

These differences are also seen when comparing companies if you are looking at a Bella vs a Breville immersion blender. Here are the various types of blenders so you can choose between an Aicok blender vs a Vitamix, among other distinctions.

Immersion Blenders AKA Stick Blenders

Have you ever tasted a delicious pureed soup or a curry and wondered how it was made? You likely have an immersion blender, also known as a stick blender, to thank. These handheld blenders travel to the food and not the other way around. In other words, there is no container, just a stick blade.

You place the blender into a mason jar or pot and let it rip. This type of blender is great for pureeing hot foods without too much fuss, giving them an edge in professional kitchens.

Reasons to Buy

  • They excel at making creamy soups, curries, protein shakes, and more. What’s not to love?
  • Cleanup is a breeze, as you just have to rinse off the blade with warm water.
  • They are stick-shaped, so they don’t take up much room and do not require counter space.
  • If you blend scalding hot ingredients, they help avoid injury.

Reasons Not to Buy

  • These blenders are not nearly as powerful as, say, a large stand blender made with durable components.
  • They can take a while to blend up ingredients sufficiently to your liking, and pressure must be maintained (it can get tiring.)
  • Not efficient at making smoothies, which is one of the primary uses of modern blenders.

Tips for Buying an Immersion Blender

  • Make sure the blender has some type of guard so it won’t damage the bottom of your pots and pans during use.
  • Battery-powered units may seem appealing, but they are often not as powerful as cabled models.
  • A dedicated case is never a bad idea to protect the various components.

Countertop Blenders

When you picture a blender, this is likely what floats into your head. The standard kitchen countertop blender is a mainstay of American households, and for good reason. They boast an instantly recognizable design, are easy to use, and are great for a wide variety of drinks and recipes.

Countertop blenders may share certain design similarities, but there are plenty of different models on the market, with a vast array of power options. In other words, a Vitamix is a different beast than that $20 model on Amazon.

Reasons to Buy

  • Countertop blenders can do just about anything, from pureeing soups to making nut butter and smoothies.
  • They tend to include multiple speeds and power options for increased variety.
  • They are great for making large batches simultaneously. This is the go-to type for extended families.

Reasons Not to Buy

  • Cleanup can be a hassle, as the internal blade and container must both be cleaned, though modern units are often dishwasher safe.
  • They are bulky and take up a fair amount of counter space. This is not a big deal if you use it daily but can be annoying with infrequent use.
  • These units can be noisy during use, and the large containers invite accidental blending, such as when you leave a spoon in the jug.

Tips for Buying a Countertop Blender

  • There is a vast gulf between certain models of countertop blenders, so do your research before making a purchase.
  • They come in many colors and shapes, so pick one that matches your kitchen decor.
  • Measure your counter space before making a purchase to ensure that it fits.

Warning

Always practice caution around a blender so as to avoid injury.

Personal Blenders

Whether called single-serve blenders, bullet blenders, or personal blenders, this type is great for quickly breaking down ingredients for smoothies and related drinks. These blenders often allow users to drink out of the blending receptacle, which saves on dishes, and can pulse up some fruit, ice, and other ingredients in mere seconds.

This type of blender has also found use in the modern age as a go-to method for making baby food. New parents, take note.

Reasons to Buy

  • Have a need for speed? Personal blenders make a smoothie in literally four to five seconds if the unit is powerful.
  • Cleanup is super easy. Just rinse out the personal-sized container or throw it in the dishwasher.
  • These units can double as a miniature food processor in a pinch, as they excel at making hummus and the like.

Reasons Not to Buy

  • These blenders max out at around 12 to 24 ounces, so they are strictly for one or two servings at once.
  • They tend to lack power and speed settings, with a “one size fits all” approach to use.
  • Leaking can be an issue until you get the hang of securely affixing the blade to the container.

Tips for Buying a Personal Blender

  • These units vary wildly in quality, so conduct thorough research before making a purchase.
  • Opt for units that include an extra container or two so you can throw used containers in the dishwasher and still be able to use the blender.
  • Look for blenders that also offer lids for the containers for on-the-go drinking.

Travel Blenders AKA Portable Blenders

These are similar to personal blenders but are often powered by rechargeable batteries for on-the-go use. They typically include a BPA-free plastic tube and a base that houses the motor and blades. The aesthetic for these blenders tend to fall on the cute and modern side, with plenty of colors available for modern consumers.

Travel blenders are light, easy to use, and great for those who still want to have access to smoothies and milkshakes while traveling.

Reasons to Buy

  • Battery-powered, so you can blend up ingredients anywhere on this planet and beyond (potentially).
  • They work quickly and offer a streamlined one-button design for those unfamiliar with blenders.
  • They are lightweight and easy to stow away in a backpack or item of luggage while traveling.

Reasons Not to Buy

  • These are less powerful than personal blenders, despite similar uses, so they may not excel at breaking down ice and harder ingredients.
  • If you need a blender while out in the wilderness, this is a great idea. Otherwise, cabled models are cheaper and more powerful.
  • This is a relatively new technology, and some models are prone to leaking.

Tips for Buying a Travel Blender

  • If you are using this as a secondary blender primarily for travel, wait for a sale.
  • Purchase a model that ships with multiple containers, especially if you are using it away from civilization.
  • Make sure it is battery-powered, as some blenders use deceptive advertising.

STAT: The Polish-American chemist Stephen Poplawski, the owner of the Stevens Electric Company, began designing drink mixers in 1919 under a contract with Arnold Electric Company and patented the drink mixer in 1922. (source)

Commercial Blenders

These are the blenders you see at dedicated smoothie shops and restaurants. Consider them the more powerful cousin to standard countertop blenders. They may look similar, but the insides are filled to the brim with powerful motors and ultra-sharp blades. These blenders will make short work of just about anything in mere seconds, thus their use in commercial settings.

If you blend on the regular and really want to bring your game to the next level, commercial blenders are where it’s at.

Reasons to Buy

  • Marvel at the power. Embrace the power. Your heartiest ingredients don’t stand a chance.
  • Though marketed for commercial kitchens, many of these blenders find use in high-end home kitchens, and they last for years and years.
  • They are available in ultra-large sizes, so you can make smoothies for a small army.

Reasons Not to Buy

  • This may simply be too much blender for you, given the exorbitant price tags here.
  • The large containers have plenty of nooks and crannies, making them difficult to clean. Additionally, these containers are typically too large for dishwashers.
  • They are loud, heavy, bulky, and difficult to move even from counter to counter.

Tips for Buying a Commercial Blender

  • If you happen upon a deal, go for it. Commercial blenders can last decades with proper maintenance.
  • Measure your counter space ahead of time, as these powerful blenders come with powerful size requirements.
  • If you want power above all else, consider a high-end countertop blender, like a Vitamix.

Blender Type FAQs

How do you plan to use your blender?

Think about what you will use it for before making a purchase, as bullet blenders excel at mashing up frozen fruits, but a heavy-duty blender may include a better chopping blade for ice and the like.

What are immersion blenders best used for?

Immersion blenders can be used to make a wide range of recipes, from fresh juice to pureed soups and even frozen drinks. These do not excel as smoothie blenders, as they lack a dedicated blender jar.

What are stand mixers best used for?

While not a traditional blender, or a blender at all, stand mixers, or cake mixers, are great for mixing up pizza dough, sticky dough, and baked goods of all types.
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