Vitamix 5200 Blender
If you’re going to drop half a grand on a kitchen appliance, it better deliver, and the Vitamix 5200 does just that. It grinds almonds for almond milk and purees vegetables for soups as effortlessly as it minces garlic without crushing it. It’s all thanks to a 10-speed control that spins the 1,380-watt machine’s four stainless-steel blades anywhere from 11 to 240 miles per hour. Making ice cream or nut butter? The 5200 comes with a tamper that can be inserted through the lid to break up air pockets. If you’re looking for the ultimate do-everything blender, this is it.
KitchenAid KSB560 Blender
Hesitant to drop a hefty portion of your paycheck on a blender, but still want something powerful enough to dice fruit and crush ice without burning out the engine in a matter of months? The 550-watt KSB560 offers a good balance. In addition to turning out great smoothies, it chops onions, emulsifies salad dressings, and liquefies vegetables for soups. Five speeds, from Stir to Liquefy, mean you don’t get quite as much variety in power as some of the fancier models give you, but if all you want is a quick shake after a particularly tough training session, you probably aren’t looking for a switchboard of blending options, either.
Oster Classic Beehive Blender
If you can do without bells and whistles, the Beehive is a smart bet. With 600 watts of blending power, a stainless-steel blade, and an idiot-proof dashboard consisting of a single two-speed toggle (for on and pulse), the Beehive easily handles the important stuff, like fruit-heavy breakfast smoothies and frozen margaritas on weekends. Plus, the chrome styling makes for a classier counter ornament than the high-end monsters. Our only complaint: it sounds like a cement grinder.