Blendtec Classic Fourside
Six years ago, a video of an engineer grinding up iPhones and glow sticks in a Blendtec went viral. We didn’t destroy any circuit boards in our test, but we’re certain the Classic FourSide could. With 1,560 watts of power, this little hot rod sounds like a lawnmower on your countertop, but it let us pulverize almonds and perfectly grind flank steak. Six settings match blade speed to blending objective, allowing you to push a button, walk away, and come back to perfectly kneaded bread dough or ground oats.
Vitamix 7500 Blender
When it comes to ease of use, the 1,440-watt Vitamix has no equal. But the main reason it’s the choice of gourmet restaurants is its lowest setting, slow enough to chunk tomatoes for pico de gallo. Impressive? Sure, but we didn’t think it was worth the extra hundred bucks.
Breville Hemisphere Control
Need a blender, not a grain mill? Breville’s 750-watt Hemisphere Control lacks the power to churn through bread dough, but it quickly, quietly, and evenly whipped up everything from hummus to milkshakes. The conical base of the 48-ounce container ensures an even blend.
Cuisinart CPB 300 Blender
If your repertoire mostly consists of margaritas and breakfast smoothies, the CPB 300 is all you need. Its 350-watt motor has plenty of mojo to competently (if not exactly quickly) swirl peanut butter, ice, and frozen bananas, and it comes with four 16-ounce jugs that double as travel mugs. Just don’t expect to make nut butter with it; though it comes with a chopping blade, it has one-fifth the power of the Blendtec.