There are several things to consider when choosing a blender.
What are you using the blender for?
If you are just using your blender a few times a year for cocktails, you will need a blender with great ice crushing capabilities and you do not need to be concerned about other features. Whereas if you are a vegan, and you are going to be making plant based milks and grinding homemade flours you will need a blender with more power.
How often will you use it?
Basically, you get what you pay for. I believe in investing in quality for the things I use the most. I use my blender several times a day. But for those of you who might only pull your blenders out a few times a year, you might only want to buy a budget blender for those rare occasions.
How much space do you have in your kitchen?
Look, I am going to say that a blender is an essential item for any household. My blender takes pride of place. But not everybody feels that way. If you have a very small kitchen with not a lot of bench or cupboard space, you might want to consider a smaller machine.
What is your budget?
Get the most bang for your buck. Research some of the consumer review websites to look into blenders in every price point category to figure out what where your money is best spent and what your budget will allow.
Not all blenders are created equal. The most important feature about a blender, in my opinion is the grunt factor. How much power does it have? High-speed blenders with powerful motors get my vote every day of the week and twice on Sundays for their versatality, durability and pulverizing capabilities.
Most manufacturers adverstise their wattage. Blender wattage typically ranges from about 300 to 1,500 watts. For those people working on a budget who will be using their blenders soft foods like smoothies and soup, you should be fine with any blender that has a wattage of between 300 and 600 watts. But if you are wanting to use your blender for crushing a lot of ice, you will want something a bit more powerful. Also, if you are a vegetarian, vegan or raw foodist and will be making plant based milks and vegan creams, and other recipes where you will need to pulverize nuts, seeds, grains, and sticky hard foods like dates, you will want to invest in a more powerful blender in order to yield the best results.
Some blenders have just a few speed buttons, and some blenders have so many speed options it makes your head spin. Speed options range anywhere from 2 to 20! I think the more speed options the better. But some people would claim that was overkill. Again, the speeds you will need will be dependent on what you will be using your blender for. But I am all about versalitity. Personally, I like the blenders with the variable speed option where you can control the exact speed you want for your blending requirements.
But the most important feature on any blender is a Pulse feature. Regardless of how many speeds you think you need, you will definitely be turning on the pulse feature more than anything else. Pulsing allows you greater control when blending to get your consistency juuust right!
However, there are some inexpensive blenders that have some surprising power. It really depends on what you will be using it for. Some blenders are great for crushing ice but are not as good for other types of blending. Once again, the power you need will be determined by what you will be using your blender for. But for my money -- the more grunt the better!
When choosing a blender pay attention to what materials the base and gear assembly are made of. Blenders with plastic components tend to score lower in the durability stakes in reviews. I would recommend blenders with stainless steel or metal components. They will stand up to your blending challenges getter than their plastic counterparts. Also look for whether the buttons and controls are touch buttons (which are generally found on higher end models) or press buttons. Press buttons are easier to clean. But a lot of people find press down or dial buttons easier to use. Again, it is a matter of personal preference. Reading a variety of customer reviews from different studies is always a good idea.
What is the blender carriage made out of?
The size, shape and material of a blender carriage is really a matter of personal preference. Blenders come with plastic, polycarbonate, glass or metal carriages. They also come in various sizes and widths. Some blenders are designed to funnel ingredients in and some are designed to throw the ingredients in. Again, your preference will be dependent on what you are using your blender for. Most blenders come with a lid that has a detachable centre, making them versatile and easy to work with.
I like to blend anything from small batches of foods to large batches, so I will say, go for an 8 cup blender carriage that makes entertaining a breeze. But those of you with small kitchens might want to opt for something smaller and more compact.
I prefer a blender with a glass carriage as it is easier to clean and more sanitary. But they do tend to get very heavy, making them harder to manage (especially for kids) and they are also much easier to break! Glass carriages are easy to clean and do not scratch or retain odours and stains like plastic carriages. Most of the high-speed blenders have plastic carriages, but some of those companies will be offering glass options too.
Plastic and Polycarbonate Carriages
Plastic carriages are much lighter and harder to break, and a lot of them are made out of BPA free containers, making them safer for your family without the danger of chemicals leaching into your foods. Most of them come with plastic handles. The only thing about plastic carriages is that they tend to scratch, get discoloured, and sometimes take on odours if not washed thoroughly directly after using. Check out the cleaning section for hints and tips about cleaning your blender.
I really love the look of metal carriages. It appeals to my industrial sensibilities. The only down-side to metal carriages is that you can’t see inside them while they are blending. But if you don’t mind this, go for it! Metal carriages are not as common as plastic. But you can get some cool retro metal and stainless steel blenders that are gorgeous!
Ease of Cleaning
All blenders are so easy to clean! But this seems to be a consideration for a lot of buyers. If you are really concerned about congealed food particles getting on the base and switches, look for a blender with touch pad buttons that are very easier to wipe over than traditional press down buttons that can get bits of food trapped underneath them. However, the touch buttons are usually found on the high end models, and I find them kind of annoying to use. A lot of blenders have removable blades that claim to make cleaning easier. However, I very rarely disassemble my blades. It can cause leakage and rusting. I always just blend my carriage on high with warm soapy water right after blending and I find this dislodges and cleans any food particles from around the blades. For more hints and tips on the best way to clean any blender check out the cleaning section.
Pay attention to the warranty that is offered with any blender purchase. Some manufacturers offer short warranties of only six months, while other companies offer up to seven years of protection. You will also want to be aware of how easy it is to replace parts. Although, parts for most blenders are widely available on the internet.
Blenders make noise! There is just no getting around it. Generally, the larger the grunt the bigger the noise. You can purchase covers for blenders that mask some of the noise like those fancy smoothie bars. If you are sensitive to noise and are concerned about this, read the reviews of other consumers or ask to test a blender at a kitchen show room. Beyond that, I am going to say, suck it up and enjoy the finished product!