Finding the Right Blender for You
Juice diets, protein shakes, nutrient rich smoothies – America is a country on the go and many of us are looking for healthy meal solutions that we can easily take with us. Because of this, blenders are experiencing a huge surge in popularity, and the market is expanding more than ever.
Blenders can range from basic models which perform just a few simple functions and can be found in your local store, like Hampton Bay, Black and Decker, and Cuisinart, to expensive, “professional” grade specialty blenders which claim to perform a multitude of kitchen functions, like Vitamix, NutriBullet, or the Ninja Blender.
As when searching for all home goods, budget will always be a consideration, as some of these blenders can be as expensive as $400. But there are other important things to consider as well. When searching for a blender, you’ll want to look at and evaluate the following...
Whether or not the appearance of your blender is a priority generally depends on how much time your blender will actually spend on your counter. Blenders are one of those appliances that many people leave on display all the time; however, you may prefer to keep your small appliances stored when they are not being used.
If you are planning to keep your blender out in the open, you may be willing to pay more for specialty colors, stainless steel, smooth button displays, or even touch screen controls.
Another thing to keep in mind when evaluating the appearance of your blender is the measurement indicators on the sides of the pitcher. How well can you see them? Some are intended to blend in while others are large and bold so they can be seen easily. You must decide what works best for your needs.
Determining the best blades for your blender is a good place to begin when evaluating your blender design. Stainless steel blades are generally better than aluminum. They are stronger and more resistant to staining. However, you will also want to check the number of blades – more blades generally being better – and whether or not they are removable. Some people prefer removable blades for easier cleaning, but then must deal with properly reattaching them each time for the best functionality. Because of this, some people prefer attached blades.
The pitcher of the blender is also important. Glass containers are more scratch and stain resistant than plastic pitchers, so they can better maintain appearances over long periods of use. But plastic containers are lightweight and shatter resistant.
Finally, the lid of the blender is also important. All blenders should have tight fitting lids to avoid leaking or even spraying while blending. Some lids will be solid while others will have the optional opening that you can use to add things while in the process of blending. Again, deciding whether this feature is important to you is simply a personal preference.
Speed & Power
Speeds on a blender can range anywhere from to two different speeds to sixteen. Before purchasing a blender, you should have a clear idea of what you will be doing with your blender most often. If you are hoping to use your blender as a type of fruit and vegetable juicer, or intend to use it to crush ice frequently, you’re going to want a blender with at least five different speed options, but more importantly, power.
Engine wattage for blenders typically ranges from 300 watts up to 1,000 watts. Higher wattage means more power. If you are planning on using your blender for heavy duty blending, choosing an engine with the highest wattage should be one of your top priorities. Using a blender with a lower wattage for heavy duty projects could result in you burning out the engine.
Other Things to Consider
Safety features are something else you may want to consider when looking at blenders. Some blenders will offer better lock in features for pitcher security, or have an automatic shut off feature if your blades aren’t securely attached or if your blender’s engine is on the verge of overheating.
Also, if you are looking at blenders in the more expensive, professional grade range, you’ll want to see what kind of extra functions the blender performs. Some blenders claim to also be food processors, while some are self cleaning, and others even claim to be able to knead dough.
Finally, you may want to look at the blender’s warranty before you purchase it, especially if you are someone who plans to use your blender frequently. All warranties should offer at least one year minimum coverage, preferably with no cycle limit. Some warranties will include clauses that invalidate the warranty after you use your blender past a specific number of cycles.
Luckily for everyone, there is such a wide range of blenders available both in stores and online these days that you should be able to find one that fits all of your needs.