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How Blenders Work

Shopping for Blenders

­If you pore over research on blenders, you'll find many opinions of what makes a better blender. Often a blender will perform well in professional testing, but user ratings sometimes disagree. To get the best bang for your buck, do a little research on your own. Start by figuring out exactly what type of blender you really need. How often you will use your blend­er? Are you looking to mix up the occasional margarita, or do you want to spin out soups for a family of six? If you plan to blend sparingly, a budget pick is a safe bet. But if five smoothies a day keeps the doctor away, you may want to invest in a heavier duty model.

Next, consider how you'll use the blender. A key feature of the blender is its ability to crush ice. For the smoothest frozen drinks, seek out reviews that boast white snow with no icy chunks. Or if your ambition is to serve a silky smooth gazpacho, look for reports of a lump-free puree.

Durability is a big consideration. A plastic housing is generally less expensive but may be more prone to chip or­ break compared to its metal counterpart. Also, the motor should be mighty enough to blend a number of applications for several years without slowing down or puttering out.

Here are some other tips to keep in mind while you shop:

  • Consider a removable blade. Blenders with nonremovable blades are less likely to leak but are much harder to clean.
  • Certain blenders are designed to be less noisy, so if you have a newborn baby or a light sleeper in the househol­d one of these models is probably worth looking into.
  • If you don't want to clean your blender with a cotton swab, you may want to avoid one with push buttons. Touch pads and switches are easier to keep clean.
  • Appearance is important if you have limited storage and the blender needs to stay on your counter. There are many options to match the style of your décor.

If you want bells and whistles such as a touchpad, programmable controls or designer styling, you can expect to pay more than for a basic model with plastic housing and push buttons. But remember -- the most expensive blender isn't necessarily the best one.