Best Blenders For Crushing Ice & Frozen Drinks – Top Picks & Reviews 2018
What is the best blender for crushing ice? Check out our top 4 blenders for crushing ice reviews below for an in depth look. This guide will help you find the best blender for crushing ice for your needs and basically let you know what is essential and what you can safely ignore.
Instead of crushing ice separately, and then mixing a drink, a powerful blender lets you put all your ingredients together, push a button and be done. You will be sipping your drink in ten seconds flat!
Read on to find out our picks for the best blenders for crushing ice, starting with the Vitamix 5200.
4 Best Blenders For Crushing Ice 2018
|MODEL||PRICE||ITEM WEIGHT||EDITOR RATING|
(Best for the Money)
|Blendtec Designer Series 1003219||8 pounds||4.5/5|
|Ninja Professional NJ600||7.2 pounds||4.1/5|
#1 Vitamix 5200 – Top Pick
The American made (with a Swedish motor) Vitamix 5200 is what many people think of when they hear the word ‘blender’. It is an icon and an incredibly popular product from the dominant blender brand in the US. It is also in our opinion the best blender for crushing ice on the market right now.
Crushing ice is an integral factor for any blender as users habitually want crushed ice in their smoothies and frozen drinks. I know I do! The Vitamix 5200 spins at 37,000 rpm, which is obviously fast enough to blend almost anything. It also has special systems built in to prevent overheating and related problems.
When I am blending, I like to increase the speed as I go rather than cranking it right away. The Vitamix 5200’s foolproof soft touch variable controls make this a piece of cake. In general, this machine is an ergonomic delight. It is sturdy from the base and containers (that were specially designed from a trademarked copolyester) to the blades and covers.
One downside is the sheer noise the Vitamix produces. This is kind of to be expected with blenders but it can be a deal breaker to some. It is less noisy than its predecessor but noisier than other blenders on the market. However, there aren’t any blenders of similar quality that are less noisy.
- 7-year warranty
- Ergonomically sound throughout
- Built to last a long time
- Fantastic at crushing ice
- Very pricey
#2 Oster BRLY07-B – Best For The Money
The Vitamix 5200 is the standard bearer in this category but not everyone has that a considerable amount of money set aside for a blender. Enter the Oster BRLY07-B. This is the best blender for crushing ice for the money in our opinion. It does everything you need without the (many) bells and whistles of a Vitamix.
Ergonomically it just works. The buttons are big, spongey and tactile. It also comes with many preprogrammed settings for different types of frozen drinks – which gives an indication of its strengths. It is dishwasher safe and pretty sturdy for the price.
Forgetting price for a minute, it does have some downsides. It just isn’t as precise as the Vitamix. It doesn’t do as good a job when it comes to vegetable smoothies and some of the preprogrammed settings produce questionable drinks. Furthermore, it is even louder than the Vitamix 5200 – which is quite loud already.
The bottom line though, is that you are getting a blender that produces good to great frozen drinks for a fraction of the cost of the Vitamix 5200.
If you want excellent frozen drinks but don’t need the best green smoothies or juice, then this is the ideal machine for you.
- Great for frozen drinks
- Fantastic price
- Extremely noisy
- Poor at processing vegetables and leafy greens
- Only a one year warranty
#3 Blendtec Designer Series 1003219
The Blendtec Designer Series Blender – WildSide Jar can blend anything. Literally anything. They love to create publicity by blending iPhones and other electronics. Whatever you are using to view this article, can probably be blended in a Blendtec blender. So, of course, they excel at crushing ice! In fact, it comes with an extremely effective preset control for crushing ice. It also is fantastic for making smoothies.
So, you must be wondering, why is this an honorable mention and not number 1? The Blendtec is a worthy competitor to the Vitamix but it just falls short of the mark set by the Vitamix 5200. The Vitamix is just a little better at producing frozen drinks and that is the very specific thing we are ranking. The Vitamix particularly works better with smaller quantities which will be a reality when creating frozen drinks. However, it is close enough, that if you like the look of the Blendtec, or you just want to blend an iPhone, this is still a great choice.
What the Blendtec really excels at is acting as a kitchen companion and replacement for other kitchen tools. Do you want to make pesto, nut butter and cake batter? The Blendtec Designer Series Blender – WildSide Jar is your pick. It fulfills a whole host of kitchen needs, especially when working with big batches.
- Can blend anything
- Has an ice preset
- 7-year warranty
- Tends to work best with big batches
#4 Ninja Professional NJ600 – Another Honorable Mention
Our next honorable mention and our final pick, the Ninja Professional NJ600 has something in common with our number 2 and 3 picks. Like the Oster BRLY07-B it is cheap and cheerful, coming in at a significantly lower price than the Vitamix or Blendtec. Like our other honorable mention, the Blendtec Designer Series Blender – WildSide Jar, it is perfect for blending big batches of frozen drinks.
It does however lack the versatility of the Vitamix and the Blendtec. The Ninja Professional NJ600 has a number of downsides outside crushing ice. It doesn’t perform well when processing vegetables and produces an uneven chop. It also feels cheap to hold – the plastic body feels .. well plasticky. I’m not confident that this blender would stand the test of time. This is reflected in the uninspiring one year warranty.
With all that being said, at this price point, this blender would be ideal if you are making frozen drinks at a Christmas party (or any party) for a group of people. If you have a big family or just like to entertain, then this is a very reasonable option.
- Crushes ice
- Makes big batches
- Well priced
- Feels cheap
- One year warranty
- Bad at processing vegetables
If you’re a fan of frozen drinks, a blender for crushing ice is a must-have. With a high-performance ice-crushing blender, you can treat yourself to restaurant-quality cocktails as often as you want. But, you must ditch your regular blender? An ordinary blender can’t crush ice into a fine, smooth, soft, and almost snow-like texture. It’s motor, blade, and jar won’t allow it. The road to frozen drinks paradise runs through a blender for crushing ice.
To clarify, I’m not talking about blenders that can “also” crush ice. This buying guide shows you how to spend your dollars smartly on a purpose-built ice crusher. Although there isn’t an ice-crushing blender that’s perfect for everyone, this buying guide will help you identify a blender that’s perfect for you. To get there, begin at step zero.
What is step zero?
Before you make any additions to your kitchen, you must think of two things. First, where to keep the machine when it’s in use. Second, where to keep the machine when it’s not in use. After earmarking the workspace and storage space, measure their dimensions. Use a tape to measure the length, breadth, and height of the workspace and storage space. Make sure you record the dimensions for later reference.
Knowing the work area’s and storage area’s dimensions is important. Without this clarity, the measurements in the product information section of the blender won’t make sense. Also, the size of the product according to pictures online is misleading. So, make sure you have step zero down before moving to the next key – power.
Should I look at the horsepower (hp) rating or the wattage rating?
Power, in an electro-mechanical sense, is an equipment’s ability to do something, which in this case is crushing ice. Blender makers use two units to express the power of their machines: horsepower and wattage. For example, the Vitamix 5200 has 1380-Watt motor with a peak of 2 hp. Which of these two values is important?
Here’s the thing, ignore the horsepower. The wattage is what matters. Let me explain. Peak of 2 hp means that 2-horsepower is the maximum the motor can generate. You can think of it as the top-speed of your car. But, the machine actually operates at 1380 Watts, which is only 1.85 hp. To continue the analogy, this is the normal speed at which you’d drive your car.
To converts Watts to horsepower, multiply the value in Watts with 0.00134. Or, you can just type “1380 Watts to hp” in Google. Marketers try to extract extra money from your pocket in exchange for extra horsepower. Don’t fall into this trap. Always use the wattage as your measure of comparison. But, an awesome motor is powerless if the power doesn’t translate to cutting force. So, you ought to look at the blender’s blades.
What’s up with the weird blade designs?
Truth is, people don’t pay attention to blade design unless someone asks them to. But, the blade has a huge impact on a blender’s performance. When you buy a blender for crushing ice, make sure the blender’s blades suit the task. If you don’t know how to do that, don’t worry – a good manufacturer will include the information in the product description page. Next, look at the material. Most blades are made of stainless steel. But, reputed manufacturers enhance the quality of stainless steel by processes like cold forging. The product information page will have all the information you need to judge the quality of the blade. Now, you can move to the final consideration – the jar.
Is the jar’s size, design, and construction important?
The jar is where all the action happens. A good jar has three defining qualities. First, it has to be large enough to accommodate as much ice as you need. Second, it has to be strong enough. Go for jars that are break-resistant, scratch-resistant, chemical-resistant, and BPA-free. Third, it must have the right shape and design. The right shape and design creates a vortex that ensures uniform crushing. Proper shape and design also secures the jar firmly on the motor base. For example, the Wildside Jar by Blendtec has unique design advantages that allow it to blend anything. Also, try to buy a jar that’s transparent and graduated. This will help you a lot when using the speed-control and pulse feature on your blender.
How effectively does the warranty protect my purchase?
Warranty is no good if you can’t use it. To use the warranty when needed, you must be smart from the get go. Before buying the product, read the warranty information to see against what the warranty protects your product. For example, the 7-year warranty from Vitamix protects the product against defects resulting from workmanship, material, and wear and tear. However, the three-year guarantee from Oster protects the product against defects from workmanship and material, but not wear and tear. After buying the product, file the invoice because you will need date of purchase and proof of purchase to claim warranty. While using the product, use it as per the guidelines in the manual. Deviating from recommended usage procedure can invalidate your warranty. If you follow these principles, you will be able to make full use of your warranty.
Sounds good to me! What are my options?
The easiest way is to choose one product from the list. But, if you want to do some research on your own, use the list as a starting point. Using the information in the buyer’s guide, you can find a suitable product with minimal effort and time. Other brands you can check, in addition to the brands listed here, are NutriBullet, Hamilton, Breville, and Kitchen Aid. The market has a product at every price range. So, you can go for a bare-bones ice-crusher or a high-end one. But, make sure you follow the advice in this guide.
Anything else I should consider before buying?
After shortlisting a few prospects, search the net for demo videos of the product. Seeing the machine in action will highlight pros and cons you missed while reading about the product. Also, when you receive your order, record yourself unboxing the product. This will help any warranty, refund, return, or exchange claims in the future. Do this especially when buying online.
Ok, so we went pretty deep on finding the best blender for crushing ice. Bottom line, there are a lot of blenders out there that fit this role but with the proper insights it becomes a lot easier to make the right choice. Somewhere in our top four picks, there should be one blender that fits your budget and your overall needs.
Blenders of all types have been rapidly improving in recent years and seem to be improving at the speed of light. This can make buying a new blender a daunting experience, especially as they can cost a considerable amount of money. Think of our guide above as an evergreen path to finding the best blender for crushing ice. If 4 new amazing blenders come on the market before we update our top picks, you can use the guide to figure out what you need. Also, if one of our picks don’t fit your unique situation, use the guide to figure out a blender for you.
There is so much out there and so much noise, but hopefully we have made it easier for you to decide. Now, stop reading and go ahead and make yourself a nice strawberry daiquiri!
Related buying guides:
Table of Contents
- 4 Best Blenders For Crushing Ice 2018
- Buyer’s Guide
- What is step zero?
- Should I look at the horsepower (hp) rating or the wattage rating?
- What’s up with the weird blade designs?
- Is the jar’s size, design, and construction important?
- How effectively does the warranty protect my purchase?
- Sounds good to me! What are my options?
- Anything else I should consider before buying?