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I've seen blenders for anywhere from $20* to $2,000, and I must say, the variety of marketing-speak has my brain in a tizzy. In plain english, what are the major price levels in blenders (general ranges, obviously there's some variety in quality at each price range) and what sort of features can I expect at each level? For example, I'd not expect a $20 blender to, say, heat up soups like one famous (but more expensive) model is known for.

* I use USD, but I can convert prices easily enough
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I would suggest approaching blenders from the perspective of what you want it to do for you? Make frozen margaritas? Puree soup? I would submit for most non-ice-crushing uses, immersion blenders may actually be more convenient. That is all I own. –  SAJ14SAJ Mar 5 '13 at 20:20
    
@SAJ14SAJ Make frozen blended alcoholic drinks and smoothies, mostly –  Yamikuronue Mar 5 '13 at 20:43
    
Also, how often will it be used? Much of price goes into build quality as well as features. –  GdD Mar 6 '13 at 8:56

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Like any other product, price and quality don't always relate. However, here are some notes and features to help you:

What food stuffs you can blend in your blender and expect good results, how often, and for how many years depends on the following:

  • Quality of the motor: When the material you're blending gets hard to blend (say oil separated peanut butter mixed with dry almonds), you can easily send the blender up in smoke. A better blender might hit its maximum-current/temperature switch, shut-down, and protect itself. An even better blender might happily blend (saw a giant one with the motor made by Harley Davidson, it didn't care what it was mixing). See the notes on power/wattage.

  • Speed of the blade (RPM): Cheaper blenders tend to only reach a couple of thousand rpm. The Brand you're (not)mentioning can go near 30,000rpm. At that spin-rate, frozen fruit starts looking like Gelato (smooth and shiny). In a $20 blender, they look like frozen fruit slushy with ice crystals remaining relatively large.

  • Wattage of Blender: Generally the higher wattage blenders are more powerful, although not in every case. This is again one of those features that leads to being able to make apple/carrot/beat juice in your blender or make a contribution to your local appliance landfill. Top Gear tried to make a Beef, Bovril and Brick smoothie with a V8 Engine.

  • Intended use: Commercial blenders are designed to be running practically all the time (like the ones at StarBucks), hence the $2000. The 'Prosumer' ones, might heat up if under heavy and long duration use and shut-down for a few minutes at a time. The low-ends can last you a lifetime if what you're blending is not very thick/viscus and you don't keep it running for long sessions.

  • Quality of the Jar, Blade, and Gears: In the low-end of blenders, the ones with glass jar might be better since they're easier to clean and don't get foggy. The high-end blender manufacturers (sort of) treat the jar as a consumable that you'll have to buy once in a couple of years. Fresh blade, and clear jar.

Pro-Tip: Sometimes it costs you an extra $250 to get the model with the adjustable speed dial. While there normally is a perfect blending speed for any given 'input', you're looking at diminishing returns since the two-speed type will blend just as well given minimally more effort.

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