The Ninja BN401 Ninja Pro looks sporty on our kitchen counter. Its appeal is a combination of elegant style and sturdiness. The quality of build materials is impressively high and there is a wealth of hi-tech features so the price seems justified. Some people may find the two Auto-iQ presets convenient, but we don’t think they make much of a difference.
The overall design of the Hamilton Beach is simple, but the blending cup with a fixed blade assembly inside seems to be impractical if used as a to-go cup. The materials are only average, making the blender itself look fairly jerkwater and not catchy. This, however, is expected for the price.
Visually, much of this Ninja’s appeal comes from its Auto-iQ technology. To create a level playing field, however, we didn’t use this advanced feature in our scored tests. Instead, we employed the manual setting that is common to most personal blenders. But regardless of the setting, this blender is perfectly pleasant to use. It allows for entirely hands-free operation and its control buttons are very responsive.
Despite its intuitive design, the Hamilton Beach is somewhat uncomfortable to use. The blending jar attaches securely to the main body, but the assembly process is a bit of a hassle. Not only that, but it’s also more of a pain to clean than other blenders since the blade assembly isn’t removable.
The Ninja BN401 Nutri Pro doesn’t just look good. In our tests, it did a lot of things well, rarely compromising the way many single-serving blenders do. We made a quick protein shake from whole-food ingredients, a fibrous mixture with full nutrients, and a smoothie that couldn’t be silkier. But where our Ninja BN401 Nutri Pro really stood out was its ability to crush ice—you can fully pulverize 6 oz of whole ice cubes in only 14 seconds.
We tested the Hamilton Beach against a range of culinary blenders, but this machine was surprisingly the only one that didn’t pass even a single test. With its weak motor and small blending blade, it failed to blend the foods completely, resulting in grainy, rough mixtures.
Pros & Cons
- This blender is an all-arounder that works without a fuss.
- Nearly all of its capability is outstanding—it’s very well equipped to crush ice and make smoothies.
- The 1000-watt motor provides heavy-duty blending performance.
- Smart preset programs are designed to deliver excellent consistency.
- There are solid design details throughout the blender.
- Inexpensive and easy to use with one-touch blending.
- Blending cup features measuring lines.
- Compact design makes it perfect for use in small spaces.
- It is adequate for light blending performance.
- The motor base is roughly the same size as a standard full-sized blender.
- It’s relatively noisy.
- The low-powered motor limits its capabilities.
- Poorly-built quality impairs the machine’s overall performance and durability.
- It works inconsistently
- The blades are too short, which affects the blending time and final results.
The Ninja BN401 Nutri Pro and the Hamilton Beach are two vastly different blenders with distinct advantages and disadvantages.
The Hamilton Beach blender impressed us with its simplistic design and budget-friendly price point. However, upon closer inspection, its low-powered motor of just 175 watts proved to be woefully insufficient in handling tough ingredients like grains, frozen foods, raw nuts, and dried fruits. This makes it the only blender that failed to pass any of our tests. Its overall build quality is compromised in exchange for its low cost, as well.
In contrast to the Hamilton Beach, the Ninja BN401 Nutri Pro delivers outstanding performance and consistent results across the board. It performed exceptionally well, fully blending even ice cubes in just a matter of seconds. Furthermore, the Ninja BN401 Nutri Pro is equipped with more advanced features, including the two Auto-iQ presets, making it a more convenient option for those who prioritize ease of use.
Overall, for those seeking high-quality blending and heavy-duty performance, the Nutri Ninja BN401 is the clear choice.
Behind the Comparison
Tina Pham is a staff writer and reviewer, with five years of experience in the industry. As a passionate amateur home cook, she loves to discover practical cooking solutions, and has made it her mission to bring her findings to every kitchen. Her ultimate goal is making cooking more of a pleasure for all.
Lap is Head of the Research, Testing, and Review Team (RTR Team) at HealthyKitchen101.com, where he directs and supervises the testing of kitchen gadgets and appliances.