Our Full Size Blender TestCrushed Ice

Tina Pham
Lap Vo
Test Lead
Nguyen Ntk
Visual Specialist

An indispensable feature of a high-performing blender is its ability to pulverize ice with ease. This aspect is pivotal as it highlights the blender's power and potency. While there are many models that can produce silky smooth smoothies, not all of them have the necessary power and design to pulverize ice effectively. Therefore, several years ago, we began formally testing the range of full-sized blenders to assess their ice-crushing ability as only then, we would feel and better understand the true performance potential of each.

Why the Ice Crushing Test Matters

This test provides valuable insights into the blender's ice-crushing capability. Does the blender produce finely crushed ice or leave ice cubes intact and potentially damage the blades and motor? Besides that, this capability is an important metric reflecting the blender's versatility since any product that can successfully crush ice cubes is likely to handle other solid foods with equal proficiency. In other words, if you find something that can power through the ice, it is deemed an all-arounder and may not have any trouble handling other solid foods. 

Our ice-crushing test allows for a direct comparison of different blenders’ performance as well. By carefully reviewing detailed notes on the testing results, you can determine which models are superior performers and which ones are subpar.

Testing Recipe

  • 12 oz whole ice cubes 

Testing Procedure

We add all of the ice cubes to the blending cup and operate the blender at its highest speed setting or using the "Crush Ice" preset mode, if available. The test ends when the ice is completely crushed or when we conclude the blender can’t be up to this test. Indications of incapability include the blades turning but falling short to churn through the ice or the blades becoming fully blocked by the ice and stopping to turn altogether.

Scoring Scale of the Ice Crushing Test

The ice-crushing test contributes to 10% of the total performance ranking. We rate each blender’s performance on a 0-10 scale. The scoring factors include the amount of unblended ice and the blended fineness. 

The Amount of Unblended Ice

Once the ice is entirely pulverized or once we reach a point where further blending doesn't result in our desired fineness, we remove the outcome from the container for evaluation. If there are any cubes remaining intact, we separate them out and weigh them. Dividing this weight by the total amount of ice used (12 oz) allows us to determine the percentage of unblended ice.

  • ≤10%: We consider blenders that end up with less than 10% unblended ice to be the top performers and award them the highest score of 10 points. 
  • ≤20%: 9 points 
  • ≤30%: 8 points 
  • ≤40%: 7 points 
  • ≤50%: 6 points 
  • More than 50%: 0 points (Failed)
The amount of unblended ice cubes (9.49 oz) of the Vitamix 5200 blender displayed on a scale’s screen.
The Black+Decker blender failed to effectively blend the ice, leaving behind up to 79% of unblended ice, resulting in a 0-point score
The amount of unblended ice cubes (2.2 oz) of the Vitamix 5200 blender displayed on a scale’s screen.
The Vitamix 5200 left 19% (2.2 oz/12 oz) of its ice unblended, so it got 9 points.

The Crushed Ice Fineness 

The fineness always falls into one of three variants. We do not assign a specific score for each variant, but consider it a factor in the final grading. 

  • Very fine: This refers to crushed ice that is fluffy, slushy, and snow-like. If a blender can create very fine shavings, we base its final score solely on the amount of unblended ice present, without deducting any points.
  • Fine: If the crushed ice looks smooth and soft but has a slightly chewy texture and lacks the fluffy snow-like appearance, we deduct one point from the final score for this variant.
  • Coarse: This ice is very chewy or crunchy. We deduct two points from the final score in this case.
A black tray of very fine ice produced by the NutriBullet on a table.
The NutriBullet crushed all of the ice to a very fine texture and earned a perfect score of 10 points.
A black tray of fine ice produced by the NutriBullet on a table.
The Vitamix 5200 scored 9 points for leaving 19% unblended ice, but lost 1 point for less fine texture compared to the NutriBullet so its final score was 8 points.

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