We perform tests on personal blenders of several different styles and use the testing results to award each machine a score on a ten-point scale corresponding to its performance, usability, and overall build-quality. Based on the blender’s ranking, you can determine how it stacks up and compares against its rivals.
It is also worth noting that all the products are purchased of our own accord and tested in-house by not only kitchen tool enthusiasts, but also by a professional chef and multiple cooks with years of culinary experience. That is to say, our reviews are purely conducted to communicate unbiased information collected from our actual extensive testing as well as our evaluations as actual users.
The overall score of each blender is a weighted average of three section scores assigned on a 10-point scale. The three section scores include: performance (60%), design (25%), and usability (15%). Each of those scores also reflect grades of several differently-weighted subcategories.
Performance Testing (60%)
While we haven't put our own hands on every possible model, we run our tool through a series of tests designed around the most common uses for any personal blender. This means to give you different perspectives on the blender’s performance and a good picture of all the functions that might influence your choice. Our tests include: protein shake, frozen fruit smoothie, leafy smoothie, and ice crushing.
To ensure the results are comparable, we follow the same testing procedures with all models in all of the tests. Test scores are practical implications for efficiency so we also grade each blender performance using our own 1-to-10 scale. And since different tests came with varying values of points, we allocate the scaling of each test score differently. In other words, the blender’s performance score is the average of the four differently-weighted tests and worth 50% of the overall rating:
- Protein shake: We prepare a protein shake for this particular test using protein powder, oatmeal, almonds, dried blueberries, and sugar-free milk. The highest percentage is counted for this test, at up to 40%, since making milkshakes is the most common use of any personal blender. However, this doesn’t mean that all personal blenders will have that capability equally. Through our test, you can determine which models are more efficient than others.
- Frozen fruit smoothie: We rated this test 30% of the total performance score. As we learned from our research, good personal blenders are devices that can churn out a smooth combination of frozen fruits without too much effort. That’s why, in this test, our recipe is designed to include blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and mango. Eventually, this process will leave me with blenders that are the best of their price.
- Fibrous greens: Liquefying leafy greens is always a challenge for personal blenders. While some devices can break down fibrous veggies like kale or spinach thoroughly, others may not perform so well, causing your drink to come out chunky and leafy. That’s why, we assure this test, whose score makes up 20% of the total, will factor into the value of a personal blender.
- Crushed ice cubes: Many of us don't use personal blenders to crush ice cubes alone. It is a full-size countertop blender that can be up to this task efficiently. However, we believe this test will be worthwhile as it helps us gain a clearer perspective on the blender’s efficiency: if any personal blender can handle the tough job of crushing whole ice cubes, it is definitely the best choice for your icy drinks. We assigned this test 10% of the overall score.
Note: All the tests are recorded on camera to corroborate our results. And because timing is a key to scoring the blender’s performance, we run a stopwatch for each test.
The design’s score is worth 25% of the overall rating. We determine it based mainly on three factors: Extractor Blade, Build Quality, and Blending Cup.
- Extractor Blade: This section makes up 20% of the total design’s score. Depending on how sturdy, efficient, and heavy-duty we consider the blender’s blade is, we then assign points accordingly.
- Build Quality: We allocated this section 60% of the total grade. Each blender received a score based on the blender’s aestheticappearance, sturdiness, and material’s quality.
- Blending Cup: This score accounts for 10% of the total score and is calculated based on the amount of blending cup included with the blender: 1 cup equals 5 points and maximum points are given if there are 2 or more cups.
Usability Testing (15%)
The usability’s rating is granted 15% of the overall rating. It describes how easily we use, assemble, and clean each blender. Again, some scoring factors are more essential than others, each is weighted differently, as follows:
Hand-Free Operation (60%)
We assign this scoring factor up to 60% of the total score. It's certainly more convenient to be hands-free during the blending process where you don’t have to hold the cup down continuously to engage the motor, but the benefits are even greater than that. Apart from referring to the use of a blender with no manual manipulation for activation, hands-free operation also indicates how efficient the blender is.
To be specific, sometimes hard ingredients, like frozen fruits and raw nuts, can get stuck in the blade assembly and prevent it from rotating. At this point, a good blender will take that matter on its own, whereas the less efficient ones may demand a good shake to unclog the trapped chunks.
Simply put, a blender with a high score in this section has to meet these two requirements:
- It is unnecessary to hold the cup in place while the blender is operating. Once the cup is assembled to the motor base securely, we can take our hands off it.
- Throughout the blending process, there is no need to stop and shake the blending jar for an even blend.
This section occupies 20% of the overall grade. It reflects our evaluation on how easily the blending cup attaches to and separates from the motor base.
We allocated 20% of the overall rating to this section, which describes our evaluations on the ease of cleaning of each blender. It also helps you understand how your device holds up to challenges during the cleaning process.