Consumer Report: Best Blenders

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - In the heat of the summer, smoothies are always a hit. The staff at this shop says having the right blender allows them to whip up people's favorite combos quickly and easily.
Looking for smoothie-store results at home?

That's where Consumer Reports weighs in.

"A good blender is great to have. It can do a ton of things, but making smooth icy drinks is definitely the toughest," Dan DiClerico of Consumer Reports said.

Consumer Reports tested pro-style blenders, like the $400 Vitamix and the $300 L'Equip, as well as less-expensive blenders from KitchenAid and Ninja Master Prep Professional. Ice crushing is one measure of performance.

Consumer Reports also uses ice to test durability. Testers found a serious problem with this Calphalon blender. During durability tests, a piece of the blade broke off. Consumer Reports tested two more of the Calphalon blenders and the blade broke every time. Therefore Consumer Reports has judged the Calphalon XL 9 Speed Blender a Don't Buy: Safety Risk.

Another tough test - whipping up pia coladas. Some of the blenders left behind chunks of ice. But others did a much better job.
The $400 Vitamix aced the tests, but so did the Ninja Master Prep Professional for just $60 . And the Ninja comes with smaller chopping and processing bowls, too.

So there's no need to leave home in order to enjoy a great fruit smoothie.

Consumer Reports doesn't know of any injuries from the Calphalon blender. However, it has notified the Consumer Product Safety Commission, as well as the manufacturer. Calphalon says it will thoroughly investigate the matter. If you own this blender, Consumer Reports recommends you stop using it and call the manufacturer.