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The Best Midpriced Blenders

From burnt-out motors to cracked pitchers and smoothies that aren’t smooth, most midpriced blenders are a bust. Luckily, we found one you can count on.

By Published July 1, 2017
UpdateDECEMBER 2018
Breville recently discontinued our winning midpriced blender, the Hemisphere Control and replaced it with a new blender, the Fresh & Furious. We ordered the new blender and ran it through a battery of tests, comparing it to the Hemisphere throughout, making smoothies, mayonnaise, and almond butter, and crushing ice. We’re pleased to report we like the new model even more than the last. The price has stayed the same, roughly $200.00, but the performance has improved. The Fresh & Furious has more power, 1300 watts versus the Hemisphere’s 750, so it gets smoother results. The two blenders look very similar otherwise, with the exception of a few changes to the control panel. The Fresh & Furious has a green smoothie button, an update aimed at blending modern smoothies, often full of fibrous vegetables, more completely; it works like a charm. To make sure it was durable, we made 50 smoothies in a row in the Fresh & Furious, and had no problems. But if an issue were to arise, this blender has a longer, three-year warranty, compared to the one-year warranty on the Hemisphere. In light of these improvements, we’re naming the Breville Fresh & Furious our new winning midpriced blender.

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See Everything We Tested

What You Need To Know

Five years ago we set out to find a reasonably priced blender that could stand up to the constant, heavy-duty use that many of us demand of this appliance. Of course we wanted it to be able to carry out routine tasks such as pureeing soups and sauces to a smooth consistency, but we also wanted it to reliably handle jobs such as blitzing ice into snow for frozen cocktails or pulverizing fibrous ingredients into smoothies—not just occasionally but daily. We’ve seen such regular, strenuous use cause many blender malfunctions over the years, from cracked jars to burnt-out motors, so once we found a midpriced winner, we didn’t stop there. We subjected it to a long-term durability test, making more than 400 smoothies in a single copy of our favorite, The Hemisphere Control from Breville, using a challenging combo of raw kale and frozen fruit. The Breville passed this test with flying colors. Furthermore, the six copies we purchased to use in the test kitchen have held up well over the years.

As satisfied as we are with this machine, it’s our job to periodically scour the marketplace to make sure nothing new has come along that might topple the current champ. With that in mind, we went shopping for midpriced blenders, capping the price at about $300.00. We passed over models costing less than $100.00, since we’ve learned that these don’t blend as well or last as long with regular use, so you actually end up spending more money over time on replacements. We found six contenders to pit against the Breville and put them through a range of tests: pureeing kale, orange juice, and frozen pineapple into smoothies; crushing ice; emulsifying eggs and oil into mayonnaise; and grinding almonds into almond butter. Though we normally reserve this last task for a food processor, the almond butter test would highlight a machine’s ability to take on thick, viscous mixtures. We also evaluated each blender on how easy it was to operate, fill, pour from, and clean. In addition, we assessed how noisy these appliances were and examined each for wear and tear.

Blade Business

Given that in our last testing five out of 10 models performed so miserably that we couldn’t recommend them at all, we weren’t surprised to find stark differences among the models in the new lineup. Four utterly failed at emulsifying the mayonnaise, and only one was successful in turning almonds into a completely smooth butter. Others managed to make a passably smooth almond butter, but most also required us to repeatedly stop and start the machine for scrape-downs (the best required only three scrape-downs).

Our smoothie evaluation was particularly telling. For this test, we first ...

Everything We Tested

Good : 3 stars out of 3.Fair : 2 stars out of 3.Poor : 1 stars out of 3.

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*All products reviewed by America’s Test Kitchen are independently chosen, researched, and reviewed by our editors. We buy products for testing at retail locations and do not accept unsolicited samples for testing. We list suggested sources for recommended products as a convenience to our readers but do not endorse specific retailers. When you choose to purchase our editorial recommendations from the links we provide, we may earn an affiliate commission. Prices are subject to change.
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The mission of America’s Test Kitchen Reviews is to find the best equipment and ingredients for the home cook through rigorous, hands-on testing. We stand behind our winners so much that we even put our seal of approval on them.

Hannah Crowley

Hannah is an executive editor for ATK Reviews and cohost of Gear Heads on YouTube.