As the saying goes, “you get what you pay for.” In general, it’s true that if you pay more, you get a higher quality product. But brand recognition and other factors mean that this isn’t always the case. While it’s a safe bet that a blender under $50 isn’t going to stack up against something that costs hundreds of dollars, you might be surprised what you can get on the cheap. You just need to know where to look, and what to look for.
There are a few things you shouldn’t skimp on, even if you’re buying cheap:
The lid: For countertop models, a tight-fitting lid is a must to avoid splatter and leakage, regardless of how much you spend.
Cleanup: Ideally, you want to seek a blender that’s easy to clean, whether you buy a countertop or a handheld. That means dishwasher-safe components with no need for hand-washing.
Warranty: Although you aren’t likely to find a warranty longer than two years on a budget model, avoid any blenders whose manufacturer won’t insure it for more than six months.
Materials: Pay attention to what components are made of, like the blender’s frame, the control panel, the blade assembly, the housing, and the collar. If they’re cheap plastic, it’s likely that they’ll fail with extended use.
We’ve selected a few of the best low-cost blenders on the market based on customer reviews: one of each type (personal, countertop, and immersion). Have a look, and see if you find something that catches your eye. Do note, however, that there are many, many more blenders out there that are available at similar price points, so shop around if none of these models are to your taste.
(Note: While we’ve done our research and have carefully chosen the products mentioned below, this buying guide includes affiliate links from which we earn a commission if you buy a product from Amazon.)
Ninja Master Prep QB900B
Cheap, efficient, with an array of features and accessories not found in other low-cost blenders, the Ninja Master Prep is one of the best countertop blenders at its price point. It can be used for a wide array of different blending tasks thanks to its quad-blade technology, and it’s one of the few budget blenders capable of frozen food.
It’s equipped with a 400-watt motor, a 48-ounce pitcher, and a 16-ounce prep bowl.
While great for most uses, don’t expect it to grind berry seeds or flax seeds, and keep in mind that its ice-crushing capabilities are limited. (It can do the job, but the texture will be grainy.)
$30.95 (as of 1/20/2016)
Easy to assemble
Multiple blender bowls and easy disassembly for cleaning
Easy to use
Won’t blend berry/flax seeds, ice-crushing is possible but grainy
Top-down design may be confusing for some users
The Gourmia GPB250G is a personal blender designed with portability in mind. The BPA-free, 20 ounce pitcher is actually a water bottle, making it perfect for protein or breakfast shakes, while its slim design means it’s incredibly easy to store. Its control panel – which consists of a single button – is simple to operate, with a pulse feature, and blending components are easily-removable and dishwasher-safe. The blade and product design are built to last well despite the low price tag.
The GPB250G is available in purple or green.
The main downside is, of course, a relatively weak motor (250 watts). While capable of handling frozen fruit, it isn’t built for ice or crushing berry seeds. The screw-on, -off design requires some strength to operate properly.
$29.99 (As of 1/20/2016)
Excellent for single servings of smoothies and shakes.
Small size allows for portability and easy storage
Not well-suited for blending ice or berry seeds
Screwing and unscrewing effectively requires a fair amount of torque
Conair Cuisinart Smart Stick CSB-75BC
Equipped with a powerful 200 watt motor and two speed settings, the CSB-75BC is all about simplicity. Cleaning and general use are both highly-intuitive: the blender’s non-electrical components are all dishwasher-safe. Its design is ergonomic and well-balanced, and the blades are durable. Works well as a very convenient stand-in for a food processor, capable of blending a large pot of soup in about half a minute.
The CSB-75BC is available in fourteen different colors, and ships with both a blending shaft and pitcher.
The most common complaint is with the warranty: shipping costs aren’t covered, which can take up a significant fraction of the price of the product. Don’t use it to blend anything hard or frozen.
$30.90 (as of 1/20/2016)
Two-speed controls make the Smart Stick surprisingly versatile
Switch is easy to use, with excellent tactile feedback
Excellent size and balance
Like most immersion blenders, poorly-suited for crushing ice and frozen foods