There are few things that can compare to an ice-cold smoothie in terms of refreshment on a hot day. However, continuously buying them can prove expensive in the long term, so part of saving your money while still enjoying them involves making them at home by using a blender powerful enough to crush frozen fruit and ice. It can be a time-consuming process looking for the best blender to handle this need, but it does not need to be so.
We have compiled the best 5 blenders for this task to give you a place to start checking out, including highlighting some of the relevant features. If you are wondering about what to look for as well, we include a useful buying guide to give you some useful pointers on what to look for.
Best blenders for crushing ice – Comparison table
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Blendtec Total Classic Original Blender
Ninja Professional Countertop blender
Hamilton Beach Wave Crusher blender
Vitamix 7500 Pro-Grade blender
Oster Reverse Crush Counterforms blender
Reviews of the best blenders for crushing ice
Blendtec Total Classic Original Blender
This blender’s introduction dates back to 2004 and is among the earliest power blenders in the market catering to home use, with some improvements like a simpler interface to make it more user-friendly. It is a product of its time though, with issues such as loudness and the non-stylish design of the entire unit as well as some components. Despite that, it is a good machine to start you off when you want an ice-crushing machine.
Like later Blendtec models, it has enough power to crush almost any ingredient you blend in it, whether they are frozen or fresh. You can also use it to blend frozen fruits and/or ice into frozen yogurt, sorbets, or ice creams, using the various pre-set cycles.
The control panel comes with an LCD information center display and a controls touchpad. The LCD has blue illumination backlighting, which will show you all the relevant information like the count up/down timer, pre-set speed or program in use, and blending error information. You will access 9 press buttons that have some relevant indicative pictures, and these control 6 pre-set programs: Sauces/Dip/Dressings/Batters, Ice Crush/Milkshakes, Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt, Smoothies, Soups/Syrups/Fondues, and Whole Juice. It has 11 speeds; 10 are incremental manual speed adjustments, and one is the Pulse speed.
The unit has a 1560-watt motor powering it, and a durable drive socket connects it to the blade assembly to increase the blender efficiency. The base unit is durable as well due to its polycarbonate composition and includes overloading and overheating guards that will reduce the wear and tear on the motor.
- Easy to set up, use, and clean
- It has a variety of speed settings and programs
- High-quality construction
- The blender only comes in reconditioned versions and supply is limited
- Small pitcher
Ninja Professional Countertop blender
This is among the options that have forced itself into the blender market and risen to the top spots in terms of powerful blenders that you can get at relatively affordable prices. It has a modern look as well and will serve you well in terms of unique features.
The design makes it take on a ‘two blenders in one’ approach, with a personal blender that has a 16-ounce cup, and a countertop blender jar that has a 72-ounce capacity. In terms of smoothies, note that it can only make good smoothies from soft fruits, and you should core certain fruits like pears and apples before blending to avoid a chunky consistency. On the other hand, it can handle frozen vegetables and fruits as well as ice quite well.
Setting up and disassembling the machine is one of its low points; the process is fairly complicated for both tasks. You should handle all the components with care, or else you can hurt yourself. It is a simpler task to set up the single-serving container though, as well as using it.
The motor is an 1100-watt type and has an appealing design, but it is quite loud and will require tamping in some cases to achieve a smooth blend. The pitcher is not as durable as some models, and the sharp blades are difficult to remove and clean, tending to dull over time.
- Easy to use, thanks to a pulse option and three-speed controls
- Strong blades and motor that work well to crush ice and hard ingredients
- Fairly attractive design
- Affordable compared to most premium-end blenders
- Large capacity
- Less durable pitcher
- Challenging to set up and disassemble
- Fairly loud
- Requires tamping in some instances to blend properly
Hamilton Beach Wave Crusher Blender
This is among the blenders that stood out for its ease of use, as well as performing impressively throughout our testing process. For the price it offers, it is hard to beat; and its 40-ounce jar has a serving spout for added convenience on your end. The only drawback here is that you will experience some challenges trying to twist the blade off and on when you want to clean it. However, it is an affordable option for the budget-conscious buyer, although it does not last as long as some other picks.
It weighs seven pounds and comes with a 700-watt motor, as well as the company’s patented Wave Action and 4-tip blade assembly for smoother blending. Its jar capacity is relatively small, accommodating 40 ounces, but it includes a self-cleaning feature and is made from durable glass. It has an 8-button interface that will give you up to 14 blending functions, with presets included in these.
While the blender is not the loudest we have seen, its plastic components are less durable than most blenders. It is also capable of blending ice, although the results are not as smooth as what you would get from most models.
- Very easy to set up and disassemble
- Very good at grinding and blending a variety of ingredients
- The jar is easy to place and the design works for both righties and lefties
- Easy-to-use controls
- All parts are dishwasher safe
- Relatively quiet operation
- Assembling the blades is challenging
- Plastic components are fragile
- Blend results are not smooth
Vitamix 7500 Professional-Grade blender
If you know anything about blenders, you will likely be familiar with the Vitamix brand. Their blenders are among the most powerful models that can break down almost anything, and the 7500 continues in this reputation by adding some improvements and technologies such as cooling system improvements, as well as a stronger motor and longer blades.
The motor is a 2.2 horsepower type, working at about 1500 watts of power to create impressive levels of blending strength. To prevent overheating, the model includes a thermal protection feature, which will increase the overall lifespan. The blades are among the best in ice-crushing blenders we have seen, thanks to their stainless steel build that is rust-resistant and does not dull over time.
The 64-ounce container is scratch-resistant, and the BPA-free container is more durable than glass. You can also purchase additional containers in smaller capacities, such as the 48 oz. or 32 oz. containers. Additionally, the 10-speed controls allow you to have plenty of adjustments to use when crushing ice or blending ingredients.
- Powerful blending mechanism
- Large, durable container that is easily interchangeable
- It can multitask to give you a wider recipe range
- 10-speed controls for greater usage range
- Great design
- Low-profile design, which makes it easy to store
Oster Reverse Crush Blender
This model is more suited to those looking for an affordable blender that is durable and sturdy. It may seem more basic compared to high-end blenders, but its brand reputation and compact design are enough to fit in most kitchen cabinets and remain in service for a long time.
It comes equipped with a motor that uses 600 watts of power, alongside stainless steel blades that are durable and retain their sharpness. Their movement goes forward and backward, which allows the blender to draw down ice and food and achieve smoother results. Additionally, the blades also incorporate the trademark Crush Pro Blade Technology, which will add chopping and pulverizing abilities to them.
While the interface is well-labeled, it is complicated to use. You can select between 2 preset programs: one program contains the 5 manual speeds, and the other contains the program for frozen drinks. The motor is quite loud, although you will not mind it much because it does an impressive job crushing ice. The only point of note is that you will need to stir the ingredients occasionally to promote smoother blending.
- Attractive design
- It offers a variety of speed settings
- Blades have an automatic reversing mechanism for greater efficiency
- Warranty on the metal drive is 10 years
- Strong blending jar and motor
- Warranty does not cover plastic parts
- Needs you to stir ingredients to blend smoothly
- Relatively bulky
Problems when trying to blend ice
A common issue that occurs when you try to blend very hard ingredients like ice is the power needed to complete the process, which depends on the specific appliance you are using. Additionally, you may not follow the right instructions during usage, which ultimately affects the quality of the results you want; an instance would be experiencing issues with blending frozen fruits alongside your ice, which you can solve by leaving the fruits out at room temperature for a few minutes to allow some thawing.
There are some common mistakes that you should avoid when using your blender to crush ice, which we will outline below.
Ignoring the motor
Among the essential components of the blender, you cannot afford to ignore the motor. If your blender uses a manual speed adjustment, you may experience issues with setting the correct speed for different ingredients and recipes. The danger of using too much torque when handling easier ingredients is the risk of reducing the motor’s performance in the long term, as it is more prone to overheating.
When using your blender and you are unsure of the right speed, it is always best to start with lower speeds and note the performance, then increase the power if you need to do so.
Paying too much attention to the settings at the cost of everything else
When you are about to handle a high-grade professional-style blender, it is easy to fear ruining it and worrying too much about the settings. However, you do not need to, as you will eventually learn how to use it effectively.
In most cases, these high-grade machines have plenty of pre-programmed settings that are self-explanatory, although you should still read the manual if you are unsure of how to use it.
Choosing a blender that is too small
There are many sizes of blender jars to consider, and it is best to buy multiple containers of different sizes if you are unsure of the best capacity to go for. Additionally, ensure you check the specifications before buying the blender.
Choosing blades that are too sharp
Instead of always going for blades that are too sharp, it is best to check their constituent material, the technology they use, and their design.
Features to look for when buying a blender for crushing ice
Few items feel as refreshing as a glass of cold juice on a hot day, and adding some ice only adds to this feeling. To achieve that however, you will need a good ice-crushing blender; your average blender cannot crush these ice cubes effectively without the motor starting to overheat.
To choose an ice-crushing blender, there are some factors you should look to, which we will discuss below:
You cannot expect to achieve satisfactory results when blending if the motor lacks sufficient power for the task. This is particularly important to think about if you are choosing one to handle frozen fruits and vegetables, as well as ice and other tough ingredients like nuts. A good ice-crushing blender will have a minimum power wattage of 700 watts, with the best models having a minimum wattage of 1000 to 1500 watts to process hard ingredients easily.
You need to choose a blender with a high-speed motor, as your aim is to create a vortex that pulls all your ingredients downwards to the blades, and then the blades will crush them into a fine consistency. To create this vortex and increase the crushing efficiency, you will need a high-speed motor, since it can achieve this task without overheating and reducing the lifespan of the blender.
The blender jar
While you can freely decide whether you want a BPA-free plastic jar or a glass one when considering a general blender, the case is slightly different for an ice-crushing one. Pay attention to the quality of material for an ice blender, including checking whether it is Tritan BPA-free material to prevent the release of chemicals as you blend. Glass is mostly fine for most cases, although plastic is more durable.
Alongside the material making up the jar, the size will depend on your needs so you should choose accordingly.
Not all blenders are equal in their crushing ability; some will make things easier for you by including a pre-program button that you can use to specifically crush ice, while others do not. If this is an important deal breaker for you, you should look for blenders that have the one-touch user experience.
Similar to the motor speed and power, it is essential to have the right blade type to handle ice crushing activities, as these are the holy trinity blender types in terms of their functionality. It is always preferable to choose blades made from stainless steel, as they are rust-resistant and less likely to dull over time.
In terms of the number of blades, the best ice-crushing blenders have more blades; the more they are, the easier your job gets. Having a multi-blade blender allows you to grind, blend, and crush the ice in different directions without the risk of allowing some ice cubes to escape or the result to have a crunchy consistency.
The blender type
Choosing a blender type may seem overwhelming because there are many types in the market, but it does not need to be a painstaking process. Depending on the volume of your usage, you can choose a blender type that works best for you. As a general rule, the best blender types are the high-power countertop types, as they can handle the demands of the job while maintaining a long lifespan.
Can I use any blender to crush ice?
No, as this depends on the blades and the motor power. Very few blades are built to crush ice and frozen foods. For those that cannot, you will need to add liquid to ease the blending process.
What should I prioritize when choosing an ice-crushing blender?
Consider the blades, which should be hard enough to break the ice into the best consistency, and the motor, which should have enough power to operate the process effectively.
There are plenty of considerations to keep in mind when choosing an ice-crushing blender, so your choice will depend on your budget and preferences, as well as whether it fulfills the criteria above.