You will be surprised how many different operations a blender can perform: from cutting vegetables for a salad to preparing a smoothie or pureed soup. They are of different types, types, with different prices and configurations. For the most part, the choice depends on what tasks you plan to perform with the blender, for someone the functionality of a desktop blender is enough, and someone needs the entire set of nozzles of the manual model. We will talk about how to choose a blender later.
Types of blenders
There are two main types of blenders: immersion and stationary. Although both are blenders, and they are used to grind various products, each has its own purpose and features. To know which blender to choose, let’s look at the device, capabilities, advantages and disadvantages of each type. That way it will be easier to decide.
To choose a blender, you need to decide which one you need: immersion (handheld) or stationary (tabletop)
An immersion blender is a small device in size and weight, which must be held in the hand during operation. Hence its second name – “manual”. That is, while you are using the device, you cannot do anything else. And this is its main drawback. Its advantages are as follows:
- Ability to process both small and large volumes of products. They can be crushed both in a specially designed glass and in any other dish with high sides – pans, large mugs, bowls, etc.
- Attachments that expand functionality so much that an immersion blender can replace most of the functions of an inexpensive food processor.
In general, an immersion blender is useful in the kitchen, as it performs many operations in addition to grinding products. The full list depends on the configuration. But the more nozzles, the more expensive the unit will be.
A stationary blender consists of a body that stands still on the table and a removable bowl with knives. The bowl is filled with products that are crushed, after bringing the mass to the desired state, it is transferred to the desired dish. Advantages of a stationary blender:
- It does not need your presence during operation. Turned on, but you can be free.
- Low price.
Disadvantages of this type of chopper for products are also enough.
- The first is that this device occupies a certain place on the table. If the kitchen is small, this can be a problem.
- The device works only with the included bowl. You cannot grind anything in another container. If the bowl breaks, you will have to buy a new unit, as it is difficult to buy separately.
- Small volumes cannot be crushed. Not the same design.
- There are no additional options.
A table blender is good if you often need to grind large amounts of food. Usually, such models are chosen by raw foodists or those who like to prepare cocktails. If you are deciding which blender to choose for this purpose, look among stationary models.
A fitness blender is a type of stationary. It differs in that it has, as a rule, a small capacity and power (300-400 W), equipped with several glasses/jars. The whole feature of this type of blender is that the lids are screwed onto the glasses. They are of two types: with knives and sealed (sometimes with a spout for more convenient drinking).
The fitness blender is ideal for preparing smoothies and juices with pulp.
All the ingredients of the drink, including liquid components, are placed in a glass, closed with a lid with knives, installed on the body (usually you need to turn it a little to fix it). The unit is turned on, grinds the components to a homogeneous state. The glass is removed, the lid is turned upside down. The lid with the knives is unscrewed, and instead of it, a sealed lid with a spout or a valve is screwed on – so that it is possible to drink a smoothie or a cocktail while driving.
General selection criteria
Since the structure and purpose of different types of blenders are different, most of the selection criteria do not coincide. But there are some points that are the same. Let’s talk about them first.
Having decided which blender is better to choose – manual or table – pay attention to technical points and features.
Power and number of speeds
When choosing a blender model, first of all, pay attention to the power of the engine (motor) and the number of speeds. The more powerful the engine, the harder the product can be crushed by the unit. An exemplary gradation of capacities for different capabilities is as follows:
- 200-500 W. Can chop vegetables, fruits, whip cream.
- 600-900 W. Ground nuts, ice, frozen berries.
- 1000 W and above can knead dough, some models chop raw meat.
The maximum speed or power of the motor determines what products the blender can work with.
It is also advisable to choose a blender with the ability to switch speeds. The more gradations, the more precisely you can choose the desired mode. Ideally, the adjustment is smooth. These are probably general characteristics. Then there are the differences.
Type of management
Blender control can be mechanical or electronic. Models with mechanical control cost less than with electronic control. Functionally, they do not differ. The advantage of the electronic one is the ability to set the speed more accurately. On the other hand, in addition to the advantage in price, mechanics have less demands on power quality. In addition, repairs are simpler and cheaper.
Mechanical control is less expensive and more reliable.
In general, if you are looking for a workhorse and not an image device, choose a blender with mechanical control. They are no worse than models with electronic control, but cheaper and more reliable.
Warranty and service center availability
When choosing a power tool and any household appliance, you should pay attention not to the warranty period. Not for the period of operation, but specifically for warranty obligations. The longer this term, the better. If the company gives a warranty for its product for three years, it is sure that the device will work without breakdowns during this period.
On the other hand, if there are no warranty workshops or authorized centers in your region, then the warranty may not be useful, since there will be no one to carry it out. So this is also an important point.
How to choose a hand blender: what to pay attention to
An immersion blender is a mobile and multifunctional thing. Yes, a good model costs a lot, but there are many possibilities of such kitchen appliances. They can make soups, purees, pastes, juices, cut onions, carrots, greens, crush ice, etc. Manual models are indispensable when preparing children’s meals: they can grind very small portions of products of different densities to a homogeneous state. Choosing a good immersion blender is not so easy: there are many nuances.
The number of nozzles in different models is different. Many manufacturers complete the same model with a different number of nozzles. The more, the more functions the unit can perform. There are the following accessories for a hand blender:
- Measuring glass. Available in most configurations. They can not only measure products. You can grind them in it.
- Whisk for whipping. A very useful thing for whipping cream, preparing sauces, etc. Gets the job done faster than most mixers.
- Grinder or chopper. Capacity for 300-500 ml volume with a lid and a separate knife. It can be used for grinding products of a small volume. It is convenient because it has a lid, thanks to which the contents do not splash.
- Dicing capacity. Useful for cutting salads.
- Nozzle for colic ice.
- Disc for cutting slices.
- For the dough.
- Vacuum cleaner. For pumping air from special containers.
When choosing models with different nozzles, pay attention to the volume of containers. This is true for the measuring cup, chopper, and dough/dicing container. For a family of three or more people, it is advisable to find models with larger capacities. Rather, small containers are convenient for one or two people.
Complete equipment is rare. There are usually three or four attachments: a glass, a grinder/shredder, a whisk, and a puree attachment. If there are more lotions, such models are called a blender-combine. Because according to its functionality, it replaces this unit.
Material: metal or plastic
For our home, we want to choose a blender that will work for a long time and without problems. Therefore, whenever possible, we try to buy products from more reliable materials. An immersion blender consists of a body and various attachments that are attached to it.
The body of this device is usually made of plastic, but you can also find metal or with metal inserts. In this case, the metal performs only a decorative function and there is no point in overpaying for it. It is better when choosing a hand blender to pay attention to the material of the main chopping nozzle (a long nozzle with a bell at the end, in which the knife is hidden). It is this thing that all hand blenders are equipped with, and it is it that is used most often. So, there are models with plastic and metal nozzles. Plastic ones are cheaper, but metal ones are more reliable. Although the leg in this nozzle does not carry a special mechanical load, it can be used to grind hot products, which you cannot do with plastic.
If you want to choose a blender that grinds products well and without problems, pay attention to the shape and sharpening of the knives on the main nozzle and chopper. The shape of the knives themselves is different from each manufacturer. Some have straight blades, some have curved ones. There are also small additional knives bent vertically downwards.
The shape itself is, of course, important, but not as important as sharpening the edges of the blades. With sharpened blades, even not very powerful immersion blenders can grind solid products better than more powerful ones with dull blades. Knives, which are placed in the bowl of the chopper, must also be sharpened, and their plastic case must be massive, one-piece and reliable.
Operating modes and protection
Turbo mode is a forced mode of operation at an increased speed of rotation. It is necessary if you need to grind harder products. Regardless of which position the speed switch is in, when turbo mode is turned on, this speed increases significantly. But it is not recommended to use the blender in this mode for a long time: it breaks down faster.
The button to turn on the “Turbo” mode is usually located on the body, exactly where the fingers are located. To work at high speed, press and hold the button.
Choosing a stationary (table) blender
It is a little easier to choose a blender that is stationary on the table. It does not have so many additional nozzles, although it has its own nuances.
Bowl: volume and material
The bowl of a desktop blender has a volume from 500 ml to 2 liters. When choosing the volume, remember that the actual capacity is smaller by 200-300 ml: there should be free space to the edges of the container. Most of the bowls come with a lid that prevents the contents from splashing when grinding the products. It is convenient if the lid has a hole with its own lid, into which you can add some products during operation. Without this option, it is necessary to stop the unit, remove the lid, and put the products. In general, a small nuance, but an important one.
The bowl can be made of plastic or glass. Glass is fragile, but does not absorb odors and can be washed by any means. Although high-quality plastic is no worse in terms of its consumer qualities, it is much cheaper and more resistant to mechanical loads. In general, it is up to you to decide what is more important.
When choosing a table-type blender, pay attention to the fact that the upper part of the bowl is wide enough. So it is more convenient to load products, otherwise they will have to be chopped. On the other hand, with a very wide neck, the “useful” volume of the bowl is significantly reduced. So the best option is the medium size.
The body of stationary blenders has small dimensions. It can be made of plastic, there are models with metal inserts. Metal does not carry any useful functionality. It only serves to improve the appearance.
When choosing, pay attention that the legs have suction cups. Such models do not jump during operation, they even almost do not tremble. This is an important aspect that affects usability. Also, those models with a base wider than the jug are more stable. With such a case, there is less chance of turning the device over with an awkward movement.
In stationary blenders, the motor is in the body and the blades are in the pitcher/container/bowl. To transfer the torque from the engine to the knives, there is a special coupling with shaped slots on the body. It is usually made of plastic. But not because money is a pity, but because this plastic coupling is still a fuse against overloads. If there is something too hard in the bowl (a spoon, for example) or there are simply too many hard and viscous products, when you try to turn the knives, the clutch will break. The engine will run, but the blades will not rotate. The clutch will have to be changed (they can be found and bought for little money). Instead, the motor will be counted as working. So, if you plan to do the repair yourself, make sure that this coupling is easily accessible.
Desktop stationary blenders do not have such a variety of attachments as hand blenders. But they also have a certain variety. There can be such variable capacities as:
- Mill A small bowl with powerful knives for chopping harder products.
- Shredder. It differs in that the knives are higher, the result is not mashed potatoes, but small pieces of products.
- Smoothie bottles. They differ in shape from ordinary bowls — smoothie bottles are long and narrow, have lids that are screwed on separately, and are worn instead of nozzles with knives. These are desktop mixers with the function of making smoothies or juices with pulp.
- A nozzle with a tap for draining liquid. Such capacity is rare.
If we talk about the faucet for draining, then it can be not only in the container, but also in the body. Different manufacturers have different solutions. Still, it’s handy if you often make large quantities of cocktails, smoothies, or juices.