Judith is a fairy in the world of writing: she manages to turn any topic (far not only a kitchen-related) into an entertaining text that is so easy and educating to read. Fond of gardening, reading, and cooking, of course.
Emily has over 10 years of professional experience using, testing and comparing kitchen appliances. Her knowledge helps to easily and naturally solve everyday problems. She is also the owner of the lifestyle blog emilyreviews.com
Last updated: September 24, 2021
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If you are looking for a blender then the chances are you’ll want something that can handle ice. A huge amount of the functionality that we tend to need from our blenders involves crushing ice, so we’ve reviewed the best ice blenders and recommended models that can handle making a smoothie, cocktail, mocktail or other drink involving ice.
We’ve reviewed 23 of the best products on the market before settling on the top 5 you can see in this article. The Oster Reverse Crush Counterforms Blender has been named as our editor’s choice as it has 7 different modes, can handle ice with ease and is one of the best blenders for crushing ice. The glass jar is exceptionally well-made and can last for years, too. It is made with a safe Boroclass design that means that it won’t shatter and you can rest assured that it is suitable for use with whatever you wish to blend! We’ve also gathered four more options that have slightly different features, and these can help if you have slightly different needs.
We’ve used a set of criteria to work out the best options including cup size and capacity, the overall size and the power and speeds of the blenders. We’ve also looked at the warranties on offer to protect your purchase over time. We’ve presented the information as a simple overview table, five full ice blender reviews and then a buying guide to discuss the features for working out your own personal priorities for an ice blender for your home.
"This model offers incredible 14 different speeds so you can choose exactly what you need to get your iced drink blended to the perfect capacity. And the blend capacity – you can use it 8,000 times before the motor will start to give up."
"The reason this is so good for use with ice is the fact that it has the “total crushing technology”. This has been designed for all sorts of food processing and can work with even hard foods like nuts and vegetables, so ice is a breeze."
"This model features the clever blending system which allows you to use this with ice and iced fruit with ease. It has an off-center design which does a good job of blending with very little power required."
The Oster Reverse Crush Counterforms Blender is the top option on our list, it has all the features you will probably be looking for and can also be a very good option for a kitchen due to the fact that it can be used for a lot of other kitchen uses like pulsing, making sauces and more. On top of this, it is a great option for making smoothies and cold drinks.
The clever six point blade means that it gives a thorough crushing or pulsing function no matter what you put into the blender, and can crush ice with ease.
The DURALAST All-Metal Drive Limited Warranty means the blades have a warranty of up to 10 years.
The 6-cup capacity means you can make drinks for everyone, too, or make in a batch and keep them cold in the fridge.
There are six different functions that alter the way this functions depending on what you are making. Depending on which type of function you want to use, the blades will function differently. The Boroclass glass jar gives safe usage and a high build-quality. You pay a little bit more for these extra functions so it is not the cheapest option, but the superb options and functions mean it is worth it if you can spare the money and plan to use your blender a lot.
What makes it stand out?
7 different functions to choose between.
Can be used in reverse mode for thorough blending.
The Hamilton Beach Wave Crusher Blender is made for ice, meaning it is one of the best choices on the market. It’s also been named as the value pick due to the fact that it is very reasonable in terms of price.
There are an incredible 14 different speeds so you can choose exactly what you need to get your iced drink blended to the perfect capacity. They’ve also thought about the fact that drinks are being made! There’s a drip-free serving system to avoid you from spilling.
It comes with a three year warranty and the manufacturers have tested the blend capacity – you can use it 8,000 times before the motor will start to give up! That’s a lot of blending.
The 40 oz capacity is plenty for most people, and it is also dishwasher safe, so you can just put the dishwasher when you’ve finished and it will be clean in no time. Obviously this doesn’t apply to the whole device as it has electronics!
The design is heat resistant so you can use it with either hot or cold drinks. For instance, put some boiling coffee in and use ice to turn it into an iced coffee.
The design is pretty simple, and we’ve included it mainly because of the fact it has an incredible capacity for crushing ice into a smoothie, for instance.
Why did it make our list?
Designed for ice. Crushes and blends ice with ease.
The Ninja NJ600 is a great option with commercial grade design. It uses a lot of power and can blend pretty much anything you want! The Ninja brand is relatively new but has developed a big reputation for making loads of healthy smoothies.
On top of all this, it has a dishwasher clean option which can make the whole clean up operation afterwards show no wear and tear.
The reason this is so good for use with ice is the fact that it has the “total crushing technology”. This has been designed for all sorts of food processing and can work with even hard foods like nuts and vegetables, so ice is a breeze. This is great for making smoothies, and can handle extreme cold and warm temperatures.
The manufacturers claim that this turns “solid ice cubes into powdery snow in seconds”. There is also a pulse mode which can help with other kitchen needs and be an assistant when you are cooking.
This is one of the bigger options. 72 oz is a great size for making drinks out of ice on mass or for entertaining a group. The container itself can go in the dishwasher.
Why are we impressed?
Large 72 oz capacity.
Crushes even hard ice with ease.
The patented blade system makes it easy to create drinks and smoothies.
What negatives must you be aware of?
Some food particles can get stuck in the bottom of this.
If you are looking for an amazing commercial-grade option that can go in a commercial kitchen, this could be a good option. The blending capacity is not as big as some of the others, but this doesn’t matter too much as in a commercial setting you will probably be making one drink at a time.
There are a number of settings and pre-programmed cycles including one for smoothies. There is even a soup option, you can put your veg and other ingredients in and prepare soup quickly and easily.
The BPA-free four-sided jar has a 75 oz capacity but only a 32 ounce blending capacity (wet or dry), so be sure not to overfill the blender.
There’s an awful lot to like about the build-quality and if you treat it right then this is a model that can last you decades. The commercial grade design is backed up by an 8-year limited warranty so that you are protected in your purchase.
The blades are a strength of this commercial blender, they feature stainless-steel forged blades that come with wings in order to chop and blend with ease. They’re built to last so you shouldn’t have to replace them any time soon. The price is pretty hefty, so you may not want this for a home kitchen, but commercial kitchens and juice bars find the Blendtec very useful.
Why did it make our list?
Can be used to make soup.
Crushes hard ice with ease.
6 different settings and a 10-speed manual control. Use it however you find most useful.
What is not ideal about it?
Very expensive compared to a lot of other options on the market.
The Comfee Smoothie Blender is a great option if you want the best blenders for smoothies with ice but you don’t want to spend a fortune. It doesn’t have the high-capacity of some of the others and may be a little bit lacking in power, but the clever blending system allows you to use this with ice and iced fruit with ease. It has an off-center design which does a good job of blending with very little power required.
It’s a little bit more basic than some of the other choices, but three speeds is enough for many people, especially if you are just looking to do some quick and easy blending and prepare some smoothies for your family. The features and functions are designed specifically for ice, with Pulse, Ice Crush, Smoothie options to choose between. Pulse can be useful for cooking needs, too. The boro glass jar and BPA components are safe to use with food and drink.
It’s also easy to clean this model and you can put both the blades and the container itself into the dishwasher to wash it out simply and easily.
Though it’s not quite as elite in its features as some of the other choices we’ve reviewed, this is one of the best blenders for ice and frozen fruit if you are looking to save some money. The value can’t be argued with.
What are our favorite features?
Excellent value for money.
Safe for use with food and drink.
Quick and easy to make up to 48 oz of smoothie.
One year warranty
What could be better?
Not as fast as some of the other options.
Doesn’t have as many modes as some elite blenders.
Things to Consider
In the buying guide section we’re looking more into the best ice blenders for smoothies and other drinks. Reading the reviews is one thing but working out which is the best ice crusher blender for you is a little bit more complex than just looking at a few reviews. You need to fully understand the features, what they mean and how you can choose the right model for your own unique requirements and budget. You shouldn’t splash hundreds of dollars on a pricey model if you are just going to occasionally make a drink with it, once every week or two. It could be a waste of money if you don’t need it for a commercial kitchen or to run a juice bar, for example.
Features to consider while buying the best ice blender
The following features are those that need to be thought about when you are choosing the ice blender for you! We’ve used these features when making our reviews. They are the main criteria for assessing blenders. Most of the terms are pretty self-explanatory but some may need to be considered in more detail. You might need to consider the things mentioned below before you buy.
How big is the blender? We’re not talking about the capacity here but the actual size of the unit overall. If you are working with limited space in your kitchen, every new appliance you introduce takes up some of your valuable kitchen counter space and your storage space. Naturally, you will need to sacrifice some space if you are looking to buy a blender, but some are much more compact than others, as for example the Comfee blender. You can even find models that are made specifically to just make one small drink at a time. These may be better for space.
In a commercial setting you might have more room for your blender. This is obviously more of an issue for some people than it is for others. If you’re just using your blender at home, think about the size of your family and how much you will want to prepare at any one time.
How much power does it take to run the blender?
This is measured in Wattage and has a big impact on the speed of the blender and how well it can function, especially if it is using large amounts of ingredients and making big batches of smoothies.
A smoothie can function perfectly well with a lower wattage, for instance, if you look at the Comfee Smoothie Blender, it does a good job in spite of only having 500W of power. It can blend crushed ice to a decent standard up 48 Oz to create smoothies and other drinks.
A commercial option such as Blendtec is likely to be over 1000W. The power also has an impact on how much electricity is used. So you should definitely consider this. However, most blenders are only used for short periods of time so they’re hardly the most expensive to run.
This depends on the motor, combined with the power of the ice blender. The higher speed options often provide a great option for crushing even hard, compacted ice. Speed is not the only thing that plays a part, but it is certainly important.
This is not so much about how quickly it operates (though high-speed motors do make drinks quicker) but the end result. A smoothie which has been made with quick blades will often be…well, more smooth!
It’s great to get your smoothie or other iced drink more quickly, but ultimately it is better to ensure you have the right drink in the end rather than just a quick and easy blend. Fast blades chop thoroughly.
As well as having the option for fast blending, you should also look for blenders that have multiple speed options, as it is with the Hamilton Beach model, which offers 14 speeds options. You may need to set this manually. For some uses you may not want it to run as quickly as others. Most of the blenders out there have pre-programmed settings, in some cases you can simply tell it you are preparing a smoothie with ice and it will work perfectly, with a program that has been designed for making this type of drink.
How much of the drink can you make? This is a vital feature to think about, if you are making drinks for your whole family then you probably want something that can make 40 Oz or more. The Hamilton Beach Wave Crusher Blender is a good example of a product that can be used to make a fair amount for a family, it isn’t huge in size, but 40 oz is plenty for most people. You can even make a batch and bottle some in the fridge.
In a commercial setting, a larger ice blender may be preferred if you are making big batches, but if you run a juice bar or a smoothie bar, for instance, you will probably have to make the drinks individually anyway, meaning there’s no real benefit to having a huge blender. A fast one is important, though!
All of the materials used to make your blender should be BPA free and able to be used with food and drink. This should be a standard for all food and drink products and all of the top blenders we’ve recommended are perfectly safe with all kinds of different foods.
Other materials can set a blender apart as one of the very best. For instance, you can see that many of the very best options, as for example Oster Reverse Crush Counterforms Blender, have boro glass, this means that you can use it with extreme temperatures. Hot and cold temperatures don’t make this material shatter or warp, so it is particularly good for ice, or things like making an iced coffee, where the temperatures may dip suddenly. Ordinary glass and plastics can get damaged by this type of temperature change, but boro glass is a good way to ensure this doesn’t happen.
If you’re using a blender at home, then you might need to find a model that is particularly good at staying quiet. It might not be the main feature to look into, and some people won’t care too much, if it is just being used for a minute or two every day. However, if you don’t want to wake up the family before making your 6am smoothie then you might need a particularly quiet model. This comes from a quality motor and effective blades that prevent noisy crushing. If ice gets stuck, it can make a lot of noise.
The quality of the blades is vital, especially if you plan to use your blender a lot, or in commercial settings. If you want to get a high-quality blender then pay close attention to what the blades are made out of.
As well as being good-quality, the blades are made with wings, one of the ways they can ensure more thorough crushing of the ice. Poor quality blades are not really an option if you’re going to put frozen ingredients into your blender as they will break very quickly. A blender that is fine for a milkshake with no ice could really struggle if you start to put ice in it.
As with all electronics you buy for your kitchen, it is a good idea to find something with as long as possible on the warranty. Don’t just purchase something that doesn’t give you any form of protection in this way, especially due to the fact that most blenders, commercial and home options, come with at least a one year warranty, or in case of Hamilton Beach and Blendtec models with even 3 and 8 year respectively, to ensure you won’t end up unprotected if it breaks quickly after buying.
Naturally, as all the blenders try to outdo each other, some are adding different features. Some include a heating option to allow you to make soup, some include multiple cooking modes so you can use it for things like pulses or even for chopping vegetables. On top of this, pay attention to the washing capabilities, as some models have a self-cleaning design and others are able to just be put into the dishwasher when it is time to clean.
Blender maintenance tips
It’s important to keep your blender working at full capacity. You’ve probably spent a fair amount of money buying the blender and you don’t want it to break soon after buying, the chances of this happening are much higher if you don’t perform any sort of maintenance.
Naturally, the main thing that you should consider is cleaning. It’s vital that you always keep your blender clean, and wash it between uses. Obviously, this is much easier if you are able to just put it in the dishwasher, but some people may have to go through some manual washing up! It depends on the style. Be sure to perform a deep clean from time to time, even if dishwasher safe, sometimes, the dishwasher may not properly get the blades clean, and things can get stuck.
You can sharpen or replace the blades from time to time, too. This means that you can potentially extend the lifespan, as you don’t need to buy a new blender every time it stops functioning as you would hope. New blades can totally replenish the ability of your blades to chop and crush ice. Most manufacturers will be happy to direct you to a method you can use to replace the blade, and there is an aftermarket for these blades on Amazon or elsewhere online.
Even if your product is still under warranty, you should think about replacing the blades from time to time.
Most of the electronics behind a blender are pretty simple, and you shouldn’t need to perform too much in the way of maintenance.
Another way to make sure you don’t need to perform unplanned maintenance is to make sure you are using the correct settings for what you want to blend. This means you won’t be trying to blend in a way that doesn’t suit the ingredients you are putting in, something that could even damage the blender if you aren’t careful.
This basically comes down to the quality of the blades and the functions of the blender. Some are made to be good enough to crush ice whereas others will not be able to handle it. Some blenders are just designed for things like milkshakes that take very little blending power. If you want something that can handle ice, check the description to see if this function is on offer. If not, it’s not a good idea to try and blend ice in the blender! It needs to be specifically made with this functionality in mind.
Just like any other type of blade, it will dull over time and it could be a good idea to sharpen the blade on your ice blender. You can do this on a sharpening stone just like the ones you might use to make your kitchen knives feel more effective and “renew” them. Every few months should be enough, even if you are regularly using your blender. Remember that this is something to do with care and not while the blades are still attached. If you would rather, you can just buy new blades.
For commercial use there are a few features that you might look to prioritize over the others, for instance, you may need to look at the capacity as you could be making huge amounts of smoothie or other drinks at any one time. If you are looking to buy a blender that can be used in a commercial kitchen, you can also look into whether the cleaning is difficult, as you won’t want to spend half of the working day getting your blender properly clean.
The Oster Reverse Crush Counterforms Blender has been named as the best option overall with a rating of 9.9. The blender itself has 7 Speeds + Pulse settings so it can prove a very useful household addition, helping with both cooking and with creating smoothies and milkshakes along with other food and drink. It’s reliable, and the blades are backed up with a long warranty should anything go wrong.
The Hamilton Beach Wave Crusher Blender is another great option as it has been specifically designed for use with ice and can easily crush and blend ice for cold smoothies or cocktails. We’ve rated it 9.7/10, second on our list of the best ice blenders. We particularly like the fact that this has an incredible 14 different speeds to choose between.
The Ninja NJ600 is next on our list with a rating of 9.5, it is incredibly well-designed and hard-wearing and has six different pre-programmed settings to choose between. On top of this it has many different speeds you can manually set. The ninja total crushing capacity means it can handle hard items like vegetables, frozen fruit and even ice cubes. It has a large capacity and pulse mode, making it helpful for use in the kitchen for cooking along with making drinks such as smoothies, milkshakes, cocktails and more.