Splendid blenders for icy drinks

August 26, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Nothing beats the heat like a frozen drink or fruit smoothie. That is, if you've got the right blender. Consumer Reports just tested 65 blenders, so listen up.

A good blender is great to have. It can do a ton of things, but making smooth, icy drinks is definitely the toughest. Consumer Reports tested pro-style blenders, such as the $400 Vitamix and the $300 L'Equip, as well as less-expensive blenders from KitchenAid and Ninja Master Prep Professional.

Ice crushing is one measure of performance. Consumer Reports also uses ice to test durability. Testers found a serious problem with the Calphalon blender. During durability tests, a piece of the blade broke off. Can you imagine "drinking" the piece of blade that broke off, or worse yet, swallowing it?

Consumer Reports tested two additional Calphalon blenders, and the blade broke every time. Therefore, Consumer Reports has judged the Calphalon XL 9 Speed 1832449 blender a Don't Buy: Safety Risk.

Another tough test: whipping up piña coladas. Some of the blenders left behind chunks of ice. But others did a much better job. The $400 Vitamix aced the tests, but so did the Ninja Master Prep Professional QB1004 for just $60. And the Ninja comes with smaller chopping and processing bowls, too.

Consumer Reports doesn't know of any injuries from the Calphalon blender, however it has notified the Consumer Product Safety Commission, as well as the manufacturer. The manufacturer said it would thoroughly investigate the matter. If you own the Calphalon blender, Consumer Reports recommends you stop using it and call the manufacturer at 1-800-809-7267.