We’ll give you an overview of what to look for and tell you everything you need to know about the best blender specs, functions and selling points. This way you can make an informed decision that you will never regret!
What you need to know when you buy a blender:
1. Blender Power
WattsMost domestic blenders have between 200 and 800 Watts, however, high-performance blenders have much more. You can see and taste the difference – the high power is noticeable in the blending results. For instance, our powerhouse Optimum 9200A High-Speed Vortex Blender boosts an incredible 2,611 Watt motor that can blend crunchy vegetables and hard fruit to a velvety consistency in around 30 seconds. It’s like the Ferrari of blenders!
RPM (rotations per minute)The number of rotations per minute also influences the blender’s power. However, you need to know that this number is mostly a manufacturer specification and it usually can be reached only in laboratory conditions (think geek guys in white robes). These are what the engineers call “theoretical rotations per minute”, meaning the number of rotations per minute reached when the blender functions at idle speed. A much more decisive factor is the rotations per minute under load and the maximum time the blender can blend. So how many rpm do you need to blend your favorite smoothie? Well, it depends on the ingredients. Fruit and vegetable smoothies are not a challenge and can usually be done relatively easily with most domestic blenders, even low-priced ones. More challenging are the green smoothies you want to make using kale, spinach or mangold when the target is to break the cellular walls of the plant cells. The highest nutrient value is concentrated in these cells, so these are exactly the compounds we want to break and blend. Some engineers claim the cellular walls of the plant cells can be broken with a blender speed of 25,000 rpm. This could easily be achieved with all the appliances in the Optimum blender range: for instance, the above-mentioned Optimum 9200A High-Speed Vortex Blender reaches 48,000 rotations per minute, making Green Smoothies a piece of kale. I mean cake.
BladesOk, so we agree that high engine power and many rotations per minute are great specs for blenders when it comes to high performance. But you always need to keep in mind the quality of the blades. Perfect results can be achieved only if the blades are arranged properly, if they are made from high-end materials and if the power transmission from the motor to the blades is flawless.
Contrary to popular belief, the blades don’t have to be sharp in a professional blender. Sharp blades are ripping and slicing nutrients and that can destroy the enzymes in the food – you don’t want that. Cheap blender brands need to make their blades sharp as their motors are very weak. On the other hand, Optimum’s high-end blades are just breaking and mixing the ingredients, thus preserving enzymes in food and assuring maximum intake of nutrients. So the power is not really in the sharpness of the blades, but in the power of the motor, its speed, and the way the blades are positioned. As you can plainly see, a high-performance blender is a complex kitchen appliance – and this is exactly why it is more expensive than a usual blender.
2. Blender JugAfter focusing on technical specs and numbers, you also need to keep in mind the blender container.
MaterialYour blender jug should be very easy to clean and not take the taste or the color of the food you’re blending (try mixing beets in your morning smoothie and you will see what we mean here). You will sometimes find blender containers made from hardened glass, like the WMF Kult Pro. However, most professional brands are avoiding this and going for the often-used plastic Tritan (Triphenylmethan). The reason glass is more and more avoided these days is simple: glass weighs significantly more and is not easy to handle; moreover, it has a high risk of breaking - for example when accidentally a metal spoon is mixed in. Glass is also more sensitive to high temperatures, so making nut butter and heating soups would be out of the question. There’s more to being healthy than eating clean and exercising plenty. You would also want to make sure that your chosen healthy ingredients will not become potentially dangerous for you during the cooking process. High-quality blender brands are aware of this and started to act accordingly: Vitamix, Optimum Omniblend or Bianco are offering their high-end products with “BPA-free” jugs, so no trace of BPA would end up in your morning glass of healthy smoothie or juice.
Bisphenol A (or BPA, on short) is a chemical compound with an important role in the production of plastic and resin. It has been proven that, in minor quantities, BPA can merge into food and drinks, if these are stored in containers made with Bisphenol A components. The actual side effects, in this case, are not adequately proven, as it often happens with many controversial chemical substances. Some experts have looked into a connection between BPA exposure and many conditions and, according to certain studies, exposure to BPA, even at low and short-term doses, is linked to a number of health problems. We’ve dedicated a whole article to this and you can read more about BPA and BPA-free products here. Optimum’s team of engineers is devoted to making their high-end blender range as safe as possible for the public. Our brand is determined to always play it safe and respect our clients’ healthy lifestyle. That is why all the blenders in the exclusive Optimum blender range come with a top-of-the-line UL, CE and FDA-approved Eastman Copolyester BPA-Free jug. So you could sit back, relax and focus on your awesome ingredients, rather than on chemical compounds.
VolumeAlways keep in mind the capacity of the blending container. It is shown in liters and can go from 0,25 L for personal blenders, to high filling quantities of 2 L. The last one is mostly used in professional kitchens but also when you want to make smoothies for your whole family, nut butter or cake batters. However, you need to consider that bigger is not necessarily better and keep in mind your family or business needs. If your blender container is too big, you would need to fill it properly with ingredients, or the blender blades will not reach them. Therefore, if you want to blend for yourself or for two persons, you can use a smaller container – you can try the Optimum NutriForce Extractor, which has both a 450L and a 1L jug. However, if you have a bigger family (4-6 members) or if you plan on making spreads, batters and butter for some guests, a 2L container would be perfect – you can try the 2L Eastman Copolyester BPA-Free jug that comes with the Optimum G2.1 Platinum Series.
3. Operation and controlSome blenders offer manual speed controls, while some boost pre-programmed controls. Some machines, mostly high performance blenders, combine them. It is not possible to say which option is better, as it depends on your preference. Pre-programmed options have the advantage of doing all the work alone, thus saving you time. You can easily make smoothies, hot soups, crush ice, grind nuts and many more with just one press of a button. However, the manual control allows you to be flexible in blending time and strength, depending on your used ingredients.
You can also check your blender’s controls: it can have knobs, switches, or buttons. Some adore the retro knobs of our Optimum 9400, while most tech-geeks love the touchscreen buttons of the Optimum G2.1: you can press the menu option to select one of the six automatic, one-push button programs, all of which are set to the exact parameters required. More time for you, fewer headaches in the kitchen.
4. Blender cleaning and handlingAfter blending, there’s ALWAYS cleaning. Consider you will use the blender for Smoothies every day and think about how much time the cleaning will take. If this takes too long, it is disturbing. So we advise you to read carefully the information regarding the blender clean-up and choose a brand that makes cleaning a breeze. Most of the blenders can clean themselves, such as our Optimum range of blenders. It’s simple: just fill around 2/3 of the jug with warm water, add a drop of detergent and blend for around 30 seconds. Then pour the content out and rinse thoroughly. Turn upside down, let it air dry and you’re done! Easy as 1-2-3!
5. Blender SafetySafety is paramount, so please make sure your new blender has:
- A solid stand.
- An overheat protection.
- An overload protection.
6. Blender priceAn old saying says “You pay for quality, and quality stands the test of time”. This will generally be true when it comes to your blender purchase as well. A higher cost will automatically get you a more powerful blender, high-quality, extended warrantee and better materials. So save your pennies and invest in a good, professional appliance: a top-shelf blender lasts a lifetime. But you have to be careful: sometimes a high price means you are paying a lot for the known brand, and not necessarily for the great specs.
Because there are so many blenders with different price tags, we want to give you a quick overview of the price ranges:
- The cheap blenders: you will find a wide selection of smoothie-blenders under 50 Euro.
- The beginner machines: perfect for beginners who want to discover the exciting Smoothie-World – blenders for up to 125 Euro.
- The middle class: solid blend results and a good quality – The middle class of Smoothie-blenders for up to 200 Euro.
- The professional blenders: first-class blend results, highest quality and a long lifetime – Professional blenders which start at 300 Euro.
7. MiscellaneousWhen you are buying a blender, especially an expensive powerhouse, you need to understand you are making an investment in your future, your health and your well-being. So you also need to consider the manufacturer's description, experience reports and tests, reviews and articles around the Internet. There are also a few other criteria for purchasing a blender and, although they might seem less important than the above mentioned facts, they could make or break your blender experience:
- Make sure your blender has a quality lid with a cap – perfect for using a tamper tool.
- Consider the loudness of your blender.
- For instance, Optimum’s brand new G2.3 Platinum Series blender is backed by the first-of-its-kind brushless motor technology, the same currently used to power hybrid cars, which uses a Direct Current Brushless Motor. This is why the G2.3 delivers on an exceptional noise reduction, boosting 75db compared to the usual 88-100db you will meet in most high speed vortex blenders. We wrote an article about blender loudness which you can find here
- Manufacturer warranty. Optimum’s blenders have a 5-year domestic warranty that can easily be extended up to 10 years.
- Easy cleaning.
- Short delivery time.
- Low shipping costs.
The whole package.To sum it up, when you buy a blender you need to keep in mind all the aspects discussed above. Of course, all competitors will boost their Watt value and their RPMs, to demonstrate that their machine is the most powerful one out there. Don’t get fooled by this! The perfect interplay of the individual components should be the biggest deciding factor.
As you now know, blenders can range from expensive high-end vortex machines to moderately priced units that will more than likely get the job done. But the best ones are totally worth their price tag.