Blades Of Glory: We Tested The Best Blenders On The Market And Found A Winner
For men who pride themselves on nailing their nutrition plan with a menu more diverse than the boring merry-go-round of chicken, broccoli and sweet potato, kitchen gadgets have become the boy’s toy of choice.
Investing in the best counter-top tech will not only help you conquer cleaneating tedium, but elicit jealous stares from colleagues eyeing up your al desko lunches.
However, when it comes to selecting the best meal-prep mixologist, the quality of goods on offer varies greatly.
When the loudest voices come from daytime shopping channels or the over-enthusiastic clerk at the local supermarket, it’s hard to know which source to trust.
To help you in your endeavours, we enlisted the nutritional nerds at the Men’s Health Lab to put our pick of the five best blenders through their paces.
Motors were revved, digits damn near lopped off, and innumerable perfectly blended protein shakes consumed – all in the name of science, of course.
Related: How To Make Protein Ice-Cream
We awarded the Nutri Ninja the overall winner, but we’ll leave it to you to pour over the results:
The Cutting Edge: VITAMAX PRO500 BLENDER
R18 000, yuppiechef.com
Ease of use: 4/5
For those looking to assert their gastro cred we present this throaty blender, which comes with multiple blade sets as well as soup and smoothie settings, to take the guesswork out of your meal prep. However, a tool from Vitamix doesn’t come cheap.
‘Robust’ is the most apt word for this behemoth. The 1 200w motor will pulp any fruit foolish enough to stand in its way, affording you plenty of choice when selecting your vitamin source. If the Ninja system is a high-performance car, think of the Pro500 as a tank. But it also carries the price tag of a tank. Affordable – if you're cashing in a military contract.
Star Performer: NUTRI NINJA COMPLETE SYSTEM
THE MH WINNER
R5 500, ninjablenders.co.za
Ease of use: 4/5
When a product has ‘ninja’ in its moniker, a prompt lowering of expectations is usually in order. Not so here. With three pulse options, four programmes to slice your scran and a two-litre capacity, it’ll make short, sharp work of anything you chuck in it.
The Ninja handled a range of ingredients adeptly, and the controls are easy to operate (for those wont to bin the instructions). However, it’s something of a double-edged sword: the motor is brutal, but it’s loud. You can always buy off the neighbours with kale smoothies, right?
The Flash: NUTRIBULLET PRO 900 SERIES
Ease of use: 5/5
The Nutribullet was created with one simple aim: getting that damn smoothie from concept to consumption as quickly as possible. It packs a powerful 900w motor, but it's the detachable, portable smoothie vessel that sets this one apart.
The Nutribullet is definitely an office favourite, but it's not without its faults. It'll handle most recipes with ease; but more tricky solids, such as natural peanut butter, can gum up the works. You might also have to remove the blades a few times to shake up and dislodge some of your more resistant ingredients. But at this price point, a tiny bit of manual labour is forgivable.
The Upper Hand: BAMIX HANDHELD BLENDER
R2 999, yuppiechef.com
Ease of use: 4/5
Designed to whisk, mince, blend and chop with ease, the Bamix Mono Blender is marketed as a fuss-free tool for the modern kitchen. It may not pack the power of its bigger brethren, but it excels in function as well as form.
Unobtrusive, with an intuitive design, it performed well at both blending and chopping, only coming unstuck with harder ingredients such as ice. If you’re willing to put your hand in your pocket, there are tools with more power at a premium price. For most kitchens, though, the Bamix should fit the bill.
Strong Silent Type: OMNIBLEND V BLENDER
R3 399, omniblend.co.za
Ease of use: 4/5
This blender has an impressive capacity, with three timer settings and a pulse option. It’s also one of the best looking of the bunch and comes in three colours, should you plan to give it pride of place in your kitchen.
Well designed to handle larger, tougher foods, the OmniBlend is ideal for adding more substance to your post-gym shakes. The powerful blades go about their work relatively quietly, too. Just be careful not to overfill it, as there was some leakage; and hold on at high speeds – the non-slip feet don’t quite live up to their name.
How We Tested The Metal
We detail the scientific lengths our white coats went to in finding your perfect blendwhacker.
Making The Cut
To evaluate performance, we turned the blenders’ speed up to 11. Our gold standard was set at each machine’s ability to pulverise ice
While the design category isn’t given the same weight as the others when awarding the overall score, good looks still count for a lot.
Analysing ease of use involved endless detaching and re-attaching of blades, knob twisting, but - ton bashing – even reading the manual.
* All prices correct at publishing.