A great blender can help you make great smoothies and icy drinks.
It can even help with soups and ice cream.
But Consumer Reports wanted to know if you have to pay a lot to get a good one.
Testers sized up blenders costing anywhere from $40 to $600.
When it comes to blenders, everyone is getting in on the action.
Consumer Reports tested more than 50.
Along with the usual Cuisinarts and KitchenAids, testers evaluated Food Network star Sandra Lee's $45 blender, a $60 Ninja, and a $130 blender from Bon Appétit.
On the high end, Consumer Reports also sized up a Blendtec and two Vitamix blenders.
"Blenders are one of those appliances that can do a bunch of different tasks, but performance varies, so we really put them through their paces."
Testers crush ice and run the blenders for 20 seconds to see how uniform and snow-like the end results are. They also purée soup and make piña coladas.
A Bon Appétit blender didn't deliver on frozen drinks.
But far worse is Sandra Lee's blender. It could barely crush ice.
And there were whole ice cubes left in the piña coladas!
"This model had the lowest overall score out of every tested model."
As for the $450 and $600 Vitamix blenders, both did an excellent job in all of Consumer Reports' tests.
"People are really passionate about these blenders, but you don't need to spend that much to get a really great blender."
The super-versatile $60 Ninja Master Prep Professional aced the tests, too, puréeing smooth soups and mixing up a great icy drink.
Consumer Reports also recommends the $100 KitchenAid model number KSB565.
While it wasn't as good at puréeing as the Ninja blender, it offers a glass container instead of plastic, five speeds, and sleek touchpad controls.