(Pocket-lint) - Blenders are one of those bits of kitchen kit that doesn't feel essential until you've got one.
Whether it's to help you get into a daily smoothie routine, or you're hoping to make more soups, or if milkshakes particularly float your boat, there are myriad reasons to pick up a blender.
There are also countless blenders on the market, though, ranging from slim fruit-only options to full-on food processing beasts. We've rounded up some of the best options available right now for you, across a variety of sizes and shapes.
Our guide to the best blenders available to buy today
Nutribullet 600 Series
Nutribullet sort of came out of nowhere this century to dominate in the blender game, with its quick and easy stylings and smoothie-ready machines. The 600 Series is super-affordable and impressively powerful for its size and price.
The machine is small enough that it's easily stored, but also won't eat up space if you want to leave it out on the counter. More importantly, its 600-watt motor will make mincemeat of fruit and most veg, and can be a useful aid for souping and more adventurous cooking. Still, the tougher the processing job, the more you'll want to consider a heftier blender.
If you do indeed want to take a step up from the Nutribullet that opened our list but don't necessarily want to abandon the principle that it should be relatively small, Vitamix's S30 is a great bet. It's like a deluxe version of that blender, with a bit more control on the base unit. You get a chunk more power too, meaning that you can trust it to mince up a wider, tougher range of foods than cheaper equivalents.
That said, at full price the S30 can be a little prohibitive — if you can find it discounted since it's been out a little while, that's the better way to pick one up. With a bigger container, too, and nice design, it's perhaps a little more adaptable, too.
Magimix 1.8L Le Blender
With a classic, no-nonsense look, Le Blender from Magimix is a dead straightforward option if you want a counter-top blender. It's got an easy-to-use power dial and three buttons to control the blender itself, and well-designed blends make for an even chopping and blending action.
One of its really nice features comes during use — it's not too loud at all, compared to most competitors, which is something that you'll appreciate over time, the more you use it. Plus, a clever cleaning setting lets you relatively easily blast away any grime left after a particular blend.
Smeg's kitchen appliances are immediately identifiable by their iconic design and distinctive colours. The BLF01 is no different and will fit in with other units from Smeg seamlessly if you have any. You can pick it up without breaking the bank, with some patience, and it's a great fit for those who want to blend and also want a blender they're not ashamed to leave out.
Whether you want to blitz ice, fruit or cooked vegetables, the BLF01 is capable of it, and has a nice measuring jug container for pouring out when you're done. It's solidly built and has some smart touches, making it a real contender.
KitchenAid, like others on this list, knows its appliances and has a pedigree in the blending and mixing game. This five-speed blender is a really impressive unit that isn't priced at all outrageously and can handle most things you throw at it.
It also has a nice look to it, one that wouldn't seem out of place in a much older kitchen setting, or a classic American diner. Its container has been smartly designed to funnel chunks towards the blades, and usefully has a partial-opening feature to let you add more ingredients while blending. It's dishwasher-safe, too, which is always appreciated.
Our last pick for this list won't really be a sensible choice for most people — the lower-powered, consumer blenders featured above are adaptable, and easy-to-use enough for almost anyone.
If you're dead serious about your blending, though, and need huge power to back it up, the Vitamix 5200 will sort you out. It's got a massively powerful motor, with high-speed modes that will absolutely blitz most obstacles, and on its highest settings can even heat soup up as it blends it. That said, the likelihood that you actually need this much power, with the noise that comes with it, is fairly low. An option for the enthusiasts, this one.
Another option that might not be totally necessary for a lot of people, we've been trying out Vejo over the last few weeks and think it could work for some. It's a classy portable blender, battery-powered, that works like a Nespresso machine, but with biodegradable smoothie pods instead of coffee. That means you can't blend up whatever you like, which is the main drawback to the system.
But it does mean that you can blend up a lovely fruit smoothie while out and about, and sip it from the flask without needing extra equipment. Ordering a subscription of your favourite pods will keep you stocked, too. It's not perfect, although a recent update has really improved battery life, and if portable smoothie-making sounds good to you, it's worth a look.