5 Best Blenders for Crushing Ice & Frozen Drinks

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Whether it is slushies, smoothies, ice cream, or adult beverages, everyone loves a frozen treat. Even better when you can use your blender to whip up your favorite treat at home!

To do this, you need a blender that packs a punch. After all, no one likes a chunky smoothie or a half blended frozen margarita. 

However, not all blenders are created equal. Stick with me and I will cover what I believe is the best blender for ice. And, if you haven't already, go ahead and get your taste buds ready for a frosty treat!

best blender for ice

Top Ice Blenders

Best Blender for Ice Cubes

With a full five year warranty the Vitamix E310 Explorian Blender is built to last. Durable, strong, and easy to clean, the Vitamix boasts 1380 watts of power to easily tear through ice, frozen fruit, fresh vegetables, and more.

The Vitamix can also make ice cream, slushies, and frozen cocktails in a flash. Your at home happy hours will truly be happier once you can whip up a frozen margarita in seconds!  

The easy to use variable speed controls also make controlling your drink consistency easier than ever. After all, is there anything worse than trying to sip a large chunk of ice through straw?!  

Pros:

  • Stainless steel blades
  • Powerful motor
  • 5 year warranty
  • Easy to clean
  • Large blending jar

Cons:

  • Heavy at 11 pounds
  • Less affordable

Best Blender for Chopping Ice

The Cuisinart CBT-2000 3.5 Peak Hurricane Pro Blender is a variable speed powerhouse. The turbo boost feature allows you to have a commercial grade experience boosting up to 30,000 rotations per minute. Your ice cubes will never stand a change against this blender beast. 

One of the coolest features of the Cuisinart is the customizable memory control. All you need to do is press a button to save your optimal blender settings. Let's be honest, this feature is awesome first thing in the morning when your brain isn't working yet and you just can't remember your favorite smoothie settings.

Built for durability, the Cuisinart comes with a 10 year limited motor warranty and a 3 year warranty on defects in material or workmanship under normal home use.  

Pros:

  • 10 year motor warranty
  • Programmable memory settings
  • Turbo boost
  • Stainless steel blades
  • 64 ounce blending pitcher

Cons:

  • Loud
  • Plastic parts

Best Ice Crushing Smoothie Blender

If you are looking for a more budget friendly blender that can breeze through ice in a flash, a good mid-range price blender is the Ninja Professional Countertop Blender BL 660. The Ninja does an amazing job at crushing ice for drinks, smoothies, slushies, and more.

It has a powerful motor, 1100 watts to be exact, and a 72 ounce blending jar. As a bonus, it comes with two single serve tumblers with to go lids. Taking your shake to go has never been easier. 

Another added feature, yet important, is that it is incredible easy to clean. Just add warm water and a drop or two of liquid dish soap, blend on high speed for a minute or so, dump and rinse. 

Pros:

  • 6 stainless steel blades
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Variable speed pulse operation
  • Bonus tumblers included
  • BPA free
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Loud

Best Blender for Iced Coffee

The Nutri Ninja Pro Compact Personal Blender is the only personal blender to make the list. Usually, personal blenders are so small that they lack motor power. However, the Nutri Ninja Pro is a tiny ice crushing powerhouse packing 900 watts of power. 

Whether you are making iced coffee or a frozen protein shake, the Nutri Ninja Pro is the perfect morning companion. It comes with two travel cups with twist on lids to make running out the door even easier. If you live in a hot climate, a cold drink to go is a must!

Although I love this blender for it's ice crushing on the go abilities, it also comes with a 75 recipe cookbook so that you can expand your blender vocabulary. 

Pros:

  • Dishwasher safe
  • Small footprint on countertop
  • Easy to operate
  • Twist on to go lids
  • BPA-free

Cons:

  • Battery required
  • Can be hard to clean

Best Budget Blender for Ice

I love the affordability of the Hamilton Beach Power Elite Blender. While not as powerful as other blenders on the list at just 700 watts peak blending power, the Hamilton Beach can still hold its own in the kitchen. 

Five simple buttons represent twelve blending functions like mix, puree, dice, and grind. Just toss your ingredients inside the jar and set the blades to work using the unique wave action system. The blades continuously pull your ingredients to the bottom of the jar to ensure a smooth blend. 

While it might take a little longer to crush rock hard ice than its competitors, this blender is definitely worth the cost savings if you are blending on a budget. The jar, blades, and lid are all dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.

Pros:

  • Easy pour spout
  • Multi use buttons
  • Wave action system
  • 3 year limited warranty
  • Blending jar has handle

Cons:

  • Less powerful than other models
  • Food easily stuck under blades

Guide to Buying the Best Blender for Ice

When you purchase a blender, you want to make sure that you are making the best purchase possible. When it comes to blending ice, there are several aspects and features to consider. 

Durability, power, warranty, price, design, uses and jar capacity are all things to think about when making your purchase. Let's dive in to a few of those topics. 

best ice blender

Power

Motor power plays a huge role in the ability of a blender to crush ice. Anyone who has ever stood in front of a blender for fifteen to twenty minutes trying to grind everything up smoothly can attest to this! If your blender does not have enough watts, the motor will drag and sputter meaning the blades will not chop as well as they should. 

Now, in theory, you could toss ice (especially soft ice) into any blender, but low power wattage is the reason why smoothies end up chunky or frozen margaritas end up halfway on the rocks. Ew. 

If you want a uniformly blended drink with ice, go for a blender like the Vitamix that has a minimum of 1000 watts of momentum in the motor. The higher wattage will ensure that your blender has the power to crush your ice small enough for an even consistency. Silky smooth smoothie anyone? 

Blending Jar 

The size of the blending jar is another feature that you should pay attention to as different sized bottles and jars are available to buy. A model like the Ninja Nutri Pro is the perfect size for individuals who only need to make single serving drinks. You can even buy extra to go cups!

However, for large families or the enthusiastic smoothie maker, a model like the Ninja Professional Countertop Blender would be ideal since the container holds up to 72 ounces of liquid. That's up to nine cups of smoothies!

Lastly, consider the material that the blending jar or any to go cup is made out of. Some jars and cups are made of plastic while others are made entirely of glass. 

Every little bit helps when it comes to reducing plastic waste! For blenders with to go cups that are usually plastic, I love these extra long reusable straws that reach all the way to the bottom of most to go cups. 

Budget

Budget is always important when it comes to choosing a blender. However, it's even more important when it comes to investing in a blender that will pulverize ice cubes in a flash. 

As I have covered above, crushing ice is best done with a high wattage motor. Typically, blenders with top notch motor power are slightly on the expensive side. It is absolutely true that you get what you pay for when it comes to blender motor power. 

However, there are affordable mid range blenders like the Ninja Professional Countertop Blender that pack a punch. There are even a few very affordable models like the Hamilton Beach that also make the cut. Whatever your budget, just make sure that you check the wattage before you buy! 

Uses

Many people buy ice crushing blenders in order to make ice drinks or to blend ice into smoothies and shakes. However, blending ice doesn't just have to be for alcoholic beverages or smoothies. 

Making slushies, snow cream, or ice cream are all possibilities that can also be made in your new ice crushing machine. 

However, if you are going to invest in a new powerful machine, wouldn't it be nice if it can also make other things too?! To spark your imagination, check out all of the things that you can make in a blender. In short, it helps to think through all of the possibilities that you would make in your blender before buying, just in case you decide on other things besides ice to blend up. 

Warranty

When choosing your blender, it's a good idea to take a quick note of the warranties offered with each blender. Brands like Vitamix back up their products with hefty warranties (most are seven years or longer). While some inexpensive brands like Hamilton Beach have shorter warranty periods (most are three years and conditional). 

Like most products, typically, the longer or more comprehensive the warranty, the better quality the product. If you are planning to invest a decent amount of money into a blender powerful enough to crush ice, be sure to double check if the manufacturer has good warranty practices. 

FAQ's

What is the best way to crush ice in the blender?

There are a few ways that you can use your blender to crush ice. Before beginning, it may be helpful to break up large ice pieces using a reusable bag in order to prolong the life of your blender. Even the most powerful blender model might struggle with very large or hard ice.

First, double check the motor power on your blender to determine if your model can handle the type of ice you plan on blending. Higher motor wattage is always preferred and will shorten the length of time that you need to stand there and wait on your blender to finish mixing everything smoothly. 

Next, load all of the contents into the jar of your blender and ensure that there is enough liquid present to prevent your blender motor from working too hard. You can skip the step of adding liquid if you are attempting something like shaved ice or slushies, but keep in mind that you may need to go slowly with the amount of ice that you add into the jar. 

Lastly, pulse or adjust the controls on your blender in order to get a smooth consistency. Turn your blender off immediately if you smell a burnt plastic scent or hear alarming noises from the blender base. 

What is the best hand blender for ice?

At present, there is not a hand or immersion blender that I would recommend for ice. Due to the semi exposed blades, attempting to crush ice with an immersion blender could lead to a damaged blender, or worse, a serious injury. 

There are, however, special ice crushing attachments that you can buy that work with immersion blenders. This ice crushing attachment fits perfectly onto the MQ7 Series Braun immersion blender models. 


What is the best personal blender for ice?

While I love the Ninja Nutri Pro when it comes to personal blenders, it's worth giving a shout out to the the Nutribullet Pro. Both machines boast 900 watts of power and are made by the same company. The Nutribullet Pro is also an ice crushing powerhouse and is sold in a variety of colors. 

Do I have to have a blender to crush ice?

Not necessarily. There are plenty of manual ways to crush ice, although you might work up a sweat. If you are dying for crushed ice, but can't afford a blender, check out the Manba Ice Shaver and Snow Cone Maker. As a bonus, it even comes with a cute silicone ice tray!  

Conclusion

When looking for a blender that can crush ice, the power of the motor is crucial if you want to enjoy a smooth consistency. At best, try to choose one with a few variable speeds and a pulse button. 

Overall, I feel the best ice crushing blender is the Vitamix E310 Explorian. It has plenty of features, many pros, and very few cons. If the Vitamix is out of budget, a great mid priced alternative is the Ninja Professional Countertop Blender. If you are new to blending and don't want to invest much, then the Hamilton Beach Power Elite should be your go to. 

I hope that you are well on your way to many ice crushing adventures!

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About the author

Molly, writer and avid learner, loves sharing her knowledge with others. She empowers curious people with no nonsense guides, reviews, and product comparisons.

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