For simple smoothies in small homes, you can't go wrong with the Magic Bullet. The multi-purpose blending cups are convenient and surprisingly capacious. However, you need something more substantial for super-smooth results and ice crushing,
Comes with lots of extra jars
Makes a good smoothie
Not very durable
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If you're thinking of starting a routine of morning smoothies, but don't want to wipe out your wallet, Magic Bullet has made your dream blender. For around $40 you can have access to a petite blender, which comes with three travel, sealable blending cups.
I'm often skeptical of minimal-cost, maximal-promise products, so was keen to get the Magic Bullet into our test kitchen. I put it through our rigorous range of tests, from making a spinach and berry smoothie, a silky hummus, and powdery ice cones.
The Magic Bullet performed like a truly brilliant basic. It hasn't beaten out Vitamix as the best blender but it makes excellent smoothies and can whip up decent dips, but when you need power, the bullet shape can become a little limiting.
|6.93"D x 13.19"W x 10.63"H
|20 fl oz
The Magic Bullet is one of the cheapest blenders we've ever tested, so I was struck by the relatively generous extras packed into one, small, carboard box. It comes with a tall cup, short cup, portable cup, to-go lid, and stay fresh lids, as well as a recipe guide. When you've only spent $40 on a blender, this feels like a lavish offering.
The only drawback is that the Magic Bullet comes with a considerable amount of plastic wrap. Other brands (Ninja, for example) now wrap their products in recyclable paper, so it would be good to see Magic Bullet move to this more sustainable material, too.
Who would it suit?
One of the best qualities of bullet blenders are how compact they are. Whilst the Magic Bullet isn't as small as some popular portable, personal blenders, it's a good, corded option and demands next to no space. If you have a small kitchen, this is brilliant.
If you're new to blending or not quite sure how much you'll use one, this is an inexpensive investment to make. I'd recommend it as a good, basic blender. However, if you're looking for something which will last you for over five years, crush ice, and heat soups (as many of the best blenders can), you'll find the Magic Bullet a little lacking.
What is it like to use?
If you're familiar with Nutribullets, you've essentially already used a Magic Bullet. In fact, if you're wondering the difference between Nutribullet vs Magic Bullet, the Magic Bullet is the forerunner; they're both owned by the same parent company.
The whole appliance is very light and easy to get set up. All the ingredients should go into the blending cup (I recommend putting soft fruit in first and leafy greens in last) and then the lid needs to be screwed on tightly.
If you don't secure it properly, your milk will leak out the sides and onto the countertop. This takes some muscle, so if you've not got great wrist mobility, it might be worth looking into alternatives, because you'll also need to depress the blending cup to start the Magic Bullet working. I initially thought that the Magic Bullet required constant pressure to blend, but you can lock it into place and walk away if you want to multitask whilst blending.
To get a better idea of what the Magic Bullet was like in day-to-day usage, I put it through our three key tests: making smoothies, hummus, and crushed ice. Here are the results for the Magic Bullet.
Test 1: smoothie
For all of our smoothie tests, we use frozen berries (to test how well the blender handles seeds and hard fruit), spinach (to see what happens with tough skins), and oat milk (for texture). Once I'd put these ingredients into the cup, I set it blending.
The Magic Bullet is quite loud. I logged 90 dBA of noise when it was blending, which is about as noisy as a lawnmower. Thankfully, it doesn't run for long, but if you're the first up in your household and you need to blend in the mornings, you won't be making any friends with this.
However, it's surprisingly effective for a 250 watt blender. For context, that's more than 1000W less than our all-time favorite, the Vitamix Ascent A3500. However, it's almost too much for itself to handle, because it shakes a little on the countertop. With this in mind, I wouldn't like to really challenge it, for fear of it overheating. However, with my smoothie ingredients, this did a great job. I could see a few seeds in my glass and if I really searched for them, I could taste them too. The spinach had whizzed up into nothing though, so, overall, it was a good, well blended smoothie.
Test 2: hummus
Hummus sounds simple, but chickpeas can be tough and chunky, so difficult to get ultra-smooth. I added a can of chickpeas, squeeze of lemon, tablespoon of tahini, and some salt and cumin into the blender. Initially, the Magic Bullet really struggled. The cup was full and there's not a lot of liquid to work with in hummus, which won't help any blender. I had to keep unscrewing the Magic Bullet and giving everything a mix to make sure the blades were reaching every ingredient.
Once I'd had this blending for a total of two minutes, I stopped the Magic Bullet. I think I'd reached the peak of what this could achieve (and the noise that everyone in the test kitchen would tolerate). The hummus was quite chunky, but not inedible. For an inexpensive blender, it did a reasonable job.
Test 3: crushed ice
I'm yet to test a bullet blender that can truly crush ice. I didn't have high hopes for the Magic Bullet, which is good, because it didn't deliver. My ice cubes rattled around in the container making nothing but noise. If you make a lot of frozen cocktails or ice cones, I'd recommend looking into a more heavy-duty blender.
Cleaning, storage, and maintenance
The Magic Bullet shines when it comes to convenience. Once you've made your dips or smoothie, everything is dishwasher safe, so you can almost forget about it.
When the clean-up is finished, the power base is small enough to put into a deep drawer or cupboard. I'd challenge anyone to show me a kitchen that's too small to house one of these.
The most difficult things to store are the three cups that Magic Bullet include in the box. Even then, I'd make sure to hold onto these, because they make preserving any extra smoothies or dips easy, especially if you want to turn one into a bottle for the gym or work.
How does it rate online?
You'll think I've been overly harsh in this review when you hear how it rates online. Out of over nearly 103,000 ratings on Amazon, the Magic Bullet has 4.5 stars on Amazon. It's one of their certified 'best sellers' for countertop blenders, so that should speak for itself.
People used theirs for baby food, protein shakes, smoothies, and more. It was hard to find anything but praise for how easy this was to use, clean, and enjoy every day. The place the Magic Bullet seems to fall short is, unsurprisingly, in its durability. There are some extreme cases, where it's clear people had an unluckily faulty product, but, from what I can gather, it's better not to push the Magic Bullet too far. If you've put nuts in the blender and they aren't the consistency you want, don't leave it running. Stop it, mix the nuts around, and set it running again. Leaving it in the same position, at full power, is a bad idea.
How does it compare?
There are two alternatives to the Magic Bullet you might want to consider: you could spend more and get a Nutribullet, or save space and get the Ninja Blast. Here's how they measure up to the Magic Bullet:
The Nutribullet, depending on which model you opt for, will cost at least another $30. I tested this Magic Bullet alongside the Nutribullet 600 Series and, honestly, there isn't a huge amount of difference. The Nutribullet feels more durable and, if you read the reviews, they tend to last longer too. I found the Nutribullet made a similar texture smoothie to the Magic Bullet, but a much smoother hummus. If you want precision, elegance, and that extra 350 Watts of power, the Nutribullet is worth some more money. If you want a simple, savvy blender, the Magic Bullet is better. Unfortunately, neither can crush ice,
The Ninja Blast, although only 18 oz (2 oz less than the Magic Bullet), is a smaller, cordless alternative. Granted, it can only handle single servings, but it's great at crushing ice, whizzing up leafy greens, and incorporating protein powder into drinks. When it came to blending frozen fruit, the Ninja struggles a little more with big pieces of frozen fruit, but, generally, it boasts an impressive performance. It's not hugely cheaper than the Magic Bullet, but you will save some money and space by opting for the Ninja instead.
Should you buy it?
If you're looking for an inexpensive blender, you won't go wrong with this. The Magic Bullet is like the clunky, smaller, slightly less refined version of a Nutribullet, which is why I'd recommend it to beginners, or those short on space. When I began to test the power and capacity, with ice, the Magic Bullet fell short, but, it's hard to complain when the whole thing costs $40.
How we test
At Homes & Gardens, we prioritise giving you practical, useful reviews. That’s why we meticulously test every appliance before we recommend them to you. That way, you’ll never waste money on an appliance which simply doesn’t suit your needs.
Aside from rounds of smoothies, hummus, and ice cones, we also test the storage, cleaning, and maintenance of an appliance. You can rest assured that we’ll let you know what’s important. If you’re interested in finding out more, you can read the details of our process at our how we test blenders page.
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Laura is our eCommerce editor. As a fully qualified barista, she's our expert in all things coffee and has tested over thirty of the best coffee makers on the market. She has also interviewed Q-Graders and world-leading experts in the coffee industry, so has an intimate knowledge of all things coffee. Before joining Homes & Gardens, she studied English at Oxford University. Whilst studying, she trained as a master perfumer and worked in the luxury fragrance industry for five years. Her collection of home fragrance is extensive and she's met and interviewed five of the world's finest perfumers (also known as 'noses'). As a result of this expansive fragrance knowledge, she always puts quality and style over quantity and fads. Laura looks for products which have been designed simply and with thoughtful finishes.
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